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@Myth says: But if you really believe that Gabe was thinking, “I hate mouthy rape victims”, and that that was the intended message of the shirt, then I think you are succumbing to your own blind rage in the need to define that act as something as indefensible as possible.

Maybe he wasn’t thinking that. But by the time he created the tshirts, the army of his supporters was already *extremely* vile. I would have hoped that when he announced that he’s going to make a tshirt and he’s getting supporting tweets from ‘@teamrape’ he might have had a moment to consider that this was a poor course and he was setting a poor example.

Gabe also doubled down on that by stating he was going to wear the shirt to PAX even after the merch had been removed from the store. That was well into the hatefulness.

At what point does Gabe, a smart guy who is *well* aware of the internet and how it works and how people rally to their ‘tribes’ online, no longer get protected by the shield of ‘not knowing how people would react and how the work would be used’.

Gabe had many, many, many, many chances to walk back from the edge of the monster he’d created, but he spent a great deal of time feeding it instead.

The comic? Completely agree it’s not an act of misogyny.
The Merch? Initially? Sure I’ll call it a stupid move, but not exactly an act of willful misogyny (though personally I think it was all about him flipping a bird to his detractors and less innocent than you’d like it to be).
Every other part of his engagement in that debate after that? Yeah, that’s on him.


Myth said: “I think the thought going through Gabe’s mind was, “Man, those people made this huge deal over this throwaway reference in our strip. Let’s show them that we aren’t going to let their criticism define our art, and we’ll do it by creating a shirt celebrating that reference!”

I think it was very much a poorly considered idea, and that it became especially worrisome when a wave of blind followers starting using it to champion a misogynistic narrative.

But if you really believe that Gabe was thinking, “I hate mouthy rape victims”, and that that was the intended message of the shirt, then I think you are succumbing to your own blind rage in the need to define that act as something as indefensible as possible.”

Except that he had to know, at that point, that “those people” were rape survivors who found it cruel to make fun of their trauma and people who supported rape survivors. There’s really no way, short of willful blindness, that you can believe that Gabe was aware of the controversy, that he was upset at the people who had spoken out about it enough to make a public statement in the form of the t-shirts, but that he somehow missed that this was an action whose primary target was rape survivors and their supporters. Your best-case scenario here is that he was making a t-shirt with a message, “I hate mouthy people who criticize me,” and somehow forgot that those people were rape victims.

This is not a hill to die on.

Candlejack said on July 30th, 2015 at 12:56 am

FeepingCreature, I think your trigger warning extension idea is still unworkable, thanks to the wonders of assholery.

Considering how many dudes seem to feel it’s not just their right but their duty to mess with the people they dismiss as social justice warriors, I would expect every safe and/or progressive space on the internet to be plastered with false trigger warnings within a week or two. And probably every other place would be equally plastered within a month of that.

To a lot of gatekeeper assholes, the only thing better than making the trigger warnings meaningless would be if the people they hate actually believed them and stayed away from everything that was tagged.

Hugh Mann said on July 31st, 2015 at 9:02 am

Number one comedy blog from Canada in 2008 people!

I miss when MGK made actual content for this site.


Fuck this site. Fuck penny arcade. And fuck canada, bullshit colony of england and their fucking nazi monarchy.

knew about this thanks to these guys:


John Seavey wrote: “While I agree with you that a forced apology, or a nonpology (“I’m sorry you were offended by my brilliant work”) is BS, the solution is not for people to stop apologizing. It’s for creators to get the fuck over their own egos and listen to people who are upset by the things they said, and make a sincere effort to do better. If they can’t do that, they probably aren’t ready for the big time anyway.”

Except, people get upset by lots of things. Does every upset person deserve to have their feelings soothed? No.

If I say something about the Confederacy seceding over slavery, and some southern people get upset, am I going to give a shit? No, I am not. Not even if their great grandpappy was killed at Gettysburg and the battle flag means a lot to them.

If a webcomic makes a strip about the needless violence of American police, that, too, is going to upset people who side with the police. Should those comics not be created? Should their creators apologize?

Now, if neo-confederates and pro-cop absolutists can be upset with impunity, why not other people?

There’s no right to not be upset.


@Jon H: Ah yes, the fallacy of assuming all opinions are morally neutral. “I’m not allowed to get upset when you insult racists, so why are you allowed to get upset when I insult minorities? You have to be CONSISTENT!”

Just because the answer to “Does every upset person deserve to have their feelings soothed?” is, as you point out, “No,” doesn’t mean that rape survivors don’t deserve respect and sympathy for their trauma. Your attempt to carefully erase all of the context of the discussion, reduce it to a vague generality that you can comfortably make further vague generalizations about, does not impress.

DensityDuck said on August 5th, 2015 at 1:42 am

” trying to make it right rather than doubling down on them in an effort to prove some sort of nebulous, ill-considered point about “freedom of expression” (*cough* Dickwolves *cough*).”

People were exactly as upset about George Carlin as they were about Dickwolves. There just wasn’t a whole Internet to tell them that it wasn’t just a personal upset at crass behavior but a moral transgression that had been specifically and intentionally committed against them.

I accept that people’s pain is real to them, but did it really work out better for everyone to scream and cry at Penny Arcade’s creators? Did we actually, honestly end up in a better place, and was there truly no other way that could have gone down?

I mean, you give us a whole essay full of “when you tell a geek to grow up, you’re telling them to stop being the person that they are”, but then at the end you give us “hey geeks, when someone tells you to grow up, what they mean is that you’re being an asshole and you need to stop”. And from the discussion in the comments it’s pretty clear which of these ideas is stronger in your mind.

A whole bunch of words about “feelings are real, geeks are adults who’ve made choices and feel very strongly when someone attacks those choices”, and then in the end it still comes down to “go away you creepy stupid creep”.


DensityDuck said: “People were exactly as upset about George Carlin as they were about Dickwolves.”

[citation needed]


“while they look at you like you’re something they want to scrape off their shoe”

Maybe that’s not the only look that should be given. Maybe a look that says “I like you and you could do better.” or “There are benefits to growing up.”

Instead, let’s just hashtag #fuckingnerds all day. That seems to be working!

and one more thing: Liking Jerry and Mike, still, does not make you a bad person. Carrying water for them like this just makes you weird.


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