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#gamergate doxing swatting terrorism

Congresswoman Leading the Fight Against Swatting is, You Guessed It, Swatted

Rep. Katherine Clark
Rep. Katherine Clark

From the Boston Globe:

US Representative Katherine Clark and her husband were watching “Veep” Sunday night, when police lights engulfed her Melrose [Massachusetts] home.

Clark went outside, assuming something was wrong with one of her neighbors. But she said she was alarmed and frightened to see cruisers blocking both ends of her street and “multiple officers, some with long guns, on my front lawn.”

An officer told her they had received a report of an active shooter at her house, where her 13- and 16-year-old boys had just gone to bed.

But of course.

As the Globe notes, Clark is the sponsor of a bill that would make swatting a federal crime. Swatting, of course, is the practice of maliciously making false reports in order to send swarms of police and/or SWAT teams to the home of your target.

It’s not a hypothetical worry: several Gamergate critics have been swatted. And it goes without saying that it’s pretty dangerous to send a small army of heavily armed cops to a home where they think an active shooter is barricaded.

If Clark’s swatters intended to intimidate her, they seem to have failed. The Globe again:

Clark acknowledged that the experience Sunday night was deeply disconcerting.

But asked if she would be less vocal about the issue now, she laughed and said no.

“If that was the intent of calling in this event,” Clark said, “I think they have underestimated my commitment to making sure that we do stop this practice.”

Clark said she had been very sympathetic to people have been the victims of swatting before Sunday night but now fully understands what it’s like.

“It will,” she said, “really cause me to double down.”

Targeting a politician with what is essentially terrorism? Doesn’t seem like a particularly smart choice on the part of whoever was behind this.

H/T — r/GamerGhazi

 

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Kat
Kat
5 years ago

OT but timely

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/feb/02/iowa-caucus-bernie-sanders-can-win-hillary-clinton-beatable

Iowa is too close to call (still)–but Bernie is doing remarkably well against Hillary.

Click through to see Bernie give a short speech earlier this evening.

katz
5 years ago

My brain totally read that last comment in a Jeri Ryan voice.

ETA: Err, Sevenofmine’s last comment, obviously.

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

Rabid Rabbit | February 1, 2016 at 11:26 pm
@Paradoxical Intention:

I shall never read a post of yours the same way again. I am uncertain how to react to this fact.

: 3c

NickNameNick | February 2, 2016 at 1:15 am
It seems to me the people who complain about other people wanting an echo-chamber…well, actually want an echo-chamber of their own.

Every single time I or someone I know has been accused of that – it always came from someone who expected us to roll out the red carpet and patronize them. They don’t care that certain venues attract certain people and who may not share the same sensibilities as them, because of their overwhelming sense of entitlement. That, or the naivete to think every venue is a public forum.

Well, what do you expect when you legitimately believe you’re right about everything all the time?

These guys literally expect us to drop to our knees the moment they acknowledge our existence. They’ll say they don’t, but then they turn around and get all snippy when that doesn’t happen.

As Richard Dawkins shows, along with other hardcore antifeminist atheists, that many white cishet men often mistake disconnection with objectivity. They wrongly assume that, lacking personal experience, they will somehow manage to be less biased than those with that experience…which isn’t how biases work. It could be argued that lacking those experiences makes you more biased – as it downplays negative impact and presumptuously accepts the current status quo as being “how it always was.”

Either that, or they engage in “My Experiences are Universal, and that means if I didn’t see it, it didn’t happen!”.

Talk about your God Complex.

Three Snakes
5 years ago

@Paradoxical Intention

And I think that people tag their hate videos with the people they’re harassing for that reason, because they KNOW it’ll come up when people look for videos about them on YouTube, and that way they can shove their views on people who aren’t aware of the situation before Zoe, Anita, Brianna, or any other GG targets can defend themselves. They’re literally trying to drown out any other voices with just sheer volume of videos.

