Hangover Archives: 2021–03
Clarifying Atheism like a Twat
I rarely clarify my positions on religion on this blog despite my numerous criticisms towards it, which is weird since the topic is so relevant to my state-of-consciousness complaints about the state of children’s cartoon series and furry porn. If you’ve vested yourself with the power of Froge Lore, you understand I am an atheist, and have been all my life. The reasons for this are simple: I haven’t been brainwashed by any childhood cult, and I haven’t been sufficiently gaslit in adulthood to change the entirety of my reality-based worldview. It seems intuitive that children have no reason to believe in a magical mystery man up there in the sky unless their pastor persuades them with the power of child rape, and adults have no reason to believe in it unless their psychology is sufficiently manipulable that religion is no more useful than any other cult in filling their absence of purpose. It preys on the weak, vulnerable, and stupid, and its benefits to those who are evil enough to proselyte it are also wanting, with even its profiteering promoters genuinely believing in the nonsense they preach. It’s a cancer on the world and the world would be better if every holy book was burned and every proselytiser was dead.
There’s a reason I don’t express these opinions so bluntly. Nobody will believe me. If you’re agnostic you don’t care, if you’re atheist there’s already so much infighting among the lack-of-faith that my opinion on the matter is one of millions, and if you’re religious it’s psychology impossible for you to be persuaded using the meaningless measurements of objective reality and fact. Therefore the only purpose of my expressing it is to form my own cult of lack-of-believers who will gladly circlejerk over how much religion sucks, much like /r/atheism. The average person who frequents atheist message boards seems to be predominantly young, male, and strangely-enough White, albeit with a large queer subgroup who wonder why billions of people follow poorly-translated scripture written by near-illiterate savages who want homosexuals to be buried to their neck in sand and then stoned until dead. And religion does suck, it extremely and obviously does, but basing your entire personality on that opinion when it’s only ever useful in the company of other powerless atheists is a detriment to the dozens of educational pursuits you could devote your time to instead.
Debating zealots does nothing but further embolden them, consistently failing to provide sufficient proof of their nonsensical claims despite hundreds of years of propagating them, and there is no possible way to approach a religious person from a fact-based viewpoint despite fact-based viewpoints being the only ones which matter. The rhetorical techniques of the zealot are the same techniques used by narcissistic abusers who express how much they love you at the same time they tear away every aspect of your independence through violence and coercion; the happiest zealots, like the happiest victims, are devoid of personality and are conditioned to find comfort in the abuse, like shooting stars absorbed by black holes until they die. Manipulation, whether in childhood or in adulthood, can only be unearthed by further manipulation. Typically, this comes from years of back-and-forth self-defeating justifications over why their deity of choice has abandoned them during periods of crisis, but ultimately the mental illness theists find themselves with, like clinically-diagnosable mental illness, cannot be talked out of. In effect, joining a religion is gaslighting yourself every hour of every day in the hope your fictional friend acknowledges your meagre existence — which he never does, and never will. The worst part about it is you can’t leave your abuser. You’ve created him. He’s inside your own head. He doesn’t exist.
It’s been said religion is the greatest evil because it’s based on a lie — the lie that God exists. Ignorance is a lesser evil compared to the slavery of Christian feudalism, the despotism of Sharia law, and every massacre in the name of a peaceful faith. Religions of peace evidently aren’t, and when one’s imaginary friend is insulted, so goes the hundreds of thousands of real lives which are wasted in pursuit of nothing greater than the grave. The evils of religion are obvious in both the pragmatic and intellectual. What’s more interesting is the worldview of the fundamentalists who believe in this nonsense, who genuinely believe the world would be a better place if everyone followed their magic deity of choice. And yet when we see world governments who implement Islam’s version of preordained tyranny, all in the name of the same omnipotent-yet-impotent Abrahamic god which Christians clutch their pearls over defending the name of, those of other faiths are reluctant to move to countries where half the population — women — are treated as property by the other half, saying nothing of other minorities who are executed on sight.
True that the worst excesses of Saudi Arabia and Iran do not wholly represent a religious population of 1.9 billion people, and half-assed Islamic extremism in Africa is similar to half-assed Christian extremism in South America. But even in so-called moderate states which adhere to the glory of Allah to the detriment of all others, we do not see a state of affairs that any reasonable human being would ever want to be a part of if they were not already born into an elite caste of despots. By and large, other people want to be treated as unconditionally human. Yet even if one does not personally wish to execute fellow man because they fuck other men, their subscription to a belief system which explicitly states that other people are free to be executed for incredibly trivial subject matter shows that they’re tactically okay with their peers killing other human beings so long as it’s permissible based on centures-old moral standards; and if they say their religion doesn’t do that anymore, who are they to argue with God and the holy books they follow? How arrogant are they, as humans, to rewrite God’s holy word for the sake of modern sensibility, when God is omniscient and always knows best, at all times, forever? The number of people killed by religious wars number in the tens of millions for Christianity alone. The number of people killed in the name of secular humanism? Just a little bit less.
Abrahamic religions are obviously evil due to their disregard for all human existence outside their incredibly myopic and obsolete worldview, but what about those religions of peace which have killed slightly less than tens of millions of people? Also evil, but of the lesser evil of ignorance, as I have stated. It’s wrong to lie to people and allow them to believe in a reality that does not exist. If zealots were aware of the unfair and unflinchingly cold and cynical meaninglessness of the world they inhabit, their identities would collapse and they would not have any personality beyond the malformed beliefs they were coerced into having. The slew of disinformation the zealot receives at all levels of their life, from their family to their religious community to the evangelical media they consume, means they have willingly put themselves in a mindset where they live in a state of literal, not figurative, paranoid psychosis.
