Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Fury of the Black Death: The Ideological Cancer of Geek Culture

(NOTE: Some revisions have been made in order to better explain my thoughts and opinions on the subject at hand.)

"Want to kill an industry without ever having to lift a finger? Just simply infuse a dose of identity politics into it, and watch how slowly but surely it grows into a cancerous tumor that takes root into what makes said industry great, and then rot it completely from the inside out. Leaving nothing left but a moldering corpse in its wake."

Those are the very words I used on my Facebook page to describe a certain phenomenon that's been plaguing the very confines of geek culture for roughly several years or so. Though dark and hopeless in it's appearance, it's core message bears a warning. One of which I hope many will take heed into, as it is quite relevant to today's rant.

With the advent of such landmark films and television shows as Marvel's The Avengers, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Arrow, and many others, what once was considered the pastime of many a young ostracized geek or nerd, is now the latest cultural phenomenon loved and admired by many. However, for every dedicated fan of a particular geeky medium, be it comicbooks, video games, science fiction, or etc., there's a million and one posers in the world using their identity as a (pseudo) member of geek culture as a way to garner attention for themselves, as well as capitalize on said mediums's popularity in mainstream culture. All while under the clever guise of being champions for inclusivity and equality for all.

While they go by many names, the most common one that is known throughout the wildest and most untamed realms of the Internet, is one that I dread repeating even as I write this rant. Like Voldemort before them, they are the ones that must never be named lest they appear. You may know them as hipsters, keyboard warriors, modern feminists, or online slacktivists. But in the common tongue, they're referred to as Social Justice Warriors (SJWs).

Now while this rant in particular has been cooking on the back burner of my brain for some time now, the ultimate catalyst for this raging stove fire was brought on by a YouTube video courtesy of a channel called Bustle. A video so eloquently entitled: 5 Things You Should Never Say To A Female Star Wars Fan

Notice that the title also includes the word "female". So you know what you're gonna get right out of the gate before you even click the play button. 

Like the Energizer Bunny, the
dislikes are still going... down.
Now throughout this piece of mindless drivel, the two women in this video discuss the five big things you should never say to a female Star Wars fan. The reasons they give, much like video itself, are ultimately pointless and a complete waste of two minutes. Hell, the dislikes count alone should be enough to tell you how well this video was received. 

This is a clear case of identity politics once again burying it's own head up it's ass. Instead of doing anything else worth two minutes of recording a video for, we instead get a video of two dunces parading around their "geek cred" like it's a fucking fashion statement. Which is exactly what this is to these people. A fashion statement. Something to be worn like a piece of designer clothing. It means nothing to them truly.

But what is identity politics I hear you ask? Well simply put: It's the need to create new "identities", or latch onto preexisting ones (see also "hipsters") in order to feel a false sense of being special and unique. Thus your "identity" becomes your defining characteristic. Thereby making the personal political. Example: Someone who says "I identify as pansexual" or "I identify as genderfluid" or in this case, "I'm a geek"

Ironic how a group that rejects labels handed down to them by society are now creating new labels for themselves to identify with. But I digress.

SJWs in general are a cancer to geek culture. They're not interested in having fun, interacting with other fans, or discussing what they love. They're more concerned with shoving their political dogma down your throat, all the while forcing their preconceived world view onto everything within geek culture. The identity politics of which we continuously see being espoused by these unrelenting Jackdaws, will be what inevitably kills the mediums that we love and enjoy. Unlike actual fans, they're not in it for the sheer enjoyment or the thrill of it all, they're in it for the agenda pushing.

And when you dare have the audacity to call them out on their pseudo geek cred, they either cry "HELP, HELP, I'M BEING OPPRESSED!!!" or just block you so as to prevent ever being told that they're wrong again. And as if that wasn't bad enough, after they've clawed their way into the culture, they then become so entitled to a medium that they never were truly invested in to begin with, that they start issuing demands that said fandom needs to become more "inclusive" and "more welcoming to women and minorities" All while casting actual fans out of a place that they've called home for so long, because of the social stigma that these motherfuckers instilled into society to begin with. 

