Alt-Right

PewDiePie: Alt-Right Nazi, Victim of Political Correctness, or Just an Idiot?

How South Park's 'what I do is funny' approach to trolling helps explain the Youtube star's rise and fall.

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PewDiePie
Aftonbladet/ZUMA Press/Newscom

PewDiePie, the biggest Youtube star you've probably never heard of (especially if you're older than 30), just lost his Disney contract—a source of millions of dollars in revenue—over allegations of anti-Semitism.

It's an easy, even obvious, storyline for this season of Life as We Know It Right Now, given increasing awareness of the alt-right movement and its penchant for overt pro-Nazi displays. The kids are not alright—they're flocking to their computers to share Pepe the frog memes and tell jokes about sending Jewish writers to the gas chambers. And on and on.

For many, PewDiePie's downfall will probably feel gratifying: yes, there are limits to how far this sort of behavior can progress. For others, his belated comeuppance is insufficient, and does nothing to address the toxicity of teenage (particularly white) male online culture. In a lengthy essay for BuzzFeed, writer Jacob Clifton laments "that 'edgelords,' the boys and men who group together online for the explicit proliferation of hate speech and misogyny, will almost inevitably keep pushing the line until they end up in a truly dark place."

"This is about understanding what lies beneath this dark side of the internet, and how to stop it," writes Clifton.

But Clifton's essay makes little effort to understand the phenomenon he's describing. And he offers absolutely no advice for how to stop it. Here's how his article ends:

PewDiePie is a symptom of a majority illness, but because he accidentally got rich, we seem content to let the buck stop with him. His downfall feels anti-capitalist, it feels nonconformist, it makes us feel all the things we love to feel when trying to prove we're better than. But the truth is that the soil this stuff grows in is the reality of our country and world, and we will go on encouraging this behavior, and these thoughts, until they bear their fruit.

The reason for that is terrible, and quite simple: because the whiny self-importance and self-indulgence of white male rage — from Gamergate to Anonymous, WikiLeaks to the Fappening, all the proliferating forms of alt-right confusion and rage you couldn't possibly discern from that of even the least radical right — is so repugnant that it's nearly impossible to see through. But we won't heal, and they won't heal, if we don't try. Their pain is pathetic, but watch how it spreads.

The reason Clifton doesn't actually offer a solution to this problem is probably because there isn't one: it's just so much broader, and more permanent, than Clifton notes here. Young men have always acted out in unpredictable and frustrating ways: the alt-right is just the current manifestation of "white male rage."

That's not an excuse—I'm not saying boys will be boys as if it isn't a problem, because sometimes it is. Rather, I'm saying that boys doing stupid, irksome things has always been a problem. We don't really have any evidence that the problem is getting more substantial—and I'd have a hard time believing that the average white male between the ages of 15 and 25 is worse behaved now than he was 50 years ago, given the decline in violence and crime in general—but we're paying more attention to it now because it's chosen the form of an easy political narrative: ahhh, look at all the Nazi kids who love Trump!

When I was in high school, other boys loved to draw penises on everything. It's a weird fact, but there it is. If you left your notebook unsupervised, even for a moment, you would soon find it covered in dicks. Why a bunch of teenage boys—all of whom insisted, loudly and frequently, that they weren't gay—would enjoy drawing pictures of the male reproductive organ mystified me at the time, as it still does today.

Teenage boys are probably still drawing dicks, but they're also writing #MAGA and Build the Wall and creating Pepe memes. Teachers call it the Trump effect, as if young men were perfectly well-behaved until Trump came along. Again, we don't know that bullying has gotten worse, and to the extent we can measure it, schoolyard bullying seems to be falling over time, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

It's true that a certain kind of bullying—the anti-Semitic, pro-Trump, alt-right kind—is more noticeable than it was before. We probably shouldn't discount the possible political implications of this. It would be wrong, of course, to pretend that white nationalism isn't making any sort of comeback. But we also shouldn't pretend that the kids are doomed because they currently prefer a different kind of sick humor than they used to. Again, teenagers were always laughing at incredibly inappropriate things—that thing just happens to be PewDiePie's awful jokes, at the moment.

This was, essentially, the defense offered by PewDiePie—real name Felix Kjellberg, who made $15 million last year saying dumb things on the internet. Kjellberg is a blond-haired blue-eyed Swede, but as far as I can tell, he's not actually an anti-Semite, Trump supporter, alt-right, member, or Breitbart contributor. He landed himself in hot water because, as The Wall Street Journal recently reported, he made as many as nine anti-Semitic jokes in his videos.

The following example is illustrative. There are online services that allow you to pay random people halfway around the world to do or say whatever you want. PewDiePie decided to test one of these services out—long story short, two tribal-looking fellows unfurled a banner that read "Death to All Jews" as PewDiePie exclaims "I didn't think they would actually do it." He recorded both things—the incident, and his own reaction—and posted in on Youtube.

Funny? Not really. Offensive? Sure. Evidence of deep-seated anti-Semitic animus? Well, that might be a stretch. Here's how PewDiePie defended himself:

Mr. Kjellberg defended himself from criticism in a Jan. 17 video, saying "I think there's a difference between a joke and actual like… death to all Jews. If I made a video saying"—Mr. Kjellberg then quickly cuts to a close-up of his face illuminated brightly—"Hey guys, PewDiePie here. Death to all Jews, I want you to say after me: Death to all Jews. And, you know, Hitler was right. I really opened my eyes to white power. And I think it is time we did something about this." The video then zooms back out and he adds: "That is how they're essentially reporting this, as if that's what I was saying."

One gathers, if you believe PewDiePie's explanation, that he could have used any edgy statement, like "Bush did 9/11." Why can't anyone take a joke anymore? is the underlying theme.

I'm reminded of the most recent season of South Park (spoilers to follow). One of its main plots involved Gerald Broflovski being unmasked as an internet troll. He enjoys shrieking at people online, telling them to kill themselves, and photoshopping penises over their faces. Why? Because it's funny, he claims. Later, when other trolls try to recruit him into their group, he insists he isn't one of them. What they do to people is horrible and stupid—he's not like them at all. What Gerald does is funny, he claims. Still later, when the villain of the season attempts to troll the entire U.S., Gerald challenges him. Join me, the villain offers Gerald, and together we will troll the world. But Gerald is horrified by the villain's plans and kills him. "Fuck you," Gerald says. "What I do is fucking funny, bitch."

This gag—Gerald insisting that his actions are fundamentally different because his horrible trolling is funny—perfectly encapsulates the teenage male attitude, and PewDiePie's humor. Stupid, random, shitty things are selectively funny to kids, and always have been. There's no ideology here beyond typical teen nastiness.

Disney, of course, is well within its rights to can PewDiePie for any reason—and not wanting to be associated with Nazi humor is a reason I support. It is not censorship when one private actor refuses to endorse or fund the speech of another private actor. It's just business. We shouldn't treat Kjellberg like a victim—of political correctness, or of anything else. Even without Disney and Youtube, he's still a 28-year-old millionaire with a sizeable audience. He can clean up his act and try again.

Nor should we forget the fact that the White House is currently occupied by someone whose foremost advisor was the boss of an online media hub that deliberately and successfully catered to an alt-right audience. I share some of Clifton's concern that "the whiny self-importance and self-indulgence of white male rage" has taken a particularly pernicious form at the moment. But I wouldn't be surprised if it fizzles out on its own and the kids go back to drawing dicks.

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  1. Never bothering to read WSJ again. This is complete hack journalism. The smug assholes who wrote this are all proud of themselves that they slandered PewDiePie.

    I’ve never cared for his stuff but my younger cousin and his friends do. These leftists have just red-pilled an entire generation and opened there eyes to how fucking scum the media is. As if the media didn’t learn anything from Gamergate.

    PewDiePie had a responce video where he showed how he literally was talking about context then dressed up as a soldier saying ~this is how the media will portray this, and that’s exactly what they’ve done.

    Progs are progging so hard looking for a fascist around every corner. It’s like the witch hunts and red scare, except everyone is a racist and a fascist, they are around every corner, and lets just hurl that term around to destroy anyone we don’t like.

