Shamus has put me in the mind of the past with his talk of Mass Effect and its HARDCORE NONEXISTENT SEX. I know that this post doesn’t exist (this one does), but it’s like a time capsule for me. This is another one of those instances where I fail pretty spectacularly to talk about video games, movies or pop culture, so you’ll have to forgive me.
Penny Arcade has also covered the ground, but not entirely accurately: like a great many Rightist sites, Town Hall likes to take their shots where it hurts – the gays. You can go to a great many of these sites and see, apropos of nothing, lists of reasons why gay people are awful and must be stopped.
Back in the day, I used to read a lot of these truly terrible editorials. All of them were friendly advice. Someone at Town Hall (I can’t find the link) told the gays that they don’t understand them: how can they hate women when they want to be them?
Well, goshdarned if I know! Let’s forget that this makes no sense.
I did manage to find one example of the legacy of my masochism: Gays might do well to stay in the closet. The old argument: “Don’t kiss other guys in public, because that’s for your own time”.
If we crack down on all public displays of affection, sure, whatever.
The point I’m trying to make is, rather than simply calling out individual authors on their individual idiocy (and I know I need to be careful, because I know that several of my [possibly former] readers are strongly aligned with the right – but at the same time, why should I? I’ve had to read stuff I’ve very firmly disagreed with before), is that wherever you go – and it need not even be in the right – there will be someone to write pointless denigrations of your character.
While the rest of you are sitting around thinking that Chuck Norris is some sort of superhuman (actually, were it not for me having real life friends addicted to Chuck Norris facts, I wouldn’t believe such people existed), I know that he’s some sort of crackpot who firmly believes that atheists and homosexuals are destroying America from the inside.
Reading this sort of material night after night, because there was literally no end to it, dealt an intense sort of psychic damage. I fed off the pointless hate and grew not so much strong as I did … bloated. It’s like building up your immunity to heat by sticking your arm in a fire. I did have some good times: McCullough reminded me of the Cpl. Matt Sanchez scandal, which juxtaposed pictures of Sanchez with Ann Coulter alongside his classified masseur service ads and pornographic photos. Most of the time, however, we’re being told to get to the back of the bus.
So you see, video games are under fire sometimes, but I think that accepting that you like video games is probably not a life changing experience. So if someone goes on the constant attack on video games, it’s not likely going to make you wonder how you can exist in a world where hatred directed at the core of your being can be fostered.
It’s very useful that in video game terms, your most vocal opponents are people like Jack Thompson – you know, total whackjobs with nothing behind their arguments. If you say something is in a game, it therefore must be.
Now, I don’t know a heck of a lot about the Bible, but I know that some of the passages most frequently quoted by foolish people are ambiguous, and that a lot of people nowadays seem to regard the Bible as “The Old Testament Plus Jesus”, which I don’t need to tell you is the wrong approach. When they start manipulating the Bible to condemn video games, then you’re screwed. So, video game fans, I’m hoping that this won’t be a case of you being constantly sniped at, because liberals, atheists, feminists, gays, Muslims, and Battlestar Galactica watchers are drawing fire away from you every day. And if you’re more than one of those things … may God help you, because I certainly can’t.
It should be noted that McCullough has since “apologised” to video game fans. There’s a long list that still needs seeing to, Kevin.
(Fun fact: I wrote this on and off while listening to the original Broadway cast recording of Rent. What does that say?)