Thanks, Mike Chambers!
Oy. A year and a half after I dissected Greg Miller’s, frankly, embarrassing review of Dead Space 2, and to this day I still get comments and emails from people telling me I’m wrong without really elaborating on why that might be. Which is fine, because much like talking about feminism brings out people people who describe themselves as “Men’s Rights Activists” thus making it easier to identify them as morons, anyone who comes to the defense of Greggy’s Dead Space 2 review is, basically, yeah.
Today’s activity takes the biscuit, though, earning it a much-coveted spot in the “hate mail” tag.
I received this anonymous Ask today on the subject of feminism - I guess the Asker didn’t feel strongly enough about the subject to slap his or her name at the end of it - and I thought that rather than slap it up as an Ask I’d post it as an inset quote so I could tackle each paragraph individually:
It saddens me that you swallow hook, line and sinker the whole feminism shtick because even though, at a superficial level, feminism seems to be about equality, in reality it’s about positive discrimination for women. And positive discrimination is, as its name clearly states, discrimination - the antithesis of equality.
Have you ever stopped to think about why we need “positive discrimination”? It’s because we live in a society that favours a particular type of person - the white-skinned male. People who don’t fit into this particular pigeon hole tend to be marginalized. Women are no exception to this. Women earn less than their male counterparts. Women are expected by society to be caretakers, mothers, maids, housewives. They don’t have full autonomy over their own bodies, with numerous states and countries imposing legal restrictions on what a woman can or can’t do with her uterus.
So if there is a call for “positive discrimination” it is in the hopes that some day, one day, we won’t need it anymore. It’d be great to live in a society where everybody is treated equal, where a black person or a woman doesn’t need a special scholarship in order to go to college, where companies don’t need to make special allowances in the name of “diversity” because it just happens. As it stands at the moment we live in a culture that treats women as second-class citizens, and we should be doing everything we can to elevate them to first-class.
All fervent feminists always bang on about how they want to be treated like men, but if a man treats one like he would treat a man, it all falls to pieces. Men call each other names and insult each other in jest, men burp, fart and are generally quite rude in the company of their friends and the list could go on and on. Do that with even the most fervent feminist woman and she’ll still think and flat out tell you that you’re a pig and fall back to her “fragile flower” instinct. What that shows is not a desire to really be treated like an equal. It does show, nevertheless, a desire to be treated like an equal when it’s convenient and as a woman when that’s convenient. There is a word for all of this: hypocrisy, and in my opinion it’s, by far, the worst character flaw a human being could have.
Y’know another character flaw? Generalizing. In this paragraph you’re generalizing two groups of people - men and women. Not all men “insult each other in jest”, not all men communicate in bodily emissions. Similarly, not all women react the way you’ve outlined. This entire paragraph is based on sexist notions of what men and women are, or what they’re supposed to be. Do you not see the problem with that?
If someone can call a man a “prick” then one should be able to call a woman a “cunt” and expect a comparable level of response from someone who truly is all about equality, not the disproportionate response you get from feminists.
As I’ve mentioned before, there have been entire essays written about the word “cunt” and why it’s an unacceptable word to use. Feel free to educate yourself.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for equality. I’m actually disgusted by the whole “gentle flower” type of woman in particular and by all women that try to use the fact that they are women to their advantage in general. Unfortunately for me, I’m neither gay and nor have I met many women that don’t do that.
I’d like to see how feminists can defend this kind of crass hypocrisy with a straight face.
You’re all for equality, so long as women fit neatly into nice pre-configured categories so you know whether to respect or revile them. Gotcha. I’ll keep that in mind. Again, nice generalizations.
Look, here’s the deal, Anonymous - there is no such thing as “all men” and “all women”. That shit doesn’t fly. People are unique individuals, and there will be men who fly against the image you painted two paragraphs ago just as there are women who fly against virtually everything you’ve said here. Everything you said in this little essay you’ve written me is based on gender stereotypes and your expectations of what men and women should be in society. Which is, frankly, bollocks.
