Mischaracterizing the obvious to feel better about oneself

By on August 29, 2014 6:48:26 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
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Have you been getting a bit frustrated in recent weeks about having your well crafted or well-intentioned point mischaracterized as something vile and disgusting? Maybe they just misunderstood right? Nope. You have just run into someone who intentionally chooses to misrepresent your position in order to cheaply gain the moral high ground.

Nearly every bit of PR trouble I’ve gotten into over the years has been the result of someone mischaracterizing something I’ve said or posted in order to make themselves appear to be better people.  I used to think they just made an honest mistake or that other people had muddied the issue. Unfortunately, time has taught me that isn't the case. They do it on purpose and they do it because social media is fodder for them to build themselves up by portraying other people as troglites. 

Shut up and die, you evil, human filth, why can’t you learn to be kind and caring like me?

For years, this sub-culture of gaming has pretty much had its way in doing this to others because it was always some minor incident and the silent majority just didn't notice.  Unfortunately for them, these incidents add up and eventually you have enough people who have been affected by it reach a critical mass. Eventually people start to realize that “sensitive, caring” people aren’t really trying to help/solve anything. They just want to feel good about themselves and look good to their peer group and misrepresenting you as scum is very effective.

The accumulation of smears

Now recently, some of my blogs have been linked to and some of those people have been told “Well that guy is awful, didn’t you know he parks his sports car in handicap spots?” or “Didn’t you know he experiments on his employees with bees?” or “Didn’t he kill and eat someone?” comes up (well maybe not that last part - but rest assured, now someone will post that I kill and eat people).

A lot of this stuff I brought on myself because I thought people would appreciate self-deprecating humor. That was back when I didn't realize that so many people were invested in demonizing other people at any cost to feel better about themselves.

Let me give you an example of a video skit we did that got considerably coverage some years ago but,as recently as an hour ago, used  by someone as an example as to why any opinion I have must be discarded.

Here’s there video:

What’s odd is that there is nearly a 100% overlap between the people who will mischaracterize obvious stuff like this and the people who will mischaracterize your well researched, rational argument about X as misogynist or racist or whatever the “shut up, I don’t want to hear you” tactic of the day is.

The bad news is that you can’t fix it. Their motivation is to look better to their peer group and feel better about themselves. They won’t stop. They can’t be persuaded because, for them, this is about their self-esteem. You exist as fuel for their self worth.

Update: When I googled the bee thing I found another thread which included someone alleging (out of whole cloth) that I asked someone to "dress sexy" AND has the bee thing on the same page.  Which is another element some of you are probably running into when you try to talk to people you thought were well intentioned but unaware of the "whole story": They'll will make things up about you. Why? Because they're good people and for them to be good, you have to be bad.

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August 29, 2014 10:53:32 PM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

Ok. Embedding now working with the post. Thanks ID!

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August 29, 2014 11:18:17 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting ,

Have you been getting a bit frustrated in recent weeks about having your well crafted or well-intentioned point mischaracterized as something vile and disgusting? Maybe they just misunderstood right? Nope. You have just run into someone who intentionally chooses to misrepresent your position in order to cheaply gain the moral high ground.


Yea, this happens all the time. The biggest offenders are the PC police, who go out of their way to find something to be offended about, even if it means interpreting your post in the most extreme manner possible. They willingly ignore context and intent, and cherry pick the part of your post they can "win" on. the second biggest offenders are the anti-regulation, flag waving anti-tax crowd, who will scream "commie" if your ideas don't conform with their views to the letter.

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August 29, 2014 11:49:32 PM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

Thank you so much for taking the time to type this out, Frogboy. The last few weeks in the gaming community have been quite a travesty. While I feel that there are definitely those striving for "social justice" who have been too grossly swept up into persecuting others on the claim of 'equality,' I admit that there is definitely unwarranted harassment on the 'other side.' Regardless of which 'side' people take on this subject, people's personal lives are being disrupted, whether through the tried-and-true juvenile 'death and rape threats' over an internet by an anonymous troll, or through a CEO of a company's name being dragged through the mud by various online publications over a simple misunderstanding.

 

The true horror, I feel, is that there are now various online publishers now pushing an 'anti-gamer agenda', practically calling for a blood-hunt against an ill-described foe. I have read articles from various websites all echoing the same words, articles coated with hateful rhetoric in an attempt to punish others who speak with the same ignorance simply because they are 'on the other side.' Even Forbes has had the indecency to claim that gamers are crucifying women. It would be understandable if these 'journalists' were pointing to an actual enemy who clearly carried malice, a saturday-morning Shredder or Dr. Claw except in the real life. Unfortunately, all they can point to is a vocal crowd who is as malleable as an apparition.

