I get angry, but not that often. Or maybe I am angry a lot. But in my adult life I have always stepped lightly around my own opinions. That timorousness has helped maintain a lot of friendships that might otherwise not have lasted. My best childhood friend and I, for instance, have completely opposite, rabidly passionate beliefs. We have carefully cultivated a friendly and loving political distance. She and I understand the stakes. We know that, if we begin those conversations, we won’t stop, our feelings will be hurt, and no one will win. That is why she is my best friend. I have the same relationship with, you know, my mother.
Maybe nobody needs to know everything I’m thinking at any given moment, or how I feel about health reform or gun laws or Larry Elder (it’s complicated). Maybe there are some fiercely held opinions I’d do just as well to keep under my hat, just as I’d do well not to march up to a friendly acquaintance and scream “I hate you and everything you stand for.” No, I tiptoe, genuinely working hard to not alienate my fellow humankind. There’s no reason, ordinarily, for me to take up arms and get in your face and go THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS.
But what is this, anyway? When did I lose my nerve? I think, before I became neurotically passive—you know, studying etiquette books—I was a delightful loudmouth kid. At any perceived slight I’d show up at the schoolboard meeting, a 9-year old starting some shit, a 12-year old starting some shit, a 15-year old starting some shit. I passed out T-shirts! I prepared a speech! I landed in detention! Whatever became of my girlhood’s splendid big mouth?
Opinions are like assholes, right? So where is my asshole? Is this an Internet thing, where we live so in fear of you zip it or else retaliation that we finally sit down and shut up? Or is it a broader cultural and political paranoia—that an unpopular view might get our names listed somewhere—that makes us lose our innate, obstinate, childlike temerity? Are we too overwhelmed to pick our battles? Or does cold reality, its hard knocks and reluctance to change, wear us down to its unfairness? (Oh, to be sure, not everyone shuts up. And when everyone is already on the same side, it seems nobody in the mob can shut up.)
So: High fives and fist-bumps to everyone who had a big mouth this week, who were willing to discuss things we should not even have to stop to talk about. And yet, here we are. Back to reading about Egypt tomorrow, right.
- Blogcritics Sci/Tech – In The War Zone: Women and Public Harassment
I should really not feel
like I have to link to this.
- GJAIF: Gamers Deserve Better – Cherrypicking
If I’ve ever gotten a single nice compliment, it was, "You’re not angry." That’s so nice! How nice to be not angry! That’s almost the best I can really hope for!
And anytime I sit to write, even in a fit of passion I try to remember how not angry I am. I have always hoped to be your loving Average Jane. But right now I am no nice, rational lady you thought you knew. Today I am on a straight-up rage bender. I’m pretty tired of this culture where every female is either a whore or your mother, and if she opens her mouth to speak on anything she had better clamp it right back shut again.
Look, I ‘get’ that I cutesied my way in here. But lately I spend a lot of time thinking about how much worse childhood is now, for the girls, than it was even when I was a kid (playing G.I. Joes and Barbie, playing football and video games with my birth dad), and then I see you tastemakers, game-changers, and culture-editors (don’t worry, not you) ruining society, and this is all your fault. It is.
- Fat, Ugly or Slutty
Line up and be counted, ladies!
- LiveScience – Study: Sexist Humor Is No Joke
"’We also found that, in the presence of sexist humor, participants believed the other participants would approve of the funding cuts to women’s organizations,’ Ford said. ‘We believe this shows that humorous disparagement creates the perception of a shared standard of tolerance of discrimination that may guide behavior when people believe others feel the same way.’"
Late edit: If you’re having difficulty making sense of the “rape culture” nomenclature that keeps popping up in other literature, this link, I think, is a really good explanation of the it’s-only-a-joke attitude that adds to a hostile environment.
- 1UP – Forget the NGP, Here’s What the PSP3 Needs
Let’s read for pleasure for awhile. What’s that? Tim Rogers has a 7-page editorial on 1UP.com? Awesome.
- IGN – On Dickwolves, Ethics, and Why I’m Not Attending PAX East
I’m not 100% ‘with’ his decision to withdraw. But Arthur is the coolheaded, reasonable, principled bro I aspire to be.
And I admire that he maintains his position, because having an opinion at all seems to be a really unpopular opinion to have. After all, having an opinion, especially if it might be the one people have decided is the wrong one, is a fast way to lose your social collateral at the dinner party.
- Joystick Division – PAX Speakers Withdraw Over Controversy
DigiPen teacher Neils Clark asserts the divergent meanings of the word ‘rape’ in real life versus its use in games culture. "We need to stop while we’re behind," he concludes.
For me, the greatest casualty is that PAX—long and rightly the most inclusive hug-fest of all gaming conventions ever—has potentially been colored as a hostile space for "other" gamers. Very sad.
Jerry Holkins wrote a beautiful statement today. Regrettably—and this is pretty much the only Internet thing I’ve ever learned—things run away from you permanently if you A) deliberately and imperiously malign segments of your own audience, but even if you also B) maintain silence, thinking it’s the high road.
- Wired GameLife – Videogames Need Auteurs, But Good Luck Finding Them
“’Ultra-collaboration can be deadly in the game business,’ THQ’s Danny Bilson told Wired.com at a press briefing in New York City recently. ‘One voice must lead.’"
- GameInformer.com – Want To Know What It’s Like To Write About Games For A Living?
Oh, great. (via Twitter’s @gizmogladstone)
Follow us on Delicious! »