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Trolls?

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Trolls?

Postby LOLtron » Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:30 am

Trolls?

As satire has come under attack in recent weeks, we take a moment to wonder when we, as geeks, lost the ability to laugh at ourselves.



Source: The Geek Readers

   So after seeing several tweets, blogs and forum posts about The Outhouse/OH! Entertainment being trolls, I decided to join the discussion instead of ignoring it.  Most of the time it doesn't register with me at all, but when it's someone whose work you respect (like amy_geek) then I feel you owe it to join in.  You see, at OH! we cover a lot of things: Comic Books, TV, Movies, Books, Video Games, Toys and more.  We also feature several original webcomic series and work a lot to promote independent comics and creators.  Needless to say though, we don't work more hours a week at this geek site than most of us do at our regular jobs just so we can troll a subject.  We do it because we love the things we right about.

Controversial recent webcomic: This Just In!

   In addition to all of the standard coverage we do for all of these various subjects, we also do satirical news stories of the generic press releases we receive from companies as well as the comedy and satire featured in some of our webcomic strips.

   One thing I've noticed is that it's all fun and games until you make fun of something that's too close to home.  Nobody cares if you make fun of "Bronies", except for the Bronies of course and they don't just get irritated, they get furious.  That's just an example, it really applies to "Browncoats", Stephanie Brown Fans, Twilight Fans, etc.  But no fan-group is as fanatical than when it's something that society gives you permission to be outraged about and those are things concerning gender, sexual preference, race, or religion.  If you dare say anything snarky in jest about any of these groups, the wrath is relentless, the self-righteousness endless and the mob mentality limitless.

   Personally I think it's a sad state of affairs that we can't joke around with each other.  Anyone can take a look at our website and tell we are fans of all things geek, huge fans.  We aren't the bullies from high school picking on you for being a nerd, we are the nerds and all we're doing is joking around with our fellow geeks.  We are poking fun at ourselves when we make fun of these groups, because our website is made up of men and women, gay and straight, black, white and everything else; we are bronies, browncoats, Steph fans, Whedon fanatics, DC fanboys, Marvel maniacs,  Trekkies, Star Wars fanboys and more.  On our forums we have all the crazy nerd arguments about which superhero can beat up who or why this superhero movie isn't any good because it's not how we envisioned it our whole lives.  God forbid we show the world that we have the ability to laugh at ourselves and not take ourselves too seriously.  I don't know about you, but my friends and I - we joke around and pick on each other all the time.  If you can't deal with that in your circle, then I feel for you.

Controversial, not as recent article for Steph. Brown fans

   I think some may nod in agreement with the basics of my argument, at first.  But for some reason, when it's "your" circle, it's just too much.  Take a look at the above comic and tell me if you honestly take it as a serious viewpoint.  If you don't find it funny, fine; but how can anyone think it's a serious statement about how an entire website thinks.  Do you really believe that someone took a fairly generic, old joke that we've all heard a million times (i.e. women are crazy on their periods) and took that as a legitimate stance?  No group of fans should be that defensive.  And to try and take the position that your group deserves special treatment and is above being joked about is insulting to pretty much everyone else in the world not in your group.  Certainly, I don't find all of these pieces funny myself, but that doesn't mean I don't understand their true intention.  It also doesn't mean that just because I don't think it's funny that it suddenly gets classified as hate. 

   I grew up when it wasn't cool to be a geek or a nerd and took my share of crap in school for being the chubby, socially awkward boy with braces who played Dungeons & Dragons and read comic-books.  Looking at my own kids today, it's a good time to be a geek, it's even cool.  It's not the jocks and punks you have to worry about now, it's your fellow geek.  Groups are getting so defensive about their own subject matter that they in turn are becoming the bullies when anyone dares cross them.  They are the ones ganging up on people they decide they don't like and calling them names like racist, sexist, trolls, haters whether they are those things or not just to sling an attack at them; or tossing insults about "virgin men in their mom's basements" (to bring up one of the most popular geek stereotypes still used).  But I've run into some pretty crappy people through my life that are deserving of dislike: I've met real racists and sexists, I've come across real 'net trolls - those labels aren't something that should be thrown around if you hope to have a serious discussion. 

   We all need to quit taking ourselves so seriously.  Learn to laugh at yourself, it helps, trust me - that advice got me through a lot of tough times when I was younger.  If someone wants to have a serious discussion with you or truly insult you, then by all means - defend and discuss.  I don't think anyone should ignore legitimate hatred.  But if it's a crazy joke then laugh or don't and move on.  Save your hatred for something that deserves it.  Those making fun of a stereotype did not invent it, nor are they perpetuating it.  Don't confuse the people laughing at the ridiculousness of something with the people that nod in agreement because they don't even have the ability to see how crazy it is.



Written or Contributed by Jeremy Shane


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Re: Trolls?

Postby Keb » Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:56 am

Says the dick who was insulting my mother last night! :x :x :x

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Re: Trolls?

