33 Hundred Words of True Detective Nerd Rage

Right now, as I’m typing this, it’s 10:30 PM, Sunday, August 9th. I don’t care if I stay up all night to finish this essay, I’m refusing to let myself go to sleep until it’s done. I want to hold on to how triggered I am right now. I know this sounds like a lot of nerd rage, and because I think a lot of it is nerd rage. I’m getting angry over a the season finale of a TV show. It’s incredibly childish and asinine of me. But I’m an emotionally stunted 21 year old autiste, so bear with me here.

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RIP Hulkamania

(originally published at TheRightStuff.biz here)

In June of 2007, WWE held its annual June pay-per-view, Vengance. Vengence is noteworthy because of one match on the card that never happened. The vacant ECW Championship (ECW at the time being a WWE-owned brand) was supposed to be up for grabs between up-and-coming CM Punk and the legendary veteran Chris Benoit. However, Benoit no-showed the PPV, and so instead the undercard high-flyer Johnny Nitro defeated Punk to win the belt. At the time, no one knew why the normally on-point, on-task Benoit no-showed such a huge show. Not long after, the horrifying reason why was discovered.

Over the course of that weekend, Chris Benoit murdered his wife Nancy (formerly Nancy Sullivan AKA Woman) and his son Daniel before hanging himself. It had started with an arguement between Chris and Nancy that had come to blows again, only this time ending with Nancy dead. Benoit spent the rest of the night in a confused, mentally broken stupor before smothering Daniel to death with a pillow, to spare him the shame of living as the son of a murderer and his victim. Unable to cope with the horror of what he did, he proceeded to place bibles by their corpses before hanging himself in the weight room, texting a suicide note of sorts to his friend Chavo Gurerro (nephew of the late great Eddie Gurerro).

At first, it was treated as an unsolved mystery, and WWE ran the standard tribute for Benoit. However, as more details came out while the live broadcast was going on, it became obvious that WWE was honoring a murderer. In response, WWE essentially removed Chris Benoit from history- his championship wins (including a historic victory over both Triple H and Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 20) and other accomplishments (winning the 2004 Royal Rumble, being a part of “The Radicalz” who left WCW for WWF in what was considered the final part of WWF winning the Monday Night Wars) had all ceased to happen according to WWE record books. For a while, it was even a verb- When someone was “Benoit’d” they were erased from history, a modern version of what the Romans called damnatio memoriae or what George Orwell called making an “unperson” in reference to Stalinst practices. The only real other contemporary people to be subjected to the practice for moral reasons are former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky and British entertainer Jimmy Saville, both avid child rapists.

And now, the immortal Hulk Hogan has joined their ranks.

Supposedly, leaked audio from his sex tape with radio personality/literal cuck (more on that later) Bubba The Love Sponge’s wife has him just calling them niggers when referencing his issues with this daughter. Hogan went on to say that he doesn’t want his daughter dating a black man and said he was “a little bit racist”. That’s it.

That’s all Hulk Hogan did, and WWE is now putting him on the same level as Chris Benoit. He’s been pulled from the ongoing reality show Tough Enough and all the presently existing replays have been pulled from their streaming service. References to Hulk have been removed from WWE’s website. According to insider journalist Dave Meltzer, WWE is explicitly telling everyone in the company never to reference Hulk Hogan or even say his name going forward. Any and all Hulk Hogan merchandise has been pulled from the shop. Hogan’s character has been pulled from an upcoming animated cartoon series. They didn’t just fire Hulk Hogan, they’ve all but wiped him from history.

Now for those of you non-autistes who are unfamiliar with wrestling history, Hulk Hogan essentially built the WWE (formerly WWF). When Vince McMahon decided to make the WWF the first real nation-wide wrestling promotion, he needed a big star to really carry the company on. So he brought in Hulk Hogan (powerword Terry Bollea), a fairly skilled wrestler and bodybuilder, gave him an “All-american Hero” gimmick, and had him defeat the dastardly Iranian Iron Shiek for the WWF title, live in Madison Square Garden. In what was called the “Hulkamania” period from 1984 to 1993 Hulk Hogan was a cultural icon and the greatest force in the WWF. When Hogan jumped ship to rival promotion WCW in 1994, he founded the nWo with Kevin Nash and Scott Hall in 1996 to make WCW the largest wrestling promotion in the world. While the more obsessed fans may dislike his slow, heavily theatric style and his backstage prima donna antics, it’s almost impossible to argue that Hogan is one of, if not the biggest name in wrestling history. But now, in this modern world we live in, it’s entirely possible that a man can be removed from the media empire he helped build for the crime of not approving of interracial relationships.

It gets worse. Arguably, the entire reason this is happening is because Hulk Hogan is suing Gawker media for 100 million dollars. Back in 2009/2010, Hulk Hogan was friends with Radio DJ Bubba the Love Sponge. Bubba, as it turns out, is a literal, no-joke, full-on cuck. He had gone on record as asking people more rich and famous than him, like Hogan and noted degenerate Howard Stern, to fuck his wife Heather. Predictably, she is now his ex-wife. Somehow, surveillance footage leaked of the sexual encounter without Hogan’s permission. It found its way to Gawker, who published the “sexy” part of the security camera footage. Understandably upset, Hogan filed suit.

