Re:News — June 2021
OPINION/ANALYSIS — Reviewing the SCP Foundation News, Part 1.
At its best, the SCP Foundation News publication is a candy shop of information delivery that takes a staggering amount of coordination and effort. At worst, it is the bully pulpit of a severely misinformed political regime that would replace information with state propaganda . The line between these can be blurred. This series will aim to show what is what, with citations and justifications at all turns of the tracing.
Other entries in this series:
I wish the opening editorial in the June 2021 SCP Foundation News was the only thing that needed to be addressed, because there is a lot to unpack. So much philosophical devastation in so few paragraphs. But an interview with LilyFlower some tabs down about being on the Anti-Harassment Team (AHT) features the lines:
“Safer place” can be pretty subjective. How do you define it?
In this case, by removing predatory/harmful users. It’s not the nicest thing but someone has to do it haha
It should not be forgotten or ignored — least of all by AHT, least of all by a representative of it — that AdminBright was never banned for his years-long, in-plain-sight sexual misconduct. There is evidence supporting that he groomed underage members of the site, and plenty more evidence than is typically the threshold of action for AHT in such matters. I won’t link that evidence here, because (1) it is common knowledge by now, and (2) it will trigger a few of you if I do, but those with a stomach can go to the KiwiFarms SCP Thread and search “Bright”. A new addition was drafted to the Site Charter to explicitly discourage his penchant of advertising his notoriety off-site for sexual favors. (This would never be implemented, despite having unanimous support.) A recent comment on O5 on a marginally-related topic reveals a bit more about what happened at that time, and the “retirement” of AdminBright that immediately followed:
Bright would later be given a sex, I mean a six-month ban for abusing his power as part of this very team — astonishingly but then again not really, he was the captain of AHT for a long time — but this ban had nothing to do with his predatory behavior. That has continued to be something that Staff refuses to make eye contact with. It would seem that Lily wants us to believe that ignoring a loud, known sexual deviant at large for years constitutes a good job of making the site a safer place. But this comment, it being in June, was at least two months before Bright would be given this ban. I guess someone doesn’t really have to do it after all. In any case, Lily later notes, “all the stuff that looks great on a CV”.
That perpetual blindspot now addressed, we can get to the meat of the News publication here. Maybe there will be a month’s News where I don’t have anything to say; that’s it’s just a solid piece of journalism. 0/1.
I know the publication says who specifically wrote the editorial somewhere, but I can’t be bothered to go sniff that odorous scent out again, and honestly, it’s probably best that I don’t know. It’s agonizingly cheesy. Again, a very poor literary and philosophical representation of the group they are attempting to extol.
The editorial takes the opportunity (Pride month) to survey how much site culture has changed, specifically when it comes to LGBTQ+ acceptance, and more importantly, a basic human respect that they lacked in the early years of SCP culture. The editorial does a good job of showing how a gradual consciousness against slur use set in around 2011, and challenged long-standing norms that didn’t really help anyone feel at home or welcomed as part of the community. No one should be shamed into emotional silence, least of all on a creative writing site — a statement that unfortunately is just as applicable in the culture today as it was then, though as we’ll see, in different ways. The LGBTQ+ community on SCP had to endure a lot of resistance and friction to become more accepted and normalized, and it is important to not take that for granted in the present day.
The best world is certainly one where everyone has the maturity to not use slurs. The English language is a varied thing and there are just much better choices out there. Ideally, there would be no need to specify discipline for slur use, because there would be none of it. That’s unfortunately not the world we live in. We can agree with the editorial in that SCP has become a better and more moral and conscious place with regards to dealing with this.
However, I wish it was better thought-out and written. This editorial has good intentions, but it feels as though the author didn’t have the urgency to put too much effort into it, as if the generic political message wound presumably be enough to carry it to rave reception.
