About The “Personal Computer Master Race” by: Nick Carter

Attention internet: PLEASE STOP SAYING THIS PHRASE! I can already hear the chorus of “but it’s just a harmless internet joke” or “It’s just about PC Gaming, don’t be a libtard”. Do I really need to explain why this phrase makes me uncomfortable, and has since it first appeared around 2005? I will anyway.

During the hayday of the first XBox and second Playstation in the earliest days of Myspace and Facebook, there was an alternate, earlier internet culture that lived in forums. Sometimes it would be the forum of a specific gaming or news website, sometimes it would be grim grimey places like Something Awful and 4Chan. It is in these places that the term PC Master Race started to circulate, and it’s never gone away.

“PC Master Race”, to be perfectly clear, has zero connection with Political Correctness. In fact, PC Master Race is one of the few Nazi-related catch phrases from the internet that is NOT pejorative: proud Personal Computer devotees have been labeling themselves as members of the PC Master Race for over a decade, originally to shame the owners of Game Cubes and Wiis for being “less evolved”, “lower lifeforms”, “lazy consumers”, “technologically challenged”, or even just poor or basic.

To understand the privilege gap inherent in this term, we only need to look at the cost and upkeep of the two machines: ‘consoles’ are about $300-$600 dollars, and will generally work out of the box. A gaming personal computer might cost upwards of $1,200, needs regular upgrades and maintenance, and demands you spend half of your time fixing problems when it stops working. There is a meritocracy myth at play, where your proud PC user is very self-impressed with their ability to not only afford the costly equipment but also devote themselves to the maintenance of these machines.

Much like the Hot Rod days of years ago, except this time the ‘Hot Rod’ is a computer: an interface for changing the world or escaping it, depending on how you use it. These self-important PC users will proudly proclaim their “Master Race” status on internet forums to let console gamers know who is in charge: this is their turf, and you won’t have a good time if you question them. This war between console gamers and PC gamers was raging for several years, by the time Gamergate occurred in 2014 and united the community behind one vile cause.

In short, Gamergate was a months long attack on several female game developers and journalists (including game developers Zoë Quinn and Brianna Wu, as well as feminist media critic Anita Sarkeesian) who criticized the overt sexism and manipulation in games development and marketing, and the gaming community did not take kindly to this. They went so far as to send death threats, and they would even witchhunt people who criticized them within their own ranks, with games journalists losing their jobs over speaking out in defense of the women who were mercilessly harassed (search for Moviebob + Gamergate for a peak at this madness.) The console and PC gamers united in this case, but it was even earlier that Steve Bannon realized the efficacy of this population. (As mentioned in the book “Devil’s Bargain” by Joshua Green.)

Steve Bannon joined the company ‘Internet Gaming Entertainment’ in 2007, a company founded by Brock Pierce (child actor in The Mighty Ducks, now infamous for his involvement in cryptocurrency). This company paid Chinese gamers to ‘farm’ for gold and items in World of Warcraft, a PC only game. These gold and items would then be sold to western players for real world money. But in dealing with these gamers directly, on an international stage, Steve Bannon could see what the PC Master Race was capable of when compelled to act. Denial of service attacks, doxing, hacking and interfering with public systems… Bannon had tapped into the anarchic Anonymous culture, where masses of impulse driven young men could be persuaded to change course with the right encouragement. These are the same young men who originally claimed to be PC Master Race.

If you’ve read all this, you might be thinking “well, I love my PC, so I’m PC Master Race, it’s not a big deal, just a lighthearted thing.” Just remember you’re willingly attributing to yourself a term of Nazi origin, that not only reflects your privilege but connects you to the movement that elected Donald Trump. The term “PC Master Race” in now indelibly tied to online White Supremacy, that’s to 4Chan’s /pol/ board and the connections it built with white supremacist leaders. And keep in mind there are still people in the world who don’t have a computer, or internet, or even basic access to the news. This is the ‘digital devide’, and when viewed through this lens, the term “PC Master Race” reeks of privilege and authoritarianism.

Consider China: the latest development in Chinese culture is a ‘social rating’ system. Inspired by the U.S. credit rating, this allows the Chinese government to monitor your social network usage, rate you based on the content you share, and allow or deny certain privileges based on your pro-state score. They’ve announced that access to local trains will be denied if your score is too low. (This system was developed for the Chinese government by Blizzard-Activision, the same company that designed World of Warcraft.) Think about how poor credit rating affects US citizens, then imagine what it’s like in China where they don’t even have to disguise it: it exists purely as a form of privilege control. In a civilization that rates you based on your digital social network usage, you won’t be able to afford not using it, much like it’s difficult to afford living in America without credit. In China’s case, you’ll find yourself without social clout. And at the top of this system are the network administrators and coders nessecary to keep this system humming.

This is what I think of when I think PC Master Race: a group so impressed with their provenance over machines and code that they expect and demand privilege commensurate with their importance and devotion to the machinary they run. More and more, the PC Master Race won’t just have a computer at home (and on their cash register at work): the PC Master Race will become network administrators and programmers, becoming more and more involved and entrenched in the machines that will run society in the future. Our financial markets are almost entirely run by software, from a technologist’s point of view it only makes sense to migrate as much of our government and society’s underpinnings to digital automation, and when that happens there will be a great devide between those who are subject to the machines, and those who are master to them: the PC Master Race.

Today it’s a lighthearted term, much like Pepe the Frog was just a funny mascot once. Today Pepe has been commandeered by the authoritarians of the alt-right, and as tech becomes ever more prevalent in our everyday world, soon “PC Master Race” will become a much heavier term. In the meantime, maybe we could stop associating ourselves with facism and convincing ourselves that it’s just an ironic turn of phrase.

