Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

The Trump victory is a by-product of what happens when you spend years taking a colossal dump on everything that disagrees with you. I’m not a fan of Trump or Hillary but I can safely say none of this surprises me following the #Brexit shambles we’re all currently having to endure. The problem I have with modern day politics is that the Left and Right wing have been reduced to petty squabbles over first world problems with an unhealthy dose of identity politics thrown in for good measure. I see the suffering in the world as people die in places where oppression is a very real terror that haunts their every waking moment. Then I watch as so-called western activists cry over Frank Cho’s decision to draw satirical art. When all you see is the media attacking and slandering everything that stands against it. You really have to wonder why did so many liberals and former democrats vote for the Republican candidate. This is just from my own observations but #Gamergate signified a significant stage in the change of cultural identity. In the 1990’s and leading into the early 2000s the Right led by Jack Thompson attacked gamers, and the Left came to their defence and even despite Hillary  Clinton’s attempts to pass the Family Entertainment Protection Act that could have potentially hindered the creation of video games. It failed to go through. The Right  and Clinton lost against Liberalism and the freedom of expression.

You fast forward to 2014 and the collective-minded Liberal Game Journalists took the knife and drove it into the back of the people they had once ‘pretended’ to support. The Gamer Identity is over slander that came out as gamers realised the media that represented them was corrupt was just the beginning of this madness. The media loudly proclaimed the death of the gamer and then wondered why their audience was pushing back against the same diatribe they had once heard from the ‘religious right‘. Most of those in Gamergate were moderately liberal as hard as that is to believe. These people support diversity but realise there is a lot more to someone than their penis, vagina or skin colour. Unlike the mainstream media that continually time and time again put each respective group in their own little safe box. The Left wing has become more divisive than even it realises.

Gamergate exposed also the outright hypocrisy at the root of social justice. A movement that would sooner stab its allies in the back and actively followed the listen and believe mantra to its logical conclusion. For a movement that preaches equality, it has absolutely no shame in attacking people based on things they have no control over. When you have buzzwords like mansplaining, and manspreading and people freely saying that being white means you’re on the easy difficulty setting. It’s not hard in the slightest to understand why there is a push-back against the progressive mindset. When Liberals stare into the mirror they expect to see the Bogeyman they elaborately devised to blame all their problems on – Gamergate, MRAs, and the nebulous Alt-Right that is almost a reflection of them. Perhaps now all they see is themselves. Or maybe they will continue kicking and screaming and wonder why no one takes them seriously anymore.

The small events around Gamergate also had an impact on this changing mindset. They were small events but once the first domino fell, it’s no surprise it became a cascade. The Tim Hunt incident that resulted in him in losing his reputation over a joke, the attack on Corbyn by the Right wing media. I may not agree with everything Corbyn stands for but his character is in tatters because of the media. In more recent times there has been slander directed towards the developer behind VR and his girlfriend purely on the basis that she supported Gamergate. For me, personally, the media blitz on Matt Taylor after he had just landed a spacecraft on a comet was an eye opening experience. The poor man was reduced to tears regarding the art on his shirt that he was wearing. He was attacked by a shameless media who will never be held accountable for the destructive nature of its reporting. The funny thing is the shirt was made by a woman, Elly Prizeman. I know the Right Wing isn’t perfect, not by a long shot but I can’t ignore what I’ve seen coming from the Left lately. This is just a part of why I think Trump won. I’ve written a lot about what’s happening on campuses across the west but I also believe the activism there is also to blame for why people are no longer on the side with left wing parties and ideas in general.

Congratulations Progressives you have killed Liberalism.

To some, it is a cartoon frog, usually used as a kind of banter intended to be funny or at times offensive. But to many this innocuous drawing of a cartoon frog is a symbol of hate and the equally nefarious Alt Right. It seems everywhere you look these days, the mainstream media will buy into anything. I just thought I’d never see the day in a which meme could be vilified due to how it’s used or for its perceived representation. But this isn’t the first time the mainstream media has latched onto something like this. When they discovered that Gamergate had a female mascot. Naturally, they had to read too much into her, by assuming the green and purple stripes on her sweater symbolise rape culture. And in more recent times an academic article was penned using her as a way of trying to understand Gamergate.