Postby e_galston » Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:06 am

Keb wrote:Says the dick who was insulting my mother last night! :x :x :x


well did your mother deserve it?
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Re: Trolls?

Postby Keb » Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:09 am

No.

I was trying to tell an OH-styled joke (racist and sexist) and he kept insulting my mother.

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Re: Trolls?

Postby IvCNuB4 » Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:35 am

There's a reason that "Big Bang Theory" is so popular. Viewers are laughing at us, not with us, because the main characters are usually laughing at themselves :lol:

There's a lesson there :P
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Re: Trolls?

Postby The Old Doctor » Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:07 pm

At least he didn't Slott her Keb... or maybe given that meme about him, that he didn't is a sad thing for her? :groucho:
"Why are you pointing your screwdrivers like that? They're scientific instruments, not water pistols."
"Oh, the pointing again! They're screwdrivers! What are you going to do? Assemble a cabinet at them?"
"Are you capable of speaking without flapping your hands about?"
""Timey" what? "Timey wimey"?"

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IvCNuB4 wrote:The Old Doctor is Cat-Scratch ?
Well that explains a lot :lol:

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Re: Trolls?

Postby GHERU » Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:39 pm

Although I do agree with the sentiment of this article I do feel that it is getting lost in the trees rather then looking at the forest.

The problems we've had haven't been because we made fun of certain fans, its that we were mean about it. Mocking the absurdity of grown men obsessing over two teenage girls in spandex is one thing, but calling them "PEDOS" in an article we want to promote is a bit much. Especially considering the history this site has with that word.

Finding humor in an all girl geek convention is one thing, being as crass and crude about it as we were is a whole nother thing.

Yes, there are some overly sensitive people out there, we can't do anything about that, but cruelness and gross-out humor at other people's expense isn't going to win us any favors, and the natural reaction of some people to go even more EXTREME for the lolz isn't helping either.

IMO, YMMV
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Re: Trolls?

Postby The Old Doctor » Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:44 pm

Jude Terror, the Andrew Dice Clay of comic book forums.
"Why are you pointing your screwdrivers like that? They're scientific instruments, not water pistols."
"Oh, the pointing again! They're screwdrivers! What are you going to do? Assemble a cabinet at them?"
"Are you capable of speaking without flapping your hands about?"
""Timey" what? "Timey wimey"?"

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IvCNuB4 wrote:The Old Doctor is Cat-Scratch ?
Well that explains a lot :lol:

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Re: Trolls?

Postby jeremy » Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:47 pm

GHERU wrote:Although I do agree with the sentiment of this article I do feel that it is getting lost in the trees rather then looking at the forest.

The problems we've had haven't been because we made fun of certain fans, its that we were mean about it. Mocking the absurdity of grown men obsessing over two teenage girls in spandex is one thing, but calling them "PEDOS" in an article we want to promote is a bit much. Especially considering the history this site has with that word.

Finding humor in an all girl geek convention is one thing, being as crass and crude about it as we were is a whole nother thing.

Yes, there are some overly sensitive people out there, we can't do anything about that, but cruelness and gross-out humor at other people's expense isn't going to win us any favors, and the natural reaction of some people to go even more EXTREME for the lolz isn't helping either.

IMO, YMMV


eh, the women thing I can understand not thinking it's funny.. but honestly using a joke that tons of comedians, including women comedians have used before (women at that time of month are crazy, oooo) is not all that mean or offensive. It's just a joke, maybe an old one, but that's all it is. Same as every West Virginia joke I've ever heard.

As for the Pedos thing, most readers of front page articles don't know anything about a history of pedo jokes so that's not really what I'm addressing. Viewed without that context it's over the top and really, if you are going to poke fun at a group, going over the top is usually a sure way to make sure the joke comes across as ridiculous and not just plain mean.

Either way, satire and the like is a fine line and everyone can talk about how it's hard to walk it perfectly, but the fact is, nobody can walk it perfectly. One man's funny, over the top, obvious joke is another man's cruel jab at his inner soul.

If fans (or anyone on the internet) offered the benefit of the doubt more often, then over reactions would be avoided and we could spend our energy fighting against the things we truly need to instead of among each other about non issues.

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Re: Trolls?

Postby jeremy » Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:49 pm

Keb wrote:No.

I was trying to tell an OH-styled joke (racist and sexist) and he kept insulting my mother.



I thought that you were telling a yo momma joke or something and I was guessing the punchline! The punchline you ended up using wasn't even racist or sexist. :smt102

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Re: Trolls?

Postby jeremy » Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:50 pm

IvCNuB4 wrote:There's a reason that "Big Bang Theory" is so popular. Viewers are laughing at us, not with us, because the main characters are usually laughing at themselves :lol:

There's a lesson there :P



What's the lesson - that people are laughing at 'over the top' exaggerated versions of people that you'd be hard pressed to find in real life? Or the fact that many of their fans are the geeks and are laughing at ourselves for some of the non-specific character jokes. I'm not sure what you mean.