I’m sure there are dozens of people - feminists or otherwise - who’ll read this and do a much better job of dissecting your little ramble. Reading shit like this just reminds me how far women have to go, and the sort of people who stand in the way of actual equality.
Honestly, the only way you could’ve missed the mark any more was if you’d said “Feminism is over! They’ve got the vote! A woman was nearly Vice-President! Get over yourselves!”
To the person who has anonymously messaged me three times about writing articles for fifteen bucks a pop
I’m not avoiding the question. In fact I’m already registered on a number of the sites you’ve mentioned including one or two you haven’t, and have long since already
syatyed started doing freelance work. The problem is it doesn’t pay regularly enough or greatly enough for me to amass the remaining $320-or-so I need to pull together in the next seven days. December is, haha, a Slow Month.
I’ve already been paid for a fair bit of freelance work - enough to bring in enough money to cover more than half of my rent - and I have more payment on the way. Unfortunately most of that payment will come after my rent deadline.
I’m not “asking for handouts” because I don’t want to work. I’m asking for help because I am desperate, in every sense of the word. I am
looking losing sleep over this. I’ve stopped eating. I’ve a knot in my stomach the size of Papa Papua New Guinea. I hope you never have to experience this kind of depression and despair.
I appreciate that you’ve taken it upon yourself to become my own personal Careers Adviser although, honestly, I wish you’d apply your name to your submissions. At least then I’d know who to thank. It’s nice that there’s someone out there so concerned for my wellbeing.
Edit: Well now we know why the freelance work isn’t paying enough - my writing is full of typos.
Anonymous asked: Stop the FUCKING presses... that's it! Journalism's problems have been solved. It's not about transparency, accuracy or honesty. No. We simply need to... LOOK CLOSER. Everything is so clear now. You have no idea how disgusted I am at you right now for holding us back from this revelation and attempting to pull the wool over our eyes.
I have seen the truth, and it is good journalism. Let's all join together in a chorus of 'Sunglasses At Night'.
Anonymous asked: Hey, I wanted to donate to you, but then I looked closer and saw that you are bullshit. You seem really important until someone looks closely. You don't appear to know bad journalism from your ass hole.
Anonymous asked: You do more self promoting on this website than reporting on bad journalism.
Anonymous asked: A month or two back I checked to see how many posts [on GJAIF] were useful to me as a reader of gaming news. It was 1%.
And yet the fact that you’re aware of the post you’re parodying suggests you still read the blog, or at least follow me on Twitter. If the site weren’t worth your time surely it’d be a further waste of it to come back and anonymously heckle me, eh?
Anonymous asked: While I appreciate what you do is entertaining, I feel that you're misleading people into feeling the games press is much worse than it is. OF COURSE the top 5% of sites are going to churn out evidentially meaningless posts because that's what their readers want. If Kotaku post about Japanese culture, it's because they're writing for a certain group who enjoy posts about Japanese culture - as proven by the hits that they have seen. First rule of journalism, any sort of journalism, write for your audience.
YOUR audience wants to hear that games journalists are incompetent fuck-wits, so you give them that. Which is fair enough, but you must also know that there are hundreds of truly excellent sites out there that are relatively struggling and deserve hits - you COULD show those. You COULD explain why games journalists are the way they are, and why smaller sites are run the way they are. It's incredibly difficult for a site just starting out and many readers don't realise just how hard it can be to get the news in front of them every day. But rather than educate your readers, you run down other establishments because it's the easy and entertaining thing to do.
I can't defend every error you post about, I wouldn't even try. The top 5% do stupid things at times. But at the end of the day, you are doing the exact same thing to provide entertainment and to make sure you keep your post count up.
I'm not saying that's a good thing or a bad thing, but if you really wanted to improve the state of the games press - something that you see really doesn't need doing if you spend less time on commercial sites and more time on 'indie' sites - then educating your readers would be better than just providing a random slump of human errors and posts you deem unsuitable for another outlets audience (Something you can only speculate about.)
Did you just find this blog or something? I do occasionally highlight examples of not shit journalism, and my friend Lewie Procter writes a weekly segment called Game Journalists Are Cool Dudes here on this very blog that points out brilliant examples of game journalists getting it exactly right.
