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BREAKING: Tom Brady Wins Deflategate Appeal, Will Play Start Of Season


10:38 AM- According to court documents released today, NFL spent $3 million on investigation of Brady and the New England Patriots. Only to have the star quarterback face no loss of play.

10:33 AM- Click here to read U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman decision on Deflategate.

10:27 AM- Tom Brady will not miss the first four games of the NFL season according to multiple media reports after a district court judge overturned his league imposed suspension.

This is a developing story and we will update this post frequently.



Cover Photo Credit: Keith Allison/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Millennials Rejoice: McDonald’s Will Now Serve Breakfast All Day

By Allyn Farach

Your quest for an Egg McMuffin just got a lot easier. McDonald’s announced that it would start serving breakfast all day throughout the United States.

“All Day Breakfast is the number one request we hear from customers,” McDonald’s spokeswoman Lisa McComb said in a press statement. “In fact, More than 120,000 people tweeted McDonald’s asking for breakfast throughout the day in the past year alone. We’re excited to make this dream a reality this year.”

The program went into effect last year at select chains to test how well all day breakfast would sell. Safety issues were also considered, as issues of grill space for both breakfast and lunch menu options were tested. McDonald’s added a rolling cart for eggs to ease workers with the transition.

Some menu options were also removed from the original breakfast menu to make room for lunch options as well. The announcement comes after news that McDonald’s has been doing badly in previous quarters, which led to the closing of several McDonald’s chains across the United States.

In response to such, McDonald’s President Mike Andres told USA Today that “The turnarounds we have seen in the past, both in the U.S. and around the world, there always is a catalyst that starts the turnaround…We believe that all-day breakfast could be the next big thing.”

Cover Photo Credit: Mike Mozart/Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Hearing Begins Today For Six Officers Charged In Death Of Freddie Gray

Hearings began today in Baltimore for the six police officers charged for the arrest and death of Freddie Gray.

Gray, a 25-year-old black man, was arrested on April 12, and died one week later in police custody after suffering a fatal spinal injury.

The hearing will be the first verbal argument for a case that has spanned over five months in written motions.

Today’s arguments will focus on three motions: a call for the case to be dismissed, the state’s attorney to be recused, and whether the six officers charged will face trial together or separately.

Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr., who drove the police van that Gray suffered injuries in, is charged with second-degree murder. Three other officers are charged with manslaughter: Officer William G. Porter, Sgt. Alicia D. White and Lt. Brian W. Rice. Facing lesser charges are Officers Garrett E. Miller and Edward M. Nero. All officers involved pleaded not guilty and waived their right to attend the hearing.

Attorneys representing the officers called for the dismissal of the case or the recusal of Moseby because they allege that Moseby’s office issued orders to crack down on law enforcement in the location Gray was arrested. “Mrs. Mosby herself is now an integral part of the story and as such is a central witness,” the motion reads. “In the charges relating to the initial arrest and/or detention of Mr. Gray, Mrs. Mosby herself has become essential exculpatory evidence.”

In the weeks following Gray’s death, nationwide protests occurred against police brutality and treatment of black people at the hands of the state. Protestors gathered at the steps of the courthouse in Baltimore at around 8 a.m., along with protests happening throughout cities across the country.

Twitter user @kwamerose was apparently arrested today at a Freddie Gray protest in Baltimore.

Today’s hearing will also see a call to move the hearing to a different location.

Stay with Rise News as we continue to cover this developing story. Send tips to [email protected]

Cover Photo Credit: POLICEDIVER2/Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

‘George Bush Doesn’t Care About Black People’: Ten Year Anniversary Of Kanye’s Iconic TV Moment

10 years ago today, Kanye West went on live television and told the world that George Bush doesn’t care about black people.

On September 2, 2005, four days after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the nation, in front of 8.5 million viewers, his sentiment reflected the frustrations of the American people in response to the failure of the federal government to provide aid to the thousands of victims of the category 5 hurricane.

“I hate the way they portray us in the media,” West said during the Concert For Hurricane Relief, NBC’s live broadcast to aid victims. “If you see a black family it says they’re looting, if you see a white family, it says they’re looking for food.”

At the time, the show’s producers and viewers dubbed the moment as controversial television. Today, it is considered one of the most iconic moments in television history.

Looking back ten years later, we can see how the rest of West’s speech was equally controversial to the George Bush line, as he criticized the Iraq war and acknowledged the disparity in the way media treats black victims and white victims.