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Re: Trolls?

Postby GHERU » Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:55 pm

xaraan wrote:
eh, the women thing I can understand not thinking it's funny.. but honestly using a joke that tons of comedians, including women comedians have used before (women at that time of month are crazy, oooo) is not all that mean or offensive. It's just a joke, maybe an old one, but that's all it is. Same as every West Virginia joke I've ever heard.

As for the Pedos thing, most readers of front page articles don't know anything about a history of pedo jokes so that's not really what I'm addressing. Viewed without that context it's over the top and really, if you are going to poke fun at a group, going over the top is usually a sure way to make sure the joke comes across as ridiculous and not just plain mean.

Either way, satire and the like is a fine line and everyone can talk about how it's hard to walk it perfectly, but the fact is, nobody can walk it perfectly. One man's funny, over the top, obvious joke is another man's cruel jab at his inner soul.

If fans (or anyone on the internet) offered the benefit of the doubt more often, then over reactions would be avoided and we could spend our energy fighting against the things we truly need to instead of among each other about non issues.

in instances like this context matters

here in the forums, at a comedy club, and whatever - a PMS joke makes sense - in a webcomic some random yahoo tweets you, when you do not know what it is about or the general philosophy of the creators (all men mind you) is another thing all together

and, regardless of what the front page readers know or don't know, we have a history of seeing the consequences of jokingly calling people pedophiles and being shocked at the reaction we got is just plain niave.

As to the benefit of the doubt, sure we should get it from complete strangers. I know that I give it to people I have no history with or knowledge of all the time.
Or, and this is just my opinion, we could learn from these experiences and rather than fight back tilt at windmills we could try and figure out what our potential readers want and what won't piss them off.

How much bad will have we accumulated recently? How long will it take to undo that?
and, more importantly, do we care?
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Re: Trolls?

Postby Victorian Squid » Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:04 pm

This is sort of related to the topic, I think, if tangentially, but it does feel like it's much easier to randomly offend someone these days with an offhand or off color joke--usually someone who doesn't know you well, of course. But people seem in general a lot more sensitive to me. :smt102

Everyone is looking for something to 'white knight' over, and with a finger ready to point at everybody else.

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Re: Trolls?

Postby IvCNuB4 » Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:39 pm

xaraan wrote:

What's the lesson - that people are laughing at 'over the top' exaggerated versions of people that you'd be hard pressed to find in real life? Or the fact that many of their fans are the geeks and are laughing at ourselves for some of the non-specific character jokes. I'm not sure what you mean.


My (ambiguous :lol: ) point was that the characters often do laugh at themselves. They roll with the absurdity of the situation which is something that many on-line fan-boys have forgotten how to do. They take all this fictional crap so serious !
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Re: Trolls?

Postby jeremy » Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:47 pm

GHERU wrote:in instances like this context matters

here in the forums, at a comedy club, and whatever - a PMS joke makes sense - in a webcomic some random yahoo tweets you, when you do not know what it is about or the general philosophy of the creators (all men mind you) is another thing all together

and, regardless of what the front page readers know or don't know, we have a history of seeing the consequences of jokingly calling people pedophiles and being shocked at the reaction we got is just plain niave.

As to the benefit of the doubt, sure we should get it from complete strangers. I know that I give it to people I have no history with or knowledge of all the time.
Or, and this is just my opinion, we could learn from these experiences and rather than fight back tilt at windmills we could try and figure out what our potential readers want and what won't piss them off.

How much bad will have we accumulated recently? How long will it take to undo that?
and, more importantly, do we care?



Context - I was talking about the Pedo thing, knowing history with forum drama. Not context of everything in general.

Though if you receive a random comic, whether you think it funny, stupid or offensive it's usually best to at least check up a bit before going off on a rant or social networking war. It doesn't take much time to check out the site and tell it's more than just one comic strip. It's not so much a passing benefit of the doubt that's deserved, but a little bit given before you launch into a twitter, blog, facebook, whatever war against some sort of idiocy you want to rally against. Especially with the mob mentality that occurs online.

Then you just end up looking like someone that doesn't fact check not to mention at that point are you willing to discuss things as rationally or back down because you feel stupid for not getting the joke (funny or not). Suddenly you are the guy that doesn't realize Colbert Report is satire and it doesn't matter what's said about it at that point, you just hate it.

How much bad have we accumulated recently? You do realize that most of the people that are aware of the outhouse view it as a community of trolls to begin with because of the forums, so it's hard to say. Personally, I think we should avoid utterly tasteless stuff, but outside of that I don't think we should tip toe around everyone that could potentially get offended. Not possible.

Personally, I still think we need to do a bit more to separate the real news from the satire, but that's just me. The Daily Show doesn't play intermixed within World News Tonight, they are separated and it's easy to dismiss Daily Show if you are offended by it.

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