*For those curious about the Meet The Character Blog Tour, to which I was challenged by Jagi Lamplighter, they are up at Amanda’s Post, Jody Lynn Nye Doug Dandrige and Dave Freer. My own post is here:Meet His Grace, Seraphim Ainsling, Duke of Darkwater.
Because of today’s post, I feel required to say: I don’t know if any of these people agree with me politically, and I couldn’t care less. (Actually I do know. Most of them don’t agree with me. And I’m cool with that.)
For those who are looking for Kate’s post — she forgot and I forgot to remind her. I’ll try to get one from her for tomorrow.*
I’ve been following #Gamergate with some interest. I’m not a gamer. I’m really an incredibly stodgy person – no seriously – who only reads for entertainment. Okay, reads, does carpentry and crochet and disturbs elephants and goes look at dino bones, and—
Right, but when it comes to the triad of entertainment of the modern age, the video forms leave me blah (my dad used to introduce this characteristic to people as though it were a handicap, which in the modern age it probably is: this is my daughter, and she doesn’t like television.) And games… well, the last one I got captured by that cost me a full year was tetris back in pre-history.
I’ve tried others, mind you, but they fall into two categories “failed to capture my interest” and “this is too much like work.” In the later category fall the planet and civilization building games and the array of sims. If I’m going to be creating civilizations, I d*mn well want to be paid.
The same goes for RPG games, btw. I once – for about two hours – “gamed” to get out of a tight plotting spot, but the problem there is more that I’d have to assemble a gamer’s group (I only ever had the one friend who did a demo game with me) and then I’d have to block out time. Last time I had a steady group for anything it was a writers’ group and politics done nuked that deep and hard.
Which actually brings us to the post.
In the triad of entertainment I indulge in video narration only while working out (and during summer I prefer walking outside) and for the rest I read. I’ve said over and over again that it was pretty pathetic that someone like me who ONLY reads for amusement (and enlightenment and learning, but that falls under “fun” too) spent so much time having trouble finding anything to read on the shelves of bookstores.
That’s okay. That’s past now. I have three books cued on the kindle to read right now.
BUT I want to emphasize one thing. When I wasn’t finding stuff to read, I wasn’t rejecting stuff on the basis of the author’s politics. I was rejecting it on the basis of being boring.
Now, often the boring bordered on politics. If the villain/murderer in every mystery is going to be the white/well off/guy who approves of commerce, I already lost significant enjoyment in that book. If every alien species we encounter is an ecological saint and the humans are always evil, then you already lost me. Because I’ve read that story fifty times before. If every love affair will end indeterminately because well, yes, that’s the approved ending, you already lost me.
I don’t read to be lectured at or to have my opinions confirmed. If my colleagues who agree with some of my opinions wrote books over and over again to make only one or two points I approve of, I’d also stop reading them.
In fact, I don’t understand the mind of the people who only read people who agree with them IN EVERY MINUTE DETAIL.
This brings us to #Gamergate and this post: #GamerGate–the free ride is over
I don’t know the author. It’s possible if I asked my sons, who are partly immersed in the gaming world, or some of my friends who are fully immersed (it turns out my peculiarity is still a handicap) they’d know exactly who this man is.
However I read his post and I discovered he’s my brother at heart. Particularly this:
For the past half decade, those cliques focused on “social justice” have been insulting, smearing and misrepresenting individuals or groups they decided represent “the other”. Because they received little or no push-back, they wrongly believed they represented the majority opinion on a given issue.
As someone who’s maintained a blog for 15 years, I’ve written a lot of words. Some of those words have made these guys angry and thus, at some point, they decided I was some sort of crazy right-winger. I’m only a “crazy right-winger” if objecting to one group coercing another group is “right wing”. I don’t like telling people what to do and I don’t like being told what to do.
Remember, the abuse I received had nothing to do with the quality of the book. If books based on a video game were regularly pilloried we’d have a never ending stream of Reddits.