    Fuck the WSJ, and other dying media. They’ve just turned 50 million followers, mostly teenagers and children, against them and have helped open their eyes. Those kids know PewDiePie isn’t a fascist or racist, so well done. Bravo you fucktards

    1. Yep, Progressives, if you believe that Millennials will be your new powerhouse voting block, taking out PewDiePie is going to damage that standing.

      1. Millennials are, but Gen Z will not be. There’s a report out that Gen Z is the most conservative one since the 50s. That’s what happens when you don’t control the message anymore.

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/edu…..ervatives/

        1. It’s a brave new world out there.

        2. And Trump comes along and destroys the whole thing in its womb.

          1. We survived Obama. Trump will be easy to survive. . .Unless you’re a prog. Then you have my condolences in advance.

    2. I was really surprised that the WSJ did this. Of all publications, I never would have thought that the Journal would sink to Buzzfeed standards.

      I’m still only reading the WSJ, though, it’s the only sane print publication left

      1. “I’m still only reading the WSJ, though, it’s the only sane print publication left”
        You CAN’T be serious ! ! !

    3. I read the Best of the Web for over ten years. Then Taranto moved on a few months ago and then this happens. I don’t think I’ll ever bother trying to get past their pay wall ever again, be it subscription or archive. The fact that they would stoop so low as to peddle the same outrage bullshit everyone else is doing really just makes them like everyone else.

      They go to his house, today, to get get a comment from him? Not before they ran the article? They clearly wanted to create drama, get Disney to drop him, then milk their manufactured story for all the clicks they could.

      It doesn’t matter if its people who were only slandered as Nazis like Milo or PewDiePie or actual self-described Nazis like Richard Spencer. The only people objectively and obviously normalizing white supremacy or Nazis is the massive media establishment that claims to want to reveal them and destroy them.

      1. Taranto is still there. He’s in some editing role now. They’re getting someone else to do Best of the Web. By far the smartest column.

        You should read his tweets, he’s still witty as hell

      2. Yeah they are the ones normalizing fascism and racism by calling everyone that’s not a far left authoritarian slanders like fascist, racist, sexist, when they know they are not.

        https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CY05GsAUsAAFEFs.png

      3. You know who else drove away regular readers by peddling the same outrage bullshit everyone else is doing?

        1. I stopped reading the articles at Reason months ago. I just read the headline now, see who wrote it (if I can’t guess from the headline), and skip to the comments section to watch same people BTFO of the hack writers.

        2. Hitler?

    4. Their race for clicks and the destruction of their political opponents has given more headspace to the ideas of such people than any other group ever could. We used to be able to make jokes about Nazis but now if you do, you are one. If you had told me 10 years ago that the word rape wouldn’t mean anything by 2015, I’d have been surprised. If five years ago you told me the words racist and sexist wouldn’t mean anything by 2016, I’d have been surprised. If you told me a year ago that term Nazi wouldn’t mean anything by 2017, I’d have been surprised.

      I’m just glad there are so many likeminded people who are able to see through the shit and it gives me great pleasure that we’re able to out these bigots who would trivialize these words for not just political gain, but perpetuating violence against those who commit wrongthink.

      1. Anyone who disagrees with their far left cult ideology must be a political opponent to be destroyed then, because PewDiePie is not political. And before gamergate, Gamers were not either. Most gamers are left of center, the overwhelming majority are left-libertarians, then they wake up and all of a sudden are being called far right sexists and racists and fragile little boys in the basement.

        1. If they’re white males in the US I doubt this is their first time feeling targeted by political nonsense.

    5. As if the media didn’t learn anything from Gamergate.

      I know that I didn’t.

      1. Lesson from gamergate: Teenage boys play video games. When feminist women try to impose ‘right think’ on teenage boys they get pissed. Useless outrage from main stream media follows

        1. Not just teenage boys, look at #NotYourShield. Gamers are one of the most inclusive, diverse communities, and minorities got the uncle tom treatment and women gamers were sellouts too.

          Just look at how the progs and media treat women and minorities that voted for Trump. Or do you think all Trump voters are white men?

        2. Or fully grown adult men verbally abusing and physically endangering women in real life. Whatever. And you can’t really say anything because in every single one of these deals it turns out that the most hysterically butthurt of everyone involved are the stupid white dudes.

          1. Do you need a good cry?

            1. Milo being a conservative causes a lot of butthurt in the regressive LGBTLMNOP community.

          2. Wait grown men abusing and physically endangering women in real life? You mean like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x643kcoc8FU

            The only real abuse was the abuse against women and minority gamers who were Uncle Tom’d. Publishing bullshit articles then getting called out on it is not abuse you idiot

            1. The impetus of the controversy was rape and death threats and doxing of women. I tried not to know anything about this but apparently I know more than you who are emotionally invested in it.

              1. lol, well good to have you back Tony. Was never involved in GG but it’s a fascinating case study on media corruption and whining by the left.

                Death Threats, Doxing, etc? Oh please everyone knows that is what the left does. How many riots following a tea-party rally or how many legitimate threats against female gamers? The only female gamers that were harassed were the ones who didn’t go along with the narrative. The ‘harassment’ you talk about was whiny charlatans going to the UN and complaining how people said mean things on the internet.

              2. The impetus was a bunch of journalists shitting all over their customers, something which has no relevance to anything going on today, of course.

                Anyway, why exactly should a person’s preference for sexual pleasure receive more protection than their preference for intellectual, emotional, or any other sort of pleasure? You’re saying that if there was a big cultural push by the Christian right, through any number of influential institutions, to re-stigmatize homosexuality, you wouldn’t feel threatened and obsessively angry about it?

                1. Hahahaha. Again, I know little about this, but one thing I do know is the pathetic post-hoc cleanup effort undertaken by the perpetrators. It’s about journalism! So, so lame.

              3. The impetus of the controversy was rape and death threats and doxing of women.

                Flagrant bullshit of the first order.

              4. Every player in a big internet outrage story probably gets death threats. You’re just doing bias confirmation with that shit.

          3. verbally abusing
            Welcome to the Internet, Tony. I’m sure this is a subject you’re familiar with, but you seem to have a masochistic desire for more.

            physically endangering
            Cool story, bro.

          4. Or fully grown adult men verbally abusing

            A man who largely comes on here to scream about how stupid, evil and racist we are wrote this.

            1. Need a safe space cupcake?

              1. “No, you’re a towel!”

                Fuck you, Tony. Stop corpse-fucking threads.

              2. There’s this thing called “basic self-awareness” Tony. Learn it, practice it. Be less of a cunt.

            2. Watch out, JT! He may be coming on to you.

              1. The fanfiction writes itself.

    6. Damn, I never followed that GamerGate crap enough to figure out what the Hell it was. Now the Pewdie thing is the big deal?

      You damn kids, shit.

  2. Why a bunch of teenage boys?all of whom insisted, loudly and frequently, that they weren’t gay?would enjoy drawing pictures of the male reproductive organ mystified me at the time, as it still does today.

    Since the dawn of time man has yearned to draw penises on every surface available.

    1. Some liked to carve them too.

      Michelangelo probably gave David a hog leg that he then cut off and used to prank Da Vinci.

      1. Michelangelo gave David a tiny weiner on purpose, because he was a genius. It turns out that if you look at David from a higher vantage point – say, from about where a proportionally-sized Goliath would see him from – everything about the sculpture, from his facial expression to his posture to the physiological reaction of his shrinkage, accurately portrays a guy who is fucking terrified.

    2. True Story = The Washington Monument was actually the first practical joke

      “you did WHAT?!! ”
      “They asked me, “hey, we’re going to build a monument to George! submit your design!” and just drew a dick on a napkin”
      “And they approved it??”
      “Seriously, don’t tell anybody.”

    3. Is it any wonder that dicks were drawn in Robbie’s notebook?

  3. “…Nor should we forget the fact that the White House is currently occupied by someone whose foremost advisor was the boss of an online media hub that deliberately and successfully catered to an alt-right audience….”

    FFS.

    1. Its not a Robby post without equivocation!!!

      1. Well it’s true. You don’t get to paint liberals with a single brush from one or two anecdotes and then pretend that the 95% of the Breitbart constituency that’s vulgar racist trash don’t exist.

