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zakh

Zak Hubbard @zakh

4th February 2011 from Twitlonger

I've finished ruminating about Penny Arcade, dickwolves, and PAX.

I've read plenty of Penny Arcade comics that I didn't like, that I felt were unexamined, or that struck me as needlessly offensive. I don't have to be in complete agreement with the creators of my entertainment and, in general, would prefer not to be.

So whatever. The original comic is irrelevant.

When there was push back, Mike and Jerry had the opportunity to educate themselves for a few minutes and act maybe a little bit humble. They could have acknowledged, at least to themselves, that there was something substantively different about the criticism they were getting from survivors of sexual assault that made that criticism more important than the whinging of some random talk radio personality with a distaste for videogame culture. They could have noticed that their position in the power dynamic of this argument was different. They weren't the scrappy underdog poking fun at Jack Valenti or Roger Ebert. This time, they were the big powerful media figures shitting on a less powerful group of people.

But whatever. They're just a couple of nerds who make comic strips.

The point where shit got to be too much for me is when Mike tweeted that he would be wearing his dickwolves shirt to PAX, a conference that is supposed to be about building an accepting community for like-minded nerds. In so doing, he gave every antagonistic jerk from @teamrape and the nether regions of the internet a uniform they could wear at PAX, announcing their position in this argument. Wearing that uniform is not an act of solidarity to support a couple of misunderstood artists. Because of the issues raised, the feelings trampled, and the messages exchanged in this clusterfuck of internet dramaz, wearing that shirt to that conference means more than having a lazy and privileged indifference to 'rape culture.' The wearers of that shirt assume an aggressive stance towards survivors of sexual violence who attend the event. They turn any space they inhabit into a space that is unsympathetic to survivors.

That sucks and it would be easy to suck less.

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