shut up wesley

I’ve mentioned in a few past entries that my internet home away from home is Cybre.Space. Cybre.Space is one of many “instances” that use the Mastodon software. I put that last sentence in there to try and clarify that “Mastodon” is not one singular social media site; the correct term for the inter-connection of instances is “The Fediverse.” Anyways, I’ve also mentioned my disdain at Wil Wheaton joining an instance, and trying to make himself at home. Which is exactly what he did.

A little background info: the reason myself, and a number of other people, all jumped on-board the fediverse was because of things like harassment and being no-platformed based solely on what we are. The fediverse boasts a large number of queer and trans users. The fediverse is an opportunity for us to try and rebuild ourselves; our names, reputations, and voices. Things that have been taken away on Twitter.

Years back, during Gamergate’s height, Randi Harper created a shared blocklist that was described as targeting the worst of the movement. Twitter’s staff certainly wasn’t going to ban them, so pre-emptively blocking them was the second best option. But then, it was discovered that this was not the case. The list she was passing around was her own personal blocklist. Harper is a registered Republican with a long documented history of hatred towards the transgender population. So in actuality, the “anti-GG” blocklist people were subscribing to was not to shut out a horde of screaming weirdos mad about video games, but rather trans people and their allies who were tired of being treated like shit. Now, while Randi’s list is not the first anti-trans blocklist out there, it is the largest, with the most reach. Even now, three years later, many trans people are still feeling the impact of their social circles being cut off, and opportunities to make a name and some money closed off before they could even get started. Some people, myself included, ended up getting doxxed over this whole thing.

Wil Wheaton used this list, and encouraged his million plus followers to also use it. When the anti-trans part was brought to his attention, he did nothing for a long time, then eventually came around to letting people know that he would personally unblock you on Twitter if you messaged him on his personal Tumblr account, which clearly makes up for everything, obviously. A number of people did, then found that they were blocked by him on Tumblr soon after. So it’s pretty easy to figure out that this was no accident, and that Wheaton absolutely has problems with trans people. And needless to say, between this, and his refusal to even comment on, let alone condemn, his friend Chris Hardwick over a number of abuse allegations raised against him, have not exactly endeared him to our community.

Fast forward to earlier this month, during the online strike against Twitter for its refusal to ban Alex Jones. Wheaton signed up for Mastodon. Now, he didn’t sign up for the “flagship” instance of Mastodon.Social. Or any instance that shows up on the fediverse. Rather, he joined an instance run by a guy who frequently deadnames Chelsea Manning, and wants to see her back in prison. An instance that will ban users from certain countries that “promote terrorism.” An instance so bad, it’s effectively banned from the fediverse at large (a number of alt-right instances are blocked from interacting with other instances at the admin/mod teams discretion). And then the first thing he did when got there was complain about how he couldn’t mute users on the federated timeline who didn’t speak English (a number of Mastodon instances exist within French and Japanese communities). So yeah, a guy with a reputation for transphobia and rape apologia showed up to an online service full of the same people he ran out in the first place, and acted like an entitled, racist idiot.

My initial take was to simply block and mute him, and encourage everyone else to do the same. This isn’t Twitter, he doesn’t hold the power to effectively silence an entire population here. He’s off on some shitty, alt-right instance far away from all of us. I maintained this position, even as he migrated to a less racist instance that does interact with the rest of us. As someone who has a 20+ page Kiwi Farms thread because of him, it wasn’t easy to maintain that position, and not proceed to digitally walk up to him and lay down the law. Of course, other people did, to the point that the admins of his instance felt like he wasn’t worth the hassle of keeping around. So he took his ball and cried about the mean trannies who bullied him.

And then The Verge, the same website that went to bat for an alt-right figurehead who should be in prison for rape, just so they could take a shot at me and Chelsea Manning (yeah, I’m as shocked as you are that I would ever be held remotely close to her esteem), sided with Wheaton. And now I’m starting that maybe Wheaton’s decision to move to Mastodon wasn’t so innocent.

Forgive me if I sound like a conspiracy theorist here, but given how it’s been revealed that there is a literal media conspiracy against trans people, I’ve learned to be a bit paranoid. Wil Wheaton more or less destroyed an entire social platform for a group that already faces a number of obstacles with making connections and earning an income in the first place, so he went to the site that they all had to migrate to thanks to him. And when he was predictably ran out by justifiably angry people, he could then run to the media and complain about how the harassment he faced from pissed off trans women was literally worse than the neo-nazis on Twitter. In essence, another platform for the same queer/trans people he clearly hates so much is now being looked at as a den of online abuse, akin to 4chan. We’re already being called “Woke Gamergate” by transphobes, and now we have to deal with the least liked Star Trek character fucking with us yet again. And I can’t help but feel like this was 100% his intention. I mean, his best friend is a rapist, and I can’t imagine the “respecting boundaries” apple falls far from that particular tree.

