Read Aja Romano's fanlore page, they are truly bonkers and a perfect example of the slash fandom to trans pipeline. (They wrote cringey, cringey underage Harry/Draco fics - you know, enemies to lovers cliche fests)


I was really into the LJ Harry Potter/sci fi scene as a teen/young adult and everyone in the "Inner Circle" of big name fans were awful awful people.

And Jesse's spot on about the Peter Pan syndrome. I can't even participate in my current fandoms because it's full of these people just screaming about trans rights and bullying creators into making the most boring bland lbgt characters.

A quick deep dive into fandom history and how we got where we are with the obsessive politics stuff:

What led up to this, is actually wild in retrospect - there was a massive war in sci fi fandom when a bunch of conservative sci fi writers decided to basically cheat their way to getting Hugo awards because they lost their minds that Anne Leckie's Ancillary Justice won a Hugo. (Part of the world building is in that society, they only have one pronoun, and it's "she". It's a cool thought expirement, and a great book). This is also where Chuck Tingle got his big break. (Google "Sad Puppies" if you want all the dirt.)

A few years earlier, LiveJournal (the home for teen girls obsessed with fandom pre Tumblr) decided to ban all underage sexual content as a last ditch effort to get more ad revenue, and mass deleted a bunch of extremely popular fanfic communities. People lost their minds, and the whole thing was called "Strikethrough" (because this is how deleted accts look on LJ). LJ relented eventually, but the damage was done and LJ as a platform started to die (Except for some hard-core sci fi people, GRRM had an LJ with a 2004 default layout well into when GOT was on HBO)

Strikethrough directly led to the formation of Archive of Our Own (AO3), the site that hosts all the filthy fanfiction you could ever want to read, and their parent nonprofit the Organization for Transformative Works (which is actually pretty cool) and the mass exodus to Dreamwidth (an LJ clone, not particularly successful) and the rise of Tumblr.

Why do I mention all of this? Because Aja has been widely mocked for filming themselves trying to burn an LJ shirt and failing during Strikethrough.

Edited to add because my last paragraphs got cut off somehow:

People learned that they could get positive attention for having the "right" opinions, because at the time everyone was so furious about the Sad Puppies and losing their porn. This dovetailed with the Obama campaign being most of these people's first experience with politics and the Obama team's masterful use of social media.

And none of them have grown up since then.

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My favorite part of the blocked and reported podcast is when katie makes a joke about pronouns and jesse gets extremely nervous and immediately changes the subject

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That Hogwarts Legacy is already poised to become one of the best-selling games of all time tells you all you need to know how important these drama microcells are in the end.

As for Armie, he's obviously a next-level sex weirdo but the utter destruction of his career seems far out of line with what he actually did.

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What makes me sad (and exasperated) is that thousands of Rowling's fans have been led to believe that the author of their beloved franchise hates them.

And it's not even true.

They're only hurting themselves.

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British Ron DeSantis is clearly George Santos’ drag persona, namely: Ronda Santos.

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I think it’s weird that the Armie Hammer story took a rather undeserved #metoo turn, but my guy, if you have a job that requires a good public image, you can’t text women all around the world about your fantasy to literally grill and eat their ribs.

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Feb 10·edited Feb 10

Whatever I think of the Rowling controversies in particular, I can't help but empathize with HP fans somewhat because I get it. I was a little too old to be all in on Harry Potter, but I was just the right age to be all in on the Whedonverse. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was just as important to me as a teenager as Harry Potter was to some younger millennials. The fall of Joss Whedon was sad, but if one watched season 4 and 5 of Angel at all, not surprising. Even back then I could tell that someone had it out for Charisma Carpenter.

I understand the urge to write Whedon out of Buffy lore, but to me that's immature. He may be a real life version of Angelus without David Boreanaz's good looks, but that terribleness was part of the person who created one of, however flawed, the richest best pieces of pop culture that ever existed. You can say all you want that without the rest of the writing team (Marti Noxon, David Fury, etc.) and actors (Sarah Michelle Gellar, Anthony Stewart Head, James Marsters, etc.) the Whedonverse shows wouldn't have been as great as they were and no argument there. But they wouldn't exist period without Joss Whedon.

Growing up is accepting that people you don't agree with, even those who have beliefs or behaviors you find repugnant, will create work that is good and meaningful to you. It's not "separating the art from the artist" as it's understood on the Internet - sticking your hands in your ears and pretending that imagining the world without its creator is a viable choice. It's accepting that people are multifaceted, that bad people can create good art, art that resonates with you without you being a bad person.