The irony is too much. Manosphere assholes of all stripes love to portray themselves as rugged individualists while calling women and feminists drones of the system. When they use pseudoscience their justification reaches absurd levels. Then they depict women as docile, shallow herd animals while men, of course, are profound makers of history.

The irony is that Manosphere assholes themselves behave as a mob. On YouTube their views are supported on volume and numbers and not on reason itself. The same can be said on Reddit. I know YouTubers do not read sources on their own but recieve filtered information from talking heads like Thunderf00t or Sargon. MGTOW and Neo-Nazi members pretty much huddle in a cult, isolating themselves more from the outside world and anyone or any source that disagrees with them. They shove their heads further up their own asses until they never see the light of day again.

That’s what I never get about Manospherians and other white male supremacists. They talk a really big game about how they’re strongest, smartest race but they’re the world’s biggest sissies imaginable. The irony is so huge not even Jonathan Swift could have made this shit up.

sevenofmine
sevenofmine
5 years ago

My brain totally read that last comment in a Jeri Ryan voice.

😀

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

The irony is that Manosphere assholes themselves behave as a mob. On YouTube their views are supported on volume and numbers and not on reason itself. The same can be said on Reddit. I know YouTubers do not read sources on their own but recieve filtered information from talking heads like Thunderf00t or Sargon. MGTOW and Neo-Nazi members pretty much huddle in a cult, isolating themselves more from the outside world and anyone or any source that disagrees with them. They shove their heads further up their own asses until they never see the light of day again.

This, so much.

Derek Smart, the Elder Deity of assholes, has been filling his blog with blustery talk of legal action against all and sundry. A #GGer commented on one of these posts that “we’re learning about law from [Smart].” Not only is Smart not a law teacher, he’s not even a lawyer; learning law from him would be like learning economics from Davis Aurini or architecture from, well, me.

This is particularly puzzling given that law isn’t exactly the Eleusinian Mysteries; it’s all documented, mostly in the public domain, and can be self-taught by anyone patient enough to spend years doing so. The only explanation I can think of is that the #GGer in question was actively uncomfortable with seeking out information and required it to be spoon-fed to him.

I’m put in mind of shamans: people who make journeys away from the tribe into the terrifying places where spirits dwell, then return with secret knowledge to share with the tribe. This seems to be what the #GGers have reinvented. People like Smart, Aurini, Mason and Benjamin are acting as shamans, insulating their followers from the hideous danger of actual information.

dhag85
dhag85
5 years ago

I woke up to fairly decent caucus results this morning. 🙂

Annoying that Sanders didn’t win, but it’s nice to see it was such a close race.

As for the Republicans, I think this might be costly for Trump. I’ve always been of the opinion that he will eventually drop out “for personal reasons”, but of course he would like to drop out while he’s still on top. He’s already tried to twist this defeat into a win, but I’ve seen the reactions on Trump friendly message boards and they’re not happy. The image of Trump as a loser could destroy his campaign, which is entirely built on always winning by not giving a fuck. It’s a shallow movement which could be shattered very easily.

I’ve said since summer that Rubio will eventually be the candidate. I’ll admit that at this point Cruz seems more likely, but I’ll stick with Rubio since he has a decent shot, especially after this relative success, and because it’s cooler to have picked the winner a long time ago. :p

And now I’m soon off to my first therapy session. Hope it goes well!

Kat
Kat
5 years ago

@dhag85
I’m thrilled that Sanders did so well. He was quite the underdog when he started out. I’ve always thought that he stood a chance–but how much of a chance, I didn’t know. I still feel the same way.

Good luck with the therapy!

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

Best of luck with therapy, dhag85! It really helped me and I hope it does you too.

katz
5 years ago

About the echo chamber: The fact is, nobody goes around ready to change their mind about anything at any time. All of us have pretty much made up our minds about most things already. And that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re closed-minded about new ideas–it more often means that we’re pretty sure we’ve heard all the ideas already and don’t want to get into the same tedious argument again.

WeirwoodTreeHugger
WeirwoodTreeHugger
5 years ago

In Iowa, the delegates are awarded proportionately. It’s not winner take all. A virtual tie between Clinton and Sanders really does mean just that.