In conclusion: Shut up, Wesley. Please consider staying the fuck off the internet. Bazinga.

dream journal: 8/26/2018

I’m attending some sort of big festival. There are a lot of attractions, rides, things like that. Rather than do any of that, I enter a movie theater that’s been set up for the event. The schedule informs me that the feature will be a series of short films, each a few minutes in length.

The first movie is a cartoon. It features a man who is completely blue, like a Mr. Men character. He’s sitting in his living room chair, reading a newspaper. Everything is normal, until a thunderstorm suddenly occurs. The man gets up to look out his window to see the storm. Once he does, he recoils in horror, holding his hands up to his face while crying. He then removes his hands, to reveal his flesh melting off, leaving only a skeleton behind.

Movie number two is some sort of newsreel. It’s never explicitly said, but I’ve gathered through the usual dream world osmosis that this is actually supposed to be a secret government recording that was leaked to the public. It shows military planes dropping canisters over a city. The city turns out to be here in America, and is only one of two states away from mine. My best friend lives there, and I start to worry, even though this was recorded decades ago. The film ends here. It doesn’t explain what the canisters are, or why they were being dropped.

The third film is a ten second claymation short. Three clay men scream in agony while melting, leaving only skeletons, just like the man in the first film. I’m starting to put two and two together, realizing that the canisters are doing this.

The last movie is literally a live feed of the news. An alert has gone out: a massive, mysterious blast is about to occur in the same state that the government dropped those canisters. I know that this is their fault.

The blast happens. I can feel the aftershocks all the way here. A series of gauges appear in the corner of the eye, each one telling me that it’s unsafe to go outside. Apparently, the outside is highly irradiated, and this radiation is unable to make its way indoors.

In the time I’ve been watching these movies, a number of buildings have managed to get connected to one another. I go from the theater, which is now within a school, which is now within a grocery store, which is now within an apartment complex. I’m panicking. Like I said earlier, my best friend lives where the blast took place, and I want to know if she’s still okay.

Unfortunately, I don’t have her phone number, and I don’t have internet access. All I can do is go from place to place, through a crowd of people who don’t seem to notice anything is wrong, and are going about their usual business. I’m looking for a tv with a dial, or a computer, or something that I can use to figure out what’s going on, or to try and make contact. I do this for what feels like days. Eventually, I have no choice but to give up; I’m sure I’ll find out soon enough. I make my way through the big maze of buildings to a nearby Target. I buy a bottle of iced coffee, because it’s six in the morning, and I’m getting tired. The manager walks up to me and offers me a job.

looking forward to the death of social media

These last few days have been an unofficial “log off Twitter because it’s run by Nazis who jack it to Alex Jones” holiday. On one hand, cool, people are finally realizing that they don’t have to be tethered to a single website in order to promote themselves and their work. On the other hand, it now means Wil Wheaton is on Mastodon, a site I signed up for to get away from transphobic rape apologists like him, and to get away from the seemingly endless number of anti-trans blocklists that assholes like him have been spreading around all these years. But in any case, less people using “Social Media” is a good thing.

I see this argument repeated time after time, as a justification to continue using services like Twitter:

“I met my partner on this site!”

“I got a good career using this site!”

“I made some great friends on this site!”

And yeah, sure, these things are true, and good. But at what cost did we get these things? I met a lot of great people! People who I will hopefully be friends with for the rest of my life. People who I would fucking bleed for if it came down to it. And every goddamn day I hate, hate, hate, hate the circumstances in which we all met. Being doxxed by the same nazi forum, or smeared by the same video games clique, or being subjected to the same “call out posts,” or getting betrayed by Zoe Quinn are not, and should not be, the foundations for a good relationship. I shouldn’t have to say that I met my best friend over shared trauma. That is such bullshit. But that’s how social media works, unfortunately. And that’s why I want it to end.

I long for the days of everyone having a personal website, and posting on message boards. Was it perfect? Was it free of harassment and abuse? No! Of course not! But at the same time, it wasn’t like there were corporations actively trying to commodify that shit; you couldn’t make five figures a month chicken pecking “feminism is cancer” on your keyboard and posting it to Angelfire. Maybe some of this is nostalgia for a different time, but I think we can all agree that things would be better if we weren’t all held to the mercy of right-wing Silicon Valley. That your ability to have a voice is decided upon by a fucking Java programmer (or whatever Randi Harper does) and a D-list celebrity. The world would be a lot different, and dare I say, better, without Twitter. Without Facebook. Without all this other shit. Yeah, we have new friends in our life, but was it worth the trauma, the PTSD flashbacks, the harassment, the headaches, the complete and utter dissolution of American Democracy?

