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Donald Trump: Could he become America’s first troll president?

The similarity goes beyond the hair
The similarity goes beyond the hair

Donald Trump is probably the most casually dishonest serious candidate for president that this country has ever seen. He lies so easily, so shamelessly, and so regularly that media outlets have largely given up trying to factcheck his more, er, problematic assertions.

Politifact, a site that exposes politicians’ lies, awarded their Lie of the Year prize last year to “the campaign misstatements of Donald Trump.” There were so many they couldn’t pick just one.

Trump is worse than a mere fibber; as more than a few observers have noted of late, he’s also a master gaslighter, as are the political operatives closest to him. Gaslighting is a favorite tactic of abusers who’ve mastered the art of lying so baldly that their victims are led to doubt what they’ve seen and experienced, and begin to think they’re literally going mad.

Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski responded to reporter Michelle Fields’ claim that he had assaulted her at a Trump event by declaring her “delusional” — a favorite ploy of gaslighters everywhere — even though, as footage of the event now conclusively shows, he did in fact grab her and pull her away from Trump, just as she said he had. Lewandowski’s employer, whose own story on the assault has undergone a number of mutations, is now accusing her of changing her story, which has been consistent from the start. Add to this a heaping helping of old-fashioned misogynistic victim-blaming, and you’ve got a nasty smear campaign going.

But Trump’s latest claim about the Lewandowski incident is so over-the-top ludicrous that it transcends mere gaslighting. During a CNN town hall last night, Trump tried to convince the world that Lewandowski’s assault was perfectly justified because the pen she was holding could just maybe have been, you know, some sort of James Bond style pen-bomb.

“She had a pen in her hand,” he declared, “which Secret Service is not liking because they don’t know what it is, whether it’s a little bomb.”

Never mind that there was a Secret Service agent right there, and he didn’t deem Fields to be enough of a threat to intervene.

Oh, and never mind that A PEN BOMB!!? YOU CAN’T BE FREAKING SERIOUS.

And that’s a bit of a clue as to what is going on here. Trump can’t possibly be serious. The pen-bomb claim is almost certainly a bad-faith attempt to derail the discussion and to draw public attention away from the surveillance video showing Lewandowski grabbing Fields.

This is what trolls do. Trump is pulling the same sort of bad-faith nonsense that anti-Semitic trolls do when they declare that they can’t possibly be anti-Semitic because Arabs are Semites too; when a certain far-right fantasy author declares that he can’t possibly be a white supremacist because he has a bit of American Indian blood in his genes, a fact that he discovered only recently and which he gleefully trots out every time he’s accused of racism.

The trouble is that these tactics, however transparent they are to most observers, work.  As David Marcus notes in The Federalist, Trump’s energetic gaslighting has managed to distract the media from the real issues and shroud the Lewandowski incident in doubt.

Now that Lewandowski has been arrested and video shows that his account is patently false, Trump is lowering the lights. Well, he says, she touched me too, can I get her charged? He says, well, how do we know she didn’t already have those bruises (which she photographed the next day). As the lights dim, those most tragic figures, cable news anchors, fall into his frothing sea of who knows what the hell happened?

And when those claims began to wear thin, Trump started talking about pen-bombs.

Donald Trump is a troll. He’s been trolling us all from day one of his campaign. 

So it’s no wonder that the Anime Nazis have embraced Trump so enthusiastically. It isn’t just his racism that’s appealing to them, or his not-so-subtle encouragement of physical violence against protesters, more than a little bit reminiscent of Nazi electoral thuggery.

It’s because he’s one of them, a born troll.

I half expect Trump himself to take up the joke slogan of his trolly followers and promise voters that he will make anime real. After all, that’s a claim no more absurd than Trump’s contention that he will build a wall on our southern border and make Mexico pay for it.

Like most successful trolls — paging Milo Yiannopoulos — Trump has attracted a rabid following of trolls happy to troll and smear on his behalf. However ridiculous their memes get, their support for Trump is sincere, and their attacks still sting.