Jesus is Coming; Start Looting

 

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By: Dave Rine

This might be hard to believe, but there was a time when I didn’t give a shit about the Bible. That was before I found out the world was about to end.
I remember it like it was the nineties. I remember it like the first time I found a Playboy (which was actually a Penthouse, a mildly frightening disappointment). It was the summer I turned eleven, and as I sat on the living room carpet pretending my stuffed animals could talk, my mom’s second husband was in the kitchen, trying to win my mom back by convincing her that he found Jesus. It was all pretty standard divorced-parent talk, until he got to the part about the Rapture, and the Final Judgement. The world was coming to an end, but that wasn’t all. There was so much more terrifying, awesome shit that was set to go down in the twinkling of an eye. There would be dragons. Mountains would fall flaming from the sky. Massacres, plagues, the mark of the beast, the sun blotted out with blood; this stuff was more exciting than GI Joe, and a hell of a lot more metal than Def Leppard. And unlike GI Joe, all this stuff was supposed to be true.
Hot damn. From that day on, Jack Van Impe and John Hagee became for me what Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees were for normal kids. The Book of Revelation was the ultimate horror kick, because it could all come true at any moment, and if you stayed up late to listen to the really creepy preachers who came on after midnight, you knew it that all of the signs in the bible proved that it was coming soon. The Antichrist was probably already among us. The righteous could be called into the sky this very instant. That first night I went to bed terrified, but by the time I was in junior high and my mom had married a completely unrelated bible thumper, I was unabashedly stoked for the apocalypse. Every day I prayed the Rapture would come before gym class.
And while we all know that the Bible, like Wolverine, is a wonderful book for pubescent psychopaths, I have to confess that I never fully grew out of that phase. There is still that part of me that hopes for the end of the world, that thrills when I see the signs coming to pass. So you can imagine my quiet glee when I checked Twitter the other morning, to see that Sarah Palin had endorsed Donald Trump for president.
So that’s it, right? Time to quit your job and learn how to make gunpowder because the world has had it. Such an obvious and repugnant combination of two such vile political forces can only portend the final coalescence of the Unholy Trinity described in Revelation.
A quick crib here for those of you who may not be apocalyptically bent religious nuts, the Unholy Trinity (like the Holy Trinity, in fact) is not explicitly mentioned in the bible, but is often used by evangelical eschatologists to give their palpably fakakta end times teachings an air of symmetry. Comprised of Satan, The Beast (aka the Antichrist), and the False Prophet, and is best described in Revelation, chapters twelve and thirteen.
Palin, of course, easily fits into the role of the False Prophet, who performs signs and wonders and deceives the people of earth into worshipping the Beast. Throughout her time in the nation spotlight, she has proven herself adroit at spouting brainless platitudes to stir up the fear and hatred in the hearts of all the forlorn and forgotten grannies, church deacons, and Walker, Texas Ranger fans in America who have been arming themselves for civil war. Like John the Revelator’s False Prophet, she is the eager cheerleader for the most violent, hateful and demonic impulses in American politics, shaking her pompoms for Armageddon. With winking, toothy cheer, she extols the doomsday virtues of World War Three, the way the False Prophet displays horns like a lamb and yet speaks like a dragon (Rev. 13:11)
Now, if I am the first person to mention the clear fact that Trump is the Antichrist, it can only be because the left-liberal noise machine has been too busy comparing him to Hitler, Mussolini, Cobra Commander and Yosemite Sam. In the first place, as one of the main duties of the Antichrist in Biblical teleology is to lead the forces of one of the world’s great empires into the battle of Armageddon, it should be noted that the entire Republican presidential field is comprised of eager candidates for the Beast-hood. In every Republican debate, the candidates spend half the night one-upping each other to prove that they are the most turned on by the idea of leaving the Valley of Jehoshaphat coursing with blood. It’s an honest-to-god Antichrist pageant at those debates, and even Hillary Clinton wants to wear that sash.
But Trump does possess certain Antichrist-like attributes that make him stand out from the pack. Not least of these is the fact that Trump already believes himself to be God. Revelation 13:1 describes the Beast arising, “out of the sea,” a phrase which is often taken to mean that the Antichrist will be a gentile, but could also be a reference to Trump’s early rise to prominence in Atlantic City. Perhaps most damning of all, chapter thirteen, verse five states that, “There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies,” which is as clear a Donald signifier as if the Bible had said, “There was given to him a hairpiece that looked like rice noodles held on with Scotch tape.”
In Matthew, chapter 24, Jesus tells his disciples that the end will not come until, “you see the Abomination of Desolation… standing in the holy place.” This is one of several verses that lead biblical prophecy buffs to insist that, before The Second Coming, the Jewish Temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem. Of course, when Trump rebuilds the temple, instead of a place of worship, it will be a gaudy and towering hotel and casino. But what do any of the politicians and would-be antichrists of this late stage of capitalism have to offer us besides that same casino swindle? Nothing but a place to watch the pretty lights and pretend we’ll be rich one day, while we dump the fruit of our toil into some rich kid’s pocket and wait for the bombs to fall, that’s the best anybody can do.
So welcome, brethren, to the new apocalypse, where the war-makers will be called sons of God, the privileged, loudmouthed imbeciles will inherit the earth, and the meek are losers who need to stop their crying. Your Kingdom come; your will be done, on earth as in some fake-ass rap video, because that’s the only heaven we’re still allowed to want.