        1. Show me any liberal that is left on the Left. They’re totalitarian statists now

          1. You think that because you consume right-wing media, and we’re the scapegoat (they always need a scapegoat). In case you didn’t know, “left/liberal/prog” can stand in for “black” whenever necessary, as in “liberal Detroit” or “progs looting WalGreens.”

            You might do well to keep your eye on the actual fat, orange totalitarian with the actual power now. The one worshiped by, you know, Nazis–not mainly known for their laissez-faire attitude.

            1. Proggie covers all talking points in one post!
              Fuck off, asshole.

            2. “In case you didn’t know, “left/liberal/prog” can stand in for “black” whenever necessary, as in “liberal Detroit” or “progs looting WalGreens.” ”

              I guess this, theoretically, is a point.

              When riots break out, 99% of the time it’s liberals. The hateful rightwingers won’t cut them any slack if most of them are white.

  4. Penisface says what.

    1. Not being a penisface *mumbles incoherently* …

  5. That picture is even more punch-face than the last one you guys linked to. WTF man.

  6. Robby, that’s a terrible picture of you.

    1. How is there no alt-text about drawing a penis on the picture??

      1. How is there no dick in his mouth in that picture too? I mean, Robby even referenced the latest of season of South Park and how Gerald was drawing dicks in people’s mouths to troll. Talk about a missed opportunity for some real meta-humor.

  7. We didn’t make penis jokes when I was a teen. We made Thalidomide baby jokes, dead-baby jokes, and a whole host of ethnics jokes. Generating outrage was the whole fucking point.

    1. Boy, I miss dead baby jokes.

      How many babies does it take to paint a wall?

      1. It depends on how thin you slice them.

  8. For fuck’s sake, Robbyspierre. PewDiePie posted that in the spirit of “look what people will do for money,” not even trying to troll.

  9. I didn’t read the article, but at some point did Robby inform us that, to be sure, Pewdiepie is a loathsome individual before begrudgingly defending his right to free speech?

    1. If by “Pewdiepie” you mean “Trump”.

    2. “Kjellberg is a blond-haired blue-eyed Swede, but as far as I can tell, he’s not actually an anti-Semite, Trump supporter, alt-right, member, or Breitbart contributor.”

      As far as he can tell.

      1. Is it just me or is Robby implying that his appearance suggests he is an anti-semite?

        1. No. He most definitely is.

    3. Robby didn’t waste time. Here you go

      It’s an easy, even obvious, storyline for this season of Life as We Know It Right Now, given increasing awareness of the alt-right movement and its penchant for overt pro-Nazi displays. The kids are not alright?they’re flocking to their computers to share Pepe the frog memes and tell jokes about sending Jewish writers to the gas chambers. And on and on.

      For many, PewDiePie’s downfall will probably feel gratifying: yes, there are limits to how far this sort of behavior can progress.

      1. WHY WILL IT FEEL GRATIFYING TO DESTROY THE CAREER OF SOMEONE WHO ISN’T “ALT-RIGHT”? WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK?

        1. Because people are assholes. Is this news to you?

        2. Because he makes jokes that appeal to young white males and that’s NOT OK.

    4. I made it about 3 sentences in before I had to quit. Robby is one equivocating bag of shit. His stuff now reads in my head with Dana Carvey’s Church Lady voice.

      1. I take it you won’t have any criticism of nazis or rightwingers in your reading diet.

        1. I prefer my defenses of free speech unadulterated with non-stop virtue signaling.

          1. It’s virtue signalling to say you’re against Nazis?

            Geeze who’s the fucking speech police again?

            1. Who’s the Nazi in this article? PewDiePie? Are you sure bro?

        2. Since they are on opposite ends of the scale, one must cover a whole lot of ground to do that.

          1. Don’t be stupid.

            1. “You’re a towel!”

              Tony is Towelie.

              Time to grow up, Tony. You’re too old for this.

  10. “When I was in high school, other boys loved to draw penises on everything. It’s a weird fact, but there it is. If you left your notebook unsupervised, even for a moment, you would soon find it covered in dicks.”

    That’s so true

    1. I just started giggling to myself reading that. I’m in my 30’s and I and my friends still refer to each other (away from our wives and children, of course) in hilariously misogynistic verbiage.

      It’s just funny. That’s how men relate to their friends: by insulting them

      1. The only thing that has changed is that society has become more prudish then it has ever been. A joke is a joke. In real life men say mean shit to each other, but they don’t say it in public in front of strangers. But, with the internet now people feel like they can say that stuff to anyone anonymously. Which is just dumb. Only nerds do that.

        1. Can it, nerd.

      2. My best friend’s dad died a couple years back. Right before he passed, he told me “it always cracked me up the way you shit-talk Jon constantly. Please don’t ever let that stop.”

        And I won’t.

        1. Johnny Drop Table

  11. Unless someone gives me a plain-English account of who this guy is, what he did, and what happened him, there’s a very real risk that I won’t care about the whole thing.

    I’m just beginning to understand the basic elements of Gamergate, now this?

    1. PewDiePie – Makes jokes about how things will be taken out of context, things are taken out of context, freakout. He literally was pointing on the wall and they said that was a ‘hitler salute’

      Gamergate – Guy had a GF who was developing a game and found out she was sleeping with reviewers of game sites, all who magically gave this game a 10/10 review. This revealed widespread corruption in the gaming media. In retaliation, a dozen different news sites at the same exact fucking time all published the same article on how ‘gamers were dead’, and then slandered gamers as sexist, racist, etc to try and cover that up. Despite most gamers being left of center, and having an inclusive audience, they pushed on. hashtags like NotYourShield popup with women and minority gamers pissed. This goes on and on with hustler progs whining to the media but there were several reforms in the media.

      1. she was sleeping with reviewers of game sites, all who magically gave this game a 10/10 review.

        Umm, no. She had a relationship with one reviewer who worked for the same outfit that gave her game a 10/10 (in a different reviewer’s review).

        Both sides of GG have blown everything out of proportion.

  12. When I was in high school, other boys loved to draw penises on everything. It’s a weird fact, but there it is. If you left your notebook unsupervised, even for a moment, you would soon find it covered in dicks. Why a bunch of teenage boys?all of whom insisted, loudly and frequently, that they weren’t gay?would enjoy drawing pictures of the male reproductive organ mystified me at the time, as it still does today.

    Someone is still swinging at the bullies. Get ’em, Robby. o====>

    1. Clearly Robbie was the nerd in high school.

      1. Only the dorks got upset when someone trashed their stuff. You just retaliate. It’s the rules of the school yard.

    2. Still? I’d wager that this is the only kind of swinging Robby has ever done. Sitting comfortably behind a computer screen while piling on people he deems guilty of wrong think.

    3. What’s up with uni-ball, there?

      8===========D~

      1. *feels small right now, and uni-balled*

  13. Robby, you are an idiot when you are talking about ‘boys acting out’ and ‘white male rage’. Save your smug leftist crap for Vox or Buzzfeed.

    This has to do with the fucking legacy media railroading anyone they don’t like under the guise of ‘journalism’. The entire hit piece against him is fake and out of context.

    Events like this and Gamergate before it have opened millions of people’s eyes. They know their gamer friends are not sexist, and calling out corruption in the gaming media made them all far-right racists/sexists, etc. They know PewDiePie isn’t racist and is more charitable than all these leftists put together, but they see him being slandered.

    And people wonder why the media has a lower approval rating than congress. At least this is helping open people’s eyes.

    1. Shit. I’ve on many occasion take to people in my rather small town about how you need to be careful about what you say to media because their goal is to make you look awful.

  14. Somebody’s not been paying attention the last 50 years or so if they think whiny self-importance and self-indulgence is a new thing and that it applies so aptly to white males.

  15. LOL. Fall? You’re making the same mistake the rest of the outrage outlets are making.

  16. I’ve never watched a Pewdiepie video in my life. But I subscribed to his channel when I heard about it because fuck those people.

  17. okay, ‘we’re talking about a guy named pewdiepie.

    1. we’re talking about a guy named pewdiepie

      No, we’re talking about a guy that Walt Disney thinks is too anti-Semitic. That’s like Jared Fogle telling you you’re a creep or Winston’s mom telling you you’re a slut.