It also means that both of them will probably still be in the race by the time my state’s caucus roles around. So I’ll actually get to have my say in who the nominee is. Yay!

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

In UK politics, it looks like we’ll be getting our referendum on whether to stay in the EU sooner rather than later. We now have the results of the renegotiation over our current membership.

Will they be enough to keep us in, or are people pretty disillusioned with the EU anyway that nothing will make a difference? How will the nation decide? Du-du-duhn!

Drezden
Drezden
5 years ago

Zoe Quinn spoke about this recently on Twitter in a way that I hadn’t previously considered i.e. these algorithms actually facilitate harassment of her. If you search Zoe Quinn on anything, you’re going to get far more hits from people spreading lies than you will from Zoe Quinn herself. If you watch a Zoe Quinn video on Youtube, you’re going to have a sidebar FULL of “Zoe Quinn is a slutty slut who sluts for good reviews of her totally not a real game”. I’m sure the same is true of other prominent GG targets.

So, a quick check of this reveals that the first two pages of youtube results have her channel showing up 3rd in the results and a total of 1 video from her. There are 1(3?) news pieces and 2 appearances on shows/at festivals.

The other 33 results are from her, and I use the term very loosely, “critics.” *

You have to go to page 4 to find another video from Quinn.

*There is some margin of error given that I don’t recognize all the names and don’t care to watch the videos to find out.

dhag85
dhag85
5 years ago

@wwth

In Iowa, the delegates are awarded proportionately. It’s not winner take all. A virtual tie between Clinton and Sanders really does mean just that.

Definitely. But doesn’t a “victory” have some symbolic value, too? Even though it’s a virtual tie, I would feel a lot better about Bernie winning by 0.4% than losing by 0.4% (or whatever the difference was).

katz
5 years ago

If it’s any consolation, the media is bound to declare it an unmitigated disaster for Hillary. (They’ve been declaring everything an unmitigated disaster for Hillary since, oh, 1992.)

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

Iowa probably doesn’t mean a lot in real terms for either Clinton or Sanders but it does to Trump.

A major part of his shtick is that he’s a “winner” and insurmountable. The fact that he didn’t trounce his opponent is much more symbolic for him than any other candidate.

Like all those stories about people perceived as gods immediately being abandoned, after only a trivial wound, when people see they can bleed.

Eonid
Eonid
5 years ago

@ ultimateprotagonistnerd

This reminds me of a day or so ago when I was looking for the full context to the Anita Sarkeesian “Everything is sexist” comments where she was describing herself first becoming a feminist as being annoying, and all I got was the clip with no context or rants about the clip without context.

I had the same experience yesterday. I got to talking to my boyfriend, who told me that the word “patriarchy” was a trigger for him, and got him riled up. Trying to get to the bottom of that sentiment, I shortly found out he had been watching *shudder* Thunderf00t videos recently, and had gotten himself into a bit of a nasty rabbit hole.

My bf then cited this “everything is sexist” quote from Anita Sarkeesian without context – just showed me a 7 second clip that was obviously (to me) part of a narrative. It looked/sounded to me that she was recounting a story rather than stating an opinion. I slogged through YT and found the full “How To Be A Feminist” talk by playing a matching game… just looked for the video where Anita’s hair/clothes/mic matched the 7 sec clip.

I think I’ve swayed my bf’s opinion on Thunderf00t by getting him to read some articles and what have you, but I definitely learned some things about his worldview that left me feelin’ a little blue yesterday.

(long time lurker busting out – hi, Mammothers!)

Ledasmom
Ledasmom
5 years ago

Paradoxical Intention, that laugh is awesome. Just listening to it makes me giggle, and normally I do more of a belly laugh with nose snorts.

dhag85
dhag85
5 years ago

Ghost explosion in a school in Karlstad, Sweden. People have heard and felt a big explosion in the building, but there’s no trace of any explosion, no damage, nobody injured. Quite confusing right now.

