I’ve known Mike Cernovich for years, long before he chose to take a stand in Gamergate and became a primary object of hatred for Social Justice Warriors. His law blog, Crime & Federalism, has been on my blogroll since 2007, and he brought many strong and illuminating points to the fore. That said, he’s also made clear that he was not ashamed of being a man, or being the man he was.
Not being a gamer, I never became embroiled in Gamergate. It wasn’t that I shrugged it off out of some reluctance to join in battle, but that I didn’t know or understand enough about the issues to bring anything useful to the discussion. I had nothing illuminating to offer, and there were others who were far more knowledgeable and involved. I chose not to be that dilettante.
Cerno, on the other hand, leaped into the middle of it, mostly under his twitter handle of @PlayDangerously, and at his other blog, Danger & Play. As he did before, he owned his opinions, for better or worse, and became a target for hatred and revulsion by SJWs. As the target, he gets cool twits from random people like this:
Alisha Grauso, someone I had never heard of, recently pondered, “Why do people retweet Mike Cernovich? He’s a vile person.”
The answer doesn’t demand brilliance. Because not everyone thinks like Grauso. It’s fine that Grauso thinks Cerno is a vile person, and its equally fine that others disagree, much as Grauso can’t grasp why.
But Mike raises a point that has bugged me as well for quite a while now:
So far as I can tell, social justice warriors (SJWs) don’t do much other than mine Twitter for offensive conduct, form online hate mobs, and try getting people fired.
Maybe I am wrong. Maybe those brave warriors for justice are writing inspirational articles and encouraging and helping others rather than trying to tear down people like me. (By the way, haven’t you gotten bored yet? You’re not going to beat me. Ever.)
Do you SJWs have an actual message?
I have a question for Ms. Grauso and other social justice warriors: Where is your positive message? Your inspirational writing?
While I wouldn’t characterize the question as whether their message is “inspirational,” his point as to whether the SJWs have a purpose other than turning over rocks to find someone who offends them is a good one.
The concept behind them isn’t particularly difficult to grasp. Enjoying the privilege of being whoever they are, they believe it is incumbent upon them to clean up the world of hatred and prejudice by identifying things that might be hurtful or harmful to other, less privileged, people on their behalf and eradicate it. By doing so, SJWs are doing battle against the forces of those they deem evil and fighting for those who, according to the SJWs, are incapable of fighting for themselves.
Except nobody asked the SJWs to be their champions. And the SJWs don’t ask those on whose behalf they go to war whether they want their help or agree that everything said by anybody anywhere ever offends them. The SJWs believe they are fighting to help others, but they have become a force of their own, fighting for what they care about rather than for any cause of interest to their purported underprivileged victims.
And that’s where Mike’s question matters. Is there a point to this beyond being the Offense Police? Is there any goal beyond identifying ideas and the people who espouse them that you revile? Do you wake up in the morning full of vim and vigor to turn over rocks and find the next person to hate?
If you want to lay claim to eliminating hatred, do you consider your role in perpetuating, no increasing it, by swarming around those who fail to embrace your vision of Utopia? And what is your Utopia?
Have you ever read Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron? Do you at least have ice cream sundaes when you get together to clutch your pearls and wring your hands?
There is a world out there of people who aren’t in agreement with you that offense exists everywhere, and that it’s your duty to eliminate whatever today’s flavor of offense is from the world. There is a world out there of people who find jokes funny, and are good with their gender, their sexual orientation, whatever. They do not suffer the pain of humiliation because they have a penis instead of a vagina, and really don’t give a damn if you find that outrageous.
They do not seek your approval. Yes, you think they should, and can’t begin to grasp how it’s possible they don’t, but they don’t.
Mike Cernovich may not be your cup of tea, but that doesn’t make him vile. And that you think it does makes no difference anyway. He’s not trying to make you like him or agree with him. He doesn’t give a damn if you despise him. Nor do I.
Even though I have nothing to do with Gamergate, I hear enough of the SJWs who are outraged by anyone not adhering and promoting their vision of perfection for some amorphous others that I’ve long since given up trying to avoid their sanctimony.
I look forward to having a beer with Mike the next time he comes east, and maybe I will agree with him or maybe not. But I would rather hang out with a guy who has something useful, something affirmative, to offer than a bunch of whiny people whose only purpose is finding something to be offended about.
Does that make me as vile as Cerno? Maybe. I may not play dangerously, but I surely don’t want to play your game either.