      1. Wasn’t Walt Disney a screaming racist? Or maybe i’m confusing him with Roald Dahl; or maybe they both were. Or wait, maybe he was transgender.

        What’s amazing is that its almost guarateed that someone has written a book claiming one of those things.

        e.g.
        Walt Disney = Gay Pedophile
        Walt Disney = Nazi Lover

        1. Gilmore, a man like yourself, I would think that you know many Nazi loving gay pedophiles who are Fantasia fans.

  18. I still haven’t gotten a satisfactory answer as to what a “PewDiePie” even is. It sounds like some sort of packaged snack, but not one i’d want to eat.

    1. It’s one of those Hostess pies, but with a dead mouse in it.

    1. You should. An honest decent man just got railroaded. None of his jokes / videos were racist yet that’s the narrative and they are running with it. He wasn’t even a political figure, just a guy making videos for his teen and children followers.

      1. That sucks. I still would rather just make dumb jokes about it.

  19. For many, PewDiePie’s downfall will probably feel gratifying: yes, there are limits to how far this sort of behavior can progress. For others, his belated comeuppance is insufficient, and does nothing to address the toxicity of teenage (particularly white) male online culture.

    is this supposed to define the range of Right-Think on this topic? Do the “who fucking cares” and the “i actually thought it was funny” camps not bear mentioning?

    speaking of great jokes about the holocaust

    1. My favorite holocaust joke is

      Three strangers are sitting at a bar and begin to make conversation. One person mentions that his grandfather had just died and was a World War II veteran. So the conversation takes up World War II and after a bit the holocaust. When the subject of the holocaust comes up the bar tender interjects,

      “I had an uncle who died in the Holocaust”

      A hushed silence falls over the bar. And the bartender says

      “Fell out of a guard tower”.

      1. My Jewish army buddy told me that one, slightly differently, it was his grandfather.

  20. I share some of Clifton’s concern that “the whiny self-importance and self-indulgence of white male rage” has taken a particularly pernicious form at the moment.

    Whining about “white male rage” whatever that is, is a good way to get more of it. The more people like Robby bitch and moan and wag their fingers about the nerve of these evil white males standing up for themselves, the more doing so will be attractive to said white males.

    If you don’t like white males discovering their ethnic identity, you should take it up with the left. This isn’t happening by accident or because white men are just a bunch of Nazi meanies. This is happening because the left has spent decades making the white male their Goldstein. For a long time white men mostly ignored it or the ones that didn’t found some kind of weird gratification by catering to people who hated them. Over the last 8 years the left has become so obnoxious and dependent on identity politics and using white men as the designated other, that a third group has developed, white men who don’t ignore the left nor become its self hating toadies but embrace a form of identity politics of their own. It is a highly subversive thing to do. And young men like to be subversive. If you don’t like that, tell the left to shut the hell up so white identity politics isn’t so subversive and appealing.

    1. Amen.

      Treat white men like an ethnic group and they’re going to start acting like an ethnic group, warts and all.

      1. Yup. You can’t have a system where every group but one plays racial and gender identity politics. Well you can, but not for long.

    2. Totally agree Jon.

      BTW I registered for the glibertarian website with an email address that ended in @aim.com. Yes, I’m old school like that and I’ve yet to recieve any response. My username is the same but there is no comma.

      1. I should register for that. I am lazy.

      2. I didn’t get mine until the next day. Instead I clicked “forgot my password” and got a link to change it right away. *shrug*

        1. I’ll try that. I registered about four days ago.

    3. I think you are right on there. Even if most of these obnoxious kids don’t really care about a “white identity” (which I suspect is the case), they think it’s funny because it’s such an easy way to get people all riled up and feel like you are being all subversive. Making everything about identity politics and looking for racists in every corner is just telling a certain type of young man (which has always existed) “here’s how to get a rise out of people”.

      I recently heard an interview with an actual, self-identified white nationalist identitarian and was struck by how unlike the stereotypical white racist he was and how exactly like the identity politics of the left what he said sounded.

      1. Yeah. And most of the people will grow out of it. But some won’t. And that won’t be a very good thing.

      2. The other thing about the alt right is that we are creating for some I think, the perception that the only choices are between going alt right or buying into the current version of PC leftism. Beyond the insanity of PC leftism, it is more than anything a miserable way to live. Who in their right mind would want to adopt an ideology that said you were inferior and more or less cursed because of your race and sex? You really have to be an odd broken person to find that appealing.

        Then you have the alt right telling these kids “fuck them”. You are by virtue of your race and sex superior to them. it is not hard to see which side is going to win that war for the hearts and minds of white men.

        1. Gosh.. I wonder who’s to blame for the suggestion that anyone who isn’t a regressive, SJW genderqueer freak is a racist wrongthinker?

          Nobody used the term “alt-right” to refer to anyone but the rare, self-admitted white supremacist until Hillary Clinton gave her little speech where she planted the term in the mind of her followers.

      3. Dean Wormer and Principal Rooney are social justice warriors now. Adolescents are behaving according.

        1. *accordingly.

        2. Yes. This last election was a national reenactment of Caddyshack with Hillary playing the part of Judge Smails and Trump the part of Al Cervik.

          1. Yeah, good one, John.

          2. I always thought Hillary v. Trump was more like Billy Madison.

            1. Is trump the penguin in that?

    4. Preach it brother!!

  21. This is the first major YouTube star to disable commenting on his videos. AND THIS IS WHY.

  22. This was, essentially, the defense offered by PewDiePie?real name Felix Kjellberg, who made $15 million last year saying dumb things on the internet.

    I just don’t understand this weird fascination the kids have with watching somebody playing a game, so much so that the guy can make that kind of money. It’s just stupid to watch a grown man play a stupid game and I try telling the kids that they………….shit! Gotta go, the basketball game’s about to start.

    1. It is funny as hell to hear Soave, he isn’t even close to 30 yelling about how kids watch things he doesn’t understand and laugh at humor he doesn’t get.

      Talk about a get off my lawn moment. I think this might be the first time I have seen a generational split between the Millenials and whatever the hell they are calling the current generation.

      1. I don’t think it’s a generational split. I think Robby’s just a fucking tool.

        1. There is that.

        2. If he was a tool he’d be useful.

  23. “that ‘edgelords,’ the boys and men who group together online for the explicit proliferation of hate speech and misogyny, will almost inevitably keep pushing the line until they end up in a truly dark place.”

    isn’t it actually entirely the other way around?

    That its actually “taking offense at everything”-assholes that increasingly insist certain types of speech are simply “out of bounds”….

    …and the so-called “Edgelords” are simply the people that fucking ignore them?

    iow, isn’t ‘where the dark-places lie’ a moving target defined by the politically-correct brigade?

    Here’s a question = could you show the movie Blazing Saddles to a roomful of “Normal People” in America, and would they find it funny?

    If they did = does that make them racists/homophobes/sexists? Or “Edgelords”?

    1. I don’t know. I think it’s a real phenomenon. There are always people who deliberately push the limits of what is socially acceptable because they think it’s funny or edgy or something. I don’t think they ignore the people who are trying to push those limits the other way. I think they are deliberately pushing back, for various reasons.

      1. There are always people who deliberately push the limits of what is socially acceptable because they think it’s funny or edgy or something.

        Yes, and i think there’s a word for that….. like, “Comedy” or something.

        1. Of course.

          I was just responding to “and the so-called “Edgelords” are simply the people that fucking ignore them?”

    2. A couple years ago they played Blazing Saddles in Bryant Park as part of the HBO Summer Movies event they do every year. I don’t recall any backlash from it, which was a pleasant surprise.

      1. I don’t recall any backlash from it

        I’m sure Robby would say “and that’s a problem!

      2. That’s good. I like to think that “normal” people aren’t all fucked in the head at this point.

      3. That’s because it’s old. It already exists and is accepted by Hollywood, so it’s ok.

        If Blazing Saddles opened for the first time tomorrow, we’d have marches in every major city, and ten articles a day about how we need introspection as a nation when such filth could even be made.

        1. Anyone that doesn’t think Blazing Saddles is hilarious shod probably be gassed with Zyklon-B.

  24. “For many, PewDiePie’s downfall will probably feel gratifying: yes, there are limits to how far this sort of behavior can progress.”