Ten years later, #Bushdid911 broke barriers of conspiracy theory status to becoming a widespread Internet movement and joke in its own right. As the topic of police brutality and the killing of black people at the hands of the state have been brought to the forefront of political discussion, West’s ideas on the unfair media portrayal of black people are increasingly relevant today.

“We realize that a lot of people that could help right now are at war fighting another way—they’ve given them permission to go down and shoot us,” West said in 2005.

West’s veracity in that moment has become a casual topic in the realm of pop culture as well. Two nights ago at the MTV Video Music Awards, West announced he’s running for president in 2020. Jokes aside about the delivery of his speech, West’s raw emotions have cascaded into a cultural movement for a younger generation to fight to be heard.

“This is a new mentality. We’re not gonna control our kids with brands. We not gonna teach low self-esteem and hate to our kids,” West said at the VMA’s. “We gonna teach our kids that they can be something. We gonna teach our kids that they can stand up for theyself! We gonna teach our kids to believe in themselves!”

While West isn’t necessarily a master of delivery in these unplanned and sincere moments, maybe he doesn’t have to be, as long as we take a step back and listen.

What do you think about Kanye West’s role in American political discourse? Tell us in the comments below. 

Wall Street: Stocks Bounce Back After Brutal Tuesday Sell Off

3:10 PM- Stocks are up across the board about 1%. Dow up around 190 points (+1.17%), NASDAQ up around 70 points (1.52%).

9:35 AM- The Dow Jones Industrial Average sits over 200 points above where it started as trading got off to a hot start on Wall Street. The rebound comes right after a rough Tuesday on the street where stocks lost over 400 points.

The NASDAQ is also up this morning- around 60 points (a 1.30 percent positive change).

Stay with Rise News as we continue to follow this developing story. 

Cover Photo Credit: Dave Center/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Batman of Birmingham: The Curious Story Of Willie J. Perry

Sheila Tyson still remembers riding home with Batman.

She was a little girl then, each arm loaded with a cluster of bulging grocery bags and each foot keeping time with those of her mother and siblings as they made their customary several-mile trek home from the store on foot. But on many lucky occasions, he would pull up alongside the family in a car effervescent with strobe lights, and he would ask through an enormous, toothy grin if they all wanted to pile inside.

“Mom had to buy groceries for seven children,” Tyson, now a city councilor for Birmingham, Alabama, said. “She didn’t have a car, and we didn’t have much access to public transportation. We didn’t have much at all. But we had Batman.”

By day, he was Willie J. Perry, a Birmingham native and resident of the city’s South Titusville neighborhood and shop manager at Lakeview district window distributor J.F. Day & Company. But in the mornings and nights before and after work, he was the Batman of Birmingham, cruising the city’s streets in a souped-up 1971 Ford Thunderbird he dubbed the Rescue Ship, carrying older folks to doctor’s appointments, repairing the engines and replacing the flat tires of stranded motorists, and rolling up at kids’ birthday parties to deliver presents and trips in the Ship.

He refused all offers of payment or reimbursement for his assistance, which he provided until literally the day of his death in 1985.

“We were living in a poor, black community, and we all knew about the Batman shows on the television, but we were convinced that Willie Perry was the real Batman,” Tyson said. “He was Batman for us, and you couldn’t tell us anything else.”

Tyson was speaking to a more than 100-person crowd assembled on August 3, 2015, at Birmingham’s Old Car Heaven to celebrate Willie Perry Day, a title assigned to the date by mayor Richard Arrington in 1982 to honor Perry’s contributions to the city.

But Willie Perry Day 2015 wasn’t just any old Willie Perry Day. The Rescue Ship, recovered from a city storage unit near Birmingham International Airport after being warehoused for years, anchored the event, along with the presentation to Perry’s family of a new resolution passed by the Alabama state legislature recognizing Perry’s legacy.


Family members, old friends, and new admirers flocked to the vehicle, snapping pictures together and swapping long-ago tales of either salvation at Perry’s hands or adventures in the passenger seat. Many folks had not seen the car since they were children, and some were looking at it for the first time.

When it came to Batmobile embellishment, Willie Perry had more of a flair for flamboyance than Bruce Wayne did. The vehicle, equal parts burgundy, white, and gold, is charming in its devotion to garish idiosyncrasy.

Stickers bearing inscriptions like “Sexy Tiffany: International Lover” and “Angela: A Mean Sex Queen” blanket the Rescue Ship’s front and rear quarter panels, displayed in honor of Perry’s nieces and friends. Bat-shaped stickers, reminiscent of the logo for the campy 1960s Batman television series, announce the Rescue Ship’s name from each door.