Zyvlyn
Zyvlyn
5 years ago

My view of the results is that the big winner is Rubio on the R side. As for Clinton/Sanders, it’s a mixed bag.

Iowa, demographically speaking, is very favorable territory for both Sanders and Cruz. The democrats tend to be younger, whiter, and more liberal there than in the country at large and the republicans tend to be more evangelical.

Sanders lost by a hair in somewhat favorable territory. He’ll probably go on to win New Hampshire, which is very favorable territory. The problem is after that, when the South starts voting. Sanders has proven he’s a legitimate candidate, for sure, but Clinton’s delegate lead continues to grow.

As for the Republicans, Cruz went all in on Iowa and only came away with a small victory. What will happen in states where he hasn’t devoted so many resources and had such favorable territory?

And, as many people here have noted, Trump’s veneer of invulnerability is starting to crack. Will his followers begin to jump ship now that he’s a “loser”? I think dhag will end up being right about Rubio.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

@dhag85:

Ghost explosion in a school in Karlstad, Sweden. People have heard and felt a big explosion in the building, but there’s no trace of any explosion, no damage, nobody injured. Quite confusing right now.

I’m calling it right now. It’s Hastur.

@Zyvlyn:
Yeah, I’m thinking the same thing. If Rubio can survive, then he’s the natural rallying point for both the anyone-but-Trump and anyone-but-Cruz groups.

Kudos to dhag85 for calling that one early.

Amused
5 years ago

Not only should “swatting” in and of itself be a crime, it should be a predicate felony for imputed offenses. So, for instance, if the SWAT team kills someone in the process, the “swatter” should be charged with felony-murder.

Scildfreja
Scildfreja
5 years ago

Recommender algorithms! Those are fun!

@PI (I think it was you); don’t blame the Googs for the terrible state of the YouTube recommender algorithm. They’ve solved it in a very sophisticated way, using a dynamically assembled decision forest to categorize what a video is about. (That is at least my guess, they of course aren’t sharing those algorithms, and I’m sure it’s a copyrighted algorithm).

Solving it to be able to distinguish between Zoe Quinn’s vlogs and the upended sewage of her detractors is actually a really hard problem. Specifically, you have to solve a slice of the general intelligence problem to do it, and not an easy slice at that – you have to create an understanding of conversational language, and the actual meaning of words within a context. That’s something my research group is working on, and, well – yes, it’s very hard! I wish I could gabble on about what we’re doing to try to tackle it, but I am fairly sure I would be flayed and hung by the toes.

So, yeah it sucks, but there’s not currently a better recommender algorithm out there!

Scildfreja
Scildfreja
5 years ago

@dhag,

comment image

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

@dhag

Alcohol fumes from the chem lab would be my first guess. Alcohol fume explosions can be all sound and no fury.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

@Scildfreja:
That sounds really, really interesting. I’d love to hear you witter about it.

As it stands now, however, the system is something of a parson’s egg: getting it slightly wrong is as bad as getting it entirely wrong. This is a common occurrence in data science and I’m sympathetic to the coders involved, but that doesn’t mean that the business decision to publish the non-working system was a smart one.

WeirwoodTreeHugger
WeirwoodTreeHugger
5 years ago

I agree with everything Zyvlyn said.

Like I said when people were worrying about Trump, most of the time the establishment candidate does pull out the victory. That doesn’t mean Trump or Cruz can’t or won’t win, there’s precedent for that too. I do think Cruz has a better chance than Trump. Whether Rubio wins will depend on turnout I think.

Scildfreja
Scildfreja
5 years ago

@EJ, I’d love to trundle out the conversational semantics stuff but i can’t :c Not until we’ve published at least.

You’re right that it’s a bit of a parsons egg (fun term!) but I think it’s not as bad as all that. Pretty much any recommender system is going to pull in the negative hits with the positive, so the choice is really to have these negative hits coming in, or to not have a recommender at all. Partitioning the two sides of an internet debate is very hard!

@arash, thank you for coming back! I’ll reply in a bit, i’m at work.