The execution is so poor, it communicates the opposite of what it should. Instead of a pride and celebration for the progress, doubtless a victory, this reads like schadenfreude; it comes off as gloating. In a laid-out history that successfully argued against anyone being tagged a loser for their particular beliefs, the opportunity is now taken to brag about winning. Representing the ascendancy of an artificial political group to being the most touted, visible, and uniquely celebrated of many such groups as a moral victory comes off as snide. The attempt to re-cast the utter failure of leadership and moderation in the June 2018 PR disaster as somehow a triumph, even a moment of ethical transcendence, comes off as trying too hard (this being implicitly argued by the linked-to and downvote-locked SCP-2721 as proof of “a win”).
The argumentation is clumsily formulated; the “citations” provided in support are articles on the site that feature the Pride logo or LGBTQ+ themes. But this isn’t buttressing the argument that LGBTQ+ members are celebrated any more than a successful article that doesn’t feature the Pride logo strengthens the opposite take. If we should read the social conscience of SCP from the presence of the thematic material, what does that say for more articles — more upvoted ones as well — that don’t feature LGBTQ+ themes or logos? Obviously, most of the material on site isn’t LGBTQ+ material, and yet we are asked to read into only one part of that picture to make the conclusion here. It’s a bad play. The News team would need to link to proof of overt discrimination against LGBTQ+ material surviving on-site as articles and tales to make this point. I’m not saying that didn’t or doesn’t exist, but they haven’t done that here.
In all these ways, this editorial serves a high moral purpose, and acts as revelry; an invitation to the reader to bask in the unquestioned glory of the look-at-me progressive SCP.
Overall, the approach and strategy here lacks the down-to-earth honesty that would be expected of a long-suffering group of people, those who should be molded into the better composite person. That’s why the rhetoric of battle war machismo throughout the prose here is off-putting and eyebrow-raising. This movement shouldn’t be framed as a war game; where one side wins and another side loses — where one side’s charge is to eradicate the other side. The whole point of LGBTQ+ tolerance was the idea of co-existence and acceptance. The context of a battle here betrays the mindset of the author(s) as militarized, even when it is clear by virtue of this editorial and its subject matter that there is no real fight left here at all. Honestly, aside from the incredibly poor management of arrogance in the captured name of LGBTQ+ in Summer 2018, there hasn’t really been any in years.
It’s almost as if SCP in truth still feels the need to do battle, despite the claim of victory. There was the recent rumpus between some representatives of a more aggressive camp of LGBTQ+ on the SCP Wiki and the Spanish branch, in the months of October and November, over -ES’s decision to not hoist the Pride logo atop their own site. This episode reminded us why “winning” isn’t and shouldn’t be defined as the forced application of LGBTQ+ colors to parts of a writing website. Does the raising of a flag over a wide array of diversity and opinions constitute true acceptance? I’d argue no; acceptance and celebration are not things that you can domineer and force others to have for you. There should be no pride in someone elevating you because you bullied them into submission in the context of a war, or at least in the gleeful metaphor of one.
As I said, there is still a lot to unpack here, but we can ask a simple question to the SCP News team and detonate the paper-mâché product they’ve attempted to sell us: if LGBTQ+ interests have won a battle in resplendent victory over all adversaries, forces, and barriers, then why was the Pride logo absent for the years 2019–2020? Why the hesitation? We are being told that the site has experienced an unequivocal, total victory for an (apparently) LGBTQ-specific brand of strength, and yet the Pride logo was absent for two years after the PR trauma of the June 2018 Logo Fiasco. Claiming the victory only now makes it seem like this was not about LGBTQ+ strength, but LGBTQ+ publicity. This is not the voice of an explosively athletic and battle-hardened winner. It’s the voice of something that cowered deep in a bosom until it was safe to come out again, into the glowing weather to shake a fist at the storm, now a mile off.
I don’t know why this isn’t more understood; the real success, pride, and celebration is being treated the same as everyone else. The equilibrium point and where the battle is won isn’t the continual self-trumpeting of the LGBTQ+ community, but them being not set apart anymore because there is no need. The message from this editorial is the opposite. How is this compatible with a statement of victory?