A spoiler juts from the trunk, and cylindrical fluorescent light fixtures stacked into tailfins run the length of the car’s rear half. Two strobe lights sit lifeless along the top edge of the windshield. Look down through the cutaway ceiling, and you’ll see a dashboard covered in orange shag carpet, as well as a toaster oven, record player, Atari 2600 game console, and PA system. A clear plastic shield at the front of the hood bears Perry’s motto: “Will Help Anyone in Distress.” When he was on duty, Perry donned a white jumpsuit with brown trim and a white motorcycle helmet with a red bat logo on each side.


“You can’t get the full picture with it just sitting here like this. Back then, this thing was a major attraction on wheels. It had all these lights going, and loud music playing, and you could talk on the PA system to people on the sidewalk while he drove by,” Denard Jones, a nephew Perry nicknamed “Bubba,” said as he stood examining the car in which his uncle had taken him for rides when he was four years old.

According to Lee Shook, a Birmingham-native radio DJ and filmmaker who has been working throughout the past eight years on a documentary about Perry and was instrumental in locating the car and organizing the event, plans are already in motion to restore the Rescue Ship to its original, operable condition.

“There are really two potential versions of where we would like to take this restoration process,” Shook said in a phone conversation one week after the event. “There’s the pipe dream version, in the best of all possible worlds, where we would get the car fixed back to its original condition and get it running again. I want it to be going down the street turning heads again, like it did when I was a kid.

“I would love to have the documentary debut at the [annual Sidewalk Film Festival] next year with the Rescue Ship parked outside the Alabama Theatre with all the lights going and the toaster toasting, with the bat signal going up in the air to let everybody in Birmingham know that it’s there. But if we can’t do that, we at the very least want to get it running so that it can be taken to events and parades around town.”

Shook said the restoration effort will be funded primarily through private donations to a Rescue the Rescue Ship fund accessible online.

“He was a genius, and he did great all through high school. He knew he could do anything he wanted, but he decided to put all of his efforts towards helping other people instead of just advancing his own career,” Stickney said.

To hear his friends and family tell it, Perry lived to improve the lives of the people around him, with or without the Rescue Ship. In fact, according to Shook, before he was Batman, Perry adopted a Spaceman persona, cruising around on a customized motorcycle looking for ways he could lend a hand.

Judy Stickney, Perry’s niece, recalls Perry picking her up to take her to work at the Red Cross every morning and swinging by every evening to carry her back home. She was one of several single, working mothers along a circuit he traveled each day, transporting them to and from their jobs before spending the day at his own.

“He was a genius, and he did great all through high school. He knew he could do anything he wanted, but he decided to put all of his efforts towards helping other people instead of just advancing his own career,” Stickney said.

Stickney stood reminiscing with her cousin Debbie Hill, who added, “He was a quiet man, and he was a powerful man.” Hill is enshrined on the Rescue Ship with a sticker reading, “Debbie: Fine.”


Debbie “Fine” Hill.

“Whenever I needed a ride anywhere, I knew I could call him,” Joyce Darby, Perry’s niece, said. “He’d answer that phone in his car and say, ‘Alright, I’ll be there in ten minutes.’ And if he said he was coming to get you, he was coming.”

Perry regularly spent late Friday and Saturday nights carrying home people who were too intoxicated to drive themselves back from the restaurant or bar safely, then he would get up early the next morning to drive across town to deliver rides and presents at children’s birthday parties.

“We have some archival footage of him at the parties, and you can just see the pure joy, the awe, in these children’s eyes,” Shook said. “That really brought it all back to how he made me feel when I saw him as a kid.”

One time, he paid for the hotel room of four tourists who were stranded overnight in Birmingham during a snowstorm. On another occasion, he helped thwart an attempted pharmacy robbery. The tales of Perry’s good deeds are innumerable.

“He would have been helping people with or without that car. That’s just what he did anyway. His entire life, he was always looking for ways he could help someone out,” Nicole Blount, Perry’s niece, said.

“There was still a lot of anger and resentment in both the black and white communities, and he was this real person that did everything he could to help you, white or black, rich or poor.”

But the Batman alter ego and the Rescue Ship did play a substantial role in generating interest for and recognition of Perry’s actions, making him a sort of universal symbol of selfless altruism in a Southern city less than 20 years removed from the formal end of the Civil Rights Movement.

