SCP Wiki Member Comes Out, Shocks Community
March 19, 2041 — Totes_Fritter, a long-time and prominent member of the SCP Wiki shocked the community today by revealing a long-held secret in a Twitter post. The unexpected announcement was met with stunned peers and fans. Some welcomed the sudden turn of events and voiced their support. However, many ridiculed Fritter and attempted to shame him for his differing lifestyle.
The Tweet is captured below:
Our very own Jaren Robynson caught up with Fritters to discuss the issue. What follows is an exclusive interview.
Robynson: [Looks at the camera] Noted SCP Wiki author, beloved Tweeter, tale-writer, and winner of the SCP-100,000 contest. His career has been defined by passive aggression in chat, slightly obnoxious political beliefs, and lackadaisical writing suddenly interrupted by inexplicable and certified bangers. And now, as of a few hours ago, he’s an un-closeted conservative; Totes_Fritter. [Turns to Fritter.] Welcome to the interview and thanks for agreeing on such short notice.
Fritter: No problem, glad to be here. I feel like there’s a lot to air.
Robynson: So you are a conservative?
Fritter: I suppose so.
Robynson: Is your conservatism a choice?
Fritter: It isn’t. It’s what all my peers are telling me. And what the survey test told me.
Robynson: Survey test?
Fritter: We were all in the usual Discord server together just hanging out and talking about stuff. And there was this little political survey that you took, you know, a website where you answered questions about this and that. And at the end, it told you what your political alignment was, either left, right, or center, whatever, as part of a picture with a dot somewhere in four quadrants; authoritarian vs libertarian on the y-axis. You know.
Everybody was doing one, and so I did one too, and we all shared our results. Once I shared mine, though, it seemed that it was a little… different from everyone else’s. They were all like “wtf”, and asked me to explain myself. That kind of started it all. I didn’t realize I’d be ratting myself out to an angry mob.
Robynson: So some knew you were conservative before the Tweet?
Fritter: Yeah. I wish I could say the Tweet was as bold of a move as it might seem, and as people are making it out to be, right or wrong. But the truth is that the cat had already been let out of the bag. I made the Tweet to just get the monkey off my back. It might have been silent, but I knew I had just been reputationally executed, so I figured it couldn’t get any worse. I was wrong.
But honestly, it felt good. Even if it means everyone around me hates me for it. I’ve always been a little… different than the other writers. Finally, I’m honest with myself and have said what I’ve been struggling to express to the people around me for so long. I was living in this fear that my beliefs and way of life, when compared to theirs, would be just too strange. There’s a lot of fear and anxiety within a huge majority that all thinks the same way like that. You’re putting a target on your back.
Robynson: A lot of people would say that to be a conservative is highly immoral. That it goes against the traditions of the SCP Wiki, against its very fiber, and against all the values that the culture there holds dear. Your alien, rogue ideas are seen as highly dangerous, as if they threaten a very way of life. Do you want to threaten people and their way of life?
Fritter: No, that’s a false pretense. My ideas only threaten people who aren’t secure in what they themselves think and believe, or who are not brave enough to ask me what thoughts lie behind my positions. Such an insecurity is why there is such an anaphylactic response to my nominal differences. That insecurity, in turn, only makes my idiosyncratic ideas more impactful. That’s their decision, though; not mine.
People think believing a certain way is inherently dangerous. Isn’t that what those who once oppressed LGBTQ individuals once said too? But they’re thoughts. If you are afraid of them, you are only preemptively admitting they are powerful to you. There is always a pause, a moment of discipline between thought and action, a space for co-existence. People who are very frightened will pretend like there isn’t; like there’s a 1:1 correlation between belief and behavior. Which is not the case. It doesn’t hold up philosophically, at all. Never has. You’d have to go back essentially to the dark ages of psychology to think that. It’s just not possible that it’s true. You can’t draw one directly from the other.
Thinking that someone is dangerous because of their ideas is close-minded, and the mirror image of the all-in-or-nothing, group-based hate and exclusion that created the very societal issues that the SCP Wiki, has in this day and age, finally countered and dominated. I hope that what I’ve seen isn’t the start of a new way to traumatize people for being alternate to just a new group’s majority. With all the progress the SCP Wiki has made, it would be sad to see it repeat the very same mistakes, now with their majority powers and larger cultural status quo.
Robynson: But “coming out” as a political alignment today in 2041 isn’t comparable to the trauma of coming out as LGBT, let’s say, in 2022 and to a potentially intolerant family.
Fritter: Agreed. For one, we are talking scales on the level of society or internet spaces right now, not deeply intimate units with physical presences, like families. Although, I do expect some to regard members of this space as something close to family, especially if it’s the only semblance of one they have.
Luckily, my family is tolerant. It could be a lot worse. I think that’s what’s most important; tolerance. You don’t necessarily have to agree, but you should have enough maturity to tolerate. There’s this trend in the SCP Wiki today where even listening to an alternative idea is a performative sacrilege. That’s a regression.
Robynson: Then, given a particular political group’s history and harsh reality, if they’ve had to struggle and survive against a very hostile reaction from, let’s say conservatives, can you blame them for being frightened?
Fritter: No, they can’t be blamed. It’s a very human reaction. And that’s why I first blame the people who reacted the way they did to gayness or transness, or pride in general. What an incredibly immature and idiotic reaction. To hurt people for who they like? What gender they want? It’s not my place to tell someone they can’t be a certain way or love someone. That’s like me telling you what music to like, what thoughts to not think, or what people to hate.