That’s the gist and all you really need to know. For those of you who like to get into the nitty gritty of things, and who don’t mind more length, we’ll now enter the more granular part of the analysis, which walks through the architecture of the editorial and inspects it, noting its structural flaws.
The editorial begins by referencing a 2011 O5 Command chat disciplinary thread, as if it were the big-bang of what SCP now is:
“In 2011, an IRC chat operator kicked a user for saying “/v/ is such a pile of insecure one-upping f*ggotry” in conversation, and soon 24-hour banned them for fighting the decision.”
This thread is a well-known moment in Staff history, referred to several years later as Part 1 of a 2-part “is it okay to say ‘f*ggotry’ in #site19? debacle of 2011”. In a bit of foreshadowing, I’ll tell you now that it wasn’t a debacle because a bunch of Staff didn’t want to give up saying their beloved racial slurs… although they all do sling them liberally here, even the ones arguing for their disuse… it was a debacle because of a deeper worry, one that sadly we now see played out into completely matured fruition.
But, before that, and on the face of it, the rhetoric of this editorial is a ordinary staging of good vs. evil. The good side is made of those who have the decency to not use slurs and want the option to use them gone, and the evil side is made of those who don’t and want badly to use slurs, because muh freedom. The representation of the “evil” side as the simplistic stereotype of bigotry — the primitive wearing the visage of an edentulous redneck in overalls, leaning against his pickup truck with his semi-automatic hunting rifle in hand, in a screaming orange hunting cap, a cigarette dangling from his cheeto-stained lips — are not completely forthcoming.
For example, the antagonist in this genesis moment is said to have been banned for “fighting the decision”. If we look at that thread, we can see that IRC chat op was Dexanote, and he wrote out the justification for the initial kick:
“don’t argue with a Op”.
Similarly, there is a typed-out justification for the eventual 24-hour ban:
“You were told by an OP to not say “f*ggot”. Don’t snark back. Tempban, 24 hours. Feel free to come back after it.”
What is excluded in the editorial is that Dexanote’s reaction was heavy-handed on an appeal to authority. In both of his rationales, Dexanote’s point is bluntly “I am a chat op dammit, and so you don’t get to argue with me”. That is taken to be an issue itself in the ensuing Staff discussion; something that is ignored by the Site News, probably for clear enough reasons by now. While the Site News denies that the other side of the debate here is truly advocating for an embrace of slur usage, it mutes a clear wariness in the dissenting Staff of a greater and possibly more subtle concern; that Staff maybe shouldn’t be making decisions like this by themselves, based solely on their own drunkenness on a truly meager amount of power, and that once this Pandora’s box is opened, it will inevitably diffuse via the osmosis of power. Broadly put, the self-awarded policing of speech might not be a great solution to the problem.
The rest of this paragraph in the Site News explains accurately that this spurred debate on the nature of disallowing slurs wholesale. Again, this is framed from a notional dichotomy of good vs. evil when it just isn’t that simple (it never is). The situation isn’t quite as sweet as the cotton-candy flavor of this editorial would suggest.
The point that should be included here, were this editorial a useful analysis and not a bouquet of blinkered satisfaction, is that Dexanote was demanding total submission to a mild authority over a topic that had no definitive policy attached to it. This was, in a very fitting foreshadowing to today’s dramas, technically an abuse of fiat power and an overreach in the name of being more moral; this last part representing the real counter-concern and true moral predicament. It is more complex than is presented in the lazy narrative in the Site News, to the point that we can question whether or not this is an accurate summary of the events at all.
