music for the week
music for the week
by Matt Forney
Sarah Lacy is the owner of Pando, a tech news site that bills itself as “the site of record for Silicon Valley.” For the past couple of years, Lacy and her colleagues have been waging a war against the ridesharing company Uber based primarily on the supposed “misogyny” of its CEO, Travis Kalanick. Pando’s campaign came to a head recently after Uber’s Emil Michael revealed that the company was planning to fund investigations into Lacy and other SJW journalists known for leading harassment campaigns:
According to BuzzFeed News, Uber’s Emil Michael was at a dinner in New York on Nov. 14 where he detailed a plan to spend “a million dollars” to hire a team that would help it fight bad press. Michael reportedly said Uber would be justified in looking into the personal lives and families of journalists in order to strike back. The executive apparently believed the dinner was an off-the-record event, though BuzzFeed said it was never told not to report on the dinner.
In the typical fashion of SJWs, Lacy panicked, claiming that Uber was targeting her children, and even went so far as to hire a bodyguard. The story has become so big that Senator Al Franken (D-MN) sent a letter to Kalanick demanding to know more about Uber’s “smear campaign” against Pando. The SJW tech media has closed ranks around Lacy; even Valleywag, whose scrapes with Pando are well known, came out against Uber.
Lacy’s histrionics are yet another example of the hypocrisy of SJW journalists. It’s perfectly acceptable for writers like Lacy, The Washington Post’s Caitlin Dewey, Jezebel’s Jia Tolentino, or Gawker’s Dayna Evans to ruin peoples’ lives with politically correct lynch mobs, but when their own tactics are turned against them, these fearless reporters suddenly cry foul. While there are fair criticisms to be made of the way Uber and other Silicon Valley start-ups do business, Lacy’s conduct suggests she and Pando are leading this witch-hunt for more sinister reasons.
Sarah Lacy has a long record of making bigoted comments against men, white men in particular. A month ago, she published an article decrying Uber’s “asshole culture,” prompted by a French advertising campaign in which Uber used attractive, scantily-clad women to push their service:
We shared this in our News Ticker already, but I still can’t believe that an office of Uber — a company valued at $18 billion and held up as a bastion of modern entrepreneurship — posted an ad that encouraged, played on, and celebrated treating women who may choose to drive cars to make extra money like hookers.
Lacy hysterically claimed that the campaign was evidence that Uber didn’t take the safety of its female drivers and passengers seriously—because men who enjoy attractive women are apparently a threat—and huffily declared that she was deleting the Uber app from her phone because of it:
So, I’m turning that advice on myself: I’ve finally deleted Uber from my phone. For one thing, I increasingly don’t feel safe as a woman taking it, frequently late at night and alone. I’ve got a good solid alternative in Lyft, and life is too precious for me to put mine at risk.
And at some point, an asshole culture just goes too far.
Indeed, Lacy has a well-documented hatred and fear of normal male sexuality. She and other Pando writers have frequently whined about Travis Kalanick’s comments on how Uber has helped him get laid with numerous girls:
…Or maybe people talk about Uber in a douchey way because, when talking to journalists, the CEO of Uber says things that make him sound like a tremendous, unapologetic douche.
Lacy is yet another in the long line of female reporters who complain about the “sexist” or “bro” culture of Silicon Valley startups. In a PandoQuarterly article on “the great big Silicon Valley asshole game,” she attempted to shame Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel for “sexist” comments he made in private emails to his friends. She also harped on the claims of sexual harassment against Tinder CMO Justin Mateen, among other things. In another article, Lacy also praised notorious man-hater Sinead O’Connor’s comments on the so-called “woman problem” in tech.
Paul Carr, Pando’s editorial director and a close friend of Lacy’s, also appears to be motivated by SJW ideology. For example, in an article last month, Carr referred to the owners of Mack Tactics, a Mystery Method ripoff PUA firm, as “gross” (a term used by SJWs for anything that upsets their delicate feelings), and also took umbrage at the firm’s advice that “every encounter with a woman is an opportunity.” Indeed, Carr spent more time attacking Mack Tactics and PUAs then discussing co-founder Ronen Olshansky’s legitimately objectionable public behavior:
Today, Macktactics.com points to a gross-but-unremarkable “dating tips” website but, when Olshansky went in to business with the site’s authors, it had one purpose: to teach men how to use the methods of police hostage negotiation to pick up women. (If you have a strong stomach, you can find most of the previous versions of the site on Archive.org)
It’s clear that both Lacy and Carr’s primary motivation in attacking Uber is not the company’s questionable business practices, but their own hatred and discomfort with healthy male sexuality. Additionally, they also seem to be motivated by envy that they themselves can’t achieve the level of success that Kalanick has. This must be especially bruising to Carr, whose most recent start-up, the subscription magazine NSFWCORP, had to be bought out by Pando after failing to turn a profit in two years of operation.
