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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Who Hunts The Hunters?

Obvious title is obvious.

I play a lot of video games. I mean, a lot.

Primarily, I play cooperative game modes. In some of those cooperative game modes, sometimes the interfaces are poorly coded, such as in Mass Effect: Andromeda. In these more poorly coded interfaces, often the voice chat is on by default, and there's a surprisingly generous portion of the playerbase that doesn't realize this. As a result, you often hear a lot of background noise: dogs barking, heavy breathing, televisions, cars driving by, jackhammers, people having sex, someone being horribly murdered in the background, or a combination of any of the above.

Stay with me. This is relevant, I promise.

Over the last week or so, Bully Hunters was announced. It is ostensibly an elite squad of possibly female gamers on call 24/7 to hunt down and exact revenge on toxic male gamers that harass other female gamers that are just trying to play a game. They announced a livestream event, an hour to show off their system in action, hunting down a bully live and providing statistics on why they're necessary.

And then the stream happened.



An hour turned into 35 minutes of unadulterated cringe.

The experts they brought on parroted Gender Studies talking points, which really came as no surprise. The in-game footage they showed was choppy and looked like it was either poorly encoded, pre-recorded footage or was being played on a computer from 2002. The presenters were stiff and uncharismatic, the audience was lifeless, and the event cues were ripped straight from a garage-level presentation of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. But it didn't stop there.

The statistics discussed by the 'professionals' -- a clinical counselor with a focus on living with diabetes and a clinical psychologist with a focus on marriage counseling -- were revealed to have been extrapolated by a self-reporting survey of 874 people on social media platforms Twitter and Reddit, and inflated from the 874 respondents to a total of 3 million women being driven out of gaming.

One "casual gamer," therosethorn, was revealed to be not only the casual gamer with a level 1 account owning only one game, but the bully, the bully hunter, and several other bully hunters as well. Not to mention that one of her previous names (and the url of her profile page) was testbhv1 (test bully hunter victim 1?).

Full disclosure here: this screenshot was taken from my own Steam account while I was writing this, as I'd lost the original screenshot. That's right, it's still there.


An additional problem arises in that, unless I'm mistaken, you can't hear the enemy team (let alone join a game in-progress if you're playing competitively) in Counterstrike: Global Offensive. If she was able to hear the bully, that means they were on the same team, and if she invited the Bully Hunter in, then she'd go to the same team, thereby making that glorious knife kill from earlier nigh-on impossible. If she somehow joined the opposing team, then due to the hectic nature of a CS:GO match, she'd stand just as much a chance of killing the person that called her for help as she did killing the bully, or even being killed by the bully herself, which is something that happens anyway. I'm not kidding, you play one of these games, and you die a lot. One more death will mean literally nothing to you.

A few watchful eyes happened to notice the prominent SteelSeries branding backing the Bully Hunters, and asked them directly about it. SteelSeries, a fairly well-respected gaming peripheral company (I even have a Fallout-themed headset they made) initially stood their ground when asked, but eventually buckled after being confronted by the shady nature of the entire event.

And I can't blame them at all. After Bully Hunters host and spokesperson Natalie Casanova aka ZombiUnicorn was exposed as having used a slur on a livestream several times (something that poor PewDiePie was crucified for), and using a gendered slur in several tweets, people kept digging, and found that the entire thing was slapped together by marketing company FCB Chicago. Eventually other sponsors Vertagear and, ironically, the Diverse Gaming Coalition also folded, throwing FCB Chicago and, in the case of the latter, ZombiUnicorn under the bus.

This is bad. Not only does it paint people that play games in general in a bad light, but it also paints women that play games as personally helpless, having to bring in outside help to fight their battles for them. I've played with a lot of women in my time; some of my best long-term co-op partners have been women, and I've always trusted them to hold their own, whether they're tanking for my medic or I'm tanking for their medic, and have never been let down. But this? You don't stop 'bullies' by giving them air-time or more exposure. You don't give them an easily exploitable platform so they can play nice until they convince you they're hunter material. Instead, you starve them of oxygen. You give them no reaction until they get bored. Do you want to see the most effective weapon against in-game harassment? I'll show you:

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Monday, April 16, 2018

Assorted Calibers Podcast Episode 002

In this week's podcast:
  • Erin and Weerd discuss Youtube’s new gun policy.
  • Savage1R explains how one actually acquires cryptocurrencies.
  • The Weer’d Audio Fisk is Megyn Kelly’s Lecture on the Parkland Massacre.
  • and Weer’d interviews Gail Pepin of the Massad Ayoob Group about how she became pro-gun.

Show notes:

We have a Patreon now! Join now for the low, low cost of $4/month (that's $1/podcast) and you'll get to listen to our podcast on Friday instead of Mondays!

Listen here.
You can also download the episode here.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Semper Fidelis, Gunny Ermey



I had the pleasure of meeting Gunny once.

It was the 2016 NRA Annual Meeting, and I was on the hotel shuttle bus that would take me to the convention. Just as we were about to leave, some guy asked the driver if he would take the bus to the side entrance to pick up his friend, Lee. The bus driver agreed, took us there, and we waited.

And waited.

And the guy said "Come on, Lee, hurry up" while I grumbled silently about what kind of prima donna can't make it to the front where the bus is but needs his own pickup?

Then I saw Gunny come out of the hotel and walk to the bus, and all of my irritation evaporated. I had to exert physical effort to keep from fangirling all over the place, especially when he sat down across the aisle from me.

