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an endless succession of beans and nuts.

"Video Footage of Attack on Paul Pelosi Shown at San Francisco Hearing."

The NYT reports. 

Arriving at the home of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, two officers find an intruder and Ms. Pelosi’s husband, Paul, standing calmly, each with a hand on a hammer that the police demand they drop. Just then, the video shows, the intruder takes control, wields the weapon over his head and slams it with full force....

Prosecutors presented the fullest account to date of what they say happened during the attack, and shared much of their evidence against the suspect, including the body-camera footage.

[David] DePape, 42, said in a police interview hours after the attack that he had other targets, including Gavin Newsom, the Democratic governor of California; the actor Tom Hanks; Hunter Biden, the son of President Biden; and the feminist writer and anthropologist Gayle Rubin, according to testimony on Wednesday. ..

Prosecutors during the hearing also played an audio recording of the interview that Mr. DePape gave to the police. In it, he admitted to busting into the Pelosi home in the upscale Pacific Heights neighborhood through a back door, on a mission to capture the House speaker, interrogate her and break her kneecaps if she “lied” to him....

I'm surprised to see the NYT using "busting" — not in quotes, but in the paper's voice — instead of "breaking." (I was just talking about how Breitbart is to trashy for my taste, and here I am, in a place I regard as reasonably elevated and dignified, and here's this "busting," like the night's busting open and these two lanes will take us anywhere.)

Back to the Pelosi incident: 

The hearing began with prosecutors playing a recording of a call that Mr. Pelosi made to 911 shortly after the intruder woke him up. During the call, Mr. Pelosi speaks calmly but emphatically, seemingly trying to convey to the operator that he is in danger but without alarming the intruder threatening his life. Mr. Pelosi said on the call that there was “a gentleman here waiting for my wife to come back.”

He told the operator who his wife was, and at one point the intruder in the background could be heard saying, “The name is David.”

David DePape — the man who allegedly attacked Paul Pelosi — has been "blogging for at least 15 years, with his views growing more extreme over time."

Rolling Stone reports. 

[In his] subscription-model blog... he vented rage over Covid-19 precautions and espoused beliefs shared by the conspiracist QAnon movement. The page also includes dedicated sections for Holocaust denial, climate change denial, transphobia, racism, misogyny, voter fraud conspiracy theories, Second Amendment absolutism, screeds against groomers and “pedos,” and trashing actress Amber Heard, the ex-wife of Johnny Depp....

In an Aug. 23 post on his personal blog, DePape wrote, “How did I get into all this. Gamer gate it was gamer gate.

Gamergate was an online misogynist harassment campaign that stretched across 2014 and 2015. It originated as a backlash to feminism and women in the video game industry...

DePape’s digital trail extends [back] beyond Gamergate. In 2007 and 2008, he was spamming Reddit with links to an earlier blog, “The Loving God.” The last link he shared on Reddit directed to a post on the subject of “Human Sacrifice,” which he wrote is “more common than you think.”

“Other than Satanism I know of at least one Major religion with millions of devout followers around the world. That believes in the power of human sacrifice,” he claimed, going on to allude to the Christian rite of the Eucharist, or Holy Communion. “This evil religion is so common you probably have heard of it. You may even practice it,” he concluded....

Note that Pelosi is Catholic.

DePape continued blogging sporadically in the years that followed, asking philosophical questions like, “What if you woke up and realized your whole life had been a dream?” But the same blog, purportedly focused on the subjects of “Science and spirituality,” also veered into darker territory. In a 2017 post on “Materialism,” Depape wrote, “You are just a piece of meat,” and that “Love and caring are a chemical DELUSION.” He then included several photos of piles of dead bodies in Nazi concentration camps, captioning them “Hail Dehumanization,” “Hail Racial Supremacy” and “Hail Survival of the Fitest.”

Is good spelling an aspect of fitness?

While Depape’s internet output was inconsistent over the years, he became extremely prolific on his current blog in late August, initially posting several times a day....

[T]hroughout 2021 used his Facebook page to share videos in which MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell falsely claimed that the 2020 election had been stolen, as well as transphobic memes and links to anti-vaccination websites. Also on Facebook, he promoted the idea that the congressional investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection was a sham... and... that George Floyd died of a drug overdose... [and] that shadowy elites are using the Covid-19 to drastically reshape society as we know it....

When this story first broke, I wondered whether it would fit "the GOP narrative — we're in a horrific crime wave — or the Democratic narrative — domestic terrorism." At this point, it seems to be the latter.


ADDED: Writing this post, I thought of Gamergate as an old hobbyhorse, but publishing this and clicking on the tag, I see I've had 3 other posts this year with the Gamergate tag. I'll have to give this more thought.

