Thursday, June 3, 2021

Exploiting the Unexploitable: Multinational Anti-anime policy, in the Public and Private Sectors.

A Moral Panic from the generation that isn't supposed to have Moral Panics:

Don't fuck with her sales volume... she doesn't like it.

 Contains mild potentially NSFW images. No nudity.

In a number of seemingly sudden developments across online retailers, payment services, and content streaming platforms, anime and manga have once again become a target of socially conservative scorn, hatred, and calls for prohibition.  This time however, the calls (well, some of them) are coming from inside-the-house as well.  Fans are having reactionary meltdowns over a portrayal of something that is not explicitly defined, and believing that in lacking such explicit definitions of "acceptable" it is therefore de-facto "unacceptable."  Rarely is such reasoning sound, and rarely does the reality of things bear such arguments out as valid, yet they continue to be emphatically vocalized.  We will most assuredly be covering this entire mess. 

It is important to note (because I'm special!), that this particular outlet has regularly mentioned for over a decade, the dangers of a Galapagos Effect between anime + manga, and the international audiences which find them appealing to the point where such Intellectual Properties are monetizable licenses.  People want it, they buy it.  When socio-cultural sensibilities and overall tastes shift away from such congruence, the international market for such things constricts and shrinks, people don't want it, they don't buy it. So there can be a point where something with a popular market, ceases to be viable at all, and no longer in-demand.  Since the 2009 case of Margret Barbaree losing her shit in Florida oh many years ago, to the Canadian Crown Prosecution of both Ryan Matheson and Eli Langer (cases are unrelated to each other) -- all the way up to recent events such as the New Zealand banning of Puni Puni Poemi and High School DXD, and Australian Senator Stirling Griff managing to ban pretty much everything anime/manga/game going to the country of Fire Kuala Spider Island Colony (aka Australia), and Amazon and eBay not allowing the sale of things like Hatsune Miku or Yaoi manga, anime, games, collectables, and other works are now targeted by both public and private sector forces capable of gargantuan exertions of power over millions of people.

So What's Going On?
In March 2020, Amazon started taking down any listing of Hatsune Miku figures.  This bazillion dollar property was all of a sudden the target of allegations that the design of Hatsune Miku somehow was sexual child exploitation.  ...yeah.  This seems to have been the final crack in the dam of reason, holding back conservative anti-anime sentiments that had finally been silenced in the late 1990s, with the acceptance of many titles, and a boomer-culture that had wondered off to go fight against marriage equality.  But that dam has been targeted once again, and has now broken to release the puritanical anti sexy-time crowd to influence the environment, the market, and the industry itself.  Large retailers like eBay and Amazon have increasingly denied access on their platform to a disproportionately large amount of content and merchandise, from hentai doujinshi, to One Piece figures, in the name of "protecting children."  Yeah, where have we heard that one before, and that time too... oh lets not forget the time when "the children" was an excuse to oppose interracial marriage. 

So the reason for this new prohibition, is that these items are forms of "child exploitation" and will not be sold.  It has been covered previously that a drawing of a thing is not actually proof of that thing actually happening, and a bit more on that later, but the fact that Amazon of all places, is removing statues of fictional characters which are described to be robots, because of a maybe-standard that only applies in select jurisdictions around the world. 

Amazon has made so much money from the exploitation and harm of children, that a bald divorced man in a midlife crisis is trying to build a vacation home on Mars before an apartheid money trust-fund baby beats him to it.

