I just don’t buy it. Who can, hand on heart, prefer the “honest depravity” of a prolific victimizer of the weak over the “hypocritical” journalism that exposes him? It’s an entirely too abstract–and too privileged–viewpoint.
He’s talking about Freddie deBoer’s post:
No, it’s not sympathy for ViolentAcrez that moves me, but rather contempt for the deep hypocrisy of Gawker, along with its always-hilarious sanctimony of convenience. I would argue that, in fact, Gawker’s writers and audience partake in essentially the same thing that many Redditors who frequent the uglier sub-Reddits do: being titillated, in various ways, by content that they simultaneously disclaim and enjoy. Gawker, after all, comments on any and all sex scandals and questionable behavior, most certainly including those involving underaged women. Perhaps Gawker doesn’t host, say, the latest photos of a scantily-clad Miley Cyrus, but it has certainly linked to them, and its readers certainly click those links…. And when they do, they have the all-encompassing excuse that permits essentially all Internet behavior undertaken by the chattering class: when they look at the latest Nickelodeon star to be exposed in her bra and panties, well, there’s something very meta about it. They aren’t like the serial masturbators on those dirty Internet forums, no. When they get their rocks off by looking at questionable content online, they’re doing it the classy, socially approved way.
…Ultimately, I doubt anyone thinks that the world is a markedly safer or less misogynistic place for the downfall of ViolentAcrez. Perhaps some people will witness the outing and change their behavior in fear. I’m willing to bet that in fact it will simply provoke more from those who were already likely to engage in it; this kind of behavior, after all, thrives off of the perceived oppression of those who undertake it. And those who are so inclined will likely just be more careful and more circumspect. I’m sad to say that this is the kind of issue where you aren’t likely to beat the Internet. This kind of behavior, ultimately, is the purest expression of web culture. Change won’t come from a few high profile outings but from a general change in the tenor of a culture that continues to view women as repositories of sexual pleasure. But perhaps that ultimately is the reason for all the celebration of this. It is the ultimate in the kind of empty social progressivism practiced at Gawker Media: it does nothing to materially improve the human condition but rather establishes the relative social value of the people expressing anger. It is a conduit not for change but for actor sorting.
Too abstract, too privileged. I love that. Look, buddy, we’re just simple farmers, people of the land, common clay, you know; we just want to hiss at people who are too gauche and crass in the way they go about leering at tween sideboob pics. Don’t go muddlin’ our heads up with all your tu quoque fancy-talk now.