So yes, the original sin lies with a previous status quo’s immaturity and intolerance. This previous status quo was conservative, peaking in the mid 20th century, and waning by the early 21st. But that’s not to say that there weren’t those in or around that time’s status quo that didn’t react more graciously and with more acceptance, more tolerance, more co-existence, more love. The visibility of violence, bigotry, and hatred are selected for, both in the individual’s psyche necessity of survival, and in our highly consumptive culture of endlessly empty news cycles.
It’s like car accidents, or active shooters. These are the finest exemplars of daily fatality, of a hostile probability. So as to convince ourselves that we have not been committed to our own death of sorts due to fear of being so unlucky, we overplay the death of others, and the spectacle of destruction. Thus there is a lot more acuity to the worst-case-scenario around these things.
Unfortunately, the more accepting of people are less pronounced, meeker by their good nature. The hasty, afraid person acts upon those quieter spaces as being non-existent within a certain group. It’s like believing all cars will end up killing their drivers, or all gun owners will shoot up a school.
And unfortunately, it’s a mistake in perception that the SCP Wiki seems to be blindly repeating.
Robynson: The intolerant culture that the SCP Wiki once had to fight bitterly against has folded though, and in their desired direction. This is marked definitively I think by the pride logo in 2018, and even further in the wider culture, such as our first trans President in, what was it, 2032? Is it not their right to be glad and preserve their achievements?
Fritter: It is. But that doesn’t mean they should treat “the other” as they were treated. It’s very important to prevent this cycle from repeating negatively. We should be learning, and improving at every repetition.
This is the moment to pull the lever, and get on an alternate track, that isn’t going to just fracture and fractalize under different banners of the same societal war. There is a temptation to revel in the newly-realized social status — the national un-marginalization and normative gentrification of LGBTQ. In that, there can come the recycling of treating “others” exactly how one has been treated, which just ends up repeating the same relations, and the same mistakes.
Now that LGBTQ is a societally-dominant majority, the burden of responsibility in our times, here in 2041, has come to a new status quo and its treatment of “the other”. I am not advocating for regression, nor am I inherently by my relative position to the SCP. In fact, I am LGBTQ, just not involved much with its mainstream. I am simply a challenge to their readiness of this new responsibility; a litmus test for how truly different they are from the last go-around.
If they fail this test, then the character of their once-oppressors will have been reborn and realized identically within them, it all coming full circle, a matter of net zero displacement despite the apparent distance. They will not have defeated anything whatsoever.
This is worrisome given the pseudo-religious sentiments and behaviors at the SCP Wiki, which are louder than their words of supposed inclusion and unity. I hope they are mature enough to handle the responsibility of the liberation that they have rightfully earned; that there is enough wisdom, discipline, and love still in them through their trauma so that, when among the ruins of their oppressors, they can resist rebuilding the very same structures anew.
Robynson: Let’s get into your views, is that OK?
Robynson: Is the phrase “conservative intellectual” an oxymoron?
Fritter: It depends on what you mean by “intellectual”, but no. I think any and all positions have smart and dumb things about them; moments of brilliance and moments of idiocy. Good angles and bad angles. Same as the people who espouse those positions.
Robynson: A lot of people who matter at SCP would disagree with you about that.
Fritter: Yeah, a lot in the SCP Wiki space think that way, for sure. Not all, but a sizeable portion. People can get socially sensitized to a lens for so long, they forget it is even there. It may be so in the SCP Wiki, and here in our country, but I think it’s not unusual to be conservative in the larger sense of things.
Robynson: Some 80–90% of academics and intellectuals identify as liberal or left-leaning. How do you explain that statistic?
Fritter: The smarter you are, the dumber you can be.
Fritter: It’s like gravitational potential energy. It doesn’t matter how smart you are, anyone can be just as dumb as anyone else.
Robynson: I’m not sure I follow, can you elaborate?
Fritter: Most people who identify themselves as intellectuals and thinkers — whether liberal or conservative — I think they want to stand outside the community on some sort of perch, you know, looking upon it all in a great clairvoyance and in judgment; gifted with this removed, enigmatic, and superior insight into the system they once found themselves a part of. The displacement they can obtain from this system is almost a metric of clout. This tends to make them highly critical people, on the whole, and very prone to vocal grievances. Unconventional views are selected for here, by nature. These people are liberals.
It’s not the same for those in-line with the status quo, who are going to have less of a tendency to separate, because they like more parts of the established system, and so want to preserve it. These people are conservatives.
Sometimes, the emotional desire to be involved in a group that has taken that stance becomes stronger than the logic of the conclusions that group requires. At that point, the intellectual horsepower is utilized to justify the emotional logic. There’s really an almost infinite amount of ground and resources someone can hop around in to justify their positions for the purposes of social inclusion. The game is the sacrifice of some individual voice in order to conform it to a political orthodoxy. A lot like an intelligence tax. To be caught thinking conservatively in academia, in our larger society these days, is a sort of reputational doom. The SCP Wiki was a little ahead of its time of course in this respect, but the same was true of them and still is.
So, that explains the current, high percentage of modern academics and thinkers who are left-leaning. It’d be nice if it were a matter of logical intelligence, but it probably is mostly social.