eBay, the old charmer, has gone from the anything-goes days of 1997, to suspending accounts for Hentai doujin many many years ago, then back to allowing that kind of thing, now back to prohibiting it.  Again, it comes from pressure out of certain jurisdictions regarding "adult material" and the depictions thereof.  While Gizmodo reports that this ban "does not effect Australia" such a statement is a bit misleading; in that this content was already thoroughly banned by Australian law when this new corporate policy went into effect, so ...yeah no changes in Australia.  But what goes for Australia now goes for the world because eBay doesn't want any of its employees in Sydney to get arrested for trafficking child porn as cartoons or some nonsense.  Again, back to an earlier point I was making, when these properties are treated as criminal in one English Speaking jurisdiction, it actually devalues any potential license for any English speaking region, even where such a property violates no laws.  Rather than map out that mine-field, it's cheaper to just do things the most socially conservative way knowing that there is no room for error if you follow that road.  These companies are publicly traded and so they're going to minimize costs at the expense of long term viability every single time (aka the Jack Welch method).  So we can still blame Australia for this one, and lets not forget this is the same country that tried to ban all porn featuring any women with small breasts because it apparently was too close to an undeveloped human child in appearance...?  Sorry a-cup, no nekkid time for you!  We can throw a little Canada in there too since "drawn porn" gets treated the same as real photographic porn.

Better to error on the side of the least amount of work. 
So say the Shareholders, so say we all.

It isn't only retailers. merchant account banking and financial transaction companies are deciding the if you still want to buy that stuff, you won't be using their private sector methods of transferring fiat currency to do it, even though there is often zero alternative in many cases.  PayPal, Maestro, Citi, Visa, (Patreon and even Venmo) are all considering the cost of monitoring transactions for which laws they may break in which jurisdictions and saying "fuck it" by picking the strictest standard and just adhering to that for everything because it's the cheapest option. This is a very close parallel to the Comstock Laws of a century ago, where a select few with powerful interests and a hatred of nudity (mostly instilled by a misogynist hatred of women), used the power they had at their control, to limit and destroy works that other citizens wanted to access.  From Renaissance art, to Medical Textbooks, the Committee for Vice and Virtue went around destroying anything that offended their own specific set of sensibilities, and criminally prosecuting whoever they felt like from the Office of the Postmaster General (see, DeJoy is not DeFirst time DePostmaster has caused DeTrouble for DePeople of America). 

Order something that I morally object to with your own money?
Not on MY watch!

In the USA, even things like FOSTA, are rammed through on waves of popular support before any beta testing, and the result is something like what happens to dolphins in tuna nets.  It works to stop the thing it was meant to stop, but also causes severe damage to so much else.  Reductio ad absudum; it would be like if American food companies all of a sudden started following Saudi laws about what they could and could not sell as food because they have business interests there and setting up 2 sets of logistics takes money away from profits and stock values.  Then before anyone can say anything  -poof!-  there goes bacon, beer, and penne ala vodka, giant margaritas, from every grocery store and most restaurants.  No it's not illegal in the USA so you're more than free to buy your own livestock, raise it, slaughter it, and then cure your own bacon, or make your own pepperoni, so you can't really call it a ban, they're a private company that can act as they see fit, right?  Yeah, the standard concept vs reality dodge. Actions having defacto results are still harmful even if they don't meet rigid definitions. Remember this bacon example, we'll come back to it.  

No, not like that you furry pervs.

The Texas Effect

So with some places able to literally bring criminal actions against a company and its workers/executives should what they deem is legal or not, the error to make is on the side of profitability caution.  This is similar to the Texas Effect.  Ever wonder why high school textbooks in the smart states still have that retardulatastic disclaimer about evolutionary science being "just a theory" and how the American Civil War was about "states rights" and some abstract lost-cause nonsense?  It's because Texas (ok there's way more to it than that but we're gonna skip it). The Texas board of Education is so large that any rule they set for textbooks (no matter how dumb) is adopted by almost every publisher out there, because publishers are for-profit companies that want to sell as many units as possible.  So rather than do separate runs for each U.S. State, they do what Texas wants and other school districts can like it or go fuck themselves.  Large states like California and New York can force changes by taking their business elsewhere, but if you're a small entity (hi Nebraska), you might have limited choices.  Digital copies and the ease of printing have recently lessened this exact thing, but the basic mechanism is that.

