Plebcomics and “Justified Doxxing”
By Brian Martinez
Ever since the Internet allowed people to share artwork, there have been illustrations used in place of comments or live journal entries in order to allow people to express thoughts, feelings, and ideas. Since the hellspawn known as Tumblr scraped and clawed its way out of Yahoo’s womb and tumbled into social media, it has been a space where anyone and everyone can be absorbed into its mass and become a part of the flesh blob of blogs, reblogs, and, of course, more opinions than assholes in the image of Tetsuo at the climax of Akira.
Now this should, in theory, be just fine. The concept of Tumblr is pretty straightforward: people use it to blog about themselves and connect with others, often there is an element of trying to make a great post and gain popular approval, or it can be used to promote yourself in some way, or even be used to start a conversation related to some social, cultural, or political cause. Everyone is welcome to join and share, and all voices should be considered equal, at least in theory. I see no issues with this concept thus far.
Since Tumblr is a space where some of the most, dare I say, “colorful” people come out to talk about their experiences, often times hilarity ensues. The culture clash of different ideologies, identity politics, and fandoms often result in conversations and blog posts that make Poe’s Law feel as common as Newton’s Law.
One Tumblr comic artist decided that the conversations were too good not to try to illustrate and made a page called Plebcomics. The comic became known for its satirical commentaries on various stereotypes and rhetorics associated with the social justice activist community on Tumblr. The funny thing was it didn’t make arguments very often, it mostly just took actual conversations from Tumblr and illustrated them. Nothing was taken out of context, and the only things that were added were funny illustrations of the social justice crowd that resided on Tumblr.
Since Tumblr is a bastion of free speech and celebrates people of all different walks of life to come together and be allowed a platform of free expression, why in the fuck would feminists and SJWs dox the creator of Plebcomics?
Now we should know that doxxing (the practice of researching and broadcasting personally identifiable information about an individual) is considered scummy and objectionable by most (unless you’re Rebecca Watson); however, this incident did even more damage. The creator of Plebcomics (a woman by the way, not that it should matter) was doxxed on December 7, 2014. The Plebdox Tumblr blog was launched, which posted the personally identifiable information of the Plebcomics creator. That day, the Plebcomics blog was removed and the creator’s personal blog, “AbbySucks,” announced that she had been “forced to resign” from her job following the release of her information. Her final post: “thanks tumblr, for forcing me to resign a job I actually liked, and was paying my bills.”
All was not lost, however. After regaining control of her site that day, over 30 comics were reuploaded. On December 8, threads about the doxxing were submitted to the /r/KotakuInAction subreddit and the /co/ (comics & cartoons) board on 4chan.
Feminists and gender ideologues using censorship, bullying, and proxy authority against comic artists is nothing new. The webcomic Penny Arcade came under heavy fire for its infamous “Dickwolves” strip, forcing apologies from the creators at PAX. Darkchylde artist Randy Queen had his art criticized on the Tumblr page Escher Girls because his work was seen as sexist against women. Even small comics like my own were under scrutiny by feminists for being “Brian’s little black book,” or “male heterocentric.”
Regardless of the reasoning, the idea that you disagree with what someone is creating is fine, and you should be welcome to do that. You can even criticize, naturally. But when you attempt to control or censor what someone creates or, failing that, you seek to remove them from the space they are working, you overstep the line. Following this logic, doxxing should be beyond wrong, but with SJWs, too much is never enough.
#Metalgate is not a single event—at least it wasn’t triggered by one. Someone over at Spin wrote a passage in an article suggesting heavy metal comes from deep-seated conservative values. This flagrant lie raised the hackles of many, including one Cory Van der Pol over at Death Metal Underground, who set about unearthing a growing history of articles tracing the slow drip of social justice into the sensibilities of the metal scene. This is not a battle so much as it is our outposts reporting on the positions of hostile scouts. We are not lighting the beacons yet, but we are preparing for a call to arms. Because we’ve seen this before. There is a significant overlap in the Venn diagram of people who are enthusiastic about electronic games and people who are enthusiastic about electric guitars. And you social justice warriors went and revealed all of your tactics to the gamers. That was very bloody silly now, wasn’t it?
