angry mob justice

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CONTEXT, because I’m sick of this whole bullshit controversy already and it’s only been a couple days.

Context from someone who lives in Japan, speaks Japanese, owns the game, has a history in localization, and who has gameplay footage to back it all up. Of course, this is not a word-for-word translation, but if you’ve been keeping up with this thing, you’ll find that this lines up with the out-of-context translations that have been floating around, along with this aligning with the arguments against the journalist/blogger outrage that’s been circulating.

Also worth mentioning that Gaijin Hunter is not a GamerGate advocate or an MRA or an anti-feminist reply video maker. He’s a guy who makes Monster Hunter videos and loves video games. That’s it. 

Onto the game. Spoiler Warnings, of course.

Several important details that come from actually playing the game and experiencing the story: Soleil is Lazward’s daughter and she has a very close relationship with him and grew up trying to imitate him. Lazward was a huge womanizer who tried to hit on every girl he met. Soleil wants to be a reliable and heroic warrior like her father, but she also wants to be like her Father and chat up cute girls whenever possible. Additionally, her habit of hitting on girls is more like complimenting, and they ever show that she does it with practically every girl, at every given chance, including her mother. 

The infamous “drugged drink” scene is also not at all how it was made to seem by outraged idiots. For one, Soleil sees her obsession with cute girls as a problem. She wants to be a hero and a good soldier, but she literally gets weak in the knees and faints from being around them. She willingly admits this is a problem, not because she thinks it’s wrong for her to be attracted to women, but because it’s a weakness that makes it hard for her to be a heroic warrior and someone her father can be proud of. 

The player character does slip her a magic powder without her knowing, but the intent wasn’t to force Soleil to love him. It was for the purpose of helping her overcome her weakness through a sort of immersion therapy, which she is thankful for, does not begrudge him for, and actually takes advantage of by going to go ogle all of the male soldiers, since she temporarily sees them as cute girls. It’s playful, it’s silly, and it’s definitely not meant to be an attempt to un-gay Soleil. The intent is to make it so its easier for her to be around and interact with girls, NOT to make her attracted to men instead.

Lemme reiterate that last part: They are not trying to break Soleil’s attraction/obsession/appreciation for cute girls. They are trying to help her overcome her anxiety and weakness that stems from it. Namely that she literally gets weak in the knees, falls over, and gets overwhelmed. She wants to be able to interact with cute girls without it affecting her ability to fight and be a valuable part of your army.

Additionally, a part that is often glossed over, is that the romance between the player character and Soleil builds over time. Over the course of several conversations and points in the game. It’s not an immediate switch. It’s not even a switch. It’s a realization, over time, that she is in love with the player character, in spite of her overwhelming attraction to cute girls. And seeing as they can go on to get married and have a kid, there’s a physical attraction there as well.

Perhaps these scenes aren’t as well written as it could be, perhaps certain things are lost in translation. Maybe.. just maybe, we shouldn’t take the word of a random tumblr user as fact and start spreading rumors that the new Fire Emblem game has a scene where you drug the homosexuality out of a female character so you can fuck her.

But let’s talk about a few elements of this that people are glossing over or misrepresenting. Namely, Soleil’s obsession with cute girls. In the context of her relationship with her Father and his womanizing habits, it seems a little clearer why she does it. As for the rest of her relationship and dating habits, as we know is that she asks a ton of girls out to tea and it pretty much ends there.

Then there’s her overwhelming anxiety stemming from cute girls, which isn’t exactly relatable. It’s not for a certain girl, or that she’s so in love that she can’t focus, or that she’s so passionately lustful for other women that it makes her faint.. It’s just an odd psychological hang up for her character that’s sort of played for laughs. A sort of exaggeration that introduces minor conflict for the characters to resolve.

And then, there’s the claims that Nintendo has written a shitty gay character and ruined them. There are plenty of arguments to be made that the character is Bi at best, or that her complex for cute girls is not directly tied to her sexuality, but those are roads that have made people jump to conclusions and take a lot of personal offense when they really shouldn’t.

I don’t talk about LGBT issues very often because there’s not much I have to say, other than occasionally pointing out how utterly incompatible and destructive SJWs are to the LGBT community. I think that’s what we’re dealing with here, but let’s get into something that a lot of people are either forgetting about or willfully leaving out of the conversation, and that’s that there is no right way to be a certain sexuality.

Many people have jumped on the “BAD GAY CHARACTER” bandwagon, but their complaints are pretty fucking terrible when you get down to it. What they are implying is that there is a right way to write a gay character, and a wrong way.. and the right way is to make them a stark, cunt-lusting, man-hating stereotype and the wrong way is to make their sexuality nuanced and complicated.. (Not like love and relationships are fucking complicated, amirite?)

Putting aside Soleil for a moment, real people and actual human sexuality is a complicated thing. Attraction, admiration, lust, desire, and all the other things we have to deal with are not as cut and dry as just checking one box on a list of predetermined sexual preferences. It’s more of a spectrum with a lot of gray areas, but not quite the bat-shit insane, 5-dimensional imagination land spectrum that tumblr insists it is.