It's interesting to see that back when Gamergate took place, in 2014, I only had one post with that tag, and it said: "This interests me even though it's partly about 'Gamergate,' the controversy that I refuse to get up to speed on."

"You might expect a defamation trial pitting one movie star against another to unleash a fire hose of debased memes in both directions..."

"... but that’s not what’s happening here. The online commentary about the trial quickly advanced from a he-said she-said drama script to an internet-wide smear campaign against Heard.... Seemingly harmless YouTube channels and TikTok accounts dedicated to legal commentary or body-language analysis have pivoted to pro-Depp content en masse.... The pool camera system, which is operated by Court TV, films the proceedings from multiple angles... The sheer amount of material recorded each day enables viewers to examine every inch of the courtroom with a conspiratorial zeal, as empty gestures and meaningless asides are whipped into dubious case clues, spliced into humiliating Heard reaction GIFs or leveraged to build a charmingly unbothered bad-boy court presence for Depp.... [M]any TikToks are soundtracked with the circuslike theme from 'Curb Your Enthusiasm,' trapping Heard in the role of sad clown... [L]ike Gamergate, which took an obscure gaming-community controversy and inflated it into an internet-wide anti-feminist harassment campaign and a broader right-wing movement, this nihilistic circus is a potentially radicalizing event. When the trial ends this week, the elaborate grassroots campaign to smear a woman will remain, now with a plugged-in support base and a field-tested harassment playbook...."

Writes Amanda Hess in "TikTok’s Amber Heard Hate Machine/Television turned the celebrity trial into a 24-hour tabloid spectacle. Social media made it into a sport" (NYT).

"Twitter executives who created the rules said they had once held views about online speech that were similar to Mr. Musk’s...."

"But Twitter’s power as a tool for harassment became clear in 2014 when it became the epicenter of Gamergate, a mass harassment campaign that flooded women in the video game industry with death and rape threats.... In September 2016, a Russian troll farm quietly created 2,700 fake Twitter profiles and used them to sow discord about the upcoming presidential election between Mr. Trump and Hillary Clinton.... In 2017... women boycotted Twitter during the #MeToo movement, and Mr. Dorsey... announced a list of content that the company would no longer tolerate: nude images shared without the consent of the person pictured, hate symbols and tweets that glorified violence. In 2018, Twitter banned several accounts linked to the hack-and-leak operation that exposed Mrs. Clinton’s campaign emails, and it began suspending right-wing figures like Alex Jones from its service because they repeatedly violated policies.... The next year, Twitter rolled out new policies that were intended to prevent the spread of misinformation in future elections, banning tweets that could dissuade people from voting or mislead them about how to do so.... In preparation for the 2020 U.S. presidential election, Twitter banned manipulated videos known as 'deepfakes' and forbade users to share material obtained through hacking campaigns. That policy was tested when The New York Post published an article containing emails purportedly obtained from the laptop of Joseph R. Biden Jr.'s son Hunter. Fearing that the materials came from a hack-and-leak operation, Twitter blocked the article from being shared on its platform...."

A quick history of Twitter's shift away from free speech, excerpted from "Inside Twitter, Fears Musk Will Return Platform to Its Early Troubles/Content moderators warn that Elon Musk doesn’t appear to understand the issues that he and the company will face if he drops its guardrails around speech" (NYT).

It seems that the earliest motivation was to protect women and to keep them from avoiding the site. But then it turned into assisting the Democratic Party.

"There is a tradition in far-right propagandist literature... of a white male hero who rises up against a liberal, racially mixed, feminist, and/or otherwise degenerate society..."

"Jean Raspail’s 1978 dystopic anti-immigrant fantasy The Camp of the Saints is the story of the last surviving white man on Earth; it was a professed favorite of Trump’s immigration advisors. Today, this tradition is alive and well, living on Telegram, Discord, Reddit, Gab, and other online platforms. It’s a turbulent terrain of white male resentment, which found its footing in the 4chan and 8chan ethos of 'There are no girls on the internet' and 'Tits or GTFO' and the ensuing 2014 hate-fueled doxing of and attacks on female journalists known as Gamergate. Today, its center is held by a cluster of stars, whose celebrity has become increasingly mainstream.... [W]e find chauvinists like Mike Cernovich, whose testosterone-fueled Persicope rants garner millions of views, or Tim 'Baked Alaska' Gionet, who faces charges relating to his involvement in the January 6th Capitol Hill riot and previously livestreamed his trolling of 'fat' female pro-immigration activists with openly racist and smooth-chested attention whore Catboy Kami, whose real name is not quite pinned down, but who livestreams himself in anime costumes or blackface and says seriously effed up things to teenagers on Omegle and once went on a 'hilarious' hot date with podcaster Nick Fuentes, the bigot-king of the Groypers, who targets rightwing pundits and … okay, I’ll stop there.... It can all just seem like a big, stupid joke until, suddenly, it’s not."