There was also here, and not helping remedy the situation, the unsettling fact that Dexanote’s word as an op was, to his own thinking, good enough to be judge, jury, and executioner; essentially above the law in that it created law out of itself. The discussion happened only after Dexanote had already made his decision, when it should have come before. Dexanote alone justifies a potential socioweapon of mass destruction to take care of bad words, and some people felt they could see the bleak endpoint of going down that road heedlessly. (Any eigenweapon needs to have careful containment procedures.) That the debate existed, some people calling it inappropriate despite the slur, is sufficient to make my point: the topic of the inappropriateness of slurs is necessary but not sufficient to explain the moral conundrum at play.
So the representation in this editorial of the mistaken antagonist that by contrast gives the civilized protagonist all the moral standing is certainly and unfortunately a straw-man. We can start to see the microscopic make-up of why we get a disingenuous vibe from reading the editorial’s on a macro scale. It sets the hero up as the weakest possible figure, in that the hero is fighting the weakest possible enemy. Not a great political message when you are trying to make a statement about a illustrious victory to take into the halls of history. No one should be super proud for out-arguing a racist or bigot… in the same way an adult shouldn’t be super proud for dunking a basketball on an exceptionally short kid.
The next paragraphs give an account of a similar instance. However, this is not linked to in any way, and a Google search again has to be performed in order to check or assess the quotes and context here in any meaningful fashion… an odd habit for a News publication, even if this is just the editorial. This next one is a follow-up thread created shortly after the first, two weeks later, explicitly asking if slurs (that is, the few considered as such back then) should be disallowed in chat. This thread is referred to in the History of the Universe, Part Four:
“On November 19th, Gnosis made a post on 05command asking if the word “f*ggotry” should be allowed in #site19, since some people could be offended by it. Waxx, the chat owner, made it clear that it would be allowed, and any OP who disagreed could tender their resignation if it bothered them to that degree.
Staff members like Metaphorphosis and Quikngruvn argued that this amounted to censorship, and that a writing community advocating censorship was not a very clever idea. This eventually spiraled into several very, very long posts made by Mann, pooryoric, Nusquam, Metaphorposis and Quikngruvn. This was eventually settled with the agreement that it would only be punished if it was used in the context of a slur, and not in an inoffensive context.”
It should not shock anyone that this final conclusion gave way to the soon-to-be incompressible volume of mandatory political sensitivity and subsequent ideological quarantine that anything but the softest and roundest of social stances would escape (for the record, in both political directions). Fast forward to today, and context is, surprise, not considered at all in the use of a slur; bans are un-nuanced things. Ask this person. Even the meta discussion of slurs is banworthy (although Staff’s discourse of them in these O5 threads seems to for some reason escape that imperative, usually unobstructed by anachronism). Even shortened, euphemistic versions are subject to the new constraints. (Unless you are Staff, as was the case with A Random Day, who linked to pictures featuring the soft n-word, and creating a chat channel that was very consciously a backwards swastika… please forgive my aberrant inability to link to a more definitive source here; if I do, anonymous observers will report this blog post in order to have it taken down on false pretenses of character harassment… more on that later.)
Even people trying very hard to be extra non-offensive aren’t spared. Use of bad words can’t be taken as anything now but a categorical and total sacrilege. The attempt to be ultra-sensitive is so convoluted and overgrown that the acolytes of it trip over themselves, a word’s status as offensive seen spinning on a dime. It can’t be allowed any room to move. This becomes dogmatic; no use of it is ever OK. (Except that the person banning here, ProcyonLotor, is quoted elsewhere in the privacy of Staff chat “hell, ARD, my boyfriend and I still call guys faggots in private conversation”…. again, excuse my inability to link you to this directly; someone has a gun pointed at this blog’s head.)
To be clear, the banning of slurs is not what is dangerous. It’s not knowing when, how, and why to stop that appetite at some point after. This plays out plainly. As the policy of banning for slurs was accepted, the discussion instead turned to what else would constitute a slur; a list that has since only grown. And grown. And grown. We might start to wonder what the criteria of “a slur” is, and if the point of continually annexing more terms as “slurs” — a paradox from the perspective that apparently wants them all gone — is simply to do away with any potential insult that could be given to someone in the efficiency of one word. There is clearly selective defining and double-standards going on. For example, if someone said “that person is a p*ssy”, that would be taken by SCP as a slur. Yet, somehow OK is their very own Rule Zero: “Don’t be a dick.” (Notice how I don’t need to “*” euphemise that one in order to dodge accusations of phobia from the hater audience.)
