Thursday, October 23, 2014

Dyvers Interviews: The RPG Pundit



As the proprietor of the the RPGsite, creator of the new OSR game Arrows of Indra, a thriving blog, and a consultant on the newest edition of Dungeons and Dragons it could be argued that the RPG Pundit has never had a wider sphere of influence or been more important in the hobby. With his increased prominence, however, have come controversies as adversaries old and new have made serious charges against him in a concerted effort to stymie his rise.

To his friends the RPG Pundit is a clarion call in the wilderness of the internet, caustically fighting against those who argue that we should wage our societal battles over our games by projecting issues onto them. To his critics he is a Machiavellian troll that uses every occasion to manufacture a reputation built on intimidation and harassment. They point to his use of hyperbolic language as an indictment of the man and to minimize his role in the hobby. Yet with all the effort that has been expended on maligning the Pundit he has continued to grow the RPGsite and to thrive where few others could have hoped. To better understand this controversial figure I asked him for an interview and he graciously consented.

DYVERS: Since taking over the RPGsite you've often been recognized as both one of the great voices for liberty by allowing most any topic associated with role-playing games to be discussed, and harshly criticized for not tightly controlling what is discussed on the site. How have you been able to ensure that the RPGsite has had such free reign and have you ever regretted your decision to let it be so free-wheeling?

RPGPundit: It's fairly simple really.  I wanted a group about RPG discussion. I don't feel the need to engage in petit-powermongering, unlike the admins of most rpg-related forums who enjoy controlling other peoples' lives in the most meaningless way possible as some misguided attempt to alleviate a sense of meaninglessness in their own lives. I have, in other words, the courage of my convictions.  Many of my opponents talk about being 'inclusive', but their idea of that word seems very funny to me: they are only 'inclusive' of anyone who does not directly disagree with them.

Over on theRPGsite, ANYONE can come and post.  We ban people only for what amounts to "site disruption", not for the subject matter or ideological slant of their posting content.  So the only people who get banned there are people who post illegal material, or engage in activity like spam-posting, person-stalking or off-topic-posting through multiple threads, because we will not have literal sabotage of the site.   But in respect to IDEAS, theRPGsite is the only really Inclusive place for gamers to talk. And the proof of that is in how there are people there who've racked up literally tens of thousands of posts over the past near-decade who have routinely and regularly called me an asshole and like just about everything I disagree with in RPGs.  And they know they post there without fear of reprisals.

To sum up: we ban less people in a YEAR than rpgnet sometimes bans in a day.

DYVERS: I mentioned in the introduction that your use of caustic and hyperbolic language has often been a source of consternation for your critics. They tend to see comments like "Bruce Baugh can go Fuck Himself with a Spoon" as the sort of language that drives people away from the hobby and stifles their ability to fully participate therein. Given that speaking so brashly is going to antagonize these people do you ever find yourself second thinking the use of such phrases? Do you view their criticisms on the language you use as valid? If not, why?

RPGPundit: I would think that the things that would drive people away from the hobby are things like Bruce Baugh deciding that its ok for him to intentionally and with full premeditation make up lies about someone being a homophobe, in an effort to sabotage the latest edition of D&D, and then do everything he can in order to cover up any proof against or denunciation of his lies.

That's why Bruce Baugh can go fuck himself with a spoon. If anything, I was too kind, because at the time of writing that article (when Bruce Baugh was only busy deciding he could intentionally ruin an RPG because he though the fans of those rpgs should be "punished" for liking such a childish game), I had no idea the depths of just how immense a sack of putrid shit the man is.

If you want to ask people about "stifling their ability to participate" in the hobby, go ask Bruce Baugh why he intentionally LIED about me being a homophobe/transphobe, posting a social media post that claimed I was against the inclusive language in the new D&D 5e rules when in fact I've always been wholeheartedly for it, and then deleted and blocked any attempts by people to point out that I had in fact issued multiple statements of support for the inclusivity of 5e.  I would very much like to see the RPG-related media put that question to the sad pathetic fucker over and over again. Forever. Or until he personally apologizes.

This is why we must speak brashly.  The other side stabs people in the back, and has no problem with deception, misinformation and OUTRIGHT LIES because they feel that there's no such thing as "truth", only ideological success. So they have no morals whatsoever, they have no limits to what they're willing to do and feel no problem with lying or other totally dirty tactics to take down people they think are getting in the way of their cause (said cause being ultimately to be the ones who get to be in control of the RPG hobby). I don't lie. So the only way to respond to these assholes is outrage, to point out very clearly just what kind of scum they are. If you were falsely accused of being a homophobe by someone who absolutely knew they were lying about you, just because they want to stop you from being able to influence the hobby, don't you think they deserve nothing less than total contempt?