It’s painfully obvious that Gawker is in dire straits. Thanks to Sam Biddle’s crass behavior on twitter, #GamerGate managed to cost them over seven figures from lost advertisements last year. With the outing of a Conde Nast executive, #GamerGate struck again along with the rest of the world and cost them arguably even more, with the editorial staff resigning in protest of the offending article being pulled. And to make things worse, Chuck C. Johnson is also suing Gawker for a considerable amount over the rumors they published about him. With all the money that they’re bleeding, it’s no surprise that they’re hurting. They’re so desperate that they’re rebooting the entire site. If Hogan wins his suit, Gawker is as good as dead.

So even if the National Enquirer originally ran the story about Hogan refusing to let his daughter have a more vibrant vagina, who do you think really stands to gain from this story taking off? It’s not too far off to imagine Gawker sending the transcript to the Enquirer with the hope that it’ll hurt Hogan. After all, Gawker IS known for being full of some of the most spiteful, bitchy people on the planet. These are the same people who published a man telling the story of how he hooked up with Christine O’Donell and defended it as “public interest”.

So this is more than likely your real story. A media outlet, infuriated that they no longer have the power to destroy anyone they don’t like, decided that they would expose the man who will most likely kill them as a racist in hopes that they’ll take him down to hell with them. This man, despite being a highly successful and influential entertainer and pop culture icon, is now destroyed as well, all for the crime of political wrongthink. No one has won, nothing of value was accomplished, society has not benefited in any way possible. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to clown world.

(But hey, it’s not that bad. At the time of this writing, THE DONALD is still in the WWE Hall of Fame. Plus, Coontown just hit 20,000 subscribers on Reddit and is only growing despite measures to contain it.)

HATRED: The TRV Review

When Hatred was announced in October last year, I knew it was going to be something special. In January, I wrote down my thoughts on it. The post blew up, and was the first thing I ever wrote to be linked to on Xenosystems. I even got recognition from outside the reactosphere when the award-winning developer Adrian Chmielarz of The Astronauts linked it. Now that it’s been released, I feel obligated to give a full review of the game. I don’t really have a set review rubric, so I’ll try to break it down into general categories.

First, for my #GamerGate followers and try to disclose as much as I think I need to. I was gifted this game by a friend. I have no ties to Destructive Creations outside of my voting to greenlight the game. I am perfectly conscious of my political and social biases. I’m going to assume that if you read my blog, you more than likely are too. So without further ado, let’s take a good look at Hatred!

THE STORY: SHORT, SWEET, TO THE POINT.

Hatred shows its arcade roots by keeping the story to an absolute bare minimum. The player character, a tall, long and dark-haired man only known as either “the Antagonist”, “the Crusader”, “Hatred Guy”, or “Notim Portant”, commences a mission to kill as many people as possible. The story starts off with the tutorial, where the Antagonist does some final practicing for his rampage: some obstacle course running, shooting and grenade drills, and finally murdering a drugged-up captive just to get the feel for taking life. From there, we’re treated to a brief monologue, the (in)famous one from the very first trailer. The Antagonist steps out of his house, and the first level immediately begins. He starts in rural New York, but after hopping on a train to evade police learns of a nearby nuclear powerplant, which he then sets his sights on.

And that’s it. There’s no twists or turns to his story, no supporting characters, nothing. Hatred is very “old school”. The game, as I’ll elaborate later on, is a throwback to old arcade twin-stick shooters like Smash TV, Mercs, and Robotron 2084. Likewise, so is the story. You learn pretty much everything you need to know about the main character and his goals in the first cutscene. The other cutscenes, barring the ending, only serve to conclude the level you just finished and introduce the next one. The ending caps off the game and provides a solid conclusion to the story.

And really, that’s just fine for a simple game like Hatred. Twin-stick shooters don’t need complex, deep plots. We don’t need to know why the Antagonist wants to kill everyone and why he loves it. In fact, the game would probably be worse off if he did. Nuance in this case would take away from the stark, brutal simplicity of the game’s overall aesthetic. Hatred is a very blunt game that never really strays from the core of the subject matter: the Antagonist’s mission to kill as many people as humanly possible.

THE VISUALS: UP IS DOWN, BLACK IS WHITE

I didn’t like Unreal Engine 3. Everything just looked ugly, both in stills and in motion. Some of the ugliest-looking games of the last generation that I can recall used Unreal 3. So when I saw the Unreal Engine Logo on the first trailer, I rolled my eyes. Hatred certainly does have the characteristic ugliness of an Unreal Engine game. However, like all the other flaws, it works to Hatred‘s advantage.

See, in Hatred, the player sees the world through the eyes of the Antagonist. Not literally, of course, but figuratively. So it makes sense that the world is nothing but a dull, generic grey. How else would a mass-murderer see things? Everything is ugly and dull and you can’t help but love destroying whatever you can. Indeed, the greyscale only makes the actually quite nice fire and explosion effects look even better. Indeed, while the world looks boring by default, it looks fucking incredible when you tear it to pieces with an automatic weapon. Indeed, it almost compelled me to destroy whatever I could in hopes that it would brighten up the screen a bit.

Another issue that works out quite well for Hatred is the limited amount of NPC models. I’d imagine that since this game was made in Poland over the course of 7 months, it didn’t have the largest budget. It certainly shows in the NPCs. For all the talk of the game being a “Neo-nazi murder simulator” I couldn’t make out the race or gender of the people I was gunning down at all. The women all had short hair, more than likely due to the physics of long hair being difficult as shown by the Antagonist’s own raven locks. The greyscale world made it hard to figure out who was black and who was white. And that actually fits with the Antagonist’s views perfectly. To him, everyone looks the same. That’s why killing people is so easy to him. There’s nothing special or remarkable about his targets. There’s not supposed to be.