Maybe there was something to the old users’ hesitation towards censorship based on ideological or political motives. Have we yet gotten to the fulcrum, where the damage, aggression, and callousness in silencing others now tilts towards the side of this insatiable habit? Is there nothing that someone could be concerned about in the clear progression here, someone who also doesn’t want anyone to use slurs?
Now freed from any expectation of mitigation, this political power to de-fang any potential tort naturally moved to other, adjacent structures of speech; for example, selected shock content, more general, unacceptable sentiments, mocking the site’s newfound political itinerary itself as being overly-sensitive, even if you were an old favorite trying to wake the leadership out of their sleepwalking. It seeped like a diffuse cloud into the sensitivity of authors for their upvotes. (The “justice” isn’t always exact, and the normalization of it now blinding Staff from thinking twice about putting it out in plain sight.)
Breaking our eye contact with the succession of this progression we’ve been tracking, we can for a moment appreciate the quiet length of this more adult philosophical problem of ethics. At what point does out-sourcing a group’s self-defense render that group incapable of self-defense? At what point does that inability cyclically reinforce the need to protect them, and more aggressively? At what point does a hurtful term — words at one point in time being something unlike sticks and stones, as the children’s rhyme goes, whose power is only that which an individual they are directed at gives them — become the lesser evil? At what moment along a slow and nearly imperceptible metamorphosis does policing become widespread ideological censorship? And, whenever selective censorship has been deployed in the history of our species, when have well-intended but weak-willed humans ever followed through on their promise to bind its appetite and stay put, ceding once it gets what it asks for that it has gone far enough?
This more accurate casting of the moral divulsion here can be seen replaying itself over and over on the Wiki’s disciplinary threads in the subsequent years. The normalcy of political censorship gains a lot more surface area. By 2015, four years later, a thread on the concerns of identity politics is created. A user well-embedded into the site, its culture, even the Staff it seems, expressed what they call “unpleasant vibes” in a new culture creeping in under the premise of patrolling all language for potentially hurtful sentiments. (They say “for your own safety” is the universal banner of approaching tyrrany.) The user has to do this anonymously:
Jan 07 18:56:42 <USER> Essentially, I am /really/ iffy on what you did with Smapti. Yes, Smapti is a horrible, obnoxious, odious and offensive person. Won’t deny that. But I cannot help but feel some rather unpleasant vibes from this ie: those who share Smapti’s position on certain topics are shoved in the “Oh look at the primitives” boat, because of course, they’re all like Smapti, eh? Now, I am mostly okay with…
Jan 07 18:56:43 <USER> …keeping my mouth shut about my opinions on the matter (save that last time), but this in turn becomes an issue — I withhold my opinion because were I to actually speak it, I would effectively be blackmailed, mothballed, and shamed into submission by everyone and their counsin all screaming “well you’re just transphobic!” This is not a comfortable thing, especially as the topic crops up…
Jan 07 18:56:45 <USER> …annoyingly often. TLDR I feel that your action in this instance, and the general site culture at large, is shifting towards a setup where it’s obey the party line, or be shamed. And I ain’t cool with that.
Jan 07 18:57:24 <USER> TLDR x2 I think gender identity politics is bullshit, but can’t actually express it without you and moose jumping down my throat
Jan 07 18:57:37 <USER> which is 9 times more trouble than it’s worth
Jan 07 18:58:51 <Soulless> Okay
Jan 07 18:58:57 <USER> and to be completely honest, I’ve been waffling on bringing this topic up for some time now
Jan 07 18:59:36 <USER> Tried ignoring it and trundling along as best as I could for a while
Jan 07 18:59:43 * Soulless nods
Jan 07 19:00:20 <USER> but it really feels that the increased politicization of the site in this manner makes it more difficult to ignore
… with notable user Decibelle dissenting:
“There’s no shifting site culture of “obey the party line or B&”; people just want to be treated with respect and feel like their opinions and voices matter.”
