Apostasy Now Ep 23: Davis M J Aurini – Documentary called The Sarkeesian Effect

Really well done podcast. Enjoyed the show!

Apostasy Now

Davis M J Aurini drops in to talk with us about a documentary he’s working to produce investigating claims by many social justice warriors about and surrounding the gaming industry and the ignored journalistic collusion of editors, reviewers, etc that most of the media is ignoring. Davis is a very intelligent man with a lot of interesting things to say, I’m glad we could have him on. Please check out his links below and if you can’t donate to the cause then pass on this show link to spread the word to others who might!

A special thanks to Anton A Hill (AKA Atheist Asshole) for being a guest host. Dude, you are awesome. Check his links below as well.

[audio http://archive.org/download/ANPEp23DavisMJAurini/ANP%20Ep%2023%20-%20Davis%20M%20J%20Aurini.mp3]

Download ANP Ep 23

Davis M J Aurini

Davis M J Aurini

Davis’ Blog

http://www.staresattheworld.com

Davis’ YouTube Channel

https://www.youtube.com/user/Aurini/featured

Davis’ Twitter @Aurini

https://twitter.com/Aurini

Anton’s Site

http://atheistasshole.com

Anton’s YouTube channel

https://www.youtube.com/user/antonahill

Anton’s Twitter @antonahill

https://twitter.com/antonahill

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Gamer Gate and the Bigger Picture of Political Correctness.

AmpersandQuest

 

It’s been almost a month now since the gaming community found itself in a steaming pile of a controversy surrounding the actions and behaviors of certain elements in the community. There are several hands at play in this on going situation but that is not what I am going to write about here. If you need to know the details about Gamer Gate I recommend you click on the link below this paragraph before continuing on. The video will talk about a lot of things and if you want to know more than what is provided in this video make sure to take notes from the video and search Google for your answers. My goal here is not to cover the specifics but rather the larger implications that are beyond the gaming industry itself.

Mundane Matt from YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UwkdxlyRt0

Just to provide a brief description of Gamer Gate let us discuss the two opposing sides to the controversy. One side identifies as “Gamers” and the other side claims that “Gamers” are dead. The side that claims “Gamers” are dead have been labeled as Social Justice Warriors and seem to be less interested in video games as they are in supposed equality and inclusiveness. They have accused “Gamers” as being misogynist, bigots, privileged white males, and worse. Gamers have of course objected to this but it has been building up for a quite some time now. So if I’m not going to talk about all the details then why am I writing about it? The answer is in the next paragraph.

Whether its video games, movies, tv shows, music, or sports it seems to me that there is a growing amount of concern to be more politically correct in every entertainment or sporting industry there is. This is not by any means a new phenomenon, however, in 2014 it seems people have had enough and I count myself among those who feel this PC era of entertainment has got to end. If you support political correctness I don’t necessarily have any gripe with you on an individual level, however, when it comes to freedom of expression and the sharing of controversial ideas that you may find offensive I cannot help but become critical of your views on the matter.

I grew up believing that people’s opinions and views mattered. I’ve always believed and still do that even if those opinions are grossly out-of-bounds with what I can agree with that I shouldn’t be allowed to censor them. There is a very important reason I believe this and it feels like society is losing touch with that reason as each year passes on. That reason is that of objective comparison and contrast with one another. If we as a society cannot hear the down right horrible views of some and attempt to wipe it all from the historical record then what kind of legacy will we leave behind? Not only that, what kind of chance will future generations have of knowing what was and is acceptable behavior? What sort of context will we be able to provide if we attempt to censor those opinions of which we fully disagree with and oppose?

Silence is not an option and that of course is not what I am attempting to push here. Rather, the ability to listen and let sink in the opinions and world views of those we oppose and speaking out against them. That is what is at stake here. Are we to strive for a 1984 like totalitarian society where we simply wipe the history slate clean when it does not fit with our narrative? Are we to just forget about all the horrible things people have done to one another in a vain attempt to feel better about ourselves as a people? Whether or not you actually support these horrible things in the long history of society is irrelevant to the matter of allowing them to be known, studied, and explored.

If we are so weak as a people now that we cannot even allow ourselves to see the dark side of humanity then I am afraid we are doomed to not just repeat those mistakes but create even greater atrocities by virtue of plain ignorance and cowardice. Political correctness in my opinion is merely censorship with a pretty name. It is a means by which to silence dissent against one’s narrative. Whether or not that narrative is actually healthy and true is not the point, allowing people to ask questions and disagree with that narrative is. I have to ask myself, at some point, are we going to send people to prison when they simply hurt someone’s feelings in the future?