DYVERS: Your critics often bring up your use of the word "swine" for those you disagree with as a reason why you shouldn't have any validity attached to your criticisms and that people shouldn't attempt to engage in civil discourse with you. Sage Latorra actually went so far as to write an article, Swine Flew, where he picked a series of quotes from your use of the term to demonstrate why your involvement in any company was reason enough not support them by purchasing their products. It's almost as though they have taken the term as an insult on level with a racial epithet and not as the rather innocuous insult it appears to be to me. When you began using the term what significance did you intend for it to impart to your readers, and did you intend for it to take on the greater significance that it has? Have you found that using the term has limited your ability to participate in discussions outside of the RPGsite?  

RPGPundit: Sage Latorra was understandably upset that Wizards of the Coast wanted their next edition of D&D to be ideologically influenced by someone like me (whose analysis of the RPG scene has been proven right time and time again) rather than a neo-Forge-theorist like himself (who have always gotten absolutely everything wrong about what makes RPGs successful, and whose ideas were part of the relative failure of 4e D&D).  But of course, it’s more useful for them to use "he uses bad language and is mean to people" rather than "he disagrees with what we think should happen to RPGs and we want to stop him" as a rallying cry, you get more people behind you if you make it about niceness than about ideology.  But at least, back then, you could say that to Latorra's credit that he didn't engage in doxxing (unlike many of the other people on his side who would later attack me and others in the 'consultantgate' fiasco), and at least, even though it wasn't his real primary motive for trying to have me fired from WoTC, most of what he was saying in that article is technically true: I DO use bad language and I am mean to my opponents (though who the fuck knows why that should in any way have anything to do with my qualifications in game criticism, design and consulting? - since when do we need people to always be 'nice' as well as being great at something??). So yes, on the scale of elementary-school morality of telling on the teacher because Billy said a dirty word, Sage Latorra at least wasn't lying; you can't say the same about almost anyone else on the Outrage Brigade during the later 'consultantgate' thing, where they posted brutal, blatant and horrific lies about me as soon as they realized "but he's a big meanie and we just don't like him!" wasn't going to convince anyone I'm technically unqualified for the job I was given.

As for the original significance and context of "Swine", it was a term borrowed from Hunter S. Thompson. He used that term in a variety of ways, but in essence it meant 'authoritarian hypocrites' (sometimes more authoritarian, sometimes more hypocrite).  So I was using it in largely the same way in the RPG context, to refer to people who feel a desperate need to make RPGs about something more than just a game (be it "art", "academia" or lately "social engineering"), and who usually feel the need to IMPOSE this vision of theirs on other gamers, by force if necessary (because they are using the hobby to satisfy their need to feel like they're doing something worthy with themselves: be it that they're a great 'artiste' for playing WoD games, or a 'profound intellectual' for talking about GNS/Forge theory, or being a great social crusader for complaining about how Aleena the Mentzer-box D&D Cleric looks like a prostitute in spite of being fully dressed in head-to-toe chain mail or how killing a goblin is actually a cleverly-disguised metaphor for murdering Latinos or some other bullshit like that; and because they must have the participation - again, forced if necessary- of the 'unwashed masses' of lesser gamers in order to confirm their fantasy-idea of themselves).
So really, I don't think people are off the mark for saying it’s a serious thing to call someone.  I take 'fascist' and 'hypocrite' to be much more serious insults than, say, 'dogfucker'.  And I have no problem with the annoyance the Fascists and Hypocrites of the tabletop RPG hobby have felt with this word becoming part of the recognized rpg-discussion lexicon and being used against them when they are being fascists and hypocrites. 

I found it has pissed off a lot of people who realize that they match the definition of Swine, but that hasn't really "affected my ability to participate in RPG discussions", so much as the utterly FALSE accusations these Swine have MADE UP about me, like that I'm a homophobe, transphobe, racist, or sexist, or that I've doxxed people (when in fact, the Swine love to doxx me on a regular basis, it’s the first, cheapest thing they do to attack me), or dumber things, like that I'm a Republican, or a Christian Fundamentalist (that's particularly funny).