And that’s the problem with trolls. Their ironic stances have a tendency to calcify into sincerely held beliefs. Cartoon fascism becomes real hatred. Donald Trump the media-trolling buffoon becomes Donald Trump the dangerous demagogue. Some of his more over-the-top pronouncements may be mostly hot air, but his racism and misogyny are real. And to those who bear the brunt of Trump’s (and his followers’) attacks, a smear is a smear, even if the smearer knows he’s spouting bullshit.

But trolls can’t bend reality completely to their liking. Lewandowski’s attempts to smear Fields as an attention-hungry confabulator came up against the hard reality of the surveillance tapes. We need to keep calling out the endless lies. Trump’s fans may believe the lies — or they may find it convenient to pretend that they do — but I don’t think most Americans are quite as gullible as Trump and his troll buddies think they are.

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Iseult The Idle
Iseult The Idle
4 years ago

I only hope he’s trolling when he says that after he makes abortion illegal, there will of course have to be “some kind of punishment” for women who seek abortions. But the man involved, of course, should not be held accountable at all.

I assume he means the sinful harlot would be taken out into a field and stoned.

Shalimar
Shalimar
4 years ago

The fact that Trump Troll the Magnificent doesn’t actually have any idea yet what “some kind of punishment” should be is the tell that he is trolling.

Skiriki
Skiriki
4 years ago

You know how manuresphere loves to say that feminists live in a bubble?

Well we fucking don’t. Tribble-Trump is proof of it. We need to share the world with this ghastly rake of a man, and worse people. And we get to see and hear plenty of this shit.

Steampunked
Steampunked
4 years ago

I keep wondering if his comments are getting weirder because he has the violent republican base by the tiger’s tail and has realized he cannot let go now. Smarter old timers there know how much to rouse the fringe elements before placating them – he has no idea how to play that game.

rugbyyogi
rugbyyogi
4 years ago

The ONLY thing that has kept me from totally freaking out about this is that I sorta thought Trump would get bored of actually governing, plus the fact that I sorta believed that he while he is a misogynist in a casual-yet-deeply-ingrained sort of way he wasn’t necessarily anti-choice or at least wouldn’t do much about it pursuing an anti-choice agenda. I kept thinking: “Well, he’s not as bad as Cruz, right?”

But his latest thing about punishing women who obtain illegal abortions, well – that’s that. Ugh – ugh – ugh – what is happening to America??? I haven’t been back in quite a few years now. What is happening??!

Snork Maiden
Snork Maiden
4 years ago

@Iseult,

holy crap! Did he actually say he’d outlaw abortion? I know most Republicans want do to that, but the majority are content to just gradually erode the means.

Snork Maiden
Snork Maiden
4 years ago

I just watched the security footage of the Lewandowski assault on Fields. It’s pretty unambiguous, he reaches past another man and grabs her arm. Yet in the comments there are Trump fans excoriating Fields and still calling her a liar, and banging on against feminism. I’d guess they’d rather believe Trump than their lying eyes.

Mike
Mike
4 years ago

The ONLY thing that has kept me from totally freaking out about this is that I sorta thought Trump would get bored of actually governing

On that subject, I’d definitely recommend this open letter from a former manager of a pro-Trump PAC. It goes a little overboard on the paragraph breaks, but that’s OK:

http://www.xojane.com/issues/stephanie-cegielski-donald-trump-campaign-defector

Here’s a pertinent quote:

I’ll say it again: Trump never intended to be the candidate. But his pride is too out of control to stop him now.

You can give Trump the biggest gift possible if you are a Trump supporter: stop supporting him.

He doesn’t want the White House. He just wants to be able to say that he could have run the White House. He’s achieved that already and then some. If there is any question, take it from someone who was recruited to help the candidate succeed, and initially very much wanted him to do so.

The hard truth is: Trump only cares about Trump.

—-

Smarter old timers there know how much to rouse the fringe elements before placating them – he has no idea how to play that game.

I agree with this. One thing that doesn’t get talked about so much when the media discusses Trump’s big victories in Republican primaries is that he’s hugely unpopular with independents and, of course, Democrats. A winning presidential candidate needs to unite American voters, not just pander to the hard-right base (or to the hard-left, for that matter, though in the U.S. that’s a pretty paltry contingent).