Robynson: So you’re saying that what defines “liberals” is not their political location necessarily, but an inherent emotional need to be contrarian in the search for progression. If what was once a liberal side becomes the cultural majority, does the way you see things mean they are suddenly “conservatives”, and that most academics & intellectuals would eventually be… what essentially are today’s conservatives?
Fritter: Yes. But still called “liberals” by then. [Laughs] There is always a marginalized minority that has a need to separate from the norm and criticize it thereby. “Conservatives” want to conserve, “liberals” want change.
What they understood, say in 2022, as a “liberal”, had nothing to do with placement on a scale that some political test can generate, or a bag of hot-topic issues; it was and is at-heart a deep, innate, countering and antagonistic force that is necessary for progress. It floats around. Defined by paradigms and their change.
It’s like a pendulum that swings. It’ll be back on the other side in a few decades. Always is.
Robynson: So, if a “liberal” is defined by a need for challenge & separation from the conventional majority, that would mean that you are kind of a “liberal”, going by your own definitions. Right? At least in a relational sense.
Fritter: Now you’re getting it.
Robynson: Forgive me, but I’m not sure I am. This seems incredibly confused and almost paradoxical. We’ve started this by saying you are a conservative.
Fritter: We are in an interesting time where what was previously “liberal”, say in the 2010s or 2020s, is now the cultural norm. It is what the society wants to conserve most now. But we still have that vestige of the term “conservatism” as the old paradigm. Not enough time has passed for “liberalism” to be the new “conservatism”. The terms haven’t caught up, here in 2041. So, it still makes the most sense for me to use the term “conservative”… as we can tell from the Twitter reaction.
But those terms will catch up.
Robynson: Is there an irony here: in that at the SCP Wiki, to be progressive and liberal is certainly the norm?
Fritter: To be a progressive at the SCP Wiki is itself boringly conventional, yes. The entire premise of their progressiveness is to be hostile to conventions, and yet they collectively revel in a new one; their own. In voicing many grievances with the SCP and certainly having separated myself in doing so, I’ve assumed their prior political role, which is now relative to their conventional majority.
They are the new conservatives, just calling themselves “liberals” still. I am a liberal, calling myself a “conservative” still.
Sometimes, what fronts itself in the name of a social revolution is instead just someone’s way to get their turn with the grip-end of a whip. Not much has really changed. In disallowing any other sufficiently distinct voices in their community, they recreate such a frozen convention, same as the ones they once opposed. I don’t think they’ve noticed this.
Progression has to come from controversial positions. A margin in one direction is usually pitifully bad, like Nazism, and another margin can be promisingly fresh in the other, like today’s intellectual conservatism, or the LGBTQ pioneers of old. You have to wholesale let margins exist in order to progress at all. Some are too fearful, to insecure, too cowardly to allow this to happen, so they lump all differing ideas close together, and then far away. Very far away.
This is the real confusion and paradox: in their hope to be powerfully and loudly progressive, they have given time petrified themselves, and abscessed themselves from any real progression. Once this is abandoned because it doesn’t make a lot of sense, my way of seeing it makes a lot more sense. I think. I hope.
Robynson: It’s like continual budding, or a fractal, isn’t it?
Fritter: Yes exactly. People think the Overton Window moves linearly, as if an infinite side-scroller that sees no end of how “progressive” a society can get. It does move as if it is, but the hidden topology is a circle. A spiral, actually. It might not even be Euclidean. In any case the point is to ascend it, not spiral downwards, back to the origin point of where it all started.
And that’s a pretty great irony. That as a relative “conservative”, I can be a progressive now. You can see that “conservative” can only possibly be a relative term. Different groups assume the term, usually generationally. It is meaningless without points of comparison. Hence the confusion as it is bending and moving with time.
Robynson: And this may fit in with that; but it seems a lot of the things you say are not very conservative. They’re maybe very modern ideas in fact. Your recent Tweet thread, which criticizes the SCP Wiki for its love of upvotes and staunch class-like structures of social separation, has hints of Baudrillard, Deleuze, and other post-structuralist thinkers. There was that hilarious meme where someone put your commentary on an image of a Marxist class hierarchy even, and it fit perfectly.
Fritter: It’s true that my commentary and style, oddly, is right up the SCP’s political alley. For example, the casting of upvotes and social standing in terms of oppressive power. That’s straight out of Foucault. It’s the taste and flavor they can’t get enough of.
But it’s in part rejected nonetheless because the grievance is about their community and it’s majority voice. They don’t like it as much when it is turned onto them!
It’s a feature we see a lot; everything there seems to revolve around something that is indistinguishable from a stubborn ego. When it is insulted, it reacts the same way. Doesn’t really matter what insult; the result is always a perpetual and unassailable grudge. Total and permanent excommunication.
This stubbornness to observe nuance explains a lot of their group behavior, as it did for the prior status quo. A wide gulf of insults exists to the community — whether a decades-long sexual abuser of underage minors, or a relatively benign criticism of the culture — but all are subsumed under the larger and more important effect; making the SCP Wiki look bad.
For example, I’ve literally had people tell me I’m an immoral person for criticizing the SCP Wiki’s culture!
Robynson: How did it feel when people who used to like you suddenly hated you for it? And nothing about you had really changed?
Fritter: You know the SCP Wiki is truly very vocal and supportive of the idea of being who you are. Unfortunately, that seems to extend only as far as the person they want you to be.
Robynson: I think you might be the Alex Jones or the Jordan Peterson of the space. What do you think about that? Is that a compliment from where you stand?