ABC featured Perry in a 1982 episode of the network’s That’s Incredible! television program. He and the Rescue Ship headed Alabama football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant’s funeral procession in 1983, and Michael Jackson tracked Perry down to ask for a ride in the car when the Jacksons were in town rehearsing for their 1984 Victory tour. According to Shook, comedian Redd Foxx approached Perry’s family about purchasing the vehicle following Perry’s death in 1985.

WatchThat’s Incredible! segment on Willie Perry from 1982.

“We’re talking about barely post-Civil Rights Movement Birmingham. Segregation was still very much an awful reality,” Shook said. “There was still a lot of anger and resentment in both the black and white communities, and he was this real person that did everything he could to help you, white or black, rich or poor.”

Birmingham, along with many other cities across the state, played a critical role in the Civil Rights Movement. Martin Luther King, Jr., penned his eminent “Letter from Birmingham Jail” on the margins of a smuggled-in newspaper while serving an eight-day sentence there in April of 1963.

In June of the same year, Alabama Governor George Wallace made his notorious Stand in the Schoolhouse Door in an attempt to bar two black students from enrolling at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. For most of the years Perry was cruising Birmingham in the Rescue Ship, Wallace was running the state.

Wallace served two more terms as Alabama governor between 1971 and 1979 and one final term between 1983 and 1987, campaigning in 1970 with slogans like “Do you want the black bloc electing your governor?” and “Wake Up Alabama! Blacks vow to take over Alabama.” Less than 30 years after Rosa Parks had been arrested for refusing to give up her spot on a Montgomery bus, Willie Perry was tooling around Birmingham sharing his passenger seats with anyone who needed them.

“He loved everybody, no matter what your skin color was. He had an impact on everyone he met,” Darby said. “He shared his life with everybody.”

If the size and diversity of the crowd at Old Car Heaven on the night of August 3, 2015, is any indication, Perry’s legacy has similarly transcended demarcations of race, age, or socioeconomic status.

“The vehicle that he used to do so much good ultimately took his life,” Shook said. “It’s this absolutely heartbreaking chapter of the story.”

Like Bruce Wayne’s, Willie Perry’s story is one ultimately scarred by tragedy. January of 1985 was a period of uncommonly extreme cold and snowfall for the Birmingham area. The night of January 24, after braving the elements to check on Mr. Day’s mother-in-law, Perry pulled the Rescue Ship into a garage at J.F. Day & Company to work on the car.

Nobody knows for sure whether Perry closed the garage door to insulate his workspace against the invading cold or if the door closed unintentionally, but accidental carbon monoxide poisoning from the Rescue Machine’s running engine ended Perry’s life that night. He was 44 years old. Perry was later found on all fours at the garage door, as if he had been trying to lift the door to get out. According to Darby, the snowfall at the time had been so substantial that his funeral services were delayed a week until the roads had been adequately cleared for people in the city to travel safely.

“The vehicle that he used to do so much good ultimately took his life,” Shook said. “It’s this absolutely heartbreaking chapter of the story.”

A chapter, yes, but not once did any of Perry’s friends or family suggest it was the end of the story.


Shook intends for the documentary, tentatively titled Smiles Per Gallon, to look to the future as much as the past. Much of the film’s focus will be directed toward tracking the upcoming Rescue Machine restoration process in addition to tracing the history of Perry’s time as Birmingham’s Batman.

“Since Willie is no longer alive and can no longer speak for himself, we want to have his car sort of stand in for him in this story, and we want to tell the story of the car getting restored, this story of reviving his spirit with the car, as well as through the memories of all of these people whose lives he impacted,” Shook said.

Members of Perry’s family, spearheaded by the efforts of his daughter Marquetta Hill, are creating the Willie Perry Foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted to providing used cars for single parents in need of transportation for work or school. Shook envisions future Willie Perry Days as communal periods of citywide service efforts.

“He truly believed that he could make the world a better place just by making the effort each day to help people. That’s a very powerful message, and it seems like it’s one you don’t see very often now,” Shook said. “And that’s what we all can learn from Willie Perry. You don’t have to have a Batmobile. You don’t have to dress up in the suit. Just do something truly good and kind, something that will help somebody for no other reason than wanting to help. Make every day a Willie Perry Day.”

How Donald Trump Is An IRL Internet Troll

The following is an opinion piece that does not necessarily reflect the views of Rise News. It was originally published in Rise Miami News.  

By Fred Russell

In watching the almost continuous news coverage of Donald Trump’s recent gaffs, I started to notice a pattern developing. There was a word for how this man was acting.

