Lately, it seems like there is an overabundance of hostility being portrayed on the Internet. Things like the whole Gamergate and Feminist Frequency quarrel which bogs down to Gamers Vs. Feminists, to the more local happenings’ in my town of the religious community dealing with an atheist known as Mitch Kahle and his threats of taking down a large cross on a hill.
I have my opinion on the matters, but lately I have been reluctant to share such positions throughout the communities due to luring some forms of nasty comments. I used to think that we as a cyber-community were finally evolving from racial and sexist insults that were so infamous during the initial dawn of social media.
Boy was I wrong.
I’m a gamer, but my former roommate is an even bigger one. He plays the mainstream “shooters” that have become so popular between hardcore and casual gamers alike, and I would sometimes indulge with him. However, there is only so much condescension and racial slurring being spit into your ear that you finally find yourself putting down the controller and asking “what am I doing with my life?”
Most recently though, my biggest mistake was calling out Feminist Frequency and Gamergate through their Twitter hash tags and speaking about both parties needing to come forth and own up to the situation. What I got was a storm of deconstructive replies, trolls and insults that made me basically just want to delete myself from the Internet altogether.
Each side accused me of being associated with the other, and my name on Twitter was being attached and paraded around to hateful comments towards others, while all I was trying to do was raise some form of peacekeeping awareness.
It reminds me of a scene from season five of Babylon 5 where the character John Sheridan is trying to hold together an alliance of different nations together. What happens is an all out screaming session between everyone wanting blood. They are all unwilling to conform with each other, and this is reminiscent of what the current real life situation has devolved into – chaos.
Sheridan then just explodes into a rage:
“I SAID THAT’S ENOUGH! Now we gave you a promise, and we are bound by that promise! And damn you for asking for it! And damn me for agreeing to it! And damn all of us to hell because that is exactly where we’re going! We talked about peace! You didn’t want peace! We talked about co-operation! You didn’t want co-operation! You want war! Is that it? You want a war! Well, you’ve got a war!”
All Feminist Frequency has done when it came to their critique of the gaming community was poke a beehive full of angry gamers who were fine right where they were – hidden in their bedrooms and basements away from life. Now, that dragon has awoken, and feminist critics like Anita Sarkeesian are now feeling their wrath.
All Mitch Kahle has done is come to a small town and rattle its residents by threatening to take down a large cross displayed on a hill that many have come to appreciate for the last fifty plus years, claiming it hinders people’s religious freedom, despite him profiting off t-shirt sales saying “F*ck Jesus.” Meanwhile, The Facebook group “Keep the Cross” has almost 10,000 likes, compared to “Remove the Grand Haven Cross” with its pitiful 270. I am not a Christian, and am rather eclectic when it comes to my beliefs, however both sides have one who antagonizes the other, and use the situation for their own benefit whether it’s selling the aforementioned t-shirts, or running for the local school board election.
Oy, suddenly I find being lost at sea and trying to survive on a deserted island more tranquil than these days.