Their sense of self is constantly under attack from within their own mind’s inability to reconcile the endless discrepancies between the way the world actually works and the way they have been taught to believe in it, and from external forces who simply do not comprehend their delusions of make-believe deities and arbitrary moralities, where adhering to objective fact and refusing to patronise these beliefs makes you an enemy of a collective of people whose mental states are simply not functional. Religion poisons the mind and makes otherwise intelligent human beings into little more than primitive animals superstitiously waiting for prophecies which will never come true, and the constant attempts from these cultists into seizing and subverting government power in the Western world by upending the democratic standard of secular government makes me wonder if there will come a day where our species is sufficiently enlightened to the point of outlawing this tumour from our society. It’s intuitive that out of all the forces which conspires to make our world a worse place, religion is the most powerful and most heinous of these forces. And yet our misguided sense of equality suggests that freedom of religion is an acceptable idea when the existence of religion is an aggravation against all groups that particular religion decides does not deserve to exist. A religion is merely a cult with political power, and I hope future politicians do not pander to future primitives.
Deconversion from religion is a nearly-impossible undertaking for an outside party. The continued existence of the 6.5 billion human beings who believe in these seductive fairy tales, even in supposedly-civilised countries, is proof of the cancerous nature of this phenomenon. A person’s religion is technically a choice, but the continued and persistent application of its tenets to one’s life, combined with malicious dictates from their holy texts which demands apostates are punished for their free thought, means you’re committed at best to a cult consisting of your own split mind and more realistically a cult of dozens of zealots who will personally threaten you when you exist in a fashion outside what they arbitrarily ordain. Religion is a choice inasmuch as leaving your abusive spouse is a choice. Under ideal circumstances, the procedure isn’t easy, and the circumstances are never ideal. You don’t leave your faith when the consequences for doing so include excommunication from the only community which benefits you, with threats against your life and property if you leave. If your theocratic government wills it, even reading these words will land you in jail, and my writing them sentences me to death at human hands under the non-existent god they fawn over.
It’s reasonable to say that freedom ends where it provides more harm to society than good, whether individually or collectively; in particular, the American enlightened-centrist view of freedom involves the ability to do damn near whatever you want without consequences, including spreading speech whose only purpose is to advocate for the genocide of particular groups of individuals on the basis of how they were born. The White male Nazi’s speech is protected the same as the Black trans woman’s, where the former wants to murder each and every nigger-born tranny he can lay his malformed hands on, and the latter merely wants to exist without having her life threatened. Under most reasonable morality systems, it’s apparent our tolerance for other ideas ends where they only exist to spread intolerance. Religion violates this principle by existing only to promote the tolerance of all believers within their denomination, to the intolerance of all others outside their bloated cult, with explicit sermons in favour of the deaths of all infidels who violate their primitive standards. Freedom of religion is fundamentally broken when they’re given the freedom to spread hatred without punishment; the only freedom which should be tolerated is the freedom from religion, to the detriment of all intolerant zealots and their billions-strong masses.
Yet religion will never be outlawed in a democratic country within my lifetime, to the detriment of the human race and all educated men who have found themselves within it. The politics are too extreme and no party desires to alienate the scum who believe in this nonsense; pragmatism beats principles, and votes matter more than intelligence. Even so, communist states which have declared themselves atheist committed genocide against all believers of religion and stole their lives the same as they stole their idolatrous property and burned their places of worship to the ground. Not even this has stopped the pervasive belief in a state of reality which does not exist, and has not ever existed. In the few atheist countries which still survive, segments of their savage citizenry still worship to nothing in pursuit of self-hatred, and it’s wrong to assume that the revolutionaries which set up these atheist states were themselves bastions of cool-headed knowledge. Their beliefs were sure to be just as bigoted and scientifically-illiterate as the zealots they oppressed, and fundamentally atheism is just one form of unpopular politics against a significantly more powerful form, fighting an unwinnable culture war in the hope that believers will wake up from their dreams of magic and might.
My own path from agnosticism to atheism, from simple ignorance to outright mockery of religion, came to me through the slow-but-steady exposure to atheist ideas through pop culture throughout my childhood. Combined with influence from my parents who claimed no religion in their lives or in the lives of our extended family, I grew to question the unspoken Christian beliefs and morality systems which we take for granted in the Western world, which acts as background radiation throughout our society and permeates our unspoken cultural norms of goodness and morality. Cartoons such as The Simpsons and Futurama respected people’s individual beliefs as they mocked collective delusion, and comics like Calvin and Hobbes and MAD Magazine showcased satirical views on the idea of there being any higher power at all. Perhaps The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy was too successful in showcasing its absurd outlook on the state of the universe, and when I browsed through a Bible from my elementary school library, I only ever saw it as a potential alternative explanation, my knowledge of other religious texts non-existent. The creation of the universe and the problem of evil were topics I often debated with myself when I was 12 or 13, and if these philosophical questions can be taken seriously by a reasonably smart child outside the influence of deliberate ignorance, I wonder how many millions of bright young minds have been poisoned before they’ve had the opportunity to be free from religion.
As I grew older, my questioning of the deceitful claims made by proselytisers grew ever more skeptical. Going into high school I was already pretty certain I would never believe in any higher power, and though the philosophical questions I grappled with at that time were postmodern and ultimately useless, I developed the non-negotiable respect for facts and science that I will carry over until my death. The majority of my readings were non-fiction books in business and technology, and there was never a point where I considered the alternate viewpoint of religious individuals as worthy of my respect. History classes made clear the purpose of religion in historical context only, primarily as a means to control groups of individuals through collective morality, grateful I am for being part of the west-coast, heathen secularist school system as opposed to the toxic Catholic schools which remain depressingly common east of British Columbia. With my school being composed of a human-gradient collection of Whites, Asians, and Indians, it’s comforting to know that Canadian multiculturalism has yet to bring the destruction of the country as predicted by our stupid American neighbours, and agnosticism is quickly becoming the default among the younger generation of immigrants due to the meaninglessness of promoting a Christian god when 30% of the country had no concept of Christ to begin with.
