Experienced Points: Don’t Blame Games, Blame Pants

By Shamus
on Sep 24, 2013
Filed under:
Column

What do you do if someone makes a childish, lazy, inept strawman argument? If you answered, “Provide facts and logic to illuminate the issue”, then you are a wonderfully intelligent person. But also a chump. That’s not how you do things here on the internet. When someone shows up with a strawman, you counter it with an even bigger strawman.

I doubt it will change the debate at all, but it felt good to write.

Also, I made this to go with the article, but it just didn’t turn out good enough to use:

I tried.

Sadly, it doesn’t look enough like the original iconic image to sell the joke. I’m just sharing it here to give you a glimpse into the sausage factory of my weekly column.

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202020565 comments? This post wasn't even all that interesting.

From the Archives:

  1. Lovecrafter says:

    Well, it’s only natural that the shooters who succeeded were wearing pants. It gives them a leg up on the competition.

  2. Jeremiah says:

    I really want a pair of murder-pants now.

  3. Ardis Meade says:

    “There is not a single army that wears short-shorts, boxers, ball gowns, or miniskirts into battle. It’s pants. It’s always pants. Horrible, blood-soaked murder pants.”

    I think Scotland and ‘The Ladies From Hell’ might have something to say about this.

  4. Alan says:

    Is “99% of teenage boys under 30” a mistake, or a joke I’m not getting?

  5. MrGuy says:

    I think we can all agree that we’d rather people wear pants overseas than have people wear pants here at home.

  6. Peter H. Coffin says:

    My house has been a pants-option space for the better part of two decades, and has a perfect 0 mass-shooting record. Take that, National Pants Association!

  7. MrGuy says:

    What we really need is a constitutional right to bare legs.

  8. Steve C says:

    Are they (media) blaming videogames again for the most recent mass shooting in the US? I hoped that was past with the tar and feathering of Jack Thompson.

    • Nick-B says:

      Some idiot interviewed a friend of his, who related how the guy was always playing “zombie shooter” games and would play for hours at a time, and was so paranoid of people he would keep his gun with him even to stores, which freaked them out.

      Guess which part of that last sentence the media picked up on and demanded we regulate and have a national registry for?

      • Volfram says:

        Wait… they’ve been demanding a gun registry since time immemorial, so I must assume your last line is a trick question.

        Are they seriously demanding a national video games registry, too? That’s even MORE unenforceable! It doesn’t cost me several dozen bucks to spend a few hours on my game console!

        • Humanoid says:

          Steam backdoor for the benefit of the NSA, simples.

          • Volfram says:

            I can see the NSA trying that. I don’t really see Valve allowing it. Valve like their customers.(part of the reason I’m betting Steambox will win the 8th console generation)

        • Nick-B says:

          Sorry, I mean guess which line FOX NEWS picked up on and demanded a gun registry for.

          Not that I believe the media overall was ever for a gun ban/registry, the very least some idiot on fox smugly put out that this was proof we needed a national video game registry because of all the EVIDUNCE that games cause mass killings.

          • Volfram says:

            At risk of barreling over the “no politics” line that we’re probably toeing pretty hard already…

            Major news TV stations and websites call for a national gun ban or registry almost every other week.(part of why I don’t watch any of them. No, not even Fox.)

            They’ve stopped openly calling for the full-on bans recently, mostly because they’re starting to learn that’s a really good way to retire yourself from the political field, but they still demand a registry pretty regularly.

            I’d really like to keep this under the radar and civil, so I’ll not respond any further on the subject. I think we can all agree, though, that proposing a national ban or registry, on video games or guns, or… yes, even pants, is a really stupid thing to promote.

  9. Nick-B says:

    Hah, I KNEW there was a reason I’m the most mellow person I know. I wear shorts all the time, all year long, even in winter (and in Utah, winter is NOT mellow). The only time I feel uncomfortable is when I am forced to wear pants at so-called “social gatherings” or “weddings” or “work/interviews”. So it was the pants, not the situation!

  10. MichaelG says:

    Sometimes I want to argue with these people, and sometimes I give in to contempt. Let them scream about issues that make no difference, and pass laws that make no difference.

    Better than letting them address real issues, which they would undoubtedly make a mess of.