No, the reason I was targeted is because SJWs, the people who now represent the bulk of the “anti-#GamerGate” crowd, are perfectly comfortable with harassment and abuse as long as it’s the right people doing the harassment and abuse: Themselves.
Now, this man asks the one, most important question – why do SJWs class everyone who disagrees with them about ANYTHING as “right wing” and “the enemy”?
It gets to the absurd point of having a group of largely white females running around accusing people who are both darker and of far less privileged background than they are (Larry and I come to mind, for instance) of being privileged and lecturing them about suffering and discrimination and, oh, yeah, respecting the other.
Like TinyLittleFrogs, I have tons of things in which I probably agree with the SJWs. Not his ecological stuff, because that’s just crazy talk. (Yes, my tongue is planted so firmly in cheek, it’s almost poking through.) However, tons of my opinions agree with theirs – only not to the extreme they’d take them:
- I think race is only a data-point about a person. Important if you’re discussing matters of oh, tanning (my poor child went to a baseball game with a family of blonds and discovered they had this thing “sun block.” He was six, and apparently had never noticed daddy used it. It blew his mind.) Or particular genetic diseases. Or to an extent metabolism.
This does not mean I think there are no genetic differences between the races. I’d have to be insane to think that. I live with a biologist and one of my best friends is a biology professor. HOWEVER those differences are in terms of statistical distribution. What I mean is “on the whole, if you are black, you will probably be a little taller than white people.”
In the case of “black” (African-American is crazy cakes, particularly when used for EUROPEAN people of dark skin. No, it’s not precise and no, no one is black – though a couple of my friends come close – but then no one is white either. Or yellow. Or red) this is a little more difficult, because there are more differences between different parts of Africa/tribes are bigger than between black and white people.
For instance, people whose ancestors were mostly hunter gatherers tend to ADHD. But in Africa, some people have been farmers for longer than in Europe.
Where I oppose the insanity: People aren’t widgets. As I said above, some people from Africa are more different from other people from Africa than from a northern European villager. And even in more uniform groups there is enough admixture and the statistical distribution is just a statistical distribution. It allows you to say “People of x race are more likely to—“ but nothing about an individual of that race. Because individuals are different.
As I said, race is a data point. In most cases an irrelevant one.
- Another place I agree with them is that men and women should have the exact same rights and the exact same opportunities.
Where I disagree is the idea that gender is a social construct. This was a bit of insanity propagated by a literal mad woman in the seventies, and everyone has piled on, despite some tragic experiments with sex-changing babies and its not working as planned.
Sweden is now attempting this bizarre experiment of raising genderless children.
This is insane because any biologist will tell you men’s brains and women’s brains are different. No, seriously, they are. The hormonal baths in pregnancy change the brain. Also some hormones influence the brain. For instance estrogen gives women better memories.
On average. Comparing most women to most men. Now, this has nothing to do with liking pink or (for other cultures) wearing a burka. That IS cultural. But some things aren’t. You’ll find for instance that most men have better spatial reasoning than most women; most men are stronger than most women; most men are more physically aggressive than most women.
While this doesn’t describe any particular individual, it does describe the group and it accounts for things like young boys liking to play with noisy, moving toys like cars.
Also most women tend to be better at multitasking than most men.
These things have applications for some careers. The fact women aren’t equally represented everywhere is not evidence of sexism. It’s evidence of the nefarious work of hormones before you were even born.
Is there sexism? Sure. There is sexism both ways. In the US it TENDS to be more of women against men. In the rest of the world it goes the other way around.
But again, it’s a statistical distribution.
The thing I disagree with the most is this determination to treat sexes (and orientations) as though the individuals who had them were widgets. “You need this in perfect statistical distribution or you’re wrong.” It doesn’t account for individuals.
- I even agree with them on gay marriage.
No, I don’t believe that every gay relationship is loving and perfect. I also don’t believe that of heterosexual relationships. At any rate I believe in the culture-changing power of a commitment taken in front of everyone who matters to you.