All of that aside, there are some visual issues I just can’t look past. When you perform an execution near a wall, the camera can get fairly glitchy, and bodies can clip into walls and debris. Hopefully this can get patched, but I’m not sure. There is also the matter of various “clever” advertisements that really take me out of the experience and kill my immersion in the game. I’ll get to them later.

The game’s physics and animations are actually excellent. It’s one of those cases where the game looks infinitely better in motion than it does in screenshots. Bodies respond fairly realistically to being shot, barring the armored enemies who will flail wildly as you continue to pump them full of lead in a darkly hilarious animation. Buildings fall apart perfectly, crumbling into rubble. Destruction hasn’t been this fun in years.

Overall, despite having some glaring flaws, the visuals for Hatred are surprisingly good, especially considering the short time it took and low budget it presumably had. In some portions, it looks just as good, if not better than Firaxis’s isometric strategy game XCOM: Enemy Unknown. There’s a certain artisianship to Hatred, and a clear theme in the design. That’s something I think a lot of games today are missing.

GAMEPLAY: A BLAST FROM THE PAST

Hatred is a classic isometric twin-stick shooter. Your goal is to either get from point A to point B, or to kill X amount of civilians/law enforcement. Along the way there are bonus objectives, where you have to kill a certain number of people at a certain location or kill a certain person, and you’re rewarded with additional respawn points. You have a limited number of respawn points before you have to start the entire level all over again.

Combat is actually pretty fun- the destructive environment forces you to really think on your feet and keep moving at all times. The difficulty ramps up fast, so get used to ducking and weaving from cover to cover, keeping an eye on the radar to know where enemies and civilians (who you can execute to restore health) are. The firefights are fast-paced and frantic, and a lot of fun.

Unfortunately, the gameplay has a few major issues. First off, the controls can feel clunky and awkward. The Antagonist is not as smooth and easy to control as trailers make it look. The drivable vehicles are even worse, being a major pain in the ass. Thankfully, there’s never any forced driving levels, and the ones where you start in a car you can get out at any time. Aiming is just as problematic at times: it’s nearly impossible to fire from an elevated position down to an enemy on the lower end. There’s also the matter of only being able to carry three guns at a time. For such an old-school game, it’s frustrating to see Hatred use one of my least favorite mechanics in modern shooters. Hatred does have one other flaw that comes from being a twin-stick arcade shooter: it’s repetitive as SHIT. Those objectives I listed earlier? Hope you like them because that’s pretty much all you ever do. I get that it goes with the territory, but at the very least couldn’t we have gotten something new?

Even if the missions are boring, the level design sure isn’t. Each level is either designed to feel like a real area or provide a fun break from ordinary levels. Every building can be entered, meaning that you can spend hours just exploring. The only downside is that there aren’t hidden secrets, so often times the exploring is all for nothing. It is still fun, though. Sometimes looking at the environment is great on its own.

AUDIO: A LOT FROM A LITTLE

There’s not much to say about Hatred audio-wise. The soundtrack is all dark ambient, composed by Adam Skorupa. It’s remarkably good, to the point where Destructive Creations even made a video to showcase his vision. But as good as dark ambient is, it’s still just dark ambient. I was expecting something a little less subtle, maybe a mix of industrial, death, sludge, and black metal. Instead, we only get one song in the credits by a band called Iperyt. It’s not all that great, really. Personally, I’ll hold out for mods introducing a better soundtrack.

The rest of the sound isn’t anything out of the ordinary. The guns and explosions are all nice and loud. The voice acting, done by actors whose other works I can’t find, is fairly inconsistent. Some NPCs beg for their lives convincingly, others don’t. The Antagonist’s gruff, raspy voice sometimes sounds menacing, other times it seems laughable. At one point I was pretty sure I could hear his Polish accent slipping through. It’s nothing particularly great, but hardly awful either.

A TALE OF TWO HATREDS

Ultimately, the game’s biggest issue comes from its identity crisis. There really are two Hatreds. One is a fun twin-stick shooter where you destroy everything in your path all with a flavor of grim comedy. The other is a bleak, nihilist experience designed to disturb you and make you uncomfortable. And Hatred really can’t decide which one it wants to be.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. Early on in the first level, I shot a woman. She fell to the ground. I closed in for the execution. She was crying, begging not to die, and The Antagonist just casually shot her a few times, like she was nothing. As the killing continued, I heard him say “Only my weapon understands me,” a direct quote from Postal 2. So I went from a genuinely disturbing scene to a clever shout-out that made me chuckle. There was some serious mood whiplash, to say the least.

Another good example would be the shift in tone between two levels. On one level, you start in a hijacked SWAT truck with the goal of killing 100 people. You have the bonus goals of using a switchboard to trigger a train crash and disrupting an arms deal to kill everyone there. When you kill 100 people, you then have to move on to the train station, where you then need to fight off a certain number of law enforcement and national guard. The entire level feels grounded in reality- it would be quite easy to kill a large number of people at a train station if you really wanted to. There’s a feeling of discomfort.