When that becomes the case, I think it is correct -- if not at least respectful -- to have the decency to stray away from such a subject. However, they seem content to stand at the forefront of the Internet, waving their banner as a way to rally further chaos onto the battleground that is the internet. This simply isn't right. And again, I am not defending the actions of this gamer crowd. There is definitely validity to people being mean online -- anyone could have told you that before this social Armageddon occurred! It's as you say, however: people, innocent people who turn to these sites for honest coverage, could possibly be swept up into this online crusade as more conscripts to fill the ranks, fighting for the principles they think they may be upholding.

It's a shame to me personally because I friggin' love video games. I love writing and would be more than glad to even have a single shot at transcribing an interview with a developer or giving a voice to a character or plot. And when I see these, for lack of a better word, amateurs spreading discord across the internet, it dawns upon me: I think I may be more ashamed to call myself a writer than to call myself a gamer. And that's saying something.

 

Once again, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. I wish you the best of luck in the future and hope I don't incite any nasty responses.

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August 30, 2014 12:04:25 AM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

The behaviour of mischaracterizing other peoples' statements is endemic to any group that features fanatic devotion to a particular point of view. I often get involved in religious discussions, which means that I'm regularly interacting with fanatics. I find it incomprehensible how an individual involved in a public discussion can blatantly misconstrue my arguments, while I reiterate my points to explicitly show that what my antagonist says of me is not at all representative of my words. It's not as if the previous statements have disappeared, either -- they remain just above for anyone to review! Only those similarly bound to willful ignorance could possibly believe the misapprehension.

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August 30, 2014 1:34:06 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Ostsol,

they remain just above for anyone to review! Only those similarly bound to willful ignorance could possibly believe the misapprehension.

miscomprehension.... Spell checker ....

The inability to 'see' your arguments [on whatever side you are] is simply the pre-requisite of the 'fanatic' [on whatever side they are].

Myopia is the single reason WHY argument [quaintly oft-called 'debate'] is both meaningless AND futile.

You simply WILL NOT convert a fanatical opponent to your view, no matter how eloquent, coherent, cohesive or dare-I-say 'RIGHT' it may be....

 

A little like the 'flat earth' society.... FFS...if you're right....please step off its edge and do us all a favour....

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August 30, 2014 7:49:06 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Borg999,


Quoting ,

Have you been getting a bit frustrated in recent weeks about having your well crafted or well-intentioned point mischaracterized as something vile and disgusting? Maybe they just misunderstood right? Nope. You have just run into someone who intentionally chooses to misrepresent your position in order to cheaply gain the moral high ground.



Yea, this happens all the time. The biggest offenders are the PC police, who go out of their way to find something to be offended about, even if it means interpreting your post in the most extreme manner possible. They willingly ignore context and intent, and cherry pick the part of your post they can "win" on. the second biggest offenders are the anti-regulation, flag waving anti-tax crowd, who will scream "commie" if your ideas don't conform with their views to the letter.

Actually, its not ONLY the PC police.  The worst offenders are often the folks who put commitment to their ideology (of what ever flavor) above treating everyone as a true neighbor.  It happens when people treat other people as a means to an end, and not an end in them selves. Buber (spelling?) summed it up nicely:  I <<>> Thou relationships vs.  I <<>> it relationships.  Don't let the "anti-PC police'" crowd fool you.  Some of them make 'its' of some of their neighbors, as well.  

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August 30, 2014 3:07:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I've never really thought about this but you may be right. It's another reason I dislike social media. If you say the "wrong" thing or is politically incorrect, a witchhunt starts for you....

 

If someone wishes you ill, and owns some media and/or has some influence then it may be hard to clear your name.

 

 

I'm gonna start a YouTube channel joking around and stuff. I definetly see how people will willify me but I'm just gonna answer back and that will b be it (then again, I have nothing to lose except some status in a gamingcommunity  )

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August 30, 2014 10:25:54 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting ElanaAhova,


Actually, its not ONLY the PC police.  The worst offenders are often the folks who put commitment to their ideology (of what ever flavor) above treating everyone as a true neighbor.  It happens when people treat other people as a means to an end, and not an end in them selves. Buber (spelling?) summed it up nicely:  I <<>> Thou relationships vs.  I <<>> it relationships.  Don't let the "anti-PC police'" crowd fool you.  Some of them make 'its' of some of their neighbors, as well.  

 

Yea, I've dealt with the word twisting crap from extremist on both sides of the fence. However, I have encounters with the PC police more often than other groups because of where I tend to "hang out" online, so it's in the forefront of my mind. The stories I can tell could fill a book. 

