So I apparently just became the victim of the “Internet version of a drive by” which is more pathetic and sad than genuinely tragic like a real drive by is. I have no idea what I did to piss them off but considering that I was showered in black people reaction memes instead of bullets I expected thugs, not nerds.
I fanned the flames, and soon enough they were getting high off me, to quote Community. I said things like “These people think they’re 50 Cent but they’re barely pennies” and “I’ve been to Venice Beach, I know a thug when I see one and you guys ain’t it”.
Even sadder a commentary on this 21st Century phenomenon is they think they won cause I was “mad”. The reality is there were no winners, because this was like robbing a bank to get all this money but then handing it over to the Joker who burns it, wasting everyone’s time because he had no investment in the debacle whatsoever.
Now, I’ve long been confused about whether I love or hate hipsters, or might be a hipster. I don’t like being called a hipster because it’s a loaded word that is associated with the negative aspects of the arts community rather than the positive ones, but I can’t say I’ve been very fond of the nerd/geek Internet forum community either, and while I identify as a nerd, I’m a nerd who’s a nerd of things the more mainstream nerd community doesn’t gravitate to, I love retro and current anime, Cannibal Holocaust reawakened my passion for sociology with grindhouse flair, I adore Transformers The Movie and its awesome 80s soundtrack without a shred of irony. I like reading books like Train Man and Welcome To The NHK which say much more important things about my generation than HBO’s Girls is throwing out there. I even write my own books about such subject matter and take photographs inspired by such important street photographers as Daido Moriyama.
But I don’t think I’m a hipster in the negative ways society tends to see that label, I don’t actively seek out bad movies to hate on them, I love Showgirls and the cinematic oeuvre of Jean Claude Van Damme. I like reading fun books, watching weird music and listening to bands that are pleasing to the ear. I am a liker of things, but also a creator of other things inspired by the things I like.
If hipsters are, as I have long suspected, merely “likers and consumers of the arts” - perhaps the following theory isn’t out of line.
The way I see it, the arts market is like Dracula, the villagers are terrified of him, speak of him in hushed tones and hug their crucifix necklaces, yet Dracula’s servants, let’s say Renfield like figures who fetch Dracula materials and have odd diets (in this case, rats and insects stand in for gluten free and vegan) - and his job is to go around fetching Dracula his goods and bragging to strangers about how brilliant Dracula is.
Renfield is the hipster in this analogy, in case you haven’t realised.
I don’t think hipsters in this sense are a bad thing. As bad a flack as hipsters get, nerds too have an equivalent for people who if they don’t create nerd media themselves archive and collect media created for that audience. They’re called fanboys and in a sense, hipsters in their promotion of the art world market and consumption of underground, non-mainstream media are no different in society.
Artists/creators need these classes of people to buy their work, it’s a fact of life people often forget. Somebody has to buy tickets to Star Wars Episode VII when J.J. Abrams releases it, just like hipsters who support art galleries pay the admission fee to see the Francis Bacon retrospective in my city.
PEOPLE WHO ARE FANS/CONSUMERS OF MEDIA/ART ARE STILL HUMAN BEINGS EVEN IF THEY’RE NOT CREATORS THEMSELVES.
I think people should have more respect for nerd/geek fanboys and hipsters, especially if you create art and media for sale. They pay your bills, even if they’re not making a rebuttal to your own work. If you disrespect your fans, and they do make a more successful rebuttal to your own work, you just got served.
I started to piece together why it was that about three months ago, where I previously saw myself as an autistic minority on the internet, suddenly I was no longer seen as underprivileged as I used to be five years ago and that confused me. I’ve said before it was like trying to get a driver’s license, and suddenly there’s new road rules you have to obey during the term of obtaining a full driver’s license for road travel without one of those L or P plates.
I think it’s important to point out that my background with internet forums didn’t come from a deliberate bubble where other, more affected minorities weren’t accepted, it had more to do with the very first forum I encountered being a poorly moderated one where harassment of autistic people wasn’t followed up by appropriate forum moderation like it is now on modern day forums I go on like TGWTG and TV Tropes, which had a far more evolved sense of forum moderator justice than the older, pre 2007 style mods who didn’t do much and tended to defend the long time users even if they were trolls.
What I’m saying is, part of the reason why I didn’t notice I had a privilege to check was because until three months ago and there was a big upheaval of women and LGBT community members claiming their own part of the map and the territory in online discussions, I didn’t notice that apart from a few really bad circumstances with forums that were poorly run, for a lot of places, the otherwise straight, white but still autistic forum users won out in the end due to improved forum moderation and better service provided to forum communities.
I’m not denying autistic people are still hassled on the internet if they’re newbies, but the world changed in such a way that it’s much more swiftly dealt with and taken more seriously in most cases. It’s people like women and LGBT community members who need the forum moderators to take them more seriously now, because mostly, autistic men of the honkey and straight variety won out.
Why did it take me so long to notice this? It’s possible that my high functioning autism formed so much of my adolescent identity that when I entered the adult world of internet forum moderation and was taken far more seriously than I used to be if there were problems of people hassling me.
I live in a world where the old forum attitudes of the forums sorting themselves out just isn’t seen as an adequate solution anymore, and people realise that what happens on the internet no longer just stays on the internet. It affects peoples’ lives and it’s treated as such by forum moderators who are expected, demanded to bring justice to a seemingly lawless cyberspace.
I lived in a world of crappy lackluster forum moderation that mostly isn’t there anymore, and my identity of “autistic straight white guy” isn’t shocking to most forum users anymore. Did the trolls just run out of material for trolling autistic forum users like me, or did the internet just focus on trolling other, more visibly noticeable minorities like persons of colour, women and LGBT community members?