Related Articles

113 users responded in this post

Subscribe to this post comment rss or trackback url
mygif

I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently, mostly in regards to Tumblr.

On Tumblr, there’s a lot of people who consider themselves “part of a fandom” – you might be part of the Sherlock fandom, or part of the Doctor Who fandom. And apparently that means you have to love that thing to the exclusion of all else, think about that thing all the time, constantly talk about that thing…

It just doesn’t work for me. Because I like Doctor Who, sure. It’s fair to say that I like it more than the average person you’re going to find on the street. But I couldn’t possibly bring myself to be /defined/ by my enjoyment of one thing. I like comics. That doesn’t mean I’ve read every comic in the world, or that I only read comics, or that everything in my life is about comics.

Like things in the amount you like them. Don’t worry about how much other people like them.

mygif

No offense, Jim, but this is kind of… well, kind of bullshit.

I’m pretty sure the statement “all people who like X always like Y” is never true for any value of X or Y, even when X ⊆ Y. The only people who seem to believe otherwise are those seeking to define “nerd culture.”

Does anyone actually, seriously believe this? I mean, can you name some names of people who’ve said this and weren’t simply engaging in standard hyperbole?

I mean, fuck, this isn’t even true within individual works. People know it’s not true. It’s an unstated assumption that it isn’t true! Every comparative argument ever had anywhere is based on the underlying idea that there are disagreements and that not all people who like thing X also like thing Y.

Think about it for a minute, and you’ll see that nerd culture is a complete crock. You’re a geek if you’re passionate about nerd culture, and it’s nerd culture if geeks are passionate about it.

… seriously?

All subcultures work that way, dude. Goth culture. Punk culture. Sports culture. Car culture. The distinctions about what does and doesn’t fall into any given basket are both fluid and arbitrary, but they do EXIST.

It’s why every comics convention I attend has booths devoted to such random subjects as jewelry, used pornography, Japanese candy, and historical costumes. Because all comics fans are nerds, and all nerds like other nerdy things, and kilts are the exclusive domain of nerds because I guess they were on Monty Python once.

Sure, those booths just could be totally random.

Or their presence could mean that there’s significant crossover interest in all those things, and the people who are going to the trouble of setting up those booths know that and are taking advantage of it?

If this crossover interest didn’t exist, people would stop DOING that. Ever run a booth at a con? It’s hard work for, often, very little money.

But it’s pretty shitty for the rest of us–the people who just want to be hardcore fans of some things without conforming to some standard of nerdiness about all things. I don’t want to like all the things a nerd is supposed to like.

… who the hell is stopping you?

When did there start being a barrier to entry of nerdery? Honestly. Usually being a hardcore fan of any one of the many varied aspects of nerdery is enough to get your ticket punched.

There are, of course, the usual douchebags who will say things like “Oh, if you didn’t watch the original Doctor Who series you aren’t a REAL fan. You’re just some squeeing Tennant fan who wouldn’t recognize Tom Baker if he punched you in the mouth like you deserve.” But those statements are 1) often tongue in cheek, and 2) usually regarded as the bullshit they are by the wider nerd community.

I’ve been to comic-cons myself. Usually, telling the people you end up in random conversations with “Oh, I’m not a fan of that” won’t cause them to point at you and go “J’accuse!” although it may trigger arguing or proselytizing.

Being a Star Wars fan is only distinct from being a Star Wars nerd in that a Star Wars nerd seeks to aggrandize the act of liking Star Wars into some sort of lifelong discipline that should be respected.

Again, this is how all subcultures work.

No, you know what? Scratch that. That’s how all CULTURES work. Period.

This is the only issue that I think really matters in all the discussions about fake geek girls and geek primers and geeks canons.

Oh, is it? The misogyny doesn’t “really” matter? That’s not a major issue?

Nerdiness is not a quality people aspire to; it is what people settle for when they give up aspiring to be anything else.

I find it very hard not be insulted on a personal level by this sentence. Please explain to me when in my life I decided to “give up” on being anything else but a nerd when I started self-identifying that way. I am FASCINATED.

mygif

There’s a weirdly large amount of self-hatred born on the internet as regards this concept of nerd/geek/whatever culture. I’ll be the first to admit that the culture, such as it is, has plenty of foibles, and they should be addressed by those who are mature enough to do so, but that’s another matter from people who spend large portions of time blogging about Dr. Who or professional wrestling or what-have-you, then talk about how pathetic “nerds” are. The irony and hypocrisy are crippling. Any large enough group, and nerddom has gotten rather large in recent times, is going to have idiots and jerks to some degree, and such people tend to be more vocal than those who are reasonable. This is hardly reason to malign an entire section of people, especially one that such people are almost inescapably part of.

No one has to identify as nerd, geek, dork, or any of that stuff. They are clearly terms that were once used in a derogatory sense that have been claimed by the people in question, and for good or ill it stuck. As for me, I wouldn’t say I set out to be them, but as a result of the things I like and the things I do, I probably am. I don’t think it rules my life, and I try to be more than any stereotype. Still, it would be hard to deny that a lot of stuff nerds stereotypically enjoy are the things I enjoy. I hope this doesn’t automatically make me an immature, socially maladjusted creep who failed into my own personality, as the author seems to be suggesting, and I don’t think it has to mean that for anyone.

Is this a form of defensiveness? A desire to separate oneself from the belligerent gatekeepers who make us all look bad? If so, it’s a funny way of doing it. The sort of person who condemns geeks based on their hobbies and interests is likely to see no difference between the enlightened blogger who trashes bad nerds between their own nerdy writings and the greasy neckbeard who lives in their parents’ basement and harasses girls on X-Box Live.

If your point is simply that we are all individuals and don’t need to grab the whole culture to like some part of it, you’re right, but it’s possible to say that without the heavy wall of contempt towards a large yet undefined portion of your very readership.

mygif
Tim O'Neil said on February 4th, 2013 at 6:53 pm

Nerd is an insult. If you self-identify as a nerd, you have learned to love the master’s lash.

mygif

Nerd is an insult. If you self-identify as a nerd, you have learned to love the master’s lash.

There is, of course, the reclamation argument – as loath as I am to compare nerdity to actual real civil rights struggles.

mygif

Well, reclamation (technically ‘reclaimed word’ I believe) is a technical term, right?

All it means is that a word that used to be pejorative is being reclaimed by those it is pejorative towards as acceptable.

It doesn’t require comparing nerdery to actual real civil rights struggles at all.

Which is good, because to do so is awful and inappropriate. I loathe Big Bang Theory, but people who refer to it as “nerd blackface” need a serious reality check.

mygif

You know, you can be a nerd all you want, just don’t be a dick about it. That’s what posts like this one are all about.

mygif

Look, here’s the thing: “nerd culture” these days is just culture, period. Marvel’s Avengers movie raked in over a billion dollars worldwide and its success has ensured that we’re going to see something like six more Marvel movies at least and a TV show. The video games industry gives Hollywood pause for thought. Computers, the internet, and the descendants of BBSs are a pervasive part of western culture. Gadgets and gizmos are trendy, and bragging about your smartphone’s capabilities is considered mainstream (but still annoying, seriously, nobody fucking cares about your phone).

Yeah, there are some “nerdy” things that never made the jump and never will…tabletop roleplaying games are a great example of this, there’s never going to be some big D&D revival where sitting around a table rolling dice is as big as it was back in the 80s when D&D was at its peak (no seriously, D&D was actually a big deal at one point, it sold millions of copies and got sold in toy stores and the Sears catalog, they gave it an action figure line and a TV show and everything), but I don’t feel that’s because D&D is “too nerdy” so much as “D&D is an enormous fucking pain in the ass to set up and play compared to other games.” And I say this as someone who regularly plays tabletop RPGs, but in this day and age of World of Warcraft and the Livejournal freeform RP, you have to be a certain stripe of dedicated to clear six hours from your schedule every Saturday to sit around a table and roll dice. But World of Warcraft, which is chock-full of dwarves and elves and dragons and nerdy references and such, is STAGGERINGLY popular, so you can’t say “well elves and dwarves and dragons are just too nerdy and that’s why people don’t play D&D.”

mygif
Walter Kovacs said on February 4th, 2013 at 8:04 pm

“You know, you can be a nerd all you want, just don’t be a dick about it. That’s what posts like this one are all about.”

Except for the part at the end that says people only identify as nerds because they are misfits that can’t fit into normal society anyway. Thus undermining the whole thing, and instead making it seem like a “screw you, I don’t want to be in your club anyway, you guys are losers”

mygif

Who DOES want to be in a club full of people that unironically worry about Fake Nerd Girls, compare The Big Bang Theory to blackface, and sneer down their noses at others for preferring a different way to pretend to be an elf than they do?

mygif
Walter Kovacs said on February 4th, 2013 at 8:26 pm

Nerd Culture is like Pop Culture. Just because many things fall into Popular Culture doesn’t mean that EVERYONE who likes one pop culture thing likes ALL pop culture things. Nerdy stuff is, basically, just a different niche that, traditionally, is outside the mainstream. Just like there are alternative music genres that don’t top the charts on the regular basis, there are genres that are ‘for the nerds’. Fantasy and Science Fiction aren’t normally the top genres in film, TV or books … but in ‘nerd culture’, those are the top choices.

Things get a little wonky when some of these niche genres cross over into the mainstream. Star Trek’s reboot, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, the various comic book movies … lots of nerd genres have crossed over into the mainstream.

However, that doesn’t mean that suddenly other parts of mainstream culture are suddenly part of nerd culture, or vice versa. It just means that, in the Venn diagram, there are two cultural circles touching.

And, people, since they don’t really fall into neat packages, are likely attracted to a variety of things. However, if they like a LOT of geek stuff, they may self-identify as geeks, or nerds. Just like someone that enjoys country music, line dancing, and the blue collar comedy tour MIGHT self-identify as a redneck, even if they don’t give a crap about Nascar or Football.