I grew older and ever-more sane, outgrowing the philosophical pains of my teenage self — the very latest conceptions of which are visible in my original blog Froghand which contained some atheist ramblings even at that early stage in my writings. At this point in time I’m aware of my current philosophical positions. I’m an atheist and an empiricist, and I take comfort in facts insofar as I can discern them from fiction. In the words of George Orwell, I am against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it. It’s fortunate then, within my lifetime, it’s possible the current social-democratic country I find myself in will one day become sufficiently enlightened as to the pervasive harms of our current capitalist system informed by the Protestant tradition of subservience, and I’ll be grateful to see it reformed to a more equitable state. In our current year, the bread and circuses have ceased to be amusing and anti-capitalist resent is forming even within the mainstream media. One day, for the first time, the revolution will be televised. And it will be great.
You can view the website God is Imaginary for 50 simple proofs against the existence of any supernatural entity affecting the state of the world. This website is generous, because even when the burden of proof is on the believer to state their claims, the author preempts their bad logic and uses a variety of evidence-based proofs to restore sanity to an insane worldview. If by some divine miracle a religious person disavows their former delusions, the RationalWiki FAQ for the Newly Deconverted suggests that if you must believe in something, the best thing to believe in is a form of curiosity-led rationalism — failing that, believing in whatever the hell you want. Or, if your newfound belief is that I’m completely full of shit and everything I just wrote is completely incorrect, consider this alternative perspective from The Best Page in the Universe:
“‘Why don’t you do a page about religion? How about those stupid Pagans / Christians / Buddhists / Atheists / Mormons / Hindus / Muslims / Jews, do you think they’re stupid?’ No, give it a rest already. I’m not about to change anyone’s fundamental beliefs with a two paragraph blurb on my web site. Believe what you want to and shut the hell up about it. The whole anti-religion, anti-atheism, anti-whatever theme is tired; GET A NEW CAUSE. If you want a good old fashioned pointless debate about religion, look for it somewhere else. I’m sure you’ll find many self-proclaimed ‘enlightened’ 14 year olds who have it all figured out and are more than happy to tell you their bullshit philosophy about religion and why your beliefs are wrong.”
As a self-professed enlightened 14-year-old myself, I only have one thing to say: Thank God For Me! And also furry porn. Obviously.
Bad Webcomics Wiki: How Bad Me Be?
Enlightened centrism is one of the most narcissistic philosophies you can possess, whether through political opinions which treat every politician as equally worthless, or through personal opinions which says anyone who yearns for greatness in this world are fools for trying, and this self-defeating worldview is essentially an extrapolated version of Homer Simpson saying “everyone is stupid except me”. In absence of standing for any tangible ethical positions, the centrist decrees that if the world were to follow their advice and accept their ideas of all sides being idiots, we’d all realise our own personal stupidity and through this find world peace in our newfound idiocy. The centrist, of course, never entertains the opinion that they’re merely simplifying complex topics and are only interested in taking aim at one-dimensional strawmen which do not represent any of the real difficulties in solving societal problems, and so their opinions are just as often irrelevant as they are poorly-considered. In short, they’re indecisive wussies who want the influence to change society as they see fit but without the maturity to accept compromises outside the ideal worldview they have created for themselves, and so their words have no power outside their own small circle of similarly nihilistic cynics.
One of the worst applications of centrist stupidity is in criticism. A man walks into a movie theatre, and he must be honest and say he is that man. Not his reader, not his editor, not his friend, but him. Your opinion given on a movie must be your opinion and your opinion alone, with all the stupid, intrinsic biases you possess, because to pretend you aren’t that man and to pretend you aren’t biased in intrinsically stupid ways is to present a version of yourself that doesn’t exist outside the confines of a single review. Writing from the perspective from anyone who isn’t you is to neuter your opinions and to damn your influence before you’ve even had a chance to be read, and bending the knee to audience members who will complain about out-of-touch critics regardless of your compromise is to subjugate your personal greatness to the whims of a peanut gallery who has no obligation or incentive to make you a better writer. It’s funny to consider a rational human being willingly reading your opinion, then getting upset when they receive the opinion they consented to read, as if it has any effect on their life beyond a fleeting denial of their ego. Yet too often the idea that someone, somewhere has a different opinion of some arbitrary subject matter fills them with rage and feels the need to trash-talk dissenters when there are tens of thousands of other people with the same contrarian opinion, who simply haven’t felt the need to express their ideas.
I discovered a website which represents both extremes of centrist stupidity: the stupid centrist critic, and the stupid centrist audience member. The Bad Webcomics Wiki is an online wiki whose stated purpose is to “determine whether a webcomic is an epic failure with the help of harsh criticism and brutal honesty”. Crowdsourcing criticism from Internet strangers is a terrible, terrible idea. User reviews on Metacritic require a radiation suit to peruse, and there exists a stylesheet, titled “shutup.css”, to hide the guttural screams of uninfluential idiots in comment sections everywhere. As its creator puts it, “Web − Peanut Gallery = Bliss”. The Bad Webcomics Wiki sidelines this monkey madness by requiring comics to be discussed on their forums before throwing up a review and thereafter having it be ignored by the rest of the Internet. Rather than random individuals being allowed to shit on comics arbitrarily, instead, random individuals preordained by a cult of gatekeepers are allowed to shit on comics arbitrarily, as is the goal of all wikis.