So people who've never actually talked to me personally before sometimes do approach me with a wrong idea about me, but that's not because of "swine", it’s because of all the LIES the Swine regularly and repeatedly make up about me in an effort to stop me from getting in their way.


DYVERS: Over the last few years you have increasingly become a favorite target of, as you are so fond of calling them, the Social Justice Warriors. What really kicked off this animosity? Was it the fallout from James Desborough's In Defense of Rape article and your very public defense of him (see For Pseudo-Activists, Lying About Rape Threats is OK if its "for the cause" for more) that brought their attention or had you already been a target before that incident?

RPGPundit:  Sorry, first I have to clear something up.  I almost NEVER call them "Social justice warriors".  That's a stupid term and it utterly fails to describe what these people are; calling them that suggests they actually really fight for social justice, which would be a wonderful thing and not an insult at all.

That's why whenever possible, I avoid using "SJW".  I call them PSEUDO-ACTIVISTS, which is not as short but is much more accurate: they are NOT 'social justice warriors' because they don't really fight for social justice; they improperly ABUSE the idea of 'social justice' for their own cheap purposes, using 'social justice' as a mask to let them manipulate people and movements, make power-grabs for their own purposes, sometimes make money for themselves, and to shield themselves against criticism.

I would be ridiculously happy if no one ever used "sjw" as a term again, and called these people Pseudo-Activists, which is what they are. Alternately, "the Outrage Brigade" is also acceptable.

As for when I started fighting with the Outrage Brigade, I think something has to be understood: almost everyone who is today involved on that side of the conflict were, only a few years back, part of the Forge/Storygames crowd who were trying to take over RPGs back then, but not in the name of Social Justice; rather, they were trying to remake RPGs along "theory" lines and make gaming into a deep intellectual pursuit (controlled by them, the self-styled 'deep intellectuals', of course).  It was only when it became very clear that their theories were utterly bullshit (both from a commercial perspective and from the perspective of the types of games the vast majority of RPG gamers prefer to play), after the Forge closed down, that these exact same people started talking about social justice. In fact, I had PREDICTED that this was exactly what they'd do [see RPGPundit called it on the year of the Pseudo-Activists and The Pseudo-Activists Swine, Revisited for more], on my blog, a couple of years back just before the first really big "moral outrage" events started to happen.

So I had been a "target" long before the event you somewhat incorrectly describe as "the fallout from James Desborough's article".  I would describe it as "the time about 100 Swine MADE UP the utterly false rape-threat claims about James Desborough and then when confronted with this fact chose to keep right on repeating a proven LIE"; because these people are mostly all the same people I've been fighting from the Forge for the last 10 years.  It’s just that now they're pretending that it’s about RPGs being 'socially just' rather than about RPGs being 'academic' or 'artistic' and had no problem with writing or running games like Poison'd or Maid that featured (and encouraged!) violent and sadistic rape [For Vincent’s comments on rape in Poison’d click here  – Charlie] of the sort that Desborough would never even dream of.

DYVERS: With the release of Fifth Edition Dungeons & Dragons your name was revealed as one of the consultants - something that you had discussed beforehand and that your critics openly called you a liar over - and many of your former antagonists took the opportunity to claim you were a bigot who had consistently attempted to drive people from the hobby through harassment and intimidation. At the time it seemed that many of them believed that if they put enough pressure on you and Wizards of the Coast that your name would be taken out of the books and that you would cower before them. After witnessing some of what you went through I've been curious to know how you were able to withstand their attacks, and often outright lies, about you? Considering what you went through did you ever contemplate giving up and walking away from the RPGsite, from your blog, or from the hobby as a whole?

RPGPundit: How did I withstand their attacks?  Well, it's simple: I have a moral compass.  Unlike my opponents, I actually care about Truth. I know that something that isn't true will ultimately (though not always immediately) lose out to the truth.  The truth is the best rhetorical weapon you can ever use, and because my opponents believe there's no such thing as truth (being, for the most part, hopeless relativists), they can never wield it effectively. 

The Pseudo-activists almost can't help but LIE, because they can barely understand the concept of what "true" is anymore.  And thus, they dug their own grave by the torrent of lies they vomited out about me (and another consultant, and some other opponents of theirs in the hobby).  The end result of what they did was to bring attention to me, make me more famous, double my blog readership, make me more money, and utterly and totally discredit themselves.  There are now links and records kept of all the times they've lied (The latter being necessary because the pseudo-activists have often tried to go back and delete or edit stuff to hide when they've been caught out in a lie), and we've set up a permanent thread on theRPGsite (see This is Why We Don't Like You for more) in order to show a permanent and immutable record of cases where these Swine have been caught out in lying, general misbehavior and even clearly conspiring to make up lies about their opponents.