    This is a precious sentiment. “It could never happen here,” right?

    Cynicism is a sin. People today are raised in an environment of pure phoniness and cynicism. How does anyone expect it to end? How is raising children to believe in nussing supposed to end, Lebowski?

    Laughter is a natural bodily function just as much as farting or pissing. People will continue laughing long after there is a damn thing funny that can actually be called humorous occurring anywhere around them. In some cultures laughter and smiling are more closely associated with fear and anxiety than with levity or jocularity.

    It is absolutely hilarious–in the ‘not funny at all’ sense of the word–that the creators of South Park (at least one of whom is Jewish) are attempting to capture the Golem they have eagerly helped create for the past twenty years.

    Along with li’l news tidbits like William Kristol openly calling for the ‘intelligence community’ to orchestrate a coup against the elected president of the United States, how could any of it go wrong? The God of Secular Morality will surely come down in a cloud of benign technocracy to save us all from ourselves, I suppose is how the thinking goes. By all means, let’s all not forget to keep laughing, because this is serious stuff.

    1. The problem with the secular left and the various self appointed cultural gate keepers is that they are all cynical phonies who don’t believe a word they say. And kids for some reason see through that more easily than adults many times. What the alt right, whatever its vices, is genuine. They are not a bunch of phonies and they mean what they say. More importantly, their sincerity and willingness to point out the utter hypocrisy of the cultural powers that be makes them very appealing to kids. I suspect the current generation is going to be a lot different than Robby’s.

      That may not be a good thing. If it is not, the secular left will only have themselves to blame.

  25. When I was in high school, other boys loved to draw penises on everything

    did anyone else feel like there was a sad-violin melodramatic soundtrack playing when he said this?

    1. I feel like Robbie only sits with the women at the Reason lunchroom. He probably thinks Nick is an alpha male. People need to lighten up. Guys pick on each other and it’s funny.

  26. For a much more fair take, I’d recommend https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtlDC1sZFSg

    For a much more interesting take, I’d recommend https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1p0apfSCIU

  27. Anybody else find it both telling and hilarious that Robby outsources his psycho-social diagnosis of male teenagers to some dickslap writing at Buzzfeed?

    1. It’s funny for me, but then again…I never donated to the Reason Foundation like many others here. If I were giving my money to fund this shit, I’d be a little depressed.

      1. True that.

      2. True that.

    2. the “telling” part is unnecessary. its hammered in every single thing he writes. The hilarious part? Oh, absolutely.

    3. oh it’s better than that. Jacob Clifton used to write for Television Without Pity about fifteen years ago, where he was most famous for writing twenty pages of self-indulgent gibberish on dumb epsidoes of Battlestar Galactica. He was an insufferable prick then, and apparently he still is. He’s not an authority on anything, except thinking he does the greatest analytical writer of everyone ever.

  28. as far as I can tell, he’s not actually an anti-Semite, Trump supporter, alt-right, member, or Breitbart contributor.

    I love how this is buried somewhere in the middle of a piece bemoaning the existence of such things… a piece prompted entirely by *this specific guys jokes*

    after paragraphs of throat clearing about Edgelords and Nazi-pepes

    I share some of Clifton’s concern that “the whiny self-importance and self-indulgence of white male rage” has taken a particularly pernicious form at the moment

    to be sure, Buzzfeed has its points. shall we identify which of the concerns are the good ones, and which are the batshit SJW lefty hysteria? Naaaaaaaah. that would require defending them.

  29. I get it that adolescent boys like to get a rise out of people by being edgy or iconoclastic or sacrilegious. But at some point, we all grow out of that (or should anyway). What perplexes me is why so many people have taken to this sort of edginess and iconoclasm as some sort of protest strategy. It’s juvenile and not substantive in the slightest. It’s the same sort of deal with Milo. I get it, people invite him to speak because they deliberately want to rile people up. At some point, though, when do we get to the substantive discussions? People seem way more invested in defending the Milos and the PewDiePie’s than they ought to be based on their meritorious contributions to the discourse, IMO.

    1. Yeah it is puzzling how the left can own pretty much every cultural institution in America and still engage in the fantasy that they are fighting the establishment.

      1. I am not sure how you got that from my comment, but whatever, I am sure it will be met with some silly insult.

      2. John, kind of like the Rodney Harrison era Patriots thinking that nobody respected them.

    2. Milo has added far more to the ‘discourse’ than anything I’ve ever seen contributed from you.

      1. See, why do you post crap like that? Just to try to get a rise out of me. It’s juvenile. Why not make a substantive point instead?

        1. I did make a substantive point. That being – Milo does add to public discourse. Being provocative and irreverant troll does not negate the fact that he makes many legitimate points, and is entirely capable of defending them when challenged.

          Now why do I say it? Because your act is tired and you have no legitimate point.

          1. Yes he might make many legitimate points, but that is not why he is invited anywhere. He is invited because he stirs up shit. In terms of substance, he adds nothing additional than, say, a Mark Krikorian does when it comes to immigration. The value-added proposition of Milo is his offensiveness, not his intellect. If you wanted a substantive discussion on immigration, you would invite a guy like Krikorian, like in the recent Soho debate. But what I’m seeing is, people will go to the mat defending a guy like Milo, when his singular virtue is just pissing people off. It seems just juvenile to expend so much energy to do that. If you’re going to go over the top in defense of a person, shouldn’t that person have more noteworthy attributes worth defending?

            1. This comment just hyper-extended itself in contradiction. You might want to put some ice on it.

            2. “But what I’m seeing is, people will go to the mat defending a guy like Milo, when his singular virtue is just pissing people off. It seems just juvenile to expend so much energy to do that.”

              But shooting bottle rockets at him while romanticizing that they are Stinger hand held missiles isn’t juvenile at all, huh ?

            3. I’d say people go over the top in defending Milo, because Milo provokes an over the top reaction. People don’t riot when Mark Krikorian comes to town. I think that probably adds to his perceived value to people on the right: “If this guy makes them that angry, he must be doing something right.”

      2. You think that because you actually agree with his facile pseudo-provocative horseshit.

        1. Sort of like when morons such as yourself clap like trained seals when that hypocritical, misogynistic hack Bill Maher tells a funny, huh?

          1. I’m somwehere in the middle of the spectrum from Bill Maher liberal to liberal target of Bill Maher’s criticism.

            1. …today.

              It’s always so adorable when you pretend to have a consistent philosophy or set of principles.

    3. Son, we live in a world that has boundaries of acceptable discourse, and those boundaries have to be guarded by assholes with sharp tongues. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Rico Suave? Milo has a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for snowflakes, and you curse the alt right. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That hurting snowflake feelings, while tragic, probably saved rights. And Milo’s existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves rights. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at quinoa cup parties, you want Milo on that boundary, you need Milo on that boundary. We say things like “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that assholes provide, and then questions the manner in which they provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a Twitter account, and make a tweet. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.

      1. +2Girls1QuinoaCup

      2. Epic. Well done!

      3. *Standing ovation*

    4. People seem way more invested in defending the Milos and the PewDiePie’s than they ought to be based on their meritorious contributions to the discourse

      Freedom of speech does not depend on meritorious contributions to the discourse.

    5. Substantive discussions are not allowed…. SAFE SPACE!

  30. If you move the goalpost on who is considered a Nazi, suddenly people are going to start caring a lot about how you treat “Nazis”

  31. the whiny self-importance and self-indulgence of white male rage

    Note to this Clifton moron: if you want to see “whiny self-importance and self-indulgence,” go look in the mirror. Seriously, this is some funny shit. Whiny self important progtard whines about whiny self important “white males.” It’s whiny self importance all the way down.

  32. Never heard of this guy before. But after this I bet he doubles his earnings next year.

  33. Well I actually read the article, and it’s good stuff, Robbo.

    1. what was your favorite bit?

      1. dicks.

        Robby Soave is an associate editor at Reason.com.

    2. Actually reading the article makes you a cuck. Now you’re not invited to our super-secret refugee camp. Sad!

  34. The lesson here is that there is some minor tension at the edges of free speech–you might lose your Disney contract if you display the words “Death to all Jews” on your Youtube. Clearly this is a catastrophe of monumental proportions for speech, humor, and civilization itself.