I’m exaggerating slightly; their official newbie guide states the following: “Unless absolutely no one agrees with you that it needs to be reviewed, do the review and post it on the Webcomics Forum (that is the subforum’s title). One of the Moderators or Veterans will help you set up the page”. Once the gauntlet has been thrown down and nobody argues in favour of a 2007 DeviantART Invader Zim slashfic comic that lasted for six strips and was thereafter scrubbed from history like a Soviet Union officer who shagged Stalin’s mum, you only need to write a review in the forums and have it approved by a moderator before it goes live on the wiki. Yet this hybrid of open collaboration, basic literacy litmus test, and groupthink against obscure comics creates a strange community of insular individuals who take great stock in their own opinions to the detriment of outside influence, forming a collective of snobs similar to the SCP Wiki’s notoriously eccentric userbase.
On one hand this prevents both sites from being flooded with absolute crap, which the SCP Wiki suffered from dearly during its earliest days. On the other hand, subjecting experienced writers to a constant feeling of being watched by newfound peers who they know nothing about has a chilling effect on their creativity and what they feel they can say on the Wiki. The existence of a website devoted entirely to publishing negative reviews of shit comics inherently creates a toxic atmosphere and further cements criticism’s reputation as little more than a medium you use to bitch about things you don’t like. Without the counterbalance of fair play and different opinions on a work of art - the base of neutrality to counter the acid of negativity - the Wiki becomes a circlejerk of caustic critics who write about low-hanging fruit for their own pleasure while suggesting this is improving the art of comics or criticism. True, the vast majority of webcomics published are obviously shit, and a common criticism of the Wiki is in reviewing comics that are obviously shit when they are so obviously shit. But even as a catalogue of every bad webcomic ever made, it’s woefully inadequate for this purpose due to its small community being unable to review more than a few comics a month, and so TV Tropes fills this purpose better.
As a result, the people most drawn to the Bad Webcomics Wiki are those who don’t have a platform to publish their opinions otherwise, and given the Wiki’s prominence in Internet search results, these amateur writers are drawn into a world of writing where logic takes a backseat to emotionally-charged rhetoric, and where reasoned thought is ignored in favour of taking pot shots at the lowest-hanging fruit they can. Its stated writing style of “harsh criticism and brutal honesty” breeds arrogance among those who write righteously against webcomics which are obviously shit, the writing against doing nothing to prevent them from being obviously shit. Every review on the Wiki is required to be written within a template and kept under twenty-one paragraphs, which is an especially onerous restriction given our current critical zeitgest of three-hour analytical YouTube videos, with any script less than 3,000 words long considered a mere morsel of a critic’s undeveloped thoughts. Given these reviews are the work of amateur critics with very little editorial oversight, fitting to a template helps keep the review focused and prevents them from ranting about topics unrelated to the review at hand, which amateur writers, such as myself from time to time, are prone to do. Despite these restrictions, the reviews are still prone to complaining about whatever topics crosses the author’s mind, and the quality of the reviews vary significantly based on the skill and effort of the pseudonymous writer who happened to claim that review.
Centrism, despite its name, is an inherently negative philosophy. It demands reductive criticisms of all positions the centrist doesn’t agree with in service of their own smug self-satisfaction. It takes the complex psychology of shameless individuals who publish their terrible work online and merely suggests they’re incompetent fools - unlike the critic, of course. In reality, the numerous psychological and material motivators one might have when publishing, for instance, their poorly-drawn fetish comics are more interesting than merely mocking a fetish comic for being poorly-drawn and fetishistic. The satisfaction doesn’t come from attempting to solve the mystery of how damaged an individual mindset’s is, or in finding potential in otherwise poorly-executed ideas. The satisfaction for the majority of Wiki reviews come in finding something bad, pointing out that it’s bad, and then laughing at it without the nuance of why and how it even came to exist at all. The extremes of the Wiki’s schadenfreude come from the “Atomic Bomb” and “So Bad, It’s Good” categories, with notoriously-awful abortions of artistic intent where laughter is the only appropriate response. But outside this small selection of reviews, the atmosphere is overwhelmingly negative, and as a result the website’s critical analysis is uninteresting outside cheap laughter at the expense of Internet idiots.
Then there’s the more regressive positions, whether regressions in what experiences and subcultures a review author is willing to entertain or regressive in what politics they see as worthy of discussion. While the Wiki has plenty of snark for poorly-reasoned comics of all creeds and beliefs, there’s a persistent nihilism among reviewers which suggests that politics are inherently meaningless and that complaining about perceived oppression has little tangible effects outside the small congregation of fans the comics themselves possess. An older review from 2017 about “Everyday Feminism” reads as particularly sardonic with absurd reductions of the core messages of each comic, including calling a guide to dating trans women a “manual on how to date traps”, a bizarre rant on furries calling them “the gayest shit on the planet”, trivialising the concept of consent with a “rape ninja” analogy, and an attitude that if minorities shut up about their problems they’ll magically disappear. Perhaps this is inevitable given the wide variety of contributors to the Wiki over its decade of existence, but looking back on the unenlightened ramblings of individuals who evidently haven’t struggled for much, I have to wonder about the mentality of the moderators who looked at this Reddit-tier whinging and thought it was worthy of being displayed on the main site instead of being kept as a draft in some obscure subforum somewhere.
Outside the content itself, there’s also the technical problems of the platform which hosts it. The default MediaWiki format, obsolete service provider (shoutwiki.com currently throws up an SSL certificate error), lack of HTTPS support, obscure forum software, frequent server time-outs, evidence of multiple content migrations, lazy layout where all the content is jammed in the left sidebar with no indication of what content is most important (the reviews themselves are tucked into a tiny link titled “The Review Index”, which should really be front-and-center on the main page), gigantic joke warning banners with such helpful information as calling authors “giant douches” and their comics “complete mindfucks”, general predisposition to fishing for reactions from random Internet kooks, a logo which is an unsubtle reference to Goatse, frequent links to alt-right hellholes like Kiwi Farms and Encyclopedia Dramatica, and general attitude of 2000s-era too-cool-for-you TV Tropes-tier snark all reveals an adolescent mentality hosted carelessly on an aging website where their opinions are the bestest ones and everyone else can suck a fart out their collective ass.