I had my suspicions about what he may have been doing, but I couldn’t be sure. It all started when he made openly bigoted statements about Mexican immigrants, suggesting they were “rapists” and “criminals”.

Then, at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, he disrespected Senator John McCain by suggesting that he was not in fact a war hero, because he had been captured. At this point it was starting to become clear that Mr. Trump was saying these things purely to gain attention from anyone who would look in his direction.

This type of behavior is known among some internet users as “trolling”. At least that’s what it seemed like to me. Urban Dictionary defines the word “Internet Troll” as: “Someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum or chat room, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion.”

I woke up a few days later, flipped the television on to watch the news with some coffee. My suspicions were confirmed in such spectacular fashion, I did a spit-take and sprayed Mr. Trump directly in the face with my morning cup of joe. Donald Trump had publicly listed the cell phone number of a U.S. Senator, and encouraged millions of viewers on live television to give him a call. A video surfaced the next day on the internet of Senator Lindsey Graham destroying his cell phone by throwing it at a wall.

So there it was. Doxing. Wikipedia defines doxing as: ”Doxing (from dox, abbreviation of documents), or doxxing, is the Internet-based practice of researching and broadcasting personally identifiable information about an individual.”

They go on to explain: “Doxing may be carried out for various reasons, including to aid law enforcement, business analysis, extortioncoercionharassmentpublic shaming and vigilante justice.”

In this case, I would say that Donald Trump had doxxed his fellow Republican presidential candidate for the purpose of harassment. In true troll form, he had inconvenienced someone simply because it garnered attention for him.

I am sure some will suggest that if I know he just wants attention, I should probably refrain from writing about him and stop giving him what he wants. However, anyone familiar with the garden-variety internet troll knows that in any argument, there will be one person who points out the troll and makes a great suggestion. I am that guy.

Most internet message boards and social networks come with a special option, which allows users to break contact with anyone who bothers them. Hit the block button. Ignore him, America. Put this bigoted, antagonistic ass behind you. That is where asses belong.

Cover Photo Credit: Sarah Russell

Long-Read: Why GamerGate Is Really A Liberal Identity Crisis

The following is an opinion piece penned after multiple bomb threats shut down a Miami based discussion on ethics in video game journalism, also known by the shorthand- GamerGate. The following piece does not necessarily reflect the views of Rise News. This piece was original published in Rise Miami News on 8/25/2015.   

By Arad Alper

GamerGate is marking a year of existence, a year in which it has been the most notable and important cultural event around, the clearest reflection of the zeitgeist. The story of GamerGate enfolds many of the characteristics that define our time: online activism, the questionable ethics of Internet journalism, a liberal identity crisis, the civil war of the left, the opening of a new generational gap, and of course the turning of video games and gaming culture into the center of pop culture, the place to be.

A year later, it is time to stop for a moment and take a more historical perspective, to ask how we came to this point and where we are headed. And, most importantly, what’s it all about?

Politically, GamerGate is an event that takes place in the left, and its roots are in the conflict between two different leftist approaches. The left as a whole believes that humanity has to liberate itself from traditions and structures that cause injustice, to create newer and better worldviews and aspire to build a society where everyone will enjoy freedom, equality and peace. But there are two different approaches to this struggle.

The first, which I shall term the liberal approach, is an evolutionary approach. It regards the human creature as an ape that is in a gradual process of leaving the jungle, a process that transforms homo sapiens into an increasingly enlightened and sublimated being. This approach espouses giving humans the largest possible amount of freedom to express themselves, even if what they express is not enlightened or cultivated, because by exposing all our different sides we eventually learn how to sublimate them.

This approach also acknowledges that humans will forever be apes and will never reach a perfect state of liberty, equality and peace, but we can get closer and closer, and in fact the Western world has already reached a stage where even the most wretched members of society can live a good and happy life.

Therefore we should focus of achieving a happy life for ourselves, while working at the same time for ever greater social harmony.

Read More: Journalists Should Check Their Privilege About Feminism And GamerGate

The second approach, which I will term the puritan leftist approach, is revolutionary. It believes that humankind is born by nature to live in a state of perfect social harmony, and the only thing preventing it is the structure and mindset of contemporary society. Therefore, all we need to do is change the way we educate our children, instill in them the ideals of perfect social justice from birth, and in a generation or two we will have the perfect society.