For instance, lots of straight men will tell you that Chris Hemsworth is attractive. There are perverts on imageboards who are aroused by anime girls with dicks, but they consider themselves straight. There are bisexuals who have only dated one gender. There are homosexuals who haven’t dated anyone. There are people who have gone decades without realizing they were gay. It just is what it is. There’s no wrong way to do it or any wrong way for it to happen.

Insisting that a gay character needs to be a certain way or that they can’t do certain things or act certain ways is not progressive or helpful. It’s just another form of bigotry and prejudice. 

Once you toss out all the complaints about the game having a sort of magical forced gay conversion therapy, you’re left with people who are angry that the character isn’t the way they want her and what can be done about that? 

It’s hard to tell if changing things would even make a difference, because every time a company or an artist or any kind of creator caves and tries to pander to the angry social justice mob, nothing good ever comes of it. The people who didn’t care and weren’t angry, because they aren’t easily riled idiots, are left with a damaged product, and the people who bitched the loudest decided whether they wanted it or not long before any changes were made.

And really, this is a controversy about a video game and the problem is that you CAN romance one particular character out of dozens. Will there be similar outrage when they find out you can’t romance certain characters they like or that certain characters can’t bare children? Probably not.

At any rate, there are people demanding censorship and drastic rewrites over a complete misunderstanding. Localization is already rife with problems and instances of translators feeling that they need to sanitize games to make them acceptable and it’s a practice that really needs to be reigned in, not encouraged.

The best I can hope to come from this is that people stop trying to use tumblr bullshit as a legitimate source for news of any kind and that gaming journalism takes another blow by failiing to do their jobs.. again. At the very least, though, I hope that those who read this all the way through can walk away from this bullshit manufactured controversy with some valuable context to dispel the lies and misinformation that have dominated the conversation.

Fire Emblem Fates is not homophobic. There’s no magical gay conversion therapy. The character wasn’t meant to be strictly gay. That is the hard truth and anyone who tells you otherwise is a fucking idiot.

Shame and Redemption

I was listening to Sargon and Milo’s conversation about #GamerGate some time ago and they started talking about the various opponents of GamerGate and how so many of them share similar backgrounds and dark pasts. Then something changed for them and now they proudly proclaim how they are fighting the good fight. Almost like they are performing an act of penance by fighting valiant for social justice and equality and all that shit.

However, as Milo and Sargon pointed out, they never stopped being the nasty assholes they were in the first place. They just changed their message so they could continue acting like assholes, but now with a veneer of righteousness and moral progressiveness. Being an asshole in the name of equality or diversity or feminism, which makes it okay.

If we take a brief look at some of our more notable anti-GamerGate personas and their histories reveals an interesting pattern.

  • The infamous Anita Sarkeesian has a history of working with telemarketers, get rich quick programs, and pyramid schemes, working under world-class scumbags like Bart Bagget and Alex Mandossian. In speeches given in the past few years, she’s openly admitted that she used to dislike modern feminism and that she used to believe equality didn’t have to be tied to a strict ideology. She now regularly preaches that everything is misogynistic, everything is sexist, everything is racist, and that you must call it out constantly to fight the patriarchy.
  • Jonathan “#FullMcIntosh” McIntosh, writer for Feminist Frequency and world’s greatest puppeteer and ventriloquist, used to be a hardcore right-wing conservative who comes from a wealthy family. He claims seeing 9/11 is what made him jump to the other end of the political horsehoe.
  • Zoe Quinn used to be an active member of the Something Awful forums (the original internet boogeyman) where she was active on the Helldump sub-forum, a place for staging raids, harassing people, and even doxing. Before picking up a career in professional victimhood, she was every bit as abrasive, aggressive, rude, crude, and just unpleasant as any other troll on the internet. Long before she embraced feminism and started whining about sexism in the games industry and gaming community, she was trying to get a job working as a stripper and trying to become a nude model. 
  • Brianna Wu was apparently a massive racist in college, according to some sources, and openly espoused many opinions that easily qualify as transphobic. Not to mention that, to this day, she still stages false flag attacks on herself for attention, and often makes sock puppet accounts to harass others. Not to mention her wealthy and privileged lifestyle growing up.
  • Bob Chipman, AKA MovieBob/The Game Overthinker/MovieBlob, used to deride feminism as having no modern purpose and believed that over-politicizing games and creating controversy around them was laughably stupid. Now he worships Sarkeesian as a living saint, who also happens to deride all of Bob’s favorite games as misogynistic and problematic.  
  • PBS Game/Show youtube host Jamin Warren, a self-titled “videogame feminist”, and yet another worshiper of Anita Sarkeesian, used to be a student of the art of seduction.. a PUA, in other words, which really conflicts with his current persona as a white knight feminist ally. 
  • Anthony Burch, famous cuck, writer for Borderlands, and now ex-gearbox employee, claimed he spent 10 years of his life as an angry misogynist, and now he spends all of his time tweeting about GamerGate, diversity, feminism, and championing causes to get more women and minorities into panels and podcasts.
  • When it comes to anti-GamerGate supporters, it’s quite surprising to see that we’ve got the likes of the Something Awful’s Goons, the GNAA, LizardSquad, and other infamous trolling and hacking groups working alongside the figureheads of anti-GamerGate and pro journalistic corruption supporters. Despite their vile reputations, our heroic social justice warriors and feminist trail blazers seem all too eager to accept and encourage help from groups that made golden age /b/ look downright civil, and who regularly perpetrate the exact sorts of things they are constantly trying to end (sexism, bullying, shaming, call-out culture, etc)
  • Arthur Chu, Jeopardy “celebrity”, self-titled genius who believed he’d either be the next Einstein or the next Unabomber, used to make rape jokes and have the sort of casual, hateful, cynical attitude of your usual avid internet browser from the early 2000s, and now he’s an avid worshiper of Zoe Quin and champion for 3rd wave feminism.. and suspected of calling in bomb threats on the #GGinDC gathering. So he wasn’t wrong about that Unabomber thing.

