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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Post-PAX Shitstorm Report

Posted by on Thu, Sep 5, 2013 at 9:45 PM

We've been freaked out and pissed since learning that Penny Arcade's Mike Krahulik seemingly reopened a years-old wound involving rape survivors (and others with some measure of empathy) during an interview at PAX on Monday. Our frantic need to catch up with our lives kept us from venting prematurely, which is good—because this morning, Krahulik posted a full-throated renunciation of pretty much everything Penny Arcade did in the aftermath of what has come to be known as "the dickwolves controversy." It's honest, it's humble, and it's good to see someone as privileged as Krahulik absorb the message and do the right thing. (As for the original joke, he stands by it. We can’t even remember our initial reactions uncolored by the madness that followed—but the dude has a right to his own opinion about his own work.)

We had tons more to say about this yesterday, but when someone who fucks up acknowledges the fuck-up and apologizes to those who were hurt, they deserve forgiveness, not analysis. We will say this, though: He's raised our expectations, and we're going to hold him to that.

The Stranger Testing Department is Rob Lightner, Paul Hughes, and Mary Traverse.


Comments (130) RSS

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long-time reader 1
dafuq did I just read?
Posted by long-time reader on September 5, 2013 at 9:49 PM · Report this
Gordon Werner 2
Posted by Gordon Werner on September 5, 2013 at 10:02 PM · Report this
Doctor Memory 3
If you have no idea what this is about, I cannot strongly enough advise keeping it that way.
Posted by Doctor Memory on September 5, 2013 at 10:12 PM · Report this
raku 4
Here's an article about Mike Krahulik's recent woman-hating rape-apologist stunts at PAX in Seattle:…

Here's an article about Mike Krahulik's recent transphobic tirades and panel dismissing inclusiveness for non-white men in gaming at PAX in Australia a few weeks ago:…

Here's a well-documented THREE YEAR LONG history of Mike Krahulik's misogynist stunts and rape-survivor-mockery:…

Sorry. We can accept an apology, or two apologies, but when it goes on and on for THREE YEARS without any change of behavior despite your apologies, you've got to go.

PAX is full-blown boycotted and protested next year in Seattle unless Mike Krahulik steps aside.

Many women and women-friendly gaming writers, developers, and designers are already boycotting, including the makers of the company that made the best game of the year so far (Gone Home) and Anita Sarkeesian (Feminist Frequency). The Stranger should join the boycott.
Posted by raku on September 5, 2013 at 10:29 PM · Report this
@raku Yo, as a rape survivor I just want you to know that you don't speak for me. The original comic was hilarious commentary on an absurd situation that MMORPGs put people into. I can understand Mike's original reaction because a bunch of white knights running around saying how women SHOULD feel was stupid.

Rape survivors aren't a solid block. I'm a feminist and I will feel the way I want to feel about this, not the way someone else is telling me I should feel about it.

On another note - not going to an event that is so extremely sold out that the 75,000 tickets per day literally sold out in a few hours isn't proving anything. Someone else will buy your ticket. If you want to make a statement, do what the D20 Burlesque ladies did - Go to the con, have a panel, talk about the issues, make them known, AND HAVE A VOICE! We had a very productive conversation that included female cosplayers saying they were upset about the booth babe ban, the panel runners saying they were upset at mike and jerry but realized it would be dumb to boycott. The panel was filled to the brim and they were able to get their voices heard by people that it matters to.

Posted by tigntink on September 5, 2013 at 10:58 PM · Report this
I am inclined to agree, but am starting to wonder how many times one forgives a person before I'm just an idiot and a fool. When does one draw a line? Aargh.
Posted by lbd on September 5, 2013 at 11:10 PM · Report this
raku 7
#5: I'm not trying to speak for you, sorry if I came across that way. By "we" I meant people not OK with Mike Krahulik's involvement with PAX due to his misogyny, promotion of rape culture, and LGBTQ-hate anymore.

Nobody cares about the 3-year-old dickwolf comic. The comic itself was just a blip in the feminist blogosphere, as the links I posted noted. The issue is the 3 years since of mockery and attacks on women, rape survivors, LGBTQ people, and those who want more inclusive game culture by Mike Krahulik. He's done everything from support a game that was literally about raping schoolgirls (removed from Kickstarter but he still promoted them afterwards) to covering up a sexual assault at PAX East last year by an Enforcer (one of the people who is supposed to make attendees safe).

I'm sure there are enough dickwolf rape-fans to keep selling out the event. But, the Fullbright company doesn't want to be associated with rape culture. Many women game writers don't want to be associated with rape culture. Other women and LGBTQ developers won't want to be associated with rape culture. Eventually, no progressive indie gamers or progressive corporations like Microsoft will want to be associated with rape culture. Maybe then, they can just rename it Dickwolfcon.

Or, they can just get rid of Mike Krahulik, and let everyone know rape culture isn't OK at PAX.
Posted by raku on September 5, 2013 at 11:19 PM · Report this
raku 8
Here's another great blog post from another game designer who is boycotting PAX, who provides detail/links on the awful Krahulik behavior I mentioned above.…
Posted by raku on September 5, 2013 at 11:27 PM · Report this
Given that PAX is the largest open consumer games con in the US - boycotting really does hurt the female gaming community and that is a completely undeniable side effect. PAX is where you go to get your new games noticed. If your game never gets noticed then your company fails and women are yet again sidelined.
There just aren't any cons the size and reach of PAX that are any better. Every con its size has some issue or another. Some unagreeable person or unsavory action that has made us appalled.

Look at Microsoft - at E3 the presenter literally made a rape joke live on stage. Are you boycotting Microsoft? Have you removed all Microsoft products from your computer? Are you boycotting Apple because Steve Jobs literally abandoned his own child and was a general shitheel?
Posted by tigntink on September 5, 2013 at 11:34 PM · Report this
raku 10
#9: There are plenty of ways to get your game noticed without PAX. Again, Gone Home is the most most noticed indie game of this year and they got MORE noticed by boycotting PAX.

One junior guy at Microsoft made a rape joke at E3. The company apologized immediately. There haven't been any rape jokes from Microsoft since. AGAIN, this isn't about one rape joke Krahulik made 3 years ago. It's about the consistent, nonstop rape victim harassment and rape culture promotion since.

If Steve Ballmer made fun of rape survivors (and trans people, and women in general) for the past 3 years straight, you can be pretty damn sure he'd have been forced to leave the company by now. Just like Mike Krahulik should leave PAX.
Posted by raku on September 5, 2013 at 11:46 PM · Report this
Soupytwist 11
It's too little, too late after YEARS of supporting and advocating for some of the worst aspects of gaming culture (rape apologists, juvenile misogyny, and transphobia).

Failing as a business, and exploiting their biggest fans so that they don't have to fix their business model? Just sad.
Posted by Soupytwist on September 6, 2013 at 12:06 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 12
Going Home was not the most noticed indie game this year, or even one of them. It was nominated as a finalist for one award, but that's about it. The most notice they received was when they boycotted PAX. Prior to that, it had barely made a blip.

Stop lying, Raku.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on September 6, 2013 at 12:26 AM · Report this
Hawke 13
@9 in other words, "give PAX a break because shit like this happens at all of these conferences." Are you really such a goddamn idiot or do you just play one on SLOG?
Posted by Hawke on September 6, 2013 at 12:34 AM · Report this
since I didn't get a chance to say it before, can I just say that I really hate the "male sexual stereotypes don't exist and are just male power fantasies" kool-aid that everyone's been drinking.

Because if that's the case what's fabio doing on the cover of hundreds of romance novels written by and for women?
Posted by velour on September 6, 2013 at 1:25 AM · Report this
Pridge Wessea 15
I've been a PA fan for years and grew up in the same environment the PA guys did (Spokane, geekiness, bullying, general misery). I completely empathize with that. In fact, he and I both moved to Seattle to escape that adolescent hellhole. Because of that upbringing, he reacts to criticism as an attack and his instinct is to double down to protect himself; David against Goliath. But now he's Goliath and I think he's finally understanding the power that his words and actions actually have in a way they didn't when PA started; gaming and geekism is mainstream now. Indeed, I remember a strip where the subject was how strange it was to be in line to pick up a game on release day with the same jockbros who used to torture them in school. Again, I emphasize, and I understand where he's coming from and his mindset.

But back to the issue at hand, I think he's evolving and learning. I believe his apology snd explanation is heartfelt. I understand the original joke and anyone who's played WoW can relate to it (indeed, remember the Dalaran torture questline in Wrath?). His response to it was abysmal and was abysmal for years, but I can understand where it was coming from. I think he's finally figured it out and he wants to do the right thing here. It's a shame it's taken so long, but in the end, I think he's actively trying not to do any more harm and understands both the power of his speech and how dangerous his army of flying monkeys actually is (I think he's still in awe that he even has any army of flying monkeys to be honest). I'm not saying he shouldn't be held accountable because I'm glad he has been (repeatedly even) but only that he's learning as he goes along. Getting smacked in the face with your own privilege is often painful and his reaction was particularly bad, but it's opened his eyes in a way that I think ultimately will be good for him and for the industry as a whole.
Posted by Pridge Wessea on September 6, 2013 at 1:41 AM · Report this
Christampa 16
Raku, what is the aim in boycotting PAX? Is the only possible solution you are seeking the removal of Krahulik? You understand why that will never happen, right? Maybe you don't read Penny Arcade, but you understand that he is Penny Arcade, yes?