Relationships are never easy, and if we hadn’t been married, and if my parents hadn’t spent a ton of money on the wedding, I might have walked out that first year (about a dozen times) and missed on the glorious 28 years since.
Where I disagree with the SJWs is the giving gay relationships primacy over heterosexual ones. I have enough gay friends I can tell you that it’s not more stable or less power-oriented or any of that. No, not even between two females.
The other part I disagree with is forcing people to approve of gay unions, including forcing people to bake a cake (seriously guys, do you want people who don’t like you to make FOOD for you?) or otherwise cater to gay weddings when they disapprove. No, refusing to serve ANY customer is not “hate.” Hate is dropping walls on people or hanging them from cranes. Commerce is a voluntary exchange. If these people don’t want to work with gay couples, fine, there are others who do and who should get the gay couples’ money.
In the same way, I don’t approve of gay couples forcing churches to marry them/host the ceremony on their facilities. To be perfectly clear, I’d disapprove in the same way of a Jewish couple forcing an imam to marry them, or a mosque to host their wedding. I’d disapprove of Baptists insisting on being married by a Catholic priest. I’d disapprove of a re-marrying couple or those within the degrees of consanguinity Catholics have an issue with forcing Catholics to marry them. I’d disapprove of Catholics demanding a wedding in a Lutheran church.
Religions are allowed to exclude for all sorts of reasons based on their doctrine. They mostly exclude those who don’t follow their faith. “But it’s discriminatory” is not a good reason to force people to violate their conscience. AND running around demanding that everyone vocally approve of you makes it annoying for people like me who support gay marriage, and for normal, sane gay people who spend half the time hiding for fear people think they’re like the crazies.
Note that I agree with them on the main points. I just disagree with them about… MAKING SURE PEOPLE DO EXACTLY WHAT THE SJWs WANT THEM TO.
It’s not even that I don’t realize/understand that if we don’t force people to act in a certain way there are going to be injustices. Of course there are. But if you force people to act in a certain way, there’s going to be injustices to, just different injustices. So outside of laws against things like, oh, killing the defenseless, laws should be deployed very carefully. And harassment, whining and throwing fits at various industries, even more carefully. (Mostly because sooner or later people get tired, like the gamers seem to be. But also because overall it hurts the INDUSTRY when outsiders see these prosecutions of people over minor differences.)
Take for instance how we more or less ran men off teaching for fear of sexual abuse, and are now seeing women sexually abusing kids.
I think the fundamental difference between the SJWs and the people they disapprove of is this: SJWs believe the world could be perfect, if only they got to dictate what happens.
The rest of us know the world and humans are imperfect, and there will always be injustices. We try to combat injustice in our sphere, and among people we know, but don’t fight for “broad classes” out there because the outcome is messier, and (individuals being individuals) there’s a greater risk of unintended consequences.
The only other big difference is that the SJWs like power. They really, really, really like power.
While the rest of us think the best way to achieve the fairest world possible is to allow for individual agency and for people to forge their own path.
It is an irreconcilable difference, but it’s not the one they think it is. And it doesn’t make either side evil. It just gives us an unbridgeable philosophical rift.
That said, I’ve read books of people they approved of, and enjoyed them. I count both Phil Dick (or is he now excommunicated for having had a penis?) and Ursula LeGuin as favorite authors for some of their works.
You see, I only require that a writer be interesting, or challenging or fun. I don’t require they agree with me exactly. WHY would I? I don’t really care what a writer believes, provided the book isn’t boring, and provided that the book is not JUST preaching stuff at me. The occasional bit that betrays a view of the world I don’t agree with? Guys, I’ve always known people are different from me. I don’t require they be the same.
Demanding to read nothing but an echo of your own beliefs is a good way to lose touch with reality and go around calling “evil” to everyone who is not your exact reflection.
It’s a good way to lose touch with the world and a reality where individuals persist in being individual.
It might make you feel good for a while, but it’s like drugs. In the end, it will drive you insane.