Fritter: Eh. No. I remember first seeing Alex Jones in Richard Linklater’s Waking Life, certainly a progressive work in its time, as hot-headed back then as ever. I certainly identify with someone being canceled for their ideas, but ultimately his approach was too frenzied for me. Like the Columbine thing. Just no. And Jordan Peterson always struck me as a sleezebag. I never trusted that guy. He showed up to Joe Rogan in a bowtie.
Jordan Peterson’s brand of intelligence was more marketing bombast than it was actually intelligence. In a lot of ways, that reminds me of the SCP Wiki, where brands of marketing bombast can become more effective than writing well.
By the way, did he really once say “Up yours, woke moralists?”
Fritter: See, that’s so stupid.
Robynson: I think a lot of your detractors would be somewhat taken back by those remarks.
Fritter: Yeah, well I think that’s kind of the whole point here isn’t it? People all can’t be lumped into one abstract rubric of “you are this way because you are a liberal/conservative”, right? Actual people’s views are probably more complicated, I think, than someone from the other side would expect to hear.
Me and my political counterparts at SCP probably still agree on a ton. Could probably have some nice conversations about things we all care about.
Robynson: Like what?
Robynson: Oh, that.
Robynson: Some people think merely interacting with someone like you is as horrific, unimaginable, and unconscionable as selling meth in a pre-school. Do you think they should overlook your differences so you can talk about writing?
Fritter: Yes. How else is anybody going to come together? Isn’t that what we are supposed to be gathered here over?
Robynson: I wonder, as many do, if you might be afraid to read certain thinkers because they are “left”, and so you just avoid it.
Fritter: Oh no, that’s not my style at all. Actually some of my favorite writers and thinkers are deeply left. Raoul Vaneigem, of Situationist fame, was pivotal in the riots of 1968 in Paris, a huge Marxist and massively left-leaning. Michel Foucault is perhaps the most esteemed paragon of modern-day academic cultural thinking — for example, as the origin point for seeing truth as simply a power struggle in a permanently oppressive structure — which lead directly to things like the Frankfurt School, critical theory, intersectionality, and other very progressive ideas for their time. I love their works.
And my favorite book is written by an anarchist socialist. If I had to read one over and over again for the rest of my life, it’d be that one. On the musical side, one of my favorite artists, Arca, is trans. Most of her songs are about it too. Have been for a long time.
You know, that’s actually true of the SCP Wiki authors too now that I think about it. I think their politics and hedonistic social revelry is disgusting, but I love their writing.
Fritter: But… I just don’t agree on a big picture scale I guess. That’s not to say there aren’t smaller moments of overlap and agreement there, even beauty. Those moments can exist between even the most disagreeing of people.
I guess I’m somewhat alone in that belief.
Robynson: Is living as a conservative in the SCP space very difficult?
Fritter: Yes, it’s odd to be judged so definitively by one quality. That’s a dangerous game. Telling people and reinforcing that one quality is their most important breeds a dogmatic and close-minded view of the world. I’m just the same as most people, just the words that come out of my mouth are different.
Robynson: Several in the community have claimed you want SCP to die. Is that true?
Fritter: No. That’s at least one thing everyone should be able to agree upon, regardless of political ideas; death threats, hate, violence, or any complete abolishment, these are all too far.
I think that if you get to the place where you genuinely believe “all X are bad”, or you find yourself wanting to harm someone, then you have taken a wrong turn somewhere. Period. It isn’t compatible with intelligence.
One compromise made to be within the spoils of a social group is accepting second and even third-hand information, almost literally on faith. When given why person Y or X is evil and horrible, very few ask for any sources or proof. It’s not that they don’t know that the information might need to be sourced before believing it, it’s that they don’t want to see any source material, so that they can believe what the group does.
Take for example, the indoctrination of “X is a bad person”; someone asks “who is X?” and the party line is regurgitated with little variety. Such a statement is not informative, it is prescriptive; it is telling the new individual what to believe. This imperative is so sufficiently a social threat, that it eclipses the need for any evidence or source in order for members to accept it as fixated belief.
Robynson: You almost sound like you have some centrist views going on here. Maybe leaning center right, but still.
Fritter: Maybe so. Again, these terms are all relative and don’t mean what we heuristically like to think they do — for a false pretense of clarity and for laziness’ sake — so it’s natural that most upon closer observation would be a pretty mixed bag. It’s also why it’s absolutely insane to divide so strictly along these “lines”, like SCP does, to such self-congratulations and the glad patting of their own backs.
Robynson: So if these terms don’t mean much except on paper, and even then, only in relation to where a majority of them are placed on the table, how are we supposed to use these terms meaningfully? Don’t they exist for a reason? Maybe good reasons?
Fritter: Absolutely, they are heuristics. Best-fits. Such generalizations are the only way to observe or speak at very large scales. It’s why the SCP Wiki Staff capitalize their proper noun.
But they shouldn’t be the bases of beliefs about individuals. It’s like Newtonian mechanics. Once we are at the level of one-on-one talking, those larger mechanics do not apply. Like with quantum mechanics, the laws governing the larger scales break down at smaller, more accurate scales.
Not even someone like myself thinks that about my sweeping criticisms of the SCP; I know they fall short of accurate description for some there. While I have to make sweeping statements nonetheless, I strictly reserve them for large scales. They evaporate when looking at a given individual. That’s something I’ll always have integrity regarding.
