Oh Blizzard. You’re too big and cling to the spotlight just a little too much to avoid the wrath of the internet on a semi-regular basis. Like a teen pop star that drunkenly flashes her cha-cha when she passes out on the street, there’s absolutely no redeeming qualities to the video of George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher calling out The Alliance’s…ahem, sexuality. Not only does it promote hostility towards WoW players, a game known mostly for absorbing people’s entire lives, but it has started a firestorm debate on the internet, with the offended being rightfully so and the rest of the internet doing what the internet does best – being callously insensitive.
Yes, people were offended. It happens. Everyone has the right to be upset from time to time, even if what they’re upset at was “a joke.” Whether this was actualy a joke or just a sign of Blizzard commiting the most common of crimes against minorities, silent/ignorant acceptance, well, the jury is still out. But regardless, people don’t need to “grow thicker skin” or “stop making a fuss over nothing.”
Fuck that. If anything, make more of a fuss, and I’m proud that so many websites beyond our friends at Gaygamer had the guts to stand up and announce that it was not cool. Just because something is called a joke retroactively does earn it a pass. Yes, laughter can bridge gaps and start real conversations to deal with serious issues, but people have to be open to the communication, and no, the people that aren’t being open here are the ones telling all the gay geeks out there to calm down.
Think about it. Why is calling someone a name an insult? I mean, they’re all just words, right? The answer lies in the implications. If you call someone stupid, what you mean is to describe an entire state for that person, that they mess up things or fail to know the answer not just at that point, but at every point. That’s what makes it insulting. Then think about calling a guy “a woman” (in an insulting sense). The insult means that guy is weak, effeminate, stupid, and generally incapable, which draws a direct comparison to calling someone “a man,” which you would then mean to be strong, capable, and able to deal with anything. Get what I’m going for here?
Obviously, we can say “woman” and “man” without someone getting hurt or thinking they’re totally awesome. But some words get their negative meanings so wrapped into them, through histories of violence and oppression, that it becomes almost impossible to untangle them. You know what words I’m talking about, and faggot is one of them. So, it doesn’t matter if it was a joke. People aren’t ready to hear that yet because we can’t have a civil conversation…yet. It’ll happen, trust me, but until then, shut up. And don’t tell anyone what they should or should not get upset by.