I do think there’s value in the Wiki, albeit incidental and perhaps accidental. When the Bad Webcomics Wiki succeeds at reviewing bad webcomics, the results can be cathartic takedowns of egotistical idiocy absent of the typical egotistical idiocy the website exhudes. Zen Pencils is my favourite page on the site, eloquently taking down the cynical profiteering of its creator and condemning him for appropriating the writing talents of brilliant men to shill lowest-common-denominator garbage in Facebook comic format (the best line on the entire wiki: “A man realizes the folly of racism after traveling the world and discovering that every single racial stereotype is true”). Sinfest was once upon a time my favourite webcomic, side-by-side with Achewood, and seeing its fall from grace demonstrated so succinctly is heartbreaking when an artist of such talent now devotes their life to being the biggest simp on the Internet. Then there’s Questionable Content, which is shit.
These reviews were all made by the user “Oddguy”, the admin of the Wiki, and it’s no coincidence the person who’s in charge of the damn website is the one who gives most of a damn about the quality of its reviews. Realise these reviews were written in 2014 - over six cunting years ago! Realise again that when the best work on a website was written by someone who hasn’t even contributed to it since 2018, and we see the biggest flaw of the Wiki isn’t in its concept, its format, its stated goals, or its editorial practices. Its biggest flaw is in its talent. It has so little of it, and even though there’s a fascinating, absolutely gigantic world of criticism that can be done against webcomics of all types, all genres, on all websites everywhere, the type of person that decides to read through several hundred strips of a comic they hate and then rant about it on the Internet is not the type of level-headed individual who is likely to give a fair review of that comic on a wiki explicitly devoted to shitting on comics that are obviously shit. The problem isn’t the technology. People, as always, are the problem, and given how old the platform is, how sporadically-updated it is, and how little influence the Bad Webcomics Wiki has among both professional and amateur comics artists beyond a cheap laugh, this brain drain of what little talent has ever graced the website will continue on, and I highly doubt there will ever come a time where the Wiki approaches the brilliance that its best writers can bring to the platform given the chance. I expect the Wiki to be taken off the Web within the decade, and the loss to world culture will be minimal.
Even though I mocked the Bad Webcomics Wiki as reductive, outdated, and pointlessly negative, I still feel there’s a certain charm to its immaturity that isn’t replicated anywhere else. If you ignore the stupidity of some its contributors and the obviously amateur work resultant, there’s something appealing in its bile fascination of the worst artistic output the Internet has to offer. The struggles I have with the Wiki in concept is in its claims of trying to inspire potential comics artists to do better than the extremely low bar presented by its reviews, but its negative critical analysis doesn’t offer the in-depth education or inspiring appreciation of the craft that’s displayed by the very best critics. The Wiki’s main tool for this purpose is effectively intimidation. It’s fun to mock narcissistic artists who deny the degeneracy of their work, and it’s fun to document their anger for spectators to laugh at like monkeys banging on the cage bars of the Internet - which, funnily enough, is an effective education in public relations and how to respond to criticism. But the majority of the time, all the Wiki inspires is fear. Fear of being mocked by strangers they don’t know for comics they produced out of an honest attempt to share their ideas with the world. Fear of even drawing at all out of being laughed at for their amateur creations. And when we’ve appealed to fear for the past thirty years of the Web’s existence, and found our tactics wanting, wouldn’t we find greater results and bring forth greater artists if instead we encouraged them through love?
I don’t think the authors of the Bad Webcomics Wiki are trolls. I don’t think they’re assholes, either. I think instead the type of person who contributed to the Wiki over the years, whether just one review or several, are those who legitimately care about the future of comics as a medium and feel their words are the healing salve which will cure the cancer of mediocrity and from this wellness inspire its host to go forth and strive for greatness. Yet by tempering their optimism with poison, they reduce their influence and create a culture where the only artists who would listen to them are those who possess the same poison, and so a vicious spiral of vitriol encourages further hatred, to the detriment of uninvolved onlookers who merely want to learn about art. In naïvely believing that “brutal honesty” is brutal enough to bend readers to their will, we as the audience miss out on the genuine outpourings of affection these writers have within their hearts, sacrificed for public posturing, and our own little cultures, our own appreciation for comics, suffer.
To quote my perennial inspiration, Benjamin “Yahtzee” Croshaw: “They aren’t bad people. They’re just idiots”.
Recommending Recommendable Recommended Recommendation Recommendations
The most important piece of writing advice I learned is that the first sentence you write should be the truest sentence you know. Here it is: Sweaty nerds in various Internet cultures have a hobby of creating and sharing charts of media they consume and then rating each other on the charts they shared. They have created websites dedicated to creating charts and have wikis dedicated to showcasing charts. Sometimes communities form together under the great chart god and autocratically decide which pieces of art deserve inclusion on their charts. And the art and topic of the charts, as with the art and topic of any other non-chart piece of digital media, are as varied as the personalities which create them. We make charts to rate charts to get validation for their creation, then save the charts to our hard drives and reference them over and over again, revising them so they are the most charty they can be, and they will be released into the wild again and again as the circle of chart life takes its course.
What the hell am I talking about? Behold, a recommendation chart:
Those of you in the anime fandom will get the joke immediately, while those who haven’t spent the past eight years of their life listening to the opinion of anime YouTubers (or as we call them in the fandom, heh, *pushes up glasses* AniTubers...) may see this as a genuine recommendation of animes for your viewing pleasure — or displeasure, in the case of people who get mad at Chinese cartoons. While appearing to have the purpose of suggesting a variety of one of my Japanese animes, each anime listed is notorious SKUB bait, where even bringing one up is a magnet for arguments over decade-old television shows which only aired once in a fascist ethnostate and were only exported to White people once they realised American currency is worth more than thousand-year-old ancient Japanese bullshit coinage and that giving up exclusive possession of the only relevant artistic contribution that would compel someone to visit a dismal island one Club Penguin dance party away from tipping into the ocean is a small price to pay for profiting off of nerds. Also if you know what SKUB is, you’re a double-nerd.