Those wide statements aren’t and never were meant to be universals; they are a meshed net. Those who the critiques do not apply to will simply pass through the holes; those who it applies to will be caught in the net. This is exactly what has happened.
I’m afraid too many at the SCP use the wide-scale technological descriptions to invariantly and rigidly apply to all individuals in the scope, to the point of denying that closer, individual look. Their routine application is a fallacy that confuses the map for the territory.
Robynson: So that would mean, we can only get to know one another’s true “political” selves…
Fritter: In direct conversation.
Robynson: Which you would say is impossible if you are banning people for merely having different beliefs.
Fritter: Exactly, it makes progress impossible. Ironic for so-called progressives. They’re happy to bury their heads and pretend the challenges to their worldview don’t exist. It isn’t about rising to the level of discussion or countering bad advice with stronger ideas; it is about preventing the possibility of a challenge from arising in the first place. That’s why SCP is so ban-happy; on-site and in their social spheres.
There are literally people in the SCP Discords requesting for community blacklists to be made, begging to be told who to block… although, thankfully, wiser minds have pushed back against that.
Robynson: Have you been blocked by many people since your Tweet?
Fritter: Oh yes. It’s trendy. Most do so based on incorrect information.
For example, I’m a “conservative”, so some people genuinely think I’m necessarily transphobic, when my friends can tell you I’m not. This specious group-based thinking gets in tangles very quickly. For example, a friend who joined a site of ill-repute to leak chats and whistleblow is apparently pro-transphobia, simply because other people at the site are! It’s like some kind of magical thinking where walking into a cathedral makes you Catholic! Almost as if this sort of undiscerning sort of operating can only think on the scale of very large, artificial group identities. They clearly have not looked at my friends posts on that site, yet are so sure of themselves!
The truth is that some people at SCP, by the mandates of their orthodoxy, are socially restricted from having nuance here. In order to reconcile what is a deep, self-created paradox, a large gap in their system of seeing things, they settle at a very peculiar belief; that my friend is both pro trans and pro transphobia. That doesn’t make any sense. And they know that, somewhere.
But they believe it anyway! They almost have to conclude it, because to believe the alternative would require them to visualize their group-based enemies as more nuanced, more complex, ultimately more human. It would mean the breakdown of that sweeping group-based way of thinking about people, and force an approach to people as individuals. There is something scary to them about this, because there is comfort in immediately settling the question of who to be on guard over, even if that comfort is based on falsity.
Breaking that comfort costs a tremendous amount of energy, way more than the lazier conclusion. So why would they conclude it? Especially if the same thing that has happened to me will happen to them if they expend the extra energy. They are socially incentivized to remain ignorant.
Robynson: Some have taken the fact that you have stated you have stores of food and water to mean you are a doomsday prepper. What do you say to that?
Fritter: I can’t make a lot of sense out of that one. It one of many odd regressions that such critics hyper-progress themselves into, as if a stack overflow occurs, because they are permanently stuck in a contrarian posture that leads them blindly to certain nonsensical antagonistic statements. This is, again, what happens when you believe in terms like “liberal” or “conservative” too much.
Something like their host website can catastrophically collapse in the blink of an eye and everything be lost, and so people advocate for backing up articles in case it all goes down. Sounds prudent and wise.
But thinking the same way, establishing contingency plans for more important things — like water, electricity, or food for a family with two young children— is laughably “doomsday prepping”. These same people will purchase health insurance and not bat an eye at the contradiction. The confusion can be completely off the charts. I think they just want to score easy social applause from their peers.
Robynson: What is another example of, as you put it, a “regression that such critics hyper-progress themselves into”?
Fritter: Well, we talked about how they genuinely believe my friend supports transphobia while herself being trans. They clearly haven’t taken the time to ask her about that contradiction, they are just all too happy to believe it at first mention instead.
Another is recognizing wholeheartedly and enthusiastically at the SCP Wiki is a new art movement, but approaching the attempt to designate that movement with a name, however imperfect, is met with an extreme amount of hostility and resistance, even mockery. It’s all meant to disagree with people they dislike for very political, emotional reasons. The “logic” made to support it is therefore also very frail.
Robynson: They say ardent philosophers regard political commentary as amateurish. Do you agree?
Fritter: Absolutely. But if you’re going to engage in political commentary, the point is to be open-minded and flexible with those terms, or identifying with those groups that use them. That’s why I can, despite my innate need to be contrarian, avoid adopting really poor beliefs on the sole merit that they are counter-cultural. I don’t hyper-progress myself into absurd positions.
That’s not always the case with people; a lot tend to misguide themselves into a camp and believe whatever everyone else there does. That’s like taking away a jet’s engines and just leaving it with wheels.
Robynson: Some are firm believers that all conservatives are racist, transphobe, bigot, Jew-haters. You say that depends on one’s definition of “conservative”. What then do you define “conservative” as?
Fritter: That’s not easy to do… remember I don’t think terms like that signify nearly as much as others do, but… I think I can do a better job of it than those people you just mentioned. The political world can be divided into three classes… no no wait, let me start over!
Some people look at the world and they, largely, dislike what they see. They have grievances, and they voice them, and they want change and will fight for it. These people tend to be “liberals”. Revolutionary types; Summer of 1968 in France, or George Floyd protests in the United States. All well and good. That attitude is necessary, and I identify with it.
Then there are those who look around the world and largely love what they see. They see things that are good. The relatively conservative side of the interpretation more identifies things that are worth saving because they are beautiful. This is certainly why I am critical of the SCP Wiki, and why they are so unforgiving of my critiques.