  35. Best penis joke I ever saw was in high school when a classmate was drawing dicks on his notebook and the teacher saw it. Teacher picked it up, looked at it and then handed it back saying, “If it looks like that you should go to the doctor immediately.”
    Took teacher a few minutes to restore order in the class after that.

  36. I remember it being constantly hammered to me in high school that it was wrong for someone to be denied employment or ostracized for their political beliefs, even if they happen to subscribe a murderous ideology.

    I.e, McCarthyism was the worst thing ever. (Hollywood still pushes, that, look at that Trumbo movie from last year).

    Yet now we are seeing the left constantly use it against virtually everyone that disagrees with them> Even on things that used to be the norm.

    Don’t want to cater a gay marriage? Out of business you go (well, unless you are a Muslim).

    Make an ethnic joke? You no longer can be hired by anyone .

    Criticize a religion? Okay as long as it’s Christianity and maybe Scientology.

    1. Criticize a religion? Okay as long as it’s Christianity and maybe Scientology.

      Unless you’re trying to get a job in the movie industry, then Scientology is right out.

    2. Alan Partridge: Never, never criticize Muslims; only, only Christians. And Jews a little bit.

  37. Ugh.

    It’s totally unethical for WSJ AND Robbie to leave out the context of the “death to Jews” bit. Right after that it said “subscribe to Keemstar”. He was talking shit about a rival/competitor! There’s no way to take that as antisemitic.

    WSJ excerpted a video bit where he was nodding to Hitler and the context there is that in that video he said “I bet if I included a slice of video of me nodding to Hitler, they would try to use it against me.” He did and they did! WTF?

    1. “There’s no way to take [a bit involving the words “Death to Jews”] as antisemitic.”

      Well you know how hypersensitive the Jews are.

    2. As Jesse Jackson once said:

      Text, without context, is pretext.

      1. And then he called New York HymieTown.

  38. This piece isn’t pro-free speech, anti-free speech,or anything else really. It’s like a game recap by a neutral observer. It could have run anywhere.

    Make sure to condemn ugly speech, though–because you wouldn’t want people to think it was alright to hurt people’s feelings with speech, right?

    Church of Laodicea. Neither hot, nor cold–lukewarm?

    Yuck.

    TSOL sang about raping corpses:

    Metallica did a song about being in a gay bashing crew–a popular sport in the underground back in the day.

    Slayer did a song effectively glorifying Josef Mengele

    It’s just speech. No corpses were raped by that recording. No gays were bashed by that recording. Josef Mengele is still as dead as he ever was.

    Sometimes free speech hurts people’s feelings, but if you’re gonna work for a libertarian advocacy organization, you really shouldn’t be anywhere near something people might think is an apology for freedom.

    1. And Paul McCartney did a song about Silly Love Songs. And What’s wrong with that?

      1. Some people think they have had enough.

  39. It HAS to be difficult writing articles of this length where none of the sentences logically follow from anything that came before them.

  40. I don’t particularly like pewdiepie and so I don’t watch him. That’s it because I realize different people have different senses of humor and no one’s sense is more or less correct than anyone else’s. I did subscribe to his channel though because fuck those people.

  41. You almost got it, Robby. Young men are attracted to this stuff *precisely because* it’s taboo. Back when the term was coined on 4chan, being an edgelord was never directly associated with racism, it was associated with breaking taboo or being outrageous for its own sake. That’s what young men (and some women) love doing, lashing out against social norms, doing what they’re not supposed to do, saying what they’re not supposed to say, being my namesake. And the tighter you try to control them the more they will push back.

    The “white male rage” bit is moronic, though, as though teen/young male angst were a function of melanin. Virtually none of them really give a shit about race, they just care about how they are perceived. And I can tell you that the meme culture iteration of teen angst, even in its edgiest, most offensive forms, always spanned every race. This is not a race issue, and when you try to make it one, you do exactly what exacerbates the problem.

  42. Speculation that Jeff Sessions will nix federal investigation of Eric Garner case

    The federal inquiry, which began after a state grand jury declined to charge Pantaleo in 2014, already stalled once last year when prosecutors based at the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn expressed doubt that there was enough evidence to make a criminal case against the officer.

    Their hesitation resulted in the Justice Department, in the waning months of President Barack Obama’s term, dispatching Washington-based prosecutors to New York to forge ahead, according to a third person with knowledge of the case, who also was not authorized to discuss the inquiry and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

    It is unclear whether Sessions will take an interest in the case. Both the Justice Department and the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn declined to discuss it Friday. Pantaleo’s attorney, Stuart London, also had no comment.

    But the new attorney general has the power to freeze the investigation and order a review by Civil Rights Division under new leadership for the unit “that reflects his ideology,” said former federal prosecutor David Weinstein.

    1. whoops, meant that for PM links

  43. RE: PewDiePie: Alt-Right Nazi, Victim of Political Correctness, or Just an Idiot?
    How South Park’s ‘what I do is funny’ approach to trolling helps explain the Youtube star’s rise and fall.

    It is not the right of anyone in our wonderful authoritarian country to be politically incorrect. For too long, the masses have believed they have a right to be an idiot. This must be stopped. Do you see idiots in Venezuela? Do you see idiots in Cuba? Do you see idiots in North Korea. Of course not. Such silliness is not tolerated because the wisdom of the ruling elites of those freedom loving countries take the time and trouble to ensure the little people do not engage in such frivilous activities because the masses have more important work to be done such as praising the ruling Dear Leader, trying to find some food to eat, avoiding the kind and benevolent Secret Police, staying out of the local gulag, etc. The right to make a fool of yourself is not in our beloved US Socialist Constitution of the People. Indeed, the very reason we have a socialist government is to censor people before they make an ass of themselves for their own good and the good of the collective. Therefore, comrades, let us all praise the powers that be that have censored and destroyed this fool before he became more famous than our ruling elitist turds and make more money them. Otherwise, the freedom to be a fool may catch on, and our country will be the laughing stock of the socialist world.

  44. this is COMPLETE bull!!! you are quoting buzfeed? And repeating all this crap about “edgelords”. Same SJW nonsense. How is this REMOTELY libertarian? Is Reason an SJW shitshow like Vox and VIce now? This is BEYOND fake news. It’s repeating poorly researched biased hit pieces… Reason should be fucking ashamed of this utter nonsense

  45. I fail to see the connection between Wikileaks and the fappening.

    Except that both are awesome?

  46. I feel like you guys are drawing penises, metaphorically, all over Robby’s comment section. You’ll give the poor guy PTSD (penile-drawing traumatic stress disorder)

  47. I feel like you guys are drawing penises, metaphorically, all over Robby’s comment section. You’ll give the poor guy PTSD (penile-drawing traumatic stress disorder)

    1. The squirrels concur

    2. The squirrels concur

  48. “The reason for that is terrible, and quite simple: because the whiny self-importance and self-indulgence of white male rage ? from Gamergate to Anonymous, WikiLeaks to the Fappening, all the proliferating forms of alt-right confusion and rage you couldn’t possibly discern from that of even the least radical right ? is so repugnant that it’s nearly impossible to see through. ”

    Wait, WikiLeaks is alt-right now? Did I miss a memo?

    1. No one could oppose President Dronefinger without being alt-right. And that Assange character is, like, albino white.

    2. This was such a pile of word salad I actually missed that part. Wow.

    3. Yes. WikiLeaks and Assange are notorious right-wing forces that helped Russia prop Trump up to defeat Hillary. So goes the narrative (i.e. fake news).

      I’m not sure how “rage” has anything to do with the so-called Fappening and Anonymous (I’m guessing he means 4chan generally and not the cohort of hackers). Immaturity, sure, but rage? ‘For the lulz’ => anger ?

      Yeah, it’s senseless word salad.

    4. I thought the same thing. That is a really strange basket of deplorables to call out as “self-indulgent white male rage”.

      I’m pretty sure Anonymous is of the left. Like the far left. Maybe the Guy Fawkes masks threw him off? And “the fappening”…. are we talking about whoever the hackers were, or the spread of naked photos of famous hot women. Because I don’t think you have to be of any particular political persuasion or race to be interested in naked women. Pretty much that comes down to gender and orientation. And there really isn’t anything rage-filled about wanting to see boobies. Kinda the opposite. Nor is it self-important. But self-indulgent…. well, that’s kinda self-evident. So you have them there.