… and with another user restraining the worry:
“The party line isn’t “go with the flow OR ELSE” it’s “be respectful of others opinions and beliefs, and if you disagree with them on something, don’t stick your head in the sand and ass in the air.”
But by 2016, this measured response became a total intolerance for not going with the flow (or else), and a high-handed ridicule of the following (first line):
It was unfortunate that this line, “obey the party line or B&”, was intended to downplay the destructive potential of the weapon of ideologically-based censorship, but literally happened in the Logo Fiasco of June 2018. As if circling back to render these apologetics prophetic, June 2018 was itself a giant episode of Staff sticking the ass of their opinions and beliefs as high into the air as possible. So we can see how well the tendency for this small taste of ideological censorship grew, perpetually beyond the boundaries that were considered extreme merely years, even months, earlier.
The ugly fact that SCP has stepped all over the lines it previously set as the bounds of rationality shows up everywhere in such discussions, until it was not even detectable as situationally faux pas. Consider the words of a Staffer who was instrumental in getting then-marginalized political views more mainstream — a good person doing a good thing — but who by 2015 adopted an identical and opposite rhetoric to those who had defended slurs as being a matter of “life isn’t fair, tough shit”:
But we do not (and will not) consider it “debate” for someone to talk about their gender.
Also, on the question of fairness. Take a theoretical example: creationists vs scientists (of any creed or religion).
If someone critiques someone’s SCP with “you need to change this detail because God created the world 10,000 years ago and that’s what’s accurate, and it’s a stated fact in the Bible that you’re going to Hell if you disagree with this” we’re not going to “teach the controversy”, we’re going to tell them to stop giving bad feedback, and warn them for being an asshole (we don’t care if they feel that we just can’t handle the truth that we’re going to hell), and we’ll boot them if they don’t.
That person will feel it’s unfair that they can’t promote their beliefs without the scientist types jumping down their throat. That person will also feel it’s unfair when we constantly give scientifically-based feedback to SCPs, and everyone in chat agrees with them.
They would be correct, in fact. This is unfair.
But not all beliefs are created equal.
Social shame isn’t a bad thing. When newbies insist on writing about Bright raping people, or ignoring every single piece of feedback, or demanding that we cater to their every whim and praise their holy names, we respond in part by shaming them. It’s part of how the world works.
Let’s ignore that this comparison only works because a dunce is here posited who can’t imagine fiction to be fictitious. The argument that the Creationist’s particularities shouldn’t be catered to simply because they hold it dear and want to include it into the fictional world is the exact point that should also be made about the injection of personal LGBTQ+ beliefs; both are instances of non-fictional belief attempting to be injected into a fictional world. We can see that the preferential treatment between the two is not logical, but a matter of a new prioritization of one sort of belief, and ultimately “might makes right” because the LGBTQ+ variety is now socially christened.
The irony of this very last sentence is huge. It is the vivid point at which the script at the onset, in 2011, had flipped and the default was now an unapologetic ideological censorship, with anything opposed to it given the onus of abnormality. The new norm was again “just how the world works” — the only difference being who that world unfairly works for and against. The move to get people to put down the weapons had become the eager pirating of those same weapons, now deemed good because they were in new hands.