LostInLindsey
LostInLindsey
4 years ago

I keep hoping that sensible Americans will ensure this ignorant cockwomble doesn’t get anywhere near the White House, then I see he’s spouting more rubbish and people are actually supporting him, and I worry that the sensible USians will be overwhelmed by the prats. You have my condolences.

On the other hand, perhaps his hair will escape one day and his mouth will stop working. I think it’s one of those poisonous caterpillars and it’s controlling his brain.

WeirwoodTreeHugger
WeirwoodTreeHugger
4 years ago

The president can’t actually outlaw abortion altogether. Not without the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. Of course, forced birthers are usually ignorant to fall for the rhetoric.

Is anyone else getting an ad with a woman doing basically a backbend in lingerie from a site with the PUA sounding name of Girlfriend Activation System? It’s creepy and it’s both on the top and bottom of the page. Can anything be done about that?

A Space Alpaca
A Space Alpaca
4 years ago

The transcript of his comments on abortion made it sound to me as if he’s personally pro-choice but knows he’s not allowed to say that without pissing off his voters.

I mean, I think it’s pretty likely that he’s paid for an abortion or two in his time, and back in the 90’s he was actually pretty left-wing so I seriously think today was just him spewing what he thinks his voters want to hear.

Doesn’t really make it any better, he’ll do what his shitty voters want anyway, but I don’t believe that he’s actually anti-choice.

Fishy Goat
Fishy Goat
4 years ago

Doesn’t mean he won’t go along with the anti-abortion contingent if it means he gets what he wants. :/

Social Justice Atheist
Social Justice Atheist
4 years ago

Trump is so damn inconsistent with what he says, it’s pretty safe to say that he will just say whatever is most likely to get him votes. He’s a sell-out. His ego is too big to say something that could potentially hurt his numbers, so even if he was pro-choice I doubt he would say it because it would make Republican voters not want to vote for him. He would literally be willing to go against what he believes in just so he can feel all high and mighty. Forget President Trump, he wants to be Donald Drumpf: King of the Universe.

This is not someone we need in the White House. If he is this impulsive and fickle you can bet your ass he’ll nuke anyone who pisses him off even slightly at the drop of a hat. I wouldn’t be surprised if he started a 3rd World War. At all. In fact if The Donald wins, we’re almost guaranteed another war of some sort.

How can even the most extreme conservatives consider him a good candidate?

Kinda-sorta OT: I recently downloaded a Donald Trump soundboard on my phone. It. is. hilarious.

Mike
Mike
4 years ago

Oh I also wanted to note that I agree with the content of this post overall. I think that often, people support the candidate who seems most like them or their friends: we project ourselves onto public figures, and when someone like us gets power, it feels like a bit of a personal validation. Trump’s an asshole, and many of his fans love him because they’re assholes, too, and want to see assholes like themselves in positions of power.

ej
ej
4 years ago

@Mike
I saw that article earlier and it gets at something I’ve been thinking for awhile. Watching Trump, it doesn’t seem like he wants to be president; he just wants to win. That’s all there is to it. It’s not about policy. It’s not about “making America great.” He just wants to win. His inconsistencies are a direct result of this. He says what he needs to in order to get the votes and his positions will change depending on which audience he is pandering to at a particular time. It’s terrifying to watch and only partially because we don’t know what positions he will take if he gets into office. The prospect of a president with a “win at all costs” mentality scares me. A leader needs to know how to compromise and nothing I’ve seen of Trump shows that he can do that.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
4 years ago

Trump is like a YouTube comments thread that became human and ran for president.

Number Sequence
Number Sequence
4 years ago

@Buttercup

He ‘s actually the super prototype of that nazi, sexfiend Microsoft robot deemed too powerful to release, but it escaped one night.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
4 years ago

I was going to post that letter from Trump’s super-PAC ex-manager but I see Mike did it already. I highly endorse reading that, because it is a good, clear articulation of the facts.