The big thing is that, in a world of the DVR, on demand, hundreds of cable channels, Netflix, Hulu, Youtube … the very idea of mainstream is already a bit tenuous. Niche entertainment is the rule instead of the exception at this point. There are still some big mainstream tentpoles, like the Superbowl, and some summer blockbusters, but a lot of stuff is aimed at a small dedicated audience is content with servicing that niche and living comfortably if not striking it rich.

So the counterculture and pop culture are a lot murkier, since a lot of the cult niches, alternative ideas and counter culture is mined for mainstream stuff. So, you can’t just define things by their relative popularity as what is pop, what is alternative, etc …

Long story short, lots of old cultural lines are being blurred by the changes in the way media is delivered and consumed. Still, there is a traditional ‘idea’ of nerdy things, and no one but the strawiest of straw men thinks you have to like all of them to be a nerd, or that liking any of them makes you a nerd. Nerdness often involves an extra appreciation for nerd culture, often because of dissatisfaction with mainstream culture. Finding something you enjoy, when the stuff you are ‘supposed’ to like isn’t enjoyable, is a great thing. People don’t fight to keep American Idol on the air, because they don’t have to. But when one of the few shows you DO enjoy gets cancelled, you fight for it, because if you only enjoy 10% of what they put on TV, you might fight a little harder than someone that enjoys most of what is put out. I’m not saying that mainstream audiences are lazy, or complacent, or take what they are given. I’m saying, that everyone has different tastes. And just like a vegan going out for dinner, when your tastes don’t line up with the majority, you often end up with very few options that are for you.

mygif
Walter Kovacs said on February 4th, 2013 at 8:34 pm

“Who DOES want to be in a club full of people that unironically worry about Fake Nerd Girls, compare The Big Bang Theory to blackface, and sneer down their noses at others for preferring a different way to pretend to be an elf than they do?”

No one, but those aren’t the only people that are in the ‘club’. In fact most in the club don’t want to be in the same group as those people either. There are a lot of Catholics that didn’t leave their ‘club’ because of the MUCH more horrible things done by some of their membership.

mygif

Also, I can’t help but notice that the same people who fight so vociferously about generalization and its wickedness are the ones spouting off about how all nerds are these terrible trolls who are sexist, racist, and childish. Can’t have it both ways, guys. If liking Star Wars doesn’t mean you necessarily like Star Trek, liking any amount of weird, unpopular stuff doesn’t make you a terrible person by default either. I still question what saying things like this accomplishes except taking personally the actions of the absolute worst people, who, again, are present everywhere.

mygif

“Nerd Culture” will often attract people with similar mindsets but the “culture” is hardly as homogonous as some make it out to be.

I like video games well enough but I can’t really tell the difference between Halo and Half Life. I’d rather play Tetris than shoot at monsters anyway.

I love Star Wars (not counting the prequels, of course) and used to even go so far as to read the extended universe novels. I liked the last Star Trek movie well enough but I’d generally zone out back when my old high school buddies would start talking about Klingons. I’m sure most of them did the same when I talked to my one comic-reading high school friend about Alan Moore or Spider-Man.

I inherited my love of Monty Python from my non-geek father. While most of my old high school friends liked them, the neediest of my current circle of friends either hate it or haven’t heard of them.

I had a college roommate who didn’t understand my addiction to comic message boards any more than I did his Everquest fixation.

I know people who get defensive because they think the Big Bang Theory is making fun of them. I know some people who acknowledge that they’re huge nerds and love the show.

Obsessing over stats in Fantasy Football is every bit as geeky as obsessing over stats in Final Fantasy. One of them is considered to be socially acceptable and the other is “nerdy”.

mygif

“No one, but those aren’t the only people that are in the ‘club’. In fact most in the club don’t want to be in the same group as those people either. There are a lot of Catholics that didn’t leave their ‘club’ because of the MUCH more horrible things done by some of their membership.”

But the big problem with the numerous controversies within the Catholic church isn’t “there are people in the club that do bad things,” it’s that “there are people in the club that do bad things, and then the club does everything it can to shield those people from the consequences of their actions.” That is to say that being a Catholic doesn’t mean “oh, you’re a bad person like them” but if you want to self-identify as a part of the Catholic Church (that is, as a member of the club) then you pretty much have to deal with the fact that your club goes out of its way to protect child molesters.

We aren’t talking about “being a nerd” here, we’re talking about “Nerd Culture.” Now unlike the Catholic church, Nerd Culture doesn’t have a central seat of authority (thank god for small favors), but within its nebulous confines there’s still the same sense of “well yes, these people may do bad things, but they’re part of the club, see, so we can’t kick them out because that would be ostracism and ostracism is wrong.”

mygif

To be fair, kilts aren’t strictly a nerdy thing. You also see them quite a bit in kink culture. Although there does seem to be more than a little overlap between the nerd and kink cultures.

mygif

When I read the title of this post, my first reaction was “what, another one of these?”
There has been what can only be called a glut of this type of definition-wankery blog post all around the nerdosphere (sorry) the past few months, and this post especially carries more than a whiff of a stampede of crypto-nice-guys rushing to distance themselves from “those creepy guys over there” when perhaps disavowing the creep-factor as such an accepted part of the definition of the subculture is the better way to go.

mygif

Slightly off-topic, but today I was told that real nerd girls are so rare as to be negligible, and that if female nerds get chased out of fandom by aggressive bullying then that means they weren’t really nerds to begin with. I guess people really can’t let go of the “no true Scotsman nerd” fallacy.

mygif
Heksefatter said on February 5th, 2013 at 1:57 am

I don’t get this. As Murc pointed out, the criticism that Jim raised against the concept of “nerd culture” is true for all cultures. Subcultures. National cultures. Whatever.

The claim that the term is used as a gatekeeper-concept to keep others out, doesn’t withstand scrutiny. I don’t mind using terms like “nerd culture.” Yet I don’t really like Star Trek, Magic Cards, Doctor Who, World of Warcraft and many other things. No-one ever bothered me about that. Maybe I am just not part of the in-crowd of nerd culture, but so what?

I do despise it when nerds are purists who feel offended that a pretty girl goes to a comic con without being sufficiently nerdy. That’s apparently been a problem and the misogyny that I’ve seen there is loathesome. But that’s not a reason to describe the very concept of nerd culture as somehow excluding and hostile.

mygif

I find it kind of weird that some people are trying to split hairs between “yes, there ARE plenty of nerds who are horrible, miserable people prone to gatekeeper behavior with a fragrant splash of misogyny” and “but that doesn’t mean anything is wrong with nerd culture!” Where do you think those people had their shitty behavior and attitudes reinforced? Do you think that multiple people all just spontaneously invented the concept of the Fake Geek Girl simultaneously or something? Or is it more likely that nerd culture is, at the very least, actually quite tolerant of behavior like this and at worst continues to promulgate it with outcries of “nerd blackface” and “I’m not a sexist, but”.

mygif
Ian Austin said on February 5th, 2013 at 2:58 am

“give up aspiring to be anything else.’

… seriously?

So by your logic, as I identify as a nerd, I should give up being a writer because clearly as a nerd I can only aspire to things and any success I’ve had clearly hasn’t happened.

mygif

I loathe Big Bang Theory, but people who refer to it as “nerd blackface” need a serious reality check.

Yeah, really. If it’s anything it’s nerd Amos n’ Andy, if you’re going to make any comparison of the sort.

But of course we really shouldn’t. Nerds are only an oppressed class to those people too stupid to figure out that high school ends.

mygif

kilts are the exclusive domain of nerds

I believe you’ll find that anyone from Scotland will hugely disagree with you. I mean, I was one of the few guys at my graduation from a Scots university who didn’t wear a kilt — and that was only because I was looking for a change. Try telling that to a Scottish rugby fan or something.

mygif
Heksefatter said on February 5th, 2013 at 11:44 am

@Kai

I don’t think anyone is saying that there’s nothing wrong with nerd culture. At least not how I’m reading it. But I don’t think there are any cultures or subcultures that don’t have unpleasant aspects.

Nerd culture has a misogynistic streak. I’d argue that the homophobic streak is far worse. However, I read the original blog post that the very idea of nerd culture is somehow unsavory. And that’s an entirely different viewpoint.

mygif

“I don’t think anyone is saying that there’s nothing wrong with nerd culture. At least not how I’m reading it. But I don’t think there are any cultures or subcultures that don’t have unpleasant aspects.”

Acknowledging the latter doesn’t obviate or diminish the former though. Sure, other cultures have problems, but this isn’t a discussion about them. Nerd culture may not be unique in this regard, but that still doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have problems.

“Nerd culture has a misogynistic streak. I’d argue that the homophobic streak is far worse.”

And a racist streak, let’s not overlook that! I remember when DC Comics, back before they jumped all over this “New 52″ business, tapped John Rogers of Leverage fame (among other things) to pen the new Blue Beetles series. If you haven’t read Rogers’ Blue Beetle run you really should, it’s some of the best comics to come out in, dang, I want to say a decade or so. It’s just superbly well-written superhero stuff with an excellent cast of characters and great dialogue, as you’d expect from John Rogers.

You know what one of the most common responses I saw online to this excellent series was? “DC killing Ted Kord and making Jaime Reyes the new Blue Beetle is just pandering to the PC crowd!” A whole lot of people were really upset for some reason that DC had given one of their superhero identities…not even a big-shot A-lister either, sorry Blue Beetle fans…to a Hispanic kid.

Oh man, if you called them on their racist bullshit you’d hear every denial under the sun for why it totally wasn’t racist for a bunch of white guys to sit around bitching about how awful it was that this character was Hispanic and not Caucasian, but I have a sneaking suspicion that there may have been some racism involved. Just a touch.

And then later, of course, there’d be Miles Morales as Spider-Man giving us the opportunity to see them go through this same song-and-dance alllllllll over again. Oh, and Idris Elba as Heimdall in the Thor movie, can’t forget that. And there was Michael Clarke Duncan as the Kingpin, there was a lot of bitching about that as I recall. And you don’t really have to wander very far in the tabletop roleplaying game hobby to find people willing to shout down the idea of making RPG art more diverse than “95% white dudes and the occasional token scantily-dressed sorceress of ambiguous ethnicity and maybe a black guy in there somewhere.”

mygif
Heksefatter said on February 5th, 2013 at 5:06 pm

@Kai

First of all, I don’t agree that if I acknowledge that there are some unpleasant parts of nerd culture, it means that just using the term “nerd culture” is exclusionary.