Confusedly, this truism of “that’s just life” is contradicted over and over again in the June editorial. This callousness and realist’s “life is tough” is precisely what the authors of the Site News editorial dwell on as the defining unethical and regressive norm which the current, allegedly more refined culture emerged from:
“Even another argument on censorship, calling it “a slippery slope” when deciding what to ban, and once again citing that definition of strength. “It’s the internet.”…
The highest and glass-shattering note of the operatic editorial is simply too saccharine to not reproduce here in full:
“Strength changed. Strength doesn’t mean blindly accepting what goes on around you because it’s “the status quo” or “how it always was” or “the internet”. Strength isn’t letting old habits continue for the sake of old habits. Strength is standing against those traditions. Strength is being yourself when facing hardship. Strength is making active efforts to change the rules, do the right thing, help your fellow human. Strength is taking pride in what you know is moral and just. With strength, with pride, you can make a community change.”
Highlighted in the above capture, the sort of strength invoked here is one that is shared among anyone speaking up in any oppressive circumstance, regardless of gender or sexual identity; regardless of political affiliation. The force behind the ever-increasing normality of ideological censorship at SCP constitutes its own oppressive circumstance, the group resisting if not having the benefit of being pinned to something as superficial and ostensible as the decal of an IDpol group or skin color. You can see an equal amount of unwillingness to “[stand] against those traditions… [be] yourself when facing hardship” in the immense social pressure those clearly divided and pulled in this morally questionable riptide at SCP feel when facing the prospect of deviating from the dominant narrative or opinion:
And yet, the determination on the part of the Site News team is only that “the consensus trails towards a brighter and more considerate future”.
It is now 2021, and the momentum down the slippery slope has not slowed. The warning for this taking over is as ignored as it ever was, permanently grafted to the indefatigable, dogmatic evil within a fairytale’s rendition of bigotry and racism. It is odd indeed that the paranoia around possible oppression for the LGBTQ+ demographic at SCP is seemingly stronger than ever, despite it also being more receded from the culture than ever. Ultimately, the only cultural change that ended up happening was the displacing of one sort of oppression for another in the name of taking turns. One form of emotional silence has been exchanged for another, putting the “dominate” in “predominate voice”. The threat of derision and exclusion is just as prominent as it was on the other side of the pendulum. The SCP News team’s ornery ignorance of this fact inspires the sort of low standards that would link to the mere presence of LGBTQ+ material on the SCP site as proof that one voice in a group of many has won a war.
The prioritization of the once-marginalized LGBTQ+ crowd on SCP is now so established, so thoroughly dominant, so non-oppressed that the authors of this editorial have to invoke things completely removed from the site culture in order to find any remaining oppression:
This is like central bankers in the US saying that they need to be continually celebrated and prioritized because, hey, they weren’t always rich, and somewhere else out there — somewhere far away — a banker is still poor. There is now an insistence for an ongoing exaltation and a set-apartness of one and only one identity group of people, the one that is already the most leveraged and politically-excused cohort in the culture.
We may revisit other quotes; like the warning at the beginning of the News editorial, included there only to casually brush it off as the idiocy of knuckle-dragging losers:
“By attempting to protect the interests of a group of people, you are imposing your will upon another and limiting their capacity to express themselves,” they said.
… and witness how unfortunately true what they said rings now. We can understand how intellectually impoverished the News team’s take-away for all this is when, in their acceptable level of ethical sophistication, they conclude:
“Maybe slur usage is bad.”
We can further juxtapose the incessant scoffing of ideological censorship as a slippery slope with the modern-day stances on off-site content. The censorious manifest extends far beyond the immediate community. Staff now remove links on their site and in controlled social media spaces that they do not like, e.g. bad PR, this blog, Confic Magazine, The Confic Wiki (where no slur can be found); they message & petition other hosting websites (e.g. Miraheze & Medium) to remove damning but accurate information posted about them; they vilify and mischaracterize individuals posting this data, lumping legitimate journalistic efforts in with “hate” and “bigotry” (even despite the major participants also being LGBTQ+ themselves); if you show any disrespect to the holy relics of bot pronouns, you are gone; some Staff do not allow users to be members of SCP if they are also members of RPC (this is also the case with SCPD… RIP Ronin); satire isn’t tolerated, and the community leverages politics to wipe it off the face of the site; other pro-LGBTQ+ communities that don’t go quite as far with pride and celebration are slandered as “phobes”, these in countries that are of a different culture, some that are halfway across the world.