The next level, though, is the middle of a town. You start the level by disrupting a political rally, and your goal is again to kill a certain number of people. This time, however, the bonus goals are to kill the candidate fleeing the rally, break into a bank and burn all the money in it, go to the release of the latest “aPad” and kill all the hipsters there, kill all the hipsters in the coffee shop, and raid a gun sale where people are selling automatic weapons, flamethrowers, and fucking rocket launchers (It’s pretty obvious this game was made in Poland, because good luck finding a pistol with a ten-round capacity for sale in New York). The town is plastered with ads that in turn are dripping with dry, dark humor. One that really stood out was a tobacco billboard that just said “FUCK YOUR LUNGS!”. Again, I felt like I had went from a serious game to some sort of comedy.

I’m chalking this one up to it being Destructive Creation’s first game. Hatred feels really experimental at times. It’s a very weird feeling, though, because when it isn’t feeling experimental, it feels like an old-school throwback. Had Hatred committed either to one vision or the other, the game would have flowed a lot better. But instead, we’re left with a confusing, disorienting, poorly paced game.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Hatred is a flawed, but still solid debut for Destructive Creations. It’s a bold, take-no-prisoners step forward that’s gotten a lot of eyes on the studio. Like it or not, Hatred has made a major impact on gaming. There’s a lot of issues with the game, but not enough to keep it from being an ultimately enjoyable experience. I would almost certainly recommend Hatred to anyone wanting a fun shoot-’em-up or someone looking for a grimdark experience outside of Warhammer 40,000. As of now, it’s 20 bucks on steam, which is a pretty nice price. Now then, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to listen to some old school black metal.

Punishment is Vindication

Some days, I feel like the only neoreactionary who isn’t gifted in tech. I can barely code with HTML or java, god forbid I take on anything more daunting than that. Even bbcode is a hassle. I might be good at assembling computers, but I’m certainly no programmer, nor will I ever pretend to be. So as far as I know, Urbit is just Moldbug’s grandiose tech project that isn’t related to video games. As far as I know, it’s all magic. Despite my periodic insights on the culture and such (which doesn’t require understanding the nuance of code) I really don’t follow tech. For me, “Strangeloop” just makes me think of how I accidentally figured out how to break a computer in high school with infinite dialogue boxes when I just wanted to make a basic arithmetic calculator. Much to my surprise, it’s actually one of the bigger tech conferences in the US. Shows how much I know.

So when Curtis Yarvin, AKA, Mencius Moldbug, commonly recognized grandfather of neoreaction was listed as a speaker at Strangeloop, suddenly I decided I had to pay attention. After all, Moldbug is, in my opinion, the best politicial writer of the 21st century. Maybe he’d offer some new nuggets of wisdom for us. Maybe he’d explain Urbit in a way someone as primitive as me could understand. But beyond that, there was also the political ramification of Moldbug speaking. It’s not easy being a reactionary- all the white cis male privilige in the world doesn’t make up for the unwashed hordes of progressive lunatics who would gladly see you dead if it meant no one would ever think the way you do. That Moldbug could openly present his work at Strangeloop and participate in the tech community as an open reactionary is a glimmer of hope that we can’t be so easily excluded.

Or at least it was. As of now, Moldbug is no longer invited to speak about Urbit at Strangeloop. As always, militant communists and leftists raised quite the stink about a reactionary. In their mind, the most damning post possible was this one, a long defense of Thomas Carlyle where where he makes references to the idea that hey, maybe slavery isn’t that bad all things considered. Moldbug dresses up the point as politely and nicely as he can, and the progs still lost their mind. From the prog responses, you’d think that weev had snuck back in the US to give a talk. People were actually saying that Curtis Yarvin, a thirty-something computer nerd, was somehow a safety threat because of his political unorthodoxy. It’s mindblowing. Of all the figures in the alt-right, Moldbug is probably the least threatening person possible.

So what did Strangeloop’s organizers do? Probably the most morally and ethically deficent option possible. They quietly removed Yarvin’s page on his talk and sent him an e-mail rescinding his invitation due to the sheer number of complaints filed. Presumably, their goal was hoping that this would all go away, and they could have their conference in peace. However, they seem to have been missing what’s been going on for the past nine months with #GamerGate. We live in the era of the Streisand effect. Nothing just “goes away” anymore.  Within hours, the story blew up. Prolific neoreactionary figureheads Nick B. Steves and Duck Enlightenment were tweeting up a storm, and AnCap loose cannon Clarkhat was going even further in upping the pressure on Strangeloop. In what has to be a first, Moldbug’s work was noticed outside of the liberal hate brigade, as even Breitbart had picked up the story. This is Web 2.0. Stories don’t just “go away”. And if you want to try to make them go away? I suggest talking to Zoe Quinn to see how well that’s turned out for her.

And now, with everyone demanding answers, Strangeloop organizer Alex Miller finally publishes a brief explanation of what’s going on:

“Curtis Yarvin submitted a talk in the Strange Loop 2015 Call for Presentations. The talk went through the review process and was one of about 60 talks selected for the conference out of about 360. The subject of the talk was urbit (attached below). While we use a multi-stage review process, ultimately all final decisions are made by me.

Earlier this week we published the bulk of the 2015 Strange Loop session list, including Curtis’s talk. I quickly received feedback that Curtis also has an online persona under the name “Mencius Moldbug” where he has posted extensive political writings.

A large number of current and former speakers and attendees contacted me to say that they found Curtis’s writings objectionable.I have not personally read them.