Boycotts are not as effective when they're primary goal is to simply punish someone, just like prison sentences are not nearly as effective when they are meant to simply punish someone. You don't have to be satisfied with this apology, but don't act like it's nothing.

I think it should be acknowledged that Krahulik grew up in the culture that bred legions of these clueless man-children. Add to that a healthy dose of religious upbringing, and it's not wonder that he says some of the stuff that he does. He is not anti-women or even necessarily anti-trans. He's just ignorant and stubborn, and like a lot of people (even some enlightened and empathetic individuals) he reacts poorly to hostile criticism.

And you can't doubt that it is hostile. With the war on women in full swing, assholes in Congress passing medieval laws, and idiots of all stripes climbing out of the woodwork to bemoan the demasculination of the country, it's natural for us to be hostile. Necessary, even. But you cannot conflate your run of the mill ignorance, no matter how profile, with actual malevolence. You'll never win Glenn Beck(Not that anyone wants him), but you can win Mike Krahulik. But if your goal of a boycott is to have him removed from PAX, how is that going to change his mind? If he was removed and apologized for everything, would he be welcome back?

I think that a fairly large problem exists in several liberal niches like feminisim and the LGBTQ community. They're bad at picking their battles. For example, see none other than Dan Savage, who is considered by several trans communities and bi-communities and probably several others as being an enemy. Dan says stupid and wrong shit all the time. And he occasionally responds like Krahulik does, meeting hostility with hostility. But he's not an enemy to be censured. He's an ally to be reasoned with.

Mike Krahulik can be an ally to be reasoned with. Boycott if you feel like it's appropriate, but make your reasons and demands more explicit, and remember that you can feel empathy not just for victims, but for your perceived aggressors, too.
Posted by Christampa on September 6, 2013 at 1:51 AM · Report this
Christampa 17
That should be "No matter how HIGH-profile the individual"
Posted by Christampa on September 6, 2013 at 1:59 AM · Report this
raku 18
16- Penny Arcade is a multimillion dollar company with an office full of employees. I don't give a fuck if he sits there cashing checks or writing comics. He needs to step aside and have someone else run PAX. Hire women & queer people to run it if he really learned something.

Krahulik is not an "ally to be reasoned with". His defenders seem to be willfully ignorant of his behavior. He has literally been attacking and belittling women and rape survivors for years, after dozens or hundreds of people have been asking him to please stop. He is a prototypical abuser who promises, once again, that this time he's changed.

If he has truly changed, he'll let someone else run the conference and no longer be involved in it. He is the problem that needs to be changed, and if he truly had an epiphany and change of heart, he'd realize it and do the right thing.
Posted by raku on September 6, 2013 at 2:04 AM · Report this
Pridge Wessea 19
Here's the strip I was referencing:…

@14 - Is there a Fabio equivalent in the gaming industry? I'd argue that the types of covers that Fabio is on are far less demeaning to men then female gaming stereotypes are to women (unless of course you find horseback riding and holding women degrading). Fabio doing romantic things on the cover of a romance novel is well in line with the subject of the book. But that's not the case when you've got women in combat roles in games and comics wearing the equivalent of a chain mail bikini, posed in completely ludicrous ways. There's a huge difference between the scenarios.…

Posted by Pridge Wessea on September 6, 2013 at 2:05 AM · Report this
Pridge Wessea 20
Raku, I admire your passion but you're wrong here. Christampa is right on the money.
Posted by Pridge Wessea on September 6, 2013 at 2:08 AM · Report this
Christampa 21
I read your link @8, Raku. At the bottom, she goes to great length making sure that any rebuttals are painfully aware that Penny Arcade and PAX are inextricably linked. This recent statement was at a panel for the creators of Penny Arcade. How is he supposed to remove himself from that?

I think it's disingenuous to firstly hold Krahulik accountable for what his fans say, and secondly to paint so broad a stroke as "He has literally been attacking and belittling women and rape survivors for years."

It is not his MO to attack women or rape survivors, not even to the extent that say, Daniel Tosh's MO is to do the same. When he fires off a joke, he sometimes hits something he didn't see. We all have our blind spots. I haven't read PA for years, but I used to read it since its near inception, and I can guarantee you that the man is not as smart as you give him credit for. You can tell in almost all of his interactions that he often doesn't fully comprehend the meaning of the accusations levied against him. And aside from the dickwolves issue, his mistakes are all separate issues, even if they're all feminist issues. Maybe he hasn't apologized for everything that he's said or done wrong, but to present him as basically the face of MRA in video games is nothing more than a lie.

Again, you need to learn to differentiate between ignorance and malice. You will be able to redirect a lot of wasted energy in more positive directions that way. I don't want you or anyone else to get the impression that you shouldn't fight ignorance as strongly as you fight malice (I might argue that your return on investment is actually higher in the former than the latter). However, you certainly should not fight them the same way. You're suggesting the same method of dealing with the Krahulik's women problems as The Stranger and others are of dealing with Vladimir Putin's gay problems.
Posted by Christampa on September 6, 2013 at 3:01 AM · Report this
"Krahulik posted a full-throated renunciation..."

It's a load of horseshit. The apology didn't come until it looked like the bottom line was going to be hurt for their cash cow convention.

Speaking of horseshit...

@21: "I think it's disingenuous to firstly hold Krahulik accountable for what his fans say..."

The guy frequently riles his audience up and then claims he has no responsibility when they act badly as result? That's bullshit and you're a moron for thinking so.

To sum up: Raku is right, and the rest of you are dumb assholes.
Posted by mubhappy on September 6, 2013 at 4:46 AM · Report this
Post_Mortem 23
Making demands that won't ever be addressed or actuated tends to be silly and an utter waste of time. And while the world can always do with more nonsense, time is a limited resource. You can be mad about a cartoonist making jokes and not quickly capitulating to Twitter criticisms, but making a (guaranteed to fail) campaign to ruin the guy's career over such things... that, too, is a silly waste of time.

I agree with the people here who have suggested dialogue and reason over impotent threats and demands. But if you'd rather fritter away some more moments of your life doing something that will never be important because it will never amount to anything, it's your time to waste, Raku.
Posted by Post_Mortem on September 6, 2013 at 4:54 AM · Report this
Post_Mortem 24
@22, that's one way to win people over.
Posted by Post_Mortem on September 6, 2013 at 4:56 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 25
I know nothing about this and I intend to keep it that way. But I'm going to observe that forgiveness, besides being the noblest action an individual can take, is also a much more effective tool in building bridges, impressing foes, and taking small but real steps toward effecting positive change. The desire to punish, OTOH, can overwhelm reason and lead one to go after easy targets, like people who are actually much closer to your own position. Nothing is more counterproductive than giving in to this desire.

If this guy has apologized, the proper thing for sceptics is simply keep an eye on him and see what he does. Crucify him if he does it again, as it will prove that he is who you think he is. Right now, you simply lack that, and vindictiveness now will gain you nothing (except approval from your most extreme allies, which isn't worth anything). The chances of alienating people who may be ignorant now but are open minded and capable of learning and coming over to our side, OTOH, are much greater.

Every decision to boycott must be made with the greater aim in mind. How will this change rape culture? How will people outside the movement perceive it? Will it provide any kind of public platform for furthering your agenda? If not, why do it?
Posted by Matt from Denver on September 6, 2013 at 5:41 AM · Report this
I just read through all the articles posted in the discussion above, and while I empathize with the initial reaction to the comic, it's awfully demonizing to assume that it was ill intended. As this Mike fellow said, he regrets his reaction to the criticism he received, and he's trying to be better. That's really all that I can ask from someone who fucks up. While he's had a few more run-ins with being ignorant and stupid, that's just an area he's got to work on. None of those occasions seem purposefully hurtful, but were insensitive at times when they were reactionary. The full burden of the internets commentary on someone's mistakes is probably hard to handle deftly.

I really wish him the best, and hope he continues to strive to be better.

At the same time, to echo other people in these comments. Those people who chose to continue to demonize people who ARE TRYING to apologize and be human - You're actively destroying the people who are our best hope for reconciliation, forgiveness, and education on the subject. I say "are trying" because changing the way you react and speak, particularly on sensitive issues, CAN TAKE YEARS. Sure, I get it, "What do we want? Change! When do we want it? NOW!"... but understand that change is OCCURING NOW, but you don't jump from point A-->B in a day or a year, it takes a lot of time. Small changes do seem to have occurred in Mike's perspective, and you should be thankful of that much shift at all. Most people, just keep on truckin'....
Posted by MarkM on September 6, 2013 at 6:23 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 27
What I think is kind of ironic about the whole thing was that the "dickwolf" comic was not even making a rape joke.

Not that it has any bearing on what has happened since, but I just find it kind of funny.

I do not know or care enough to comment on the "controversy" here, but what I will say is that Going Home is super overrated. This is the problem with putting all your chips on the story aspect: we already have lots of better stories to read. I play games to play, have fun, drive/invent my own narrative, and enjoy a good story. If it is all story, I will just read a book that tells a better story in a better way.