Such are those mechanics of these new developments.  Very few of these companies are refusing to facilitate payments or sell products because some ancient boomer is sitting there staunchly enforcing conservative moral values while insisting that their own 3rd divorce was totally necessary.  These developments are happening because that same boomer is sitting there saying how can we make the most money while doing the least work. And so it is, that a vocal few, in feverish zealotry have taken to the prohibition and destruction of all things manga anime, as they associate it with a medium that is exclusively for young children (mostly because of the fraudulent research of Fredric Wertham and the hate-mongering of Estes Kefauver), so if children are the audience, therefore the assumption is that the characters are meant to be children as well...?  Which makes no sense.  The argument that because these characters have no way to explicitly define their age, so therefore the possibility exists that they are under the legal age of whatever it is in a particular jurisdiction to have a statue with their undies visible or a swimmie-suit calendar, is ridiculous, but fervently believed by those who have influence or at the very lease an obnoxious visibility.

The result is a system of content policing meant to be applied to real people in the real world, being applied to art which involves no actual people as the subject of it.  It  may qualify as pornographic, but as no character can be considered to have a legally established age, because (sad as it may be for your waifu/husbando/tree) they are not sentient beings with their own agency, or legal identity.

Is this even porn, let alone child exploitation?  You can't really see anything happening, there's mosaic pixelation, but it's implied that there is much of sex-having going on with humping and so on and so forth.

What if... Hmm, Lets add some text context which contains explicit values:

4 Dimensions: Width, Height, Depth, Time.

Ok those words have explicit definitive value.  So that makes it ok?
But then what if we do something like...

...What about now?  See how stupid those lines of absolutism are when applied with blind indifference?

Based on a true story. ...I wasn't the 22 year old. (This statement is not legal admission of me being the 16 year old either and can not be taken as such in any jurisdiction).

Simple Depiction is not Legally Actionable:
The above concept applies to the USA, whereas in other countries even a drawing is treated exactly the same of actual video of such an event by the judiciary...  which is a misapplication to say the least (looking at you Canada).   So many countries have different laws that if you tried to apply them all to a single way of conducting business.  So if bacon, pork products, or objects made from pig leather like American Footballs, are banned in Kuwait, it's up to that jurisdiction to deal with it, and Amazon isn't going to pull such products from their site.  Yet here we are with this insanity about "illegal images."

The possession of these images is considered criminal in many countries, including Canada, EU, Australia, anything that ends in -Stan, Russia, Thailand, India, Turkey, China, and many others... so congrats, you have them on a hard drive now and you're a criminal there.

Here Comes the Hard Part...
Ya take the good, ya take the bad, but you can't ignore the ugly.  So to first set some definitions, there are works of drawn comic/manga art that exist which depict explicit sexual activity between children incapable of what is generally thought of as consent, and adults, children and other children, and children and animals/aliens/magical beings/inanimate objects/and sentient masses of pure energy/deviant vending machine.  Loli-con does exist.  They are gross icky deceptions of pedophilia sex.  However, what they are not, are evidence of a crime, said crime being child exploitation, rape, or sexual abuse.  Real video or photographic imagery of such a thing, is evidence of an actual crime, possessing, trading, selling, or otherwise proliferating it makes that person guilty of being an accessory to that crime. That's why such things are treated as criminal.  But a crime can't be fictional.  So for USA 1st Amendment reasons, they are protected from criminal liability.