Terminal velocity upon this frictionless slope has been reached. We can tell this is the case, and that the cognitve dissonance is reaching fever pitch, because the Pride logo was unironically asked to be permanent on all official & administrative pages; hard proponents of this ideological prioritization seem incapable of basic compromise, having completely lost the reason of consensus reality; proponents argue that might does make right after all, only now that it favors their position; and we see the upper limits of propagandizing and gaslighting, such as in this editorial. The deep, deep contradiction at the center of this is causing the current political paradigm to implode; a sort of overdose and cultural suicide.
We are being promised that this is a moment of indelible and decisive victory, and yet, some now suggest that the current level of support and mandatory applause — on SCP — is still not enough. It’s like saying an in-studio, light-up “Applause” sign needs to be even brighter, flashing with a faster frequency. The radicalized mechanics set in motion by this “laughable slippery slope” are well-greased, and like a bicycle, needs to constantly be pedaled and moved forward, else it will fall on its side, and plant the rider who has defined themself as inseparable with it square onto the pavement. That fervent pedaling has churned celebration into subjugation, a once strong pride into a buttery hubris.
This editorial woukd have you believe that this false definition of strength is the moral crux of the LBGTQ+ movement, but it is a bad impression. The real strength is much less dictatorial and less commercialized. This imitation is self-defeating, an odd kind of strength indeed. The same “victory” and “strength” here is also seen in HarryBlank & co.’s stupefying celebration over “Pride of Place”. This is like a modern-day equivalent of voodoo, as if some sort of cause and effect has powerfully happened for the thing that’s pin-pricked. It is by now inside out, itself fragile & bigoted, in that it weakly stereotypes all people who are not profusely supportive of anything and everything with the Pride logo on it as either blatant or closeted bigots. It retreats into accusations of “dogwhistles” in the absence of any real oppression, and resorts to automatic-fire, mono-term accusations to people who don’t deserve that when there is no evident bigotry to speak of, and no other argument to offer. Swept away in an ideological flood, it imagines that everyone should conceptualize the world completely based on the adolescent fixation of sex and gender considerations. This political weaponization is a far cry from “people just wanting to be treated with respect and feel like their opinions and voices matter”.
This sort of “strength” is a paper mask hiding what is truly here; severe ideological frailty. Odd, if this strength is so present, that nearly no one is brave enough to stand up against the rapid and total eclipsing of every possible heterogeneity on site under the subsumption of identity politics, or counter any haphazard claim of “phobia” once introduced. Odd that shame as conformity, as was quoted, is now a good thing, and a powerful tool. The effort is by now as intolerant and close-minded as what it was initially set up to fight. Some strength, when you have to demand so much support.
Finally, we should take a moment to be more nuanced and notice that the deleterious forces in this culture are the minority. A disservice is done to the general body of SCP by them nonetheless, as a majority of users aren’t as bigoted as they seem; they’re just going with the crowd and not knowing any better. This is infirmity via osmosis; a misfiring of a small group’s insecurity when aggressively jerryrigged to a larger scale than themselves. The average participant’s actions, statements, and beliefs are much uglier than their intentions.
After analyzed, this editorial seems not like “a powerful tribute to how far the site has come in terms of acceptance”, but part and parcel of SCP’s imperial rage for IDpol dominance. Even for an editorial, cold, hard, verifiable facts are entirely lacking. No proof is cited because none exists. It’s a beginning-to-end propaganda piece, crepitating to nothing more than a sludgy, sociopolitical molasses that results in a civilizational diabetes. It is great that slurs are less common, but there were better ways to achieve it.
So let’s revisit the editorial’s thesis sentence: “I think it is clear who won the battle.” OK, granted.
But we might need to ask what exactly was it that won. It wasn’t the better part of the LGBTQ+ movement.
© Lack of Lepers