Like you'd expect, the Gunny kept up a running commentary about what a shitshow the traffic was, and how he'd sat through it every day, and that most of the NRA Board of Directors didn't show up until the actual voting day and some didn't show up at all, and things like that. It was pretty much an Authentic Gunny Experience, complete with profanity.

When we reached the convention center, I allowed myself a little lapse and said "It's a pleasure to meet you, Gunny. Keep doing what you're doing" and offered my hand. He smiled and shook it.

I can just see him calling cadence for the Heavenly Host. "You may be archangels, maggots, but I'm going to turn you into MARINES!"

Friday, April 13, 2018

Another Status Report on my Face

I realized I haven't told you folks about the new plastic surgeon I've been seeing, so here's the backstory followed by what happened when I went to see him on Wednesday.

After I had that terrible appointment with my lazy, useless, callous, no-good plastic surgeon, I fired him and went in search of another one. Fortunately for me, one of my neighbors is an LPN who works for a local Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon (the exact same kind of doctor who sewed my lips up after the attack) and who had noticed we had one less dog on our nightly walks, which led to a conversation about the injury. She, too, thought my old plastic surgeon was full of crap, and was confident that her boss could fix me up. She even set me up with a free consultation with him!

During the appointment, the OMS was a whirlwind of activity like the cartoon Tasmanian Devil: he came in, examined me, said "Oh yeah, we can fix this easily by doing X, Y, and Z," and then he was out of the room. My friend the LPN set some things up, the doctor whirled into the room again, and gave me several injections of something called Kenalog right in the scar tissue (I'm pleased to report that I could actually feel the needle going in, which is an odd thing to be happy about but that means I have less nerve damage to that area than I feared) before he whirled out again. Then the LPN gave me some scar reducing gel, telling me to use it 2x a day and to continue rubbing itamin E into my scar once a day, and that I'd need to come back in six weeks.

Let me tell you, those three things really reduced the swelling. If you look at these selfies I took during my trip to Fredericksburg, you can see the scar if you look really hard (it's hidden under dermablend -- which, by the way, is expensive but worth the cost) but it's not obvious and it's definitely not puffy.


That brings us to a few days ago, when I had my 6-week checkup. Both the LPN and OMS were really pleased with how the scar had visibly reduced in thickness, and so they gave me another round of Kenalog injections (which actually hurt worse than last time, which again I'll interpret as a good thing). Then they used a laser on the scar, focusing on the red parts where the stitching was, to blend the color in with the rest of my face.

I'm not going to say it was pleasant, but it wasn't bad. It hurt worse when I got my tattoo. Heck, the Kenalog injections hurt worse! But let me tell you, I looked AWFUL afterwards because the lasered areas were irritated like heck and oozing blood, so no pictures of that here.

I have another appointment in 2 more weeks, probably to see how my skin has recovered from the laser. I'll let you know how that goes.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

A Dumpster Fire-Side Chat With Wil

Wil, it's not always about you or your crusade. 


I had an interesting chat with a new co-worker today. Isaac -- we'll call him Isaac, as that's not his name but he looks like an Isaac to me --was talking with another coworker about people smoking weed. I asked him simply, "Who are they hurting?" He asked if I was Libertarian. I said that, while I respect some of their ideas, I'm not anti-government enough to call myself that.

He then went on to hopefully ask if I was Conservative. I told him my political compasses usually put me in the lower left quadrant, leaning Left with small L libertarian tendencies. He jokingly said "We'll bring you to the Right side yet."

Good luck, pal. If Erin hasn't converted me after 10 years of being a good example, I doubt you'll make much progress overnight.

But that's not why we're here. Tonight, we're here to talk to one my favourite self-imposed punching bags, one Wil Wheaton.

Pull up a seat, William. I'd like to ask you a question: Why?


William, how old are you? Oh Christ, you were born in 1972? You're that much older than me? No, sit back down, I'm not done yet. Pour me another drink, will ya fella? Cheers.

William, why would you screenshot just the article photo and the headline, and then read your own interpretation of the article? And then follow that up with the pound-signs for #fuck racism and #fuck racists. And why would you leave a space in the hashtags? You know that breaks a hashtag, right? You should know, being the world's oldest Millenial.

See, and the worst part is, William "Ban the Nazis" Wheaton, aka William "I'm a good person" Wheaton, is that you left no link to the original source. I had to dig up previous versions of a few different articles to determine that the image and headline were altered from this Washington Post article. You know, the left-leaning Washington Post. Or is this another example of Liberals Get The Bullet Too? (Is it still a bullet? Do you California Revolutionaries still use that phrase, or have you replaced "bullet" because of how problematic it is? Or do you hate us lowly untermensch Liberals so much that we justify usage of the damnable firearm?)

William, did you read the article? It mentions Black Panther exactly once. Then it goes on to talk about Ready Player One and A Wrinkle In Time in reference to theatre blockbusters, and Bright and The Cloverfield Paradox in reference to alternative format releases. The spirit and message of the article is that, as the production and advertising budgets of big blockbuster movies inflates, so does the amount they need to earn to be profitable, so a movie that makes, for example $500 million with a production budget of $250 million and advertising of $150 million can't be considered profitable. It also talks about how the domestic box office is meaning less and less as US profits flatline and profits in other countries like China are carrying otherwise mediocre successes (like, say Warcraft) to smashing successes.

William, I'd say you're better than this, but you're literally not. I've talked about you more than I've talked about any one person on this blog. I sought to save you before you were lost, and now I chastise you for taking a cheap, manufactured opportunity to push a narrative.

Stop it, William. Not because you're better than this, but because we are.

The Fine Print


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