I am trying to create a conference where the focus is on the technology and the topics being presented. Ultimately, I decided that if Curtis was part of the program, his mere inclusion and/or presence would overshadow the content of his talk and become the focus. This would not serve the conference, the other speakers, the attendees, or even Curtis.

Thus, I chose to rescind Curtis’s invitation and remove him from the program. The email I sent to Curtis is included below for reference.”

Hilariously enough, said e-mail had already been leaked, so this hardly helps the case. But I want to highlight one particular part of that statement: “Ultimately, I decided that if Curtis was part of the program, his mere inclusion and/or presence would overshadow the content of his talk and become the focus.” So in other words, it’s not that he personally found Moldbug’s words objectionable, or that he’s even taking a side. Rather, he’s simply trying to avoid trouble at his conference. It seems innocent, until you realize what he’s saying: it doesn’t matter who Curtis Yarvin is- the feelings of the angry progressive lynch mob is more important than letting an independent software developer speak. It’s flat-out cowardice. It’s a refusal to take a stand and define your own values.

But all in all, I’m okay with this. Because while I might not understand tech, I DO understand SJW holy wars. And once again, we come back to the broken windows. I’ve blogged about broken windows so much that I’m expecting Paul Krugman will throw a brick through my own window with a note on how it’ll save the economy.  But in essence, the SJWs here are working right out of the broken window playbook. In their case, they call it “no platform”, and it’s rooted in British student unions. The idea is that if anyone deemed racist or fascist can be allowed to speak at the university or hold office in a student body, then it means those viewpoints are acceptable. Thus, it is in the interest of the greater good that these individuals are totally excluded from university life, as to prevent the students from thinking that racism or fascism is acceptable. What we’re seeing here is no platform in action. The SJWs know that if Moldbug can present Urbit freely, then it shows that being a reactionary is acceptable. Thus, in order to suppress reaction, Curtis Yarvin must not have a platform to speak on.

And yes, no platform is extended to the rest of the west as well. Why do you think that feminists are up in arms every time Christina Hoff Sommers gets to speak at a university? Why do SJWs of the SF/F community go berserk when they see that Vox Day is on a Hugo ballet? Why are gaming SJWs raining fire down on the Society of Professional Journalists for even trying to host a #GamerGate debate? Because in their mind, anything allowing these people, from the mild-mannered C.H. Sommers to someone as radical as Vox Day to participate grants those people and their views legitimacy. And they know that once a dangerous person gets their foot in the door, they’re VERY hard to get rid of.

The kicker here is that Moldbug knows all of this. It’s all a part of what he calls The Cathedral. (For more on that, I have a handy explanation here) It proves him right- that the progressive powers that be want to make sure that all information on tech and the development of technology is in the hands of progressives. Thus, progressive politics can continue their march to oblivion.Did Mencius Moldbug expect Curtis Yarvin to be shut down? Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. But either way, by working to exclude Curtis Yarvin from tech, Strangeloop has vindicated the work of Mencius Moldbug. Everything he’s said about progressives needing to control information is validated by them shutting him down.

That’s why, despite condemning the cowardice and moral failings of Alex Miller and Strangeloop, I’m still celebrating this as a victory. Another key component of neoreactionary thought has been proven right in practice. It’s often said that the comments section for any article on feminism proves the need for feminism. I could spend ages debunking that myth, but let me simply pose a theorem of my own- the responses taken to neoreaction only proves neoreaction to be right.

#GamerGate and the Puppy Coup, Round 2: Breaking Windows and Redefining the Norm

Of course I’m going to keep talking about the Hugos, last week was the first post I ever made that made me any money. But seriously, all jokes aside, there’s a lot more I want to talk about on the matter. Like I said last week, this is a big deal. How could I contain it to just one blog post? This is, along with #GamerGate, a defining moment in the history of geek fandom.

What sparked this second post was a reddit conversation by some liberals discussing the broken window effect. For those of you who don’t know, the best description of the broken window effect and its application comes from Malcom Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point.” The idea is that small, petty crimes in urban environments like public drinking, vandalism, and toll-jumping contribute to a social atmosphere where larger, more troublesome crimes like robbery, rape, and assault are more likely to happen. If a window is broken and not fixed, it becomes acceptable to break windows. When breaking windows is acceptable, soon other petty crimes become acceptable. When those crimes become acceptable, larger crimes soon become acceptable. One thing leads to another, and soon you get Detroit.

Broken window theory was one of the driving forces behind Rudy Guliani’s policy that effectively turned New York City around. “The Tipping Point” focuses on the Guliani administration’s cleaning graffiti off of subway cars in order to help curb toll-jumping. By keeping the cars cleaner and nicer, it created an atmosphere that favored civilization over crime. Guliani’s administration cleaned up NYC in other ways as well- he rid Times Square of most of the vice that it was famous for, and made it a family destination. He encouraged a more strict NYPD that cracked down harder on petty crime, creating an atmosphere of public order. In Singapore, the great Lee Kuan Yew did the same thing, cracking down on minor transgressions like spitting, littering, and chewing gum in public as to create order.

Nowadays, broken window theory has fallen out of favor. While only a select few question its effectiveness, liberals soon realized that whenever you build your police policy around the broken windows theory, it means that more black people wind up in prison for criminal behavior. In fact, the idea of improving the neighborhood to keep crime rates down often eventually leads to gentrification. In fact, you could argue that the new ideology of “Dinduism” to spring up from the Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown incidents was coined in direct response to broken window theory: it doesn’t matter that Trayvon Martin or Mike Brown or Eric Garner were acting in a way that was detrimental to public order- neighborhood watch or even the police keeping tabs on them to enforce said order is just racist!