I won't pretend that there weren't times I was under enormous levels of stress during 'consultantgate', and extremely frustrated by just how low these assholes will sink in their willingness to lie, how absolutely nothing seems to be sacred to them (people's reputations, dead friends, family members, children -again, all because 'truth' is practically meaningless to them). But (even discounting the personal profit I made from their backfired efforts) if the positive result of this is that the next time they try to do this to someone else, people will be able to stop them in their tracks because no one can buy into their bullshit anymore, that makes it totally worth it.

DYVERS: Moving on from the difficulties you've experienced in recent years I'd like to talk about Arrows of Indra. I don't recall ever seeing another game set in India and until your game appeared it had never occurred to me how fascinating a campaign set there could be. How did working on this game compare to your previous projects? Was it more satisfying creatively? How has it performed compared to your previous projects?

RPGPundit: I'm really glad you like AoI. And yes, India is a fascinating source of adventuring material, with Arrows of Indra touching only a small part of the vast wealth of legends and mythology there. 

Every project I've worked on was hugely satisfying; for Lords of Olympus (for example, I got to write up what is without a doubt the most complete guide to Greek mythology ever printed for an RPG!). What was perhaps more creatively satisfying for me about AoI was just that I was doing an accurate and respectful treatment (in the sense of being based on the original myths, and not on cheap stereotypes or tv or film knock offs) of a cultural setting that had never ever been really properly and accurately done before.  I was glad to be able to make a game that is of a detailed and intricate non-European cultural context but presented in such a way as to be approachable to all gamers; and not about trying to intentionally be weird for its own sake or demand that the reader first educate themselves on pre-requisite subjects in some snobbish attempt to actually make the setting less accessible.  I WANT everyone to play in epic fantasy India, to be able to do so easily, and to have fun doing it; the goal was also not about trying to make some 'social message' but about showing just how awesome a setting Epic India really is.  So rather than beating the reader over the head with some kind of heavy-handed "you must like this" attitude that usually wins over no one, I think I have won over quite a lot of people to realize just how cool Indian mythology and Indian culture in general is, by focusing on the fun and not on smug lecturing.

As far as how it has performed, I'd say very well.  It has sold really well on PDF and print, and while Lords of Olympus still might be a slightly better seller overall it also had a year of sales before AoI got in print, so both those games are really neck and neck as far as being my most popular and successful.

DYVERS: What went into your decision to publish the game through Bedrock Games as opposed to self-publishing the game?

RPGPundit: I've never published any of my games. I don't believe in that.  It’s a bullshit idea that some Swine came up with a decade ago that said "everyone MUST publish their own games!", as if that makes your game better or makes you a better person for doing so. 

Now, if you want to publish your own games, great. Go wild. But the idea that I, who am a great writer but in no way a great editor, layout man, artist, businessman or computer whiz, should have to do all the work myself to get some kind of bullshit indie hipster-cred is just moronic.  I would much rather take advantage of my relative fame to team up with tried and tested publishers (like Flying Mice, Precis Intermedia, Bedrock Games, or DOM publishing -- Swine: there's an enemies - list for you, go out and whine about how bad they are so that they all get a lot of attention and money!) who actually know what they're doing, and want to work together with me to make a superior product.

I could never have done anything nearly as stunningly beautiful a book as the full-color print edition of Lords of Olympus, for example.  Nor would I have been likely to find an artist as skilled as the one who did the borders and cover image of Arrows of Indra (which, by the way, is the first RPG rulebook ever - to my knowledge- to feature a heroic transgender character on said front cover).  The distribution network that Flying Mice, Precis, and Bedrock have means that I don't have to worry about trying to push my game myself.  I don't have to focus on production or on sales, I can just do the one part that I do best: writing.

DYVERS: In some of the reviews for Arrows of Indra I have seen comments that the game's setting feels more like an Indian's view on their popular history of India as opposed to the actual history. Do you feel that this is an accurate reading of your game?

RPGPundit: I hadn't actually read that before, its a pretty fascinating assessment.  I can see some of his point of view.  Arrows of Indra is NOT based on "actual history".  It is based on Epic Indian Myth.  Because of course actual history did not have flying chariots and arrows that could blow up cities and poison-spitting seven-headed giant snakes. But furthermore, it didn't have the civilizations (or at least not the grandiose and epic civilizations) that the Mahabharata depicts.