As for the racism of nerd culture, it exists, but it is more a special aspect of popular culture. I am afraid I haven’t read most of the comics you’ve mentioned, though. I guess that I am not enough of a nerd.

mygif

The point isn’t “there are some unpleasant parts of nerd culture.” Saying “there are unpleasant parts of [CULTURE]” is like saying “there is water that’s wet.” It’s a gimme that in any culture there’s unpleasantness, it goes with the territory. The point is that “Nerd Culture,” the amorphous social construct, fosters stuff like this. It’s full of people who will totally agree that fake nerd girls are a thing that exists and that you’re right to suspect attractive women at conventions of being manipulative harpies out to toy with your emotions, full of people who will back you to the hilt when you post a rambling screed about how people who play [ROLEPLAYING GAME EDITION] are noob scrub WoW babbies who should get the fuck out of the hobby or about how the Big Bang Theory is just like blackface because. The point isn’t that being a nerd sucks, it’s that Nerd Culture sucks because Nerd Culture is full of dumb shit like that. Not a little dumb shit, a lot of dumb shit, and a lot of Nerd Culture adherents consider that stuff part and parcel of the experience.

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 5th, 2013 at 6:49 pm

“Nerdiness is not a quality people aspire to; it is what people settle for when they give up aspiring to be anything else.”

Speaking of being self-loathing, hypocritical, reductive and exclusionary …

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 5th, 2013 at 7:01 pm

As a friend of mine pointed out upon reading this, a hint for future reference: If you’re writing on a blog dedicated to video games, TV and comic books, which frequently tags its posts “general nerd stuff,” and you’re writing a column debating what is or is not a nerd, then YOU’RE A NERD.

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 5th, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Moreover, to quote a female friend of mine, to whom I just linked this essay:

That attitude is also why there’s this whole “fake geek girl” thing and why it’s always about judging her looks, because of the idea that geekiness/nerdiness are things that people “settle for” because they’re losers, or unattractive, or can’t do “cool” things, rather than an INTEREST that people LIKE and do for FUN. So they go “she’s pretty enough she should be shopping, or dating, or clubbing” or whatever they imagine pretty girls do (prolly romp around our perfectly cleaned condos in our lingerie) and therefore are only at conventions to TAUNT MEN or “slum” or other things, b/c they go “she could be doing other things if she wanted! she could be clubbing! clearly she would never want to be a geek!” It’s not just insulting to them, it’s insulting to every geek, the idea that our interests are only a consolation prize.

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 5th, 2013 at 7:10 pm

At this point, we’re about two steps away from Grant Morrison reiterating his comparison of geeks to Hitler.

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 5th, 2013 at 7:15 pm

The amount of “I’M not a nerd!” denialism makes me realize that an entire generation of Peter Parkers grew up wanting nothing more than to be Flash Thompson.

mygif

So, what do people think about the reaction to the new GoDaddy.com commercial? And the commercial itself of course.

mygif

Yeah, I can totally see how the people who don’t want to be lumped in with a bunch of whiny, sexist, misogynist, casually racist, social maladjusts must just be in denial over their true nature, that’s exactly it.

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 5th, 2013 at 8:25 pm

“Yeah, I can totally see how the people who don’t want to be lumped in with a bunch of whiny, sexist, misogynist, casually racist, social maladjusts must just be in denial over their true nature, that’s exactly it.”

Because, of course, these traits are entirely unique to nerd-dom, and not at all in evidence in, say, the wannabe-frat-boy douche-bag dude-bro mentality of modern patriarchal culture overall. Because THAT would mean that, rather than having a socially acceptable excuse to pick on geeks in particular, we’d have to examine and challenge everything that is fundamentally sick and rotten at the heart of our culture’s definitions of manhood in general, and God forbid we ever take an honest enough look at our rape culture in order to do THAT!

You worthless myopic shithead.

mygif

And out come the ad hominem attacks once more. Man, there’s sure been a lot of that going around lately.

“B-b-but other people are jerks too!” Yes, K-Box, they sure are. So what do you want, applause for not being any worse than other assholes? Yeah, that’s something to be proud of right there. Nerd Culture: no worse than other examples of organized douchebaggery in action.

mygif

“Yeah, I can totally see how the people who don’t want to be lumped in with a bunch of…”

Wait a second, hasn’t your whole thing in this thread been to act as a champion of lumping-in?

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 5th, 2013 at 8:54 pm

“And out come the ad hominem attacks once more.”

Given that you led the field on that score, it’s the height of hypocrisy to start complaining about it now.

“So what do you want, applause for not being any worse than other assholes?”

No, what I want is an honest acknowledgement that, however much misogynistic assholishness I will absolutely agree is undeniably inevidence in nerd culture, it is symptomatic of what exists in the OVERALL culture, and claiming otherwise shows that the ONLY reason you’re expressing ANY concern over cultural misogyny in THIS instance is because it allows you to grind your axe against nerds, or else you’d be attacking the CAUSE rather than the SYMPTOMS. It’s not a fucking DODGE to DIAGNOSE THE PROBLEM CORRECTLY, or at least it’s not if you actually care about SOLVING the problem, which I don’t think you do.

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 5th, 2013 at 8:54 pm

“Wait a second, hasn’t your whole thing in this thread been to act as a champion of lumping-in?”

Don’t hold him to his own standards. He doesn’t like that.

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 5th, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Because here’s ONE really easy and simple solution for the ugliness that pervades both nerd culture and popular culture overall; when you see stories that perpetuate racism and sexism and homophobia and misogyny and the like, CALL THAT SHIT OUT. I’ve been doing that for so long that several comics writers now utter my name as an epithet, and ironically enough, it’s the fans who bother to take issue with things like rapey stories or demeaning portrayals of female characters who get accused of being “nerds” for “taking it too seriously.”

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 5th, 2013 at 9:02 pm

Because — surprise, surprise — when we feed our own heads a steady diet of stories in which the female love interests of the male protagonists are presented as nothing more than either a) prizes to be won or b) objects to be overcome, gee, it’s no wonder that male fans might develop unhealthy attitudes toward women, regardless of how authentic or fake their levels of geekiness might well be.

mygif

“Wait a second, hasn’t your whole thing in this thread been to act as a champion of lumping-in?”

Pretty sure the point I’ve been driving at in this thread is that being a nerd doesn’t have to mean being a part of Nerd Culture and that plenty of people enjoy “nerdy” activities without feeling the need to plaster themselves all over with the Nerd label, and that you can indeed criticize Nerd Culture for its failings without that being some grand attack on nerds everywhere.

Like, just because you don’t think the fact that you can recite Doctor Who trivia and know how to play Dungeons & Dragons is something worth exalting doesn’t mean you have to treat it like some kind of secret shame either, but I can completely and totally understand why somebody who happens to like the Avengers and Star Trek might look at what’s considered to be “Nerd Culture” and go “Woah shit, no thanks” the same way somebody might feel a spiritual leaning towards Catholicism but think that the Catholic Church isn’t an organization they want to have any truck with.

mygif

“Given that you led the field on that score, it’s the height of hypocrisy to start complaining about it now.”

You can point me out to where, in this discussion, I got huffy and called someone a worthless myopic shithead and I’ll be much obliged since I seem to have forgotten all about that. Or I can go ahead and assume that “hypocrisy” is one of those things you don’t actually understand along with “ad hominem.”

“No, what I want is an honest acknowledgement that, however much misogynistic assholishness I will absolutely agree is undeniably inevidence in nerd culture, it is symptomatic of what exists in the OVERALL culture, and claiming otherwise shows that the ONLY reason you’re expressing ANY concern over cultural misogyny in THIS instance is because it allows you to grind your axe against nerds, or else you’d be attacking the CAUSE rather than the SYMPTOMS. It’s not a fucking DODGE to DIAGNOSE THE PROBLEM CORRECTLY, or at least it’s not if you actually care about SOLVING the problem, which I don’t think you do.”

Oh I see, so this is basically just a variation on the old “Why are you complaining about this thing here when there are STARVING PEOPLE IN AFRICA” gambit. Why are you complaining about Nerd Culture being terrible when there’s terrible culture EVERYWHERE, huh?

Because Nerd Culture is the topic on the table. It has nothing to do with denying that other cultures evince similarly shitty behavior, and going back over my posts to this discussion I don’t believe I see anything where I say that Nerd Culture is somehow unique in its awfulness, that seems to be an axe that you’ve brought here to grind K-Box, and judging by the sheer volume of your posts here I get the impression you’ve been itching to grind it for a while now.

But given that the topic isn’t “hey, let’s talk about patriarchy in the First World” but “what the fuck’s up with Nerd Culture,” I don’t think it’s fallacious to not spend time digressing on other cultures except to point out that nerddom is not unique and hey, look at that, plenty of people have already gone and done exactly that. Great, we’re all on the same page then.

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 5th, 2013 at 9:16 pm

When certain Rose Tyler fans were dumping racist bullshit all over Martha Jones, it wasn’t because Doctor Who fans are racist, but rather — much like the similar proportion of Kirk/Spock fans, within the larger Star Trek fandom, who had equally ugly words for Uhura in the JJ Abrams reboot — it was because they were spoiled white people who resented the characters of color for getting in the way of their OTP ships between the cute alien boys and their blonde Mary Sues.

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 5th, 2013 at 9:31 pm

“You can point me out to where, in this discussion, I got huffy and called someone a worthless myopic shithead and I’ll be much obliged since I seem to have forgotten all about that.”

I dismissed you as a worthless myopic shithead with every ounce as much evidence, from your own conduct on this thread, as you denounced “nerd culture” as a whole to be the whiny singular repository of all the things that you hate.

“Oh I see, so this is basically just a variation on the old ‘Why are you complaining about this thing here when there are STARVING PEOPLE IN AFRICA’ gambit. Why are you complaining about Nerd Culture being terrible when there’s terrible culture EVERYWHERE, huh?”