And these are just some prime examples off the top of my head. What’s notable is that all of them used to have a more casual view of controversial issues, a more cynical outlook on the world, a disdain or aversion to the politically correct, and few reservations about holding unpopular opinions or saying offensive things. They were assholes, but they made far fewer excuses about being assholes, and really, there’s nothing wrong with that.

However, something happened within the past few years that made them completely changed their worldview. Suddenly, there were assholes with a cause. Assholes who made excuses and pretend that their personal politics and beliefs, or their vague and hard to identify goals made their behavior acceptable. Now they get to call their shitty behavior “activism” and they patrol the internet and attack communities like they are vigilante heroes, saving the world, one petty, baseless insult at a time.

What stuck out to me is that these people all fall into the demographics that SJWs and Feminists are so keen to attack. Not just straight, white, and middle class, but also people who came from a rebellious generation. People who were eager to feel like they were the counter-culture. Not only that, but many of them are very public and very candid and eager to broadcast their identity out into the internet, sharing every stray thought and opening up their lives to anyone who will take the time to look their way.

This all relates to something I’ve seen quite often, and seeing as you’re following a nobody like me, you’ve probably seen it too: The use of shame, ridicule, guilt, harassment, or even outright slander to make someone behave the way the angry social justice mob demands. Showing their true authoritarian colors through use of fear and threat to keep people from stepping out of line, and regularly making an example of people through proverbial public executions.

This makes me think that a lot of these people were either the target of very early SJW hatemobs and harangued into accepting their way of thinking after constant harassment and ridicule. Some people can only take being constantly accused of being responsible for all the evil in the world before they crack and feel like they need to redeem themselves. 

In some cases, it may be that their growing fame, or their perceived popularity, burdened them with a worldview-distorting sense of social responsibility. We’ve seen this happen with lots of popular comedians, actors, and big name professionals; They get famous enough, or think that they have enough people listening, and they think that they have to whine about feminist issues or constantly talk down to everyone. In the case of the journalists, it makes perfect sense that they might believe they need to used their massive soapbox as a tool to fix the world by talking down to their audience and trying to reeducate them. This seems especially likely for the ones who were just bloggers turned journalists without the credentials or training that would have told them NOT to do that.

It’s either that, or somewhere along the way, they wandered a little too far into the wrong territory and found themselves exposed to modern social justice and feminism in a way that made it seem like the new counter-culture. Like the real way to fight “the man” was to embrace identity politics and to fight tooth and nail and achieve equality at all costs. They were made to think that the ends justify the means, so they brought all the bitter, jaded cynicism of an asshole troll from some shitty web forum, or the kind of dogmatic zeal that comes with extreme religious conservatism.

At any rate, the current state of things makes it seem like these people think that they have redeemed themselves by fighting for what they think is the right team. That their awful attitudes and rotten personalities are just weapons that can be used to achieve their goals. That anything they do, even if it’s harassment, bullying, doxxing, threatening, sexism, racism, or any of the other things they are supposed to hate, can be excused, because they’re doing it for Feminism or doing it in the name or equality and marginalized groups. As long as they can convince themselves they are “punching up” they will always be the good guy, because it’s easy to convince yourself that everyone else is the bad guy when you make everyone around you lie about them constantly.

It’s an interesting revelation, to say the least, and seeing as a few of them have started to come around and realize what colossal twats they’ve been for the past few years, there is a faint light at the end of the tunnel. I’d like to dive into this more and see what else I can find. I have to wonder if this is some sort of weird side-effect of the extended adolescence phenomenon that only really started in recent generations, or if it has something to do with the distorting effects of social media sites like facebook, tumblr, and twitter, and whether or not these sites are a very potent psychohazard, like a sort of ideological toxin or venom. 

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The Acacia Strain - Angry Mob Justice

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If you don’t like this song, I don’t like you.