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Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised 1: An Introduction

Part 1: An Introduction
Part 2: A History Lesson
Part 3: Born in Fire
Part 4: Factions Form
Part 5: The Curious Tale of David Pakman


In Which I Present My Thesis Statement


The title concept here is one that's always interested me. It was first used in a poem, later converted to song, about the civil rights movement, and has been adapted in many forms including:
  • a feminist subversion criticizing misogyny in hip-hop;
  • The Artist Possibly Now Once Again Known As Prince doing something no doubt sexual; and 
  • A Greek broadcasting company protesting austerity cuts. 
It's an interesting concept that deals in public image and how the media can shape a narrative regarding a conflict, no matter how large or small, how earth-shaking or insignificant. The title was also used -- with the most relevance, I feel -- by a documentary about Hugo Chavez's removal from office in Venezuela. The title comes into play in this film as a reference to alleged footage of Chavez's supporters firing on a protest march shown on Venezuelan television, which is contradicted by independent footage that shows the streets below empty, as the protest had never taken that route. Obviously, the media is a powerful weapon, but what would happen if one were to revolt against that weapon?

If one were to wage war against the media, how would one go about doing so? What would the public perception of that war be, if the ones shaping the public perception were one of the combatants? I'm hardly the first to weigh in on this, and will likely be far from the most artistic of word, but I feel it necessary to do so, considering that I have a vested interest in it.

As a form of disclosure, you all know that I'm a gamer. I've written several pieces about games in my tenure here at Erin's blog, as well as some posts critical of the popular games media.

On the other hand, I am a progressive liberal (as much as I find the tactics of those I share my political landscape with distasteful these days) and up until a few years ago called myself feminist, so I understand that threats and harassment are a problem, and one that isn't easily solved.

Due to timing, I've had to delay this series, and I feel a bit awkward walking in three months late to the party, but Doctor Who took precedence. So in the meantime I spent some time as sort of an "embedded journalist" (I use journalist as a metaphor. I'm an op-ed writer at best, and would shame some of my heroes were I to apply that term to myself). I've spent time browsing 8chan. I've checked in on Reddit's /r/KotakuInAction board, created when /r/TumblrInAction decided that particular brand of drama warranted its own space. I've also studied the stories put forth by outlets like TheVerge, Polygon, GamaSutra, and subreddits like /r/GamerGhazi. I've spoken to people on all sides (note how I didn't say both sides). I've put out a few inflammatory statements for the purpose of measuring replies. In short, I've done some goddamned homework on this issue.

A fair sight more work than I feel a lot of people have done, as I've seen a ton of people plagiarizing each other in manufactured outrage -- even people in the Gun-O-Sphere. That last bit particularly shocked me, as most of the outlets covering Gamergate have been liberal, and gunnies, in my experience, run mostly somewhere between conservative and libertarian (I'm not using those as slurs, unlike those same liberal media outlets would). Even more worrisome, I've seen talking points taken directly from websites like DailyDot, Salon, and Feministing that would happily throw gun owners to the wolves at the first opportunity.

 In short, this is a topic that's a lot more complicated than the liberal-biased media would lead you to believe. And, on a personal note, it's hard for me to write these words. I've always known that most media leans hard either left or right, but I admit that until recently I had no idea how pervasive it was. It's never pleasant having your eyes opened the hard way. The me of 10 years ago would never believe I would be writing these words now.

So far you've heard how there's this group of white, cis-male, misogynerd pissbabies living in their motherss basements who just want to harass a group of women and keep their exclusive boy's club. But I've seen things that break that narrative, and I'm going to share them over the coming weeks, because I cannot stand by and let people just be misled by a liberal media narrative any longer. 

As Captain Picard once said...



The first duty of every Starfleet officer is to the truth, whether it's scientific truth or historical truth or personal truth! It is the guiding principle on which Starfleet is based. And if you can't find it within yourself to stand up and tell the truth about what happened, you don't deserve to wear that uniform!


 Next week: A History Lesson

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