 Writes Ian Allen, "a playwright and journalist," in The New Republic, in " We Are Sorry to Say That You Should Take Tucker Carlson’s Testicle-Tanning Stuff Seriously/The internet had a wild time mocking his recent segment on masculinity, but the Fox News host's obsessions come straight from the literary canon of the crypto-fascist right."

I wasn't familiar with the name Ian Allen. Is this a playwright I should know? Curious, I found "Toning down the sex and violence" (WaPo, October 20, 2015). Allen was the artistic director of Cherry Red Productions, known for its "raunchy" productions, which was reopening under the name the Klunch.

"Looking around lately, I am reminded less often of Gibson’s cyberpunk future than of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantastical past, less of technology and cybernetics than of magic and apocalypse."

"The internet doesn’t seem to be turning us into sophisticated cyborgs so much as crude medieval peasants entranced by an ever-present realm of spirits and captive to distant autocratic landlords. What if we aren’t being accelerated into a cyberpunk future so much as thrown into some fantastical premodern past? In my own daily life, I already engage constantly with magical forces both sinister and benevolent. I scry through crystal my enemies’ movements from afar. (That is, I hate-follow people on Instagram.) I read stories about cursed symbols so powerful they render incommunicative anyone who gazes upon them. (That is, Unicode glyphs that crash your iPhone.) I refuse to write the names of mythical foes for fear of bidding them to my presence, the way proto-Germanic tribespeople used the euphemistic term brown for 'bear' to avoid summoning one. (That is, I intentionally obfuscate words like Gamergate when writing them on Twitter.) I perform superstitious rituals to win the approval of demons. (That is, well, daemons, the autonomous background programs on which modern computing is built.)... Stuck in a preliterate fugue, ruled by simonists and nepotists, captive to feudal lords, surrounded by magic and ritual — is it any wonder we turn to a teenage visionary [Greta Thunberg] to save us from the coming apocalypse?"

From "In 2029, the Internet Will Make Us Act Like Medieval Peasants" by Max Read (in New York Magazine).

Simonists, eh? Hint: They're in the 8th Circle of Hell. Looks like this:

"One reason female comics often seem to run afoul of Facebook’s guidelines is that the company’s content moderators fail to recognize the humor in their posts."

"Popular tropes such as 'ban men' are interpreted literally under Facebook’s current set of community standards, and women suffer the consequences for attempting to express themselves. In the past, ironic misandry has been a popular way for women to deal with living in a world where they’re exposed to frequent abuse at the hands of powerful men. Yet, if a woman takes to Facebook to vent about how she 'wants to imprison men and milk them for their male tears,' she could quickly lose access to her account. Trolls know this... Feigning outrage at statements that were clearly not written to be interpreted that way has become a favored tactic of the alt-right, Gamergate, and movements known for their coordinated harassment efforts. When moderators can’t make this distinction they punish innocent parties and embolden trolls."

From "Facebook Is Banning Women for Calling Men ‘Scum’/Women had accounts banned from Facebook for responding to male trolls with sentences like ‘men are trash,’ in part because the company classifies white men as a protected group" (in The Daily Beast).

Read the whole thing. I don't support what Facebook is doing, but I do think the use of the word "scum" warrants a historical note on "SCUM" — The Society for Cutting Up Men. The author of "The SCUM Manifesto," Valerie Solanas wasn't joking:
According to Solanas, this genetic deficiency [the Y chromosome] causes the male to be emotionally limited, egocentric, and incapable of mental passion or genuine interaction. She describes the male as lacking empathy and unable to relate to anything apart from his own physical sensations. The Manifesto continues by arguing that the male spends his life attempting to become female, and thereby overcome his inferiority. He does this by "constantly seeking out, fraternizing with and trying to live though and fuse with the female." Solanas rejects Freud's theory of penis envy, and argues that men have "pussy envy". Solanas then accuses men of turning the world into a "shitpile" and presents a long list of grievances... 
Due to the aforementioned grievances, the Manifesto concludes that the elimination of the male sex is a moral imperative.... The Manifesto argues that SCUM [a revolutionary vanguard of women] should employ sabotage and direct action tactics... "If SCUM ever marches, it will be over the President's stupid, sickening face; if SCUM ever strikes, it will be in the dark with a six-inch blade."
It was 1967, and the President with the "stupid, sickening face" was LBJ.