Going Home is a pretty box with not much inside, and is not even as popular or acclaimed as people like to think it is. Also, I don't know why people are pretending it is terribly original. People were making games just like this in the 80's and early 90's, this one is just prettier.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on September 6, 2013 at 6:28 AM · Report this
Griffin 28
The PA guys have been douches for years: see this comic in which Krahulik is joking about his own wife being molested while breastfeeding:…

Tycho and Gabe grew up into the dudebros that claimed to hate. I quit reading long before the dickwolves event as, despite claims to the contrary, they are hateful, unrepentant assholes. If I want to be in the presence of that type of person, I just need to visit my father.
Posted by Griffin on September 6, 2013 at 6:43 AM · Report this
@28 I'm curious if you read the explanation to the comic?

"Something you may not know about Scott Kurtz is that he and Kara are drinking buddies, and that he has some mysterious quasi-magical ability to make her laugh, which makes Gabriel purse his lips and pretend to receive an important call from a “cool person.” Steve’s new proximity has allowed incidents of this nature to occur with greater regularity. I’m going to leave it at that. If fr some reason Gabriel wants to discuss the particulars of Kara’s… particulars, he is welcome to it. "

Ironically he is saying he isn't ok with the whole situation but because his wife likes to chill with the dude in the comic, he throws his hands up.
Posted by tigntink on September 6, 2013 at 7:11 AM · Report this
Griffin 30
Given the reaction he drew on her face, the wife isn't impressed by the idea either. Gabe has taken what's a fairly common thought (what does breastmilk taste like?) and turned it into degradation of his own wife, for lulz and clickbait. That's top shelf assholery. For as many women as he has in his life (mother, wife, kids) he sure doesn't respect them, and thus I have no respect for him and will not support him financially or otherwise.
Posted by Griffin on September 6, 2013 at 7:19 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 31
@30: Have you ever thought that maybe the two people in the relationship know more about their relationship and what such things mean to them than you do?

Because maybe that woman can formulate her own opinions and does not need you to tell her how to feel or what to think.

Just a thought.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on September 6, 2013 at 7:27 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 32
The worst thing about this all is that PAX is probably one of the least terrible gaming communities out there :/

I really wish Mike would just shut up more.
Posted by undead ayn rand on September 6, 2013 at 7:50 AM · Report this
Trigger warning for common sense.

Mary, Paul, and Rob's response is exactly right.

The question was about a *past* event. His answer was about his reaction *at that time*. And realizing that answer might (and was) being misconstrued in the press for page clicks, he rushed to clarify.

Anyone thinking that statement was an endorsement/resumption of the whole mess is willfully, intentionally not getting it and will *never* be satisfied.

So the lesson here is that several apologies, pulling merchandise, three years of honest and open discussion, changed behavior, going out of your way to distance yourself from and disavow abusive fans, crafting the industry's only "no booth babes" policy, and creating one of the safest, friendliest gaming spaces means nothing if you have a penis and once said a hurtful thing.

Also breasts are not funny. Ever. We must light votive candles in their honor.
Posted by PEM on September 6, 2013 at 8:11 AM · Report this
Well good for him, but an apology gets the apology accepted. Consistent change in behavior over time gets forgiveness. At least it does in my house. But I'm old and deeply cynical.
Posted by lucyboots on September 6, 2013 at 8:24 AM · Report this
Oh lord.

Is the slog going to start covering the Down With Molestia movement now?
Posted by GermanSausage on September 6, 2013 at 8:34 AM · Report this
@31 so if that's what their relationship needs, they should go for it, IN PRIVATE. I don't need to see it.

You keep seeing this kind of situation because the "cult of personality" mindset is so rampant in the gaming industry. "I think this is funny and this is MY sandbox so I'm going to post it." Yea, okay, when 30 people read your site maybe it is your sandbox to do with what you will. But as you grow, you need to let go of that mindset. Like it or not, at some point you become an influencer and influencers have responsibilities.

I think change has to come from within and without. So maybe Raku and Christampa are both right in their approaches. But here's the thing, I've been listening to women say that this isn't okay and that the culture needs to change while they continue to spend money that supports the very culture they despise AND work in that culture as well. I've watched it for decades. So women, if you don't like it, go find a VC and change it. There's money out there for the creative and the ambitious.
Posted by lucyboots on September 6, 2013 at 8:48 AM · Report this
TomJohnsonJr 37
Good post! Thanks, Stranger Testing Department.
Posted by TomJohnsonJr on September 6, 2013 at 9:06 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 38
@36 What's amusing about that, is the whole shitstorm around Dickwolves was started by somebody saying "I don't find this funny, and its not even my playbox, so I'm going to post it." Even though that person was so terribly wrong.

It makes your statement so terribly ironic.

Raku is wrong because...well, Raku is always wrong. For fuck's sake, Raku went so far to say that the original comic didn't matter, but not going to far as to say that the initial outrage was far overblown. This is indicative of the whole controversy in the first place. It was a few over-sensitive individuals who decided that everybody had to be offended when a white male made a rape joke that had a white male as a victim. Anytime somebody mentions they were offended by the dickwolves comic, it is a clear sign that these are people who should not be associated with. And, if they can't comprehend why both sides of the reaction happened, and why both sides were wrong, then they are unreasonable.

That said, the thing I find particularly offensive but not necessarily shocking is the sexual harassment of the enforcer episode. It really reminds me of a time when I was in the closer in circles of a regional Burning Man outfit when there was a guy who was a sexual predator lurking in the circles. The main org was controlled in a 50-50 way by women and men (it might have been more women than that too) decided it was best just to ostracize the guy and not publicly reveal his information, nor why they were ostracizing him. I found out years later why, and I was shocked they only told the reasons to those who needed to know. And, that's how PA handled the Enforcer who sexually harassed other enforcers. But, it still offends me because, without the proper information, nobody knows to stay away except by word of mouth. I can see both angles, but I'm more prone to protecting the next victim with information than to protecting the victimizer.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on September 6, 2013 at 9:38 AM · Report this
@36: I think perhaps you have missed the purpose of 'The Internets', in which we post things we think are funny for the other people who think it's funny. I doubt very much the guys at Penny Arcade emailed you that comic and forced you to view it. And if you and Griffin think that particular comic qualifies in any way as misogyny I think you've set the bar far, far too low. A male making a joke about breastfeeding =/= necessarily equal misogyny.
Posted by NateMan on September 6, 2013 at 10:34 AM · Report this
@38 Well I was trying to keep my thoughts broader than this specific incident because I see it as an example of a broader discussion and because, frankly, I never found Penny Arcade all that funny so I don't read it.

The cult of personality isn't specific to this industry, but it is more prevalent. Tie that to an prima donna attitude that you see and it can be a real problem. Game Producers are often just as guilty of it.

Where I have a problem is when people say, "I think X is wrong" but still buy the product. Don't do that. Consumers can vote with their pocketbooks and people inside the industry can work for change from within. In fact, they already are. Ten years ago, these issues wouldn't have even been a blip on the radar.
Posted by lucyboots on September 6, 2013 at 10:47 AM · Report this
@39 here have this clue x four. you need it.
Posted by lucyboots on September 6, 2013 at 10:54 AM · Report this
raku 42
40- The point is that having the industry's biggest fan conference run by a serial misogynist promotes misogyny and rape culture in the entire industry. I don't play misogynist games, but I can't go to spaces with developers or designers or most gamers where it's not an issue.

If you're not aware of rampant misogyny, sexism, and rape culture in gaming culture, millions of words have already been written about it. Feminist Frequency has been doing a great job documenting it (not just the web videos), as have many others for much longer.

Gaming culture is much more hostile to women than other media, which is saying a lot. It is unacceptable, and keeping maybe the most visible and prolific misogynist gaming figurehead in charge of the biggest fan fest is a symptom and cause.
Posted by raku on September 6, 2013 at 11:03 AM · Report this
Eva Hopkins 43
I posted this last night, in Paul's thread about the DC Batwoman team leaving the book, not knowing there was a separate PAX thread:

"Penny Arcade fans: as someone who has read Penny Arcade for many years, & a comics/gamer geek for even longer, I have a pretty good grip on they type of humor they're going for. & when they're funny, they're *really* funny. The original "Dickwolves" strip: I got the joke, didn't think it was the funniest ever, but whatever, I got it: new day, another strip to follow.

Where they mis-stepped was in their response to the kerfuffle that followed. From a PR point of view, the easy thing to do would have been to say: hmm, this strip upsets some people, let's look into that, & then issue whatever politely-worded explanation of the joke they came up with after that ('cause if you don't know anything about how MMO's & the helping people out/level up thing works, that strip is really fuckin' weird). Shouldn't have needed an apology for creating the strip, but a simple one or two-line "hey, we didn't realize how this was gonna be taken, & didn't mean to offend rape survivors" would have been great. A couple of throwaway sentences on a blog entry, & none of that netrage needed to get kicked up after.

But no, they doubled, & tripled down, with the #teamrape fan hashtag, & the Dickwolf shirts. I see *why* they did it ("You critics are the Man! The Man can't tell me what to do with MY OWN ART! I'll show you!") & a percentage of their core fan base rallied around them. They've grown over the years, though, & to use a different comic's wisdom - "With great power comes great responsibility." In previous years in a David & Goliath situation, Penny Arcade would always have been David. ;) Smaller, lotsa inside jokes: tailored to a particular niche audience. Since gaming & geek culture has more or less been co-opted by mainstream folks, & PAX has become *the* gaming convention, Penny Arcade is no longer some little strip with only a limited impact on the world around them: they're a Goliath. This is good, but it means that their words will echo further than they used to.

