“Pewdiepie will have to face some consequences of his own.”
February 15, 2017 2:22 PM   Subscribe

Disney Drops Pewdiepie Over Anti-Semitic Jokes [Kotaku] Maker Studios, a division of Disney, just severed their deal with YouTube megastar Pewdiepie, Felix Kjellberg. They pointed to a (now-deleted) January 11 video in which Pewdiepie paid two men to hold up a sign that read, “Death To All Jews.” The Wall Street Journal reports that Pewdiepie had editorial independence in his deal, but this was a bridge too far. “Although Felix has created a following by being provocative and irreverent, he clearly went too far in this case and the resulting videos are inappropriate,” said a spokeswoman for Maker Studios.

• Why Disney and PewDiePie Were Doomed From the Start [NYMag]
“More surprising than PewDiePie’s sudden fall from YouTube grace is the fact that it took this long for the big brands on which he relies for sponsorship to become disenchanted with his gamer-culture brand of humor. It’s far from Kjellberg’s first envelope-pushing gag. Last year, his Twitter account was briefly suspended after he joked about joining ISIS, and in December, he sarcastically theorized that YouTube was suppressing his viewership numbers because he is white. To anyone who has hung out even on the periphery of gaming circles online, the hate-speech/I’m-just-joking pirouette is extremely familiar. Online-gaming communities overlap heavily with the culture of anonymous, often-offensive message boards like 4chan. That channer culture is driven by the maxim of “doing it for the lulz.” That often means doing offensive things and using hate speech ironically in order to tick people off (otherwise known as triggering them).”
• PewDiePie thinks 'Death to all Jews' is a joke. Are you laughing yet? [The Guardian]
“PewDiePie actually did succeed in demonstrating how crazy the modern world is – just not in the way he quite set out to. The PewDiePie furore is an important lesson in the way in which antisemitism can creep into society and slowly become normalized. More specifically, it shines a light on the way in which prejudice is packaged up and spread online. The way in which racism and hatred are incubated in online communities and spill over into the offline world. Oh come on! Surely that’s going too far? PewDiePie may be a moron, but surely he didn’t mean his jokes to actually stoke antisemitism, right? The thing is, whatever PewDiePie meant doesn’t really matter. A joke is never just a joke, you see: it always has consequences. Jokes help identify and solidify social divisions. You either get the joke and you’re one of us, or you don’t get it and you’re one of them. Jokes also help normalize unpalatable ideas. And, unconscious though it may have been, PewDiePie has already helped do just that: helped antisemitism become just a little bit more mainstream. After all, if a hugely popular YouTube star is saying that sort of thing then it must be OK, right?”
• The Cult of PewDiePie: How a Swedish Gamer Became YouTube's Biggest Star [The Rolling Stone]
“Watching a PewDiePie video is a little like sitting through a primal screaming therapy session. Kjellberg unleashes a torrent of high-pitched epithets and denunciations, celebrates with a "Pewds hard techno rage" and delivers absurd eulogies to downed opponents. His repertoire has also grown to include both live-action and animated comedy shorts. In his own version of the Harlem Shake, three PewDiePies dance on screen, one of them in pink women's underwear; in another video, PewDiePie dons a virtual reality headset and stands in an attic cursing at the walls. "I don't want to be squish, please, please, I'll do anything," he squeals. "I'll lick your bal…no I won't, that's gay."”
• Can PewDiePie grow up without alienating his fans? [The Verge]
“Over the last five years the self conscious Swede has accumulated 42 million YouTube followers, making him by far the most popular creator on the platform. He has plenty of experience with anonymous rage directed his way, but this is different. “It’s not like ‘haters’ are bringing me down,” Kjellberg explains. “The reason why I’m upset is I feel like it’s coming from my fans. If people write a dumb hate comment, I couldn’t care less, but when it’s from you bros that’s when I get upset.” Kjellberg's fans are mad because he’s no longer quite the same guy they fell in love with. Like many early YouTubers, Kjelberg began as an amateur enthusiast, offering silly, foul mouthed commentary alongside footage of his video gaming exploits. Sitting home alone in front of his computer, talking about upcoming titles he wanted to play but couldn’t afford, PewDiePie was a character fans — “bros,” as he likes to call them — could relate to.”
posted by Fizz (247 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
 
While PewDiePie denies any right-wing content, Reddit's Trump forum (The_Donald) is full of guys crowing that PDP is "red-pilling cucks" &c.
posted by msalt at 2:31 PM on February 15 [14 favorites]


I have reached the age, it seems, when I learn that a random younger person has become famous and wealthy for what looks to me like just a bunch of yelling.

That is okay, so far as it goes. I try not to assume that I should understand and be the audience for everything, but I know this: now is not the time to normalize anti-Semitic jokes, even if they were supposed to be meta-jokes. I'm glad this got the hammer. And the dynamics are disgusting, too. Hiring a couple of dudes from a poorer country to wave signs in a field for him?
posted by Countess Elena at 2:31 PM on February 15 [60 favorites]


When I saw this break earlier this week, all I could think was: who could have predicted that a white guy known for talking about videogames would turn out to be someone who thought paying people to hold a sign that says "DEATH TO ALL JEWS" was just a prank all in good fun?
posted by tocts at 2:32 PM on February 15 [72 favorites]


sic semper douchebaggus
posted by poffin boffin at 2:33 PM on February 15 [79 favorites]


I have no patience for these Nazi fucks, ironic or otherwise, anymore when there's other Nazi fucks of a similar stripe actually managing to infiltrate the highest levels of government. Cut the fuckers dead, I say.
posted by Artw at 2:34 PM on February 15 [45 favorites]


♫ I enjoy being a girl old ♪
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 2:38 PM on February 15 [12 favorites]


Good.
posted by boo_radley at 2:39 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


It's kind of funny how both Notch and PewDiePie garnered reputations as down to earth guys who got wealthy doing what they love and give back to the community, but then it turned out they're both kinda sorta Nazis I guess and by "funny" I mean "oh god" mixed with a little bit of "get the hell off my lawn."
posted by byanyothername at 2:40 PM on February 15 [47 favorites]


sic semper douchebaggus

If only this were true....
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:40 PM on February 15 [4 favorites]


he can still make another billion screaming at video games on youtube without Disney's help, though, can't he? :(

the worst part of having kids is peripheral exposure to the shit they watch on youtube
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:40 PM on February 15 [5 favorites]


This, from @leyawn, was my favorite summary:
ah this fantasy job where im paid millions of dollars to yell and play video games is great. whats next. i think ill make some nazi videos

Good fucking riddance and I hope the world's youth finds a nicer dude to watch as he shrieks about videogames.
posted by Greg Nog at 2:43 PM on February 15 [58 favorites]


“Although Felix has created a following by being provocative and irreverent, he clearly went too far in this case and the resulting videos are inappropriate,” said a spokeswoman for Maker Studios.

I had never realized that "provocative and irreverent" really means "the worst kind of human being."

OK, I lied, I realized that a while ago.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:44 PM on February 15 [20 favorites]


FYAD is leaking
posted by theodolite at 2:44 PM on February 15 [18 favorites]


he can still make another billion screaming at video games on youtube without Disney's help, though, can't he? :(

The original post doesn't mention this, but he's also had his YouTube Red-only series' second season cancelled, and YouTube has removed him from its 'premium advertising program'. So, he can still make money yelling on YouTube but not nearly as much.
posted by Itaxpica at 2:46 PM on February 15 [17 favorites]


he can still make another billion screaming at video games on youtube without Disney's help, though, can't he? :(

It depends on your definition of billion. He's not shedding subscribers at a dramatic rate but being kicked out of the brand partner program is going to put a massive dent in his CPM.
posted by Talez at 2:47 PM on February 15 [2 favorites]


Disney? Letting someone go for anti-semitic comments?

Things have changed since Walt's day, indeed...
posted by caution live frogs at 2:48 PM on February 15 [18 favorites]


FYAD is leaking

:gb2gbs:
posted by Sebmojo at 2:49 PM on February 15 [15 favorites]


Steve1989 will always be the best YouTuber. His relentless positivity and good-naturedness is infectious and always makes me feel grand. And he's reviewing MREs and ration packs, of all things.

This (ironic?) anti-Semitic stuff is kind of everywhere though and I don't know why, or who it's appealing to. Like, I have a lot of time for the Funhaus crew, but they do this (as well as what I guess is meant to be "ironic" casual sexism - their big defence being they have one woman in their team - and general racist horseplay) a fair bit and it is really starting to wear thin.
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:49 PM on February 15 [12 favorites]


For more on the relationship between jokes and normalizing anti-Semitism, I can't recommend the film Look Who's Back strongly enough. Currently on Netflix. Literal Hitler comes back from the grave, people take him to be an outrage-milking comedian, he starts getting airtime...
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 2:50 PM on February 15 [24 favorites]


This (ironic?) anti-Semitic stuff is kind of everywhere though and I don't know why, or who it's appealing to.

In some cases, it's not ironic. In either case, it's appealing to a growing cadre of young people who think being a nazi is cool. This is the world we live in. This is fine.
posted by tocts at 2:51 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


The "Death to Jews" part of the fiverr lulz was only half the of the disgusting act; hiring the two guys exploitatively was the other part and is lightly reported, lost in the antisemitism.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 2:52 PM on February 15 [21 favorites]


I honestly don't think he's racist or antisemitic. Just a moron who thinks this kind of stuff is humor. I've been waiting for the backlash ever since I saw him casually using homophobic slurs.

Also, I'm pretty sure that he suffers from a serious case of imposter syndrome and that makes him act out in weird and shitty ways. Earning millions doing low quality youtube videos can apparently get to you.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:54 PM on February 15 [3 favorites]


The word 'cuck' makes my brain skip. The fact that this is supposed to be an insult that people pay attention to then stops my brain from restarting.

To be honest, I'm much happier without a brain. With no memory and an iPod full of Bowie and Prince, I can pretend that it's 2015. I can't wait for their new albums. Maybe Obama will get a third term?
posted by nfalkner at 2:54 PM on February 15 [14 favorites]


Never would've figured PewDiePie to be a member of the Houthis
posted by Apocryphon at 2:56 PM on February 15


Like Milo, this Nazi will land in his feet, and like Milo he'll have a bunch of idiots shouting about his "free speech" ignoring the fact that he's actually doing quite well for himself, yelling shit from the rooftops-wise.
posted by Artw at 2:56 PM on February 15 [6 favorites]


I honestly don't think he's racist or antisemitic. Just a moron who thinks this kind of stuff is humor.

Is there a difference that matters, though? Scratch at ironic racism & you're only scratching off the irony.
posted by CrystalDave at 2:57 PM on February 15 [127 favorites]


It's kind of funny how both Notch and PewDiePie garnered reputations as down to earth guys who got wealthy doing what they love and give back to the community, but then it turned out they're both kinda sorta Nazis

Oh man, the fall of notch cut deep. So deep. I'm glad he no longer has anything to do with Minecraft, because if he did I would have to face the challenge of trying to stop the kids playing it.
posted by Jimbob at 2:59 PM on February 15 [29 favorites]


Sadly recent events mean we need to take zero tolerance approach to Nazi edgelord bullshit, which is no loss because that shit is for unfunny assholes anyway.

Plus also let's face it they ALL turn out to be actual nazis in the end.
posted by Artw at 3:00 PM on February 15 [39 favorites]


So he makes countless millions off youtube, gets a content partnership with Disney... and his big idea is essentially 'Bumfights' except racist? Fuck that guy.
posted by Catblack at 3:00 PM on February 15 [5 favorites]


Even if you assume that there exist people who do racist shit as a hilarious joke but don't harbour any true hate in their hearts... What stops them from going full-on, genuinely racist once they figure out that there's an audience for that?

Anyway, good fucking riddance to PDP.
posted by tobascodagama at 3:02 PM on February 15 [6 favorites]


Plus also let's face it they ALL turn out to be actual nazis in the end.

well, once they learn the harsh lesson that the real oppressors are people who get offended by offensive things, how can you blame them for going full nazi
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:02 PM on February 15 [26 favorites]


It's engaging in normalization of the behavior, anyhow. At any rate, there is a time and place for shock humor that breaks taboos- when the joke is actually funny, for one. This joke was shock for the sake of shock and doesn't cause any reevaluation of taboos or societal reflection. It's just dumb.

In either case, it's appealing to a growing cadre of young people who think being a nazi is cool.

While not the same extent of behavior, Joy Villa selling a bunch of records after her MAGA dress debut at the Grammys show that negative publicity caused by appealing to the right-wing is working.
posted by Apocryphon at 3:03 PM on February 15


YouTube is now old enough that some of the people who made their mark yelling at videogames have grown up. I don't watch as much YogsCast as I used to, but I do listen to their TriForce Podcast which is pretty much Gamer Dad Chat. Two of the three hosts are stay at home dads and they talk about the ins and outs of their family, trying to find time to play games, and how things have changed over the years. Great Get Off My Lawn! fodder.

There was a recent bit where they were talking about the stupid stuff they thought as kids/teens and how they had to come to terms with how they were jerks and do better. Sure, there are still a lot of dick jokes, but when it comes to them actively trying not to make the world a worse place for someone through lazy jokes or stereotypes, they really have grown up since the yearly days of Shadows Over Israphel.

(Plus there are the Bodega Chronicles, which are a Rugged SciFi Action Hero spoof)
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:07 PM on February 15 [7 favorites]


While PewDiePie denies any right-wing content, Reddit's Trump forum (The_Donald) is full of guys crowing that PDP is "red-pilling cucks" &c.

I asked my son, who is 14 years old, loves video games etc and spends a lot of time on Reddit, about PPD. He hadn't heard about this controversy, mostly because he thinks PPD is fucking stupid.
posted by My Dad at 3:08 PM on February 15 [21 favorites]


God willing, Dunkey will never grow up
posted by Apocryphon at 3:09 PM on February 15 [6 favorites]


Damn. This rot in our culture is really starting to stink.
posted by saulgoodman at 3:16 PM on February 15 [7 favorites]


This (ironic?) anti-Semitic stuff is kind of everywhere though and I don't know why, or who it's appealing to.

