Why Are You So Angry?
July 20, 2015 8:18 AM   Subscribe

Innuendo Studios (tumblr | twitter) updates with a 6 part series discussing GamerGate, self-image, and innocence: Why Are You So Angry?

Link above goes to the youtube playlist; individual clips are:
  1. A Short History of Anita Sarkeesian (9:35)
  2. Angry Jack (7:09)
  3. Perception is Everything (8:25)
  4. An Autopsy on GamerGate (18:11)
  5. "The Good Guy" (10:25)
  6. Talking to Angry Jack (11:18)
Innuendo Studios was previously discussed on metafilter for Blood Is Compulsory (15:28) and This is Phil Fish (19:05).

(Mefi's own.)
posted by postcommunism (22 comments total) 41 users marked this as a favorite
Note that the obnoxious fake flicker effect starting the first video only lasts roughly 1:20, and frankly, you could skip it entirely and not really miss anything. It gets better from there.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 9:15 AM on July 20, 2015

Can you perform an autopsy on something that isn't dead yet?
posted by nubs at 9:49 AM on July 20, 2015

Toward the end of the 4th video, he explains why he speaks of "GamerGate" per se in the past tense—while acknowledging that the harassment campaigns it spawned are still very much alive.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 9:55 AM on July 20, 2015 [2 favorites]

OK, thanks - I'm just digging in, but that title caught my eye.
posted by nubs at 10:01 AM on July 20, 2015

This is very, very good. My thoughts about gamergate nowadays are mostly just incoherent screaming, so it's awesome to have such an eloquent analysis of how it works.
posted by specialagentwebb at 10:25 AM on July 20, 2015 [3 favorites]

Quality. I very much agree with the idea that a lot of reactionary behavior is, basically, militant incuriosity.
posted by absalom at 10:30 AM on July 20, 2015 [10 favorites]

This is some good stuff. Not just for understanding gamergate, but a lot of reactionary behaviour. Including in myself.
posted by nubs at 10:32 AM on July 20, 2015 [3 favorites]

"Why Are You So Angry?"

It's kinda frustrating to be twelve years old, girls, in particular, and the World in general, are pretty scary, I feel inadequate, and the internet allows me spill out my unfiltered id. Don't tell my mom, ok?
posted by sudon't at 10:56 AM on July 20, 2015

Thanks for the frontpage, postcommunism. :)
posted by Peevish at 11:29 AM on July 20, 2015 [3 favorites]

I feel that video #2 was a bit contrived. The reason people get annoyed at the person who refuses your drink at your party or the person who rejects your Christmas party invitation, etc., is not because you're secretly afraid that you're wrong about drinking or celebrating Christmas, but both because someone has rejected a form of hospitality you have offered them and that the person, who you thought you shared something in common with, turns out not to share something with you after all. Not that this detracts from the overall point he's trying to make, but those specific examples are bad ones.
posted by deanc at 11:52 AM on July 20, 2015

You know, this video attempts to approach the gamergate core demo with understanding and compassion. That might be a better approach than mine which boils down to "You should not be allowed to use words in public."

The concluding point about your arguments with people on this subject being more important to the potential gater than the one you're arguing with is a really good one.
posted by lumpenprole at 12:19 PM on July 20, 2015

For anyone interested, today I had a lengthy Twitter conversation with Lindsay Ellis and Zoe Quinn about how the "talk to Jack" dictum can actually be harmful to communities, and someone showed the kindness of Storifying it. Their commentary is that it is often valuable to talk about Jack, to talk around Jack, to talk directly to the proto-Jack's lurking on the internet, but that talking to Jack can actually be dangerous to Jack's targets, even if it's not dangerous to you personally.

Gave me a lot to think about and makes me a bit self-conscious about making "talk to Jack" the crux of Part 6, so I want to boost their perspective.
posted by Peevish at 2:16 PM on July 20, 2015 [15 favorites]

qcubed: As someone who used to be Jack, albeit in a more benign form that discussed in the video, I'm extremely glad that the people I encountered and dealt with many years ago didn't share your cynicism.

Jack isn't a lost cause: he's a potential ally. I really liked the example of the partiers in the train car. Don't mistake for malice what can be explained by ignorance. And don't underestimate the power of showing someone that they're wrong before stepping back and waiting for their own brain to do the rest.
posted by Cpt. The Mango at 4:17 PM on July 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

As someone who used to be Jack - it's not my place to say that you shouldn't block Jack.

I don't have to put up with the nuclear-grade crazy that Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian do, I don't even have to put up with the energy sapping daily bullshit that people born without the advantages I had do.

But I will say that if you DO have the spare time, energy, and sanity to engage and try to get people thinking outside their comfort zone, then that is totally the path to long term victory. Every person you manage to get thinking about the context of their actions is a little more momentum robbed from their side, and a little more added to the side of a world based on mutual respect and people treating each other like actual humans.
posted by Ryvar at 5:04 PM on July 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

To be honest, I don't know if it's ever useful to "talk to Jack", so to speak.

It's not worth it to talk about racism. Or sexism. Or really anything else, because Jack is never going to come to the discussion with good intentions, with good faith.

Jack is a lost cause.

Part of Jack's problem is that he has difficulties dealing with the fact that other people don't unconditionally agree with his every act and idea, that people perceive things differently than he does. As gross as Jack's methods of dealing with other people who disagree are, the motivation is profoundly human and not unique to Jack.