Lawrence Otis Graham on November 6th 2014 confessed to the Washington Post, and therefore to the nation, that, “I taught my black kids that their elite upbringing would protect them from discrimination. I was wrong.”
He is a New York lawyer with degrees from top universities – Princeton and Harvard Law. He works for a top law firm and lives on the Upper East Side, a rich, White part of Manhattan.
He and his wife taught their children the ways of upper-class White folks, dressed them in preppy clothes, gave them perfect diction and “that air of quiet graciousness”.
He gave them rules like:
4. Never leave a shop without a receipt, no matter how small the purchase, so that you can’t be accused unfairly of theft.
5. If going separate ways after a get-together with friends and you are using taxis, ask your white friend to hail your cab first, so that you will not be left stranded without transportation.
8. If you must wear a T-shirt to an outdoor play event or on a public street, it should have the name of a respected and recognizable school emblazoned on its front.
No hoodies. And no sunglasses, ever!
And yet, somehow, his 15-year-old son was still called the N-word by Whites! In broad daylight! At a leafy New England boarding school! The White gentlemen were not even drunk. His son had done nothing wrong. Nothing!
earlier this fall when TMZ.com released footage from inside Ray Rice’s infamous elevator ride with his then-fiancé, now-wife, it appeared that as a nation, we had reached a turning point in the discussion regarding domestic violence.
Domestic violence, we decided, would no longer be tolerated. Watching Janay Palmer fall to the ground in single punch was too brutal to ignore. The video footage was too loud to tune out. Everyone had an opinion on the matter. The story was covered by every media outlet and talked about on every talk show and daytime show.
Rice was suspended indefinitely and cut from the Ravens. People called for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to resign for not handling the matter seriously enough, originally suspending Rice for a pair of games. The NFL lost sponsors (Maybe?). The NFL made commercials speaking against domestic violence.
It appeared that finally, we had reached common ground when discussing domestic violence, that with a single punch, viewed millions of times, Rice had moved the dialog from the privacy of our homes to the forefront of our national consciousness.
It appears that Taylor Swift didn’t get that message with the release of her new video, “Blank Space,” Monday and it will be interesting to see if she gets a free pass for the media for the video’s blatant portrayal of domestic violence, stalking and destroying her ex’s property.
In this video, much like “Shake it Off,” she takes aim at the image the media and mainstream have of her and plays with it and twists it in a way to suggest she knows what others think of her and she’s going to have the last word. It’s ironic. She’s aware enough of her image to poke fun at it, but not aware enough to think, “Hey, maybe domestic violence shouldn’t be the star of my new video.”
Idaho Statute 39-6303 defines “Domestic violence” as the physical injury, sexual abuse or forced imprisonment or threat thereof of a family or household member, or of a minor child by a person with whom the minor child has had or is having a dating relationship, or of an adult by a person with whom the adult has had or is having a dating relationship.
The Department of Justice expands that definition as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.
Physical abuse runs rampant in the video. Taylor shoves the man in it then throws flowers at him. She grabs his face and sings, “I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream.” That sounds a lot like a threat of more violence, which she warns him of with lines such as, “I get drunk on jealousy,” and “We’ll take this way too far/It’ll leave you breathless or with a nasty scar.” She also serves him a poisoned apple and is seen sitting on top of his unconscious body, and then biting his lip as he lays there motionless.
Throughout the video, she destroys his clothes, phone and car, elements of psychological abuse in the form of destruction of property, which she also warns him of: “I can make all the tables turn.”
Somewhere between 15 to 40 percent of domestic violence victims are male and on average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States — more than 12 million women and men over the course of a year. That’s a lot of people in the time it took you to get this far into this blog.