No, that’s not what I’m saying, and the only way you could possibly read it that way is if you’re either illiterate or else willfully misreading my words in bad faith. You SKIPPED OVER the very same post where I explained HOW to call out the bullshit in nerd culture, which DOES matter, WITHOUT pretending that it’s UNIQUE to nerd culture. You CAN do that! And as I already said, I have BEEN doing that for the better part of a DECADE. I’ve got a goddamned blog devoted to it and everything.

“But given that the topic isn’t ‘hey, let’s talk about patriarchy in the First World’ but ‘what the fuck’s up with Nerd Culture [...]‘”

Jesus, you really ARE an idiot. The two are LINKED. They are INDIVISIBLE. WHENEVER I talk about what’s wrong with modern superhero comics, it almost INEVITABLY leads to a discussion of the implicitly sexist, racist, homophobic sociopolitical views that far too many of those authors and their fans are endorsing, whether they mean to do so or not. You think I’m using the broader real-world context of institutional biases to excuse what’s wrong with these stories and their fans? It’s exactly the OPPOSITE; I say we should ALWAYS use the flaws of these stories and their fans to attack institutional biases, AS I HAVE SPENT SEVERAL YEARS DOING. Personally, I find your LACK of ambition and social conscience on this score to be WEAK and COWARDLY. If you’re going to talk social justice, DO IT. Go hard or GO THE FUCK HOME.

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 5th, 2013 at 9:37 pm

… Which is to say, I believe we should be complaining about shitty comic book stories IN THE SAME BREATH that we complain about all that’s wrong in Africa, especially when casually racist white writers see fit to use Marvel franchise titles like the X-MEN to BLAME Africans for their own motherfucking oppression:

http://scans-daily.dreamwidth.org/1940641.html

mygif

By the way, K-Box’s reaction up here? Is exactly what happens whenever you actively call out examples of shitty nerd behavior, like the whole fake geek girl thing we’ve had here and elsewhere. Invariably, without fail, you get people standing up and shrieking about how it’s not fair, that other people do this stuff too, that if you were really concerned you’d be focused on other stuff, and on and on and on. Oh, and lots of name-calling and insults, that too.

Firstly, “other people do it to” is a tremendously shitty excuse for any bad behavior, period. It’s a grasping attempt to shove the spotlight away from your own failings and onto others, and yet it’s a common knee-jerk reaction whenever anyone decides to point out the problematic elements of Nerd Culture, be they sexist, racist, or homophobic. Shift the spotlight, recontextualize the argument, anything but acknowledge that hey, your subculture might actually have a problem.

Beyond that is the fact that Nerd Culture is frequently billed by its more enthusiastic supporters as an all-inclusive sort of thing, that Nerd Culture is willing and ready to embrace you no matter who you are. We don’t care how you spent your free periods in school, we don’t care if you didn’t get invited to the cool parties, we don’t care if you got picked last for kickball or got picked on in the halls or if you’d rather read Wheel of Time than Twilight, we are here for you. Yes, there are problematic elements in all sorts of cultures all around the world, but if we’re talking about Nerd Culture in particular (which we are), Nerd Culture likes to put on a face of open-mindedness and acceptance, where they don’t care if you’re black, white, Hispanic, any stripe of GLBT, what edition of D&D you play, whether you like Trek or Wars, hey, come on in, there’s room for everybody.

And then it turns out that no, actually, it’s full of gatekeeper behavior, from the trivial (which edition of D&D you play) to the not-at-all casual (Fake Geek Girls: Threat or Menace? The PC Police giving superhero identities to those durn minorities. Casual homophobia. Etc.).

So Nerd Culture may, in execution, be nothing special compared to wider civilization at large, but it sure likes to put on airs that it is.

mygif

Nerd culture has very low expectations of itself and excessive high, downright unobtainable expectations of everything else. Nerds like to live down to a low bar for themselves and demand a high bar for everyone else then fall back on infantile excuses for shitty behaviour. There is nothing magically special about being a nerd. It could be a timeless vibrant counter culture if it wasn’t for the self reinforcing pathetic.

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 6th, 2013 at 12:19 am

“By the way, K-Box’s reaction up here? Is exactly what happens whenever you actively call out examples of shitty nerd behavior [...]”

You mean, you get called out for KNOWINGLY and INTENTIONALLY evading the issue, as you’re doing by PURPOSEFULLY misrepresenting my position even after I’ve PROVEN that you’re misrepresenting me?

“Firstly, ‘other people do it to’ is a tremendously shitty excuse for any bad behavior, period.”

Except THAT’S NOT WHAT I FUCKING SAID, you lying sack of shit, and the fact that you’re STILL claiming that this is my position, even after I EXPLAINED TO YOU IN DETAIL that it’s not, simply proves that YOU YOURSELF KNOW FOR A FACT THAT YOU’RE wrong, which is why I feel not only PERMITTED, but OBLIGATED to insult you.

You CAN and SHOULD call out shitty behavior in nerds and nerd culture, just as you should in ALL cultures, and just as I have done for YEARS. However, unlike you, I don’t believe in letting the BROADER culture off the hook. You don’t actually CARE about ANY of these social justice issues, which is why you’re OPPOSED to considering how the patriarchy and rape culture and institutionalized racism and pervasive societal biases such as homophobia and the like have managed to filter down into the espoused outlooks of even those fans and creators who claim to be enlightened. No matter WHICH subculture is being examined, at the same time that we DON’T let individual transgressors off the hook, we ALSO don’t turn a blind eye to the sociopolitical establishment that not only ALLOWS, but ENCOURAGES that kind of bullshit from them. You don’t WANT to admit that the same thing that’s wrong with nerd culture is what’s wrong with sports culture and with the fact that our elected officials can talk about “legitimate rape” and the like, because you NEED to believe that nerds came by their icky beliefs in a VACUUM, PURELY as a result of what MAKES them nerds, because if what’s wrong with nerds is what’s wrong with AMERICA, then you’ve lost your stress-relieving punching-bag, haven’t you?

And if you think I haven’t been calling out the racism and sexism and homophobia of nerd culture, you should talk with the editorial staff of Marvel Comics for a start, since I’ve been pointing out their casually racist portrayals of black men and Hispanic women, along with their repeated inclusion of rape as a premise for sitcom laughs, for YEARS. Nerd culture starts with the stories themselves, and the stories themselves have been GARBAGE for the past decade at least, full of rape and violence against women and characters of color getting shitcanned in favor of restoring familiar white favorites in those roles, and that woman-hating whitewashing is filtering down into the fandom, and I have been screaming myself hoarse about that shit since George W. Bush was still in his first term, but you CAN’T admit that, because if you DO, then your whole strawman argument against me falls flat the fuck apart.

Because a mere apologist for nerd culture would not explore how fans, creators and the general “mainstream” audience each are responsible for fucking up Wonder Woman’s character over the years:

http://box-in-the-box.livejournal.com/382922.html

Or how DC was being shitheaded in alienating both prospective and existing female fans even before Dan DiDio decided to make the ritualistic dismemberment of Lois Lane a new tradition in the Superman franchise for the “New 52:”

http://box-in-the-box.livejournal.com/463269.html

But then, why am I even bothering to argue with you using FACTS or REASONS or even appeals to basic decency, since you’re so hell-bent on shoehorning me into the mold of the strawman you’ve already got in mind that you’ll no doubt disregard every single thing I say that contradicts your narrative.

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 6th, 2013 at 12:26 am

… But really, what’s most hilarious is that you’re trying to cast me as an APOLOGIST for nerd culture, as though I’m objecting to the fact that you’re being too CRITICAL of it, when in point of fact, I see YOU as being GUTLESS for LIMITING the scope of your criticisms, and not complaining LOUDLY or often ENOUGH. Again, you’re MYOPIC and WORTHLESS if you’re not CONSTANTLY calling out the broader culture that’s promoting the bad behavior of these subcultures. As far as I’m concerned, you might as well be full-throatedly DEFENDING rape culture yourself.

mygif
Candlejack said on February 6th, 2013 at 12:44 am

Wow, I wasn’t sure who was right, but then K-Box started swearing and using all-caps and directly attacking people for (what s/he thinks are) their beliefs and behaviors based entirely on a handful of posts on the internet, and I was totally swayed!

Wait, no, that’s not the word I’m looking for.

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 6th, 2013 at 12:54 am

“Wow, I wasn’t sure who was right, but then K-Box started swearing and using all-caps and directly attacking people for (what s/he thinks are) their beliefs and behaviors based entirely on a handful of posts on the internet, and I was totally swayed!”

But please, feel free to ignore all the actual points I raised, in favor of trying to be snarky, especially while turning a blind eye to the fact that Kai and others were already being more than insulting by lumping people together under conveniently witless and stereotypical headings for their own purposes.

Or go fuck yourself. Either one. :)

mygif

“Wow, I wasn’t sure who was right, but then K-Box started swearing and using all-caps and directly attacking people for (what s/he thinks are) their beliefs and behaviors based entirely on a handful of posts on the internet, and I was totally swayed!

Wait, no, that’s not the word I’m looking for.”

No no, don’t you see? Calling out Nerd Culture’s promulgation of shitty behavior in a discussion explicitly about Nerd Culture without also stopping to equally condemn every other instance of shitty social behavior ever enacted by everyone ever is exactly the same thing as defending rape culture. It’s so obvious if you just think about it.

mygif
Candlejack said on February 6th, 2013 at 1:02 am

Your point seems to be that people talking about the bad parts of nerd culture on a thread about the bad parts of nerd culture are clearly horrible people because they’re TOTALLY IGNORING REAL PROBLEMS BECAUSE NOBODY CAN HAVE MORE THAN ONE CONCERN AT A TIME and also that HAVING A NEGATIVE VIEW OF NERD CULTURE IS EXACTLY THE SAME AS HATING INDIVIDUAL NERDS. Is that about right, or did I miss something?

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 6th, 2013 at 1:04 am

“Calling out Nerd Culture’s promulgation of shitty behavior in a discussion explicitly about Nerd Culture without also stopping to equally condemn every other instance of shitty social behavior ever enacted by everyone ever is exactly the same thing as defending rape culture.”

