Video games and music are not to blame for mass violence
The 80s and 90s are back as people in power try to blame heavy metal and video games for mass violence. This time, the stakes have never been higher. Both the American President and the Democratic frontrunner have spoken out on the recent gun violence in America, and each have offered up video games as a reason for the derangement and radicalization of the terrorist in El Paso. The Dayton shooter’s actions have been ascribed to hardcore music. Despite a desire and a need to localize blame, these incriminations are misplaced.
Loving The Onion for its satirical takes and hating The Babylon Bee for theirs is all in a day’s work for CNN “reporter on disinformation” Donie O’Sullivan.
While he has endlessly tweeted out uproarious Onion stories on everything from “Clinton Throws Flash Grenade to Divert Attention from Question About Senate Voting Record” to “FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot to Just Sit Back and Enjoy Collapse of United States,” (hilarious), he has taken issue with The Babylon Bees’ off-the-wall comic piece “Democrats Call For Flags To Be Flown At Half-Mast To Grieve Death Of Soleimani.”
The fictional story was shared abundantly on social media, as much as top New York Times and CNN stories, which rankled O’Sullivan.
Babylon Bee founder Adam Ford took to Twitter to parlay the hypocrisy he saw in O’Sullivan’s crush on The Onion and displeasure with The Babylon Bee.
Ford points out that O’Sullivan, a fan of The Onion’s skewering of American politics, doesn’t like it when The Babylon Bee does it. Why not? The Onion racks up clicks, as does The Babylon Bee. The Onion has often been accidentally shared as though it were real news, as has The Babylon Bee.
There was the time The Onion ran a story about how North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was named sexiest man of the year, and it was reprinted by the South China Morning Post. Or the time a congressman shared an appalling story about Planned Parenthood opening up an “abortionplex.” There was even the time The Onion ran a story “Congress Takes Group of School Children Hostage” and the actual Capitol Police sprang into action to save the school children from Congress.
The Onion has been publishing satirical content online since 1996, and we, the public, have almost gotten used to not believing what they post. The Babylon Bee has only been on the scene four years, but they’ve been constantly crushing it.
There’s one major difference between these two outlets. And at first glance, it’s basically nothing. The Onion runs political and social satire, The Babylon Bee runs political and social satire. But while The Onion has always done so from something of a leftist bent, The Babylon Bee makes no bones about its Christian underpinnings. The Babylon Bee’s google listing clearly states “The Babylon Bee is your trusted source for Christian news satire.”
But explicitly stating that your site is satire not good enough for CNN expert in disinformation Donie O’Sullivan.
Disinformation campaigns are serious business. Bad actors and nefarious governments work hard to spread fake news in efforts to mislead the public. That’s not going to stop, in fact it’s just getting worse.
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are in a rush to try and curb the spread of fake news and influence campaigns. But as they rush to do so, they must be made aware of the efforts of bad actors like O’Sullivan who wish to silence their ideological opponents by crying “disinformation” at every turn.
Terry Gilliam has a new movie coming out. But he doesn’t want to talk about art in his latest interview with Alexandra Pollard in The Independent, he wants to talk about how crazy culture has become. The fact that Gilliam’s film is about Cervantes’ Don Quixote, a man who believes in his own rightness, despite the entirety of society telling him he is wrong, is pretty timely. In his later career, with heaps of successes and failures at his feet, Gilliam has a breadth of understanding about how a culture that used to skewer itself for laughs has landed in a place where nothing is funny, and ambition is mocked.
“I understand that men have had more power longer, but I’m tired, as a white male, of being blamed for everything that is wrong with the world,” Gilliam told Pollard. “I didn’t do it!” Pollard tried to school him on the idea of white privilege, that while he might not be to blame personally, the historically racist underpinnings of society mean that he should bear an awareness and responsibility for the unfairness of his success.
Of course, Gilliam has failed, countless times. The Man Who Killed Don Quixote has been in the works since 2000. It has hit snag after snag. That it was made at all speaks to Gilliam’s refusal to let the project die. And not all of his films have been big hits. A few have even flopped. But he keeps picking himself up and giving it another go.
If Gilliam were asked to take a step back, to curb his ambition and artistic drive simply so someone else could have a chance in his stead, he would guffaw. For Gilliam, that’s just not how things work, and it shouldn’t be.
Gilliam tells Pollard “We’re living in a time where there’s always somebody responsible for your failures, and I don’t like this. I want people to take responsibility and not just constantly point a finger at somebody else, saying, ‘You’ve ruined my life.’” On Weinstein, he says that “when you have power, you don’t take responsibility for abusing others. You enjoy the power. That’s the way it works in reality.” Weinstein wasn’t a monster on his own, he was able to use his power to get what he wanted because people wanted access to that power.