The internet can be, and at times is, an incredible tool for communication and bonding. And we need to find a way to make it better, because the people currently running the show will not.

Blast from the Past: Braid Liveblog

Sorry for not having posted anything in a while. I’ve been busy and sick and also I forgot to log onto my web site. I’ll have something a bit more substantial soon, but for now, I’m reposting something I did ten years ago.

Explanation: I had worked an overnight shift at my old job. And when I came home, Braid had just been released on the XBox Live Marketplace. And I had been dying to play this. Not because I thought the game would be good, but because every dickhead in indie games wouldn’t shut the fuck up about how it would literally change your life once you played it. Yeah, even a decade ago, I had a fairly antagonistic relationship with indie games. So, for the $15 or whatever, I downloaded the game, and liveblogged my experience with it. The plan was to play it until the number of energy drinks I had to stay awake at work wore off.

So, after digging through the Internet Wayback Machine, I found it. Take a look. And for the record, my praise for MGS4 and Bioshock were sarcastic, yes.

Okay so I just worked an overnight shift at my job. It’s currently 3:30 in the a.m. I am hyped up on so many energy drinks it’s not even funny. And right now I’m downloading the demo for Jon Blow’s Braid.

WILL IT CHANGE MY LIFE AND MY VERY PERCEPTION OF SAID LIFE FOREVER!? It fuckin’ better cause if not I’ll be saying lots of Very Bad Things on the Internet.

Impressions to come.

The Intro: ahahahahahaha fuck this game

The Game: WELL I’M SURE GLAD THAT CHANGED MY LIFE. Actually oh wait no it didn’t it’s just a generic platformer with:

“TIM NEEDED TO BE NON-MANIPULABLE. HE NEEDED A HOPE OF TRANSCENDENCE. HE NEEDED, SOMETIMES, TO BE IMMUNE TO THE PRINCESS’S CARING TOUCH.”

what.

I would much rather play Space Giraffe than this. And I fucking hate Space Giraffe.

Games that are better than Braid (besides Space Giraffe):

-Metal Gear Solid 4
-Bioshock

Goddamn this asshole swims around in his own ego and refers to himself in the third person for three years like he’s Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson or something and this is the game we get? Man someone needs to lay the smack down on his ass.

IF YOU SMELL WHAT THE ROCK IS COOKIN’

“Our world, with its rules of causality, has trained us to be miserly with forgiveness. By forgiving too readily, we can be badly hurt. But if we’ve learned from a mistake and become better for it, shouldn’t we be rewarded for the learning, rather than be punished for the mistake?”

Fuck me this is like the help instructions from The Sexuality Life Dynamic.

Okay just so no one accuses me of not “getting it,” I’m gonna go ahead and buy the full game just so I can say fuck Jon Blow and his lack of talent and his exceptional knack for making regular people (otherwise known as Mainstream Gamers) look like drooling nincompoops and making the Indie Gaming community out to look like a bunch of fucking luddites pushing an Us vs Them mentality because Halo blzblz.

Actually nevermind. I forgot that the 360 doesn’t take real money like the PS3 does. I have to buy those stupid ass points for a 1,200 point video game. And because the only two nearby options are “1000 points- $12.50″ and “2000 points- $25.00″ I’d have to spend twenty five fuck dollars on this shit. That’s like half the cost of Siren: Blood Curse, and that was an actual video game! And it was actually really good!

Counting down until the inevitable “MICROSOFT DIDN’T GIVE US ENOUGH MONEY BOO HOO” interview that pretty much every indie dev on the 360 does.

You climb on fences like in Super Mario World.

It’s too bad David Hellman is such a good artist because this game is ass.

Jonathan Blow Presents: THESAURUS THE VIDEO GAME.

You know what I guess he was right. This game really did blow my mind. Because it seriously takes a lot to actually offend me with a bad video game and this definitely offends the hell out of me.

I’m going to predict THE INTERNET’S reaction to this game: “This game is so amazing look at me I’m too cool to enjoy Gears of War!”

THE ROCK SAYS KNOW YOUR DAMN ROLE

Fucking goofy ass looking ego tripping motherfucker ill piss in his fucking face if i were to see him in person

dammit i have the rocks theme song stucki n my head now

MAN

man

shit its four am going to bed now