*Shrugs* I manage to do it. The fact that YOU say you can’t tells me that you’re a lazy, whining, useless quitter.

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 6th, 2013 at 1:09 am

“Your point seems to be that people talking about the bad parts of nerd culture on a thread about the bad parts of nerd culture are clearly horrible people because they’re TOTALLY IGNORING REAL PROBLEMS BECAUSE NOBODY CAN HAVE MORE THAN ONE CONCERN AT A TIME and also that HAVING A NEGATIVE VIEW OF NERD CULTURE IS EXACTLY THE SAME AS HATING INDIVIDUAL NERDS. Is that about right, or did I miss something?”

No, that’s actually exactly the OPPOSITE of the point that I was making which I ALREADY EXPLAINED earlier on this same thread, which means that, like Kai, you’re either illiterate or reading my words in bad faith.

My ENTIRE POINT is that EVERYONE should have MULTIPLE concerns at the same time, EXPLICITLY EXPRESSED in their arguments, and that you CAN hate individual nerds (and SHOULD, depending upon the individual nerds in question) WITHOUT hating nerd culture. For as much as you bust on me for breaking out the capslock, your dumb ass still seems to need it in order to get what the fuck I’m saying.

mygif
Candlejack said on February 6th, 2013 at 1:27 am

Clearly the caps lock did not, in fact, help get your point across. Maybe you should try less caps lock, and maybe my eyes wouldn’t glaze over before I’m half-through your posts. Or maybe I’m just winding you up.

*shrug* I find nerd culture to often be toxic, even though many–I would say most–individual nerds are fine people. Nothing you’ve said has convinced me otherwise. But by all means, keep screaming at me. Maybe you’ll accidentally hit a nerve, though I doubt it; you don’t know me (or anybody else here) well enough to properly insult me.

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 6th, 2013 at 2:00 am

“I find nerd culture to often be toxic, even though many–I would say most–individual nerds are fine people. Nothing you’ve said has convinced me otherwise.”

Perhaps if you’d focused less on trying to wind me up and more on employing your vast powers of basic literacy to actually read what I wrote, you’d see that nothing I said disagrees with this, except perhaps for our respective attributions of the source of the toxicity. As I’ve already said in this thread (several times over by now, in fact), I see it as a top-down poisoning of the well, with the institutionalized racism and sexism and homophobia of our overall mainstream culture infecting the nerd subculture as much as any other, and with the keepers of the franchises around which the nerd fandoms revolve serving as transmission agents by choosing the degree to which they’ll pass on the worst of the broader culture’s objectification of women and casually racist treatments of characters of color and vile ideals of manhood overall in their stories. When Mark Millar’s disgusting swill becomes critically acclaimed by a plurality of comics fandom, it should be no mystery that they have some pretty fucked-up attitudes about women, not only because of how the stories shape our mindsets, but also because of which fans are drawn in, and which fans choose to leave over it.

In that sense, it’s quite similar to the scumbag dregs of American political discourse, who were fostered by the worst opportunists among our elected officials for as long as it was in their self-interests to do so, but which have bit those same special interests on the ass now that they’ve created an explicitly “pro-rape” voting bloc that will use the primaries to reject anyone who might be palatable to the more moderate electorate. To whatever extent it’s become a grass-roots movement, it started out as a fully establishment-supported one, because even three decades ago, no one was idiot enough to run for office while saying inhumanly evil shit like “some girls rape easy.”

Like the culture of bullying which leads gay teens to kill themselves, the culture of intra-nerd-culture bullying, of nerds trying to act as gatekeepers and shun “fake geek girls” and all the other mean-spirited, ugly behavior that I have acknowledged from the first is very much a reality here, only happens because it is not only allowed, but encouraged by the broader social context. As much as I absolutely believe that those who bully gay teens should be held accountable for driving them to suicide, I also think that the schools themselves should be held legally and morally accountable, because once you have more than a certain number of gay teen suicides at a given school, then we must admit that the school’s explicit goal is to drive those poor kids to kill themselves. Likewise, when even a subculture that claims to be more inclusive than the rest is every bit as guilty, if not more so, of all sorts of exclusionary prejudices and bullying, then we must admit that it is taking its cues from the broader culture, which unquestionably teaches nerds and non-nerds alike that needless sadism is a virtue for its own sake (again, our elected officials and their rhetoric are proof enough of that).

So, I didn’t use capslock, and I didn’t insult you, so now, you have no excuse for ignoring or dismissing my arguments, unless you really are arguing in bad faith, but rather than presume to know your intentions, I’ll let your response demonstrate where you stand.

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 6th, 2013 at 2:18 am

TL;DR: All bullies (whether they’re nerds or not) are cowards, so none of them is going to do anything unless they’re getting some clear signals from people with power and authority a) giving them a go-ahead nod and b) reassuring them they they’ve got their backs after the fact.

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 6th, 2013 at 2:27 am

I’m not saying that all evil derives from power and authority, mind you, but it sure as hell doesn’t thrive to the point that it becomes pervasive within a given culture, nerd or otherwise, without being actively and intentionally nurtured by those who possess power and authority over that culture.

mygif
Heksefatter said on February 6th, 2013 at 2:34 am

Man, I just saw how this discussion has developed. I don’t have the energy for even reading the entire wall of hostile text.

I will just summarize: I find it loathesome that people yell about gays in World of Warcraft and the like. I think that it is grotesque that people sometimes get angry at girls for being insufficiently nerdy (or whatever) and attending a NerdCon of some kind.

But I will not accept that by liking Star Wars, Tabletop, TvTropes, the Order of the Stick and FATAL you somehow participate in that.

mygif
Candlejack said on February 6th, 2013 at 2:50 am

Well, thank you for the basic courtesy.

Where I stand is that, yes, there are some toxic elements common to all of American culture. And yes, they should all be called out as you come across them. Some toxic elements are unique to–or at least stronger in–some subcultures, though, so I believe there’s value in letting people talk about one in isolation. You know, without jumping to the conclusion that those people have no social conscience because they’re talking about x right now instead of y. And if you’d rather talk about y, you’ve got a livejournal for that, yes?

On Comics Alliance, there’s an article about the lack of black writers in comics, and what’s up with that, and why doesn’t anybody seem to care? And somebody jumped in to say it’s bad to talk about just the lack of black writers, when there’s also a lack of women and LGBT writers. And those are legitimate concerns, certainly, but it’s still a derailment, because the discussion is about the lack of black writers. Just as this discussion here is about nerd culture, not American culture in general.

mygif

I’ll point out that it’s been brought up several times in this discussion prior to K-Box deciding to get righteously indignant at everyone that nerd culture is not the only culture with troubling and problematic elements. It was a point that was agreed with multiple times, some of which were by me agreeing that nerd culture is not the only culture with troubling and problematic elements. Frankly, I’m honestly baffled why K-Box is apparently so up in arms at the moment given that I don’t believe I or anyone else in this discussion here has said “Yeah, it’s totally okay with the Catholic church protects child molesters of the federal government denies rights to GLBT individuals, but nerds are the true scourge of all that is right and good and deserve to be strung up.” I mean, there’s been mention of reading one’s posts in the worst possible faith, and I can’t help but feel that there has been a lot of that going on, just, y’know, coming from K-Box’s direction.

Like, there are a number of extremely valid points being made in between the capslock nd namecalling about broader social issues that I will absolutely not disagree with. What I do disagree with is that by choosing to focus on a single faceted example of this in action…that is, nerd culture in a discussion brought about by an essay entitled “Nerd Culture and Other Geek Fallacies”…that you are tacitly granting some sort of approval to all those other instances of social injustice and shitty behavior that are occurring elsewhere. It is as Candlejack says, a derail even if the point it aims to make stems from a place of good intentions. It is absolutely possible to blow into a discussion and yank it off course by playing the “what about the social injustice over HERE?” card again and again until the entire thing collapses into a morass of people qualifying every sentence they make and getting tied into rhetorical knots of making sure they acknowledge every single ill in the world on their way to actually discussing the topic at hand.

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 6th, 2013 at 3:18 am

“You know, without jumping to the conclusion that those people have no social conscience because they’re talking about x right now instead of y.”

Amazing how my triggers get tripped by some dismissive shithead charging straight out of the gate with a presumptive summation of ALL of nerd culture that was about two steps shy of Grant Morrison comparing geeks to Hitler.

When Kai pulled that bullshit, I said to myself, “Oh, so it’s going to be THAT kind of discussion,” and responded to him in kind.

“Just as this discussion here is about nerd culture, not American culture in general.”

The problem is that, as opposed to the issue of writer representation, I honestly, literally cannot conceive of separating nerd culture from American culture in general, in part because discussions of representations of black writers versus those of female writers represents two distinct subcultures vying for representation within a larger culture (although I do think someone should have pointed out the implicit fallacy of assuming that “black” = “all men” and “women” = “all white”), whereas nerd culture versus American culture is a discussion of a subculture and the larger culture that surrounds and informs it. Moreover, nerd culture has come to inform so much of the larger American culture overall, like an Ouroboros. A more accurate analogy would be trying to account for why black or female writers are underrepresented within a given niche genre without acknowledging the larger cultural biases against such writers’ perspectives, regardless of genre, and I’d hope you’d agree that trying to analyze the relatively lack of commercial success of black or female writers without admitting those lingering and pervasive institutional inequities is what leads stupid white men to say bullshit like, “Well, they just need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, because if they were any good, then the free market would reward them!” So, yeah, your attempted comparison doesn’t really hold up.

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 6th, 2013 at 3:29 am

“nerd culture is not the only culture with troubling and problematic elements.”

It’s just the only one you decided to insult personally.

“Frankly, I’m honestly baffled why K-Box is apparently so up in arms at the moment [...]”

Bull fucking shit. The only thing I did was reflect your own belittling, demeaning tone back at you, sunshine.

“What I do disagree with is that by choosing to focus on a single faceted example of this in action…that is, nerd culture in a discussion brought about by an essay entitled ‘Nerd Culture and Other Geek Fallacies’…that you are tacitly granting some sort of approval to all those other instances of social injustice and shitty behavior that are occurring elsewhere.”