In 71 percent of nonreciprocal partner violence instances, the instigator was the woman. There probably aren’t statics on how many of them were pretty blondes.
Taylor isn’t the first artist to portray domestic violence in a video, far from it. But she is the first country star-turned-pop-star, 24-year-old female singer dominating in album sales to do so since Ray Rice’s infamous elevator ride.
In her position as a generational icon, she gets a large say in what’s front and center of many of her fans’ minds. She’s always appeared to be aware of this and has made it a point to be a positive role model to those fans. It will be interesting to see if portraying violence against a boyfriend you’re really upset at gets a free pass or not.
Developers across the political, social, ethnic, sexual and gender spectrum have been quick to condemn the IGDA, whose authority to speak for the entire developer community has been seriously dented after it branded so many of its own staff and members, not to mention celebrities, journalists and feminist academics, as harassers.
“As a developer who is hopefully just getting started and has been placed on a block list by the IGDA and labelled as one of the ‘worst offenders in the recent wave of harassment’ I don’t know why I would ever trust them or want to be associated with them. As a developer I don’t really see how they are helping developers with stupid ideas like this,” developer Simon Bates told TechRaptor.
Kevin Gray of GravTechGames told the same publication: “We do not endorse or engage in harassment, yet by being on that list we have been labeled as such. IGDA should know how difficult it is already for indie developers to gain exposure and there are multiple developers on that list besides us. Reaching our audience just got a little harder.”
Many IGDA staff members can be seen tweeting in a hostile manner about GamerGate, the consumer revolt demanding higher standards in games journalism and rejecting feminist critiques of mainstream video games, calling into question the Association’s ability to represent members with whose opinions it disagrees. The block list is being seen by many as merely the latest assault on a movement that some estimate has as much as 75% support among developers.
In fact, the IGDA, called out for internal dysfunction by its own board members, has a long history of targeting its own members and the people it was ostensibly established to support. It has even been accused of copyright infringement by game developers and its executive director Kate Edwards is a long-time feminist critic of video games, in apparent contradiction with the majority of video game developers and the vast majority of consumers. Edwards has a history of getting into messy online brawls.
Such is the low level of community confidence in the IGDA, there is even the suggestion that the Association was itself involved in creating the “block bot” that Edwards denied it had anything to do with. A member of the IGDA’s Women in Games organisation was seen on Facebook claiming credit for “major load work” creating the bot.
If her statement is true, and given the Associations endorsement of an “industry blacklist” and the political statements of many of its staff members, including its director, the Association may, according to lawyer and GamerGate supporter Mike Cernovich, be violating its charitable obligations.
This isn’t the first time the Association has failed to get its messaging in order. In a peculiar and humiliating move, the IGDA was forced to publicly distance itself from its own founder Ernest W. Adams, no fan of GamerGate, a month ago, when Adams tweeted, relatively innocuously, that developers should be mindful of what they say about GamerGate lest it affect their careers.
Kate Edwards is an unapologetic supporter of feminist trolls and activists who have been accusing GamerGate supporters of threats, abuse and harassment, despite there being no evidence linking GamerGate to death or rape threats female developers say they have received. No arrests have been made or prosecutions pursued as a result of these claims, despite the involvement of several police forces and the FBI.
Edwards even favourited a tweet claiming that her own Puerto Rico chairman, Roberto Rosario, was “threatening” the IGDA. Rosario was in fact warning that he would have to tender his resignation unless the IGDA removed him from its discredited harassment block list, which included Rosario’s Twitter account. Rosario has been an advocate for women in gaming for many years.
Edwards also favourited a tweet that appeared to threaten gun violence against GamerGate supporters, a childish and irresponsible manoeuvre surely in contradiction with her ambition to become a point of reference for the FBI for its enquiries into game developer harassment.
Perhaps it’s no surprise the IGDA is seeking to assert its feminist credentials now. Just last year, Brenda Romero, co-chair of the Association’s Women in Games group, and board member Darius Kazemi both resigned after the IGDA co-hosted a party at which scantily clad women had been shipped in to perform sexualised dance routines, to the pearl-clutching horror of the Left-wing gaming press.
It could be that Edwards has redemption for her earlier misstep in mind. But the developer community will be left to speculate: she, and the IGDA, have repeatedly failed to return requests for comment.