Zyvlyn
Zyvlyn
5 years ago

@WWTH

Thanks. I think your point about the establishment candidate pulling it out is a good one too.

My one concern is that I think Trump may hang in there for a while simply because Trump supporters are more… shall we say… impervious to reality… than Cruz supporters. I’m actually kind of hoping for it because I think a long, nasty Trump/Rubio race could cripple the GOP for YEARS.

History Nerd
History Nerd
5 years ago

@Schildfreja Many GGers are intentionally bombing the machine learning algorithm. So their content comes up if you search “Zoe Quinn” or “Anita Sarkeesian” and it’s categorized with feminism-related content. Bombing ML algorithms is characteristic 4chan.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ EJ

that doesn’t mean that the business decision to publish the non-working system was a smart one

Will it matter though in the vast majority of cases?

It’s only really ‘political’ videos that will have ‘sides’ and they’re probably a tiny minority of videos posted. For the most time people who watch something about, say, a particular pop culture subject, won’t be bothered if they get recommendations for other videos featuring that subject.

Even if there are potentially ‘sides’ to a non political subject, people are unlikely to be that perturbed by a recommendation to something with a different view. Someone who watches a video lauding a particular motor car may not agree with the conclusions of a video saying it’s not very good or praising a different model, but it’s unlikely to nauseate them, like an abusive video about one of these gaming commentators might.

Bernardo Soares
Bernardo Soares
5 years ago

Not only should “swatting” in and of itself be a crime, it should be a predicate felony for imputed offenses. So, for instance, if the SWAT team kills someone in the process, the “swatter” should be charged with felony-murder.

I’m actually a bit wary of the whole discussion. I didn’t follow it closely, and am happy to be corrected, but it seems to me that when we discuss SWATting as a form of harassment (which it is), we don’t talk about why it is such an easily achieved form of harassment, and why it’s so dangerous. SpleenyBadger mentioned “Rise of the Warrior Cop” somewhere upthread, and I think the militarization of US police and their readiness to employ deadly violence is an integral part of the problem. (btw, this is not exclusively a US problem, there are quite a few cases of German police killing mentally ill/handicapped persons in their homes and migrants on pursuits or in custody)

Thus I’m not sure if your proposition wouldn’t actually shift the blame away from SWAT teams shooting unprovokedly, even though I agree that part of the blame needs to be put on the caller.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ zyvlyn

If the Guardian (UK) is to the believed only 5% of Trump supporters tick the “the candidate believes in the same things I do” box. That’s unusual as supposedly that’s normally the most important factor.

It seems Trumps attraction is less about the message (although there will obviously be some true believers) and more about the perception that he’s his own man and not kowtowing to other peoples interests. We’ve seen similar things here in the UK.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

@Bernardo

Perfect is the enemy of good. Making SWATting a federal crime will at least put a quick kibosh on that while the overarching issue of America’s dystopian police force is dealt with, especially since the latter will probably take decades (they haven’t even admitted that they have a problem yet!).

Zyvlyn
Zyvlyn
5 years ago

@Alan

I don’t doubt it. One of the political blogs I read (can’t remember which one) described that bloc of Trump supporters as poke-’em-in-the-eye voters. They don’t care so much for policy views (outside of a handful of pet causes, perhaps), so much as they are fed up with the political process as a whole and love Trump for the fact that he shows an equal level of contempt for the process as they do. That’s why he gets called a “truth-teller” even though he is very much the opposite of that.

Which leads me to my thoughts on what happens if Trump starts losing. Will his supporters fall off because he has the “loser stink” about him?

Or will they fight till the bitter end against the “PC establishment” that is trying to force him out?

And supposing they do abandon him, will they line up behind Rubio or Cruz? Or will they drop out of the process altogether in disgust?

I couldn’t tell you the answers to those questions.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ SHFC

As I think you know, I do a bit of work with our ‘SWAT’ equivalents over here (legal stuff and occasionally the self defence thing). We have three near equivalents.

‘Fast entry teams’ – basically unarmed police (they do have batons and tazers) that do your ‘normal’ raids on crack houses and the like.