Should they *censor* themselves? Nah, I don't think so. They have a unique voice, what they think is funny, & I'm not pro-censorship. I do think in the future they have to realize where they *are* as opposed to where they *started*, & how different their position is, though.

Also, IMO, gaming & comics used to be kinda the property of geeky people, & I think some of us haven't taken too kindly to the invasion of mundanes/non-geeks into our private clubhouse, & some of the response to PA's detractors is fueled by that. ;) "
Posted by Eva Hopkins on September 6, 2013 at 11:17 AM · Report this
Raku, I met my husband playing Mud 2. yea, MUD 2. I recently retired from the gaming industry (after 20 years in). On a personal basis, I am totally and completely aware of the misogyny and sexism in the gaming industry. I even understand your position. But from my perspective I see three options: 1)you can rail against the injustice; 2)you can work for change from the inside and/or 3)you can go build your own sandbox. How has just railing against the system worked for you so far? Working inside the system, even in an imperfect way through organizations like IGDA HAS moved the message forward. And if you just can't stomach that and you have the chops, you can go build your own game. Trust me, nothing makes the big boys in gaming pay attention faster than someone sucking money away from their profit margins. I wish you luck. I wish you all luck.

PS Can I just say that it is my considered opinion that comments software is devolving.....rapidly.
Posted by lucyboots on September 6, 2013 at 11:17 AM · Report this
Eva Hopkins 45
Although I'm all about second chances, as someone who ran a geeky business for about 14 years, it read to me like Penny Arcade has had second, & third chances, already. That's my thinking as of this morning. I feel less "aww gosh they apologized" after reading through that exhaustive timeline of how they've handled themselves thus far.

People do things for as long as they work. When they don't work, they stop doing them. Mr. Krahulik/"Gabe" ' s offend first/apologize later business model has worked for Penny Arcade & PAX for this long. All they have to do is point to their charity work & go: look, we're not bad guys, see all this good stuff we do.

:/ & this post by the Stranger is weird. So PA guys apologized, means they don't deserve analysis? Uh..that's not how things usually work. If we stopped analyzing all businesses or politicians who fucked up & then apologized, we would be pretty naive consumers/voters.

Here's a relevant article byt he Financial Post:…

Posted by Eva Hopkins on September 6, 2013 at 11:22 AM · Report this
Knat 46
This is one of those posts where I write out something really long and scathing, delete all of it, and know that I made the right choice.
Posted by Knat on September 6, 2013 at 11:59 AM · Report this
TomJohnsonJr 47
@45, for what it's worth, though the Testing Department's post declared their own conclusion that he didn't deserve more analysis, they did so by means of providing us all with links to start with and a forum to go ahead and analyze as much as we like. I don't see them as saying nobody else should be analyzing, just that they're satisfied for now.
Posted by TomJohnsonJr on September 6, 2013 at 12:03 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 48
Forgiveness and dialogue are nice and all, but if the person you are interacting with has proven again and again they don't actually give a shit (though they'll say they give a shit to shut you up) then it's time to move on. Engaging with Krahulik is a waste of time, and paying to attend his convention is giving money to a douchebag.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on September 6, 2013 at 12:10 PM · Report this
raku 49
44- I keep my non-Slog life out of here because I want to avoid the harassment others have received for what they've said online, but I am doing #1, #2, and #3 you've listed. Regardless, some people (like Anita Sarkeesian) are critics, writers, activists, or scholars - not developers or designers - and there is definitely a huge place for them in any cultural conversation.
Posted by raku on September 6, 2013 at 12:18 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 50
@44 To be completely fair, making your own sandbox is generally self-segregating. GaymerX this year seems to have taken a large portion of the interesting gay panelists. I think there were all of 3 queer panels at PAX this year, including the transitioning panel. Compared to last year, this is a huge drop down in exchange for a whole litany of female-centric panels, many of which were titled as gender's studies lectures like "Everything I know is sexist. Now what?"

On the one hand, it is nice to have your own con (I would have liked hitting on any number of the geeks knowing that I was at least playing the right game) as a safe space, but on the other it is hugely self-segregation and pulling out leads to niche groups, instead of changing the mainstream opinion. Which, is a disheartening solution. And, when the mainstream con sells out in under a day (and sells out of the 4 day badges before the Twitter even goes out), creating your own sandbox won't really hurt the least not for awhile.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on September 6, 2013 at 12:18 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 51
@49 Read: You don't want to be held accountable for your commentary.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on September 6, 2013 at 12:21 PM · Report this
I have to agree with @22 that this "full-throated" apology is horseshit. Not because of MK's track record on this over the past few years, but because his rationale for wishing they hadn't pulled the merch doesn't make any fucking sense. He claims that he thinks the best response, once the merch was available, and dickwolfgate had become the full category 5 shitstorm that it had, would have been to just disengage. But his idea of "disengaging" here was to continue selling (and profiting off of) merchandise mocking rape victims. THAT is horseshit. And it call's into question everything else in the, otherwise very encouraging, apology. It betrays the fact that he doesn't actually believe anything he's saying, that he is just protecting the bottom line, that he's being entirely disingenuous.
Posted by GEOATX on September 6, 2013 at 12:25 PM · Report this
Post_Mortem 53
@45, considering that Mike has had to apologise for inarticulately stating his regret for reopening the wounds associated with the 'dickwolves's fiasco by pulling the shirt, and considering that this apology has already been used to 'prove' a loosely related and mostly unintentional pattern of supposedly bad behavior, I'd say the bar for recidivism has been set pretty low for the guy. But that only makes sense considering this whole thing started with a similarly hostile, unthinking emotional response to a rather innocuous comic.

Mike hasn't been perfect; PA does at times engage in mean and sometimes unfunny humour (about all sorts of things, including themselves); and they don't toe some a feminist line, because that is neither their job nor who they are. They're just really successful nerds who want to have a good time doing the things they love, and to share that with people. What they do isn't always morally or aesthetically good, but it isn't all bad, either.

I stopped reading their comic years ago because I grew bored with it. I have never been to PAX, because I never cared to go. I have always thought Gabe and Tycho were jerks when it suited them (as with printing 'dickwolves' t-shirts). I really don't have any reason to defend these guys, except that I think the reactions from their detractors have largely been hyperbolic, irrational, and (in this instance) unjust. Mike didn't think it was wrong of them to bend to pressure or to admit PA's own overreaction over the dickwolves controversy, he thought inaction which left some unhappy (who, as it turns out, would not be satisfied) was preferable to action which reignited the controversy, thus offending more people. It's actually a rather utilitarian sentiment, though self-defeating.
Posted by Post_Mortem on September 6, 2013 at 12:27 PM · Report this
raku 54
51- Yeah, I don't consider receiving death threats, rape threats, or sexual harassment to be "being held accountable for my commentary".
Posted by raku on September 6, 2013 at 12:29 PM · Report this
Post_Mortem 55
@54, but you do consider equally unlikely to be effected threats to a person's livelihood to be fair game.
Posted by Post_Mortem on September 6, 2013 at 12:33 PM · Report this
raku 56
55- Yes, I consider someone's public job performance to be fair game for arguing that they stop doing it.

Give me a break about his poor livelihood, anyway. Nobody's asking that he give all his money to charity or stop owning his company. He just needs to step aside from his role at PAX and, preferably, hire someone who doesn't hate (maybe even likes!) women and the LGBTQ community to take over. He can cash all the million-dollar checks he wants.
Posted by raku on September 6, 2013 at 12:41 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 57
@54 But, if you're "building your own sandbox" - maybe as a member of GeekGirlCon(?) - then your position in whatever sandbox you're in should be held accountable to your opinions here, right? Or, are you exempt from this, and just thinking that only men should be held accountable for their words while you get free reign to be Internet Tough Guy?
Posted by TheMisanthrope on September 6, 2013 at 12:53 PM · Report this
Post_Mortem 58
@56, your argument requires the connection between Mike Krahulik, Penny Arcade the comic, and PAX to be complete and suffused. Links you have offered make the case that it is, because they know without such a special and total connection, people who decide they don't like Mike will just do the reasonable thing and tune him out. If that connection is so thoroughly complete as your stance requires, his merely stepping away from the con cannot be enough to satisfy you or your allies. In order for you to be happy with PAX, he would have to resign form all things Penny Arcade, bare minimum. Don't shy away from your position. Be up front about it.
Posted by Post_Mortem on September 6, 2013 at 1:00 PM · Report this
Post_Mortem 59
Also, as to job performance, considering the popularity of his comic, con, and charity, I don't think he has much to worry about.
Posted by Post_Mortem on September 6, 2013 at 1:03 PM · Report this
Fenrox 60
Raku is just a troll, ignore her. It's great that fewer and fewer people are freaking out about this and just taking the apologies and watching closely for future blunders.

I said it before and I will say it again, PAX IS the best you are going to get for gaming conventions. We are not gonna see a better one, so it's important for people who are legitimately under-represented at PAX to TAKE PAX OVER. PAX is your internet, you can not make another internet that is more open to your subgroup, so instead of foolishly boycotting it you need to change it.