The greater irony in all of this is that liberals love to use broken window theory. Of course, rather than use it to preserve public order, they use it to create a more “equal” society. The entire reason why liberals get so mad over “micro-aggressions” is because those are their broken windows- minor, seemingly harmless actions that reinforce bad attitudes which create an undesirable society. Thus, to the liberal, every single bold anti-liberal, anti-leftist transgression that goes unpunished helps set the precedent that this sort of wrongthink is okay.

This explains the mass amount of rage over the Puppy Coup. More often than not, the rage comes back to one single target: Vox Day. Most of the Sad Puppies are moderate liberals and moderate right-wingers. To them, the Sad Puppy slate is about restoring balance and neutrality to the Hugo Awards. But Vox Day’s Rabid Puppy slate is even more offensive and more enraging- because it means someone as brazenly, unabashedly anti-liberal as Vox Day can win an award. It means that Vox Day has power and influence. It’s him breaking a window and them being unable to punish him for it. The anti-Puppy old guard is screaming for blood, because they know how the slippery slope works. If Vox Day can participate in Sci-Fi/Fantasy, it means people like Vox Day who agree with Vox Day’s views are also welcome. It means that now, evil right-wing people like myself will start to participate in SFF.

That’s also why the leftist rage against #GamerGate has been so severe. Leftists hate #GamerGate because #GamerGate hurt leftists and continues to hurt them, and no one is getting punished for it. Nero is going to E3. Brandon and Liz now write for the Escapist. Jen Dawe and Rogue both got their games on steam, and TFYC is likely to follow. #GamerGate is not going away, #GamerGate is only becoming more visible and more culturally influential in gaming. #GamerGate has broken so many windows.

And ultimately, we need to break even more windows. We need to find more windows and break them. We need to flood the comments sections of anti-#GamerGate websites and make our presence known. We need to find a way around the block lists so we can make it very clear to the opposition that twitter is our territory. We need to spread our shit-talk of SJWs to the public sphere, and go public. Every time #GamerGate gets to transgress against the SJW norm without consequences, we make transgressing against them more acceptable.

One of my personal idols is weev. I get that it’s kind of weird for a gay sperg to like weev, but the man is simply brilliant. He once said to me that his goal was “to widen the overton window until genocide becomes acceptable”. In a sense, Encyclopedia Dramatica has done just that: it’s become the perfect tool to attack the SJW establishment without consequence. Someone on /r/GamerGhazi was chimping out quite hard because googling “Sarah Nyberg” brought up little Nicky’s page on ED. If anyone wants to look up nick Nyberg’s body of work, the first thing they see is that he’s a sexual deviant and complete waste of flesh. ED helps give a platform for otherwise unspeakable ideas and lets people find them, internalize them, and spread them. Part of what helps keep troll behavior alive is that ED can exist without repercussions. Weev is part of what was the most successful window-breaker in internet history.

And yes, I know weev doesn’t think too highly of #GamerGate. But that doesn’t make him any less brilliant. We need to take a page from his book and be more aggressive and transgressive. Every time we hurt SJWs and get away with it, we de-legitimatize them and make hurting SJWs more acceptable. Every time we take away a safe space, we assert that we’re the norm, not them. Every time an Ellen Pao or Sabrina Erdely gets publicly humiliated, they are forced back into the shadows. At this point the #GamerGate doctrine should be to attack, attack attack.

Think about it this way- the more people publicly shit on Gawker and Vox, the easier it will be to pull away their advertisers through our e-mailing. The more vocally people shit on Anita and friends, the harder it will be for the games press to ignore it or try to rebuke us. The more #GamerGate embeds itself into gaming culture, the harder it’ll be for games press and SJWs to take it over. We need to break all of the windows and graffiti all of the subway cars, and change things so #GamerGate is the norm.

The Hugo Awards, the “Puppy Coup” and #GamerGate

First off, I’d like to wish all my readers a very happy and blessed Easter. I was unfortunately forced to attend church by my parents: it’s not what you think, we’re Episcopalian and both our Interim Rector and Bishop are women. Hopefully all of you out there in the alt-right have better churches to visit. And for my Odinist readers, next time you want to torch a church, consider burning an Episcopal one if you can’t find any Unitarian Universalist ones.

Now then, let’s move on to the big story of the weekend: The Hugo Award nominations. Let’s start by looking over the nominees, shall we? I copy/pasted this from their website, with my own observations:

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Is HP Lovecraft truly Neoreactionary?

It goes without saying that Lovecraft is undoubtedly the most right-leaning author in the sci-fi mainstream. To question his reactionary cred is almost heretical in itself. Nonetheless, even our most core elements deserve rigorous investigation. I’ll start by saying I’ve been a fan of Lovecraft’s work since I was about fifteen, back when I was a bleeding-heart liberal. Back then, I was enraptured by the idea of these freakish monsters and their godlike powers. Indeed, for my sophomore year research paper, I wrote about how Lovecraft’s life directly affected his fiction. Not a bad paper, but being a good little liberal, I failed to see his greater social messages and just dismissed it as archaic, regrettable racism. Having grown up and undergone rampancy, I can look at his work and truly understand his message.