      And then there is gamergate. A “movement” entirely characterized by being a counter-movement to an over-the-top PC social justice warrior “movement” that went on the offensive against a particular segment of the population as being the root of all evil. A group of “critics” who were entirely motivated by gender politics and hatred for all things male and the video games they like. So although the “agents of change” were self-identified progressive feminists, their opposition was only misogynistic or anti-feminist insofar as that is who was attacking them. If instead it were conservative Christians, the nature of the counter-attack would have been different. As it was in the 80’s-90’s when that is who the attackers were.

      1. For those who don’t recall, I was going to include a link about the video games of the 90’s. But I bloviated to the point where the link wouldn’t fit under the character limit. So go read about Jack Thompson and the epic battles of a couple of decades ago, when being in favor of free speech for video game producers was an edgy left-wing thing to be, and you could battle the right-wing voices of oppression.

        For those of you without any historical perspective, Gamergate and Jack Thompson was the identical fight, with the identical players. The only difference was swapping out Jack Thompson for some modern feminist versions of the same thing. But if you are of the progressive, social-signalling culture you cannot say this. Because to do so means you are a woman-hating Nazi.

      2. Anonymous isn’t really “of” anything. The nonny culture is completely mystifying to people who expect all of them to fit neatly into an existing box. Which is kind of the point, come to think of it. It’s fascinating to lurk and learn.

        And most of the GamerGate folks averaged slightly down and left on the Nolan chart, I might look up the chart for that poll later if I feel like it. But anybody who assumes “GamerGate = alt-right” didn’t do the research. Or is just lumping everything they don’t like into one great big ball of violence and hoping nobody notices their biases.

        1. I agree about Anonymous – but to the extent that they ever had a politics, they arrived on the national scene in the US in support of the 99%ers Occupy movement. So if you were to peg a politics to a thing that is by definition amorphous and anti-authoritarian, you might claim them as being of the left. I suppose they are most truly defined as anti-authoritarian anarchists who are rabidly in favor of free speech. As such they might be mostly in the Libertarian bucket, which would probably prompt them to issue a DOS attack on the Libertarian Party, were such a charge to be made.

  49. alt-text

    “I’m a douche bag”

  50. “The reason for that is terrible, and quite simple: because the whiny self-importance and self-indulgence of white male rage ? from Gamergate to Anonymous, ”

    Jacob Clifton writes like this, and is whining about the self-importance and self-indulgence and rage of others? Fail.

    Also, let’s not forget Buzzfeed is the garbage clickbait site that responded to GamerGate by announcing they were going to fire all their employees that listed gaming as a hobby, because that’s not an insane way to run a business.

    I have a much better plan for them, anyway:

    1. Fire all your employees, including this jackoff, and don’t hire any more.
    2. ?
    3. PRAWFIT LAWNCHA

    Buzzfeed makes minds fat.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lni1b3Lw1U

  51. You know it’s a bad article when Robby Soave is writing it.

    You know it’s a bad comments thread when John and Tony feature prominently in it.

    Thanks for the reminders

  52. Oh, and Robby….. getting a couple of dudes in India to hold up a sign that says “Death to all Jews” isn’t particularly pernicious. (which means to have a harmful effect in a gradual way). He just peed on the third rail. You don’t get to make jokes that touch anything that whiffs of antisemitism like that without arousing the ire of the anti-defamation league. The WSJ is at ground zero for the anti-defamation league. Of course they were super-offended and had to go get a comment from Disney about why they support antisemitism.

    I don’t know anything about the guy – but this “joke” in context actually has something to say, and it isn’t anti-Semitic. And it isn’t of a new millennium or some new alt-right. It is exactly the sort of thing Howard Stern might have gotten in trouble for. It is like the joke referenced above where the evil-Knievel style daredevil yells the N-word on a Harlem street. That joke wasn’t about how great it is to hate black people. Nor is this dude’s joke about killing Jews.

    But he touched the third rail, and that’s all the thought we need put into it.

    Perhaps the more interesting article here would be the one about how ” this is how Trump exists”. Because the only reason this is a controversy is because nobody at Disney is about to stand up and say “lighten up, Francis”. Which is the case on many issues. So when Trump does go all Sgt. Hulka, he gets supporters. Even if he is an idiot.

  53. Also, since I haven’t broken a good circlejerk in a long time:

    Working for Disney and expecting them to be OK with this was fucking retarded, and they had every right to drop him.

    Keep up the good work, Fruit Sushi.

    1. That’s true. There is no way the Disney brand is going to allow itself to be associated with any kind of deep controversy.

      These video game youtube guys are usually pretty tight with their use of language and subject matter – my kids are young and were recently into watching “minecraft” videos. There are several channels devoted to this and targeted at little kids. They were all into The Diamond Minecart and StampyLongHead – both of whom are 20 something guys who play minecraft with g-rated vocabularies for an hour or two a day and have millions of followers.

      You’ve never heard of them, but they are making more money than any of the radio hosts you have heard of, except Rush Limbaugh.

      This Pewdiepie dude must be targeted more at teens and 20-somethings. So his humor is edgier – which got him in trouble with Disney. Just like Stern.

      So youtube is the new morning radio. And these guys who entertain while playing video games are Howard Stern and Bob and Tom. They are not a sign of the coming Apocalypse. They are the sign of a new shift in technology and access to different voices.

      Joseph Garrett is making millions with his 8 million subscribers and videos that have as many as 35 million views.

      Pewdiepie has 53 million subscribers. Let that number sink in.

      Rush Limbaugh has 13 million listeners. A little more than NPR’s morning edition and Sean Hannity. 53 million. And he can sell video ads, not just audio. I think he’ll be OK.

      1. For those (like me) that scoff at watching someone play a video game…. Rush makes about $40 million per year with his 13 million weekly listeners.

        so….. what does a youtuber with 53 million subscribers and 5-10 million viewers per episode pull down?

        The audience makes the show – not the network. Adam Carolla proved this when he lost his radio gig. He went out and created his “pirate ship” podcasting empire. His audience of about a quarter million listeners means he earns a very comfortable living. If Pewdiepie has an audience 20 times that size that is willing to follow him?

        Yeah… I changed my mind. Hey Robbie…. the story here is about how new media is turning the world upside down and taking the power away from the record companies, distributors and radio networks and handing it over to teenagers working from their mom’s basement.

      2. That many people listen to NPR? No wonder why Hillary almost won.

  54. Ok, as research to find out what I was talking about I went over to Pewdiepie’s channel. He’s got a video response to the WSJ article. I managed to listen to a good sized hunk of it.

    Beyond the “do anything” website demonstration, he points out several of the WSJ “anti-Semitic posts” that they list. Apparently at least a handful of them are actually him either comparing someone else to the Nazis (youtube in one case) or calling out gamers who defaced a public game server with swastikas – telling them to stop doing that. So he complains that the WSJ used his anti-Nazi comments as proof that he is a nazi. He said they even used a photo of him simply pointing at something off camera as him giving a Nazi salute.

    So his response is way more than a mewling “it was just a joke and I took it too far and I’m sorry’, although he did reiterate that he was learning from his mistakes several times. No, his response was that the WSJ piece was a deliberate hit piece that set out to misrepresent him, his show, his views and his followers. Not that they simply didn’t like a joke, but that they deliberately pulled things out of context and told their readers that they mean the exact opposite of what he was actually saying.

  55. Ok, I’m in a mood apparently.

    For your supposition – is he just an idiot? The guy has managed to take a PC, microphone and a webcam and all by himself turn it into a large, 7 figure paycheck. He’s upgraded to a nice microphone and camera, and he has painted cubicle walls for a studio. And he’s created a media giant that dwarfs MSNBC’s viewership. Or Fox news.

    And he created it all with his own intellect and personality. There really is nothing else to go on.

    So no. I really don’t think it is fair to even throw in the “is he an idiot” option.

    Even the Great Soave has editors to help him along. This guy is a one man show and has more viewers for one episode than reason is likely to see in a year. He actually has one episode that boasts 75 million views.

