Some Thoughts on the Verge’s “The End of Kindness”

September 12, 2013 § 1 Comment

why can't i hold all these feels

Greg Sandoval’s article about weev and the cult of the angry young man has me juggling a lot of feels. First and most importantly, I’m relieved to see this article in print; as I discussed way back in March, I was dismayed to see the outpouring of support for weev post-conviction. Not because I agreed with the charges, they were clearly bullshit, but because the magical reframing of weev as American free speech hero was an even more insidious flavor of bullshit.

Sandoval’s article calls attention to this fact, and challenges the impulse to adopt as a martyr for FREE SPEECH (I have expressed my attitudes towards FREE SPEECH of the all-caps internet eye-roll variety here) the same guy who has for years stomped all over the speech of others, particularly women, and even more particularly Kathy Sierra. This is a weird, offensive, and ultimately counterproductive impulse — I can’t think of a better way to undermine arguments for a free and unregulated internet than by rallying behind a self-proclaimed anti-Semitic racist who likes to terrorize women on the internet. From a purely PR perspective, that seems like an odd move.

But maybe not so odd, given recent conversations about the cult of the bro within the tech space, summarized nicely by Nitasha Tiku in this Valleywag article. Maybe the reason weev is regarded by so many people as an American treasure is because so many people have internalized the idea that violence towards women, whether symbolic or directly physical, isn’t that big of a deal, a point Sierra reiterated in her interview with Sandoval. “His rise as a folk hero is a sign of how desensitized to the abuse of women online people have become,” she stated.

Just as importantly, weev’s case shows the gendered and raced one-sidedness of so many conversations about FREE SPEECH — I can’t remember a time I have ever heard a woman (qualification: who isn’t a bigoted Ann Coulter white lady type) or person of color hide behind the First Amendment to justify their speech. Much more frequently (and/or much more always, since I can’t for the life of me think of a counterexample) FREE SPEECH, at least the kind weev is celebrated for helping protect, is almost always deployed by precisely the people  whose speech has always been the most free to silence those whose speech has always been the most precarious.

So maybe, in the end, weev IS a free speech hero —  in which case, we had better rethink the politics behind that term. Because if Andrew Auernheimer is what we mean when we talk about FREE SPEECH  — well, I’ll let you fill in that blank for yourself. Personally I am inclined to say no thank you.


I Know What I’M Wearing to Jason’s Party!

April 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

It’s the whispered “fashhhhion shaaaaack” that gets me.

Review of HBO’s “Girls”

April 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

a rainbow of beige

Yesterday I wrote about HBO’s Girls, a show for and about white people that is either very smart or very dumb. Maybe both, but not for the reasons people might think.

Full article here.

[and/or full text after the jump]

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Marry Me, Tumblr Profile

March 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

The internet is a magical place

Some genius created a Tumblr profile featuring people crying on cam. Grade: A+

Reading Rainbow

January 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

Just stunning!

My girl’s at it again! Via the Daily Troll.

Also here.

Also hey look, German hackers are auslookin to build their own open-source internet!

In unrelated white people news…


Not to Sound Racist, But……[twirls hair]

January 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

Also, yes, “shit [category of people] say” has been around for YEARS in internet time (a month), and I’ve not posted any because most of the early ones weren’t very funny plus would have made Richard Dyer eat his own face (“shit girls say” should have been “shit upper middle class white asshole girls say”). But this one wins because of HOLLER.


Spoiler Alert!!!

November 28, 2011 § 3 Comments

Once upon a time some shit happens and as a result this scowling teenager named Bella decides to marry the ghost of Cedric Diggory. Their wedding is presented in real time and is as boring and overdone as weddings are in real life, which is a nice touch. Then this werewolf shows up and gets real mad because Bella is going to make sweet love to her messianic corpse, probably that night! Even though they’re married now, this is still very upsetting, because of Repression. The wolf runs away and the two happy lovebirds (not really, Bella seems constipated) leave for their honeymoon.

When they arrive in the SECRET LOCATION (Brazil) there are brown people dancing all around, which is how we know it’s sexy there (foreshadowing)! But that’s a PSYCH you guys, the ghost of Cedric Diggory has another plan, they’re actually going to this island! On the island there is a house, and in the house there is a bed, and that’s where Cedric does it so hard to Bella that she nearly dies! He vows never to make rough animal whoopie to her ever again, and for the rest of the honeymoon they awkwardly play chess and occasionally blink at each other. This goes on for nearly twenty minutes of screen time! But OOPS, I forgot this is a Mormon fairy tale, so of course Bella is pregnant! That’s what consensual sex in the missionary position is for, when you’re married. DOUBLE OOPS, the baby is a demon, which the housekeeper can sense because BROWN PEOPLE ARE SO INTUITIVE.

Unsurprisingly, the demon child starts to eat Bella from the inside. Somehow the werewolf finds out, and even though his family keeps telling him to get over it, Bella is Cedric Diggory’s wife now, just find a new girl to imprint on already, jesus, which apparently is how werewolves mate (this will be important later; see :45 mark above), the werewolf doesn’t care. He’s like, “no Bella needs me,” because as far as I can tell Bella ALWAYS needs someone. So he shows up, and this pisses off the rest of his pack I guess, and also pisses off Cedric Diggory’s family aka the ashen-faced housemates from Real World: Three Forks, since historically vampires are all totally racist against Native Americans/dogs (in this movie they are the same thing!). At first Cedric Diggory is weirded out when the werewolf goes full whiteknight, but then he changes his mind because there’s just no talking to Bella when she gets like this, you know??

Eventually the vampire king feeds Bella some human blood, and this makes her start dying a bit slower. Everyone is still super worried about her unborn fetus though, or as her Pro-Life vampire roommates call it, “the baby.” Haha it’s not a baby it’s an abomination! At least that’s what the werewolf’s family thinks, and they come to kill everyone, but the werewolf –they tell me his name is Jacob– is like NOT ON MY WATCH! And while he’s defending the castle, the vampire king is able to sneak out and get more blood for everybody, especially Bella who just takes takes takes.

And as soon as the house is under siege, Bella goes into labor because DRAMA QUEEN. The plan is to wait till the demon child is delivered, then turn her into a vampire so she doesn’t die from the strain. “The baby” is taking forever to shit out though, and Bella is fading fast, so Cedric Diggory has to gnaw his wicked progeny out of her womb, with his teeth! It’s a real mess. But real men love their women every day of the month, so good for him. But then Bella dies, which is sad. At least everyone thinks she’s dead, and while Edward is busy injecting her with his “venom,” Jacob goes to kill the baby that killed the love of his life! AND THEN IT HAPPENS, he takes one look at the baby (whose name is “Renesmee?” WHY), decides he should take a seat, and BOOM he’s mated for life! Which is fortuitous because werewolves can’t kill the future wives of their brethren, even if they’re only 20 minutes old. That sure was close! And then Edward’s all like, hey Jake, thanks for looking past all the afterbirth and blood that’s still caked to my infant daughter’s head, she has a great personality!

Around this same time Edward’s  “venom” finally starts working and ugly old Bella morphs into the most beautiful white person on God’s blessed earth. She opens her eyes and they’re all red and wizened and THE END, see you kids next time!

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