People like Raku are like the people who just hate Dan Savage, they just don't care about reason or perspective, they care about salacious jabs and attention. They take obvious off the cuff tweets in anger to mean that the person has actual anger in their hear on this issue. Like a Pat Robinson or a Ken Hutchenson (or whatever their names are), to think that there isn't any difference means that you don't get it and need to read more.
Posted by Fenrox on September 6, 2013 at 1:07 PM · Report this
Eva Hopkins 61
Wellll...IDK that I think Mike K. needs to step away from PAX; but he & his cohorts need to acknowledge they're not just drawing a small webcomic with a small audience anymore. The problem is, Penny Arcade, the strip, & PAX, the con, have different vibes they project, both of them successfully done. Penny Arcade is a gamer's in-joke paradise, & sometimes it's the game culture that existed a decade ago, when it started, & was pretty exclusively the territory of white nerd boys & men. ;) I've been playing games since arcade in the 80's, so I've seen the culture develop.

By contrast, they set out to make PAX very inclusive & welcoming of all types of people, & that seems to have usually work, too.

But when you make yourself - your personality - part of your brand, & your brand grows, you just can't act like everyone's gonna get all your in-jokes. Them's just the breaks.

Here's a too-long example of what I mean. On the message board I used to help run, for the comic artist I worked with at the time, our shipping manager had, for awhile, a pair of naked breasts as his user icon. It wasn't my favorite thing, but it didn't actively bother me, & we didn't have that much of a community, at first. Then the second series of comics we did were much more female in focus, we got a large uptick of female fans, & a couple of people complained about his icon. They said it was creepy that his voice was represented by a pair of boobs. At first I tried to defend my coworker's freedom of speech (as I saw it), but I came to see that it was one thing if a user decided to do that, but another if someone representing our company & its interests, did. That if I wanted women to also feel welcome, that all 3 of us had to be more aware of what we were saying & doing, etc. My coworker was so mad at me when we decided his icon had to change. & I made him a couple of new sexy icons; the images weren't just breasts. He never used them. :(

Penny Arcade & PAX have Mike & Jerry's personalities very closely, & so far, mostly successfully, intertwined with their existence. Were I them, I would EITHER do what most companies their size would do, & force Mike to have some sensitivity training (yes, really) & accept that he can't be as "edgy" as he's been until now, or, separate Penny Arcade from PAX, at least in leadership roles, & have folks in charge who are clearly devoted to PAX's stated goals of inclusiveness. Or I guess a third option would be to change nothing, & to have this same tired controversy get dredged up again every time Mike loses his temper & shoots his mouth off. Via Mike:

"I’m very good at being a jerk. It’s sort if my superpower. When it comes to Penny Arcade it has served me well but it’s not okay when I make a bunch of people who are already marginalized feel like shit.

I hate lots of people it’s true. But I’ve never hated anyone for their sexual orientation or their gender situation. I don’t hate people for superficial shit like that. I hate people for the way they act and I intend to keep doing that. It’s a very strange position to be in. This massive organization has built up around my friend Jerry and I. I know personally I’m an incredibly damaged individual. I’m not really sure I’m the best foundation for all this other stuff. I don’t want to be the reason people don’t go to PAX or don’t support Child’s Play or don’t watch the shows on PATV. I hate the idea that because I can’t stop being an asshole I hurt all these other amazing things.

I’m very sorry about yesterday. There are very few things that someone can say to me that will actually make me lose my temper. All my buttons got pushed yesterday though and I snapped. I doubt that will change anyone’s opinion but there you go. I’m not qualified to talk about the ambiguity of sexuality and frankly I don’t give a shit about it. I like drawing comics and playing video games. I’ll keep my mouth shut when it comes to all the other stuff."


I don't really have a dog in this fight. I've watched Penny Arcade grow from a really badly-drawn strip that few people knew about, to the behemoth (relative to geek culture) that it's become. For it to continue to thrive it needs to act accordingly.
Posted by Eva Hopkins on September 6, 2013 at 1:25 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 62

I don't think they should have responded at all. A blog poster with no sense of humor was offended by that comic? So fucking what? Had they not responded, no one outside of the radfem echo chamber would have taken note of it.

I read the original criticism back when they released their first merely patronizing response to it. When I read it, the writer struck me as someone who's been fucked over by life in general and also felt that the rest of society had some sort of obligation never to make her revisit any of her past terrible experiences. Assuming you're not the type of person to take that expectation seriously (and Krahulik obviously isn't), the best course of action is not to respond at all. By responding the way he did, he basically mocked someone who's already struggling, who obviously has serious issues. He would have been better off not saying anything.
Posted by keshmeshi on September 6, 2013 at 1:43 PM · Report this
Eva Hopkins 63
@62, I agree, the strip could've stood on its own w/ no response to criticism, as I'm sure many others of PA's strips have. But they did choose to respond, & pretty much every response made the situation worse. Coulda, shoulda, woulda..but they did, multiple times, & they were all missteps that amplified the net-rage. I remember (albeit vaguely) the original situation. I can see why the tones of the complaint seemed like something that woulda stoked PA's decision: it would be a slam-dunk bait for their core fanbase, lookit the butt-hurt femi-nazi, let's make fun of her (NOTE: I don't think this myself, thanks). Answering at all was a miscalculation: on that we agree.

It's not just the "radfem echo chamber" anymore, though - times have changed since PA debuted.
Posted by Eva Hopkins on September 6, 2013 at 2:12 PM · Report this
Pridge Wessea 64
@61 - That was a great comment. Kudos and thank you.
Posted by Pridge Wessea on September 6, 2013 at 2:13 PM · Report this
@49 re your non-Slog life...yea, that's probably smart. It's one of the many reasons why I'm enjoying retirement. I no longer have to be as careful about what I say with this persona.

@60 my experience is to never trust anyone who says someone else is a troll. They ALWAYS have an agenda. Just sayin.

I'm out. It's too painful trying to keep up with the conversation in this medium.
Posted by lucyboots on September 6, 2013 at 2:16 PM · Report this
@53 You realize the action that reignited the controversy was not pulling the shirts, but selling them in the first place? The fact that Krahulik sees the former as "a mistake" by their business manager and not the fact that their manager allowed the merch in the first place, is the most telling part of his latest apology.

I also admit that, as a former fan who saw friends recieve rape and death threats during the original fiasco for daring to criticize PA on fucking Twitter, my biases are fairly galvanized on this topic.
Posted by Deadmonds on September 6, 2013 at 2:29 PM · Report this
stirwise 67
Unlike @65, I'm finding this whole discussion fascinating. While my own views on the topic (I've been a PA reader for about 10 years, but I'm not a diehard fan) hew most closely to Pridge and Eva's (see @15, @61, and others), I think other views expressed here are equally valid and interesting. It's unfair to dismiss Raku as a troll, and I think it's also unfair to label someone who supports Krahulik as some kind of rape apologist. There's so much nuance and complexity to this discussion that I'm finding food for thought in pretty much every comment here.

Keep it up, this is fun!
Posted by stirwise on September 6, 2013 at 2:55 PM · Report this
Post_Mortem 68
As I recall, both printing the shirts (which was stupid, tasteless, and bait for misogynist 'airport's) and pulling the shirts brought greater levels of attention, bringing the conversation to the fore with more people getting offended more and more. That doesn't mean they should have kept selling the shirts. It was the right thing to pull them, but I understand why Mike thought things might have been quieter, and fewer people might have been offended without taking that action. His regret is a little odd, considering the circumstances, but hardly worthy of moral opprobrium, given context.

Anyway, he also regrets making and selling the shirt. He also considers that to have been a mistake. Perhaps metrics showed a significantly higher level of blowback, anger, and hurt after the shirt was pulled than before. Maybe pulling the shirt incited a bunch of sickness fans to go trolling rape survivor or feminist websites. I don't know. He certainly could have expressed himself better.
Posted by Post_Mortem on September 6, 2013 at 2:56 PM · Report this
Post_Mortem 69
*misogynist 'support'

Stupid spell correct.
Posted by Post_Mortem on September 6, 2013 at 2:59 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 70
@66 Death threats went both ways. Somebody had threatened to kill Mike's wife and children, as well.

It shouldn't have happened to anybody. But, to label one side as death threat making trolls while ignoring the other side's death threat making trolls is to be blindly ignorant. If you're going to hold one side culpable for the independent actions of their followers, you have to hold the other side culpable for the same thing.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on September 6, 2013 at 3:41 PM · Report this
Christampa 71
@70- As far as I can tell, there was just the one death threat to Krahulik. If there were more that were unpublicized, they still had virtually no chance of contributing to any sort of equivalent reaction from the other side. Mainly because there's clear evidence that often when white male privilege is challenged by feminists, especially in regards to humor, the challenger is often immediately awash with rape and death threats from a vocal minority of shitheads. But also because women already know that they can be killed and raped just because they're women. Krahulik had no idea what it was like to be faced with such a threat.
Krahulik didn't realize the extent that he upset people, and he certainly didn't realize how the threats his fans were making were being received, even if he disagreed with them academically. Threatening him and his family was the wrong thing to do, but it was a necessary wake up call just the same.
Posted by Christampa on September 6, 2013 at 4:03 PM · Report this
zivilisierter Wurm 72
If the Internet Outrage Brigade spent an hour volunteering with Planned Parenthood/Solid Ground for every indignant 3000-word post about Dickwolves patriarchy would have been vanquished ten times over. Internet activism is the illusion of progressive action without material or personal commitment. What an accomplishment, you've built an echo-chamber for people to profess their righteousness to each other. People establish what they believe within the first 14-or-so years of their life - pretty much everything afterwards is confirmation bias. You can't change minds without risking some sort of human rapport.