I think it's actually a really interesting lesson in... something how this has happened. I mean, Jewish comedians have been doing Nazi jokes for a long time - which it should be obvious is a different sort of thing, right? South Park takes a lot of blame for propagating this stuff, probably accurately, but it was ultimately in that tradition and contained affectionate depictions of Jewishness too. Family Guy - now that starts to bug me a bit because they also loved that shit and while they might have Jewish writers Seth MacFarlane ain't. Anyway it seems like over time people saw these jokes - including people who had maybe not even met a Jewish person - and just kinda... lost the context? Decided "lol gas chamber Jews control the media" was a joke that it was safe for anybody to make? And then actual Nazis started using this sorta-acceptability as a smokescreen for their totally serious views. Which means at this point even if you think you are making a joke people aren't going to take it that way.
posted by atoxyl at 3:37 PM on February 15 [30 favorites]


Oh man, the fall of notch cut deep.

What happened there? I know he made a squillion dollars and bought a mansion and apparently everything has sucked since Minecraft, but his wiki doesn't have any mega-drama that I can spot.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:39 PM on February 15


He fell hard into every gaming-related MRA argument.
posted by NoxAeternum at 3:41 PM on February 15 [16 favorites]


Rapid onset braineater of the most horrible kind. Or believing his own hype and hanging out with the worst kinds of online shitheads.

And, my god, the fragility of his skin... but that's all nazis really, they all talk about snowflakes constantly and then freak the fuck out if anyone so much as lightly brushes against them.
posted by Artw at 3:42 PM on February 15 [10 favorites]




Oh right, another one of those. Ugh.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:43 PM on February 15 [2 favorites]


What happened there? I know he made a squillion dollars and bought a mansion and apparently everything has sucked since Minecraft, but his wiki doesn't have any mega-drama that I can spot.

He declared himself an ally of Gamergate and said a whole bunch of other really dumb shit.
posted by atoxyl at 3:43 PM on February 15 [7 favorites]


The word 'cuck' makes my brain skip. The fact that this is supposed to be an insult that people pay attention to then stops my brain from restarting.

And the people who use it as an insult (seriously or not) seem to generally be the last people on earth to be in a serious, committed and healthy relationship where being cuckolded would even be an issue that they would ever know anything about.

I've never understood Pewdiepie, and I was sheepishly a huge Yogscast fan in their much earlier days. Their first minecraft videos back in alpha days before the shadow of israphel story came out of it were hilarious, especially the very first one where they spend their first night in minecraft in survival.

I'm pretty sure the younger version of me would feel the same way about Pewdiepie. His mannerisms and voice are irritating and contrived, like watching Adam Sandler doing an offensively syrupy pastiche of someone autistic.

Granted, the younger me also watched the GoBots and GI Joe, liked Garfield in grade school and went through an awkward Sam Kinison phase in High School, so I have no idea if his screeching would appeal to me in my pre-teens and teens.
posted by loquacious at 3:43 PM on February 15 [6 favorites]


There's a difference between making fun of Nazis for being evil and making fun of Jews for being murdered.
posted by Zalzidrax at 3:43 PM on February 15 [49 favorites]


turbid dahlia: "What happened there?"

He became a lonely triggering fuckbag who has to goad people into interacting with him.
posted by boo_radley at 3:43 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


IIRC he was ironically Gamergate for a bit but actually taking an enlightened view from both sides but actuallly no irony just a gamergate shithead.
posted by Artw at 3:44 PM on February 15 [3 favorites]


Really as soon as anyone adopts that "enlightened view" where they can "see the flaws of both sides" bullshit assume they are a Nazi straight away, it'll save time.
posted by Artw at 3:45 PM on February 15 [58 favorites]


Nazi-ism aside, it's just making fun of people for being poor...which is not exactly a great look either?
posted by juv3nal at 3:47 PM on February 15 [3 favorites]


My Dad, the fact that your kid rejected PDP purely on his non-merits as an entertainer is proof that you're raising him right.
posted by tobascodagama at 3:48 PM on February 15 [13 favorites]



Really as soon as anyone adoptees that "enlightened view seeing the flaws of both sides" bullshit assume they are a Nazi straight away, it'll save time.


Come on dude
posted by to sir with millipedes at 3:49 PM on February 15 [11 favorites]


Like Milo, this Nazi will land in his feet, and like Milo he'll have a bunch of idiots shouting about his "free speech"

I think the difference is the scale of their followings. When you have thousands of followers like Milo, you can afford to piss off 90% of the population to get enough publicity for the 10% who might like you to notice.

PDP had tens of millions of followers though, and this strategy is not scalable. The best scenario is an Andrew Dice Clay or Prem Rawat move -- you trade your large vague audience for a much smaller hardcore of supporters. It's more sustainable long term if you're willing to scale down -- the usual alternative is just getting forgotten.
posted by msalt at 3:50 PM on February 15 [3 favorites]


Come on dude

What, we're supposed to waste our time listening to some dullard fuck drone on about how actually Social Justice Warriors are just as bad as nazis before the inevitable reveal that actually they favored the nazi side all along? Fuck that, life is too short, consign them to the social trash heap immediately.
posted by Artw at 3:54 PM on February 15 [113 favorites]


After reading a couple articles on this what I really want to know is: how do you pronounce "pewdiepie"?
posted by fshgrl at 3:54 PM on February 15 [4 favorites]


So, is it pronounced pyoo-dee-pye or pyoo-dye-pye ?
posted by Thorzdad at 3:57 PM on February 15 [5 favorites]


Like it rhymes with Cutie-pie but you have to scream it in a really high-pitched voice.
posted by RobotHero at 3:59 PM on February 15 [5 favorites]


PDP had tens of millions of followers though, and this strategy is not scalable. The best scenario is an Andrew Dice Clay or Prem Rawat move -- you trade your large vague audience for a much smaller hardcore of supporters. It's more sustainable long term if you're willing to scale down -- the usual alternative is just getting forgotten.


This guy is probably in a position where he could keep apologizing for it and ultimately move on. He actually does strike me more a dumb dude who thought he was being edgy than a committed right-winger - could be wrong, he could choose that or he could choose to double down and actually go with the Nazi flow. I don't know that much about him (except that his videos are fucking unbearable regardless).
posted by atoxyl at 3:59 PM on February 15 [4 favorites]


The word 'cuck' makes my brain skip.

Besides being racist and white-supremacist, it is a sexualized insult. The meaning has been deprecated over time (i.e., since the start of Trump's campaign in the primaries), but I remember when I first encountered it, and how it was used.

It's just sick and disturbing, and the people who use it unironically creep me the fuck out. The people who use it ironically (progressives taunting Trump, for example) should know better.
posted by My Dad at 4:02 PM on February 15 [14 favorites]


The part I'm going to find interesting about how this goes is that "now-deleted" part of the discussion of the video.

If most of his fanbase isn't exactly watching the nightly news, and if PewDiePie consistently removes any evidence of his transgressions but doesn't actually seem to learn from them, then I'm not sure it's really going to have much impact on whether his average viewer continues to subscribe to his channel.

This segment of the internet has an incredibly short attention span. I struggle to find LPers I like who're a bit more thoughtful and less inclined to shriek at everything, but I'm 35. For the sort of person who likes this guy, are they actually even going to notice that this happened, or remember it in two weeks? I don't think he even needs to keep apologizing for it. If he just pretends to his audience that it's no big deal, I think they might buy it.
posted by Sequence at 4:03 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


pyoo-dee-pye or pyoo-dye-pye ?

More like "PYOOOOooOOOWDEEEEEiEE-PaaaaiiiiEEEEEII" iirc. I always assumed he made some kind of deal with the devil to get so many viewers, glad to learn it was only Disney.
posted by sfenders at 4:05 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


When this asshole suddenly joined Disney's Maker Studios, I had a fit and called my friend at Disney Interactive to complain. "What in the everloving fuck are your bosses thinking?" I asked as I sent her link after link to all the videos of him being a grade A tool. The other influencers that Disney'd recruited were totally pristine, pleasant kids. Nice people, too! I met all of them shortly after they were hired. Utterly charming and "Disney", minus some of the saccharine affections that full time cast members tend to ooze.

The whole time we were on the phone she avoided describing him as anything other than a valuable new employee. "Look," she said heavily as I attempted to goad her into admitting he was a bad choice for anything, not just Disney. "Interactive really wants to be taken seriously in the gaming world, specifically with teenage males who spend most of their time making and watching 'let's play' videos like him. It's a money move. The division just doesn't have the cache with gamers without him."

I guess I had made some sort of gross noise at this assertion because she suddenly shushed me and whispered, "Give it a week. Wait for the powers that be to apply the Disney Touch to his image. If anyone can turn a frog to a prince, it's us, right?"

Sure enough, a few weeks later PDP released one of his first "apology" videos. It was a subtle reworking of his overall self-branding. Certain parts of his channel apparently went private. He had "grown up", enough to own and apologize for the shit he'd spewed on the past, but not in so sanitized a way that he'd alienate his followers who enjoyed his 4Chan status vibes.

"See?" Friend said the next time we hung out. "Now he's just like everyone else in the merry band of makers."

Time went on and I honestly forgot the dude even existed. This morning, however, that same friend (who has since moved on from her role at Interactive) wrote me and said, "Hey, remember that kid PewDiePew?"

"I guess. What about him?"

There was a long, long pause before she sent her next message. "Just wait till you see what this motherfucking Nazi frogfaced shithead with no values and no morals and absolutely no reason to be alive has done now."

She wrote her old bosses the same thing.
posted by Hermione Granger at 4:06 PM on February 15 [115 favorites]


When this asshole suddenly joined Disney's Maker Studios, I had a fit and called my friend at Disney Interactive to complain.

Your timeline is out of whack. He joined Maker Studios in 2012. Disney bought Maker Studios in 2014.
posted by effbot at 4:11 PM on February 15 [8 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that all of this means Pewdiepie will be the next nominee for Trump's Secretary of Labor.
posted by delfin at 4:13 PM on February 15 [18 favorites]


Your timeline is out of whack. He joined Maker Studios in 2012. Disney bought Maker Studios in 2014.

You're right. Disney had been talking about acquiring them in early 2013, and when the deal was final, I had incorrectly assumed that PDP had joined right then, not in 2012. In reality I guess the internal way of addressing his membership was "his contract was renewed". Thank you for the correction.
posted by Hermione Granger at 4:24 PM on February 15 [2 favorites]


I wouldn't be surprised if PDP took some of the other streamers away from Maker Studio to create their own network. These people often equate shitty behavior with free speech and it wouldn't take much to convince them to jump ship from corporate overlords like Disney and Google.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 4:27 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


I vaguely recall some earlier occasion where after being criticized for making rape jokes, he actually did go, "Okay, you've got a point. I'll cut out the rape jokes in the future." Which did strike me as a step up from some people out there who would have reacted with, "You can't tell me what to do!" Looking it up now, that was in 2012, so maybe Maker Studios' influence?
posted by RobotHero at 4:32 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


"I'm just joking" = asshole for "I'm not sorry"
posted by brujita at 4:39 PM on February 15 [39 favorites]


>I'm pretty sure that all of this means Pewdiepie will be the next nominee for Trump's Secretary of Labor.

Is that meant to be a joke? If he were an American citizen he would eventually become President, just as surely as most of us once thought 'aw, nobody would really vote for Trump'. This is what we have to look forward to, even if we survive Trump; these genies are not going back in their bottles.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 4:40 PM on February 15


Sing or Swim: This is what we have to look forward to, even if we survive Trump; these genies are not going back in their bottles.

This is why I'm all about no-platforming these racist fucks whenever possible. If people can associate spouting Nazi rhetoric with getting a fist in your face, losing your sweetheart contract, or being impeached and rotting in prison, well, I think they'll be less likely to spout that nonsense lest they suffer the consequences.
posted by SansPoint at 4:43 PM on February 15 [19 favorites]


Let's focus on that?

it is both possible and okay to be angry about two things at the same time.
posted by poffin boffin at 4:47 PM on February 15 [23 favorites]


or like, 100 things. 1,000 things. infinite things. all things.
posted by poffin boffin at 4:47 PM on February 15 [47 favorites]


Sounds good to me, but hell, even Nixon didn't rot in prison. He walked, and golfed. Pewdiepie made fifteen million bucks last year, and the worst thing that's gonna happen to him is that he might make less than that this year--and even that's not a sure thing. Furthermore they're making liberals furious, which is all in the world that their shriveled black hearts desire...
posted by Sing Or Swim at 4:51 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


This (ironic?) anti-Semitic stuff is kind of everywhere though and I don't know why, or who it's appealing to.

I honestly don't think he's racist or antisemitic. Just a moron who thinks this kind of stuff is humor.

It's engaging in normalization of the behavior, anyhow.

Which means at this point even if you think you are making a joke people aren't going to take it that way.


This kind of minimizing is why there was a MeTa about why Jewish folks, myself included, sometimes feel uncomfortable here!

Those are all just examples I grabbed in browsing the thread. No individual poster is expressing an objectionable point of view, exactly.

And in the aggregate, that’s why these conversations feel unsafe. Seeing people question over and over again whether anti-Semitic expressions are real or sincere or meaningful or threatening

is
posted by listen, lady at 4:52 PM on February 15 [65 favorites]


Why did I think for all these years that his name was "Pew Pew Die"? Because it's video games, and they make that sound, right?

If you can hear this over the loud clicking of my generation gap getting wider, that's all I wanted to say. Peace.
posted by JoeZydeco at 4:52 PM on February 15 [11 favorites]


Sing Or Swim: In fairness, Nixon wasn't a Nazi, he was just a vindictive asshole.
posted by SansPoint at 4:53 PM on February 15


Haha, JoeZydeco, I thought that was his name, too! It was just in reading this thread that I realized I was mistaken. Glad I'm not the only one!

But yeah, fuck that guy.
posted by DingoMutt at 4:56 PM on February 15 [4 favorites]


or like, 100 things. 1,000 things. infinite things. all things.

My anger about all things all the time as actually what keeps me in a physical form, able to move through the world. If it wasn't for my transcendental levels of dislike I would just dissolve into the dust of my constituent elements. I am basically the God-Emperor of Being Peeved About Stuff.
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:06 PM on February 15 [12 favorites]


juv3nal: "Nazi-ism aside, it's just making fun of people for being poor...which is not exactly a great look either?"

The train of thought seems to be, "Hey these guys say they'll write anything on a sign and dance for 5$" ---> "What's the most vile thing I can get them to do?" Which is maybe kind of bad if that's the first place where your mind goes with that.

And of course, since they were just a couple of shmoes, instead of big-time Youtuber, they got kicked off Fiverr right away instead of taking a month. Though it looks like they've been reinstated.
posted by RobotHero at 5:07 PM on February 15 [2 favorites]


it is both possible and okay to be angry about two things at the same time.

or like, 100 things. 1,000 things. infinite things. all things.