‘SCO 19’ – again police officers but this time armed. They do raids where there’s an indication firearms may be present.

‘SAS’ – Army. Similar to SCO 19, but they’re the only ones who do ‘explosive entry’. As that suggests, that’s where they have to use explosives to breach somewhere.

Over the last 12 month audit period there were 14,800 incidents where armed police attended (a third of those in London) and shots were actually fired on two occasions, no fatalities.

I know the use of guns by criminals is more prevalent in the US, but that would seem to suggest that a less gung-ho approach is possible.

Bernardo Soares
Bernardo Soares
5 years ago

Sorry, I didn’t want to derail the discussion into a general “police violence” discussion. And I agree, SFHC, that the issue is more complicated and that penalising SWATting is a faster solution for the immediate problem.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ zyvlyn

That sounds familiar to here. In fact one of the best things that can happen to a ‘maverick’ politician is for it to appear that the regular politicians are ganging up on them. I think that’s why often they try to be so provocative.

Scildfreja
Scildfreja
5 years ago

@Schildfreja Many GGers are intentionally bombing the machine learning algorithm. So their content comes up if you search “Zoe Quinn” or “Anita Sarkeesian” and it’s categorized with feminism-related content. Bombing ML algorithms is characteristic 4chan.

I’m aware! I get the same thing on my youtubes. Thing is, we can’t really do without ML and still keep the internet as we understand it today. It’s too big – we need the outbrain to make sense of it. So, recommenders, search engines, etc. If we want our connected internet society, we need those things.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ Bernardo

Whilst I agree that US SWAT (and police in general) needs a bit of an overhaul a danger is that if you over judge then you just get a refusal to do the work. We’ve got something like that going on here at the moment (and we don’t have anywhere near the same problems as the US).

It’s easy to play Monday-morning quarterback when analysing police decisions, but the people making those decisions have the luxury of not getting shot if they get something wrong. There are all sorts of stress and psychological distortions that kick in under those situations and that has to be taken into account. The police are often damned if they do, damned of they don’t. On balance, would you prefer the police not to attend to such reports? Serious question, it may be in strict utilitarian terms that might be an option (how many times is there a real threat someone in a house will start killing people?)

Orion
Orion
5 years ago

@Alan,

I hear all the time about how difficult and dangerous policing is and the way people make bad decisions under pressure. What you’re saying is true, but none of it is new to me, or likely to anyone else here.

Bernardo Soares
Bernardo Soares
5 years ago

@ Alan

This is a huge topic, and as I say I don’t want to derail. I mean, if we’re talking about militarization of police, there are so many issues, and most of them are issues of politics and policies, not of day-to-day police work. I don’t blame police for being underfunded, stressed out, not equipped or trained to react properly to subjects with mental health issues etc.

I have to say, though, I don’t buy the “we’re getting shot out there” argument when we’re talking about incidents in which the police were the escalating agent. Not to mention black people in police custody dying mysteriously (again, this is not limited to the US).

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

I realise that the question wasn’t aimed at me, but let me shift the Overton Window a little here.

I don’t give a damn about the opinions of the police. If they have the unappealable power of life and death over their fellow citizens (which is what a firearm is) then I expect omniscience and clairvoyance at the very minimum. If fallible humans can’t get death sentences right in a court of law (and they can’t) then they certainly can’t get them right in hot blood with only the evidence of their eyes.

Any policeman who has a problem with that can go and flip burgers instead.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ Orion & Bernardo

Yeah, it’s a huge topic, and probably outside the general themes normally discussed here. I was just replying in regard to the specifics of SWAT teams mentioned and shifting the blame for the dangers of ‘swatting’ rather than the swatters themselves. I would say the responsibility lies with the swatters and they’re the ones who should face the penalties.

There’s the whole issue of how/when/why police get not situations where they’re under such stresses and whether that’s something that should be addressed or reexamined (I would say ‘yes’).

There’s also the whole policing by consent thing, and what happens when different parts of the community that the police purportedly serve are treated differently by the police.

