For a decade now, filmmaker James Rolfe has been known as the Angry Video Game Nerd (originally, it was just the Angry Nintendo Nerd), a much loved character who inflicts upon himself the agony of playing games that are a shit load of fuck. Rolfe is an innovator of independent youtube videos that cover video games - a genre with an enormous global reach. His channel has over 2 million subscribers, the latest video in the weekly James & Mike Mondays series has over 230, 000 views. The latest in his AVGN series (a touching kind of a semi-retirement for the character) has over 1.6 million views.
Disclaimer: I fucking love the motherfucking Nerd (and I have supported the Nerd financially). Lots of people do. And for good reason. He busts his ass, he’s highly creative, and his videos are simply a lot of fun to watch. It’s clear he not only enjoys making films — he lives for it. He comes across as a genuinely down to earth, mild mannered guy. I’ve never, ever known him to so much as comment on political issues. Why then, would Marisa Kabas, journalist for Fusion, say the following:
Kabas is referring to the following video:
James Rolfe believes the new Ghostbusters ‘looks awful’, to the point that he’s taking the stance that he won’t watch it or review it. Among his criticisms are the cringe worthy jokes and bad effects - but more than this, he believes the film is a shameless attempt to bank on the name of Ghostbusters. His position is that the box office results should reflect that this is the Ghostbusters film that nobody wanted.
It sounds like a perfectly reasonable position. Further, negativity towards the new Ghostbusters is hardly gender-specific to men.
What is the basis of Kabas’ MRA claim?
I did not receive a response, and she later blocked me. I’m not entirely sure if the block came before or after this tweet:
I want to know what Kabas’ reasoning is. She’s a journalist, she has a blue check next to her name for the facade of professionalism and authority, I want to know what the evidence is.
This is the same thing as invisible evidence. If you take the position of journalist, you are accountable for the things that you say publicly, you hold a certain responsibility. And people, like myself, are well within our right to question what you’re saying. If you cannot justify it, if you can only block those raising valid points, you have failed in your responsibility. I don’t care what articles Kabas has written, I could care less, what I care about is people in these positions abusing those positions and hiding behind blocks when called out on it. Either back up what you’re claiming, or retract and apologize. Or don’t, and lose the trust that makes your job worth anything.
Update: Since the publishing of this article, Marisa Kabas made her twitter account private for a number of days before making it public again. Kabas is aware of this article, but has not addressed the arguments. She has made no attempts to justify her position.
This isn’t a discussion on the validity of taking MRA as a position, vs feminism, or egalitarianism. We all know the negative connotations that the term MRA is supposed to carry. Again; I’ve never known James Rolfe to wade into politics, much less take a position on something as contentious as the Men’s Rights Movement.
Marisa Kabas owes James Rolfe an apology.
As does critic Eric D. Snider.
Update: Eric D. Snider has since retracted his comment.
As does Salon writer Daniel Carlson.
Update: Since the publishing of this article, Daniel Carlson has made his twitter account private.
This seemingly never-ending parade of writers and journalists who make snide, personal attacks on any one who falls out of line from their rigid ideological bubble. All this, because James Rolfe doesn’t want to watch the new Ghostbusters. When the trailer has been almost universally hated, how in any sense has Rolfe’s comments been controversial? What has he done to warrant this, and the current parade of attacks laced with nonsensical identity politics?
These, and so many other examples, are exactly what people mean when they use the term SJW. It’s a never-ending kafkatrap.
What’s fascinating with criticisms of new Ghostbusters vs SJW defenders, is it’s all projection from the defenders. People defending new Ghostbusters believe people hate it because gender, and can only defend the film based on gender. Criticisms are based on how the jokes are bad, how the effects are bad, how it’s a cheap cash in on a much loved classic. SJWs are absolutely obsessed with identity politics to the point that they project their obsession onto everyone else. They don’t listen to criticisms, they don’t consider Occam’s Razor, they jump straight to the conclusion that all those down votes, all the negative reaction videos and comments, are based on the literal hatred of women.
Sky Commissioning Editor Ben Boyer:
Update: Since the publication of this article, Ben Boyer has retracted his comments. He also pointed out personal attacks coming from the other side of the discussion.
An example I missed first time around with this article was critic Devin Faraci.
Screenwriter Max Landis weighed in.
When I previously described the current moral panic, I said I will never let the people who perpetuate this lie get away with it. I fucking meant it. People can see the twitter handles - if you disagree with these people and believe they should be accountable, let them know, you are well within your right to do this. Don’t let them tell you otherwise. Perhaps this article can eventually be one of the first things to appear when people search for Marisa Kabas, which would be just fine with me.
Update: For a period of time, my article was on the front page of search results of Google when searching Marisa Kabas.
When people in positions of trust bullshit, they are accountable.
You can read my follow up article here - Ghostbusters 2016 — The Proof that Journalists Invent Sexism
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