Being a moderate (relatively speaking*) online, is like having a target painted on your back.

*Liberals I deal with think that I'm a conservative, and the conservatives think I'm a liberal. Which just goes to show that to someone standing on the far end of the ball field, anyone not standing next to them looks like they are on the other side of the field.

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August 31, 2014 4:46:02 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Thanks so much, FrogBoy.  It is so easy, especially for a newbee, to become totally disheartened when attacked for no apparent reason.  And, that is the point.  If you are hurt - and the neurology research clearly indicates that verbal, social smears and attacks induce the same kind of stress as physical attacks (so the hurt is quite real and if severe or sustained or freuquent can actually change your personality and capacity for empathy through such mechanisms as cortisol poisoning) - ... if you are hurt ... then that in and of itself is often the real basis for the attack to begin with. 

It isn't necessary to make ones self bigger socially.  A real sociopath can hurt someone or a cause simply on the basis of pure personal power tripping.  Of course, the cherry on their sicko ice cream sundae is if they can pour it on and let you know that they can do exactly as they please and be applauded for it and you are helpless to do anything, partly because people have been conditioned to look the other way.

Rand talks about two kinds of power.  Power over the real physical and intellectual world coming from thought and experiment and creativity vs. power over other people that comes from violence, intimidation, lies, manipulations and simple evil.  A small percentage of people are the outliers of the curves, such as Newton or Hitler.  On a day to day basis, you run into really creative types about as often, it seems, as you do the garden variety sociopaths.  The problem is that nobody wants to deal with the problem of the sociopathic attack, particularly when it's "just words," and the favorite victim of the sociopath is the creative person who has a passion for what they are doing.

When I read Rand's "The Fountainhead," as a teenager in the early '60's, I thought that the characters were  almost parodies, exagerated architypes that one would rarely, if ever, meet in real life.  Wrong!  There really are a lot of people who are heros in their lives to varying capacities, and there really are people who will spend years or decades to destroy whatever is good.  Fortunately, with the huge breakthroughs in connnecting neuroscience with actual bahavior and motivation from people such as Simon Barron-Cohen, it appears that we are starting to get a handle on this.  Take heart!

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August 31, 2014 6:45:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Borg999,


Quoting ElanaAhova,


Actually, its not ONLY the PC police.  The worst offenders are often the folks who put commitment to their ideology (of what ever flavor) above treating everyone as a true neighbor.  It happens when people treat other people as a means to an end, and not an end in them selves. Buber (spelling?) summed it up nicely:  I <<>> Thou relationships vs.  I <<>> it relationships.  Don't let the "anti-PC police'" crowd fool you.  Some of them make 'its' of some of their neighbors, as well.  



 

Yea, I've dealt with the word twisting crap from extremist on both sides of the fence. However, I have encounters with the PC police more often than other groups because of where I tend to "hang out" online, so it's in the forefront of my mind. The stories I can tell could fill a book. 

Being a moderate (relatively speaking*) online, is like having a target painted on your back.

*Liberals I deal with think that I'm a conservative, and the conservatives think I'm a liberal. Which just goes to show that to someone standing on the far end of the ball field, anyone not standing next to them looks like they are on the other side of the field.

 

Wow, I'm in the same boat.  Because my views don't fit in any of the 'camps' out there, I get nailed by folks from right and left.  Mostly, I just keep my mouth shut -because they aren't listening anyway.   Target painted on back .. yes, good analogy .. does feel like that!  - elana

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August 31, 2014 9:04:04 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Borg999,

Which just goes to show that to someone standing on the far end of the ball field, anyone not standing next to them looks like they are on the other side of the field.

Good analogy...

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August 31, 2014 9:22:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Part of the problem is the binary nature of US politics.  The default assumption has now become that there are only two sets of beliefs, and you must subscribe entirely to one or the other.  In reality, most people would naturally have a collection of beliefs taken from both sets, but the nature of current political discourse tries to force them to get fully on board with one set or the other.  And ultimately, because of the polarizing nature of the whole mess, many people do succumb to blindly signing up for one of those two pre-packaged sets.

A third (and fourth) viable political party would do wonders, and allow individual subjects to be discussed a little more rationally, rather than people just blindly accepting or rejecting the subject based on whether it's on their "team's" list.

 

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September 1, 2014 5:45:12 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

and then there is the mess that is australian politics  (2 MAIN 'parties' (labour - liberal/national country party) and several 'minor' parties (sorry can not even remember how MANY of them there are, but new ones seem to come out of the swamps every election, and with THREE levels of political MESS (local, State and national), and no one level even tolerates the other two, it is looking even less like anthing that could be considered to have ANY sign of intelligence)

harpo

 

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