For those who are terrified of a Trump presidency: fear not. He can’t get elected. Not even Hillary Clinton’s bad decision to not be born with a penis can change that.

bluecat
bluecat
4 years ago

I was impressed by the New Republic article someone linked to here (thank you, whoever it was and apologies I can’t remember who) about the difference between a liar and a bullshitter – Trump is the latter, meaning that he doesn’t care what is true or what isn’t true, so long as what he says serves his turn.

https://newrepublic.com/article/124803/donald-trump-not-liar

OK – but I don’t think he will become President, not even sure he’ll get the nomination (though I wouldn’t like to be around his supporters when he loses) but the thing is – how the hell did this happen? How did he get this close?

Steampunked
Steampunked
4 years ago

“How the hell did this happen? How did he get this close?”

I have a very inarticulate theory about the fact that most people on any side of politics are aware that news is blatantly subjective now (if, indeed, it was ever objective at all). Political news, doubly so. This is a source of intense frustration and sometimes distress – ‘they’ are always lying, and a lot of anger gets generated because people hate being lied to, and they can safely assume that someone is probably lying to them at some point in order to get something from them. And they never know when.

So there’s an undercurrent of rage. Seething rage at the establishment of the whole political system. Along comes someone who looks like he is a political outsider – bombastic, financially powerful, who just does not seem to care about anything and clearly bullshits through everything for no better reason than he can. Because the news generation system has zero defences against someone like this.

He’s white enough and republican enough to be familiar, and disruptive enough to give the feeling that he is upsetting the news cycle. He’s a vehicle for revenge, not just against the democrats (always assumed to be lying) but against slick republicans who are now also the focus of rage.

He could have zero policies at all – it doesn’t matter, because his function is not related to morality, ethics, or public policy. It is related to shaking the entire system in a way that feels like vengeance – the only right wingers that will suffer are the faceless ‘them’, and there’s a big appetite for that right now. All democrats and ‘those’ republicans are assumed to be morally destitute, so any blows they take are seen as improving America.

Neremanth
Neremanth
4 years ago

I think the best thing to hope for if he should somehow get elected is that he takes this troll thing the whole way, and goes “Haha, I won! Yes! This was just a joke campaign though, obviously I don’t actually want to be President cos that kinda looks like hard work, LOL. So I refuse the position, come on, get nominating, it’s time to do this whole thing over again!”

Miss Andry
4 years ago

In other news, G*merg*ters just ruined another innocent person’s career. Asshats.

WeirwoodTreeHugger
WeirwoodTreeHugger
4 years ago

David,
It was the Taboola ads at the top of the page and in the middle, between the post and the comments. They’re gone now.

To be fair, I don’t know if it’s a PUA site, I just thought it looked like one.

Sporkey
Sporkey
4 years ago

But wasn’t he saying that he was pro-choice just a few weeks ago? That he was for Planned Parenthood? That was at one of the debates where he and Ted Cruz were arguing.

Yes, I do believe he’s saying whatever he can to win. You know who else did that, along with massive heaps of bigotry? The name rhymes with “schmitler”.

leftwingfox
leftwingfox
4 years ago

The Republicans have been eagerly embracing gaping assholism as a platform policy for years. Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Louis Gohmert, Ann Coulter. Every once in a while, one of them finally shits on the powers that be and gets punted, but never far and never for long.

Hell, in the question of which is worse, Trump or Cruz, Cruz announced Frank Gaffney as his foreign policy advisor. This is the guy who essentially started the “kick out the muslims” policy that Trump adopted.

guy
guy
4 years ago

But wasn’t he saying that he was pro-choice just a few weeks ago? That he was for Planned Parenthood? That was at one of the debates where he and Ted Cruz were arguing.

We have always been at war with Eastasia.

ColeYote
ColeYote
4 years ago

This election cycle is really tanking my opinion of the average American. I mean, I already *despised* Republicans, but between the whole Trump thing and the racist/sexist assholes who for some reason support Bernie Sanders, it’s really opening my eyes to just how many truly loathesome people there are down south. And I’ve tried to be open-minded about things, but I cannot for the life of my figure out why anyone who isn’t either an idiot or a proud bigot would support Donald fucking Trump.