If you’re a normie and have yet to be eaten alive by my automated attack drones who mercilessly hunt down anyone who hasn’t yet masturbated to a cartoon character, you might think this is fucking stupid. You’re wrong, because it’s not stupid: it’s autistic. The recommendation chart subculture forms the backbone of larger cultures such as music, movies, and anime, and given these communities are intensely data-driven and worshippers of critical consensus, it’s no surprise such a tidy format gained such mass appeal. It combines all the essential elements of nerd culture into one tidy package: desperation, desire to be understood, and a healthy dose of pretentiousness. Desperation by creating charts and hoping people agree with your tastes, desire to be understood by showing them to people outside your fandom and naïvely believing they’ll finally watch 「シゴフミ ～Stories of Last Letter～」 instead of South Park season 23, and pretentiousness by suggesting you’re a better human being for consuming more media than everyone else when in reality you’re merely a dickhead on the Internet who watches way too much anime. A dickhead on the Internet... like me. Sad music. Anime theme song opening.
Far from being a curiosity for onlookers to gaze upon and wonder why grids of images are so fascinating to hordes of weeaboos who spend their time arguing over whether hip-hop is real music while listening to thirty-second anime OPs on loop, recommendation charts act as the propaganda wing of an increasingly-desperate fandom who still hasn’t gotten their Japanese girlfriends to emmigrate into their bedrooms from their home countries of Aliexpress body pillow covers, providing a means to indoctrinate normies into viewing their Korean television programs and then clarifying in extreme detail why they’re not a pedophile. They are in fact the gateway to a world beyond imagination, where all sense of reality disappears in a magical wonderland of big-titty cartoon ladies and arguments over whether or not Japanese characters in Japanese media voiced by Japanese actors who speak Japanese and star in Japanese schools inside Japanese cities with the same genetic makeup of stereotypical Japanese teenagers are, in fact, White. They’re the Keys to the Kuffs which release you from normiedom, and by merely viewing a recommendation chart, you begin your first step into the inner ring of anime fandom. Or other fandoms, which are shit.
One of the fundamental theories of community, as excellently expressed by Core-A Gaming, involves groups of individuals coalescing into a collective for the mutual benefits that come from possessing shared beliefs and values. If anime was so universally appealing that any idiot could hop on /a/ and get their free “I SURVIVED ENDLESS EIGHT” tee-shirt, then calling yourself a weeaboo would be as meaningless as calling yourself a gamer. Two random people who watch anime will have each others backs when the other is insulted, while the same can’t be said over two random people who play video games — the essential part of community is in protecting each other’s well-being, not just in anime, but in any tight-knit fandom. Having a shared set of traditions, folklore, and shibboleths that a community can relate to is the fundamental difference between someone who’s part of a fandom and someone who just happens to be a fan. This is why my random references to obscure media go appreciated by those who are in-the-know, and fly over the heads of people who aren’t. If you’re part of the furry, brony, animation, or hip-hop fandoms, you’re a lot more likely to get whatever the hell I’m talking about than if you aren’t, and that’s what makes being part of those fandoms special. You know I’m part of your group, and you know I value what you value without needing to explain yourself. In other words, I’m One Of You.
Since communities are exclusionary by definition, this raises a fundamental problem familiar to all fandoms. If your community doesn’t allow newfags into the ranks, then the community won’t grow, evolve, or gain influence in the future, and eventually the veteran members will grow bored and leave with the remaining members growing more insular and cultish. Bronies aren’t all decade-old vets of purple pony pussy, because without new blood and new artists to join the Herd, the community wouldn’t have lasted the ten years it has or seen the recent release of G5 from G4. But if your community isn’t exclusive enough, you risk losing the core identity and values which define what it even means to be a part of that community, and the fundamental rules which dictate appropriate behaviour within must be upheld lest we question the authority of those who hold influence over it. The furry fandom is pretty relaxed in terms of how you’re allowed to exist within it, but bigotry, sexual harassment, and animal abuse are unforgivable violations which will quickly lead to your expulsion. Even for non-forbidden activities, certain fetishes such as diaper roleplay, cub artwork, or libertarianism definitely make you a second-class citizen, and without this baseline hierarchy of acceptable behaviours the furry fandom would lose its overall values of egalitarianism, sexual liberation, and worship of aesthetic sensibilities.
Without gatekeepers there would be anarchy, and with too-strict gatekeepers the community would become a circlejerk. The solution to these troubles is in offering a way for people outside the community to peek inside and learn about their values, deciding for themselves whether or not they agree to these values and thus become a full-fledged member. Recommendation charts provide an easy way for individuals outside their fandom to take a peek inside the most notable pieces of media which shaped it, and being able to offer this path to understanding the fandom is far more helpful than complaints about “spoonfeeding” ever will be. These charts are the magic tickets which soothe the self-appointed gatekeepers at their ever-vigilant posts, and having a baseline knowledge of the pieces of art which have influenced so many thousands of people allows you to see the world from their viewpoint and thus integrate yourself into their culture. Fans in a fandom aren’t exclusionary because they’re malicious — they do it because they’re scared the only thing dear to them will be lost to normies and they’ll no longer be special because of that. They’re confused little puppies, and you cannot offend puppies because they are puppies and puppies just kind of exist.