We must therefore censor anything that is not enlightened, tear down any state of inequality and enforce total equality in its place, and soon enough the people will learn to think correctly and will live in a state of justice and happiness. Millions of years of evolution coded into our biology, tens of thousands of years of cognitive development coded into our language, thousands of years of civilization coded into our manners, all of this can be erased in one stroke if we only wish it – so believe the puritans.

This view is actually the continuation of the old Christian concept of the fall from paradise, as if humankind was born to dwell in heaven but fell into this imperfect world and can be happy only if it returns to its rightful place. And just like with puritanism of the religious kind, leftist puritanism has nothing to rely on – it is based on blind faith, faith that the nature of humankind is good.

Because that perfect world is always on their mind the puritans feel alienated and cannot find any happiness in our imperfect world, and regard others’ happiness negatively because it distracts the latter from striving for Utopia. While liberal leftism continuously develops and progresses, embracing the inventions of the modern world and the new experiences it opens for us and weaving them into the rich and diverse social fabric of today’s Western society, puritan leftism changed very little since the days of the Jacobin.

It’s the same rigid and narrow minded approach, that is busy with dreaming Utopian dreams that are completely divorced from reality and can therefore affect very little positive change in our world.

Nevertheless, those two approaches usually work together to fix the world, with the liberals doing the work and the puritans cheering from the sidelines. But there were moments in the past 250 years when the puritans felt like they could fight the battle on their own, and now is one of those moments.

What gave them that sense is the Internet, where they could find each other and form a large community with power and influence. It happened mainly on Tumblr, where they converged in the beginning of this decade and became known pejoratively as “Social Justice Warriors”, or SJWs.

Read More: Why GamerGate Matters To Me As A Black Developer

The reason why the rest of the Internet mocks the SJWs is that it is obvious to anyone that their actions have nothing to do with social justice. They are not trying to improve society, since they don’t believe in gradual change but in revolution. Instead, they work as one to destroy anyone whose opinions are incompatible with theirs. The SJW is characterized by the belief that only his way to achieve social justice is the right way and anyone who disagrees is against justice.

In other words, even if you are a liberal who agrees with them that we must work to achieve equality, but disagree with their revolutionary approach and believe in the evolutionary process, they will immediately brand you “racist”, “misogynist”, “homophobe” etc., and gang up on you like an online lynch mob. Sometimes you don’t even have to express disagreement: you only have to use terms that are not “politically correct” in their book, or tell an inappropriate joke, or socialize with a right-wing person, and you risk becoming a target of their bullying. The SJWs are also notorious for their disregard of facts, their neurotic reaction to anything that causes them discomfort, and most of all in the amusing disparity between the way they perceive themselves as lofty and moral people and the way anyone else regards them as nasty and reprehensible louts. As long as they were contained in Tumblr they were treated mainly as a joke, but in the past couple of years they extended their activities to other regions and are beginning to become a real nuisance.

SJWs who critique computer games do not care if the game excites and elevate the spirit or if it makes the gamers face their dark side in a way that would stimulate their minds to think about it. What they mainly care about is if the game obeys the ideals of social justice and if it educates the players that they will win only if they abide by them, and if it doesn’t (and no good art ever does) they denounce it.

One of the outlets which the SJWs employ to express themselves is online media. While old media obeys an ethical code and cares about its public image, online media is an anarchic world in which almost anything goes. In the years 2009-2013 this proved to be an advantage, because online media could undermine entrenched narratives and affect liberalization of the mind in the US, in the Arab world and in other places. But this anarchy also allows extreme views to flourish and promote their narratives without the need to address pesky things like facts or ethics, and in this way the puritan left managed to establish itself as a journalistic force. In most fields there are enough channels to counter their ideology and they remain marginal, but there is one field in which they found an uncharted territory they could take over. And so, to its detriment, the world of video games became their experimental lab.

The video game is one of the newest art forms, so new that we have yet to develop theories to analyze it properly. Its greatest uniqueness lies in its way of turning the consumer into an active participant in the story, not just a spectator. This opens up avenues to do things that are impossible in other mediums, and the possibilities this holds thrill the imagination. It is no wonder that this art form currently draws the most creative forces and rapidly expands in many directions.

In liberal thought, art has a few main functions. First, of course, it elevates our spirit, puts us in contact with the sublime. Secondly, art is a way to express what cannot be said in words, and thus it expands our consciousness and opens our mind. In that, it is also an agent of social progress, because it teaches us new things about ourselves which help us arrange society in a better way. Art must therefore not recoil from any subject, penetrate even the darkest corners of the human psyche and bring them to light, because then we can learn how to deal with them. Puritans, on the other hand, think of art as an instrument to educate the masses.