And on a side-note, PAX this year had something like 3 panels specifically on misogyny, stereotypes and increasing diversity in the gaming industry. How many did E3 have?
Posted by zivilisierter Wurm on September 6, 2013 at 4:03 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 73
@71 What you just said was "It's ok for people to threaten white men because patriarchy. Also, since it got the reaction it needed to get, it was a justified death threat."

You're a sick sick man.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on September 6, 2013 at 4:12 PM · Report this
@71, lol, that's pretty much like blaming a rape victim.

"she was asking for it, blah, blah, blah."

@72, volunteering wouldn't stroke their egos quite the same way as causing a lot of drama.
Posted by GermanSausage on September 6, 2013 at 4:20 PM · Report this
@68: I think "He certainly could have expressed himself better" could be written on that guy's tombstone.
Posted by clashfan on September 6, 2013 at 4:24 PM · Report this
@72: Yeah, those women should just shut up and go do something useful!
Posted by clashfan on September 6, 2013 at 4:26 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 77
@ 73, you can read it that way if you choose. A more sober reading finds no such conclusion, but it's less fun than finding what you want to find.
Posted by Matt from Denver on September 6, 2013 at 4:28 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 78

In terms of the "radfem" thing, I was referring specifically to the criticism that sparked the whole thing. I've rarely seen Shakesville cited anywhere; I've barely heard anything about them since the dickwolves controversy (except for the occasional complaint that their commenters sucks), and I read a lot of feminist blogs (although obviously not that one). I strongly suspect that, had Penny Arcade not responded, there would have been no controversy, period.


There is no comparison in degree between the rape and death threats Penny Arcade's critics received and what Penny Arcade itself received. It's also my understanding that Krahulik received a lot of threats from his own supporters when he decided to pull the shirts. So yeah. His team is full of threat-making, misogynistic assholes. Your hand-waving doesn't change that fact.


Imagine what Penny Arcade could have accomplished had they not wasted weeks of their time stoking the controversy.
Posted by keshmeshi on September 6, 2013 at 4:29 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 79
@77 How do you interpret "Threatening him and his family was the wrong thing to do, but it was a necessary wake up call just the same" other than "Yeah, it may have been kind of wrong, but not that wrong because it got the intended effect." He just fully justified any death threats as long as they get the intended effect. It's a disgusting and grotesque argument.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on September 6, 2013 at 4:49 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 80
@78 Did you just dismiss the threats from one side because the other side was worse?

I've never dismissed the threats of the PAX supporters. But, so far three people have been dismissive of the death threats of the anti-PAX team. I think that tells me everything.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on September 6, 2013 at 4:58 PM · Report this
delirian 81
@4: Agreed. I can't see how anybody who has read through the tumblr you linked describing the bullshit by Penny Arcade would be willing to excuse their bullshit.

And to anybody here who hasn't read through it, do so now. Penny Arcade made a stupid rape joke that offended some people. That joke isn't the real problem, it is perhaps 0.1% of the problem. The rest is how Mike responded and attacked his critics, played the victim card, and attacked those who are trying to fight rape culture. A decent human being would have said "I get it". An asshole attacks, insults transgender people, sells t-shirts mocking rape culture opponents, and then twists the knife every once and a while for fun.
Posted by delirian on September 6, 2013 at 5:14 PM · Report this
delirian 82
@66: Are you fucking serious? It was orders of magnitudes in difference. And when Mike was threatened, his opponents asked for those threats to stop. Of course the same doesn't happen when Mike stirs up his followers.
Posted by delirian on September 6, 2013 at 5:16 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 83
@81 No. A decent person doesn't necessarily throw up their hands in deference to other people who are being ridiculous. That's a stupid argument.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on September 6, 2013 at 5:18 PM · Report this
Christampa 84
Your fake outrage doesn't concern me, Misanthrope. I've read many of your arguments with Raku. You're as far away from being right about things as she is, just in the opposite direction. I don't believe for a second that your opinion on death threats is any different than mine, which is that they are idle tantrums of the lowest kind. Every now and then, one is legitimate, and the one(ONE) that Krahulik received was clearly not.

Yes, I think that it's healthy for a bully who has never known fear of a certain kind to feel that fear for a moment. If they had the empathy necessary to understand the fear without feeling it themselves, they wouldn't be bullies in the first place.
Posted by Christampa on September 6, 2013 at 5:31 PM · Report this
delirian 85
@83: That's good, because I didn't make it. Now that I've shot down your strawman, please feel free to make another argument, hopefully without the misogyny. I know that will be tough for you. And before you continue you should note that I don't respect a fucking thing you say. You jump into conversations primarily to derail them or spread misogyny. You are a virus.
Posted by delirian on September 6, 2013 at 5:33 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 86
@85 What misogyny?
Posted by TheMisanthrope on September 6, 2013 at 5:35 PM · Report this
delirian 87
@66 (Deadmonds): Ignore my previous post to you, it was misdirected.
Posted by delirian on September 6, 2013 at 5:36 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 88
@85 Also, you said "A decent human being would have said 'I get it'." So, if you weren't saying that the PA folks should defer to the detractors, what were you saying?
Posted by TheMisanthrope on September 6, 2013 at 5:59 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 89
@84 You're right. I think they're idle threats of the lowest kind by rageaholics. They should be ignored.

You're wrong in that I would never think that a death threat was in any way OK or justified because it got the correct response. Unlike four people on this post - Delirian, keshmeshi, Matt in Denver (I'm surprised at you, dude), and you - who have dismissed the death threats aimed at PA for whatever reasons - it certainly wasn't serious, it evoked the correct response, there was ONLY ONE, the pro-PA crowd was doing it in magnitudes more than the anti-Dickwolves crowd - I think even one threat of death or rape, even if just an idle threat, is completely wrong.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on September 6, 2013 at 6:08 PM · Report this
Christampa 90
I didn't accuse you of thinking that a death threat could be justified. I accused you of thinking that they're noise, while pretending for the sake of winning your argument that they were serious. I stated that I believe that it can be justified.

And it can be justified, in the same way that stealing food for hunger can be justified, or a million other things that do not belong in a world of black or white.

You're entirely unwilling to understand this, because you're absolutely committed to a false ideal of what you imagine equality looks like. I don't know if it would be possible to change your mind on that foundational element. I know that I've seen countless people try and fail, and I'm not too inclined to go at it myself without some promise of reward. But you really need to stop resorting to emotional tactics to win arguments, and begin thinking of better ways to prove them.
Posted by Christampa on September 6, 2013 at 6:36 PM · Report this
zivilisierter Wurm 91
@76: Oh I don't think women should shut up, or get back in the kitchen, or whatever atavistic jazz you wanna wreath me in. I just think people should be honest with themselves about why they argue about internet-drama. And it ain't to raise consciousness, or change minds - it's to hear yourself talk. Which is fine.

Now, what does bother me is that this is the kind of shit people get so motherfucking steamed about, when the world is LITERALLY burning down around us.
Posted by zivilisierter Wurm on September 6, 2013 at 7:29 PM · Report this
@90, "committed to a false ideal of what you imagine equality looks like."

I guess some death threats are more equal than other death threats?
Posted by GermanSausage on September 6, 2013 at 8:01 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 93
@92 Apparently. Death threats are A-OK in christampa's book, so feel free to threaten to kill him, his parents, his pets and anybody else that he may know and love. Because, he thinks they're A-OK as long as the death threats accomplish something. And, maybe if he gets enough death threats, he'll think twice about their justification, right? That's the logic I'm getting from him.

I think I'm fully justified in saying this: What. An. Asshole.

Also, please note: that wasn't a death threat, but a "death threat" threat.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on September 6, 2013 at 8:16 PM · Report this
@93, "What. An. Asshole."

Considering the "controversy," that really shouldn't be surprising. These are people that have completely painted themselves into a corner and would rather defend the absurd than admit that they're wrong.
Posted by GermanSausage on September 6, 2013 at 8:57 PM · Report this
delirian 95
so feel free to threaten to kill him, his parents, his pets and anybody else that he may know and love.

This is beyond the pale. Are there any fucking moderators in this forum? Can you explain why TheMisanthrope isn't banned and referred to the police?
Posted by delirian on September 6, 2013 at 9:07 PM · Report this
sirkowski 96
>having opinions about fictional rapists...
Posted by sirkowski on September 6, 2013 at 9:36 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 97
@95 No, no. It's ok. Christampa thinks it is. See his comment @90.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on September 6, 2013 at 9:42 PM · Report this
delirian 98
@97 No, Christampa doesn't think this. You couldn't control your hyperbole and came a hairs width away from a death threat. You justify it by saying that it wasn't a real death threat, it was only a threat to make a death threat. I pray that you are drunk-posting and don't realize how far you actually went.
Posted by delirian on September 6, 2013 at 9:49 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 99
@98 Christampa thinks that making death threats can be justified.

I stated that I believe that it can be justified.

Earlier, his idea of a valid justification was thus:

Krahulik had no idea what it was like to be faced with such a threat. Krahulik didn't realize the extent that he upset people, and he certainly didn't realize how the threats his fans were making were being received, even if he disagreed with them academically. Threatening him and his family was the wrong thing to do, but it was a necessary wake up call just the same.