As such, I'd be very hesitant to call anybody a "lost cause," especially if I don't personally know them.
posted by Maugrim at 7:43 PM on July 20, 2015 [2 favorites]

Cpt. The Mango: Jack isn't a lost cause: he's a potential ally. I really liked the example of the partiers in the train car. Don't mistake for malice what can be explained by ignorance. And don't underestimate the power of showing someone that they're wrong before stepping back and waiting for their own brain to do the rest.

This is an arena where allies can distinguish themselves from "allies"; instead of putting the burden of engagement back onto people who are already catching shit for it, do the work yourself. Having "the spare time, energy, and sanity to engage" (in Ryvar's words) is itself a privilege that isn't afforded to people who are having that time, energy, and sanity constantly sapped away by encounters with Jack. The solution is to lend your own resources, not demand them from people who are already giving all they've got. (This is, of course, with the caveat that comes up in the Storify Peevish linked, in that even if you personally have the ability to engage, pick your battles wisely to make sure that you are not just poking the hornet's nest and riling them to attack their usual targets.)
posted by kagredon at 7:47 PM on July 20, 2015 [8 favorites]

I finally made the time to watch all of these, and I agree that they're very, very good.

On whether or not talking to Jack is useful: I definitely wouldn't suggest talking to Jack unless you share a significant demographic overlap with Jack, like I do. As a former-potential-Jack, I think it's my responsibility to sometimes talk with Jack, not because I have any ability to distinguish malice from ignorance, but because his malice won't hurt me. And even then, if one positive response out of ten attempts is considered good, that's pretty exhausting.

I've had pretty decent success in spreading the gospel of equality, but I think I've been lucky in choosing my targets.
posted by pwinn at 8:56 AM on July 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

I think Jack is worth talking to; but it is also who is doing the talking that can make the difference. I think it is a place for allies to do some good work because any ally may not trigger the defensive/reactionary chain that the due to demographic overlap with Jack or not being a member of the group that Jack is reacting to.

I've had some limited success, provided that I already have an existing relationship with "Jack". It seems to allow for bypassing some of the defensiveness, because someone they know is making the argument. And I've found that approaching it from a perspective of inquiry helps - asking questions that make them examine their assumptions and if those hold up. And I often use myself as the example, with things like "You know, I thought that too/read that too/heard that too, but then I read this other ting or thought about it this way/or the question that isn't being asked seems to be, and -" Because the assumptions don't hold up, but if things are heated, people will dig in and defend them regardless...but if it's a calmer, quiet conversation, it perhaps allows for some more thought and examination.

It's slow, but it has been worth it when I've seen the sudden insight in a friend or family member. It's hard work, but it can be done.
posted by nubs at 9:33 AM on July 21, 2015 [2 favorites]

How do I tell which is malice, and which is ignorance?

If you present someone with facts previously unknown to them and they stop and ponder, or reply with a question that comes from a place of trying to build a new coherent world-model, you've got somebody who genuinely did not know and is acting in relative good faith.

If you get an off the cuff dismissal, mockery (of you, personally), burning a straw man or questions meant to shut down debate - and the latter can be quite tricky to assess correctly - you're dealing with a lost cause. Bear in mind that the number of things people can simply not know about is often breathtaking to regular participants on sites like Metafilter, with our collective unconscious privilege of being among history's most information-rich.

Particularly frustrating, at least for me, is that in conversations with older relatives it can be virtually impossible to distinguish between the polite cluelessness of the lifelong privileged and passive-aggressive sealioning. The country club and weekday sport jacket/Gucci crowd are often sufficiently pompous in their daily affect that it takes a good ear to tell the difference. Additionally trying is that the particularly well-off may exhibit extremely limited capacity for empathy, by external standards, simply because their social insulation is that good.

The key is intellectual honesty, plain and simple. Give people the benefit of the doubt sufficient to reveal that, and you'll have your answer in fairly short order. Even if they dig in their heels a bit, even if they don't respond how you expect them to - are they fact-impervious or just set in their ways?

And to reiterate my point above: take care of yourself, first. After that, if privilege or good timing or whatever has left you in a position where you can safely engage, then yes it's among the easiest ways for any individual to make a real difference.

Everyone is a work in progress.
posted by Ryvar at 11:38 AM on July 21, 2015 [2 favorites]

Sort of tangential, but in a recent abortion discussion on Metafilter, a user linked to his reflection on being a pro-life advocate.

And it did strike me as a similar to the "moderate" gator attitude towards the "extremist" element. This is the part that started me noticing the similarity.
Bombings were unacceptable. And most of them were probably pro-abortion people, trying to make pro-lifers look bad.
Which reminded me of the common gator claim that false flags are rampant.
posted by RobotHero at 4:40 PM on July 21, 2015 [2 favorites]

And my general-purpose answer to why anyone is angry is "perceived injustice."

The "perceived" part is where there's a lot of wiggle-room. Someone can see injustice where there is none because they have a skewed idea of what they or someone else does and does not deserve. Someone can do something awful, but convince themselves it wasn't, and then if you get angry at what they did, they get angry at the injustice of your anger.
posted by RobotHero at 8:49 PM on July 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

This tumblr post about how a conversation with Zoe Quinn and Lindsay Ellis has caused him to rethink lots of part 6 is pretty interesting.
posted by sparkletone at 4:08 PM on July 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

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