Except for the writer of that hack job forgets that when there are two sides, perhaps you should at least learn the general opinion of the side you’ve already decided is some kind of monstrous bogeyman. If Bradley Glasgow can do it, so can you. It’s easy for people to assume the MSM is some kind of truthful entity. The truth is, so many sites report on rumours but fail to go the extra mile by verifying their information. Or at worse they target an individual then when they latch onto something remotely controversial. They try and drive that person’s career into the ground. As Oculus founder Palmer Luckey found out, simply for endorsing conservative views or rather specifically for endorsing Donald Trump. Oh and they do mention he is dating a female Gamergater. What a time to be alive when your love life is the source of international news.

But you might ask what is PePe? Pepe is a reaction face created for a comic series by Matt Furie and is often associated with another meme, Feels Good Man another reaction image. It seems the presumption that it is a symbol of hate purely depends on the context of use and who the poster is. Because for all intents and purposes, it is a cartoon frog. Nothing more nothing less. Rather like how Vivian James represents the gamer that just doesn’t give a shit and just likes playing video games. It’s almost like reading too much into things is a hobby now for some journalists.

In an interview for Esquire Furie describes Pepe’s inception as being completely harmless;

“The comic itself represents that post-college zone of living by yourself with a bunch of dudes and pulling pranks on one another. The vibe of the comic is very chill and mundane and absurd.”

He also admits he can’t stop those on the internet acting as they are;

‘It started off on 4chan as an inside joke, then it became more mainstream and the memes were being shared by Katy Perry or whomever. Then the 4chan guys started flooding the Internet with weird Pepe memes to kind of reclaim him as their own. And this is just what I’ve gleamed from the Internet. I had nothing to do with this at all.’

Like with most meme creators who have watched their creations flourish Furie acknowledges that there will always be those who use something for dark humour. In the end, you could almost say that the Alt Right Pepe is a just that, another branch of the meme taking on a whole new life as a mainstream icon and target for opportunist journalists who see everything as black and white.

Although you know the world has gone stark raving mad when even the Guardian has to post an opinion piece on this insanity. Below, the writer seems to have only just discovered the existence of dark humour.

This universality, however, was what also soon gave Pepe the Frog a dark side. Pepe appearances were not always innocuous, as people drew him in various sexual, tasteless or otherwise offensive poses and contexts. Some called such images “dark Pepes”.

I guess the writer also doesn’t understand why people enjoy it. It’s rather like how if it exists on the internet, then chances are there’s porn of it. If it exists on the internet, then chances are someone, somewhere has twisted it into something offensive. It’s just how the internet works.

Two developments gave it a very different path. The first was the rise of the so-called ‘alt-right’, a loose network of white supremacists, mostly online, who seek to infuse American conservatism with racism and antisemitism. Pepe the Frog became an unofficial mascot for many on the alt right.

For those who wonder what the Alt-Right actually is. It’s amorphous, and those that subscribe to it aren’t necessarily supporters of white supremacy. It’s more like how some perceive the Regressive Left, a group that is also conveniently obsessed with race and gender. Rather like looking at a coin really.

This does not mean that all uses of Pepe images should thus be considered racist or antisemitic.

And yet you have the audacity to say that when the ADL has placed this reaction image as a serious proponent of hate. The thing that leaves me speechless though is that the Alt Right only has traction because of how the press engages it. It’s easy to place your enemies in one basket and it’s also easy to recycle the same dried up old arguments. Or in this case the assumption that even a harmless drawing can become someone’s hate symbol.

The key thing to remember is that like with most fictional entities when someone writes or draws in a certain way chances are they will represent it differently. After all, there are many inceptions of PePe. The reason the mainstream media has latched onto him is that they have played hook, line and sinker into their oppositions hands. Because by reporting on this cartoon frog, you may very well find more people end up voting Trump or even using these offensive PePe images. Why? because it gets a reaction. Negative publicity, in this case, can do more to help your opponent than actually be a hindrance to them.

So to summarise, Pepe, is a cartoon frog, adopted by the Chans, drawn thousands of times. And due to an excessive usage by Trump supporters, this frog has garnered the attention of the mainstream media. It just begs the question, which one will be next. Will Feels Man become a symbol of depression for the Labour Party after it probably fails to get elected at the next election? Who knows? because at this point, the media can’t go any more insane. Can it?