Much like he thought about Krahulik, I think that Christampa has not had death threats aimed at his person, and I think that if he learns that death threats are never ok, then my threats to make death threats are completely justified, at least in his eyes.

And, besides, it's not black and white, Delirian. Death threats can be in a grey area, so long as they prove a point, just as stealing food to fend off starvation (his words). Plus, it was only one threat of death threats, which is orders of magnitude smaller than opponents of Penny Arcade received (or something like that, your words), so it's ok, right?
Posted by TheMisanthrope on September 6, 2013 at 10:43 PM · Report this
@99 you have fucking lost it
Posted by notokay on September 6, 2013 at 11:05 PM · Report this
Christampa 101
It's fine. Anyone can threaten me as much as they want. It's not that I shy away from contradictions or hypocrisy in my day to day life. That sort of thing happens, and if I do my utmost to avoid it as much as possible, I don't expect to be 100% consistent between my actions and my words. But I needn't contradict myself here. Misanthrope's threats are meaningless and ineffective. They're all he has left.

Are you seriously appealing to my emotions after I just told you your style is boring and pedantic in a conversation about these topics? Do you know what the difference is between winning an argument, and proving an argument?

Cut the bullshit. If you can't defend your views, that's not a big deal. Lots of people believe things because they've always believed them, and because they've never bothered to examine why. But try not to be so obnoxious to people who actually have given serious thought to the way women are treated in our society. It's not cute, and you're not fooling anyone. You just make literally everyone think you're a solipsistic asshole.
Posted by Christampa on September 7, 2013 at 12:03 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 102
@101 Oh, I see. Because you've given "serious thought to how a woman gets treated in society," you're allowed to say that death threats are OK.

There's no way to appeal to you in any reasonable sense. I said something completely hyperbolic and ironic in order to make the point that your viewpoint is vile and disgusting. Delirian and an anonymous poster were both disgusted by it, even though at least Delirian had also dismissed death threats aimed at somebody they disagreed with. I feel that I used enough hyperbole to make my posts ironic, and thus showing my own contempt for exactly what I was saying.

You both are disgusting human beings who are supporting lynch mobs, so long as you agree with the lynch mobs. There is no reasoning with anybody who thinks that any death or rape threat is ok. You have turned into the people you hate and I pity both of you. You are hypocrites if not trolls.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on September 7, 2013 at 12:36 AM · Report this
Christampa 103
No, all of that is false. I wonder if you read all my posts in this thread, or if you, as a solipsistic asshole, only managed to see the posts in which I'm validating your existence.

Posted by Christampa on September 7, 2013 at 1:10 AM · Report this
Christampa 104
I mean, I get it, you're a misanthrope. You made it clear right from the start. It's funny, like those people who say they don't discriminate, they hate everyone equally. I get the joke. But maybe get over yourself, yeah? If you hate people so much, maybe you should avoid interacting with them.
Posted by Christampa on September 7, 2013 at 1:14 AM · Report this
Post_Mortem 105
Because there are no judges here, our arguments generally cannot be 'won'. Because they are very rarely matters of mathematics or formal logic, they cannot be 'proved'. The Misanthrope is not winning or proving anything, but he is arguing in a decent manner. Coming to strong moral conclusions is not the same as appealing to emotion without recourse to thought or reason. His overall take has been based on normative judgements no more (and often less) emotional than those of others in this thread, including you, Christampa.

More, his reasoning is easy to follow, and sound. You have offered no rebuttals, just derision and disagreement. That is poor argumentation. So maybe fix your own problems before going after others.
Posted by Post_Mortem on September 7, 2013 at 1:23 AM · Report this
Christampa 106
Making appeals to emotion is not a valid argumentative style. Not only did he plainly admit that he thinks death threats are "idle threats of the lowest kind by rageaholics" while simultaneously taking the position that they are vile and disgusting in all instances just to score points, he also explicitly threatened me and invited others to do the same to frighten me. Amazingly he proved my point by using a threat in a way to prove a point, and then called me a disgusting human being for the trouble.

I'm not expecting him to prove anything to a standard seen in sciences or mathematics. Don't lay that on me. It's perfectly acceptable to use "prove" in an informal sense without requiring any absolute truths. He presents no evidence for his argument, nor any logical reasoning. If you think he has, then you read very poorly. You're welcome to point out any time in this argument where I've been emotional, or any flaws in my own argument instead of just waving your hand across the whole thing and dismissing it out of hand.
The culture of the internet has bred this sort of debate, where winning is more important than talking. To dismiss reality this is absurd. I cut my teeth on this stuff when I was younger. I honed it to a razor's edge. The object is to make it so the other person can no longer stand talking to you. He's very good at it, but once someone moves beyond this method, it loses a lot of its effectiveness. It's not that I've abandoned it altogether, as you have noted with my "derision". But I haven't resorted to it due to lack of substance to my own arguments like he has.

The Misanthrope has consistently misrepresented my viewpoint. It's all he ever does in these types of arguments. I've seen him argue other points, and he doesn't do it all the time. But for some reason this is a very emotional issue for him, and he can't help but debase himself whenever he talks about feminism. It must be something to do with him being gay, as there seem to be a glut of gay men who hate women on Slog, but for the life of me, I can't figure out what the actual root cause is. But I'd like to know, and that's why I've engaged him. He won't come right out and tell me, of course, but pushing him past his limit will inevitably reveal the reason.
Posted by Christampa on September 7, 2013 at 2:00 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 107
@103 Your opinion flipped like a switch as soon as I said that both sides should be held equally accountable for the actions of their followers. You proceeded to vilify the pro-PAX group as being "awash" with a "vocal minority of shitheads"; while simultaneously absolving any bad actions on the anti-Dickwolves side. And, you proceeded to double down saying that any and all death threats made by the anti-Dickwolves side was OK because it got the desired reaction as "it was a necessary wake up call just the same."

Then you continuously supported that. And, that's totally your argument, dudebro. Whatever. My argument is that that is disgusting, and it is strongly supportive of lynch mobs, despite your comments prior to my suggestion that both sides should look in the mirror.

Let me repeat my opinion: death and rape threats are never ok. Many times they are used to get somebody to back down from their position. It is used to threaten people (men and women) into submission, and it was used to threaten Mike K in the exact same way. It is wrong. It has always been wrong, and will always be wrong. If you think it's ever right, good for you. I think that's disgusting, but more power to you.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on September 7, 2013 at 2:07 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 108
@106 And homophobic to boot. Good night.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on September 7, 2013 at 2:12 AM · Report this
Christampa 109
Please understand that I don't mean to take you to task here. Tavis, is it? It's only curiosity that has me researching, not a genuine need to put you in your place. But I wonder about how you do not see my point that a death threat is not always a despicable thing, when your blog post from May 3 describes a situation that dovetails quite well with the point that I'm trying to make to Misanthrope. A lady clearly stated an intent to kill a particular person, and you did not react in horror or revulsion. You treated it as a joke. And you were bewildered when she turned it back on you as if you had done something horrifying.

So am I bewildered by your insistence that Misanthrope has made a sound case for death threats being wrong and evil always, and that my assertion that every single death threat needn't be taken at face value is steeped in emotion and lacks substance.
Posted by Christampa on September 7, 2013 at 2:17 AM · Report this
Post_Mortem 110
He didn't threaten you, actually. He said you should be fine with people who disagree with you threatening you to change your mind, based upon your previous statements, and so people basically had your permission to do so, if you were to remain consistent in your thinking. It was basically an attempt at an informal reductio.

Calling death threats low is not arguing from emtion, nor is it inconcgruous with calling them vile.

If you aren't using a standard or definition of 'proof' what kind of definition are you using for 'win'? Just getting the other guy to give up and stop posting? It seems like he's engaging you in a differnece of opinion by challenging your thought and showing you the logical conclusion of your position on threats.

I don't follow your thinking at all.
Posted by Post_Mortem on September 7, 2013 at 2:22 AM · Report this
Christampa 111
@107-108 Well, at least in quoting me, you got something technically correct, but the rest of that is still all wrong.

You do understand I can call you gay with being a homophobe, right? It's possible I'm misremembering, and if so I'm terribly sorry for doing so, but I'm fairly certain that you've made your sexuality quite clear in the past. Note also that I did not assert that being gay causes you to hate women, or whatever other assumption you might have made there. But (again, unless I'm misremembering) you have made it clear in past threads that you do not think that street harassment for women is a problem, because as a gay man you get the same treatment and you don't let it affect you. You have made it clear that you think that life as a gay man has been difficult, and you've done all right by yourself, so why can't women do the same? It's almost as if you think that you have empathy because of your similar status as a second class citizen, but still cannot fathom why so many women keep talking about the patriarchy, and so you have concluded that the problem must be with them somehow.
Posted by Christampa on September 7, 2013 at 2:32 AM · Report this
Christampa 112
Posted by Christampa on September 7, 2013 at 2:33 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 113
@112 You had it right the first time. Good night.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on September 7, 2013 at 2:39 AM · Report this
Christampa 114
Syntactically, it doesn't make sense the way I wrote it the first time. But if you're finished, then sleep well and wake.
Posted by Christampa on September 7, 2013 at 2:44 AM · Report this
Post_Mortem 115
I treated the murderous talk I wrote of on my blog as a joke because it was, albeit one made from frustration. No ill intent existed. This is not the case with threats made to intimidate people. But I wasn't mystified, by the response--people often have viceral reactions to even fictional violence in ways that obviate rational thought--rather, I was amused. Any surprise I evinced in the bit I wrote was literary.

