Friday, October 31, 2014

Videogames and Disco

Here's an interesting article by Arthur Chu comparing #gamergate to the anti-disco rebellion of the seventies. I actually came of age during the seventies, didn't much care for (or about) disco, and have no recollection of the frenzy of violence that was triggered by an ill-advised White Sox promotional stunt (burning disco albums in front of a crowd of hysterical rock "purists"). I guess I was too busy listening to the music I did like (Neil Young and other folk-rockers; the taste for punk came later). 

In making the analogy, however, Chu makes an interesting and important point that applies equally well to the "manosphere" and the MRM: The people who embrace these reactionary movements are always, almost exclusively, white guys who perceive themselves as victims.

"Our various “culture wars” tend to boil down to one specific culture war, the one about men wanting to feel like Real Men and lashing out at the women who won’t let them. Whenever men feel like masculinity is under attack, men get dangerous. Because that’s exactly what masculinity teaches you to do, what masculinity is about. Defending yourself with disproportionate force against any loss of power? That’s what masculinity is...  I’m afraid of masculinity, and privilege, of the male sense of “honor” they combine to create, and the incredible reservoir of madness that “honor” can unleash when it’s threatened. Of how incredibly petty the offense can be and how insanely disproportionate the retaliation can be."

Yes, this. 

Chu points out, the ugliness of their rhetorical chest-thumping and behavior (doxxing, threatening, harassing) is in direct proportion to their desperation. They know they can't win. They know they're on the wrong side of history.


  1. Chu's work is excellent, and this piece is no exception.

    He is, of course, right.

    You may also enjoy this article by another AC (couldn't resist...) -- Adrian Chen -- on the "power" gathering of "Gamers for Ethics in Journalism" (lol) at... a NY strip club:

    Here is a choice cut:

    "Inside the club, the 8channers sat around tables eating cake under elaborate rotating chandeliers. They traded the kind of rationalist locker room banter familiar to anyone who has spent much time browsing geek message boards, the dankest murmurations of the male id dressed up as pure logic. Dieter and Raj were deep in conversation about the nature of sexual attraction. Dieter believed it was an uncontrollable force of nature. He posited that it was only natural for a man to find women of one race more attractive than another. “It’s not racist,” he said. “I think evolutionary psychology plays into what you find attractive. It’s not up to you; it’s up to your dick. Your dick choses.”"

    I believe the phrase "the dankest murmurations of the male id dressed up as pure logic" is pure perfection describing not just the conversations at this gathering and elsewhere in geekland, but the whole manosphere to a T.

    My heart rejoices reading these wonderful, smart, young male journalists.


  2. As an Asian, considering the over representation of asian men in the neoreaction sphere (relative to other non-white-males) it is encouraging to see people like Chu and Chen :)


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