As Zach de la Rocha once said, anger is a gift. I thought I had a handle on what that meant during the Bush era, but the last year really brought home the truth of it for me.
posted by tobascodagama at 5:10 PM on February 15 [5 favorites]


I mean, Jewish comedians have been doing Nazi jokes for a long time

Right, but the difference is Jewish comedians did "Nazis suck" jokes vs the new style "Wow, Nazis were great".
posted by jeather at 5:12 PM on February 15 [25 favorites]


tobascodagama As Zach de la Rocha once said, anger is a gift. I thought I had a handle on what that meant during the Bush era, but the last year really brought home the truth of it for me.

I prefer how John Lydon put it: "Anger is an energy."
posted by SansPoint at 5:16 PM on February 15 [10 favorites]


"I'm just joking" = asshole for "I'm not sorry"

Not to defend this asshat, and I won't. I just want to say that as a young man, it took me an embarrassingly stupidly long time to cotton the fact that a joke's only purpose in life is to be funny, and if a joke is not funny, it can't be a joke. I made a lot of not very funny jokes.

Sure, maybe it tried really hard to be a joke, or could have been a joke if the moon and stars were aligned just so. Still, if someone found the joke not funny, it can't be a joke. It's as axiomatic as water being wet.

And once you discover this simple fact, you can grow the balls to say "I'm sorry, that was meant to be a joke, and I failed to deliver. I'll do better next time." instead of "Take a joke you joyless fuckwit". Because one is significant of an ability to critically evaluate oneself and other is a definite statement of terrified confidence that if you looked too hard in the mirror, you might just hate the blowhard coward you see staring back.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 5:23 PM on February 15 [17 favorites]


This kind of minimizing is why there was a MeTa about why Jewish folks, myself included, sometimes feel uncomfortable here!

Those are all just examples I grabbed in browsing the thread. No individual poster is expressing an objectionable point of view, exactly.

And in the aggregate, that’s why these conversations feel unsafe. Seeing people question over and over again whether anti-Semitic expressions are real or sincere or meaningful or threatening

is


Thanks for the reminder, listen, lady. This guy moved out of Sweden a long time ago. I asked my kid if the Swedish papers had covered it and at least one of them has. I'm tired of discussions about intent. That's Southern Baptist, sinned-in-my-heart bullshit. I don't care about his intent, I care about the damage this stuff causes to other people.

It's not okay to make jokes about the murder of Jews. It's not okay to make pro-Nazi comments or to say, like this guy did (from memory not verbatim), that Jews screwed over Jesus twice (after Fivver, an Israeli company, yanked his account and the account of the freelancer he hired to play Jesus and the freelancers he hired to write a sign with stupid Nazi shit and then display it).

Those are fucked up things to say and do. I'm glad this guy is in trouble; I hope he learns a lesson. It's not about free speech, it's about normalising hate speech.
posted by Bella Donna at 5:25 PM on February 15 [34 favorites]


>Sing Or Swim: In fairness, Nixon wasn't a Nazi

Yeah, but he was a guy who liked to record himself saying shitty things about Jews, so he and Pewdiepie have that much in common.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 5:25 PM on February 15 [10 favorites]


Yup. Sadly, one does not need to be a Nazi in order to be an anti-Semite. My dad thinks I'm no fun at all because I don't let him say shit about Jews, people of color, etc. Or rather, the minute he's headed there I interrupt him. If he continues, I leave the room. He's not a Nazi--and that's not the point.
posted by Bella Donna at 5:29 PM on February 15 [4 favorites]


This conversation is awful. Why in the world are people minimizing this? Why is this getting lumped in with "eh, bad humor"? This is grade A antisemitism thqt took a good long while for Disney to feel like they should drop him over.

All the shoulder shrugging in here is pretty unacceptable. Y'all are just like "eh, normal gamergater nonsense" when you should be thinking about over half of hate crimes are committed against 2% of the population and maybe this isn't just shoulder shrug worthy.
posted by stoneweaver at 5:31 PM on February 15 [45 favorites]


I have sad news re: your dad.
posted by Artw at 5:33 PM on February 15 [21 favorites]


This kind of minimizing is why there was a MeTa about why Jewish folks, myself included, sometimes feel uncomfortable here!

Apparently I omitted the sentence that was originally in my comment (one of the ones you quoted) which clarified my own Jewish ethnic and cultural background and talked about how my very Jewish circle of dumbass friends growing up loved those Cartman Nazi jokes - knowing Matt Stone was Jewish - before going on to describe how they were increasingly picked up by people without the insider-y understanding. Sorry, it probably is a lot less clear what I'm getting at without that context!
posted by atoxyl at 5:36 PM on February 15 [3 favorites]


In case you'd like a sampler of what PewDiePie made his name on, here's Adults React to Pewdiepie, put together by the Retsupurae folks. GIANT-ASS CONTENT WARNING: Lots of a dudes screaming about rape because he thinks that's an hilarious joke.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:57 PM on February 15 [12 favorites]


>my very Jewish circle of dumbass friends growing up loved those Cartman Nazi jokes

In the middle 1970s, at the age of eight or ten, I interrupted a kid my age who was talking shit about Jews, and asked him why people hated Jews so much. He looked at me as if he could not believe my ignorance and said, "Singorswim, the Jews killed Jesus. Don't you know that?" This kid was a bully and a jerk who had never once in his life given a thought to Jesus; he had apparently never noticed that he hadn't. He and all his dumbass buddies--pretty much every kid I knew--were apparently taught this stuff by their parents. That is to say, by their parents, many of whom went to war to fight Nazis, and then came home believing themselves to be good Americans, and taught their kids to hate Jews. It makes no sense, and I will never understand it as long as I live.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 5:57 PM on February 15 [20 favorites]


This is a very subjective interpretation but it just kinda feels to me like that in-group members - Jewish in this case but it probably has played out with other groups - were sitting on this vein of dark humor, and we'd mine it and present it selectively to a broader audience for a shocked laugh. And somewhere along the way people with a more and more tenuous connection to the original in-group started assuming they had a claim too and it got way out of hand and meanwhile the actual Nazis snuck in.

So while on one hand I am kind of saying - because it's been normalized some people are doing it out of stupidity not malice - I am definitely not saying it's okay. When I said this

Which means at this point even if you think you are making a joke people aren't going to take it that way.

I meant don't do it, because the difference between stupidity and malice here is increasingly irrelevant.
posted by atoxyl at 6:03 PM on February 15 [4 favorites]


What happened there? I know he made a squillion dollars and bought a mansion and apparently everything has sucked since Minecraft, but his wiki doesn't have any mega-drama that I can spot.

He's thrown his lot in with the misogynistic GamerGate "SJW-haters" on Twitter. Not in a big way. But he's clearly chosen a side it's very much the wrong side.
posted by Jimbob at 6:06 PM on February 15 [2 favorites]


In the middle 1970s, at the age of eight or ten, I interrupted a kid my age who was talking shit about Jews, and asked him why people hated Jews so much. He looked at me as if he could not believe my ignorance and said, "Singorswim, the Jews killed Jesus. Don't you know that?"

I think this provides another way to rephrase the thesis of my last few comments:

Growing up where I did I would hardly have believed people like this were real. And I feel like some of us for whom Jews were very normal and serious anti-Semitism fairly distant thought it was really funny to play around with this stuff before a general audience, not realizing that for some of the people in that audience anti-Semitism was fairly normal and Jews very distant.
posted by atoxyl at 6:08 PM on February 15 [6 favorites]


Adults React to Pewdiepie yt

Good god, he's even worse than I thought.
posted by smoke at 6:09 PM on February 15 [3 favorites]


Adults React to Pewdiepie

This is perfect. Arguably should have been in the FPP just so people could get a sense of how awful this chucklefuck is before they launched into their I'M SURE HE MEANT WELLLLLLLLLLLLLLL hot takery.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:10 PM on February 15 [4 favorites]


This is perfect. Arguably should have been in the FPP just so people could get a sense of how awful this chucklefuck is

I didn't want to actually link to him because I'm personally not a fan and I don't want to support him with clicks. I also figured, anyone who was interested enough, could easily google or youtube his name and find his content should they feel so inclined. That video of people reacting to him is pretty amazing.

Also, fuck him.
posted by Fizz at 6:16 PM on February 15 [6 favorites]


On a recent episode of This American Life, they interviewed a Trump supporter at the "DeploraBall", apparently a gala event for young Trump boosters to mingle and celebrate his inauguration. The interviewee was a young woman, a self-identified blogger or vlogger or social-media-marketing-whatever, and she proudly explained how her people's hate speech is for the lulz and "they don't mean it", which apparently makes it hilarious haha! These self-identified trolls really did campaign for Trump for the lulz---they're proud of it---and they have absolutely no understanding of what the fallout will be. Their lulz are going to get people killed and they think it's funny.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 6:32 PM on February 15 [19 favorites]


Yeah, the fact that the React video gives a taste PDP without actually handing over any views is what makes it so perfect. Thanks so much for posting it, Pope Guilty.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:33 PM on February 15 [3 favorites]


With the whole "should we punch Nazis?" conversation that became a thing last week, my wife, who lived a year in Germany, pretty much convinced me that the German Volksverhetzung laws is actually superior to our unfettered First Amendment. There are some conversations that we've had a species, and the right side of the debate has been definitively proven correct. Nazis and genocide were real, and horrible. "Is Nazi speech cool, or ironic, or funny?" doesn't seem to be a discussion worth having again.

Yes, I know there's all kind of concerns with that, and who decides what topics are acceptable, government censorship and all the attendant problems, and shouldn't the market of ideas win out, blahblah. But maybe the founders didn't get this one exactly right either, after all. They didn't foresee the effects of the electoral college; or that there would be a thing called the internet, where any person can broadcast to the world how hilarious industrialized genocide was.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:36 PM on February 15 [15 favorites]


If T_D is holding candlelight vigils for his racist, rating-rigging ass, great decisions by Disney and the Google Empire.

OK. Here is the hell of it. He hired a very funny, up-and-coming duo from India who were building their own fanbase and fame, and made them humiliate themselves beyond redemption because they weren't aware of the cultural connotations of what they were asked to do.

That's hilarious only if you're an actual white supremacist, sorry.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:38 PM on February 15 [25 favorites]


I still remember where I was the first time I saw the South Park Spirit of Christmas video. I thought it was the funniest thing I ever saw, and I asked for a copy. They dubbed me one - it was on VHS tape then. Cartman was - just so unbelievably vile, and at the same time, growing up as Jews in a smallish south-central Pennsylvania town, we saw enough of the real thing that it was almost refreshing to see someone using humor to say "this is still out there." It felt subversive, but it was also liberating, because if there's one thing you can say about anti-semitism, it's that when you call it out, the automatic response is almost always "no, you're overreacting, you're being too sensitive" and of course they only mean bankers, or Hollywood, or New Yorkers, or whatever group that happened to conveniently be subbed in instead. This was when you could use a special program to customize your Mac alert sounds, and for at least a couple weeks I had my error chime changed to Cartman yeling "Hey! I don't need to take that kind of shit from a Jew!" whenever I hit a wrong key - but only on my home computer. Not the one I used at work, and I also wouldn't let it play in front of anyone who wasn't family. Because it was funny, but it wasn't actually funny. And it was subversive, but it also was underground. It felt transgressive, but safe. Especially since, more than anything else, Cartman was a bully and an idiot. It felt okay to love him because he was so clearly wrong about everything. And Kyle was never okay with his shit. For a couple of years our family actually had 4 little South Park figures that we used to bring out at the seder to demonstrate the 4 sons. They were ours.

And then the TV show took off, and somewhere around "Respect my authoritah," Cartman stopped being the symbol of Why We Can't Have Nice Things, and became a hero. And I think it's definitely one of the key reasons this has become such a "normal" thing now. I think the scene in Borat where he sings in the Country/Western bar is another key moment. When it happened in the theater (at least in the one in NYC where I saw it), people didn't laugh once they saw where it was going. It was so funny - and then seeing all the people in the bar singing along, it was suddenly chilling. And again, it comes out on video, and people are happily singing the song, and the irony isn't there anymore. Even if they think they're being ironic.

I think it's the whole punching up vs. punching down thing, only because Jews are a relatively successful minority, it still feels like punching up. Or being told that because Jews do it, it must be okay for everyone (cue Michael Scott doing Chris Rock's routine on The Office). Or that because it's funny (in some contexts), that's all that matters - I mean sheesh, can't you take a joke?

And meanwhile The Last Laugh is coming out in a couple of weeks, and I'm excited to see it. Judging from the trailer, there's no way it won't be funny. But I'm also worried - because Nazi jokes have been around for a long time, and anti-semitic jokes have been around forever, but outright Holocaust jokes -- I'm not sure now is the time to pull back the veil on that one. But it's happening. And I see this as just another brick in the road toward normalization.

I've always believed that in-group jokes are okay, that you can have that double standard because of nuances. But the internet lets everything disseminate beyond your in-crowd, and there's no official voice out there to moderate or rein in people who genuinely can't see the difference between making a joke about yourself and making the same joke about someone else. But now I'm wondering - am I part of the problem because I still laugh? Because I think it's funny for me but not necessarily for you?

I just thought we'd come farther. Instead, it seems like all the progress I thought we'd made was adding more resentment to the people who just want to kick back and other people - can't you take a joke?
posted by Mchelly at 6:39 PM on February 15 [51 favorites]


Guys like Milo, PewDPie and Tosh are the current face of demographic anxiety.

Like Seth McFarland, Bill Maher and the South Park guys before them, they grew up with expectations of certain rights — one of them being the white male right to immunity from criticism.

That right feels more imperiled than ever to them and their fans, and they are pissed.
posted by mrmurbles at 6:47 PM on February 15 [13 favorites]


Their lulz are going to get people killed and they think it's funny.

Is there some way we can get 4chan and /r/the_donald regulars to the front of the Selective Service queue? That might make them think a little.
posted by JoeZydeco at 6:48 PM on February 15 [4 favorites]


A friend of mine tried to convince me that PDP is a victim of clueless, cherry-picked journalism. Eh, maybe. But privileged jackasses experiencing real world consequences for their "jokes" is fine with me. The fact that PDP is emblematic of whiteboy gamer culture just makes it even sweeter. I for one am getting sick of running into shithead gamers online who seek to insult me by calling me a Jew or a gay or a girl. As if those are things to be ashamed of.
posted by xyzzy at 7:13 PM on February 15 [7 favorites]


This kind of minimizing is why there was a MeTa about why Jewish folks, myself included, sometimes feel uncomfortable here!