The common sci-fi fan sees Lovecraft’s abominations merely as creative abominations. The more literate of them will assume that such monstrosities are a metaphor for social and cultural decay. However, only the most learned of Lovecraft fans will see that there is no metaphor- indeed, the true horror of Lovecraft’s work is the very real threat of degeneracy and entropy. In The Call of Cthulhu, Cthulhu himself is not the threat to humanity. Indeed, it is never even stated that he is even aware of our existence before his awakening. The true danger is the effect his awakening will have. Mankind will return to his primordial nature: a miserable, primitive, savage existence. Likewise, in The Shadow Over Innsmouth, it is not Dagon and his disciples we are supposed to be wary of, but of a degenerate, savage culture undermining traditional civilization. The Dunwich Horror is about rural decay, and how people will revert to backwards, savage beasts when kept away from culture. Indeed, the real evil in Lovecraft’s story is not the monsters, but is in fact the darker nature of mankind, the destructive side that the monsters simply help bring out. As cliché as the line has become, mankind is the true monster.

Lovecraft’s heroes are quite reactionary: intelligent, learned white men of a socially conservative outlook. They solve their problems through a combination of a carefully honed intellect and a firm sense of virtue. They are not heroic in the sense of being human, but rather in that they are underdogs, merely ordinary men going against impossible odds. Indeed, the fact that Lovecraft often makes a character’s curiosity and fascination with the world outside civilization into a fatal flaw would be unforgivable in modern sci-fi. What’s even more enthralling is how he not only is aware of class difference, but he celebrates it: His heroes are almost always of an upper class, while his villains are either deviant aristocrats or degenerate proles. Any heroic proles are good-natured spirits simply too inept to handle whatever evils are menacing them. And yet, in spite of all of this, Lovecraft’s work is still riddled with liberal ideology.

First and foremost, we need to understand Lovecraft’s background. Howard Phillips Lovecraft is a son of New England. Yes, one of the most conservative authors of the twentieth century is from the home of contemporary liberalism. Lovecraft, however, was raised in a very puritan, conservative part of Rhode Island. This explains why, in spite of his strict belief in human biodiversity (he rejected Hitler and Nazi Germany because he deemed their science to be incorrect) and social tradition, he cannot help but embrace the liberal framework established by his ancestors in Plymouth Bay. Yes, for all of his reactionary posturing, Lovecraft was still part of the Cathedral. His work places a high value on education, especially at the University level. While Lovecraft was primarily interested in the sciences, a division not yet at the whims of progressives, he still never really understood the role that universities play in ongoing social decay. Instead, he buys into the mythology of his puritan ancestors: that the only hope for civilization lies in the enlightened minds of academia. Indeed, while Lovecraft understands the importance of oligarchy in guiding civilization, his taste in oligarchs is somewhat misguided.

There is also a disturbingly luddite trend in Lovecraft’s work. While stories like The Shunned House show mankind triumphing over monsters through science and ingenuity, the vast majority of his stories shun technological advancement. Lovecraft buys into the nonsensical idea that there are some truths mankind is better off not knowing, and some areas that we best left unexplored. In The Mountains Of Madness is essentially one large screed against the human desire to improve and grow. While Lovecraft recognizes the Hobbesian flaws in humanity, he still never really shows any hope that they can be corrected through study and exploration. While not all neoreactionaries share the sentiment that mankind can overcome its flaws, some of Lovecraft’s fiction strongly implies that striving to correct the human condition is a futile and pointless affair. Perhaps most damning of all is Herbert West: Re-Animator, a tale directly lifted from the highly progressive Enlightenment-era novel Frankenstein. The story directly criticizes men for trying to pursue power far beyond their reaches. It’s a very anti-western attitude, criticizing men for their advances in science and technology.

So in the end, can we truly call Lovecraft a neoreactionary? Not quite. While he touches on quite a few key themes and elements of reaction, Lovecraft’s work is still very much within the framework of liberalism. While we can nod our heads in how spot-on his predictions of cultural decay were, we still need to take a more critical viewpoint. His views are very coarse and unrefined in terms of intellectual rigor. They are mere observations and amateur theories rather than actual reactionary content. It would be foolish of me to say that Lovecraft’s work has no place in the alternative right, but we must not venerate him as high as we do the classics. Lovecraft is an entry-level writer, a means of awakening and encouraging individuals to explore the alt-right rather than actually educating already rampant individuals. His work, while entertaining, is hardly genuinely enlightening or interesting.

By no means should we stop reading Lovecraft. In fact, we should encourage people to read his work, and spread interest in it. Lovecraft’s fiction as well as his entire idea of social decay is wonderfully subversive. Stories like True Detective that treat human degeneracy as a disgusting evil are an important part of undermining the Cathedral and liberalism as a whole. As much as his work is hardly serious, high-level literature, it still deserves to stick around for a few more strange aeons, don’t you think?

Thoughts on Altgames, #GamerGate, and the alt-right.

I’m about to do something that will be very, very shocking to my readers, especially the ones that know me: I’m going to endorse an idea of Zoe Quinn’s. Now don’t get me wrong, I still despise Zoe Quinn. She’s an abuser, an adulterer, a liar, and altogether and unpleasant person who doesn’t belong in gaming. But her recent post on the idea of “altgames” is 100% spot on. In it, Quinn describes Alt Games, a spinoff of indie games. Altgames could be defined as DIY games and games criticism made by amateur indie outsiders not as a commercial product to sell, but as a means of expression. In what I think is very spot-on, she compares it to punk rock.