Here’s the problem, Skipper (I’m going to have to call you Skipper, incidentally, because while you felt strongly enough about this to submit a question my way, you apparently didn’t feel strongly enough to append your name to it). These sites - Kotaku, Destructoid, GamesRadar, Joystiq, IGN and what have you - are among the most popular gaming sites on the internet. They’ve taken it upon themselves to tell us which games are worth buying and to tell us what’s going on the industry, and they have a responsibility to us. They may not agree with that, and they may not like it, but at the end of the day that’s what it comes down to.
When IGN rates a barely-average game a 7 out of 10 they’re telling readers that it’s worth spending their money on. When a publishing outlet like Future makes a deal to get the exclusive on an in-development game in exchange for a high score, they’re letting down their readers. Driv3r was one of the best-selling games when it came out in the UK in 2004 thanks in part to positive reviews in a few Future-owned outlets, and it was also one of the most traded-in games for the whole of 2004 because it was an unfinished, unpolished, unplayable heap of distended monkey rectum.
Similarly, when gaming blogs make a big deal out of every item they decide to report as news - be it announcing the as-expected cheap cash in videogame for Yogi Bear: The Movie, or doing a video “review” of a Mario Halloween costume - then the stuff that isn’t worth hearing about is given too much prevalence and the stuff that’s actually kind of important gets buried under seventeen metric tons of zebra excrement. As Jon Stewart said yesterday at the Rally to Restore Sanity, “If we amplify everything, we hear nothing.”
You’ll have to forgive me if I think calling out the gaming media for being skewed, imbalanced and broken is worth putting the time into. You’ll have to forgive me if I think that having the most popular sites posting some of the most Glod-awful journalism out there (even by gaming media standards) is a terrible, terrible situation for any lifestyle press to find itself in. It hurts us as gamers, and it hurts the perception of who gamers are to non-gamers.
Now as for that accusation about keeping my post count up; the fact of the matter is I couldn’t give a pair of fetid dingo’s kidneys about my post count. Some days I post dozens of articles. Some days I post a couple. Some days all I do is respond to the stuff in my Ask Hole. Some days I don’t even post on this blog at all. And I’m not trying to entertain anyone but myself. I’ve always said if this got boring I’d stop.
If I were just trying to entertain you’d see far more posts from me about far, far little. I’d hop on every typo, every grammatical error, every minor mistake. I see more errata and grammatical missteps in the gaming press on a day-to-day basis than most pre-teens’ll find in a Stephanie Meyer novel. I ignore them. I spin on. Typos generally aren’t worth the time, unless they’re particularly dire or it takes six and a half weeks for anyone at the site to spot the error and correct it. No, I stick to the important stuff (or at least I try to).
You want a website that recommends independent gaming sites? I don’t blame you. Noble endeavor, that. But that’s not this site. The site isn’t called Game Journalists Are Incompetent Fuckwits (And Also Here Are Some Independent Sites Worth Checking Out). It is what it is. If you’re looking for a site that does nothing but showcase the Good Stuff in the gaming media, may I suggest Good Videogames Journalism?
“Wait, no, hang on,” I hear you say. “How can you knock someone for challenging what your site does when you do that all the time to Kotaku?” Good question, and I’ll tell you my answer - unlike Kotaku, I’m not pretending to be something I’m not. I post crappy game journalism. I’m very open about that. Kotaku, on the other hand, tells us that they’re “The Gamer’s Guide”, but then posts shit like this, and this, and this, and this. Stuff with only the flimsiest of connections to the wonderful world of videogames. Stuff that has no connection to videogames at all. You can say, “Yes, well, they’ve found their readership, haven’t they?” And you are absolutely correct. Y’know what else found a large readership? Twilight. Finding an audience and producing quality writing are not the same thing.
Am I butthurt by this comment? I’d be lying if I said no (don’t worry, I’ve already gone ahead and filled out the relevant forms), but in fairness I do generally prefer it if the people who critique my blog actually bother to read it first.