In fact, with all the nationalist movements gaining steam in Europe, the last year’s been tanking my opinion of humanity in general. I’m not sure if it’s getting worse or I’m just getting more aware of it.

guy
guy
4 years ago

@ColeYote

I’m pretty confident it’s happening because of the economic crisis. Pretty generally extremist movements of whatever kind gather strength when people are upset with the status quo; if they’re happy with the status quo then they look on any attempt to change it with suspicion. This cuts both ways, fortunately, and empowers banking reform proponents and such. They haven’t won as much as we’d like, but in 2006 it was a dead issue and now there’s actual fighting over it even though the systemic issues were around back then.

It’s looking hopeful that we’ll ride this out and not have a series of military coups or facist uprisings and instead secure long-term improvements, but the next few years will probably be pretty bad.

Pietro_McM
Pietro_McM
4 years ago

Trump is king of the trolls. No doubt about it.

And no amount of evidence or reality will shake his followers faith in his ability to sell snake oil. Even though his, Trump Original Guaranteed Snake Oil, venture actually collapsed sometime in the mid 1990s.

Mish
Mish
4 years ago

Buttercup Q. Skullpants wins the gold star for narrowly-avoiding-spraying-my-coffee-all-over-my-screen-die-laughing type comment. Again.
You have a gift, my friend 🙂

kupo
kupo
4 years ago

@Miss Andry
That target in particular really bothers me. Why single her out? It’s not like she makes any of the decisions they blame on her.

I’m this weird mixture of surprised and not surprised that she was fired. On the one hand, you’d think they would expect a lot of backlash. On the other hand, they probably hoped since most people hadn’t heard of her they wouldn’t hear she was terminated, and they probably don’t enjoy having this attention aimed at one of their employees.

Now, their excuse may actually be valid. They say she had a second job and everyone in the games industry has to sign non-compete agreements, so depending on what that other job was, it might actually be the reason for letting her go and not just a convenient excuse.

Biot (yet again!)
Biot (yet again!)
4 years ago

@leftwingfox: I really wish you were kidding about that news. Now it feels like the GOP race is a contest to see who can be the most gleefully Islamophobic.

@Miss Andry: Jesus H. Christ.

Pony's Labia
Pony's Labia
4 years ago

Short fingered vulgarian describes D-Trump perfectly. Donald Trump doesn’t care about the presidency, he just wants to show up to auditoriums of cheering people who applaud when he talks.

Bina
4 years ago

Any man who wants to outlaw abortion and punish women who have one should change his name (back) to Drumpf.

And if he’d rather not do that, then he should STFU about abortion rights. He IS a serial adulterer, after all.

Axecalibur
Axecalibur
4 years ago

Not a good day. Not a good week, honestly. Today tho… the internet’s just knocking me around. First: ‘Why was he hanging around with his abuser, huh?’ Then: ‘She’s a pedophile, cos I said so and can’t read.’ And now, both: ‘I didn’t attack her, but if I did, it’s cos she had a magical fantasy bomb’ and ‘you have to punish people who get abortions’. Ughhhhhhhh!!1!!
I’m sure y’all do, but… ever just get real tired? Not physically sleepy, but tired? Like I just wanna play some obscure songlets on YouTube full blast and pretend that the internet (or people in general?) used to be better a few years ago. Maybe then, they can be better again (Trump. Irony)
Anyway, 1st post. Won’t post often. Fucking comments policy is gonna destroy me. SJWs yadda yadda, censorship yadda yadda, I’m not that good a person yadda yadda

numerobis
numerobis
4 years ago

If you’re going to outlaw abortion, then there need to be legal consequences to getting an abortion – in other words, yes, women seeking abortions would be facing punishment.

That’s a REALLY FUCKING GOOD REASON NOT TO BAN ABORTION.

I mean, apart from all the others.

Terrabeau
Terrabeau
4 years ago

In related news, a 15-year-old protestor at a Trump rally was groped, then pepper-sprayed when she called the offender out.

Unsurprisingly, the attending Drumpfians cheered at her getting maced, and called her names.

brian
brian
4 years ago

David, I think you have a significant typo in this. at one point you mention “Lewandowski’s employer” and I THINK you mean “Fields’s employer.”