When viewing these charts from this perspective of human empathy, we see nobility in the autism they exhibit. It should be no surprise then there are hundreds upon hundreds of these charts for any purpose you see fit, reflective of the hundreds upon hundreds of pieces of art which have influenced us so much. The 4chan music board has an “essential charts” wiki page with over 500 essential charts which are all essential for charting through in order to upgrade from being an underaged normie into a basic-bitch through the magic of listening to uncountable thousands of albums as decided upon by a committee of anonymous rockists. If that isn’t enough for you, try 350 more flowcharts and a single-purpose webpage titled “musicgenretree.org”, whose entire purpose is in showcasing the author’s flowcharts in an histiographic format based on the collective ideas of dozens of anonymous /mu/tants. Its flagship chart is the “1111 Essential Recordings of Music”, which recommends one thousand, one hundred and eleven albums in a format which traces the history of each album’s genre back to its earliest transitional roots. In case one thousand, one hundred and eleven albums was not enough for you, they also have a “Classics Edition”, which has one Kanye West album and is therefore ruined.
4chan’s music fans are the most prolific chart-slingers alive today, but the original gangsters of chart-based autism are the anime fandom, who have been shilling their favourite North Korean propaganda cartoons for decades and have done it in aesthetically-excellent form. The Animu and Mango wiki has dozens of charts for all your animu and mango needs, and there’s even a page on visual novels in case you’re the type of anime fan other anime fans turn their nose up and sneer at on public transit while attempting to redirect beams of light into their eyes through mirrors and lenses hidden on their body to sneak a peek at schoolgirl panties. If you’re instead interested in perusing a platform which hired a child rape supporter, banned all mentions of hiring a child rape supporter, and caused hundreds of subreddits to go private in protest of hiring a child rape supporter, then head on over to the /r/anime Recommendation Chart 6.0. Look, it has pretty colours and is sorted by genres and is extremely well-put together with 188 different anime and a total absence of child rape. If you’d rather look at a gigantic fucking list, then check out the /r/anime wiki’s recommendations, with over 1,300 cunting anime. No, you won’t watch them all, not even with 16 hours of free time every day thanks to ’rona stimulus cheques and microwaved tendies. But they’re there. And they will remain.
So if you have a vested interest in an obscure fandom and equal parts desperation for anyone else to relate to you, then fire up LibreOffice Calc and start shilling some spreadsheets to strangers on the Internet with the grim hope that they’ll finally appreciate your $10,000 harem of pony plush toys. Just don’t break eye contact with them. That’s when the neck-snapping starts.
Also, please view my NEW article on NFTs! They’re nifty! They’re also one of the most disasterous technologies to have been invented this century and are a failure on every technical, cultural, economic, and ecological consideration you can throw at it. They solve nothing and are destroying our fucking planet. There is no joke. This is actually happening.
Trans People Are Beautiful & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die
Happy trans day of visibility to all my bitches! I look forward to seeing endless feeds of corporations virtue signalling towards a minority group they ignore 364 days out of the year so they can sell cheap crap to a group of people which are disproportionately likely to be fucking murdered. At least I get to have my headcanons of trans characters from children’s media, who exist in worlds where they are less likely be fucking murdered. Did you know that Trixie from Pony is trans? For some reason this single-serving website devoted to a crack headcanon caused a shitfit among the predominantly not-trans brony fandom, who wonders why a group of people who are disproportionately likely to be fucking murdered would find comfort in finding tenuous representation in media where the characters they enjoy have yet to be fucking murdered. Or raped. Don’t forget the rape.
There’s this rapper called Brother Ali, who was born when someone hit the random button in Oblivion’s character creator. He’s a blind albino Muslim born in Wisconsin who grew up with Black friends and started rapping at age eight, culminating in performing at a Bernie Sanders rally and somehow not getting shot by a domestic terrorist, as is the American political tradition. One of his quotes stuck with me since I read it a year ago: “The best definition of privilege I’ve heard is anything you don’t have to wrestle with, that you don’t have to think about”. In other words, if you have the ability to sit out on the sidelines and make snarky comments to minority groups about how uppity they get when complaining about their friends and family getting fucking murdered, then you haven’t struggled for much and lack the empathy necessary to relate to people whose existence in the world is contingent on whether or not the government decides that you, as a human being, have rights. Or you could just get killed by an incel. Or literal Nazis. Or the police. God bless America, with freedom and justice for some.
For some reason White people get really fucking angry when you say the P word to them, as if by my saying “privilege” I’m suddenly being TF-fetished into a strawman of some androgynous lady with thick glasses and dyed hair who’s angry at people who are defending genocide and had a picture taken of her with a silly face, which means her arguments are completely incorrect by the rigorous proof of “woman looks stupid” and will forever be known as that chick who permanently lives rent-free inside the heads of Internet idiots. This is a group of individuals who have so little going on in their lives, so little that actually affects them in a meaningful way, that all they can do is bitch and moan about how calling them “privileged” for having the… privilege… to bitch and moan on the Internet about how minorities are saying majority groups are better-off for not having to constantly think about being fucking murdered in a country where being impolite to an authority figure means you get to have your neck kneeled on for nine minutes and thirty seconds and then have your murderer be given paid time off for the extrajudicial killing thereof.
I think Wikipedia sums it up: “As an academic concept that was only recently brought into the mainstream, the concept of white privilege is frequently misinterpreted by non-academics; some academics, having studied white privilege undisturbed for decades, have been surprised by the seemingly sudden hostility from right-wing critics since approximately 2014”. So a bunch of conservative morons manufactured another fake controversy and their sheeple ate it up. Because they’re sheep. And sheep are incredibly fragile beings who need to be coddled at every step of the way lest they have to deal with interpreting a worldview outside their own incredibly myopic conception of what it means to exist at all. The conservative is a subspecies of human beings who strike themselves and call out in pain as they blame imaginary effigies erected inside their own head for the physical and mental struggles they inflict exclusively upon themselves, devoting their headspace to an enemy which is simultaneously everywhere they look and yet is powerless to actually affect them until they tell themselves they’re being oppressed.
