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Monday 17 February 2014

UnCracked Monday: Spirit Animal Spirit Animal Spirit Animal

So Wil Wheaton got called out by a pseudo-activist for using the term "spirit animal".  And because he's Wil Wheaton and his whole online identity and paycheck depend upon projecting the image of being the really nice-guy nerd, he sent an utterly nice, apologetic response where he acknowledged his "white privilege", expressed how awful it was that his ancestors "murdered untold numbers of Native Americans", and how much he hates that America is built on native blood, bemoaned the poverty of native americans on tribal lands today, condemned the apathy of (presumably white) Americans who "don't know or care" today, and how "uncool" it was of him to use the term "spirit animal" in his blogging.
He was, I suppose, trying to follow his own "Wheaton's Law" of "don't be a dick", and bully for him; but he didn't keep in mind the Pundit's Law: "Never, ever, try to be reasonable with Pseudo-activists".  It won't matter, no apology will ever be enough, it will just be seen as an admission of guilt for the collective crimes of everyone they despise, and as a carte blanche for them to now go out for blood.
And indeed, that's exactly what happened to Wil Wheaton, as he got this response from a failed-author Pseudoactivist, where basically he's told that anything short of him falling on his sword and never writing anything again for fear of offending anyone ever by mere virtue of his race meaning that anything he ever writes could be "whitesplaining", so he should just be silenced (no doubt leaving room for other less talented people like herself to finally get the attention she so desperately craves).

After that, at least, little Wesley Crusher's testicles apparently descended at least a little bit, and he fought back with this admittedly well-written response though he still has to keep being far too Wheatony about it.  But the point stands: "you’ve shown us all a spectacular way to alienate a potential ally with your self-righteous anger and indignation."
The thing is, and what Wheaton and other conciliatory-nerds don't understand is that THESE PEOPLE DO NOT WANT ALLIES.  They want blood. They have no interest in bringing you over to their side; their whole point is to be able to feel better about themselves and imagine they're making a difference in life by expressing their College-trained condemnation of selected individuals (often celebrities, but not necessarily), expressing how Evil they are being and thus highlighting the pseudo-activists' own righteousness in comparison.

Now, my own perspective in all this:
What the fuck? 
"Spirit animal" is not a term that Native Americans can even rightly claim sole possession of.  Almost EVERY SINGLE TRIBAL culture has had some kind of concept of this, all over the world, not just in the Americas.  Its part of the universal shaman thing.  It means that somewhere far enough back (and often not that far back) every single person alive today (including people without the tiniest drop of Native American blood) had ancestors who believed in something that looks like "spirit animals".    If he'd used some specific term of some specific tribe, that would at least have been some kind of basis for any "protest" to have a point.  As it is, this is beyond absurd.
Never mind, of course, the absurdity of a group of middle-class college educated nerds who mostly don't have to worry about starving to death and have been ridiculously mollycoddled by their society for the entire span of their lives getting to condemn ANYONE else for "privilege".  Never mind the fact that the very idea that we need the White Man's College-Feminist's Burden,  to protect the poor helpless savage from the evils of men like Wil Wheaton outrageously daring to think that something from Native culture is cool, is in itself one of the most ridiculously racist things I've seen.  And indeed, not just me; this actual real Native American Woman agrees.  But hey, what does she know? She probably never even took a woman's studies class! How can she have any kind of valid opinion about her own culture or understand the "complexities" of the issues that the pseudo-activists are fighting about for her sake, the poor ignorant savage? Clearly she's just confused because she lacks the right political education and needs smarter, less-native people than her to explain to her why native people should be outraged about Wil Wheaton.


Currently Smoking: Ben Wade Rhodesian + Image Latakia


  1. Poor Wil Wheaton. He is so fucking nice. That man needs to hire people that would show that tumblr trash where she can stick her highly opinionated head at. Seriously there is literally no fucking culture out there in the world that doesn't have animal spirits. Hell the viking berserkers were invoking bear spirits when they go to war. You can't get any whiter than a viking. Oh man...

    Though the native american lady is right. That is some pretty racist shit to assume you know more about native american culture than a native american who was born and raised in said native american culture. Tumblr just needs to fucking die.

  2. Though I am a frequent lurker/reader at the Story games forums, it always annoys me when someone goes bat-crap crazy when someone says they are writing any sort of Samurai-Ninja game no matter how pulp-ish or cartoon-ish (cries of Orientalism and Cultural Appropriation ring out, admonishments that you need the permission from an Actual Asian Person to proceed) yet its a-ok to write European Medieval Fantasy without having to get the permission of an actual German or Frenchman or other Actual European Person.

  3. Levy: I think that Wil Wheaton is "nice" in the same way that I am "mean". Which is to say that it is the presentation we've made for ourselves that generates our fame; he HAS to be nice and enthusiastic about things and all positive because that's the person people want to watch/read and the role he plays in the nerd community and part of the reason why people read him.
    And of course in his case that was kind of his only real option; no one would have been very interested in Wil Wheaton as "that guy who was the really annoying kid on star trek and is now a bitter angry dick on the internet"; if he wanted a career now he HAD to be "that guy who was a really annoying kid on star trek but now turned out to be a really nice and enthusiastic True Nerd that is an example about how we nerds can all be nice people".

  4. So that is why he is famous...

    Still doesn't change my opinion that he was being too nice to that social justice twat. If it was me I would go, "You know what? Your going straight to my ignore list cause I am not wasting my time on a lost cause such as yourself."

    Then again this is coming from a angle of I have nothing to lose. The fact he has to be nice is a tragedy onto itself. Sure you can argue he did it to himself, but it is still a tragedy.

  5. Well, I certainly would say that the good thing about being known for being "mean" is that I can actually be nice whenever I feel like it; unless I switch over to being constantly nice it won't really change people's perceptions of my identity. But someone who's online identity is based on being "nice" can't be mean even once. Funny how that works.

  6. It is as if you have more freedom to express your opinions without losing any thing. (joking)

    Still got to sorry for Wil. I bet you he never saw that shit coming.

  7. Scratch that shit. I went through a couple of pages of his tumblr. I don't feel sorry for Wil at all. He made his bed with the tumblr shits and got bitten right at the hand. He is no different than the dumb ass who sticks his hand right into the maw of a lion and is surprise that he got his arm bitten off.

  8. There's some truth to that, yes.

  9. Some day we'll all have inter-bred enough to be a sort of indistinguishable brown, and the alien overlords won't be able to tell us apart.

    Maybe we'll stop worrying about crap that doesn't matter by then.