SJWs who critique computer games do not care if the game excites and elevate the spirit or if it makes the gamers face their dark side in a way that would stimulate their minds to think about it. What they mainly care about is if the game obeys the ideals of social justice and if it educates the players that they will win only if they abide by them, and if it doesn’t (and no good art ever does) they denounce it. Unfortunately, since more intelligent ways of thinking about video game art are still in gestation, the puritan outlook is the one that dominates the online media on the subject (we can take comfort in knowing that this is not a problem that is unique to video games. Every young art form passes through such a stage).

The people who dedicate their lives to playing video games are called gamers, and are full of love and passion for their hobby. They immerse themselves in the mythologies of the different games, identify with the characters, create playing and discussion groups, build entire worlds around every game.

Read More: I’d Like A Game News Website That Didn’t Hate My Guts

They want journalism that shares this devotion, but what they get instead is didactic and boring puritan criticism. Worse, they feel that this journalism is deeply corrupt, exploiting the lack of ethics in online media to operate with impunity. It’s not just that game Journalists of the SJW type are using their power to promote games that obey their values; gamers have been sensing for years that behind the scenes there is also collusion, inappropriate relations between game developers and those who write about them. Since the gaming media is the source that any other media draws from when writing about the subject, the gamers feel like this corruption creates a distorted image of their world. They demand transparency, accountability and compliance with principles of journalistic ethics, but the online media always ignored their demands. And then, in August 2014, the game critics hit the fan.

It all began with a blog post written by a game developer in which he revealed how his girlfriend, also a game developer, cheated on him with several men, among them a game critic. The juicy story had all the makings of a good scandal, and the scandal did not fail to arrive. For those who complained about the corruption in media, this was the evidence they were looking for, a story about a developer trading sex for a good review from the critic.

But, as is always the case with such stories, the legitimate demand to investigate the corruption was swamped by a lot of other things: fictional supplements to the story, disinformation, personal attacks on the adulteress, railing against all those slut women, etc. Still, it could have ended there if the media had reacted properly. The gaming journalism sites could have addressed the serious part of the arguments against them, promise to adopt better ethics, and appease their enraged readers. What happened instead is what is remembered now as “August 28th”, the day that will go down in infamy in the history of online media, the day gaming journalists showed their true colors, the day that changed everything.

For those who don’t know how the Internet works, we should make it clear that most of the bad behavior does not come from the GamerGate or SJW communities but from anonymous anti-social trolls who exploit the mayhem to let their violent nature loose.

Rather than addressing the demands, the SJWs went for their usual tactic: claiming that the attacks on the developer are not due to substantive issues but because she is a woman, and the real problem is not her but the character of her detractors. In the span of two days there was a series of articles, by different journalists in different sites, in which they depicted the gamer as a white male who hates women and minorities and feels like his world (a world of video games aimed at racists and misogynists) is being taken away from him so he lashes against the people he deems responsible for it. Suddenly it dawned upon the gamers that their media, the media that is supposed to represent their world, is actually driven by prejudice and hate towards them. This was the beginning of what became known as GamerGate.

And it was ugly, in the tradition of all online flame wars since the 4Chan civil war of 2009. The heart of GamerGate was still the demand for ethics, but its essence was the fight against the SJWs. This was the first time a large group of people stood up to the SJWs, and the latter reacted according to their nature. Individuals from both sides received nonstop harassment, murder and rape threats, and some had their private details exposed online.

A couple of events organized by GamerGate had to evacuate the premises due to bomb threats, and so was a lecture by SJW game critic Anita Sarkeesian. For those who don’t know how the Internet works, we should make it clear that most of the bad behavior does not come from the GamerGate or SJW communities but from anonymous anti-social trolls who exploit the mayhem to let their violent nature loose.

Read More: Gamedropping- How Journalism Outlets Reinforce A False Narrative Without Facts

But both said communities were responsible for creating the toxic atmosphere, and should both be condemned for it. However, even though the responsibility lay equally on both sides and both sides suffered the same, the media put the blame squarely on GamerGate. Not just the puritan online media, but even the established mainstream media that is supposedly liberal bought the narrative that GamerGate is a hate movement against women and minorities, and they bought it hook, line, and sinker. Every attack on an SJW was touted in the media as evidence to the true nature of GamerGate, while similar attack on gamergaters got no coverage at all. The GamerGate people, most of them leftists of the liberal type, watched in dismay as their heroes in the media turned against them, accusing them of views that are completely opposed to their character and beliefs, while the only media that defended them were right-wing sites. Many of them experienced severe identity crisis as a result.