This behaviour would be classified as mental illness if it were not a political movement, and the trouble with conservatism verses other politics is not in a difference in opinion, but in a difference in the fundamental way that groups of individuals perceive the objective world around them — whereas the leftist sees the tragedies of reality and seeks to make it better, each rightist invents their own personal reality and attempts to force the entire rest of the world into following their psychotic delusions, destroying it all the while and saying libtards are idiots for working to make the world better for future generations. Oppression does not exist until they personally verify it with their own eyes, through lenses which only see what they have told themselves to see, and there is no objective truth which is more convincing than the soothing falsehoods of the unreal state of existence they live every minute of every day. Occasional moments of lucidity, and perhaps basic human empathy, slip through the veil of denialism and make them feel something inside their heads that makes them panic and wonder if everything they think is wrong. But these stray thoughts are stamped out by force, replaced with a further hardening of their emotional deadness against any force that does not affect them personally, and so they live another day thinking that if a Black man doesn’t want to die, he shouldn’t have run from his killers.
And, look, there’s obviously nothing wrong with being White, unless you’re an Internet clown whose greatest contribution to hip-hop culture is throwing a Rick and Morty McDonalds Szechuan Sauce-tier temper tantrum and freaking out how being White makes you the most oppressed race in the United States while screaming “WHITE BOY, WHITE BOY” with autotune that makes T-Pain sound like Mariah Carey. And the connection between Whiteness and being a sexual minority isn’t negative because, fundamentally, most people in the Western world are White, and so most sexual minorities are also White, who are even more privileged than racial minorities of the same orientation who have to contend with double the chances of being fucking murdered. The trouble isn’t that every White person is a racist transphobic dickhead, but that racist transphobic dickheads who are apathetic to my friends being fucking murdered tend to have any of the follow attributes: White. Heterosexual. Cisgender. And if you’re offended some random minority on Twitter gives you shit for being any of those things, then congratulations for experiencing a fraction of a fraction of what anybody who’s actually been oppressed has to deal with. Bust out the persecution complex when you have millions of Americans protesting an epidemic of police killings against White people. Not because some Black person on the Internet gave you shit for being White.
Political apathy in general is a privilege, because when you’re not the subject of constant debates by White, heterosexual, cisgender men who have never talked to a sexual minority in their life about whether or not that minority group deserves to be able to take a piss without being sexually harassed, then you have the privilege to stay at home and not give a fuck about anything because nobody has ever written a bill saying your underaged daughter deserves to be raped on the basis of “genital inspections” just because they’re fucking transgender. Nobody is writing Jim Crow-era legislation restricting the freedom and movements of cisgender heterosexuals because they’re cisgender heterosexuals, and nobody is writing hate blogs with the sole purpose of making it so that cis men are constantly harassed for demanding human rights, all under the guise of a warped brand of “feminism” which suggests a person’s genitals is the entire summation of who they are — you know, what actual feminists have been fighting for centuries to reject. When you have entire hate groups devoted to questioning, demeaning, and demanding the erasure of your existence — demanding the literal genocide of your people on the basis of how you were born — then you don’t have the right to sit back and expect everything is going to be okay. When your existence is politics, you don’t get to ignore that shit.
For this reason, the centrist is the worst politician. The conservative makes clear their evils — they hate you and will kill you and make millions of dollars from cattle who feel the same. The conservative is the Devil and has no moral compass which guides their decisions, and they don’t pretend they have any greater ambition than power gained through fear and hate. The centrist takes this a step further and preaches the hatred in quiet form, saying that there are very good people on both sides of an issue when one side is in favour of the genocide of minority groups and the other side wants to stop this through force if necessary. They present the paranoid delusions of conservatism and the moral indignation of egalitarianism as equally worthy of consideration, when in fact there is no argument to be made against removing human rights from human beings. The centrist has never struggled for anything and will never struggle for anything because the question of their existence isn’t reaching politics at the highest levels of state governance, and they are free to exist in smugness by virtue of this. Their ideas are absurd, stupid, and hateful, and they hold no weight under any examination.
I love my trans bitches so much and I sincerely hope that enough human beings will have developed enough emotional maturity in their lives to not wish death upon another merely because they have been born in a form you disagree with. But it will never happen, because people are scum, and the only people who give a fuck about your well-being are those who are in the same boat as you. Trans rights, queer bitches worldwide, we’re running this shit. Fuck every Nazi scumbag and red-laced skinhead, every conservative cunt who voted in favour of the murder of my friends, and fuck you if you don’t think my fam deserve to live just like you do. Fuck all ya’ll hoes.
Speaking of trans rights, let’s transfer into transactions on the transnational blockchain known as Etherium! Last week I made an article called “NFTs are a Failure at Every Single Level”, which they are and continue to be. I cited an article saying that NFTs have a maximum shelf life of about a decade, at which point all the servers go offline and nobody is serving your $69,000,000 JPGs. Well, my prediction has come true 9 years and 51 weeks early: “People’s Expensive NFTs Keep Vanishing. This Is Why”. It turns out dumping hundreds of dollars on a barely-developed technology in a marketplace that was invented last month based on a digital currency that doesn’t exist with standards that have yet to be codified and reconciled with auction houses with no regulatory oversight, was, wait for it, a bad idea. Also, people are now spending tens of thousands of dollars on, uh, a stock market for Twitter profiles. How does it work? Does it work at all? Who gives a fuck? Attach the word “blockchain” to your cock and balls and some mob boss will launder tens of thousands of dollars through your cryptocurrency wallet for the privilege of purchasing absolute fucking dick.
Gentlemen. Ladies. Those who ain’t. I believe the evidence is clear: Froge just can’t stop winning. I will accept my $500,000 of NFT donations right about now — and a dog tripped over a server wire and now it’s worthless forever. Alright, you can instead invest $500,000 in my completely-legal Twitter profile stock market — and the securities commission is knocking at my door right about now. How about my OnlyFans? Froge OnlyFans? I have cock and balls!