So on the 23rd June 2016 surgery happened. No that isn’t some kind of clever allegory for the UK referendum that saw 51.9% vote in favour of leaving the EU (that comes later) My husband liter…

Source: Thoughts Of A Feminist Gamer, Thoughts On #Brexit

Spectral Visions

In conjunction with our photo shoot, Degeneration: The All American Nightmare, Jennie Watson has contributed with an article on consumerism and zombie culture. Jennie graduated with a BA Honours in English and Drama and is currently studying an MA in English Studies. She also works closely with Spectral Visions Press as Deputy Editorial Team Leader.

The American Dream is the ethos of the Land of the Free, but what does it really represent? Does it mean prosperity for all who work hard regardless of social order, or is it a materialistic ideology that enslaves rather than emancipates? Are the fast cars and the big house with the white picket fence really just around the corner? In truth, the representation of the American Dream is different for every American. With racial discrimination still rife, is the American Dream not a meaningless platitude used by the middle-class white American to give…

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I’m usually very critical of the liberal media and its continuous cries for political correctness. However, in the wake of Jeremy Corbyn getting elected to lead the Labour party. The aftermath has led to numerous Labour members stepping down from their positions in defiance of this outcome. It’s also given those of the right-wing to run hit piece, after hit piece on just how much of a bad person Jeremy Corbyn is. Even David Cameron got involved, declaring on twitter that ‘Corbyn is a threat to national security.’ Arguably, that type of fear mongering by a prime minister no less, is grounds for libel.

libel

As new Labour Leader, Corbyn is already facing a nightmare as those on his own side stepped down. Chuka Umunna left the shadow cabinet stating ‘he cannot envisage any circumstance where I would campaign for us to leave (the EU).’ He’s not the only one as a total of eight shadow ministers have stepped down, with the architect of New Labour Lord Mandelson declaring dramatically that ‘Labour is facing the fight of its life to remain a viable party of government.’ Despite what many are calling a ‘Labour Civil War’, Corbyn was able to garner 60% of the vote, and the backing of more than 250,000 members.

Furthermore, some Right Wing publications on social media (including their youtube account) have gone on a full frontal assault in order to slander their left wing opposition. Using Corbyn view’s on nuclear deterrent and past associations as an excuse to attack the man not his politics, this fantastic approach was employed by the Sun. In my opinion, as the world is balanced on the tip of the knife, I personally think scrapping our nuclear deterrent is crazy, and unless Corbyn is a words smith. The Middle East’s radical elements will not listen to him. In other words, you can’t reason with the unreasonable. However, this does not excuse the Sun’s attempt to slander the man based on his past. The Daily Telegraph claims that in the wake of Corbyn’s victory, ‘Union leaders threaten to use the victory to cripple U.K’ when in reality the leader of the PCS union aims to unite the working class and stop austerity, in order to directly oppose Tory legislation. This is due to proposals of banning strikes with low turnout. However, Unions have argued that this decision would be a ‘democratic outrage’ as the conservatives got into office with less than 40% of the vote.

The Telegraph further uses the Leftist strategy of crying sexism because Corbyn hasn’t chosen women for top positions. This isn’t an easy thing to do I can imagine when people are stepping down left and right. However, in truth reports on social media in fact show the opposite is true, that Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet will consist largely of women. I believe that merit should always factor into a decision, and that cries of sexism are especially reaching. No one should just being a given role on a plate. it has to be earned. McDonnell also snubbed these claims by stating the shadow cabinet will in fact be ‘completely gender balanced.’

Overall, this tit for tat has shown modern politics to be a farce, especially in regards to Cameron’s response and the complete misrepresentation of Corbyn’s cabinet. In many ways, this slanderous approach by the Conservative Party has shown them to be cowardly, and paranoid. However, Cameron is not alone in throwing around the word ‘security’, as Michael Fallon said it three times during an interview, and even Michael Gove repeated the narrative on the Andrew Marr show. Whether Cameron apologises for his damning statement, time with surely tell. Either way, Corbyn has a mountain to climb if he’s going to convince anyone, he is the right person to lead Britain.