I write a lot about indie publishing and entertainment from sources alternative from the mainstream for a reason.
Here are two examples why this is so important.
1) Some dude named Jeremy Hambly got sucker-punched at GenCon over YouTube videos he’s made over friggin’ Magic: The Gathering. Magic is a very nerdy card game. Hambly, it is alleged, harassed some cosplayer. From what I see, he’s made videos and comments about “fake nerd girls” sucking all the attention from thirsty geeks in order to drive Patreon donations. It’s his theory, and it got him banned from Magic events. It’s all really stupid, but of course he got called a Nazi or whatever and some jackass punched him.
Stupid though it might be, it matters for reasons we’ll get into below.
2) My very own friend, the writer Jon Del Arroz discovered several nasty personal attacks against him in a comic called Centipede from Dynamite Comics. Pretty filthy stuff, “cleverly” hidden in an alien language. You can read it here at Bounding Into Comics. It’s really mean and nasty and, of course, like, totally has nothing to do with politics, man! The publisher apologized profusely and seems to be making things right, the writer claims it was the letterer’s fault, and the letterer . . . blamed an intern.
People, this is a gaslight:
This is a poster for the movie Gaslight:
This is what “to gaslight” means:
Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or members of a group, hoping to make targets question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the target and delegitimize the target’s belief.
Instances may range from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred up to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim. The term owes its origin to Gas Light, a 1938 play and 1944 film. It has been used in clinical and research literature.
This is so out of hand, so egregious, and so preventable. All that had to happen was The Powers That Be enforced a single standard for all attendees, audience members, and creators, and didn’t discriminate on the basis of political affiliations.
But they don’t . . . and they do. So we get this.
I’m sorry, People need to get arrested (for assault) and lose their jobs, or at least be forced to issue a very public apology.
Calls for civility will get us nowhere. The perpetrators of this stuff need to be held to their own standard–hoisted by their own petard, if you will.
This is a petard:
This stuff, comic books and card games, might seem insignificant, but it matters because to pull out a nigh-overused axiom, politics is downstream from culture.
Say it with me now: IF YOU WANT TO CHANGE THE WORLD, GO INTO ENTERTAINMENT.
This stuff trickles down into the TV shows and movies you watch, the music you listen to, and the books you read. These attitudes spread far more through the use of stories than anything academics or politicians could ever dream of doing. This is why we have to keep the pressure on and keep supporting indie creators. The cultural gatekeepers are running scared, knowing that their stranglehold on entertainment is ending, and they won’t be able to push their particular hateful, fringe, kook, radical agenda anymore.
(Did I miss any adjectives? Let me know in the comments below!)