Those are all just examples I grabbed in browsing the thread. No individual poster is expressing an objectionable point of view, exactly.

And in the aggregate, that’s why these conversations feel unsafe. Seeing people question over and over again whether anti-Semitic expressions are real or sincere or meaningful or threatening
listen, lady, I'm sorry that I minimized the issue and that it contributed to you not feeling safe here. I've tried to write this reply for over an hour now but I don't know what else I can say other than I'll try to listen better when antisemitism is brought up on Mefi.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 7:31 PM on February 15 [9 favorites]


turbid dahlia: "Steve1989 will always be the best YouTuber. His relentless positivity and good-naturedness is infectious and always makes me feel grand. And he's reviewing MREs and ration packs, of all things.

This (ironic?) anti-Semitic stuff is kind of everywhere though and I don't know why, or who it's appealing to. Like, I have a lot of time for the Funhaus crew, but they do this (as well as what I guess is meant to be "ironic" casual sexism - their big defence being they have one woman in their team - and general racist horseplay) a fair bit and it is really starting to wear thin.
"

Oh, hells, yes! Steve struggling to find a way to describe the flavor or smell of an expired ration is priceless. And his glee in smoking 50-year-old MRE smokes should be able to be bottled.

I am a gamer. I identify as such. I AM NOT A GODDAMN ANTISEMITE/NAZI WANNA BE! Just because some punk-ass little bitch has to cater to the lowest common denominator just to better monetize the whoring out of what is left of his soul DOES NOT MAKE IT A MANDATORY RUBRIC for gamers! I loathed him just from reading the fallout from his previous spewage, so I never gave him a sideeye, much less an eyeball.

Coudn't happen to a better waste of bandwidth/skin/oxygen.

Getting really tired of everything I like getting ruined by assholes. This is why we can't have ANY things!

(Pretty sure my last inflammatory gaming comment was in a placement match for Overwatch. I think it went something like this: "Any idea what happened to "Always support the healer"? Anyone? Bueller?" Yes, I was playing Mercy.)
posted by Samizdata at 7:50 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


You know, various platforms make it really hard to profit off of obscene material. You have to wonder how well this Nazi ecosystem / colony of ass worms would have flourished if they hadn't been able to monetize their hideous bullshit.

It's pretty shocking that YouTube, Facebook, and the rest are willing to profit off this stuff.
posted by schadenfrau at 8:09 PM on February 15 [3 favorites]


some punk-ass little bitch .... whoring out

It's great that you don't want to be identified with nazis, gamer-gaters and such, but I would consider avoiding phrasing like this, if I were you - it's kinda the way they talk and is quite sexist.

I'm not trying tone police, but I'm kind of taken aback by the ferocity/violence/aggressiveness of your comment overall.
posted by smoke at 8:11 PM on February 15 [47 favorites]


smoke: " some punk-ass little bitch .... whoring out

It's great that you don't want to be identified with nazis, gamer-gaters and such, but I would consider avoiding phrasing like this, if I were you - it's kinda the way they talk and is quite sexist.

I'm not trying tone police, but I'm kind of taken aback by the ferocity/violence/aggressiveness of your comment overall.
"

Because I am tired of being a man and painted with the same brush as other jerk guys. Now, as a gamer, I am tarred with PDP's brush, as I am allegedly part of some gamer culture he is part of.
posted by Samizdata at 8:25 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


Hey, Samizdata? Here's one instead of "bitch": "fuckwidget".
posted by MissySedai at 8:37 PM on February 15 [3 favorites]


Samizdata, you seem very preoccupied with announcing to other people that you are Not Like Other Men. You did this in the Substancia Jones thread, and now you're doing it here. But you're not really walking the walk OR talking the talk. Maybe step back from this topic, too, yeah?
posted by Hermione Granger at 8:40 PM on February 15 [18 favorites]


MissySedai: "Hey, Samizdata? Here's one instead of "bitch": "fuckwidget"."

That was is new to me. Noted for the future. Cheers.
posted by Samizdata at 8:40 PM on February 15


Hermione Granger: "Samizdata, you seem very preoccupied with announcing to other people that you are Not Like Other Men. You did this in the Substancia Jones thread, and now you're doing it here. Why?"

Because whatever I say is wrong, apparently because of people like PDP, and I am getting a little tired of that?
posted by Samizdata at 8:41 PM on February 15 [2 favorites]


[This is a good point to let this derail, drop. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 8:42 PM on February 15 [4 favorites]


I watch(ed) pewdiepie occasionally because he's an attractive man. But after I heard this news I deleted him from YouTube and Twitter and won't give him another click. He made a lot of money doing what he does and that's the other half of why I watched him - I was wondering how. I didn't realize he had deals with Disney and probably other corporations.

Also, he was featured on a South Park episode where Ike was addicted to pewdiepie and refused to play a game with his brother because he was too busy watching. I have a love/hate relationship with SP, but that episode enforced how dumb it is to watch people playing video games when you could be playing them yorself.
posted by bendy at 8:48 PM on February 15


Samizdata, Here's an interesting article about how to process when a group you identify with contains an awful subgroup

Honestly, give it a read and consideration.

Mods, please feel free to delete if you don't think it's adding.
posted by smoke at 8:49 PM on February 15 [10 favorites]


I've been calling myself this stupid name for a very long time now, for so long that at some point it stopped being a black joke and now it's just my name. But times have changed, and every day I get closer to finally changing it. Part of me feels like there's still something worthwhile in a drag queen calling herself Hitler, that it's a real kick in the teeth to anybody who takes Hitler seriously. But the name Ursula Hitler just feels so much more loaded than it did when I was coming up, when Nazis were just pathetic goons on the Springer show instead of pathetic goons running the damn country. I never thought we'd be dealing with the resurgence of actual fucking fascism in my lifetime, but here we are.

(All that being said, I'm not really trying to rip Pewdiepie a new one here. I get the impression he's going for ironic troll-y South Park-y shock humor and I'm not assuming he's sincerely antisemitic. But I don't know for sure. His videos were unwatchable to me before this mess, and I have no desire to do a deeper dive now. Why would anybody wanna watch this guy play video games in a world where we have the Rad Brad?)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 9:03 PM on February 15 [9 favorites]


Hmm. I think there is a bit of a disconnect (or, more accurately, false connect) with the "thing" that a person does being associated intrinsically with the sort of person who does the thing. If one finds the thing generally stupid or distasteful then all the people who do it are generally going to be perceived as idiots or philistines. Like, I am overwhelmingly repulsed by sport shooting (of live animals), so I feel that anybody who does it is a repulsive individual. That's a useful law for me because of the nature of the thing, even though the people themselves might otherwise be wonderful (though I can't see how).

But gaming is no longer a niche hobby (it is still overwhelmingly a male hobby, but it is no longer niche) and so to respond to the palpable anger above: I don't think you should take it personally. It seems to me that the reaction in this case is to do with the person or persons, not with the thing they are most closely or famously associated with. Like, there are some real asshole writers, musicians, actors and directors, but generally speaking literature, music, and film are all good and worthy things, so a problem with e.g. Actor Person or Writer Person isn't a catchall argument that all actors are wife-beaters and all writers are kiddy-fiddlers - it's about that individual, not their thing.

So here we have a situation where PewDiePie and notch are raging fuckwidgets (or, generously, ignoramuses), and they are most closely associated with/famous because of games and gaming, but that doesn't diminish games or gaming. It does call attention, however, to the fact that games and gaming are overwhelmingly hostile environments for non-white-males, but that isn't a fault with the games, it's a fault with the people.

So I get the outrage when a person who identifies as a gamer feels like they are somehow being called out or otherwise threatened in the light of a controversy around another gamer, but I think it could be directed more profitably and more constructively. We aren't all comrades, after all, merely by virtue of our preferred hobby. It's just a collection of tired, gross old -isms manifesting in a newish context, making it a hostile environment for others - that's the thing you want to direct your anger at. You can still play and still be a good person, but you should also be aware, and instead of saying "I'm not like that", say to the people doing it, "You shouldn't be like that".
posted by turbid dahlia at 9:18 PM on February 15 [6 favorites]


Hi! I work in the games industry. My colleagues and I, tired of people like PDP, the gamergaters, 4chan, somethingawful, etc all giving us a bad name, are trying to work on how to counter the reputation so many of our fans and viewers are creating for us. We've found, so far, that pulling some "not all gamers" stance is insufficient to the task, and that trying to pretend there isn't a problem in the industry itself is likewise insufficient.

Here's what we're trying to do instead:

Surface content creators who do good
Run marathons and donation drives for charity
Give money to the ACLU
Eliminate exclusionary language from our communities and public facing materials
Support inclusive messaging and creators

And more stuff like that. For instance, without naming names because they own the company i work for and I'm not trying to shill, did you know that a particular big online retailer will give a percentage of every purchase you make to the charity of your choice forever so long as you prefix their address with the word smile?

Or that a particular software bundling retailer recently raised a million dollars for the aclu and doctors without borders by selling indie games (with the generous help of those amazing devs and publishers) for less than $1.00 per game and matching donations?

Or that Devolver games will be bringing games made by developers who were turned away at the border to GDC on their behalf even though those developers are not even published by Devolver?

I find that engaging in these things is more useful than calling people gendered insults.

I mean, Pewdiepie is a piece of shit, but still. Give to the ACLU!
posted by shmegegge at 9:37 PM on February 15 [59 favorites]


I get the impression he's going for ironic troll-y South Park-y shock humor and I'm not assuming he's sincerely antisemitic.

Does this matter? I mean, why should we have to dig into his intentions? The material he produced is pretty clearly antisemitic, in that its existence promulgates, through normalization, antisemitism. He made it, and he's apparently not especially sorry (he appears to be the opposite of sorry), so the hell with him.

Also, "shock humor" is really hard to do well. Pour encourager les autres.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:39 PM on February 15 [14 favorites]


(By "non-white-males" I of course mean "non-white, non-male folk".)
posted by turbid dahlia at 9:44 PM on February 15


shmegegge: "Hi! I work in the games industry. My colleagues and I, tired of people like PDP, the gamergaters, 4chan, somethingawful, etc all giving us a bad name, are trying to work on how to counter the reputation so many of our fans and viewers are creating for us. We've found, so far, that pulling some "not all gamers" stance is insufficient to the task, and that trying to pretend there isn't a problem in the industry itself is likewise insufficient.

Here's what we're trying to do instead:

Surface content creators who do good
Run marathons and donation drives for charity
Give money to the ACLU
Eliminate exclusionary language from our communities and public facing materials
Support inclusive messaging and creators

And more stuff like that. For instance, without naming names because they own the company i work for and I'm not trying to shill, did you know that a particular big online retailer will give a percentage of every purchase you make to the charity of your choice forever so long as you prefix their address with the word smile?

Or that a particular software bundling retailer recently raised a million dollars for the aclu and doctors without borders by selling indie games (with the generous help of those amazing devs and publishers) for less than $1.00 per game and matching donations?

Or that Devolver games will be bringing games made by developers who were turned away at the border to GDC on their behalf even though those developers are not even published by Devolver?

I find that engaging in these things is more useful than calling people gendered insults.

I mean, Pewdiepie is a piece of shit, but still. Give to the ACLU!
"

I can't run (until they come out with cyberknees/legs), but I do donate to the ACLU when I have money to spare and plastic to send it with. Also the EFF, FWIW.
posted by Samizdata at 9:55 PM on February 15


Excellent!

My language was unclear about the marathon thing, and born of assumptions I shouldn't have made when writing. By marathons I meant gaming marathons, run by us in the sense that we managed them.

I apologize for my assumption and the lack of clarity.
posted by shmegegge at 9:58 PM on February 15


OK. Here is the hell of it. He hired a very funny, up-and-coming duo from India who were building their own fanbase and fame, and made them humiliate themselves beyond redemption because they weren't aware of the cultural connotations of what they were asked to do.

I'd be honestly surprised if they weren't aware, Mein Kampf sells very well in India.
posted by Dynex at 9:58 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


For those without in-the-know teenage sons, it is easy to generalize and miss the point.

Pewdiepie was not a first-person-shooter Gamergate gamer. In fact, the Gamergate crowd hated him. He catered to the silly rather than the aggressive, and even had a large female audience.

My son, who once announced to me that he has a personal rule of never playing first-person-shooters, was a fan of Pewdiepie for a while. About a year ago he said he no longer likes him and hasn't watched any of his videos in quite a while.

This is more the last step in the descent and fall of Pewdiepie. It is sad. Fortunately there are still a number of silly and still nice non-violent gaming Youtubers (check out Markeplier's Valentine video for an example).
posted by eye of newt at 10:07 PM on February 15 [2 favorites]


Somebody mentioned Funhaus above, and I think their stuff (and the reaction to it) is kind of illustrative of why it doesn't matter whether Pewdiepie is "actually" anti-Semitic or not.

For people who aren't familiar, Funhaus is a gaming comedy channel that described themselves on one occasion as "MST3K, but for video games", which I think is fairly accurate. To nobody's surprise their team is almost entirely white (I think they have one non-white employee) and very heavily male (only one woman is part of their on-camera team, but I know they've had at least a few female off-camera staff), and they do make a lot of jokes about racial stereotypes and gender stereotypes. They're all actually pretty liberal, smart, and decent as far as I'm aware from their off-camera online presence, so it's almost certainly the case that they don't actually believe in any of the stereotypes they're bringing up... but you still sometimes see people in their comments saying shit like "yeah funhaus is the best for saying this stuff fuck all the SJWs".

So if the real world effect of their ironic "can you believe people actually think this way?" racism or sexism turns out to be the same as the real world effect of actual sexism or racism, is there really a difference? There certainly seems to be a pretty strong connection between the resurgence of the kind of American facism that led to having out-and-proud white supremacists in the White House and the normalization effect of years of "ironic" facist jokes and memes on reddit and the *chans.