  11. Mari says:

    I just want to go on record as saying that I fully support a kilt-only society. We could reduce violence and become 103% more attractive as a nation all at the same time (because kilts have some kind of magical ability to render the wearer’s legs attractive even when he’s a scrawny, knock-kneed young geek with leg afros). In the words of my daughter on a restaurant comment card for a “British pub” in Texas known for their kilt-wearing waitstaff “Needs more kilt-y men.”

    • Asimech says:

      Piece of trivia:

      In Finnish “kilt” translates to “kiltti”, which can also be translated to mean “nice”.

      (Actually it means “nice” only in the sense of “friendly/helpful” not in the sense of “ni-ice”.)

  12. swenson says:

    This, Shamus, is why you’re my favorite on the Internet.

  13. Sean Riley says:

    I really thought this was going to be a bit about the ‘pantless cannibals’ in GTAV.

  14. Volfram says:

    I wear pants almost every waking moment of my life!

    Oh dear…

    • Jarenth says:

      You’re part of the problem!

      Start doing what I do: take your pants off as soon as you’re home. And if you don’t plan on leaving the house anyway at any given day? No reason to even put on pants to begin with.

      • Volfram says:

        All of my roommates do this already. I just don’t know if I could give up the pockets!

        Also the light glaring form my legs is classified as a deadly weapon. Huh… if that’s the case, maybe I should be displaying them. I don’t have a concealed carry permit, it’s technically illegal for me to walk around with weapons that aren’t on full display.

  15. LazerBlade says:

    Refreshing is the word I used to describe this to others. Bile + intelligence + wit = masterful jest

  16. tengokujin says:

    HOW I +1 THIS ARTICLE.

    No, but really, it was a fantastic post and I feel richer for having read it. :3

  17. DmL says:

    Thank you for this internets, Shamus. +Share’d

  18. ltvftp says:

    Does it count as a strawman if there’s people who actually think this way?

    • Volfram says:

      You’ll find that for any straw man, there are still a frightening number of people who think it’s true.

      You may even find that you hold beliefs that other people consider straw men. I do regularly.

      Also, I do not for one moment believe that kid could actually walk with that arsenal hidden in his pants.

  19. Mephane says:

    In Germany, the “video games can turn you into a murderer” nonsense has been parodied in a similar fashion, with bread instead of pants. Like, what’s the one thing murderers have in common? They ate bread repeatedly before their crime.

    It is both funny and tragic how new forms of media, genres of art or even specific works of fiction are treated as if they were the work of the devil himself. At some point in history there was fear that novels were harmful to the mental health of young people. Remember when rock music was most definitely of satanic origin? When the Harry Potter books had to be banned for glorying witchcraft and other such blasphemic things?

    I suppose as soon as the fearmongers don’t get away with blaming video games for All Bad Things(TM), they’ll quickly find something else. It would be funny if not for the fact that some of those fearmongers are the very politicians who get to vote on the laws that govern our lives…

  20. Primogenitor says:

    Since in the UK “pants” means “underpants” not “trousers” I am now thinking of elderly male media moguls going commando. Urgh.

  21. Disc says:

    This could give a whole new meaning to these.

  22. Jarenth says:

    Some of the pro-pants lobbyists (and we all know these people are in the pocket of the Levis corporation)…

    This is a far more wide-spread problem than I initially gave it credit for, too. As far as I can tell now, almost all politicians have some sort of conflict of interest with regards to Big Denim. When’s the last time you’ve seen any higher-up policitian not proudly wear the symbols of their affiliation?

    I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise Levis has so many politicians in their pocket, though. They created those pockets in the first place.

  23. SteveDJ says:

    Well, I’ve been doing my part for some time now. Years ago, I stopped watching David Letterman…

  24. Atarlost says:

    So how do you explain the Roman Empire?

  25. Blackbird71 says:

    Shamus, you are absolutely right, the violence must be stopped! In order to do my part, from this moment forward I will be pants-free!

    Hmm, for some reason, my coworkers are all staring at me funny. Maybe I’ve got something stuck in my teeth…

  26. Rob S says:

    May I offer the suggestion that if *everybody* was wearing daisy dukes, the general level of violence would probably increase significantly? Or at least the incidence of self-inflicted eye injuries.

    Seriously, there are far too many people you do *not* want to see wearing things like that. Not that those people are stopped by that fact…

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