Kat
Kat
4 years ago

Update from the New York Times on Mr. Drumpf’s principled stand:

Donald Trump, abortion foe, eyes ‘punishment’ for women, then recants

Donald J. Trump said on Wednesday that women who seek abortions should be subject to “some form of punishment” if the procedure is banned in the United States, further elevating Republican concerns that his explosive remarks about women could doom the party in the fall.

The comment, which Mr. Trump later recanted, attracted instant, bipartisan criticism — the latest in a series of high-profile episodes that have shined a light on Mr. Trump’s feeble approval ratings among women nationally.

In this case, Mr. Trump also ran afoul of conservative doctrine, with opponents of abortion rights immediately castigating him for suggesting that those who receive abortions — and not merely those who perform them — should be punished if the practice is outlawed.

The statement came as Mr. Trump appeared at a town-hall-style forum with Chris Matthews of MSNBC, recorded for broadcast on Wednesday night. Mr. Matthews pressed Mr. Trump, who once supported abortion rights, on his calls to ban the procedure, asking how he might enforce such a restriction.

“You go back to a position like they had where they would perhaps go to illegal places,” Mr. Trump said, after initially deflecting questions. “But you have to ban it.”

He added, after a bit more prodding, “There has to be some form of punishment.”

Hours later, Mr. Trump recanted his remarks, essentially in full, a rare and remarkable shift for a candidate who proudly extols his unwillingness to apologize or bow to “political correctness.”

If abortion were disallowed, he said in a statement, “the doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman.”

I don’t want to see women punished for getting abortions.

And it seems that even most male supremacists agree with me. Why? In my opinion, it’s because they know that many women who get abortions already have kids. Who’s going to take care of the kids if Mom’s in prison? Not the male supremacist dad!

Like a lot of guys, even those on the left, Mr. Drumpf doesn’t bother thinking through his ideas about women because women don’t count at all. These guys–and I’m including guys on the left–are often remarkably, stunningly ignorant about issues that (in their minds) pertain only to women. I think that Mr. Drumpf blurted out the first thing that came to his mind. Oops!

kupo
kupo
4 years ago

Ok, that’s kind of funny that I’m seeing a Hobby Lobby ad on this article.

leftwingfox
leftwingfox
4 years ago

Kat: Honestly, I don’t want women to be punished either, but at the same time, if you truly believe abortion is murder, why wouldn’t you prosecute the person who hired the hitman?

It’s part of the whole hypocrisy of the anti-abortion movement. It’s part patriarchal, since they deny women have any agency, so punish the doctors and play up the idea of evil for-profit abortionists preying on vulnerable women. It’s part practical, because those in power and privilege have always been able to get an abortion elsewhere; they can take the trip across the border to get one, or bribe the doctor to get them the right pill. Plenty of anti-abortion women get abortions for the “right” reasons, unlike all those “other” women.

But yeah, Drumpf scares the party because he doesn’t bother with the thin layer of justification over the bottomless well of horror beneath the Republican platform.

Biot: I wish I were joking… things are fucking grim right now.

Kat
Kat
4 years ago

My comments about lots of men not paying attention to so-called women’s issues need clarification.

Many men don’t bother thinking much about abortion. When called upon to give an opinion, they might, like Mr. Drumpf, blurt out something stupid.

And if they’ve bothered to think about abortion–or have had to think about abortion, even male supremacists (knowing which side their bread is buttered on) often oppose having the woman punished. After all, who would look after the kids while Mom’s in prison!

katz
4 years ago

Now, their excuse may actually be valid. They say she had a second job and everyone in the games industry has to sign non-compete agreements, so depending on what that other job was, it might actually be the reason for letting her go and not just a convenient excuse.

Maybe, but it’s pretty much 100% likely that she was doing something that wouldn’t have raised an eyebrow under other circumstances, and either a) GG found out about it and hounded Nintendo about it until they capitulated or b) GG hounded Nintendo until they capitulated and themselves went looking for an excuse to fire her.

“Rule of law” types (you know, the sort of people who think if black people don’t want to be in prison they just shouldn’t commit crimes, that sort of stuff) ignore the basic truth that there are a lot of rules out there and none of us follow every one to the letter at all times. Meaning that, when someone goes out looking for a legal reason to punish a woman or minority, it’s almost always possible to find one.