A “liberal”, as we still call them as today, may look at a mother raising children at home and consider it a vestige of patriarchal oppression, an insulting abstraction to the point of objectification & pure commodity.
The conservative however, may see the same woman as the par excellence and pinnacle of the species, producing something of such value in nine months that no man will be able to match it in a lifetime. There is no symphony that any man could write that is as impressive as your average woman’s ability to grow a new human, that baby’s future big liberal brain and all. This is a much better approach to valuing women than the method of “add women + mix” into hideous things like a corporate structure. It’s a shame that so many — men included — can’t seem to value women otherwise.
And also, women’s domestic work does not calculate into something like the false validity of abstract production metrics, like GDP or GNP. When in reality, this labor is quite important — more important even, than the many things that contribute to such metrics. It is misguidedly as if the only meaningful progress and status that such a mother can have is the submission to the idiocy of a historically male-dominated system, or only in so much as they can contribute to such brute universalities of a hyper-consumptive and hyper-productive society.
Robynson: Maybe “liberals” in the spiritual sense tend to deconstruct and catabolize, while “conservatives” tend to be more anabolic? Conservatives do tend to be more blue-collar, constructors of society infrastructure, tend to build things with their hands, and so on. While conservatives pine for stability and longevity in structure, maybe liberals more believe that to contradict yourself from day to day is to live.
Fritter: Yeah, totally. The bottom line is that grievances, or wanting to conserve something, or societal catabolism, or societal anabolism… aren’t monopolized by either side. Both sides feature each, which correctly blurs the distinction between “left” and “right” in more ways than people who want the emotional benefits of an in-group are willing to admit. The more you use the terms and look at them, the less sense they make.
I may say I’m a “conservative”, but that’s only meaningful in relativity. These terms aren’t real. What’s more real are the things that everyone should be able to agree upon, regardless of political ideas and differences. Things like the extremism inherent in death threats, which most agree are too far. There are a lot of shared nodes like that. Again, writing is another.
Anyway, I’m not sure how helpful that answer is, but it’s the best I got.
Robynson: This next question may be a little curt.
Fritter: OK, shoot.
Robynson: Why do conservative authors suck so bad?
Fritter: [Laughs] Why can’t the left meme?
Fritter: Why are conservative women so much hotter?
Robynson: Why are conservatives so sure what a woman is?
Fritter: OK fair enough.
Robynson: Why are conservatives more interested in giving rights to their guns than to women?
Fritter: Why are liberals so obsessed with removing the ability for those women to defend themselves?
Robynson: This has ceased being funny.
Robynson: Next question. Should Nazis be allowed to write SCPs?
Fritter: Uhh… wow. No, not in the SCP community.
You have to ultimately remember, this is their site. It’s their project. They have every right to, you know, say who can’t come in and write and who can. In fact, that’s truly what they are at the core, I think; with a bonus of writing on top. If SCP doesn’t want a certain kind of person, then that’s their say, sure and final, fair and square. If they want to define “doxxing” as the repetition of information that someone has already released publicly about themselves — let’s say somewhere as publicly as their own website — then that is their prerogative. It’s a little strange, but it’s their choice.
But outside of a controlled space, no, I don’t think it’s my place or anyone’s place to ultimately say who can and can’t write something. Nazis have every right to write fiction, like it or not. The scary part is that the writing might even be good, in stark contrast to their political ideas. These things are independent; writing talent it isn’t justly distributed to the good people. Some really awful people can write well. SCP knows that.
But it’s the same as saying that dumb people shouldn’t drive, when in this day and age, the disqualification from something like driving is essentially cultural excommunication, a type of social castration. Maybe they end up doing it on their own, or with people who see things their way, but… I mean, writing is writing. It’s God-given.
Maybe not here or there, but sure, go into your own thing and knock yourself out. Doesn’t really affect me.
Robynson: You’ve been saying this whole time that SCP’s exclusion of certain political types of people that they don’t like is misguided. Now you say that they have every right to exclude a Nazi. Which one is it?
Fritter: Easy; it’s both. It’s SCP’s right to ban anyone who deviates from a narrow band of thinking, and be as procedurally misguided as they’d like; just as it’s the Nazi’s right to hold as stupid of political ideologies as they’d like to. Neither saves them from the ridicule and criticism they might receive because of it.
No one is above having their ideas expressed, and no one is above their ideas being criticized. The SCP has decided that instead of criticizing bad ideas, some people shouldn’t be allowed to have their ideas expressed. And I can tell you, it is way more satisfying to crush the balls of some stupidly voiced opinion than it is to try and just censor it out of existence, which of course doesn’t work. It’s a futile and cowardly response.
Having said that, the gap between myself and a Nazi is larger than the gap between myself and SCP. So, while I think writing should be about writing, I also agree that having Nazis in a community is not a good thing. Like having sexual predators there too is not good. There comes a point at which a threshold of unacceptable behavior is reached.
Robynson: Sounds like that’s just what the SCP thinks too, just not where you think that threshold is.
Fritter: You got me there. But theirs is so close to their own front door that nearly anyone who deviates is the equivalent to a Nazi. Individuals in that group establish this by their paranoid misuse of the term “Nazi” and also other mono-terms of increasing meaninglessness, like “homophobe”, “transphobe”, or “bigot”. The whole point of this discussion is to hopefully show that you can be something like “a conservative” and have just as much resentment for Nazis as someone who is liberal.
