Warning: I’m probably going to offend you with this article. If you’ve read my stuff before then this is no surprise, but hopefully this will gain momentum beyond my normal readership. If you’ve never read my writing before, consider yourself warned.
Let’s Start at the Beginning
So yesterday a preview link was given to Geordie Tait’s latest article on Star City Games. It wasn’t even on the front page yet, and it was being lauded as the greatest piece of literature since The Bible. Normally I’d link you to the article so you can read it in its entirety before reading this, but you’ve probably already read it, and if you haven’t I’ll spare you the 90 minute read by giving you a brief synopsis. Here’s what his 100,000 word article looked like:
*Note: This article was written as a letter to his non-existent daughter. This is a cute premise, but it’s fucking annoying to read and gets really old, really fast. Luckily, the article is nice and itemized, so I can break it down pretty easily.
1. Introduction – Women are mistreated by all of society, gamers are bad people, and you should probably burn bridges with all your gamer friends; doing so will make you a better person.
2. Part of the Tribe – This is where Tait decides it’s obligatory to wave around his nerd credentials. “I am just like you! You can trust what I say, because I am an actual, card carrying nerd.”
3. #Finkeldate – This is the basis of the entire article. It wasn’t the point that the article was trying to make really, but it was the basis for writing it and was constantly referenced. He describes Alyssa Bereznak’s blog post (in both its iterations) very accurately, but I’m sure you’ve read at least the revised version of her blog post so there’s little point in going into this in detail.
4. The Response – Here Tait describes the response people had. Surprise! Everyone’s response to her blog post was negative. If you read it, you had negative feelings about it too, so don’t fucking lie. He focuses on how many of the comments were about her being a bitch or shallow, and the irony of calling someone shallow then saying that Finkel makes a lot of money. This irony is the first worthwhile point int he article.
5. A Sordid Past – As it turns out, our beloved hero, Geordie, wrote two very angry responses to similar things in 2002 and 2003. At this point he is saying “I WAS just like you, but not any more! Now I’m better! I’m soooo ashamed for what I did, and you should be too!” You see Geordie finally got laid in the interim, and now sexism was WRONG. Those are practically his exact words. He describes how he finally started a serious relationship, and he suddenly felt awful for everything derogatory towards women for any reason. He even says “I was so sick of the avalanche of sexism that I wouldn’t have criticized Alyssa if she’d set Jon on fire during the date,” and I believe him. More on this later.
6. Pride – Here he talks about how gamers have a big sense of pride as a community, but that this blind devotion can be a bad thing. He also reveals a very poignant quote from earlier in the article to have been stated by a juggalo. Of course, because this guy is actually still a giant douchebag despite claiming to be a changed man, he then makes a number of ignorant and bigoted remarks about juggalos without any real understanding of them (Note: I am not a juggalo). More on this later as well.
7. Fear – Basically, all that’s said here is that Alyssa laughed at you so you’re flailing around wildly like a giant pussy crying and trying to deflect your rage and hurt back at her.
8. Bonus Material – Worst name for one of his sections possible. “Bonus material” is the term that was deemed appropriate to describe the only particularly relevant part of this article. This part explains precisely WHY Bereznak would have thought as she did about Magic players, citing a number of quotes and sources, most notably an article written a decade ago by Aaron Forsythe’s wife. This could and should have been the entire article. If it was the core of the article instead of a footnote buried under a metric ton of self-indulgent bullshit, then this response would not be necessary.
9. Conclusion – This is about feminism, and you can make the entire world more tolerant by not flaming women. No matter what they do, women are off limits. He also decides to forgive you all for what you said, and knows that maybe someday you can be better. Like him. When you finally get laid.
“What’s the Big Fuckin’ Deal, Bitch?”
So why do I hate this article? Well aside from being filled with more self-indulgent ramblings than a Tarantino flick, there is a huge problem with the entire article. Before I even get to that, let’s get to the worse part: the response. It’s 1:30 in the morning at this point in time, so I’m not gonna bother making fancy screenshots, but you are welcome to fact check this because it’s all true. Here’s what a couple people said about Geordie Tait’s article yesterday:
Jon Medina (@mtgmedina) – “I’m not one to gush over things but this article truly is insane. I want to take the day off work just to absorb it.” “I haven’t got through the whole thing, but you should feel honored for being part of this awesome article.”
Evan Irwin (@misterorange) – “Geordie Tait knocks it out of the park.”
The vast majority of the MTG community all had similar things to say. It’s the best thing anyone’s even written. However, I’m gonna pop in a time machine for a second and go back to August 29th…
Jon Medina – “I love how the article starts out, ‘I got drunk and made a profile on OK Cupid.’ Were you drunk when you were checking it every 5 mins too?”
Evan Irwin – “Nothing like a tech writer being shocked & appalled at how geeky her date is. Hahaha. So..@Jonnymagic00 1, idiots 0.”
Now, Tait actually has a screenshot of the quote from Evan in his article, but he ignores the condescending tone and the fact that he calls Bereznak an “idiot” at point blank range. There are countless more examples of this, but these are the biggest names that I distinctly remembered talking shit about her and then changing their tone with this article. I’m sure it will take you very little thought to recollect many of your own friends who had the same reaction. This is the most blatant example of group think I have ever seen. The entire community felt the same way: that this girl was a shallow bitch (Or possibly not shallow enough, since she didn’t care that Finkel has money). Suddenly, a respected writer (Or so I’m told. I had honestly never heard of this fucking guy until two days ago) writes something about how ashamed we should all be, and suddenly it’s the greatest thing in the world and we should all be preaching tolerance and love while holding hands and shitting rainbows. Sorry, but I’m not buying it for a second.