Also, yeah, it's pretty standard Pewdiepie that it turns out that underneath the antisemitism there's another level of gross exploitation to this. I don't know if Pewdiepie is actually a bigot, but I do know that if he isn't he's still on the hook for being stupid enough that people can't tell the difference. Intent isn't meaningless, but the damage done by the outcome is real regardless.
posted by IAmUnaware at 10:12 PM on February 15 [5 favorites]


My son also told me that more important than the Disney decision to drop him, is the Google decision to drop him from their ad program, which means, basically, that the internet fired him.
posted by eye of newt at 10:30 PM on February 15 [18 favorites]


it is still overwhelmingly a male hobby

Not really. Women make up half of PC gamers, at least. And much more than half of mobile gamers. It's very easy to get the opposite impression, though!
posted by zompist at 10:46 PM on February 15 [14 favorites]


That "women are more than half of PC gamers" is inflated IMO, because they are counting my mom as a "gamer" because she sometimes plays a Facebook game. I guess it would depend on the definition of gamer, but how I define it I still see it as mostly male.
posted by Hazelsmrf at 11:07 PM on February 15


Not really. Women make up half of PC gamers, at least. And much more than half of mobile gamers. It's very easy to get the opposite impression, though!

Well, I stand corrected! That's what I get from relying on my own powers of observation!
posted by turbid dahlia at 11:37 PM on February 15 [2 favorites]


I get the impression he's going for ironic troll-y South Park-y shock humor and I'm not assuming he's sincerely antisemitic

I think the reason why this distinction never actually holds, in practice, is that you have to be sincerely anti-semitic to believe that ironic anti-semitism is an available option for you, a non-Jewish person. It's based on the untroubled assumption that of course your right to lulz is more important than the right of Jews to feel safe and unthreatened. Of course the Holocaust is material for young white men to play with--what else would it be? It's not like Holocaust survivors, and their families, actually exist as people in the same way that they do.

This is the assumption behind all this ironic bigotry, of every stripe, and it is actual bigotry. It depends on thinking that the only people in the room, always, are people like you -- for whom racism, sexism, homophobia and anti-semitism are just ideas about stuff that happened to other people, who are not and could not be in the room. That's why the flipside of ironic bigotry is complaining about virtue signalling and PC Gone Mad etc. They assume that the shocked audience is also, necessarily, made up of people like them, whose problem is that they take these theoretical ideas that schoolteachers taught them were Bad too seriously. It is beyond them to imagine the subjective perspective of a Jew, or a woman, or a black person on their material. In that way, the supposed irony of their jokes is evidence of their complete and sincere commitment to white male supremacy.
posted by Aravis76 at 11:54 PM on February 15 [60 favorites]


That "women are more than half of PC gamers" is inflated IMO, because they are counting my mom as a "gamer" because she sometimes plays a Facebook game. I guess it would depend on the definition of gamer, but how I define it I still see it as mostly male.

A facebook game. A. Game. Is there a test to pass to mark when something stops being frivolous fun and starts being a serious game? A certain number of hours, perhaps? Or maybe that makes no sense and all types of games are games.
posted by Braeburn at 12:23 AM on February 16 [33 favorites]


That "women are more than half of PC gamers" is inflated IMO, because they are counting my mom as a "gamer" because she sometimes plays a Facebook game.

Discounting people who play games when talking about who plays games is part of how women get marginalized. Another part is we tend to either play solo, play in majority woman groups, or pretend to be men in social contexts.

Additionally, any type of game which visibly attracts a large number of women will frequently be discounted as "not a real game." For example, facebook and phone games tend to have a lot of women visibly playing them, so a lot of gamers say that facebook games aren't "real games". RPGs have been increasingly discounted as "real" games in favor of first-person-shooters for a similar reason. This is part of a general trend in patriarchal societies to discount and devalue anything women enjoy as part of devaluing women in general.
posted by Deoridhe at 12:25 AM on February 16 [96 favorites]


I'll add, the use of gendered slurs even when the men involved assume most everyone else is a man is also part of excluding and devaluing women in gaming contexts. Words like "bitch," "whore," and "raped" to devalue other people are ways of marking an environment as unfriendly to women unless the women accept that they are explicitly equated with being lesser and/or evil.

This use of those words extends beyond gaming contexts, and is part of how men continue to dominate other social and media platforms, like websites with blue backgrounds. One of the nice things about MetaFilter is that the gender balance is such we feel comfortable pushing back against men who casually use misogynistic slurs.
posted by Deoridhe at 12:30 AM on February 16 [56 favorites]


There is basically only one way in which it matters if someone is a "real" anti-Semite. We've got some fucking amateur teenage Nazis locally who have been spraypainting swastikas on the local mosque (they're not SMART Nazis) since the election. They are not "real" Nazis, in that it's almost solely about the graffiti for the shock value, and dumb-fuck teenage graffiti artists are highly unlikely to escalate to actual interpersonal violence AND they can largely be "fixed" via traditional measures like education, punishment, probation, etc. So in that case it is helpful to know that it is "just" dumb-ass teenagers and not "real" Nazis, since it helps the local community assess the risk of violence and gets those dumb-ass kids the services they need to de-dumbassify them. That is important in local law enforcement's response, and it's reassuring for the community to know the perpetrators are teenaged morons with spraypaint and poor judgement rather than an adult militia with guns.

However, the way in which it does NOT matter is that painting a fucking swastika on a community building is an act of terror, full stop, and swastikas don't come with asterisks to say "This one's ironic!" or "I'm acting out because my parents are getting divorced!" They're normalizing hate speech for the "real" Nazis and terrorizing the community. It doesn't matter if they did it for ideology or for lulz; the result is the same.

When we're talking about people with large media platforms, it absolutely doesn't matter whether they "really" believe whatever racist bile they're spewing, since the only thing they're selling is words, and they're selling it to a very broad audience. Dumb-ass local teenagers are a local problem that can probably be solved. PewDiePie is using a platform that reaches millions (many of them children) to sell hatred. It literally doesn't matter if he's "serious" or not; the damage is done regardless of his intent.

Further, dumbass local teenagers can make amends to the community they've wronged. PewDiePie can't. His damage is too broad. (I mean, that's part of why we don't generally hand children media empires; children make mistakes and it's better if those mistakes don't reach millions of people, hello Justin Bieber.) People who can speak to millions of people have to be CAREFUL with that power, because he's done damage he literally can't undo or adequately recompense. He can't even properly comprehend its scope; he doesn't know who is harmed by his words, directly and indirectly. It makes no difference what he intended with his anti-Semitic "jokes"; he knew it was hate speech, he knew he had an audience of millions, he chose to do it anyway. It doesn't matter whether he's hateful or just stupidly reckless; the two look the same coming from a media personality, and both do the same irremediable harm.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:36 AM on February 16 [37 favorites]


Between this, Notch and SD, I'm starting to wonder whether Sweden was properly denazified after WW2.

*puts on the last Radio Dept. album again*
posted by acb at 12:55 AM on February 16


I honestly don't think he's racist or antisemitic. Just a moron who thinks this kind of stuff is humor. I've been waiting for the backlash ever since I saw him casually using homophobic slurs.

If you're ironically a Nazi, or a Nazi for lulz, you're still a Nazi.
posted by acb at 12:56 AM on February 16 [19 favorites]


hm. i wonder if this youtube idiot would find his 8+ "ironic" holocaust and antisemitic references as charmingly irreverant and supposedly nonserious if it was white blonde blue-eyed scandinavians who were the subject of a couple millennias' worth of hate and murder. fuck him and his uneducated, smug ilk.
posted by wibari at 1:01 AM on February 16 [3 favorites]


he knew it was hate speech, he knew he had an audience of millions, he chose to do it anyway

I think this worth highlighting. In order to do something like this, you have to not care about the consequences - and that speaks to there being real antisemitism underneath this kind of edgelord bullshit.

The thing is, the targets aren't random, and that's one of the reasons why the excuse that it's just for lulz has never worked. If it had nothing to do with real attitudes, then they would also go after some of the biggest lulz of all: straight white men. But if you do that, it's suddenly not funny any more.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 1:15 AM on February 16 [30 favorites]


Between this, Notch and SD, I'm starting to wonder whether Sweden was properly denazified after WW2.

Forsen, a popular Twitch streamer whose stream typifies this kind of ironic bigotry, is also Swedish. Maybe Sweden's homogeneity makes these "jokes" seem less harmful than they really are?
posted by panic at 1:50 AM on February 16 [1 favorite]


My go to retort when people are claiming to be ironic is, "Just because you should know better doesn't make it ironic."

I originally started saying that because people were afraid to admit to liking music I thought was silly and now everything is kind of dark and serious and can someone please stop this timeline I would like to get off.
posted by ckape at 2:01 AM on February 16 [13 favorites]


Maybe we shouldn't be making sweeping conclusions about nationalities based on a handful of data points.
posted by mushhushshu at 2:14 AM on February 16 [9 favorites]


A facebook game. A. Game. Is there a test to pass to mark when something stops being frivolous fun and starts being a serious game?

Given that games are a cultural product, the difference may be best seen as a subcultural distinction rather than a practical difference; i.e., the difference between someone with 10,000 hours of EVE Online time and your granddad who plays Minesweeper on his PC is a bit like the difference between someone deeply into, say, technical black metal and someone who likes the Beatles but couldn't name more than three of their songs.
posted by acb at 2:19 AM on February 16 [3 favorites]


I haven't seen PewDiePie, but he sounds like Chris Morris and Charlie Brooker's Nathan Barley character, only minus the mid-00s Shoreditch trust-fund hipster background. In the TV series, Barley also had a website where he posted videos of himself playing cruel, unfunny, downward-punching pranks (“Watch me evil Pingu's head with this lorry battery!”) and his enthusiasms for things like Russian underground tramp-racing websites.

It occurred to me last year that, if the Nathan Barley character was around in 2016, he'd be a member of the alt-right, or at least in its orbit. This is another data point for that case.
posted by acb at 2:27 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]


Hey, Samizdata? Here's one instead of "bitch": "fuckwidget".

If that's too whimsical/cutesy, “dipshit” will do.
posted by acb at 2:31 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]


Watching that Adults React to PewDiePie video that Pope Guilty posted made me finally realise who PDP reminds me of: Bluebottle from the Goon Show. It's uncanny.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 2:54 AM on February 16


Just because some punk-ass little bitch

Jesus.

I'm really disappointed by this comment, and for a particular reason. In a previous gaming thread, you defended your use of "bitch" in gaming, and one of your defenses was that you would stop if women told you they didn't like it.

Now, in that thread, several women gamers (me included) explained to you why it's a terrible idea to make it women's responsibility to tell you to stop, and that it is hostile and hurts our enjoyment even if we say nothing. We explicitly said we dislike it. You went silent.

The most charitable interpretation I can make: You didn't notice that the people replying to you were women, even though we explicitly said so and were talking out our personal experiences as women in gaming, and that the reason you never responded to the comments asking if we counted is that something came up and you stopped reading the thread.

So, operating on that assumption, I'll repeat myself so you have the data to adjust your behavior accordingly.

Samizdata, I am a woman gamer and I do not like it when other gamers use "bitch." It is hostile and it hurts my enjoyment of gaming, even if I say nothing. I would like you to stop.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 2:58 AM on February 16 [87 favorites]


Sweden: 14.3% of population born outside Sweden
US: 9.7% of population born outside US
Also one of the European countries with least to be ashamed of in World War II.
posted by ambrosen at 3:30 AM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Also one of the European countries with least to be ashamed of in World War II.

From what I understand, there is a lot of hand-wringing and soul-searching about whether having been neutral was the right thing to do, whether allowing Nazi iron ore transports to travel through Sweden outweighed sheltering Jewish refugees from the continent, and whether if they hadn't been neutral, the Nazis would have just conquered them. There's a plausible case to be made that neutrality was the least-worst compromise that could be made.

OTOH, perhaps the lack of guilt/recent memory of fascism is what allows the likes of the Sverigedemokraterna (barely reconstructed neo-Nazis, now in respectable guise) to win significant numbers of seats, and Kjellberg to build a “comedy” career out of his Nazi-themed Nathan Barley act. In Germany, where Holocaust guilt is still recent, the far right is much weaker than elsewhere, and Spain and Portugal (which were fascist dictatorships until the mid-1970s) are also resistant to the wave of neo-fascism, or at least to its mainstreaming.
posted by acb at 3:57 AM on February 16 [9 favorites]


I decided to see the entire 13 minute video for myself after reading the Guardian article. My first objection was the absolutely casual racism and misogyny in the video, well in the beginning of it and then throughout. Second was the way he treated the people on the other end of the microtransactions: with the disregard and unawareness of somebody who is enabled/insulated by their first-world privileges.

The editing and performance really effective: some of the "absurdities" made me laugh too and I can see how these various aspects could appeal to certain viewers. The whole premise of the video is he's reviewing a really unusual website service and he employs a number of performance elements to make this engaging, on some level. And this creeps me out because it creates a dissonance between the humor/charm versus those implicit political biases above.

The section with the Indian men and the banner basically made my heart sink. The stark reality of it and everything it represents was deeply saddening. My dismay was visceral.

To be fair to him, he was immediately genuinely contrite, in the same video. This is a detail that the Guardian article completely omitted. I get that the article takes a consequentialist stance, but decontextualizing a piece of media is sort of exactly not the way to be a proper consequentialist (intentions matter, e.g., modern psychologists actually suggest that intentions matter a lot, whereas the actual issue/conflict is that too often people use intention as a shield or excuse).

As for jokes, based on the video, it was a racist joke, the only difference from other basic racist pranks/jokes is the particularities of the internet setting, the way it was performed, the globalized immediacy of the social relations involved, etc. This isn't some new version of "ironic racism" (nor was it cultural reappropriation of insider jokes/black humor in a significant way; I'm a PoC and gender minority so I'm arguing from authority at this point) , and I think the fact that he or others tried to double-down and reflexively contrive it as that only shows further his lack of awareness of the scope of what he's done.

This is just all sad. And I haven't even started on the problematics of Google's role in this. I have other, happier stuff to do and I need to go cope.
posted by polymodus at 4:16 AM on February 16 [6 favorites]


In Germany, where Holocaust guilt is still recent, the far right is much weaker than elsewhere

AfD was at 15% in the latest polls, SD at 16.5%. UKIP isn't that far behind. And from the look of it, US numbers would probably be at least twice that, if they had a similar multiparty setup...
posted by effbot at 4:26 AM on February 16 [1 favorite]


I can hardly believe people are serious when they say stuff like "I thought it was ok to make jokes like that because Jewish comedians do".

I mean... I say mean stuff about my siblings all the time, but if you do, I will be outraged. I talk about how unfit and lazy I am but it would be hurtful and rude if you said the same thing. And we're not even getting into minority/oppressed groups here, this is the absolute basics.