Not understanding that is just as bad as being a Nazi.
Robynson: OK. [Shuffles papers.] On that note, do you think SCP is more interested in the type of person who is writing, than the writing?
Fritter: That’s tough. On the one hand, the site cares about writing and judges articles according to their content more or less. People don’t look into what your beliefs are before they vote. My own articles don’t seem to have depreciated since coming out. The same is true of larger community villains.
Competent writers float to the top. But on the other hand, you can’t be active at the SCP Wiki to begin with, or sustain yourself once there, if you are found to be the wrong type of individual, with different political beliefs. Even just differences of benign thought. I wish this was one of those sweeping statements that doesn’t apply to individuals, but this is decided by those individuals who run and represent the site. You’ll be officially banned.
So. Nominally, yes it is about writing. But performatively? No, it is more about the person writing.
Robynson: You have criticized the love of upvotes at the SCP. Is this simply because you don’t have many yourself?
Fritter: Maybe. That argument is certainly there for people who want it to be.
But it doesn’t take a genius to see that writing for instant upvotes is what informs a majority of the aesthetics and compositional process at SCP. The place is too popular and visible to help that. If an article seems to be not getting the instant upvotes that the author wants for it, some will delete it for PR reasons, or upvote average reasons. Everything to do with everything but the writing part.
But I count my lucky stars I don’t have a ton of upvotes to my name.
Robynson: Why do you count it lucky that you don’t have more upvotes?
Fritter: Because they have a certain seductive power to them that is undeniable. We’re all human, no one is above it. The best we can do is call it out, be cognizant of it, and try to implement more over-arching ways to reroute our more carnal, animalistic tendencies regarding them.
Some people can have the success and the social media aspects don’t bother them; they seem immune. People like PeppersGhost.
Robynson: One of my favorites.
Fritter: Yup. Me too. Many people’s. You can be popular, successful, and excellent too. Peppers is just a rare breed.
But most others, probably 90% of those who have success on the Wiki, let the success of their writing get to them, and increasingly define themselves in terms of what others think, what others want to see. They have no guardrails against this artistic complacency that feels good pandering to the masses. The thrill of success ruins them. They become totally immersed in what the external factors are saying about them. They are addicted to feedback from others, and that becomes their motivation. I think then, you start to do things to please those factors, rather than to please yourself or an artistic vision; and I don’t think you can ever get the same kind of self-gratification from that.
No paradigmatic shift in any art form came from people writing to please the audience. My heroes measured their successes in the extent to which they caused riots.
Robynson: So you think that such creatively deflationary tendencies have a stronghold in the SCP Wiki, and have brought down its quality?
Fritter: Oh yes. Quality, standards, intelligence quotient, and framework for appreciating differing styles, particularly ones that would carry the project to more artistic maturity.
The SCP has a rather narrow idea of what is good writing. For example, I was once told that a failed joke article was bad because it didn’t have a narrative.
This narrowness is not informed at all by their political narrowness we already talked about, although it is very much like it in a parallel analogy. While the political and the aesthetical dogmas don’t ever touch — not unless you write an overtly political article that say, just shits on America in a blazing ignorance of inverse American exceptionalism — they both limit the site and its potential growth to that which is immediately satiating to the majority take.
The superficiality of the SCP Wiki is a lot like slam poetry. In slam poetry, which is essentially getting up and reading or reciting a poem once for an audience, the context and format of performance demands that you put everything that can be gotten in a work on the surface. In slam poetry, especially competitions, you have just one, fleeting opportunity to impress the crowd. So there is much less room and time for any challenging nuance, hidden detail, aged depth, etc. It has to be sufficiently, superficially bombastic and immediately digestible on the first listen.
The SCP Wiki is the same. There is no such thing as a long-tail article on the SCP Wiki. It can get more appreciation as it ages, and more nuance and details discovered, sure. But only if it first checks the inflexible list of superficial boxes that the first 10 or so voters expect to see. If not, the work is lost forever. Nobody on the SCP Wiki would upvote or keep the writing project’s equivalent of Ulysses. It’s likely it would immediately be cast out as garbage.
If an SCP article’s value isn’t compressed to a superficial level of lowest-common-denominator appeal, it will not exist on the site to be discovered and recognized over time as a deeper, better work than what was initially thought. A few quality articles have just barely been caught before this casting out, and have come back from a deletion timer, but it’s the exception, the rarity. By way of a preconceived, conditioned, adolescent, and hasty notion of what good writing is, the voters of the SCP Wiki perpetually cut the project off from a host of challenges and growth.
Just think of all that is likely to have been discarded due to the demand for instantaneous sensation-seeking tastes there!
Robynson: It seems you regard writing as a spiritual act, and that much of your issues with the SCP Wiki result from that. An almost religious angle to the process of writing. Is that fair to say?
Fritter: Absolutely. These days, I want my writing to bring to mind one word, “holy”. And this is in a setting where the social media equivalent of pure debauchery reigns.
Let me try to explain it this way:
Objects house displaced human energy, right? Our fascination with these objects corresponds to a vague, cathartic commitment to objects as sponges that absorb our present selves and histories.
The SCP Wiki, through its popularity, has taken that and whored itself out, reduced this profound process to the comparative accumulation of upvotes. The shill and “.au” channels of SCP Discord spaces continue to be very active ones, maybe second in activity only to general chats. There are some poor souls who you can see in these channels who check their upvote stats via “.au” numerous times per day, sometimes less than an hour apart. They are hopelessly addicted. It is clearly not about writing for them.