There are little situations less frightening to me than to live in a society to afraid to have a civil dialogue about important issues. It is easy to point at the trolls, haters, and bullies of the world and pass all their aggression on to those who differ in opinion to you but I believe that is the crux of the problem here. Instead of taking the easy route why not instead take on the challenge of real debate.  Why are so many people so terrified of the possibility of being half wrong that they’ll do just about anything to avoid a realistic conversation in which a common goal can be ascertained? Personally, I have trouble looking in the mirror too, but, it doesn’t stop me from actually participating in a discussion where I might have to admit when I’m incorrect and change my mind on specific things I’ve said or done.  The one thing I don’t do, at least I try my best not to, is trying to paint my opposition as simply being trolls. I don’t claim to be a victim of harassment just because someone or several people call me out for being an idiot. Maybe it’s because I work in an industry where it is a daily ritual to have to face facts and get actually harassed by cranky people. I must have developed a thick skin.

In conclusion to these thoughts I want to leave you with some food for thought. I am a huge fan of rock and roll and metal. Other than the music the one thing I love most about that culture is the freedom of expression involved in it. The whole purpose of rock music is to represent a passion that exist in the human spirit to live life to the fullest. That does not entail always being inspirational and happy with life. It does mean looking at both sides of the coin and realizing that maybe life isn’t completely black and white. Rock music fully explores both the good and the evil of the human condition and does so without considering who might get their feelings hurt. Some of my favorite artist have publicly stated that the last thing they would ever do is listen to their fans when writing new material. I really like that. It says to me they care more about honesty and integrity than they do about pleasing everyone. They didn’t acquire their fame and fortune by simply being nice to everyone and bowing down to their every single whim. They got there by being extremely talented, having a relevant message to send, and by delivering it in very awesome and unique ways. To realize now that there is a huge group of people who actually oppose such things disgust me to no end and I simply will not stand for it. Critique is one thing. Attempting to censor is quite another.

 

 

Response to Gene Simmons: “Rock is not dead.”

Recently world renowned rock and roll legend and former KISS bassist Gene Simmons stated and explore the idea that rock and roll is dead. When asked, “You once said the music business isn’t dying — it’s dead. What would you say to young musicians and songwriters today trying to navigate this new terrain?” Gene replied, “Don’t quit your day job is a good piece of advice.”

He elaborated on the subject by bringing up how well more recent music has done in comparison to rock music. Gene contunued, “From ’84 until today, name some. Just give me a few artist that, even after their passing, are or will be inescapable.” To which I would reply with bands like Tool, Radiohead, Primus, Dream Theater, Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails, Phish, and Dave Mathews Band. However, Gene’s point does not escape me. I get it, rock is not mainstream anymore. It hasn’t been for a very long time. Was it ever meant to be though? For a short time sure, however, the general population doesn’t have a very long attention span does it?

For me rock and roll has always represented a counter culture of the sort that does not seek the approval of the masses. I honestly don’t like many of the bands he mentioned as much as I do the one’s I mentioned. I realize those names are inescapable by the numbers he’s bringing up. But to me, that doesn’t matter. There are bands waiting to be heard out there. Bands waiting for people to identify with them, cheer for them in stadiums, and remember them for the rest of their lives.

Gene has this to say about the internet and file sharing, “The masses do not recognize file-sharing and downloading as stealing because there’s a copy left behind for you — it’s not that copy that’s the problem, it’s the other one that someone received but didn’t pay for. The problem is that nobody will pay you for the 10,000 hours you put in to create what you created. I can only imagine the frustration of all that work, and having no one value it enough to pay you for it.”

 

To which my reply is, Yes, certainly the industry is not what it used to be. However, it has allowed artist to further explore their hobbies and passion in music with much more freedom than before. I cannot count how many times I typed in “Progressive Rock” into Youtube and found bands I never would have heard of before and while I didn’t buy all the albums I heard I have bought quite a few and I really enjoy that. I feel that because I buy the bands I really enjoy and don’t share or listen to the bands I don’t like so much that I am helping the bands I do enjoy and feel that other bands that other people like are being supported as well. Perhaps not on the same level Gene Simmons is referring to which would also be really awesome to see by the way, please don’t misunderstand, I am not disagreeing with the sentiment Gene is bringing up.

 

My entire point is inspired by Gene’s concern for rock music in general. If you are going to share music from artist and help people find out about them the least you can do is buy a damn album from them. I often find myself buying entire discographies of the bands I really love. I believe that some how rock and roll can revive itself and in some ways I feel it already has.

 

Those are just feelings though and I do believe Gene when he states his concerns. It’s just I can’t let my favorite music die silently. Please support the bands you love and support the artistry and hard work you find out there that inspires you to get through your day. There is plenty of good music out there, I just hope who ever reads this feels my sentiment and does so today if possible.

 

Now get out there and listen to some damn good rockin music folks. And if you are a musician, well, you know what you got to do. Keep on rockin baby!