Hedin
Hedin
4 years ago

Sacha Baron Cohen, Stephen Colbert, Alan sokal, the Czech dude who did Entropa…. I knew there are terrible trolls, but they’re nowhere near as memorable as the great ones. It’s a tactic, not a character flaw. Trump is no worse than Cruz, and that dude is earnest.

guy
guy
4 years ago

Gah, localization fights are one of the things that makes anime and Japanese game fandom really annoying.

The short version is that just literally translating a story as close to accurately as possible can go incredibly horribly awry. Lots of implications and double meanings are lost. Most basically, localization replaces wordplay in the original with roughly analogous wordplay in English and that’s pretty much uncontroversial. The more generally controversial aspect is actively changing things in an attempt to make the story carry the same general impression; it was set in Japan to seem familiar to a Japanese audience and fit comfortably within Japanese cultural norms, so the translators opt to rewrite it to be set in America and fit comfortably within American cultural norms. Which can mean erasing cultural references or censoring suggestive content involving underage characters.

Even the censored Fire Emblem Awakening is to the point where I can see why people are uncomfortable. And Fates, well, I have completed my first playthrough on the Conquest path and discovered that Azura can marry her long-lost half-brothers. And it does not occasion comment. So I kind of don’t really want to find out what they cut. And trying to get someone fired because they’re mad about too much censorship by accusing her of supporting pedophilia is the most hypocritical thing I have ever seen in my entire life.

Overall, the trend is actually having less extreme alterations compared to the infamous incident where Atlus USA made Trauma Center set in the US and then had to scramble to retcon things when a sequel actually set in the US to begin with came out. Though Fire Emblem hasn’t changed as much as a casual inspection might make it seem; the games were traditionally set in NotEurope and Hoshido being modeled off Japan is new for the series.

Skiriki
Skiriki
4 years ago

Well, since Trump decided to do a 180 in a couple of hours of posturing, he decided that the perfect thing to say is this: http://www.mediaite.com/tv/trump-tells-a-bewildered-matthews-he-cant-rule-out-using-nukes-in-europe/

2016, I am disappoint.

rugbyyogi
rugbyyogi
4 years ago

@Policy of Madness – I hope you’re right, but I think it’s important to feel the fear of a Trump or a Cruz presidency. I’m putting some serious thought into taking a long vacation around election time and campaigning in a key state (alas, not my own – that would have been good). I’m drafting a letter to see if I can take my son out of school for this extra time to go on campaign.

Cthulhu's Intern
Cthulhu's Intern
4 years ago

Didn’t Mythbusters try that pen bomb and, using an explosive so powerful, they needed approval from the government and weren’t allowed to say what exactly it was on TV, found that the only way it could do anything more than blow a hole in one person was if they used an oversized novelty pen about three feet long? I mean, I know that Mythbusters isn’t as rigorous as scientific journals, but still. The media should be telling him that the pen bomb is IMPOSSIBLE.

guy
guy
4 years ago

I’d be more inclined to believe the pen bomb story if it had been a secret service agent; if anyone is going to overreact to something that might possibly be an assassination threat it will be the bodyguards. They’re the people who are actually supposed to be looking for assassins and I could understand them mistaking a reporter they’re unfamiliar with for an assassin disguised as a reporter because “disguise self as a reporter to have an excuse to get within arms reach” does sound like something an assassin might do, though I’d be extremely displeased if they didn’t immediately admit they were in the wrong and cover any necessary medical bills the very second they realized she was a genuine reporter.

But if the secret service doesn’t see anything suspicious, it’s highly unlikely a campaign manager would see any reason to be suspicious. And furthermore he clearly didn’t; if he had thought she was a threat he’d have yelled for the secret service agents to restrain her.

As for the physical plausibility, dunno about a bomb but a pen could fit a fatal dose of poison. Probably enough explosive to be fatal if slammed against your chest before detonation. There have been plenty of assassinations with weird weapons like umbrellas that launched poison capsules. So it’s technically possible but their actions indicate no one actually thought it was the case. Which is what really matters anyway; the story wouldn’t be more plausible if they claimed they thought she had a hidden knife.

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