And so instead of a community that is interested in sponging their existential selves as moments in the miracle of writing, we instead largely see a community obsessed with the collection of upvotes superimposed upon that writing, for the purpose of solidifying their personality. Upvotes became the anointing — a sort of holy oil — to an author. The subliminal and subconscious use of religious, iconographic imagery by those with the most upvotes is not a coincidence. Upvotes became one of the most impressive and important, as well as one of the most universal, of all the sacramental signs and seals in the SCP Wiki economy.
In this way, the SCP Wiki has become a self-scripted play where the typical author is written in as the lead. Self-inserts abound. It’s mostly an exercise in self-glorification. If anything greater is contributed to in that process, like populating the Wiki with more works, it is incidental. When you add the petrified political partisanship of the project into this, the Wiki has by now committed a fraud in the name of writing.
This is in my opinion a deeply wrong-headed and misguided attempt to obtain what is offered freely all along, and is available to anyone who isn’t distracted by the spectacle.
Most of what can be said on this topic has been said, and better than I can. But few have listened.
Robynson: Do you really think that the love of upvotes, however pronounced — whether it is what you say it is, or less hyperbolic — really has prevented writing for the SCP Wiki from sponging people’s selves and histories, as you say?
Fritter: That’s an excellent question. The quick answer is no. But only in spite of what the SCP Wiki is doing to itself.
Robynson: And the long answer?
Fritter: Writing is such a powerful act that it does capture the moment of the self. It’s the same for other art forms, such as writing music, or that scent does with memory. You go back to an article that you wrote years ago and you’re suddenly transported to that time, almost as if it were a little capsule.
So, to again answer your question definitively, no I don’t think the neurosis over upvotes can ultimately get in the way of that miraculous effect. I do, however, think that the obsession of upvotes scleroses that, and limits it to a very impoverished scope. Just ask someone who has been in hyper-obsessive states to go back and visit their articles from that time, and they will tell you. All the emotions and memories come back.
So while your person is sponged just as much as ever, it is increasingly made up of unfortunate upvote obsession. It becomes more and more all that can fit into the capsule.
Robynson: How can the SCP Wiki be more about the person writing when anyone can post an idea, draft, SCP, tale, etc, write it well, and be celebrated there?
Fritter: Because, again, it’s not true that just anyone can post those things. Some only can in the absence of expressing themselves, of being understood. The place is a police state. If they find out you have differing political ideas, no matter your writing prowess or success, or prior favor, they will talk about you, exclude you, isolate you, push you out, deny you positions on the staff, etc.
More technically and by the way, have you seen the brainstorming and draft forums recently?
Robynson: No. I personally don’t use that garbage. I have a tight group of authors to do that with.
Fritter: Yes, exactly. You’re important enough for them to make time for. You have exclusive access to the most successful people on the site, who tell you what changes to make to your ideas and articles. That kind of stuff gives a false authority that people can lord over other people to bend their political beliefs and writing idiosyncrasies into something more similar to their own. The talent seems to find a way to isolate itself from most of the community and operate in a way reminiscent of a country club.
Robynson: Ah, but how do these people become popular to begin with?
Fritter: Very good question. They have to have some writing talent, for sure. Like I said, the good authors do rise to the top.
Robynson: So you think that a conservative would be… sniffed out in this process or something?
Fritter: No, that’s a central point though; if and when politics are de-prioritized, it becomes clear that we are all sufficiently similar, and we can co-exist, at least if we are looking towards the project of collaborative writing. In one sense, it is oxymoronic to have a collaborative writing project that expects all participants to be of a staff-mandated political orthodoxy. Seems contradictory.
It’s only when the obsession with political alignment enters the picture that it reveals how ugly the space can be. It’s very fun, very frolicky, very care-free and happy-go-lucky otherwise. Bubblingly intelligent too. People are mostly just interested in chatting and having fun. Until you say the wrong thing.
When the conversation turns political, if you felt differently, you would have to hide yourself to fit in; to not be asked to explain yourself by everyone in the room, including moderators; to not be permabanned.
Simply put, your expression isn’t free, and neither is your thinking. If you have those other thoughts, you had better keep them to yourself, because people there think you shouldn’t be allowed to speak if your opinions differ from theirs. It’s odd to have to ask why people aren’t allowed to believe what they want to believe, and even be banned for asking that question.
That’s an alarming thing to have to tiptoe around, all just to write there.
Robynson: Well, this has been a very informative interview. Thank you again for this meeting with us.
Fritter: Thanks, I appreciate the listen.
[The crew begins to break down the lighting equipment and stage. The camera is still on.]
Robynson: I wish you the best of luck writing for a measly number of viewers and almost zero upvotes, all in some copy-cat, wannabe, unpopular, bigot’s writing project way over there in bigotry-land.
Fritter: Wait… I’m banned?
Robynson: What exactly did you think I was here for?
[Fritter is hauled away by security personnel. SCP-100,000 has been removed from the SCP Wiki based on AHT and disciplinary protocols. Every slot in that series has been shimmied up one spot. Belated congratulations to SCP-100,001.]
We have obtained a copy of Totes_Fritter’s aforementioned online political test result, which initially tipped off his peers that he was a dangerous radical:
© Lack of Lepers