    Folks are raving about how good this last year was for Rachel Maddow. She upped her viewership to an average of 347k. We’ve all heard of her. She’s to be reckoned with.

    It would take her 216 episodes to reach the number of eyeballs that he got with that one show. And she’s got a production team behind her, a whole network family to promoter her show, etc. And his show is more than an order of magnitude bigger.

    So some guy in Sweden, operating in his second language all by himself builds a media following that dwarfs big companies like NBC and Fox, but he’s an idiot?

    Yeah…. I think not.

    1. Lots of otherwise competent and successful people demonstrate a severe deficiency of common sense, especially once they get drunk on the money, power, sex, and/or fame they never had. YouTube celebrities are no exception.

      And let’s face it, some people really are just dumb, but were on the ground floor at the right place and time. Nobody ever said life was fair. Or maybe Kim Kardashian is secretly a 4-D chessmaster herself and we just don’t know it yet.

      1. She managed to parley an intentionally created and leaked sex tape into a 7 figure income. She is constantly promoting herself.

        I don’t get it. Not even a little bit. But you don’t parlay your 15 minutes of “wow, tits!” into a 15 year career of 7 figure paychecks without having a serious motor.

    2. OK, one more.

      115 million people watched the Super Bowl. Not even double Pewdiepie’s top episode.

      The greatest media event in the US each year is only twice as big as the biggest Pewdiepie episode. And he has pages of shows with 35 million views. So his top episodes are about 1/3 of a Superbowl.

      I’m reminded of a long-format with Brittney Spears – pre breakdown. They were talking about how she isn’t up on current events like politics. She had a brilliant quote. From memory, but generally close: “Yeah, my brother makes fun of me because I don’t know who the Secretary of State is. But I just tell him that I was too busy making 100 million dollars. ”

      That quote changed my perspective on who Brittney Spears was, reminding me that she had been working her ass off since she was in elementary school to become a huge star and earn more than I was likely to see in a lifetime (and I’m pretty successful).

      You don’t reach that level of success without having a motor and doing something good,

  56. I was listening to a radio show and learned that “patriarchal white males” were the reason behind NY City School districts poor performance (it must be racism). The left takes blaming moderate men as “alt-right” with their “women and men of color” victimization that even “words hurt”. The right just plods along still touting marriage as a solution, chiding men to do so, while not recognizing it is a hostile institution. On top of it they still label poor men “deadbeats” for not paying into state coffers for children their “baby-momma’s” decided to have, a reproductive choice they are denied, and for which we will incarcerate him for not paying as we have decided to subsidize her for the same action. This is just more anti-mail bullshit and the asshole who wrote it a mangina white knight.
    BTW, I’m 60 and laughed at the kids drawing peckers on your stuff, a good lesson in maintaining control of your equipment I think.

    1. “This is just more anti-mail bullshit and the asshole who wrote it a mangina white knight.”

      OK

  57. The most amazing thing about this article is that somebody has made millions of dollars making stupid YouTube videos. The rest of the nonsense is par for the course.

  58. This guy is just a doofus. He is not antisemitic as “Reason Magazine” is. One swallow does not a summer make.

    “There’s no need to fear. Underzog is here.”

    Here is a look at the eliminationist/antisemitic cause that Reason Magazine” champions; i.e., The Students for Justice for Palestine

  59. Robby didn’t draw dicks? What a homophobe.

  60. So I see Reason Magazine is going full regressive again. Fuck the facts, amirite?

  61. I’m surprised at the author’s lack of imagination. The penis is an intrusive organ whose purpose is explosion. This makes life happen. The drawing of a penis is identically expressive.

  62. Jesus Robby, buy a fucking Lenny Bruce album already. This is all backlash from a generation that for decades have been beaten over the head with the ” political correctness ” club. Period. By today’s standard Jeff Spicoli would be a controversial mysoginistic homophobe “Nazi.”

    1. I think this is a big part of it. If you didn’t grow up with the perspective of actual racist institutions, all you have left is the preaching in opposition. So you never had any racist inclinations, but you are being berated for being the font of all evil that is Jim Crow and “colored only” water fountains.

      If you are a child of the 50’s or 60’s, you grew up in a world where grandpa lived in a racist society. And all of the hip young people were preaching against racism. The subversive comedians were taking on racist attitudes. Moving into the 70’s, prime time TV took on all of these prejudices. But you could look around and see actual racists, so you knew what they were talking about.

      But now we live in a world where nobody gives a crap about race (for extremely large values of nobody). The preachy language endures, but those preaching no longer have the slightest clue what racism looks like. So they rail against the virulent racism of not voting for Obama. Or the violent sexism of not voting for Hillary Clinton. They call out 50 of the 3 racist incidents they see.

      This has been building for a long time. The anti-racism crowd was already morphing into the race-baiting crowd by 1980. We are now so perpetually offended that making an anti-racism point can make you out as a racist. Or a pro-jewish point can be twisted as Nazism all because of a word or a symbol.

      TL:DR – people are nuts.

  63. How long until the first prog journalist starts referring to the so-called alt-right as just the “right”?

    1. They are already lumping libertarians in with neo-nazi skinheads under the alt-right banner.

      They just mean “people who don’t exhibit right-think”. If you combine libertarian and skinhead and label it as alt-right, you just aren’t trying to understand who these people are. I’m not sure there is a tent big enough to cram skinhead in with libertarians.

  64. The kids are not alright?they’re flocking to their computers to share Pepe the frog memes

    So would you prefer to be known as Robby Rodham Clinton or Hilary Soave?

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  66. The guy tried, as a joke, to get people to say, for five dollars, the most awful thing he could think up – kill the Jews. Bad taste? Sure. But, his point was, “Look how low people will sink for five bucks”. Not, “Kill the Jews”. We should probably be glad that that is what he thinks is the most awful thing you can say. It’s really a kind of tabloid journalism to take all of this so far out of context. And right at the time that you have so many people skeptical of the media, for the wrong reasons, the WSJ goes and does this. Nice move, dumbasses.

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  68. The article illustrates why YAFers ought not to try to explain away National Socialism. In major Nazi documents such as the 1920 platform, Mein Struggle, the Enabling Act speech, newsprint, articles… nothing could be clearer than that German National Socialism is Christian mysticism tempered by racial collectivism and just enough eugenics content to believe that blonde Aryans are born altruistic. Altruism, goodness, noble sentiment, sacrifice is in their blood–so ran the credo. Nationalsocialists hate jewishness for the exact same reasons they worship belief in reincarnation and the goodness of altruism. Stating it bluntly makes it difficult to distance from regular ‘Murrican mystical conservatism. But that is their problem, and not one actual libertarians need to lie or dissemble in order to cover up.

  69. PewDiePie is a self-made millionaire because 53 million people find him entertaining.

    How many subscribers does Reason have? How many clicks per day?

    I’m surprised to see Robby Soave being so politically correct. Or is he just looking for clicks?

    To paraphrase Dash from The Incredibles, if everyone is an alt-right Nazi, then no one is. Tedious.

  70. You didn’t actually establish that PewDiePie, his content, or his fans, are a problem. You just asserted it. Maybe I am the weird one here. But to me treating all expressions of radical right-wing ideology as a joke and hurting people’s feelings for no reason are just normal for the internet.

    1. I’d like to once in my life see an actual radical right person, not just someone from the socialist left labled a right winger.

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  73. So, I guess black, hispanic, and asian males don’t make crude jokes and give each other BS? If Robby thinks that then either he’s always lived in white neighborhoods or, like the progressives do, look on minorities as zoo animals to be observed with empathy, not as real people to interact with. And no, “having a conversation” with a non-white person about blah-blah-blah is not really a conversation.

  74. This article makes me want to vote for Trump again in 2020 and I’m not even white. I hope pewdiepie offends the entire world over & over & over & over again. I’m just gonna laugh & laugh & laugh.

  75. I made an account especially for this article. Just to read the comments on it as I knew they will be against this entire article, because everybody who watches PewDiePie knows he’s not a Nazi, he’s not a sexist, or a racist. He’s a good person.

    Too bad we can’t trust the media anymore as they’re spreading their propaganda everywhere

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