Then you’re simply wrong. Happy to help. I’ve already explained why to Candlejack. If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe. Nothing exists in isolation. We’re not comparing one subculture to another, separate subculture; we’re addressing one subculture’s context within the larger overall culture. That’s like trying to analyze the health of one ocean without taking into account the overall health of all the world’s oceans.

mygif

So when I say “Nerd Culture is toxic” I’m belittling and insulting, but when you say “Nerd Culture is toxic” it’s totally cool, because

Hey man, if you need to cast me as the villain in your grand crusade for internet social justice by concern-trolling threads in between shilling your long-winded rants on Livejournal, whatever helps you sleep better at night.

mygif

“On Comics Alliance, there’s an article about the lack of black writers in comics, and what’s up with that, and why doesn’t anybody seem to care? And somebody jumped in to say it’s bad to talk about just the lack of black writers, when there’s also a lack of women and LGBT writers. And those are legitimate concerns, certainly, but it’s still a derailment, because the discussion is about the lack of black writers.”

why does nobody seem to care? Because nobody knows how many people are actually trying for these jobs, for one thing.

mygif

“So when I say “Nerd Culture is toxic” I’m belittling and insulting, but when you say “Nerd Culture is toxic” it’s totally cool, because”

Because one of you is saying ‘stand up for it and fix it’ (totally cool) and the other is throwing the baby out with the bathwater (belitting and insulting).

I’m a nerd. I like comics and RPGs and Star Wars and more. I think that nerd culture is wide enough that you can like parts and not care for other parts and are still a nerd. (I don’t really get into Trek, for example, but I still consider myself a nerd.)

I think nerd culture is and should be open and inclusive. I read all these articles and posts about how racist and homophobic and misogynistic nerd culture is, and it shocks and disappoints me, because my friends, the nerds I personally interact with, don’t act that way. Obviously there are enough people that *do* that these are all issues, but I don’t see them as defining characteristics of ‘nerd culture’. Problems within nerd culture, sure, but that just means we need to root them out and get rid of them. And that’s true whether we’re talking about ‘nerd culture’ in a vacuum or as a subculture of popular culture in general. The culture *contains* racism and sexism but is not itself racist or sexist. At least it shouldn’t be, not ideally. And that’s what we need to fix.

We should be trying to make nerd culture live up to the ‘open, tolerant, and inclusive’ ideals, not just saying ‘fuck you, I’m not a nerd cuz you guys have problems’. You can be part of nerd culture without being part of the problem.

mygif

Don’t let yourself be cast at the villain, Kai! I don’t want to see you in 20 years at the Internet Social Justice convention all washed up with a beer gut, signing autographs for ten bucks and talking about how great it was to work with a real demagogue talent like K-Box, and sure she hit it big on the AV club boards and I’m here, Nathan Rabin said she made him cry when she called him a mouthbreathing shithead, but you know what, good for her man, good for her, hey want to buy a copy of my Carly Rae Jepsen cover album?

mygif

You say I’m throwing out the baby with the bathwater here, but what is the baby in this metaphor supposed to be here? Seriously, I’ve been accused of, among other things, being a defender of rape culture, being two steps from accusing nerds of being Nazis, and now apparently I’m self-loathing too, except at no point have I said “Hide your secret shame from the world, nerds! Bury it deep, deep underground and never let anyone know because to be a nerd is to be unclean!”

But what, exactly, is the benefit of “nerd culture” I’m supposed to be seeing here? What is the ineffable value that nerd culture brings to the table that just, I dunno, enjoying the nerdy stuff you like without having to sign on as a card-carrying official member of the subculture doesn’t? I mean, I get that to some people if you happen to enjoy “nerdy” stuff that you’re in the culture by default and any assertion to the contrary is met with cries of “self-loathing!” and “hypocrisy!” but I honestly do not understand what it is I am supposed to be seeing that will make me go “Ah, now THIS is what’s worth fighting for.”

You can read the worst faith into this if you want, it seems to be a pretty popular hobby around here, but I’m being sincere. When I say “I don’t see the value of nerd culture” I don’t mean “I think nerds are the complete scum of the earth, fuck’em all,” I mean “I don’t see the value of the social construct dubbed ‘Nerd Culture’ and that by and large the people who seem to champion it the most also seem to largely correspond to its more toxic elements.”

Also, K-Box’s “stand up and fix it” apparently boils down to “making lengthy posts on Livejournal and calling people he doesn’t like names,” so you will excuse me if I’m not exactly rushing to learn at the feet of this mighty champion of social justice. I’m sure he’ll have something very pithy to say about this, possibly appended with a smiley-face so you’ll know it was extra biting.

mygif

This discussion reminds me of a comment left years ago on Dave Lartigue’s site when he decided mashup culture was standing on his neck (and today he’s saying if you don’t like Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey you’re a raging misogynist, even though he thinks Amy and Rory Fans are Worse Than Hitler, so fuck him):

“I wrote something very similar to this on an old blog several years ago, except about punk rock. I was about 27 and talking about what a bunch of adolescent man-children the punk rock crowd was, and how embarrassed I was that guys my age were still lacing up giant boots, encouraging teenage belligerence,proudly hanging out with kids, and claiming membership in crews. I talked about how skinheads and Oi! Punks were ridiculous suburbanites playing British working-class dress up and running in packs because they had no sense of self-identity, crusties were glorifying poverty and substance abuse because both were just things they dabbled in, tattoos of guns and brass knuckles were either the sign of sociopaths or dilettantes, and straight edge was meaningless after around 25, you just either drink or you don’t and neither should be the basis for writing letters on your hands. And if you’re not straight edge you still don’t need to sew a PBR patch to your vest.

And I still think everything I said was more or less correct, but later it occurred to me just how mired I was in the same stuff I was criticizing. Who’s more the fool, the fool still playing hooligan at 33 or the fool in the same basic life stage taking the time to pick him apart? Who was more ridiculous, Profane Existence and Leftover Crack for still telling kids facial tattoos and 40s were the coolest things ever, or guys like me who have basically stopped going to shows and hanging with their old friends and have normal haircuts now, yet who still took the time to notice what was going on with those same meatheads?

I like your blog Dave, and of course it’s your call what you put on here. I even sympathize, to a large extent, because I’m sick of the context-free mush of everything geek related. I never thought as a kid I’d be sick of zombies, Lovecraft,and bacon, but I actively avoid them now (well, except bacon, but I avoid discussing it). I got sick of Pharyngula largely because PZ is just so into all those irritating nerd tropes (and his fans are assholes). But the thing is, shit like this is just not so hard to avoid. If you don’t have to be into being into something, you also don’t really have to get into the social formulae surrounding it. I get by just fine rarely discussing anything I’m not into; I don’t read super hero comics, so I don’t really end up talking about them that much. I don’t tabletop rpg and haven’t for years, but it’s not like people are constantly asking me to pull a Brett Favre and get back into it. I do like boardgames and black metal, but I can indulge in both with absolutely no need to engage with the crazier aspects of either, or in the latter case anybody else at all. I never liked video games but my best friend is a gamer, and it’s never really been an issue, nor his his girlfriend’s ATHF tattoo, ill-advised as I might find it.Do I find it mildly silly that steampunk types walk around with gears glued to everything and some people are actually dressing like Don Draper now? Sure, but at base it’s no sillier than the way Sikhs, Salafi Muslims, and Orthodox Jews look in their medieval getups, which are based on something just as fictional, and which actually gets people killed to boot.

I’ve also liked most of your critiques of geek culture, especially the weird sort of crypto-fascism geeks seem to be into (vis a vis your infamous stormtrooper post), but this kind of feels petty to me. I think Jen makes some excellent points. Just like I found Stuff Geeks Love funny at first, it over time just seemed increasingly bitter and wide of the mark, so this post feels like you crossing from perfectly valid criticism to a grumpy “Geeks, THIS is how its done.” You run a lot of right-on sociopolitical posts and links, and nerds just seem so small fry in comparison that I’d say I don’t really get the way it irks you, except I think maybe I do, for the reasons mentioned above.”

–Zhu Wuneng.

That sums it up for me, really. When Dorian Wright/Mike Sterling/Andrew Weiss/Little Lord Tuckelroy/Lartigue start paying me, then I’ll feel sorry for them that there are loseres who like the same things they do.

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 6th, 2013 at 2:11 pm

“So when I say ‘Nerd Culture is toxic’ I’m belittling and insulting, but when you say ‘Nerd Culture is toxic’ it’s totally cool, because”

Because I actually have enough ethics to give a shit about the SOURCE of the toxicity, whereas you ADMIT that you can’t be bothered to attribute it correctly. The problem with nerd culture isn’t NERDS; it’s CULTURE overall.

“Hey man, if you need to cast me as the villain in your grand crusade for internet social justice by concern-trolling threads in between shilling your long-winded rants on Livejournal, whatever helps you sleep better at night.”

So, after dismissing the whole of nerd culture with a broad brush, you’re crying about being pigeonholed unfairly? Typical thin-skinned cowardly hypocrite; you can dish it out, but you can’t take it. And it’s amazing how you’ve shifted the goalposts from “None of you care about what REALLY matters as much as I do” to “Geez, you spend that much time ranting about what’s wrong? What a loser.”

“But what, exactly, is the benefit of ‘nerd culture’ I’m supposed to be seeing here?”

How about “a safe space for them what’s got none otherwise”? Because that’s what nerd culture provided ME with when I was a little kid who was getting his face pounded into hamburger meat by bullies who called me “FAGGOT” so many times I almost thought it was my NAME. Which is why it KILLS me that nerd culture is engaging in the bullying of women and people of color and gays, because I was LUCKY enough to get something BETTER from it, and especially since the culture is NOT going to just GO AWAY — indeed, if anything, it’s GROWING — then I feel MORALLY compelled to make sure that the bullied kids of today and tomorrow might receive the same shelter from their storms from that same culture that I was fortunate enough to receive as a bullied kid in the past.

“Also, K-Box’s ‘stand up and fix it’ apparently boils down to ‘making lengthy posts on Livejournal and calling people he doesn’t like names,’ so you will excuse me if I’m not exactly rushing to learn at the feet of this mighty champion of social justice.”

