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Huge Rant
[Beauty and the Beast] French Gothic
brookiki
Okay, so two pieces of background: I've been playing WoW for a while and Blizzcon was last week. It revealed the expansion, there was Q&A, cosplay and dance contests, and a concert by a band made up of Blizzard employees. fayoreix2 and I got the pass, so she watched most of it on the computer. 99% of it was good.

The 1% was awful. Apparently, one of the band members is a fan boy for an...um...artist called Corpsegrinder from the band Cannibal Corpse. As you can imagine, he was a classy gentleman and the people who did the show felt that the best way to experience the show was to show a video of Mr. Corpsegrinder expressing his fine opinions on the game, the factions, and the rivalry between the factions. Here's a link to the video they played (warning, extreme profanity and homophobia).

Now, oddly enough, some people were upset by this. A small handful apparently took offense to the extreme bashing of the Alliance since Blizzard is unreasonably Horde centered. A larger group was offended by the fact that he was making a lot of homophobic remarks and encouraging self-harm. Sf_drama and WoW_Ladies have a good write up on what went down.

Not surprisingly, this eventually got Blizzard's attention and, like any intelligent company, they decide to circle the wagons and apologize. Sort of. Here's the apology:

Hey guys, we read and heard all the feedback from BlizzCon this year. The Corpsegrinder bit was never intended to be taken seriously. We are sorry that we offended anyone; everything at our shows is just meant in fun. Thank you all for speaking up. We’ll definitely keep this in mind for future shows.

Our humblest apologies,

Level 90 Elite Tauren Chieftain


Nice non-apology, huh? And they're not even clear if they're apologizing for Alliance bashing or homophobic remarks. And if you read the comments, you'll realize that apparently a lot of people think that this was just a faction bashing issue and a lot of the others seem to think that any homophobic remarks were imagined and people are inflated. One person told Ashley that if she was sensitive enough to be offended, she'd better stay out of the sun.

And, of course, cue people saying "He wasn't insulting gays, he was just using gay in the bad way to insult people who probably weren't gay."

Cue my breaking point. I didn't get into the thread because, frankly, it's a waste of keystrokes. I've discussed it in the previously linked comms, but that's pretty much preaching to the choir. But here's what struck me:

These are the people that are helping to convince people like Tyler Clementi that being gay is a fate worse than death. Because, really, he probably didn't commit suicide because his roommate made an embarrassing video of him. It happens and people get over it. His belief that suicide was the only option stems from a society that constantly chips away at a gay teenager's self-image by telling them that what they are is the worst insult imaginable. Any reasonable person would understand that being called gay is bad, so what does that say about someone who really is gay?

That's why direct bullying is bad, but being raised in a hateful environment is worse. If someone is being called names directly, it hurts, but they understand that it's something hostile and bad. Does it help? Probably not. But I can't help but think that living in a world that constantly chips away at you and tells you that you shouldn't even exist due to sexuality, gender, race, appearance, weight, whatever... That's got to be worse. How do you insulate yourself against that? How do you go through life wondering if every word out of someone's mouth is going to be something that, although not intentional, is going to be one more instance of chipping away at what little armor you have left. And where does it end? When does it end?

I may be completely off-base here and I'm certainly not discounting bullying as a major problem facing all kids today, gay or straight, but I'm convinced that, while stopping at the source is the best option, the second best protection is to give a child (or anyone) a strong sense of self-worth and a good suit of armor so that if they encounter bullies, they'll have resources to deal with it. But if we as a society encourage casual speech that chips away at someone else's sense of worth, then guess what? We're the reason kids are killing themselves, not the bullies.

And that's why this whole thing with Blizzard is so disgusting. Did Blizzard employees accost gay players and make homophobic remarks designed to hurt and upset them? No. Did they set up a situation that reminded them once again how their very existence is so disgusting to some people that it's the worst insult they can come up with? They did. And that casual decision is what helps convince teenagers that being gay is literally a fate worse than death.
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Totally get you. I hate that "gay" is somehow an insult. I was arguing with a girl on my brother's Facebook the other day and when I was just like, "Okay I'm done with this argument, HOLLY OUT), she was like, "LOL HOLLY OUT? SHUT UP FAGGOT". I was just like.. what? Did you really just marginalize an entire group of people because we're having a disagreement? To which she sadly responded, "IT'S FUNNY OK AND IF YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND THE HUMOR THEN THAT'S YOUR PROBLEM".

Homophobia is apparently hilarious. And also an appropriate insult if you're having a discussion with someone.

On the other hand, having much experience with Cannibal Corpse's lyrics via friends who think they're funny, I am not surprised at all that he made these comments.

..So I just watched the video and that's so, so inappropriate and disgusting.

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