Before, being a nerd or a geek was once considered uncool and not normal. You were the kid that was always the target of bullying, simply because of the fact that you were into things like superheroes or sci-fi. You were always looked down upon as if you were less than human. That you were nothing more then a manchild (or womanchild, though back in the day they were pretty rare) living in your parents basement. However, now that being a geek is considered popular in the eyes of society (though gamers still to this day get the short end of the stick), suddenly you get these posers crawling out of the woodwork. Because now, they see this as just yet another hot new trend to be exploited.

"This is not an attention grabbing throwback."
No darling, it's a fashion statement.
But let's get back to the two ditzes in the video I mentioned earlier just for a sec. Are you two simpletons aware of the fact that many women who consider themselves fans of any particular medium, don't go around parading that fact just for attention? Real fans - like the one's you're failing miserably to replicate - don't feel the incessant need to prove themselves like you do. If you truly considered yourself fans, then you wouldn't be trying so hard to prove it. You like Star Wars? Well let me throw you a fucking parade, because so do I. Liking something doesn't automatically make you a special snowflake.

Have you ever wondered why newcomers into geek culture (both male and female) get "quizzed" sometimes? Because it's pretty easy to say that you're a fan of *insert geek related thing here* when in actuality you've only seen the movie or the show (A.K.A a casual). Regular geeks - such as myself - don't go around parading our geek cred like it's our only defining characteristic. We're rather nuanced in that regard.

We get quizzed when we build ourselves up as an expert in whatever it is we're a fan of, or especially when we wave it around like a newly minted driver's license. For example: I'm a fan of Bruce Timm and Paul Dini's DC cartoons. But I know practically next to nothing about the comics of which they're based off. Only snippets of information I have about them I got from friends who are regular fans of DC Comics. So I don't pretend to know about them when I don't. Doing so would just open myself up to the questioning of my legitimacy as a DC fan.

It pisses me off when people like this go around acting like they represent all women and minorities, when in actuality they don't. People like the two dunces present in the video, don't represent anyone outside of a small minority of folk who just so happen to be the most vocal (especially on social media). They don't speak for all women and minorities anymore then the hacks over at TheMarySue proclaim to.

In my opinion, ideologies such as feminism ultimately have no place in geek culture. It's an outdated and divisive ideology that only winds up causing rifts in a community of people who share common interests (Atheism Plus anyone?). And quite honestly, it really doesn't have much of a place here in the western world anymore. So why continue forcing it into a medium that neither wants it nor requires it?

The reason why I feel so strongly about this is because I care about geek culture, and I don't want to see it be torn asunder by these pseudo-intellectual jackoffsIdentity politics is a sickness. And the only way we can combat it is through staunch resistance, and staying true to our core principals as geeks. Because contrary to popular belief, geek culture is inclusive and welcoming. And most certainly does not need to "grow up" in order to be taken seriously. It doesn't require a sign up sheet, or anything complicated. All you need do is find something that particularly interests you, and start learning more about it. Whether it be movies, games, comics, or what have you. All you need is the drive and dedication to expand your knowledge of it. It's that simple.

Geeks typically choose to remain apolitical because honestly, who the fuck cares as to what your political leanings are? Who cares if you're a man, women, black, white, Christian, Atheist, feminist, Muslim, or etc.? In the grand scheme of things none of that matters. What matters is that despite our inherent differences, our love of the medium is what brings us together. Whereas identity politics is what would split us apart.

As the saying goes, "United we stand, divided we fall." So in spite of these ideological charlatans, let us remain forever united. As geeks.

And to the SJWs that come across this rant: Feel free to hand wave this as just me acting like the Gatekeeper. This is merely just my two cents on the matter. Take it or leave it. I don't care which.