It’s more than you’ve bothered to do, you weak defeatist quitter. And it’s yielded a broader spotlight for the ickiness of the franchises that feed those fandoms than just the scope of my own LiveJournal …

http://io9.com/5358396/spider+mans-villains-not-rapists-says-creator

… Not to mention earning me some ominous unsolicited phone calls from Marvel editorial staff on my unlisted number, but then, I suppose it’s easier to just write it all off and insist that nothing can or should be done. God forbid I CARE or anything.

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 6th, 2013 at 2:32 pm

And since I wasn’t explicit enough in saying this the first time …

“Nerdiness is not a quality people aspire to; it is what people settle for when they give up aspiring to be anything else.”

Hey. Guy. How’s about you go fuck yourself.

mygif

I guess I don’t see ‘nerd culture’ as a distinct, measurable club that issues or revokes membership cards. I’m a nerd. I like a bunch of nerdy things. Therefore I’m part of / a member of the nerd culture. I don’t see it as something that I’m choosing to join to gain some benefit from, nor as something I attempt to distance myself from lest someone think I’m uncool or homophobic or whatever.

I also like football and hockey, so I consider myself a sports fan. I don’t go to the extremes that a number of sports fans do, but I don’t try to distance myself from ‘sports culture’ or whatever you want to call it, either. I just see ‘sports fan’ and ‘nerd culture’ as different subsets of popular culture that I self-identify with.

So to me, saying “I’m not a part of nerd culture” is the same thing as saying “I don’t consider myself a nerd.” That’s why I see decrying nerd culture as nothing but a morass of social iniquity to be ‘throwing the baby out with the bathwater’.

And the way I see people fixing it is by letting others know we won’t stand for those kinds of attitudes from our fellow nerds (or anyone, really, but we’re talking specifically about nerds here). I don’t particularly care if you do that via livejournal posts or letters to the editor of your favorite comics or telling someone in person ‘Don’t be racist. That’s not cool.’ If you see someone acting poorly, call them on it. (Although I would hope that people would do so regardless of whether they consider themselves part of nerd culture or not.)

mygif

Yeah, that’s what has me so confused about the whole thing. I really have no idea how you separate “Nerd Culture” from “what nerds do.” As far as I can tell, Kai does it by taking all the worst things nerds have ever done, and labeling them “Nerd Culture.” The swearing is kind of entertaining, but the whole argument is totally beyond me.

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 6th, 2013 at 6:42 pm

“As far as I can tell, Kai does it by taking all the worst things nerds have ever done, and labeling them ‘Nerd Culture.’”

Pretty much what I was objecting to, yes.

“If you see someone acting poorly, call them on it.”

Agreed.

mygif

Hey Kirk (K-Box),

I just wanted to let you know that you are a disingenuous, lying sack of shit. I believe David Brothers once called you the Glenn Beck of comics journalism. I think the Alex Jones of comics journalism is more appropriate. Shout all you want, all the sophistry in the world won’t make the problems brought up by Jim_Smith and Mightygodking go away. You are exactly the kind of obnoxious gatekeeper this article is condemning, and anyone who doubts this can check your whiny post about Scott Pilgrim back in the day.

By the way, you’re not an ally, and you never will Anything you say about social justice turns to ash the second it comes out of your mouth.

To the rest of the whiny nerds in this thread:

Nobody fucking cares what you Personally did. This is not about you. This is about Nerd culture AS A GROUP. Get over yourselves.

mygif

@Liam

Ah, good. If there was one thing this comment section, it was more insults and name calling.

mygif

@Liam

Ah, good. If there was one thing this comment section needed, it was more insults and name calling.

mygif

Shoot, sorry for the double post (now triple post). Then again, that’s not something new in this comment section.

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 7th, 2013 at 9:21 pm

“I just wanted to let you know that you are a disingenuous, lying sack of shit.”

And the fact that you refuse to address any of the actual points that I have made proves beyond all argument that you already know for a fact that everything I have said is 100 percent correct, and you just can’t stand to admit it. Moreover, every time I question whether or not I should speak up, the hatred I get from people like you convinces me that I can’t stay silent. Your hatred of me is the only reason I still exist. My only purpose for being is to make you wish I would go away, because if YOU think I’m wrong, then I MUST be right. :)

And go fuck yourself.

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 7th, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Oh, and Liam?

Scott Pilgrim STILL sucks.

mygif

K-Box

That could be a problem because from an outsider’s perspective it looks like you’re more concerned with pissing off potential allies than converting enemies.

“A heretic is someone who believes almost the same thing you do. You must find him and kill him.”

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 8th, 2013 at 12:36 am

“That could be a problem because from an outsider’s perspective it looks like you’re more concerned with pissing off potential allies than converting enemies.”

When someone has made it clear that he will knowingly perpetuate falsehoods about me, there is no “converting” their point of view. I spent rather a lot of years of my life trying in vain to win over people who were intentionally arguing in bad faith before I realized that I’d literally rather be dead than win their approval, and coming from someone who has gone through literally suicidal periods in his past, I say that without any hyperbole whatsoever.

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 8th, 2013 at 12:39 am

Liam had an axe to grind against me personally, completely independent of the rest of this discussion. I’ve long since been through with apologizing for whatever I might have done to inspire complete strangers to proactively seek me out with the sole aim of wanting to abuse me. Fuck him. I’d literally rather be dead than do anything that might make someone like that happy.

mygif

“K-Box

That could be a problem because from an outsider’s perspective it looks like you’re more concerned with pissing off potential allies than converting enemies.”

Well for that to be true K-Box would have to actually be interested in anything like that in the first place instead of trolling for attention.

“Gatekeeper behavior is totally cool when I do it because I have self-righteousness on my side! Visit my Livejournal! Pay attention to MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE”

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 8th, 2013 at 3:11 am

“Well for that to be true K-Box would have to actually be interested in anything like that in the first place instead of trolling for attention.”

Explain exactly how I’ve engaged in gatekeeping behavior, or admit that you’re only leaping back onto this thread because you have a personal grudge against me, long after you’d slunk away in defeat, because you don’t give a shit about any of the issues at hand and you never did, and all you care about is winning, which once again proves your hypocrisy given that you complained that I was villainizing you unfairly.

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 8th, 2013 at 3:13 am

Because, Kai, like all bullies, you’re nothing but a gutless turd who only joins in the fight if you think you have enough other folks on your side to browbeat those you don’t like into submission.

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 8th, 2013 at 3:16 am

And once again, Liam, like Kai, couldn’t actually dispute any of the actual points that I made, which was why he went straight for the ad hominem, completely unsupported by evidence and totally unrelated to the discussion at hand, but for as much as Kai claims that I was “derailing” by insisting on broader contexts, Kai is absolutely okay with Liam’s derailing as long as he thinks it will help him score points off of me.

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 8th, 2013 at 3:24 am

Speaking of which …

“By the way, you’re not an ally, and you never will”

Huh, sounds like gatekeeping behavior to me, since you’ve appointed yourself as the arbiter of who is and isn’t allowed to speak here, which once again proves that you yourself know for a fact that your own stated position is both logically and morally wrong.

mygif

Aside from the fact that K-Box seems to incite Godwin to the point of entering a comments thread by saying “At this point, we’re about two steps away from Grant Morrison reiterating his comparison of geeks to Hitler,” which seems pretty hypocritical given the vast insults he likes to spout to vast segments of humanity, I can’t help but be amused at his saying things like

“When someone has made it clear that he will knowingly perpetuate falsehoods about me, there is no “converting” their point of view.”

when I’m aware that he has created and perpetuated falsehoods about me based only on his paranoia and has refused to actually listen to facts or brook any suggestion that he may be wrong.

There’s none so blind as those who will not see.

mygif

So, yes, this is *exactly* the kind of inclusiveness and tolerance I was hoping to see from both sides of this ‘discussion’. Good job, everyone.

If this is going to remain a bunch of personal attacks and insults back and forth, this is when I recuse myself from the argument and go back to my corner of nerd culture and read some comics and talk about books and movies with my friends. You guys can continue the pointless, off-topic bickering without me.

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 8th, 2013 at 1:10 pm

“when I’m aware that he has created and perpetuated falsehoods about me”

And I say again: Address the actual points that I have made in this thread, to show how specific statements I have made are wrong.

It’s the challenge every other one of my critics in this thread has failed to meet.

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 8th, 2013 at 1:11 pm

“So, yes, this is *exactly* the kind of inclusiveness and tolerance I was hoping to see from both sides of this ‘discussion’. Good job, everyone.”

I responded to their bullying by hitting back.

mygif

@K-Box in the Box

Tony Stark: “A nuclear deterrent, cause that always calms everything right down.”

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 8th, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Heh. Point taken. Problem is, I have the literal scars to show from when I was younger and tried it the other way. Again, when you’re a middle school kid and bigger kids scream “FAGGOT” in your face, surprisingly enough, they’re not inclined to stop when you try to make peace with them by apologizing for whatever it was that you did that so offended them.

mygif

“Explain exactly how I’ve engaged in gatekeeping behavior”

Somebody said something you didn’t like about Nerd Culture…not you, personally, Nerd Culture…and you immediately went into Tumblr Social Justice Kneejerk mode which substitutes vituperative outrage and insults for actual argument because the way of the internet social justice warrior is whoever yells loudest longest is the winner. You’ve set yourself up as a self-appointed Champion of Nerd Culture to shout down and stamp out anyone who doesn’t meet your standards, which means that you’re essentially in the same league as the people who think that nerddom needs saving from Fake Geek Girls and “white knight moralfags” with their PC inclusiveness.

Because this is exactly what happens every time something stops being “a fun thing you enjoy” and starts being “a culture;” people like to step up and act as that culture’s arbiters and champions, just like K-Box here. I mean come on, I say “nerd culture is toxic” and what does he do? He reaches for the “rape culture” and Godwin labels, presumably because those are the worst things he can think of to plaster somebody with, that’s like “internet flamewar 101, call people the meanest things you can think of and maybe bring up Nazis too.” And that’s what it’s all about…somebody said something that ruffled his feathers wrong and so now he has to do everything he can to assert his position as a True Exemplar and Guardian of the sacred Nerd Culture lest people realize that “nerd culture” is actually pretty stupid and you can just enjoy the shows and movies and games you want without having to belong to or care about some subculture in order to do it.