There were plenty of others who got caught up in the mob’s wrath and need for vengeance. “Yeah, I said #MeToo is a witch hunt,” Gilliam replied when Pollard brought it up. “I really feel there were a lot of people, decent people, or mildly irritating people, who were getting hammered. That’s wrong. I don’t like mob mentality. These were ambitious adults.”
As a culture, we might want the objective best to win out, or for each sex, every race, ethnicity, creed, gender identity, and sexual orientation to be represented equally in every field at all times, but Gilliam posits that ambition doesn’t work that way and that it shouldn’t. In the push for inclusivity, we have dispensed with the idea of “objective good,” in favour of something more about moral rightness based upon inclusion of identity factors.
Attitudes like those from U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team captain Megan Rapinoe are what Gilliam is speaking against. As she prepared to be honoured as the Sports Illustrated person of the year, she was asked about the 2018 stats that showed 21% of men are afraid to hire women in the current climate, she called bullsh*t.
“Well, women are afraid to be raped, sexually assaulted, sexually harassed, kept out of jobs, fired from jobs, moved laterally their entire career,” she said. “If you have some sort of platform you can support that way… You don’t have to get involved in a million charities. You can literally just re-tweet stuff. You can speak up and show support that way.”
Of course, we know that social media activism is hollow, as President Obama told us, something of a meaningless gesture that reflects more on the intent to show virtue than on securing meaningful change. While #MeToo has raised some awareness about workplace harassment, it has also destroyed men’s careers. #MeToo is not strictly an altruistic movement– and why would it be? Hardly anything is. It has been used to restructure power hierarchies. Only instead of the traditionally capitalistic power tools like money and profit, it uses emotional manipulation and the valour of victimhood to achieve its aims.
A man whose career was founded on pushing the envelope as part of Monty Python, the 79-year-old filmmaker cannot abide our incessant outrage culture and the demise of personal responsibility. He blames only himself for his failures, and while Pollard seemed consistently appalled by his remarks, Gilliam is not wrong.
David Marcus, Senior Contributor to The Federalist and New York Post columnist has been banned from Twitter for advocating for a massive bombing of Iran, should they retaliate against the American killing of Qasem Soleimani, leader of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
Classified as an enemy combatant by the State Department, Qasem Soleimani was actively engaging in terrorist activity against the U.S. and its interests. Plenty of progressive accounts posted in opposition to the U.S. strike, and actress Rose McGowan went so far as to beg the nation for mercy.
HuffPo, among other outlets, wrote about what a great guy Qasem Soleimani was.
Colin Kaepernick had his own take, claiming that the action against Iran was racist, and had nothing to do with legit concerns.
It was in light of these worries from Hollywood celebrities and progressive media, who fear an Iranian response, that Marcus suggested that an Iranian strike against New York would be ill-advised.
The Bulwark writer Molly Jong-Fast took issue with this.
The Post Millennial reached out to Marcus, a colleague of this author’s at The Federalist, to get a sense of his take on this Twitter ban. Having never been banned by the site before, he was a bit perturbed.
“The big secret is that if you’re on the right, you’re going to get banned, if you’re on the left, you’re going to get celebrated,” Marcus said. “I criticised Iran. I said we should take Iran down. They throw gay people off of roofs, and that’s what I got taken down from Twitter for? Go f*ck yourself, Jack.”
In July, Soleimani’s forces shot down a U.S. drone, and Trump declined to retaliate, since no one was killed. December saw these forces kill an American contractor in Iraq, and support a violent attack against the American embassy in Baghdad.
Marcus’ Twitter ban is temporary, but odds are that even when the ban is lifted, he will still be making a clarion call for liberty and swift action against enemies of the U.S.
The U.S. Military academy has concluded its investigation into cadets who flashed the “OK sign” during a live broadcast of an Army-Navy football game.
The findings of the West Point investigation were that “the cadets were playing a common game, popular among teenagers today, known as the ‘circle game’ and the intent was not associated with ideologies or movements that are contrary to the Army values.”
The footage of the “OK symbol” went viral as many activists on social media claimed that the cadets were signalling a sign for “white power.”
The circle game is a popular children’s game where one person makes an “OK” gesture with his hand below his waist in order to trick the other player into looking.
The origin of the “OK-symbol-as-white-power” meme is a 4chan hoax intended to trick liberals. The hoax worked, and many institutions and news outlets were tricked into believing that this was a legitimate hate symbol.