Your must-read #longreads addition for the week. There are a few things missing and some tone issues but this is as close as I’ve seen to a solid take on the PewDiePie controversy this week.
“The online alt-right is built on lulz, and on an insulated privilege enjoyed by people without any personal context for or historical understanding of the things their privilege lets them say. Rewriting Felix Kjellberg’s history to make him a monster — pulled along by the gravity of recent high-impact cautionary tales like those of Milo Yiannopolous and Richard Spencer — is investigative laziness that obscures a much more important fact: that “edgelords,” the boys and men who group together online for the explicit proliferation of hate speech and misogyny, will almost inevitably keep pushing the line until they end up in a truly dark place. […]
“The reason for that is terrible, and quite simple: because the whiny self-importance and self-indulgence of white male rage — from Gamergate to Anonymous, WikiLeaks to the Fappening, all the proliferating forms of alt-right confusion and rage you couldn’t possibly discern from that of even the least radical right — is so repugnant that it’s nearly impossible to see through. But we won’t heal, and they won’t heal, if we don’t try. Their pain is pathetic, but watch how it spreads.”
The schadenfreude over YouTube star Felix Kjellberg’s sudden fall from grace overlooks a much bigger, more insidious pattern of young men testing boundaries in the angriest corners of the internet.
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