You know what I like about this stuff? There is no “gamer” here. There is no one label—there isn’t even one archetype—that can encompass all or even a fraction of what we’re now talking about. New genres of music are discovered roughly twice as often as new species of beetle. So you may well think you can cause a cultural shift by saying, “Metalheads are over,” but that doesn’t include the punks, the goths, the grungers, the speeders, the stoners, the skaters, or the sludgers; it doesn’t include hardcore, grindcore, thrashcore, noisecore, alt-rock, prog-rock, glam rock, or funk. Stop me when I’ve made my point.
And even in the time it took me to read that list, all the genres that do call themselves “whatever kinds of metal” are now just calling themselves something else and carrying on as before. You cannot do this! Not without actually banning the electric guitar; not without banning attractive men from singing rebelliously to enormous crowds of adoring rich white girls. This is not like gaming at all. This is not a cultural phase that women have only just entered. You know why the Beatles had to stop playing live in ’66? Because they could no longer hear themselves over the screaming.
And the 1960s had its Jack Thompsons and its Anita Sarkeesians saying, “This music is base and filthy and makes people violent and sex-crazed.” And they might have got away with it like Sarkeesian is … if the audience was mostly nerdy teenage boys. But, alas, the audience was and still is, significantly and often principally … teenage girls. And no president, no king, no secret service, not the most unanimous decision any G8 summit can make can do the slightest thing to sway the juggernaut that is a large audience of rich white girls.
So ever since the 1960s, society has been blowing on the flames of the rock ‘n’ roll fire, demanding it be stamped out, and every time they try, they only create another fireball. They only make metal harder and heavier and faster and longer and more brutal. Guitar music has gone from soft rock to several different kinds of rare metal. It has achieved in half a century what takes most solar systems several billion years. That is what happens when you try to ban something girls like.
I don’t know if #Metalgate is reactionary, or pre-emptive, or just an overzealous counterculture spoiling for a rumble. But it certainly got me thinking. Is this new wave of social justice warriors actually stupid enough to come after this hydra? I, for one, am not going to hover over them telling them not to fuck with us. I want them to fuck with us. I want the excuse to unleash the screaming death metal hordes. For I am the static and spellbound Chaos Mage who will not attack unless he is attacked. But then when he is attacked, well …
… The Vikings called it Ragnarok.
Nick Denton steps down after #gamergate costs them millions
By Rachel Edwards
Gawker Media’s Nick Denton has recently stepped down as president of the company. The company will now be governed by a board of individuals, with Denton remaining as CEO.
This decision comes after the company’s involvement in several scandals, the most crushing blow being the loss of millions of dollars in ad revenue to the #gamergate consumer revolt.
The company was targeted after several of their employees harassed the people of #gamergate: most notably, Sam Biddle’s comments about nerds needing to be bullied into submission, and those by Denton himself, claiming that he’s been paying people to cause infighting within #gamergate.
This resulted in a letter-writing campaign asking Gawker’s sponsors to pull their ads from the site due to the poor treatment of its consumers, resulting in a devastating loss of ad revenue as one company after another began pulling the plug.
However, this is merely one of many events pointing to corrupt practices on the part of Gawker Media. The company is currently in the center of a mass suit launched by its unpaid interns, with many stating that the only difference between them and other employees was that they received no wages for their work.
Most recently, Gawker has come under fire after publishing leaked e-mails from Sony, which were obtained after the company was hacked in February. Scandals like these have called the ethics of the company into question and leave many wondering how long before the company crumbles in on itself and goes down in flames.
Latest posts by Brian Martinez (see all)
- Using #metoo as a Means to Remove SCOTUS Judges You Don’t Like | HBR News 177 - September 18, 2018
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- Talking Recent Events and Gaming Culture with God of War Developer David Jaffe | Fireside Chat 92 - September 14, 2018