However, I would slightly disagree with the author of that review, in that this is not so much Epic India as modern Indians would imagine it, but Epic India as it would have been contextually depicted in its own time.  So for example, one of the reasons why things like Tantra or the Advaita concept or even sophisticated notions of Reincarnation are barely touched-upon is because all of these were things that were in fact later developments after the vedic period.  Likewise, I made a point of the caste system in AoI being more malleable (that is, people can shift castes, in theory, though its not easy) because this is how it historically was in that period, whereas its very much not that way today.  This choice was at least as much for design reasons as for some kind of concern with historical accuracy, because it made the game easier to run.  Karma, in the period before Krishna, was largely all about performance of proper ritual and avoidance of the taboo, so the Holy/Neutral/Unholy spectrum for Alignment does that really well, and its much less of a hassle than having to deal with some kind of tricky and not-worth-it calculation of Karma Points or something along those lines.  It is also true that I sometimes mix up Northern and Southern Indian material, sacrificing accuracy for the sake of completeness. And yes, the vision of AoI is very Vedic, mostly North Indian, and not Jain or Buddhist (the Buddha wasn't alive yet!).  This should not be seen as some kind of ideological choice but purely a setting-design choice.  What I really wanted to avoid was some cheap mishmash where it was all just a jumble, like some early "asian" RPG settings that were mostly inspired by Kung-fu movies and where you had Han Chinese, Ching Chinese, Japanese, Southeast Asian, and Mongolian stuff all mixed up with no sense or reason to them at all.

I would disagree, though, about the part about male-oriented.  It's true that I didn't make up some class or rules for a "respectable female Noble" class or something like that, though really there's nothing to stop someone playing one, or even making up said class, hopefully without resorting to cheap social-mechanic rules.  But I made a point of making the AoI setting one where female characters could theoretically take up any adventuring class, and could with relative ease handle certain ones (and a non-evil witch would, pretty obviously, just be a female Siddhi/magic-user character).  Yes, it's not strictly culturally accurate, because you don't see Radha or Queen Kunti going around slaughtering asuras with a bow, but it seems wrongheaded to say that I've just ignored women because I figured it would be more fun for women to get to go out and fight monsters instead of sitting around the court showing how respectable they are (in MOST campaigns; of course, in some campaigns you could make it all about everyone sitting around the court trying to act respectable!).


DYVERS: While the Arrows of Indra is an OSR game, and can easily be converted to other OSR style games, I have to ask if you have any plans on taking the setting and modifying it for use with other systems that might not be as compatible, such as Fifth Edition D&D or Pathfinder?

RPGPundit:  There is no immediate plan, but nothing is ruled out.  I'll point out that I neither play nor have consulted on Pathfinder, so IF there's AoI material for either of those games, you can guess which one it'll be for!

22 comments:

  1. What an interesting and amusing interview! I thought the comments about the world-setting of "Arrows of Indra" to be particularly fascinating, especially in comparison to Mr. Pundit's comment about the world-setting of "Empire of the Petal Throne" in a thread on his forum. Pots and kettles, I suppose.

    Mind you, I can not condone the recent smear campaign against the guy; it's vile and disgusting. If that's the current culture in gaming and the OSR 'movement' or 'crusade' or whatever it might be, then please count me out. I'm not into vitriol throwing, thank you.

    - chirine

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it Chirine!

      "Mind you, I can not condone the recent smear campaign against the guy; it's vile and disgusting. If that's the current culture in gaming and the OSR 'movement' or 'crusade' or whatever it might be, then please count me out. I'm not into vitriol throwing, thank you."

      I don't think it's a part of the larger gaming culture as most people that I've encountered both online and in real life genuinely want to just play games and have fun.

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    2. Well, I thought that it was a good interview; you get a much better sense of the man's thoughts on games and gaming. I'm really addicted to world setting - over game mechanics any day - and I'd buy a copy of AoI based on this interview as the information here tells me a lot more then the on-line reviews do.

      And yes, I'd really like to hope that the larger gamer culture is more civil and more interested in games then what I've seen of late on the Internet. I've gotten really tired of how some small fraction of the hobby seems to dominate the 'news feed'...