The way people in a group talk about themselves and their experiences is ABSOLUTELY SEPARATE from how people outside that group get to talk about them. Whether that group is a family, or a race, gender or religion.
posted by greenish at 4:31 AM on February 16 [9 favorites]


Sweden: 14.3% of population born outside Sweden
US: 9.7% of population born outside US
Also one of the European countries with least to be ashamed of in World War II.


According to PEW, it's more like 13.7 born outside of the US, and rising.

As to Sweden and WWII, let us say their record was mixed. Some safe haven, which is admirable. On the other hand, they sold iron to Germany throughout the war and allowed the Wehrmacht to use her rail system to transport men and materiel to the Russian front.

As to rising antisemitism, I expect that so long as three of the US president's children are married to Jews and his record of support for Israel remains as strong as it has over the decades, Jews can feel relatively safe here.
posted by IndigoJones at 5:14 AM on February 16 [1 favorite]


If I had a gaming channel and had the chance of getting two persons say something they had absolutely no idea what it meant , I'd go with "Alien Colonial Marines is better than Halo" or whatever.

his wiki doesn't have any mega-drama that I can spot.
Wiki is very good at hiding drama if enough fans are present to raise questions over the "notability" of content. Googling their name +asshole or +douchebag and so on works perfectly fine for an unfiltered take.
posted by lmfsilva at 5:14 AM on February 16 [4 favorites]


Wired has done a little more research: PewDiePie Was Always Kinda Racist—But Now He’s a Hero to Nazis
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 5:25 AM on February 16 [7 favorites]


And as expected the comments under that Wired article are… not good. And will probably turn worse.
posted by dominik at 5:37 AM on February 16


Maybe we shouldn't be making sweeping conclusions about nationalities based on a handful of data points.

This. I'm Scandinavian and as a rule MeFi don't really do well analysing Scandinavian culture - let alone individual Scandinavian countries. Besides, he now lives elsewhere so maybe let that derail die?

In other news, I'm still perplexed why guys like PPD are being characterised as kids just having a laugh and not understanding why it's offensive, but we should wait until they grow up a little.

The guy is 27.
posted by kariebookish at 5:44 AM on February 16 [18 favorites]


Wiki is very good at hiding drama if enough fans are present to raise questions over the "notability" of content. Googling their name +asshole or +douchebag and so on works perfectly fine for an unfiltered take.

I get what you're saying, but that is the opposite of an unfiltered take.
posted by mushhushshu at 5:44 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]


yeah, maybe "raw" would have been a better choice of words.
posted by lmfsilva at 5:53 AM on February 16 [1 favorite]


This. I'm Scandinavian and as a rule MeFi don't really do well analysing Scandinavian culture - let alone individual Scandinavian countries

Sorry, my intent in bringing in the numbers was to say "why are you talking about Sweden being the problem when you know even less about it than me?". But of course the outcome of my actions was to alienate you as a Scandinavian in a more concentrated manner than I was feeling alienated as a European.

Which is to say that intent only matters when there was a genuine best effort attempt to empathise with those who might be most harmed by your actions. I failed in a minor way because I'm grumpy and ill and probably also a bit self centred. PewDiePie fails because he's just totally self centred.
posted by ambrosen at 6:23 AM on February 16


Given that games are a cultural product, the difference may be best seen as a subcultural distinction rather than a practical difference; i.e., the difference between someone with 10,000 hours of EVE Online time and your granddad who plays Minesweeper on his PC is a bit like the difference between someone deeply into, say, technical black metal and someone who likes the Beatles but couldn't name more than three of their songs.

And we'd only call one of them a guitar nerd. Similarly, there is space for "gamer" to only cover a subset of those who play (video) games (let's not forget that we are implicitly excluding people who play board games, do crosswords and sudoku, play rugby, football, etc. - all games) without too much controversy. Myself, I play minecraft and puzzle games and old point and click adventure games (replay in the case of the latter - played them all already) but I don't consider myself a gamer and will in fact fight you if you ever tarnish me with that label.
posted by Dysk at 6:32 AM on February 16


From the Wired article: His YouTube audience exceeds the subscriber base of Hulu, Apple Music, and the New York Times combined.

Yikes. I had heard of him but I had no idea.
posted by octothorpe at 6:37 AM on February 16 [4 favorites]


And yeah, this does not strike me as uniquely Swedish issue (much as I would love for it to be the case - thinking ourselves better than our neighbours is basically a national pastime of osnok Denmark) what with the similar situations re: DF in Denmark, UKIP, Brexit, and rising naziism in the UK to name just two countries with very different WWII histories to Sweden (but a fair degree of similarity culturally). This is a problem of the entire West. Sweden we always be the most visible Nordic country ask else being equal, since it is the most populous.
posted by Dysk at 6:38 AM on February 16 [4 favorites]


y'know, one of the reasons I had a hard time sticking with streaming was that I felt like guys like PDP were the ones that got ahead.

I find this comforting, actually.

Also, if anyone had told me Disney had hitched their name to that guy, I would have said "well, that's doomed." /chuckle
posted by Archelaus at 6:38 AM on February 16 [3 favorites]


Mefi doesn't do non US politics very well but we do have a problem with antisemitism in Sweden. It's always been there and gotten worst in the past decades because it was never properly addressed in the first place, the Israel-Palestine conflict, influx of refugees from Palestine, neo-nazi revival, general lack of allyship from the left, etc.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 6:49 AM on February 16 [8 favorites]


This. I'm Scandinavian and as a rule MeFi don't really do well analysing Scandinavian culture - let alone individual Scandinavian countries

I think the recent enlightening conversations about hygge should improve how we talk about Scandanavia.
posted by My Dad at 6:55 AM on February 16


I've seen a few Pewdiepie videos over the last year or so. Didn't realize how large an audience he has. Also didn't realize he had a reputation as a racist -- and it's depressing to think that was probably one of the reasons why he was so popular.

Good for Disney and YouTube Red for dropping him. Wish they hadn't picked him up in the first place.

IndigoJones: As to rising antisemitism, I expect that so long as three of the US president's children are married to Jews and his record of support for Israel remains as strong as it has over the decades, Jews can feel relatively safe here.

Yesterday, Trump was asked about the perception that his administration has enabled a wave of antisemitic sentiment across the US. His response was that he won the electoral college at a higher number than anyone had predicted and that he has children and three beautiful grandchildren who are Jewish.

Here's the full text:
Well, I just want to say that we are, you know, very honored by the victory that we had. 306 electoral college votes. We were not supposed to crack 220. You know that, right? There was no way to 221 but then they said there’s no way to 270. And there’s tremendous enthusiasm out there. I will say that we are going to have peace in this country. We are going to stop crime in this country. We are going to do everything within our power to stop long simmering racism and every other thing that’s going on. Because a lot of bad things have been taking place over a long period of time. I think one of the reasons I won the election is because we have a very, very divided nation. Very divided and hopefully, I’ll be able to do something about that. And I—you know, something that was very important to me.

As far as people… Jewish people—so many friends, a daughter who happens to be here right now. A son-in-law, and… three beautiful grandchildren. I think that you’re going to see a lot different United States of America over the next three, four or eight years. I think a lot of good things are happening and you’re going to see a lot of love. You’re going to see a lot of love. Okay? Thank you.
At no point did he actually address either the rise in antisemitism or hate crimes. At no point did he condemn either. At no point did he express that the country stands in solidarity with Jewish Americans against hate. It's as if he chose to completely dismiss the problem.

Like Pewdiepie, Trump is normalizing antisemitism. He's just mostly doing it through silence rather than boosting the message. Like the Trump administration's statement on the Holocaust that deliberately didn't mention Jews. Because (to paraphrase Bill Maher,) according to the Trump administration, we Jews have apparently been hogging the Holocaust.

Any normalization of antisemitism is a bad thing. It encourages people to act out. Sometimes dangerously. 48 Jewish Community Centers in 27 states and one Canadian province received nearly 60 bomb threats during January. The JTA obtained a recording of one so we can hear what it sounds like. "...a large amount of Jews are going to be slaughtered." Jewish Community Centers often run early child care, pre-schools and aftercare programs. So the buildings often house young children during the week. All had to be evacuated. In some cases for hours while police, bomb squads and bomb-sniffing dogs searched the buildings.

So let's be clear about this. Nearly 60 bomb threats were made across the country to JCC's. These were not isolated incidents. They were coordinated. And they targeted children. In some cases pre-schoolers.

From the CNN link:
In 2014 and 2015 the FBI tallied more than 1,270 hate crime incidents targeting Jews, far more than any other religious groups, and some Jewish leaders say the situation is getting worse.

In the past several months, synagogues and schools have been vandalized, swastikas have been scrawled in New York City subway cars and Jewish families have been harassed by neo-Nazis.
Trump doesn't even acknowledge there's a problem. His Jewish son-in-law defended him by saying he wasn't racist or antisemitic and that he would not allow "hateful rhetoric or behavior" in his administration. Completely ignoring the fact that Trump never denounced the white nationalists who supported his campaign or even distanced himself from them. Ignoring the incontrovertible fact that the pillars of Trump's campaign were fearmongering efforts to smear Mexicans, African-Americans and Muslims.

I'm Jewish. I feel much, much less safe here thanks to Trump. And I worry about my kids and my extended family because of his ignorance, racism and apparent inability to condemn hate crimes and hate groups that target a wide variety of Americans, including America's Jews.
posted by zarq at 6:57 AM on February 16 [45 favorites]


listen, lady, I'm sorry that I minimized the issue and that it contributed to you not feeling safe here. I've tried to write this reply for over an hour now but I don't know what else I can say other than I'll try to listen better when antisemitism is brought up on Mefi.

Hey, thank you. That's very kind. My intention was not to single you out, but to illustrate how this operates, because when folks tried to talk about it in the MeTa thread it was hard to lock it down in a way that was Understood. Because the thing is, there has always been a current of anti-Semitism in American society & for years it was not visible to many non-Jews and so we never talked about it, especially those of us whose communities are not especially Jewish, but like: my childhood synagogue always had security and had more security on High Holidays. It was not safe not to.

Again, I'm not singling you out, or anyone, but I want to explain how anti-Semitism is casually coded in everyday expressions of people who are really kind, thoughtful, and well-meaning. It's insidious.

Since the election, it's been especially hard because there's a general assumption that anti-Semitic expressions (including swastikas) are kind of displays of like, generic hate, rather than serious, directed, targeted, and meant to be violent. I saw someone—someone here maybe—say that this happens partly b/c of an embedded anti-Semitic assumption that because Jews have been "successful immigrants" in this society & many American Jews have accumulated significant economic & social privilege, we can't actually be the targets of discrimination or hatred, that it doesn't really count somehow. (And that we're monolithic: all white & of European/Eastern European extraction, middle- or upper class or upwardly mobile, heterosexual, Zionists, a group that "can't" be oppressed.) The Jewish money everyone thinks we have doesn't actually protect us—even from the assumption that it does. And like: folks on the Left understand that this moment resembles Weimar Germany because the national leadership is talking explicitly about eliminating an ethnoreligious minority w/registries and bans, but people DON'T seem to understand that this moment resembles Weimar Germany in the ratcheting up of anti-Semitic expressions in a society into which Jews were thought to be fully assimilated and even secularized.This is EXACTLY LIKE IT, and the fact that "never forget" is bandied about with so much solemnity while this is happening is personally pretty horrifying. So is the idea that if anything short of an actual genocide targets Jews, it isn't really like the sociopolitical condition that led to the Holocaust, like, unless we get rounded up, skin-lampshade references are somehow benign. They aren't. They never were.

And again, I GET that lots of people don't think they think this way. I understand that! But you (generally, generically)—you do. The only way to draw attention to it that I could see was to show that it's casual and cumulative—no individual person is expressing it, or they don't think they are, but as a discourse made invisible, it is everywhere. I just hope this helps folks keep an eye out for it. We're not imagining it. We're not making it up. We never have been, and we're not at all surprised to see it re-emerging.
posted by listen, lady at 7:31 AM on February 16 [21 favorites]


PewdiePie

Who?

So I watched about 30 seconds of this guy's content for the first time today and I feel stupider for having done so. I came to the horrifying realization that the fact that this clown had 5 million followers by 2013 is the reason that people like Trump get elected to power.
posted by prepmonkey at 8:09 AM on February 16 [5 favorites]




I think the recent enlightening conversations about hygge should improve how we talk about Scandanavia.

This is a joke, right? Right?
posted by Dysk at 8:22 AM on February 16 [4 favorites]


Jacob Clifton just wrote a great piece for Buzzfeed that gets to a lot of the points people like Eyebrows and others have made about the dangers of "ironic Nazism" and other such bullshit and its corrosive effect on a really large segment of the population: PewDiePie Isn’t A Monster; He’s Someone You Know
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:23 AM on February 16 [4 favorites]


I would like to thank Aravis76 for their comment above talking so eloquently about how splitting hairs about whether hate speech is for lulz is rather a waste of time because hate speech for lulz "depends on thinking that the only people in the room, always, are people like you -- for whom racism, sexism, homophobia and anti-semitism are just ideas about stuff that happened to other people, who are not and could not be in the room."

I would ask anyone who is thinking of making the point here, or in any of the Trump threads, that so-and-so population is only in it for the lulz and not *really* seriously racist, or homophobic, or sexist, or anti-semitic, please go back and read Aravis76's comment before you post and waste all of our time.
posted by Squeak Attack at 8:29 AM on February 16 [13 favorites]


PewDiePie Isn’t A Monster; He’s Someone You Know

There's a continuum between the not-yet-alt-right edgelords like PDP on one side and actual Nazi shitbags like weev on the other, and a steady progression rightwards (the “redpilling” process, they call it).
posted by acb at 8:29 AM on February 16 [4 favorites]


Yes, that exactly. From the article:


Drawing a self-comforting line between “Reddit dorks” over here and “monsters” over there does nothing to stop them, much less help them. It only serves the rest of us.


To be honest, I don't have the emotional energy left to worry about helping misguided young angry white dudes. But I do think the self-satisfaction people derive from categorizing them too often sucks the air out of the room for those who still do have the energy I lack.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:37 AM on February 16 [6 favorites]


So, a slight derail but it feels important given the scary and rapid changes our society is undergoing right now.