But, let me be clear, I don't think there could not possibly be a situation in which threatening someone with violence or death might not be justified, although they are almost always unhelpful and wrong. My ethical judgements are contingent on circumstances. I am not a moral absolutist. I don't need to be to appreciate the essence (if not the style) of the Misanthrope's critique.

I simply think you are mistaken here, and that the Misanthrope has offered a decent example of how your argumwnt can be applied to justify a morally questionable end (i.e. threats against you). If death threats can be justifed, if some are, and if such a threat can be so by virtue of convincing someone that some supposedly immoral belief they hold is mistaken, and if a threat against you has the potential to convince you that you are wrong about the moral status of some death threats, then such threats against you may be justifed. Denying this conclusion requires you to deny one of your premises, which would leave your stance that some death threats are justified either without basis or simply untenable.

That's a good and fairly simple argument which he has made, and you have failed to rebut.
Posted by Post_Mortem on September 7, 2013 at 2:53 AM · Report this
Christampa 116
His argument is that there are no degrees in the amount of wrong something is. His argument is that it is equally immoral for a 7'2" 280 lb man to brandish a knife at a 5'4" 120 lb girl as it is the opposite. It is not whatever you have attempted to summarize it as. As I stated way above, his foundational belief for all of this is that equality is equality, and that women who lash out in frustration and anger are equally as destructive as men who harass and rape them. I'm sorry if you lack the context of his previous arguments.
In the context of this argument, he is saying that it is exactly as wrong for someone who is Anti-PAX to make a death threat against Krahulik, a man who has no legitimate reason to fear for his life from anyone, even internet crazies, as it is for hundreds of pro-PAX people to make rape threats against women who called Krahulik on his ignorance, women who actually do have to fear, at least a little bit, a threat of rape, since one in three women are sexually assaulted in their life times.

My argument is not that it was okay for a person to threaten Krahulik, although Misanthrope said that was my position. My argument is not in support of lynch mobs, although Misanthrope said that was my position. My argument is not that death threats are A-OK, or fine if made to white males or anything of the sort, although Misanthrope continues to maintain this is my position.

My argument is very simple. The one death threat against Krahulik is not of equal weight to the many death and rape threats made against people critical of PA. The two sides in this ridiculous debate are not equally culpable just because one person made threat against Krahulik.

Misanthrope said this: "Death and rape threats are never ok. Many times they are used to get somebody to back down from their position. It is used to threaten people (men and women) into submission, and it was used to threaten Mike K in the exact same way" All of this is correct, up until the bolded part. The Pro-PA people want the critics to be silenced, forcefully. The one threat made against Krahulik could not carry that sort of power even if the responsible party wanted it to. It was a childish and reactionary response, meant to inflict some of the pain he or she felt back on Krahulik, not to silence him.

Further to the point, I am maintaining that Misanthrope is not as put off by death threats as his argument assumes. When I say that he is arguing from emotion, I am saying that he is trying to use fake outrage over these threats as bludgeon to drive home his point. There has been no hypocrisy on my part, nor do I have to abandon any of my premises, as I showed I did not have a problem with Misanthrope's threat, and I maintained that I understood the justification of a threat used to make a point. This is not difficult logic to understand, and I don't know where you think I am being inconsistent.

I also don't know how much clearer I can make all of this for you. You are reading this very badly, and even accounting for the likely possibility that you lack the context of previous discussions, you have still been misunderstanding everybody from the very beginning. Feel free to stop in one of Cienna's or Anna's posts in the near future and see if you can find some nuance in Misanthrope's arguments.
Posted by Christampa on September 7, 2013 at 3:39 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 117
@Misanthrope, I don't see things as black and white, ever. Christampa is not excusing death threats, as you accuse him of doing - at least, not in the comment in which you accused him of exactly that. Disagreement with a position does not mean that someone adheres to the polar opposite position.

Now, if Christampa is more explicitly excusing the death threats elsewhere (and I'm sorry, but I simply don't feel like reading everything here to see if he did or did not), then I'm with you, and I will concede that you were right all along. But I did not see it up to the point when I commented yesterday.
Posted by Matt from Denver on September 7, 2013 at 7:14 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 118
@117 How do you interpret "Threatening him and his family was the wrong thing to do, but it was a necessary wake up call just the same" other than "Yeah, it may have been kind of wrong, but not that wrong because it got the intended effect"?
Posted by TheMisanthrope on September 7, 2013 at 9:31 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 119
@117 Or, better yet, how do you interpret "I stated that I believe that [death threats] can be justified."?

Or, "And [death threats] can be justified, in the same way that stealing food for hunger can be justified,"?

These are not quotes taken out of context.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on September 7, 2013 at 9:36 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 120
@116 Did you really, REALLY, just suggest that it was more ok for a woman to brandish a knife at a man than the reverse? We're not talking self-defense or anything else, we're talking about contextual-less brandishing of a weapon in violence. You just basically said its more ok, by way of being "less immoral," for a woman to pull a knife on an unarmed man, than for a man to pull a knife on a woman, if all intents and purposes were the same.


The rest of your post is lying (You have stated several times that you believe death threats are justified), misconstruction (I never said a woman acting out in rage or frustration was wrong, if there was good cause, and the reaction did not include death threats), dismissal (because Mike K is a white man, he doesn't have as much to fear as women do from Internet death threats, thus they're "less immoral" against white men), assumption (that I would ever think that death threats were anything less than a plight that has been unleashed by the internets), and outright stupidity (see knifing argument above).


Good troll.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on September 7, 2013 at 9:54 AM · Report this
Post_Mortem 121
Christampa, you said you had no problem with Misanthropes so-called threat (although it was only an ironic call for threats, and not actually a threat itself, especially not a death threat made with the intent to intimidate or hurt), but then you complained about it. Your reaction to his non-threat actually doesn't invalidate his argument, but even if it did, a slight adjustment (moving from the specific to the general) would suffice in response.

The principal you initially seemed to set forth was that it is okay to make a death threat (not just against a white male, but also against his wife and young child), so long as it leads to a desirable outcome, such as someone realizing an objectionable t-shirt is bad, or winning an argument where one's opponent supports an immoral or undesirable position. So, where one argues for something apparently or allegedly immoral, it may be okay to threaten one and one's family, so long as the threat might win the argument or cause one to reconsider one's views. This, in fact, could be used to justify a PA supporter making death threats against someone calling for action against PA, because attacking artistic and comedic freedom is arguably immoral, and threatening these people may make them rethink their attempts to curtail free expression.

Or, one could use your argument to justify death threats against those who work at abortion clinics.

These are not good or desirable moral conclusions, I think we can agree. They are arrived at, however, using means by which you have allowed for and justified a threat against Mike and his family. This shows your argument to be of a poor form, even ignoring the previous reductio ad absurdum, which I still consider to be successful. Without this argument, you must admit that the threat made against Mike was simply wrong.

The arguments about moral equivalency strike me as silly and beside the point. I don't care about them.
Posted by Post_Mortem on September 7, 2013 at 12:23 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 122
You sure do find yourself defending idiots a lot, TheMisanthrope.
Posted by undead ayn rand on September 7, 2013 at 2:17 PM · Report this
You guys are arguing with someone who calls himself The Misanthrope.

You get what you get.
Posted by clashfan on September 7, 2013 at 2:23 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 124
Said it before, but people who "hate everyone equally" sure pick favorite groups of persons to dislike.
Posted by undead ayn rand on September 7, 2013 at 2:35 PM · Report this
Never has so much e-ink been spilled over something of so little consequence
Posted by Reader01 on September 7, 2013 at 2:39 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 126
@122 Exactly which idiots am I defending?
Posted by TheMisanthrope on September 7, 2013 at 3:23 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 127
@122 Also, am I supposed to think that some death threats are better than others? Explain why.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on September 7, 2013 at 3:42 PM · Report this
Post_Mortem 128
@125, as with most discussions, especially online, the only things at stake are our beliefs and manner of thinking. Inconsequential, I know.
Posted by Post_Mortem on September 7, 2013 at 5:14 PM · Report this
Rob in Baltimore 129
I haven't had time to Slog lately, so I just saw this post. First, there was no rape joke in the original comic. Rape was presented as a terrible thing the male slave was enduring, but the video game's hero still didn't care because he had fulfilled the quest's requirements of saving only 5 slaves. The slam was on the hero, not the slave.

The followup comic was a slam to people who were too dense to understand that obvious joke. Of course the same dense people didn't get that either. The bad taste merchandising was excessive, but was probably a cynical business decision based on the fact that controversy sells.

Even with that, it was still just words that nobody was forced to read, and merchandise nobody was forced to buy.
Posted by Rob in Baltimore on September 9, 2013 at 12:15 PM · Report this
This whole "controversy" is basically become two groups of asshole reactionaries whipping up out-of-control internet mobs to attack each other with the most hyperbolic rhetoric possible.

Granted those PA guys shot first and have been sicking their lynch-mobs of social misfits on people for years. So I have to say it's kinda nice to see them get a dose of their own medicine.

Posted by tkc on September 9, 2013 at 6:36 PM · Report this

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