But that only motivated them to soldier on, and slowly they began to turn things around. The reason that mainstream media reported with such bias against GamerGate wasn’t that it was taken over by puritans, but simply the result of a generational gap. Mainstream journalists have no clue in video games, gaming culture and Internet culture, so they just buy wholesale what they are being told by those they perceive as journalists like them. Like the rock’n’roll generation of the sixties, the gamers had to create their own media channels if they wanted to be represented. The community began to produce its own YouTube stars – intellectuals, comedians, culture critics, game critics etc. – who drive the discussion that combines the world of video games with current sociology and politics. Gradually they are getting mainstream journalists to listen, and compelling the online media to adopt ethical standards.

As an onlooker, I was neutral at first and put the blame equally on all sides. But I kept watching, and now, a year later, I feel that I can pass judgment the true nature of each side. The GamerGate community is working to rid itself of the negative elements and proved to be a culture based on fun, creativity, self exploration, the acceptance of the other, rational and critical thought, a dialogue based on listening to diverse views, and fighting the corrupt system. The SJW community, on the other hand, continues to be a piranha infested cesspool and a culture based on resentment, self-righteousness, the rejection of otherness, herd mentality, ideological thinking that discards facts, sweeping censorship, and hatred to all earthly pleasures except the pleasure of destroying anyone who disagrees with them.

They do not try to better themselves, but work effortlessly to prevent any opinion that might make them doubt themselves from entering their consciousness (one of the main characteristics of an SJW is the blocking on Twitter of anyone who attempts to debate them). All of their actions are based on the delusion that they truly speak in the name of the oppressed and that those who oppose them are really just doing so because they are white straight male who want to maintain their hegemony.

In the last year the SJWs, driven by their self-righteousness and tripping on their delusions of self-importance, expanded the range of their attacks and went after movie people, musicians, comedians, scientists and politicians.

Whenever they encounter a gamergater who doesn’t fit this stereotype (and they are of course numerous) they tend to claim that it is actually a white male in disguise, and then proceed to immediately block that gamergater whose very existence threatens their delusional bubble. Actually, there is not a shred of evidence to corroborate their claim that “there is a new generation of gamers to replace the old generation of racist, sexists and homophobes”, but what seems to be happening is a natural evolution is which the gamer community, liberal by nature, is organically developing from a white male dominated group into something more diverse “Of course, female and minority gamers mostly despise the SJWs and are offended by their anti-gamer attitude, so the latter’s contribution to the process amounts to zero or even less.”

In the last year the SJWs, driven by their self-righteousness and tripping on their delusions of self-importance, expanded the range of their attacks and went after movie people, musicians, comedians, scientists and politicians. They are beginning to reveal their true nature to the people outside the Internet, and more and more liberals wake up and realize that they are an enemy.

The SJWs are bound to fall, but the question is what damage they will do to the left before they go. The American right went through something similar in the beginning of the decade, as the puritan Tea Party challenged the conservative establishment. The latter was oblivious to the danger, helped the Tea Party advance, and ended up losing control over conservative politics. The outcome was that the Republican party alienated the majority of Americans, came to be regarded as irrational and unhinged, and lost the culture war. The SJWs are threatening to do the same to the left, but it is not too late to stop them. GamerGate marks an awakening in the left, a moment of clarity. Some people involved in the battle are already talking about “the civil war of the left” and are vowing to kick the SJWs back to the nether regions of Tumblr. Let them continue to be a pain there but nowhere else.

And it contains an opportunity for the right as well. Needless to say, not only liberals play video games, and GamerGate also has many right-wingers in its ranks. Moreover, the battle draws right-wingers who recognize in GamerGate’s claims many of their own traditional claims against the left. The difference is that they always thought that the puritan positions characterized the whole left (typical mistake: the left errs in the same way about the right), and now they realize it is only a noisy minority. This already forms a dialogue between left and right, a better understanding of the other side’s positions. Maybe this will be the thing that will reconnect the American right with the spirit of the time.

GamerGate currently contains many contradicting positions, and will eventually be unable to hold them all together and will fall apart. But while it exists it plants seeds of positivity, seeds which will fertilize society, culture and politics for years to come. Stay tuned.

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Photo Credit: David Shankbone/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
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