      - chirine

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  2. Fuck, the internet ate my witty, self-depreciating, revelatory post; I hate it when that happens! Anyhow, I enjoyed the interview, and was glad to read RPGPundit's opinions on consultant gate, if that's what we're calling it now. I mean, I know gaming is the deepest intellectual pursuit I personally engage in, but I'm not confused about whether that makes me an intellectual or an overweight, middle-aged nerd.

    . . .

    Seriously though, that first post was just terrific; I'd be the Oscar Wilde of the internet if it weren't for the goddam internet.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the interview!

      "Seriously though, that first post was just terrific; I'd be the Oscar Wilde of the internet if it weren't for the goddam internet."

      XD

      I really wish I read that original comment!

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  3. Great interview. I read Pundits's blog regularly, and love Arrows of Indra, but I will admit that I usually tune out once he starts railing about Swine and Ron Edwards stealing the OSR. But, I am someone who enjoys OSR gaming and Story Gaming (and a few other kinds of gaming), so I guess I'm not that target for that sort of Limbaugh-esque scene chewing.

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it Steven Warble.

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  4. I greatly enjoyed reading through that. Thanks for getting together to do this.

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  5. Good stuff. Arrows is a really good game with mostly very good artwork throughout. Bedrock is a class act based on my interactions with them.

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  6. Great interview. And googling some of the essays and players referred to is both funny and depressing at the same time. Sage LaTorra finds the Pundit's use of 'swine' to be 'chilling'. That's insane.

    But boycotts are more sinister. Do people have the right to buy what they choose for whatever reason? Oh, I suppose. That doesn't make that sort of thing any less pathetic or repellent.

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    1. "Sage LaTorra finds the Pundit's use of 'swine' to be 'chilling'. That's insane."

      I'm not so sure that it's insane as much as it is a by product of the way that the internet works.

      "But boycotts are more sinister. Do people have the right to buy what they choose for whatever reason? Oh, I suppose. That doesn't make that sort of thing any less pathetic or repellent."

      I have no problems with boycotts in general as there are many times when the only way that you can change corporations is through your wallet, but I think that it was an odd reaction to have considering that the biggest objection to the Pundit was that he called them a rather innocuous name that only took on greater significance when they let it.

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  7. I will also go on record that I do not condone the smear campaign related to the 5e consultancy, but I also think that "Mr. Pundit" is an egocentric prat whose insulting commentary and condescension only makes the Internet more acidic than it already is.

    You reap what you sow, as the saying goes. Karma has a way of really biting one on the ass especially in regards to internet behavior on public forums.

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    1. Ugh, I'm already regretting this post, and I haven't even posted it yet.

      I guess my question, to you, Marty, is: Do you think it was a matter of Karma, and not just some lying jerk being an asshole? 'Cause I sorta look on that from the other side of the mountain.

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    2. Arg. Stupid blogspot ate my comment.

      So, I've read most of his rants about the lies and I don't doubt there were one or several people being nasty jerks and saying things that were not true about him. So let's put that aside for the moment, because I understand that happened.

      I have also read many of his rants on other unrelated topics and seen how he talks to people in forums. He's a jerk. He can't stand for people to disagree with him and goes a little nutso when they do. He name calls, condescends, twists words... the exact thing he claims others do to him... and he does it on his blog where he know his "opponents" won't call him out on it because they have no desire to be verbally assaulted by him or his fandom in the comments. He's as bad as any forum troll, except that he also has a pulpit from which to bait.

      So yes, I think there may be some Karma at work. Sometimes you get back what you put out there... with interest. That's how the internet can.

      So some people lied about him and misrepresented his stand on gender identity issues. BFD. If that's the worst that happened to him, he got off easy.

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    3. I forgot to note -- he always lumps people who disagree with him into this "Outrage Brigade" epithet... even people who have no connection to the people who lied about him. That makes it easy for him to verbally attack anyone with whom he disagrees without appearing to be the asshole... because They are the "Bad Guys" and he's just a poor innocent victim. He's a complete hypocrite and if you call him out on that, you are now suddenly a part of the "Outrage Brigade".

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    4. So it's ok to tell outright lies about someone, with the goal of ruining their career, if you feel pretty sure he's a 'bad' guy?

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    5. No, I'm saying if you are a jerk to large swaths of people on the internet for literally years, at some point it's going to come back to haunt you.

      That's what karma is. The sum effect of past actions catching up with a person, sometimes paid out as a lump sum, rather than an annuity.

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  8. I certainly can't claim I've read every single one of his blog posts, but I've never read anything where he described himself as a poor innocent victim. I mean, look, I'm an incomplete hypocrite, don't ask me.

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