I just want to say that all of you in this thread who have been championing the left paying more attention to antisemitism have really opened my eyes. It's a bit like a mini version of the day I realized that privilege was A Thing. This pamphlet was fantastic and I feel like I really understand how this stuff functions, and I have a better understanding of both antisemitism and I/P from the jewish perspective as a result. I'm going to start trying to be a better ally, and calling out antisemitism wherever I see it, just like I would do for racism or anti-muslim sentiment. I know that the recent MeTa indicated that antisemitism is a thing we need to do better as a community, and this will be the start of me pushing for a step in the right direction.

PewDiePie, and South Park, and Borat, and all of these cultural landmarks were annoying but unthreatening when antisemitism was something I thought didn't exist much (at least in America, that I could see) anymore. But with the JCC bomb threats, graffiti swastikas popping up everywhere, and the most popular youtuber in history doing crap like this at this moment.. it really is not okay, and I'm sorry otherwise enlightened gentiles have tolerated it for so long.
posted by zug at 8:57 AM on February 16 [19 favorites]


There is no difference between pretending to be a racist and actually being a racist. Zero. None. Zilch.
posted by JohnFromGR at 9:25 AM on February 16 [6 favorites]


So let's be clear about this. Nearly 60 bomb threats were made across the country to JCC's. These were not isolated incidents. They were coordinated. And they targeted children. In some cases pre-schoolers.

I know about this partly because a little kid I know got evacuated from a preschool in Boulder the other day.

I'm not Jewish. I didn't grow up in a place with a visible Jewish community. I've known that it existed, but I don't think I've been remotely aware of the actual level of ambient anti-Semitism in this country, maybe in much the same way that, coming from a generally racist culture in an overwhelmingly white part of middle America, I didn't really understand how bone-deep the various hatreds were until I got outside my native context and could see them in relief. (And start to see the ways they were twisted through my own understanding and history.)

I feel bad about all of that, but I promise you I am paying attention now.
posted by brennen at 9:29 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]


Fascism finds each of us differently. Me personally, it interpellates as a Jew.

There's a little homily that I’ve never heard named aloud as a cliché, but which must be. I imagine some version of it was spoken at some point to every American-Jewish kid ambivalent about their identity (i.e. nearly all of them, including me): You might not think of yourself as Jewish. You might not want others to see you as Jewish. Trust me, kid, you are plenty Jewish enough for the boxcars.

This is where we are now. In America we passed for white for most of the period since 1945 — in some ways, no doubt, as a kind of guilt tax for the ways in which the Holocaust haunted the postwar conscience — but with the election of Donald John Trump this epoch appears to have come to an end. I'm personally experiencing the long-awaited retraction of Whiteness as a salutary thing, in a lot of ways. It’s like the closing of a lacuna, the bursting of an improbably distended bubble. I'm not any more comfortable about my identity than I ever have been, but it's good to know just exactly where I stand, and who does or does not have my back.

And not that I'm into litmus tests, but one of the ways in which I figure out who will show up for me is how they react to a prompt like this guy.
posted by adamgreenfield at 9:50 AM on February 16 [11 favorites]


Kutsuwamushi: " Just because some punk-ass little bitch

Jesus.

I'm really disappointed by this comment, and for a particular reason. In a previous gaming thread, you defended your use of "bitch" in gaming, and one of your defenses was that you would stop if women told you they didn't like it.

Now, in that thread, several women gamers (me included) explained to you why it's a terrible idea to make it women's responsibility to tell you to stop, and that it is hostile and hurts our enjoyment even if we say nothing. We explicitly said we dislike it. You went silent.

The most charitable interpretation I can make: You didn't notice that the people replying to you were women, even though we explicitly said so and were talking out our personal experiences as women in gaming, and that the reason you never responded to the comments asking if we counted is that something came up and you stopped reading the thread.

So, operating on that assumption, I'll repeat myself so you have the data to adjust your behavior accordingly.

Samizdata, I am a woman gamer and I do not like it when other gamers use "bitch." It is hostile and it hurts my enjoyment of gaming, even if I say nothing. I would like you to stop.
"

I am sorry. I admitted there was a better term above. In addition, for other reasons, I was not in a very good mood, so I wasn't filtering well. So, can I beg forgiveness for being a fuckwidget?
posted by Samizdata at 10:02 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]


Poor guy is being attacked by the old school media. (Insert unamused face here.)
posted by dominik at 10:29 AM on February 16


dominik: "Poor guy is being attacked by the old school media. (Insert unamused face here.)"

Damn the bad luck, what what?
posted by Samizdata at 11:05 AM on February 16


The Cartman discussion up thread is so right on. Did you know there was an episode when Cartman basically became PewDiePie?

South Park is (was?) a smart show, written by talented people, but they definitely bear some responsibility for the world we live in, where casual racism is considered edgy and cool by certain people, and when called on it, they take zero responsibility. The libertarianism espoused by Stone and Parker, which doubles as a consequence-free way to live a privileged life, is something that many people who love the show seem to aspire to.
posted by cell divide at 11:22 AM on February 16 [16 favorites]


I expect that so long as three of the US president's children are married to Jews and his record of support for Israel remains as strong as it has over the decades, Jews can feel relatively safe here.

we are none of us safe until all of us are safe. there is no safety for jews where religion-based registries are being discussed. the end.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:49 AM on February 16 [33 favorites]


It's time to make it fucking scary to ironically or earnestly espouse pro-Nazi opinions. I'm sorry that people are so disenchanted that they think being nihilistic assholes is a great and safe form of entertainment, but it's time to make it dangerous to promote hate, even for NEETs and YouTube stars.
posted by aydeejones at 1:49 PM on February 16 [4 favorites]


There's a little homily that I’ve never heard named aloud as a cliché, but which must be. I imagine some version of it was spoken at some point to every American-Jewish kid ambivalent about their identity (i.e. nearly all of them, including me): You might not think of yourself as Jewish. You might not want others to see you as Jewish. Trust me, kid, you are plenty Jewish enough for the boxcars.


In this very thread I described myself in a roundabout way as "ethnically and culturally" Jewish because - well I am actually comfortable with it being a significant part of my identity because, seriously, almost all my friends were Jewish and I was Jewish enough for them - I don't feel like I have nearly the same claim to that identity as somebody who was actually ever religious in their life, you know? And I have some other heritage too, though I'm less connected to it. But I realized a little while ago that I have a name that turns out to give very little plausible deniability, if there were ever I list I did not want to be on.
posted by atoxyl at 1:52 PM on February 16


three of the US president's children are married to Jews

Were you unaware that Ivanka Trump is actually also Jewish or was this some sort of

something?
posted by listen, lady at 2:02 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Like his child and grandchildren ARE Jewish. Which I guess people ssume they aren't. And yet he shuts down a reporter who asks about anti-Semitism and feels fine commemorating the Holocaust while not mentioning Jews. All I'm sure of is that the Trump-Kushners will manage just fine.
posted by listen, lady at 2:15 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


South Park is (was?) a smart show, written by talented people, but they definitely bear some responsibility for the world we live in, where casual racism is considered edgy and cool by certain people, and when called on it, they take zero responsibility. The libertarianism espoused by Stone and Parker, which doubles as a consequence-free way to live a privileged life, is something that many people who love the show seem to aspire to.

I grew up watching South Park and think Trey Parker is a very talented man. However, as I've gotten older I've really come to realize that South Park's core ethos is "everything that isn't the status quo is stupid" and it gets very, very tiresome.

Or, like this insightful dissection (from Reddit, surprisingly) says: "Nothing is a bigger crime to Matt and Trey than Giving a Shit."
posted by joechip at 2:23 PM on February 16 [14 favorites]


I grew up watching South Park and think Trey Parker is a very talented man. However, as I've gotten older I've really come to realize that South Park's core ethos is "everything that isn't the status quo is stupid" and it gets very, very tiresome.

I haven't watched South Park regularly for a long time, pretty much for that reason, and because it all just got old. But sometimes they surprise me with something that's pretty sharp? Like the recent 'Member Berries bit as a metaphor for the insidiousness of reactionary thinking.
posted by atoxyl at 3:05 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


soo i stumbled upon this, the latest in a series of defenses for pdp by phillip defranco.
and it got me thinking, with what we know of how the shitheels are organizing and using technology.

is there any background availible on this defranco person?
posted by xcasex at 10:08 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


It looks like the three writers of that WSJ article have found their faces shopped onto people wearing what I can only assume is some white supremacist outfit at the top of the front page of the daily stormer, which also reads "The Daily Stormer: The World's No. 1 Wall Street Journal Fansite".

I imagine they're going to have a fun day tomorrow.
posted by whorl at 10:15 PM on February 16


oh god and both markiplier and peanutbuttergamer are defending pdp too augh
posted by ShawnStruck at 10:49 PM on February 16


So do Casey Neistat and Ethan Klein, at least on Twitter. It's so weird.
posted by dominik at 10:51 PM on February 16


Jon Tron too. But I'd suggest not letting it ruffle your feathers too much. Some of the stuff in this thread = real augh. Careful.

“The surest way to work up a crusade in favor of some good cause is to promise people they will have a chance of maltreating someone. To be able to destroy with good conscience, to be able to behave badly and call your bad behavior 'righteous indignation' —this is the height of psychological luxury, the most delicious of moral treats.”

- Aldous Huxley
posted by whorl at 11:15 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


I have a love/hate relationship with [South Park], but that episode enforced how dumb it is to watch people playing video games when you could be playing them yorself.

I'm really disappointed that the younger generations -- say under 35, Millennials is very vague -- grew up with cheap to free HD cameras and editing software -- can make a feature film on a friggin' smart phone on any subject for no money -- and the two biggest genres they've produced are YouTube videos of girls talking about makeup and shopping scores, and boys talking shit while playing video games.
posted by msalt at 12:34 AM on February 17 [3 favorites]


Nothing's wrong with documenting makeup and games. It's when this documentation veers into racism and sexism that we should be concerned.
posted by kariebookish at 5:43 AM on February 17 [14 favorites]


Jon Tron too. But I'd suggest not letting it ruffle your feathers too much. Some of the stuff in this thread = real augh. Careful.

I'm sorry, what? Are you seriously arguing that the real problem here is that people are enjoying being offended?

As opposed to, I dunno, that people like PewDiePie think casual racism anti-semitism is just for the lulz?
posted by tocts at 5:49 AM on February 17 [8 favorites]


I'm really disappointed that the younger generations -- say under 35, Millennials is very vague -- grew up with cheap to free HD cameras and editing software -- can make a feature film on a friggin' smart phone on any subject for no money

Eh, it's all what lens you view it through. Instead of thinking in terms of "why isn't this generation maximizing this newfound technological potential at all times", ask yourself what the average young person was doing with their creative and social energy twenty or forty years ago. Because it wasn't, to a one, churning out striking auteur masterpieces on the current peak of accessible media hardware.

Break it down from the other direction:

Most people don't spend their time creating art. Most people who spend some of their time creating art don't make great art. Neither of those are surprising statements, really.

What most people do do is interact socially in various ways. Lots of people sit around and talk with friends, in particular. Some folks are better talkers than others. Some are better at sustaining a monologue, or at doing two things at once, or at nerding out about some specific skillset or area of knowledge.

Add cheap cameras and plentiful internet and some social media tools for navigating and aggregating and following youtube and twitch streams, et voila: people doing the same stuff they've always done, with a technological twist. And lots of people enjoying hanging out with them, in varyingly distant capacities, while they do it, because social creatures are social creatures.

There's kids and twenty-somethings and thirty-somethings making independent films and shows on shockingly affordable hardware, just like similar cohorts were doing on Super8 cameras decades back. That's just never going to be what most people are doing. And if you want to make a straight across comparison that doesn't get distracted by the volume of more social-centric video stuff, there actually is a hell of a lot more narrative and experimental video/cinema content being produced these days. It's just along with everything else.

The next Kubrick is out there planning some shit on his iPhone, but if you go hunting for Kubricks in every spare moment of social energy of every young person on the planet then of course you're gonna be let down. You set yourself up with a bad premise.
posted by cortex at 7:47 AM on February 17 [20 favorites]


(A corollary to all of which is that there's always been assholes, racists, and attention-hungry provocateurs, but boy howdy we've invented some new machines that accidentally make the more visible and more emboldened. The future's a real mixed bag sometimes.)
posted by cortex at 10:33 AM on February 17 [4 favorites]


This. I'm Scandinavian and as a rule MeFi don't really do well analysing Scandinavian culture - let alone individual Scandinavian countries.

Not convinced MetaFilter does any foreign culture well, whether another country, some cultural phenomenon that doesn't target the MeFi audience, or for that matter those other parts of the US population.

(but I have to admit that I've found the "I've only read the Murdoch headlines, but I'm sure all the strawmen are nazis!" rantings in this thread pretty entertaining... :-)
posted by effbot at 11:27 AM on February 17


"I've only read the Murdoch headlines, but I'm sure all the strawmen are nazis!"

The fuck is this supposed to mean?
posted by tobascodagama at 12:23 PM on February 17 [1 favorite]


Not convinced MetaFilter does any foreign culture well, whether another country, some cultural phenomenon that doesn't target the MeFi audience, or for that matter those other parts of the US population.

I think there's some misunderstanding here - YOU'RE the one living in a foreign country. I'm right here!
posted by Dysk at 12:53 PM on February 17 [5 favorites]


Whatever defense I might grant him, the question is what am I defending him from? My usual warning of caution for angry internet mobs is it's very difficult to keep the punishment proportional to the severity of the crime, rather than to its virality. He's already lost a lucrative contract, which in my judgment is probably enough. So I wouldn't personally agitate for more punishment.

But I don't think the only possible purpose to discuss this is punishment. It can also serve other purposes:
1) It gets people to consider their own ethical stance on offensive comedy.
2) A lot of his audience is kids. This getting out there means those kids' parents might be better informed about what their kids are watching.


Now, I think I'm actually bothered more by the context. Like an Aristocrats! joke, or Springtime For Hitler, he specifically went for the most offensive thing he could think of, and congratulations, he succeeded. But the context of that was, "What is the worst thing I can get these guys to do for five dollars?"
posted by RobotHero at 12:56 PM on February 17 [1 favorite]


The fuck is this supposed to mean?

Since we're talking about metas of metas I'll go one further to try to provide a new if possibly entirely wrong perspective. Democrats for the longest time used to be the "subversive" ones. Over the past few years and especially in the past year this characteristic seems have moved elsewhere below the radar of many folks, even here on the blue.

