Gizmodo Saga Pt. 2: Who Are You Trying To Impress, Angry Nerdlings?

I woke up this morning hoping I would get to write about something fun today.  I had it all planned out, it was going to be glorious.  But I can’t do that now.  Instead, I need to write another blog about disappointment.  You might ask, who could have disappointed me so much this time that I would set aside geeky fun-times to write about it?

You did.

Well, maybe not you specifically.  See, yesterday I wrote a little something about Gizmodo and the article Alyssa Bereznak posted about her dates with Magic: The Gathering World Champion Jon Finkel.  I was disappointed in both her choice of subject and her apparent ignorance of Gizmodo’s target audience.  And I think I did a pretty good job of attacking her message and methods, without attacking Miss Bereznak (a woman I have never met) personally.  And the internet being the internet, a goodly number of nerds joined me in expressing similar disappointment. (Even, apparently, Gizmodo’s Australian counterpart)  To those nerds I say: this post is not about you.  Relax and keep reading, or if you prefer please enjoy some Girl Genius; it is delightful.

No, I’m writing this post for all the ignorant nerdlings that felt it necessary to range into personal attacks on Miss Bereznak.  If you descended into name-calling in your comments, this post is about you.  If you decided to attack Miss Bereznak personally on Twitter, this post is for you.  If you went past a disagreement with her message and disappointment in using Gizmodo as a platform for that message, and instead attacked Miss Bereznak’s appearance, sexuality, ethnicity and/or gender…Yeah, this post is definitely for you.

Let me clue you in, little nerdlings: attacking someone personally because you disagree with something they’ve said does not make you “edgy”.  It doesn’t make you “street” or tough-sounding, and it sure as Sheppard doesn’t make you sound intelligent.  What it does, is make you sound like petulant, angry children.  And think about it: when was the last time you took anything a child said seriously?  Especially one that was screaming and blubbering, tugging on your sleeve to get attention.  I can tell you that unless something serious has happened I pay that child very little mind.

But the most annoying thing for me, is that you all ended up hurting the very cause you seemed to want to help.  When the response to Miss Bereznak’s article was still at the point of disappointment with the message and the platform, we had a chance, however slim, of changing her mind about it.  At the very least there was a chance for discussion, and something positive could have come from that.  But once you nerdlings got involved and escalated things to the online equivalent of throwing rocks and bottles, discussion went right out the window.

And the really sad part, nerdlings?  All you did was show Miss Bereznak why she was right to dump Jon Finkel.  How can she help but assume that Mr. Finkel is just like every screaming, ignorant nerdling that attacked her?  Why would she want to date that?  I can tell you from personal experience that loud, obnoxious ignorance is attractive for about…negative seconds.  So go on, nerdlings, give yourselves a slow clap build to a standing ovation; you helped prove Alyssa Bereznak right. Bravo.

Two things:

  1. I’m sure there are going to be a whole lot of people upset about today’s post.  They might feel I’m waffling on this issue.  Let me be clear.  There is a difference between attacking the message (which I did yesterday, as well as this wonderfully satirical piece by @kiala) and attacking the messenger.  One is acceptable, the other makes you a douche-canoe.
  2. My use of the words “nerd” and “nerdling”.  It is common, when discussing a species, to use terms that delineate the animal in question at various stages of development.  A bear is a “cub”, for instance, until it reaches a certain age and becomes and adult.  For my purposes, “nerdling” represents an immature nerd, either because they are five years old, or because they go on the internet and act five years old.

Okay, tomorrow we get back to fun with some Humpday Links, and then some posts about gaming.  Because I will have fun, dammit!

As always, feel free to comment below.

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