If what you learn about the artist retroactively makes everything you enjoyed retroactively poisonous and you have to disown it. For me, that was anything related to Marion Zimmer Bradley and her Mists of Avalon saga. But in that case, the thing to do is forgive yourself for not knowing, disconnect from the fandom and leave it behind. If your connection to a fandom is so intense as to be a load-bearing part of your personality that you can't let it go even if its creator is a someone you find odious...well that's a much bigger problem than said creator's problematic views or actions.

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Feb 10Liked by Jesse Singal

Just wanted to pop in and let Jesse know that although Katie didn't catch his Big Lebowski reference, I got it and appreciated it

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The problem I keep having re: Hogwarts Legacy discourse is that I am addicted to reading insane opinions about it but also people are now posting spoilers all over the place, and I haven’t even decided if I want to eventually play the game or not (I have a lot of other games I want to play already and I’m currently in a long-term polyamorous relationship with both Fortnite and Final Fantasy XIV).

Anyway, there’s a YouTuber named Jessie Earl (https://twitter.com/jessiegender) who has made several bad faith videos about J.K. Rowling (including a recent one that clocks in at 3.5 hours), and she has been tweeting a bunch about how playing the game means that you’re not an ally to the trans community. She has hypothesized that the game’s enormous financial success is evidence of transphobia as opposed to, I dunno, people wanting to play a game based on one of the most popular franchises in the world. J.K. Rowling actually mentioned Jessie in a tweet back in December responding to some of her criticisms, which has only served to further Jessie’s victimhood narrative (https://twitter.com/jk_rowling/status/1604180531155017731?s=20&t=3_OyAa97goaVgBpQJ_B6lg). I just find her to be a good example of the toxicity and lack of self-awareness present in this discourse.

I think ultimately the real dilemma with the J.K. Situation is that you have an entire community of people who have come to believe (under somewhat dubious pretenses) that Rowling represents an existential threat and there is nothing that can be done to convince them otherwise, because if you dare to suggest that she’s not evil, you are then also viewed as a bigot and will no longer be listened to. That being said, I did talk to a normie friend the other day who is not very online, and he too has noticed a lot of the insanity regarding “woke” stuff. I mentioned to him that I don’t think J.K. Rowling is really as bad as some make her out to be and he agreed with me. So it’s just important to remember that people on the Internet are insane, and that the best thing you can do is interact with people who are not extremely online.

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'Black trans sex workers are victimized by violence at a rate almost as high as that of black men.' Is that true? If it is, how do black men just not instantly turn into the Joker when they learn this. According to that statistic a black man would actually REDUCE their chance of being victimized by violence by transitioning and taking up sex work, but suddenly everyone online would actually care about it.

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Three episodes in one week! The powers that be have heard our whining about January ;)

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Feb 12·edited Feb 12

For some reason, I still subscribe to Wired. And predictably, it panned the Harry Potter game:


In a odd deflection, Wired says the game is antisemitic, because it refers to a global organization that secretly runs the world and enslaves people. Admittedly, this does move my whiskers a bit: Nobody's anti-semetic-dar is sharper than mine. But since Conde Nasty has said many a blatent anti-semitic thing in their magazines (usually under the guise of "we're just critical of Israel!") I think this critique is disingenuous.

The reviewer concluded: "it's definitely not worth it unless your goal is to cause harm."

I'm old and haven't played a video game since Pong. I'm thinking of buying this one.

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Btw if youre a fan of Harry Potter the game is incredible. Clearly a labor of love for the creators. I think it’d lose some of the ~~magic~~ if you’re not a fan but prob would still be fun

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Pet peeve: it is not “failing” the trolley problem to say it’s not okay to kill one person to save two, it just means you’re not a strict utilitarian. The whole point is to get at the question of whether it’s okay to cause deaths in order to save others, and there are good reasons we should be nervous about ethics systems that say it would be okay to, say, sacrifice one healthy person if their organs could save n lives.

Anyway the obsession with trolley problems wrt AI is dumb, we should be training self driving cars to avoid running into any pedestrians rather than try to make on-the-fly judgements about which pedestrians are okay to take out.

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My young daughter has started reading Harry Potter and loves it. She keeps trying to get me to read it because "it has comedy and mystery." I'm just waiting for the first left student teacher at school to get on her case about it

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The most striking thing to me about the polling on trans issues is that the “trans support” is declining, which is, iirc, not how polling about gay marriage acted (it was strikingly uphill). It reminds me a bit of abortion, which is... an unpleasant thought. (Trans culture war for 30 years... shudder.)

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