Used to be, you asked a democrat for instance: "What is the worst thing I the other side can get these guys to do for five dollars?"

Their answer would be virtually anything other than: "write a few words down on paper".
posted by whorl at 1:06 PM on February 17


Hate speech and the encouragement of genocide, even for lulz, is a bit more than that.
posted by Artw at 1:08 PM on February 17 [14 favorites]


Instead of thinking in terms of "why isn't this generation maximizing this newfound technological potential at all times", ask yourself what the average young person was doing with their creative and social energy twenty or forty years ago. Because it wasn't, to a one, churning out striking auteur masterpieces on the current peak of accessible media hardware.

I hear you but I think "the average young person" is the wrong comparison. The average young person of any generation is a consumer, not a creator of media. But I'm talking about the current crop of creators.

20-30 years ago, they were creating zines and the whole first generation of websites and indie films and indie rock bands and what is arguably the golden age of hip hop. The aesthetic was progressively transgressive, gender fuckery and DIY and democratic.

Given the more or less complete collapse of media gatekeepers, the aesthetic is now commercial, embracing regressive gender roles and transgressive mostly in embracing neo-fascist ideology.

Maybe I was naive in thinking that barriers to entry from cost and editorial screening were holding back progressive thought and artistic expression. Maybe somehow those gatekeepers were the main thing maintaining it.
posted by msalt at 1:19 PM on February 17


20-30 years ago, they were creating zines and the whole first generation of websites and indie films and indie rock bands and what is arguably the golden age of hip hop. The aesthetic was progressively transgressive, gender fuckery and DIY and democratic.

All of this is still happening too.
posted by Dysk at 1:23 PM on February 17 [10 favorites]


Hate speech and the encouragement of genocide, even for lulz, is a bit more than that.

"A bit more than that". Fluff with no substance, I guess I agree. Sorry but I don't feel like being rabidly dogpiled on mefi today or I'd ask what you mean by that and actually get into a discussion. The atmosphere isn't the greatest for actual discussion in this thread. Too many here are confusing "making being a nazi cool" with "continuing to make offending the perpetually offended cool", the latter I'd argue actually is the case for by far the largest chunk. Not that I agree with that chunk, but it's an important distinction. Good intentions and all that guys, but man is it ugly in a few places in this thread.
posted by whorl at 1:34 PM on February 17


Social progressive views becoming accepted by economic elites, either authentically (educated cosmopolitans believing in universal human rights and multicultural values), or cynically (corporate advertising to more, emerging markets in a global marketplace, ignoring race and gender so long as everyone being hired or appointed comes from the right Ivy League institution) means that counterculture that arises in reaction to this establishment would run counter to its values. Hence, the alt-right being about breaking the taboos of polite, non-bigoted, egalitarian society.

Maybe Trump becoming the Man now, and unlikely to alleviate the economic disenfranchising of millennials, the crushing student loan debts, the inability to move out and to buy a home, and the continued atomization and anomie of society will force these Net jugend to realize that he's no better than any of the conventional squares that he defeated, and is in fact worse for them. And that reveling in shock memes and trolling might be a release valve of sorts, but won't do a lick of spit to make their lives better.
posted by Apocryphon at 1:44 PM on February 17 [1 favorite]


You're right, the present climate has made us less tolerant of bullshit. Anyone with a dumb thought experiment can go shove it up their ass.
posted by Artw at 1:45 PM on February 17 [15 favorites]


whorl: "Used to be, you asked a democrat for instance: "What is the worst thing I the other side can get these guys to do for five dollars?"

Their answer would be virtually anything other than: "write a few words down on paper".
"

"These guys" in this case were people who had basically put out a shingle that says "will write a few words down on paper" on Fiverr.

So like, the rules of the game are, you only get to pick the words.
posted by RobotHero at 1:58 PM on February 17 [4 favorites]


continuing to make offending the perpetually offended cool

Gosh, those Jews, just perpetually offended by people "joking" they should be killed.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:01 PM on February 17 [19 favorites]


I mean, you could replace "Jews" in my comment with women, PoC, LGBTQ people, Muslims, immigrants...any marginalized group, really.

There's a reason the so-called "perpetually offended" are always up in arms: because they need to defend themselves against terrorists in the most literal sense of the word, and very often in the commonly-used sense as well.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:05 PM on February 17 [17 favorites]


the perpetually offended

Ugh, my eyes just rolled so hard they're shooting about like billiard balls on the floor. Parroting nonsense like this is not a smart way to avoid the "dogpile".

It's just a few words to you; those words are used to harass, intimidate, hurt and kill people - and have been for centuries, and still are today. No one deserves that, and no one deserves to hear it.
posted by smoke at 2:11 PM on February 17 [18 favorites]


[One comment removed. whorl, you've stated your position here a few time and this is going in circles, please let it be at this point.]
posted by cortex at 2:23 PM on February 17


[Y'all please reload the thread and avoid continuing to reply to deleted stuff.]
posted by cortex at 2:37 PM on February 17


Also if someone was going to pick on something I said, I was way more expecting it to be my "think of the children" bit here:
2) A lot of his audience is kids. This getting out there means those kids' parents might be better informed about what their kids are watching.
posted by RobotHero at 5:03 PM on February 17 [1 favorite]


"Is this videogame guy going to turn out to be a nazi?" is just one of those things you have to worry about if you have kids these days. TBH even the non-nazi ones are irritating as hell.
posted by Artw at 5:45 PM on February 17 [7 favorites]


If I had to choose, I'd bet on a higher proportion of dumbass than nazi. But it's not like I'm a judge at his Nuremberg trial. I have the luxury of remaining agnostic.
posted by RobotHero at 7:17 PM on February 17 [1 favorite]


I've tried to write this reply for over an hour now but I don't know what else I can say other than I'll try to listen better when antisemitism is brought up on Mefi.

Not wanting to pick at this scab, but I've found that a good rule of thumb is this: when people of x group say that person or action y is bigoted against them, the best thing to do isn't to try and minimize it by being doubtful and playing into the typical gaslighting that happens, but yes, to listen.
posted by qcubed at 7:32 PM on February 17 [1 favorite]


PDP has always been insanely irritating so he was always a non-starter in my book.
posted by Apocryphon at 1:50 AM on February 18


Some more context. It's obvious to me that there's a link between the online normalisation of anti-semitic "jokes" and these incidents of real-life and targeted hate speech and harrassment. The Exeter students who intimidated their Jewish peers by painting swastikas on halls of residence also, of course, claimed they were "joking".
posted by Aravis76 at 3:38 AM on February 18 [6 favorites]


This post from a prior thread makes sense:
It's funny because I was going to say, well, not the opposite, but that I know a lot of people who thought that kind of shit was funny as teenagers - certainly joking around about Nazism though that particular case is a little different because my circle of friends then was heavily Jewish so we knew we couldn't really be serious - and very few of them turned out to be serious about it. I'm thinking of a specific person in particular who was once more or less 4chan personified but seems to be - kinda normal now? So I think a lot of people did grow out of it - the question is what made the difference between those who did and those who didn't (the outside world intervening is one obvious guess.)

A big part of the teenage aspect of this is that Nazi iconography is something that will literally never be co-opted or assimilated by mainstream pop culture. Yes, I know, there's some random shop in India or Japan called "Hitler" that gets memed and passed around in images, but the point is, these tropes will never be adopted by a major brand like McDonalds or Coca-Cola. They're just too radioactive. And kids can't talk to just anybody about them because they'll think they're weird or, well, a Nazi. So they have this built-in taboo aspect.

Also, pretending to be a Nazi will probably annoy most parents. So, it's perfect for rebellious teenagers who are going through their "f--- everything" phase.

Some of those teenagers will take these pursuits more seriously than others, and start reading the history and philosophy of these "forbidden" subjects. And of that subgroup, a smaller subgroup will actually take it to heart, and start thinking "hey, that's actually a pretty good idea".

posted by theorique at 1:21 PM on September 7, 2016
I wish punk and heavy metal and gangsta rap were still shocking to parents. We need new taboo-breaking youth counterculture that doesn't derive its joilles from rampant bigotry.
posted by Apocryphon at 2:55 PM on February 18 [3 favorites]


Streamer slowbeef, who some of you may have heard of, has a very informative and insightful angle on the affair. Basically, being a popular streamer is nowhere as easy as it looks, you're constantly creating content and there's great pressure to be edgy, and that produces a situation where it's only a matter of time before streamers break down into one scandal or other, while content partners have no idea why what you're doing is so darn successful, but are reluctant to provide constructive advice or let you know when to dial it back out of a fear of killing the gold egg laying goose.
posted by JHarris at 5:24 AM on February 22 [2 favorites]


All of the observations slowbeef makes are insightful, but the omission of any mention of the potential effect of being steeped in gamer culture youtube comments is glaring.
posted by Dysk at 6:40 AM on February 22 [5 favorites]


All of the observations slowbeef makes are insightful, but the omission of any mention of the potential effect of being steeped in gamer culture youtube comments is glaring.

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that, I don't know about less popular streamers, but PDP probably doesn't read the comments. Just picking a random video from his most recent 5, it has 60,000 comments. Even at a single word per comment, that's novella length which seems like rather a lot to be going through.
posted by juv3nal at 2:36 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


Sure, he has that many now. But for smaller YouTubers and streamers just getting started, engagement with commenters is a big part of what gets people to stick with you rather than somebody else.
posted by tobascodagama at 2:42 PM on February 22


An awful lot of them read the first few comments at least (evidenced by their often responding) and engage with fans on Twitter (which is not quite youtube comments bad, but can be pretty bad still)
posted by Dysk at 2:56 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


PDP's third? response to WSJ. "How About That..."
posted by whorl at 5:37 PM on February 24


Does this third response include proof that he didn't do the shitty things he previously published himself doing?

If not: who gives a shit?
posted by tocts at 8:19 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Ah, teaming up with Sargon of Akkad. That means he's gone full MRA/RedPill/gamergate/etc.

It's almost like making a living depending on ironic bigotry generally leads to actual bigotry. Marginalized groups have been saying this since for-fucking-ever, of course, but I'm sure they're in for yet more lecturing about how they're the real fascists and this rabid motherfucker is a champion of free speech, which will inevitably lead to harassment, death threats, and the rest of the business as usual for internet assholes. We've seen it before, we're seeing it now, and we'll see it again. What's worse, the Youtube community seems to be going along with this. Even the slightest criticism of PDP's obvious bigotry has ended up with those users harassed to the point of either quitting or being forced to recant lest they lose their revenue streams.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:24 AM on February 25 [8 favorites]




That means he's gone full MRA/RedPill/gamergate/etc.

They always do, and let's face it, never were not.
posted by Artw at 6:40 PM on February 27 [4 favorites]


PewDiePie Is Still Doing His Dumb Nazi Shtick [warning: blatant (digital) anti-Semitic violence]
posted by zombieflanders at 12:29 PM on March 10 [2 favorites]


Good luck to all the free speech martyrs dying on his hill!
posted by Artw at 3:57 PM on March 10 [4 favorites]


@leducviolet: all the maddest dudes about game[r]gate are full on white nationalists now

It's accompanied by a picture of JonTron tweet supporting Steve "David Duke Lurves Me!" King).
posted by zombieflanders at 10:40 AM on March 13 [6 favorites]


Yeah, turns out when people were calling those dudes nazis it wasn't metaphorical.
posted by Artw at 10:43 AM on March 13 [6 favorites]


Wow, the whole JonTron thing was way worse than just that tweet:
Over the course of two hours, Jafari’s comments on the stream ranged from baseless to deeply inflammatory. In addition to his ludicrous claim about Mexicans attempting to somehow recapture American land, he said that “we don’t need immigrants from incompatible places” and that white people were going through a “demographic displacement” due to immigration, which he likened to apartheid South Africa. Truly the mind reels. But wait, there’s more.

Jafari also claimed that wealthy black Americans commit more crimes than poor whites (citation badly needed), the court system doesn’t display bias against people of color (it does), that Irish and Italians were always considered “white” in America (they weren’t), and that Black Lives Matter doesn’t disavow violence (it does). “We’ve gotten rid of discrimination in our Western countries,” said Jafari, only to later state that “nobody wants to become a minority in their own country.”

The source of Jafari’s anxiety seems to be the looming possibility that whites will become a minority in the United States, which he projects will happen by 2042. And despite Bonnell asking repeatedly why that matters, Jafari instead stumbled through far right talking points vilifying immigrants as lazy criminals and demanding the need for America to have a unifying culture (though he was unable to express why that would demand a white majority). “White interests” and “tribalism” were something he harped on repeatedly but was unable to quantify or defend the importance of. Bonnell pointed out that Jafari is half Iranian and half Hungarian himself. Jafari appeared open to the idea of immigration, conceding that “if they assimilated they would enter the gene pool eventually.” One imagines Mengele would be proud.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:25 PM on March 13 [1 favorite]


White dudes white dudin' it up on the internet complaining about feminazis and acting all ironically racist turn out to be actual factual misogynists, racists, white supremacists, and/or nazis: it's the ciiiiiiiircle of life ...
posted by tocts at 2:32 PM on March 13 [5 favorites]


AT least they cleared up all those game journalism ethics problems.
posted by Artw at 2:34 PM on March 13 [4 favorites]


Actually, it's about racial purity in games journalism.
posted by tobascodagama at 2:48 PM on March 13 [9 favorites]


Who would have thought that ironic bigotry is a gateway drug for the harder real stuff?
posted by NoxAeternum at 3:12 PM on March 13 [3 favorites]


Hasn't JonTron always been a little shit? I feel like once every three months I see some awful comment from him via tumblr or something, and a new round of previous-fan teens being like "yikes, uh ... crap"
posted by Greg Nog at 3:22 PM on March 13 [1 favorite]


Who would have thought that ironic bigotry is a gateway drug for the harder real stuff?

It's not. It's a cover and an excuse for the real stuff. Always has been. The whole "no wait, I'm just joking!" is the protestations of someone not yet ready to own their opinions on front of "normies".
posted by Dysk at 5:54 PM on March 13 [5 favorites]


Greg Nog, I observed on Twitter a few months ago noting that JonTron had an interview up on Breitbart with a statement like "Well I guess he's rotten too." I got a reply from a guy defending him stridently, claiming that just because he has an interview there doesn't necessarily mean he's a horrible racist bastard.

I wonder what that guy's reaction to this is?
posted by JHarris at 3:39 PM on March 14 [1 favorite]




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