Solanas told the Village Voice that the SCUM Manifesto was "just a literary device." And some scholars call it satire. But I wrote "Valerie Solanas wasn't joking," because she did go out and shoot Andy Warhol. Maybe the point should be that joking isn't inconsistent with violence. You'd be a fool to think that a person who expresses herself (or himself) in a joking form is necessarily safe. Often hostility fuels humor, and the fact that the hostility finds its way into humor does not mean it will always and only channel into humor.

"If they get rid of Bannon, you know what’s gonna happen? The motherlode. If Bannon is removed, there are gonna be divorces..."

"... because I know about the mistresses, the sugar babies, the drugs, the pill popping, the orgies. I know everything. If they go after Bannon, the mother of all stories is gonna drop, and we’re just gonna destroy marriages, relationships — it’s gonna get personal.... I have more stories that I haven’t released. I haven’t released every scoop that I have. I release my scoops strategically. I’m sitting on way more stories.... I will go TMZ on the globalists. I will go Gossip Girl on the globalists. I will go Gawker on the globalists.* So you mother-effers going after Bannon, just know I broke two of the biggest stories before anybody else... If you think I don’t know the pills people are popping, the mistresses, the sugar babies—I know all of it. So you better be smart. Because the mother of all stories will be dropped because I don’t care.... Fabricate things about me. I don’t care. You can’t kill what is already dead. What is dead cannot die."

That's Mike Cernovich, the "alt-right ringleader," as The Daily Beast puts it, giving him the attention he seems to crave.

He was ranting on Periscope. But who the hell is he? I don't have a tag for him. Am I supposed to care?

Wikipedia calls him "an American social media personality, writer, and conspiracy theorist. Usually described as part of the alt-right, he describes himself as 'new right' and an 'American nationalist.'" And:
In 2014, Cernovich was a self-proclaimed "champion" of Gamergate, the campaign against feminists in the video-game industry, goading opponents with tweets such as "Who cares about breast cancer and rape? Not me."
Maybe that's why I don't know him. I chose not to invest my time in understanding Gamergate. The word "Gamergate" only appears once before in this blog, in a post that ends "This interests me even though it's partly about 'Gamergate,' the controversy that I refuse to get up to speed on."

I see that The New Yorker did a story on him — "Trolls for Trump/Meet Mike Cernovich, the meme mastermind of the alt-right" I read The New Yorker, but missed that somehow. It was right before the election. Sample paragraph:
Cernovich sat at the kitchen table, facing a mirror, and placed his laptop next to a teapot full of flowers. (Shauna is in charge of decorating.) “Right now, a hundred and twenty-eight people are reading Danger and Play,” he said. “What’s fun is when you get a hot story and watch the number tick up into the thousands, like a video game.” Nowadays, the blog is mostly a platform for pro-Trump spin, but at first it was about how to pick up women. Its name comes from Nietzsche. (“The true man wants two things: danger and play. For that reason he wants woman, as the most dangerous plaything.”) Early posts included “Misogyny Gets You Laid” and “When Should You Compliment a Woman?” (Answer: “During or after sex.”)

* He might want to read up on what happened to Gawker.

"I think a feminism that started with a love and appreciation for classic male culture..."

"... and then sought to persuade men that it doesn’t have to be sexist toward women – would be more productive than treating all men as inherently suspect or privileged, and attempting to police their culture from the outside," writes Andrew Sullivan, trying to understand heterosexual feelings from the outside.
[T]he young testosteroned male’s desire for and incomprehension of the opposite gender can be mitigated, it seems to me, but not abolished. And in the case of male attitudes toward women, of course, the “other” is also the object of often-crippling and overwhelming sexual desire. These are powerful – often internally conflicting – forces and they will not easily be constrained by abstract rules or “social justice warriors.”

And so I think we just have to live with a certain amount of straight-very-male homophobia and sexism, and leave it be. Young men want to live out fantasies of rescuing big-boobed women while being encased in a steroidal muscle culture (precisely because, for so many, it is utterly beyond their actual day-to-day lives). And my inclination is simply: give them a break...

What I think is counterproductive is precisely an agenda that refuses to see real, biological differences, physical and mental, between men and women, whose first item on the agenda is to get men to “check their privilege,” and who want to police speech and urgently stamp out sexism and homophobia. This will often compound the problem, create a zero-sum environment, and in a world where Twitter gives everyone a completely unaccountable megaphone, generate levels of public toxicity we can all live without....
This interests me even though it's partly about "Gamergate," the controversy that I refuse to get up to speed on. 
"Looking around lately, I am reminded less often of Gibson’s cyberpunk future than of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantastical past, less of technology and cybernetics than of magic and apocalypse."

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