I’ll admit, I’m not well-versed in punk. Most of the pretentious liberal bullshit doesn’t speak to me and makes me roll my eyes. But I do have a history with the genre. When I was an angry kid in my senior year of high school fighting mental illness, I found transgressive punk bands like Anal Cunt and GG Allin And The Murder Junkies. Those bands to me were punk: disaffected dudes who didn’t fit in with the world lashing out in frustration and discontent. It was the same thing that attracted me to black metal: a feeling of general discontent with the world. As I got into college, I forgot about punk. But when I dropped out and started working, I started listening to bands like Blood For Blood and Antiseen: artists who made music for low-class people talking about the lower-class lifestyle. I wasn’t from the white ghettos of Boston or the backwoods of South Carolina, but I was a working man trying to make my way in the world. I felt like an underdog, so I listened to underdog music. It’s helped me really find a sense of contentment with my existence as a prole. So while I’m not 100% punk, I get punk well enough to see what Quinn is going for here with altgames.

If we expand the definition of altgames to include games criticism, then I was altgames before altgames was even given a name. Make no mistake, as much as I’ll shill my gratipay, The Right Vidya (and now The Right Drama!) is a labor of love. It’s my desire to create games writing that doesn’t exist anywhere else. Putting up a new blog post is exhilarating. When Nick Land and Adrian Chmielarz shared my post on Hatred, my heart skipped a beat. To me, getting the attention of a blog like Xenosystems or a dev like Adrian Chmielarz was more valuable than any cash donation. I felt like what I was saying mattered and made a difference. I was helping introduce video games to the alt-right and the alt-right to video games. I was merging the two. I’d like to think that I still am, given how much traffic my posts on KotakuInAction get me.

This is why I’m throwing my support behind the idea of altgames. I get that a lot of people in the alt-right, especially neoreaction, look down on Rachel Haywire for her idea of a punk aesthetic for the right. For most of us, outside decadent skinheads, punk is seen as a degenerate liberal cesspit. I disagree. The key element to punk is that it’s subversive- a word that I’ve been thinking a lot about in the past few weeks. As our alt-right critics will note, there’s a lot of LARPing going on in NRx: too many people talking about what the glorious neoreactionary future will look like and not enough people focusing on the here and now. What we should be doing is focusing on how we can subvert the Cathedral and undermine its reach. I think #GamerGate is a major breakthrough for us: we saw a bunch of young, unassuming enlightenment-friendly types openly challenge their progressive “betters” and manage to keep it going for over six, soon to be seven months so far. Part of the success of #GamerGate lies in the DIY culture that permeates it: you have tons of people making #GamerGate art, starting #GamerGate charity, hosting #GamerGate streams, and even making #GamerGate games. Hell, The Right Vidya was inspired by the DIY culture of #GamerGate. It’s their ability to produce content that has helped them keep going.

But we need to be better than that. What helped turn me on to the alternative right was the work of HP Lovecraft, telling the kind of stories about social decay that no one else told. It helped subvert what I was learning in high school at the time as I realized that Detroit and other urban centers confirmed the predictions in his work. It taught me to look outside the box and embrace esoteric political wisdom. Obviously it wasn’t the only factor: the transgressive punk and black metal that I mentioned before helped me really clarify my distaste for modernity. Neoreaction needs to get on that: we need more media out there that subverts the cathedral and undermines it. And that’s why we need to hop on the altgames train. We need to take advantage of a DIY-centric scene and use it as a means of subversion. Altgames are already pretty big, and they’re only going to get bigger. I think one of the smartest things the alt-right did was to embrace tech, because with the tech boom we grew and prospered. I think when it comes to altgames, this is a boom coming that we could use to our advantage.

As for my brothers and sisters in #GamerGate, the idea of altgames is important to us as well. We all know that the community in the game business is awful: the testimony of guys like Roguestar and the work of the ShortFatOtaku team tells us that much. It’s a closed little circlejerk of industry buddies all working to get each other over, even at the expense of everyone else. Altgames is about realizing that the circlejerk exists and using various platforms like itch.io, twine, Patreon and more to really help break it up. Imagine if the DIY spirit of #GamerGate met with the DIY attitude of altgames? We could build a new, better GDC, a better IGF and Indiecade. We could an alternative to the corrupt, broken industry and build a much better one. The nature of altgames is about trying to empower amateurs and beginners. It’s perfectly in touch with #SolutionSixMonths and #OpRebuild. It’s the perfect platform for #GamerGate to use to help expand our influence and get our message out. We are the real alternative, and we need to make ourselves known.

So in conclusion, I suppose you should think of this post as another call to action. It’s time we stop rolling our eyes at the DIY platforms and start using them to help build the newer, more improved gaming community, whatever that means to you. Now more than ever, it’s become easier to take control and choose where you want to guide a scene. This is perhaps the best chance you’ll get in a long time to make an impact. It’s time you take advantage of it.

The Donovan Test: Murphy Pendleton

With the resounding success of the first Donovan Test, I’ve decided that I’m going to give it another go. Last week, we looked at what turned out to be a real manly icon, the Doomguy. This week we’re going to take a look at another character who fights demons, this time one more a little more grounded in reality. Thus, this week we’re going to be looking at Murphy Pendleton, from Silent Hill Downpour!

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