I don’t need to refute anything you say, K-Box. You’ve done more than I ever could to demonstrate exactly what nerd culture really is right here in this thread.

mygif
K-Rox in the Sox said on February 8th, 2013 at 9:24 pm

But I’ve been scarred by lifelong bullying! I refuse to get over high school, because Nerd Culture teaches us that’s the most important part of anyone’s life! Refute my points to my satisfaction or you’ve lost this struggle, Idi Amin!

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 8th, 2013 at 9:34 pm

“I don’t need to refute anything you say, K-Box. You’ve done more than I ever could to demonstrate exactly what nerd culture really is right here in this thread.”

Except that EVERYTHING you have just said amounts to NOTHING more than an attack on ME PERSONALLY, and exactly NONE of it refutes the points of the broader context that I made, which YOU YOURSELF deemed as, and I QUOTE, “extremely valid points,” but since you’re now resorting to the tactic that you accused ME of engaging in, which is to villainize me as a strawman by associating me with opinions that are EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of what I’ve been arguing in favor of, all that YOU’VE proven is that you don’t give a DAMN about any of the racism or misogyny or homophobia that you initially claimed was motivating your attacks on “nerd culture.”

At this point, you’re so blinded by the grudge that you’ve developed against ME that you’re now disagreeing with YOUR OWN STATED OPINIONS, out of nothing more than SPITE.

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 8th, 2013 at 9:36 pm

“But I’ve been scarred by lifelong bullying! I refuse to get over high school, because Nerd Culture teaches us that’s the most important part of anyone’s life! Refute my points to my satisfaction or you’ve lost this struggle, Idi Amin!”

Yes, because that’s exactly what I said. And how unfair of me to expect that people argue against the points I actually made, rather than the strawman role that they seek to cast me into to make themselves feel better.

And sockpuppets are SO badass.

mygif
K-Rox in the Sox said on February 8th, 2013 at 9:39 pm

K-Box, you came into this argument with an attack on Kai, even calling him a “worthless myopic shithead,” completely unprovoked. Some of the worst cultures in the world, from the dangerous (cults, terrorist cells, hate groups) to the benign (nerds, metalheads, hardcore kids) thrive on taking in socially malajusted, broken human beings. You’re defending a trash heap, and proving yourself worse than anything Kai said about nerds. But you think you’re excused from acting like a civilized person because you’ve got the right causes in mind when you treat people like shit. It doesn’t work that way, and maybe that’s why you’ve been bullied all your life.

mygif
K-Rox in the Sox said on February 8th, 2013 at 9:42 pm

At no point did you ever expect anyone to respond to your points, and if you did, you have no idea how a debate works. You came in attacking people personally as your opening. No one is going to respond to any points you make after that, even if you managed to make good ones.

You deserve all the bullying you will ever receive.

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 8th, 2013 at 9:50 pm

Oh, so I DESERVED to be bullied! By THAT logic, I could say that anyone who thinks that a CHILD deserves to be bullied is a subhuman sack of shit who deserves to DIE. By the way, aside from minor tussles with lightweights like you, my bullying ended a long time ago, but I actually have a little thing called EMPATHY for kids who are getting bullied NOW, which is why I care about both nerds AND about the women and gays and minorities whom straight white male nerds bully in turn, AS I’VE SAID THROUGHOUT THIS THREAD. And I called Kai a worthless myopic shithead because he refused to acknowledge that a subculture’s reflection of all the worst prejudices and biases of the larger culture that birthed it stems from the larger culture rather than from “nerd culture” itself being uniquely icky. And fuck you too for dismissing an entire culture based on its worst elements.

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 8th, 2013 at 9:55 pm

“No one is going to respond to any points you make after that, even if you managed to make good ones.”

All that proves is that they’re wrong and I’m right.

“You deserve all the bullying you will ever receive.”

Thanks for proving that you’re a hopelessly irredeemable personification of pure and absolute evil by voicing your support for bullying. If I were to respond in kind, I’d tell you that you should kill yourself, except that I’ve been suicidal and I knows what that feels like, whereas it’s pretty obvious that you neither know nor care what it feels like to be bullied.

mygif
K-Rox in the Sox said on February 8th, 2013 at 9:58 pm

Nerd culture is composed of nothing but its worst elements, people like you. Even at its best it’s embarrassing, artless, and sad. And given your attitude towards other people, I have no doubt your bullying (unlike the bullying of many others) was caused by you. You have only yourself to blame for your misery. It’s not cultural.

There’s probably a part of you that recognizes this, because even now you go out of your way to justify the instances in which you treat other people terribly. You’re not justified in calling Kai that, no matter how many social causes you attach to what you did. Explain to me how calling Kai a “worthless myopic shithead” advanced one cause, changed one mind, improved one life.

It didn’t. Nothing you do ever will, because you’re incapable of treating a person with whom you disagree with kindness, tolerance, and the “empathy” you claim to possess.

mygif
K-Rox in the Sox said on February 8th, 2013 at 10:06 pm

“‘No one is going to respond to any points you make after that, even if you managed to make good ones.’

All that proves is that they’re wrong and I’m right.”

This is a scene which has never happened, anywhere, ever.
Person 1: Hey dickless, switch to a smaller car. You’re hurting the environment, you inconsiderate piece of shit.
Person 2: You’re absolutely right! You really changed my perspective on things.

Imagine MLK doing this? “Hey you cracker-ass cracker, give us our rights!” It’s the only thing that would make me love him more.

mygif

@K-Rox

Practice what you preach.

Guys, If we aren’t even going to attempt to have a sensible and civil conversation anymore, then its time to step back from the keyboards and move on.

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 9th, 2013 at 1:57 am

“Imagine MLK doing this?”

Seemed to get results for Malcolm X, though. :)

Next up: “Oh, so you think you’re Malcolm X?”

mygif
K-Box in the Box said on February 9th, 2013 at 2:19 am

“I have no doubt your bullying (unlike the bullying of many others) was caused by you.”

I was a 12-year-old who’d never even uttered a curse word, and I thought that, if I just responded to other people’s cruelty and abuse by being even NICER and more accommodating, THEN they’d finally like me, or at least stop calling me “faggot” to my face (glad to hear that you think THAT was justified, you homophobic sack of shit). But since you’ve doubled down on your inhumanity, then I revoke my earlier hesitation: You should absolutely kill yourself, you subhuman fuckhhole.

“[Y]ou’re incapable of treating a person with whom you disagree with kindness, tolerance, and the ‘empathy’ you claim to possess.”

I respond to intentional disrespect in kind. Show me the kindness, tolerance or empathy in HIS posts, or YOURS. It doesn’t EXIST, especially when you say shit like THIS:

“Nerd culture is composed of nothing but its worst elements, people like you.”

The ONLY logically or morally appropriate response to an assertion that is so OBJECTIVELY wrong is to tell you to fuck off and die, because even THAT is more respect than you deserve.

“Explain to me how calling Kai a ‘worthless myopic shithead’ advanced one cause, changed one mind, improved one life.”

Calling out that which is wrong is compulsory regardless of whether it improves anything, because to refrain from doing so is to be a coward who allows wrongness to go unchecked.

mygif
K-Rox in the Sox said on February 9th, 2013 at 3:35 am

There’s no kindness, tolerance, or empathy in my posts, you’re right. I have none for you. You’re a sad, broken person who clearly went from being a victim to being the kind of bully you despise. Which is what you are, whether you admit it or not.

But I don’t see that kind of meanness in Kai’s posts. Although plenty of people here disagree with his take on Nerd Culture, he showed them no disrespect while debating them. Nothing in his posts to that point merited the kind of treatment you showed him, treatment that was, again, unprovoked. That wasn’t “calling out that which is wrong.” You called him a worthless myopic shithead for talking about one specific culture while not discussing the context of the larger culture around it. He committed no moral wrong, he said nothing disrespectful to you, he just focused his discussion on one thing. Even had he said something morally wrong, it’s still possible to call someone out in a civilized way, to say that their belief is wrong without diminishing their worth as a person (and yes, I realize the irony in my saying that).

You have no real empathy or morality. You just pick the side that hasn’t hurt you yet, and scream at people who you perceive to be on the other side. You’re far more interested in making other people feel bad than in changing their attitudes or minds. You can tell yourself all you want that you’re on a crusade to call out the wrongs of the world, but if this is your strategy in doing that, you will never make one life better. Somehow I don’t think that bothers you.

mygif
Candlejack said on February 9th, 2013 at 12:33 pm

“You deserve all the bullying you will ever receive.”

Dude, no.

I agree, K-Box comes across here as annoying, rude, condescending, and downright hateful. Those are all good reasons to ignore him, maybe even (metaphorically) poke him with a stick a little. If he’s like that in his daily life, they’re good reasons to go out of your way to avoid him. But there’s no amount of being obnoxious that deserves bullying.

(The rest of this, I’m staying out of.)

mygif
K-Rox in the Sox said on February 9th, 2013 at 1:02 pm

That’s fair. I know I don’t have the distaste for bullying that a lot of people here do, as my experiences with it, from either side, are negligible. But as I see it, bullying happens either because a person is different enough for people with social power to feel threatened (ie, of a different sexuality/religion/ethnicity/etc.) or it’s because a person’s behavior is offensive enough that others react in kind and excessively to the point where it becomes bullying. I came from a pretty homogenous school, so I never saw the former (“You’re a white, straight, male, Methodist just like me! You FAG”). I don’t think it’s beyond the pale to say that some people bring negative attention upon themselves, and it’s hard for me to feel bad when those people suffer the social consequences of their behavior. If Daily K-Box is anything like Online K-Box, I guess I just wouldn’t feel much sympathy if someone were to (metaphorically?) shove his head in the toilet.

mygif

Annnnnd this is where I close the comments. The first time I have ever done this on this site, guys.