Aren’t You Forgetting Something?
As we covered, the entire catalyst for this article was the reaction to Bereznak’s blog post. This was also really the entire premise and focus of discussion. But everyone seems to have forgotten something: she completely deserved it. DO NOT STOP READING. You’re probably thinking some bullshit about how I’m blaming the victim or being an intolerant asshole. However, let’s think about what our friend Alyssa said, and more importantly how she said it. You see, I don’t care that she didn’t want to date a dude that plays Magic. That’s 100% understandable, but picture this scenario:
Instead of going on a date with a Magic player, she went on a date with someone who, after she mentioned that her brother was a gamer, said “Oh, I play World of Warcraft. Actually, I was the first person in the world to hit level 80.” Would anyone be appalled that she ran? Not a fucking chance. Why? Because World of Warcraft ruins lives. If you’re reading this, then you’re a gamer. As a gamer, you have almost certainly lost a friend into the depths of Azeroth for months or even years. Maybe they’re still stuck there. But Magic isn’t like that, right? Magic is a social medium! You know, except for the fact that everyone’s an asshole and at higher levels of competition people have seemingly no interest in any sort of friendly banter. It’s time to face facts though, guys:
Magic is expensive.
Magic is time consuming.
Competitive Magic is even more time consuming.
Magic players are some of the only people in the world who would fly to Paris, the most romantic city in the world, and leave their wives and girlfriends at home. They would rather go alone and never see anything but the inside of a convention center (Or possibly a bar if they 0-2 drop) then go with the love of their life and share a bottle of wine while gazing upon the Eiffel Tower.
Simply put, hardcore Magic players are unattractive and in many ways unavailable.
This was not the tone of the article, however. It was rude, condescending, and outright mean. There were a lot of things that Bereznak could’ve said. She could’ve just said that she didn’t like Magic players. She could’ve mentioned that some guy who, from every picture I’ve ever seen, has the cold, dead stare of a serial killer took her on a first date to see a one man play about a fucking serial killer. She could’ve said that she was desperately wishing she had gone on a date with one of the suitors who had just wanted to get into her pants instead of the one who potentially wanted to wear her skin. She could’ve said that he was boring, and that there was no real spark, attraction, or mutual interest. Instead, she not only talked about how she went on a date with the “champion of the dweebs”, she used his real name. She didn’t go on a date with some random nerd, she went on a date with “Jon Motherfucking Finkel.” Put all this together, and you’re asking for trouble.
I learned a long, long time ago that if you’re going to speak negatively about someone or something on the internet, you need to be prepared for retaliation. Because retaliation IS coming. If you put one of my boys on blast, I’m going to call you out. I’m not going to call you out by saying it wasn’t nice, I’m going to try to emotionally cripple you, because nobody fucks with the people I care about. Not only do most people feel the same way, but a very large percentage of the Magic community considers Finkel (and all pro players, writers, etc.) to be their boy. Alyssa Bereznak punched Jon Finkel in the dick in front of 1,000,000 of his boys, and expected nobody to do anything about it. And according to Geordie Tait, you shouldn’t have.
The Brutal Truth
Now it’s my turn to say something negative about your boy, and time for all of you to flame me. Don’t worry, I’m not gonna cry like a little bitch about it; I’m used to people not realizing I’m right.
There were a couple things I said I wanted to come back to, and now is the time. The first thing I’d like to mention is the total hypocrisy of Tait’s messages in his article. It is okay for Alyssa to talk shit about the entire Magic community from an ignorant and bigoted standpoint. It is apparently okay for Tait to talk shit about juggalos from an ignorant and bigoted standpoint. But God help you if you talk about women from an ignorant and bigoted standpoint! For of all the groups in the world, be they separated by gender, religion, or personal interest, women are the only group which is above reproach.
More importantly, however, is Tait’s entire attitude towards woman, and towards you, the reader. You see, Tait spend a LONG time, I’d venture twice as long as this entire article, explaining that he’s “just like you!” He’s a nerd, he’s said mean things, and he can totally identify with everything you feel. But, you see, he met the love of his life and everything changed. And by the love of his love, I mean the first girl that would let him fuck her. By Geordie’s own admission, he tried from ages 18-28 to have a steady girlfriend with no success. He then met a girl who he dated and married. Maybe he was able to pull off getting laid a few times before then, but the smart money’s on not very often. He even went so far as to say that he wouldn’t criticize Alyssa had she set Jon on fire during their date. While this was meant as hyperbole, I believe there is truth to that. Tait has become so enlightened, so much more so than you are, that he would tolerate any ridiculous, inappropriate behaviour from a woman. It’s actually pretty disgraceful.
What’s more disgraceful, however, is how much better than you he thinks he is. There is an actual statement of forgiveness in the conclusion of his article. “It’s okay that you’re still an unenlightened sexist. I forgive you, for I am God and God is forgiveness. Maybe one day you’ll get laid too, and then you can be as sensitive to the plights of the opposite sex as I am.” Yeah, you’re a real sweetheart. All that happened here was that lifetime loser who was desperate for approval from any woman finally got some for the first time in his entire life, and he’s not willing to risk giving that up even it means throwing all logic and decency out the window, so he wrote a needlessly long diatribe about how cruel gamers are and how you need to be ashamed of your very existence.
And you all bought it. You bought it and you lauded his greatness, because he wrote it for Star City Games. The Dojo was our Torah, Star City Games is our New Testament. Be it decklists or opinion, every published word is infallible. Mob Mentality FTW.