The words we use are strong
They make reality
They make reality
What is it about outrage that makes some people just lose their shit and projectile-rant like their head's full of nothing but angry bees? I'm not talking about chronic anger junkies launching into long semi-comprehensible tirades, though that's always something to watch for, I'm talking about sensible-seeming people saying stuff that, if it were turned around and said by someone else about them, or if the rage level were lower, would be picked at and dismissed by the same people who said it... I'd like to hope, at least.
I can only conclude that, in direct opposition to people who claim that their anger and outrage is empowering and vital, outrage actually mostly makes you stupider.
Not that there aren't valid reasons for outrage: even I cringed a bit when I saw Dave Cheung's pseudo-pornographic cartoon featuring video game producer Jade Raymond. (I say "pseudo" since no genitalia were depicted, but sex acts were heavily implied, and that white stuff at the end was not likely supposed to be squeeze mayonnaise.) Understand, I read Cheung's "Chugworth Academy" strip on a semi-regular basis, so I had seen the strip pretty much at its initial release, well before it sparked a brouhaha on some forums here and there.
I took him at his word then, which was that the strip was a satire on the gaming fanboys' wishful thinking regarding Ms. Raymond and whether she'd "put out" for them in some way, posing for photo layouts or whatever. That was his stance before the criticism and after, and I have no reason to believe otherwise.
That said, I think as satire the strip stumbles and fails. Reading the strip by itself does not make it clear that this is a fanboy fantasy, and on its own merits it insults and degrades Jade Raymond. I have to say I don't follow the gaming world, so I don't have any clue about what kind of person Ms. Raymond is, but portraying her as somewhat dim seemed to me to be out of line. And then a satire of fanboys loses its sting when the object of fanboy desire is portrayed willingly fulfilling that same less-than-reasonable desire. How much of a loser can a fanboy be if he's actually receiving some fellatio?
It's hardly a fair satire, and I think the strip is a victim of Dave Cheung wanting to draw a pretty woman in a bikini doing naughty things. I've seen his work in other venues besides his webcomic, and the man does not shy away from porn. In fact, by comparison to other examples of his work I've seen, this strip was pretty damn tame. I also think he has some measure of contempt for Ms. Raymond, though whether that's justified or not I don't think I'm qualified to say.
So, yeah, I see where the outrage comes from. I'm not nearly as put out by it as some folks, but I'm not going to spend a lot of effort defending the strip.
What I am going to do is roll my eyes at some of the responses to the strip. Even justified outrage doesn't excuse losing touch with rational thought. Case in Point:
"Hey, Let's Bring Dave Cheung's Parents Into It!"
Oh, bravo. I'm not sure what this falls under: an appeal to Dave's shame (the supply of which must be limitless, I'm sure [definitely sarcasm]), or some kind of criticism of the job Dave's parents did raising him. On a similar note, here's a blog-reply comment from another person along the same lines.
Unless you are taking them to task for raising him badly, as if it was really any of your business, what percentage is there in dragging Mr. and Mrs. Cheung into it? Do you seriously expect them to do anything to their adult 25-year old son? Do you really think it's necessary to tattle on Dave to them? For what? So they'll scold him personally on behalf of your outrage?
Well, whatever. But I don't want to hear word one from you about any personal anguish Jade Raymond might feel, if you see nothing wrong with riling up someone else's parents and possibly making them very upset so that they can spank their kid for you. You want someone to up and tell your parents about that party you had in your dorm room, with all the drinking and bong hits and inappropriate touching? Think your folks'd be happy to have your dirty laundry aired out at them? Yeah, now go ahead and be that person.
"It's Okay If I Think They Deserve It, Otherwise It's Evil"
Normally I think Dirk Deppey is pretty much on the ball, but every once in a while he muffs one. Twice he's linked to the Cheung controversy, calling him "a dipshit", and "vile little douchebag". Okay fine. But it's hard for me to take Deppey's distaste for Cheung seriously when Journalista's featured the same damn cartoon featuring the Prince of Spain and his wife doin' it doggy style several times over.
Both cartoons are nasty, insulting and sexually-themed, and the only difference I can see is in competency: you know in the Spanish cartoon exactly who the target is and why. Aside from that is the question of whether one target actually deserves it more than the other. While I'm not particularly in favor of European monarchies, certainly you don't choose to be born the Prince of Spain, and I'm not sure that possessing royal blood is in and of itself sufficient call for that kind of abuse.
Maybe Deppey's attitude will soften if Dave Cheung does get sued over the cartoon. Then we can see it repeatedly.
"Stop Being So Free With That Free Speech!"
"The predictable defenses have shown up. People can say whatever they want because of free speech! (Wow, congratulations on being lucky enough to have rights. Now stop using them to be an asshole, why don’t you.)"Sounds an awful lot like another call for "artistic responsibility". I suppose I could go on about how the concept of free speech isn't needed to protect speech you like, etc. etc., but the way this kind of thinking sprouts up repeatedly just makes me tired and sad right now. I bet this person even believes they are in favor of free speech.
I mean, really, people.