It’s related to the discussion we had about law making. Whilst policy is set by politicians responding to an electorate then it’s the electorate that sets the policy, and that includes how we are policed. The problem though arises that democracy disfavours minorities by definition.

Still, the police currently act at the behest of the public (however flawed the process is) so if we ask them to do a job then the least we can do is not try to dismiss their actual lived experience of what that job entails.

Orion
Orion
5 years ago

I see the Bechdel test as a very basic reality check. If it fail, your story have a major consistent problem, or is way outside the scope the test was imaged in*. . . .
* by that, I mean that saying that, say, Interstellar, Waiting for Godot or Robin Crusoe fail the bechdel test isn’t informative, because there is a reasonable explanation.

I find your examples really confusing. It is not necessarily bad for a movie with a small cast to “fail” Bechdel. If you assigned genders at random to the characters in a 4-person story, 5/16 of your stories would have 0-1 women. There are also stories worth telling about groups and places that are near-exclusively male. It’s often worthwhile to think about broadening the scope to include women on the periphery, but I don’t think most people would watch Liam Neeson in The Grey and call for a gender-inclusive re-write.

However, I don’t see any reason the movies you named couldn’t have had women. You could probably do all-female versions of any of them.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ EJ

Any policeman who has a problem with that can go and flip burgers instead.

I do see your point, and as discussed, policing has to be by consent. If we apply your standard though then the police may well choose the burger option (although in practice you could probably always find someone willing to take the risk. There’ll always be a pool of people desperate for any sort of employment).

The concept of a police force is a relatively new one in human history. For most of the time people have individually (either through their own strength or bodyguards) or collectively (either the hue and cry or town watchmen) taken care of their own protection. It may be that that comes back into vogue. We’re only three meals away from that anyway as they say.

ETA: actually with things like close protection staff and gated communities we probably are heading for that. Who needs a police force then?

Orion
Orion
5 years ago

Whilst policy is set by politicians responding to an electorate then it’s the electorate that sets the policy, and that includes how we are policed.

American politicians don’t respond to the wishes of the people, and neither do American police. This has been studied.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

Flipping burgers is an honourable trade; I have no problem with anyone who chooses to do it, and have every sympathy for people who do it to pay the bills because they aren’t qualified to achieve the task of their dreams.

Orion
Orion
5 years ago

I worked fast food in high school. Kind of enjoyed it, actually. If it paid well, I might have stuck with it.

Freemage
Freemage
5 years ago

On Iowa:

Trump’s loss hurt him; he’s a wounded animal, now. He’ll get more vicious for awhile, then die. The question is what happens once he’s out. And that gets a bit weird, because of how states all have their own rules about primaries and caucuses and such.

Psychologically, I think Trump supporters will most likely flock to Cruz; he’s the next biggest unrepentant thug in the race. However, a lot of primaries will be held in states where only registered party members can vote–and something like a third of Trump’s supporters come from outside the party, in the sense that they don’t identify as Republicans or register as such. Now, Trump himself might be able to get his people to register with the party to tilt the primary, but I sincerely doubt that Cruz will have the same level of influence and control over them.

Rubio, meanwhile, will pick up pretty much all the supporters of the other ‘mainstream’ candidates–Bush and Kasich and most of the other also-rans. The biggest wild card will be Ben Carson’s supporters. He’s been pushing the religion card pretty heavily to get his paltry 9% of Iowa. It’s not large, but it could counter-balance the aforementioned loss of Trump Independents enough for Cruz to carry the day.

So it ends up being Cruz vs. Rubio in an almost dead heat.

I do think Sanders is still a long-shot; he needs to prove himself in one of the winner-take-all races early on, but most of the early ones are in Hillary country, which will make this a tough uphill climb. If he CAN carry at least one of those early states, though, his candidacy will at least force Hillary to make some promises to the left. (I can go into a long side-road about why the nature of Obama’s opposition in various elections has contributed to his disappointing returns as the actual officeholder, but this post is already teal deer territory.)