So the grey area manifests here.  These items are fictional depictions of child exploitation, much like Texas Chainsaw Massacre is full of fictional depictions of murder, or Clockwork Orange is a fictional portrayal of sexual assaults.  They are all equally short of the standard to be criminal in both the jurisdiction they were produced in, as well as some they may be sold in.  Does that mean loli-con isn't CP?  Well no, it totally is as far as taxonomy is concerned.  It also however, does not meet the standard for criminal prosecution in the United States, there have already been supreme court rulings about that. It's just something that is gross. But now sets in the Moral Panic social creep effect, even within the fandom, labeling everything in which a character is not explicitly listed as having a certain age (and ages of consent being different across Interstate and International jurisdictions) means that what is considered just socially inappropriate is treated as felonious.  A real 21 year old being sexually active with a real 17 year old is not illegal in the USA except for in the states of California (no exceptions for close-in-age), Florida (you wouldn't think), Oregon, Vermont, Delaware, West Virginia (cousins and livestock included), Tennessee, Arkansas, and Utah (I think Utah is actually trying to ban sex all together).  That means if our hypothetical non-gender-orientation-unspecified couple cross State Line Street in South Fulton Tennessee, they can find a place and do all the legal fucking they want in Fulton Kentucky... but cross back and at least one (sometimes both) can get arrested as total pedo rapist sex offenders. 

So as far as age differential goes, even in the real world, let alone a fictional setting of planet whatever or isekai universe B, there needs to be an acknowledgement that there is a difference between the terms "illegal" and "inappropriate."  Yet too many arguments and vitriolic assaults against artists in countries around the world, claim a legality mechanism as the foundational objection, which is unsound.  What would be sound would be to call it a social mechanism.  And then it is inexorably weakened by the fact that being societal objection, the xenophobia and jingoism is thrown into sharp relief.  You just don't like it, and think it shouldn't exist.  Sorry, that's not how it works.

Where is this coming from?
This notion of the need to keep anyone under the age of 18 as an a-sexual being picked up momentum from the Reagan Era and the boomers.  A need to continue to infantalize younger generations so that they themselves would not have to psychologically accept that they were no longer the arbiters of cool, masters of trends, or spearheads of the culture of youth.  The need to arbitrarily raise the drinking age from 18 to 21 and keep that Twisted Sister music out of record stores was so necessary for them to maintain the illusionary head-canon that the 1970s were still relevant and they could continue to oppress younger generations without becoming "the man"  because they pushed back the starting line of adulthood far enough to keep calling them "kids" (something that boomers continue to do to 39 year olds in the workplace today, let alone 29 year olds).  Is it more than that these days?  I don't see how it can be... we've got pulling Hatsune Miku figures from their vendors because of this.  We have Mastercard, Visa, PayPal, and so on refusing to complete transactions to Patreon accounts of hentai artists because those services have decided that a customer can only spend their own money where those companies shall deem acceptable.  That's literally Anti-Trust stuff there.

But activity between two (or more) people is not what this is completely about.  People are real.  They are entities that exist in 4 dimensions: height, width, depth, and time.  A legally registered person at the age of 1 year is so different from the same legally registered after 65 years, that the actual atoms that make them up are almost 100% not the original ones.  Such is not the case for any fictional creation.  Let's further narrow that down to any fictional creation that is not portrayed by a legally recognized human being with a legally recognized explicit date of birth used to determine their age.  This is about characters that do not exist as entities.  Drawings, paintings, digital art, sculpture, weirdly shaped steam... whatever.  They have no agency.  They can not respond to stimuli or initiate any action what so ever. 

Therefore, the portrayal of their; murder, drug use, consensual sex, non-consensual sex, engaging in bestiality, animal cruelty, speeding, terrorism, tax-evasion, etc; is not actual evidence of any crime having been comitted.  Therefore such depictions are not criminal and should not be the subject or cause of criminal prosecution of a person.  No, Hatsune Miku, Sailor Jupiter, Kagome, Inu Yasha, Izuku Midoriya aren't "underage" because they are not real and have no legal birth-date.  But the fact that it reminds people that there is an age of consent (varied by jurisdiction), and that child exploitation does occur and is a crime, and a good dose of racial/cultural/anti-youth bias among the Red State crowd have put anime and manga back in the cross-hairs of their "social preservation" vitriol.  Don't let Beneath the Tangles fool you, this stuff is mostly straight out of the Million Mom Christian Crowd.  But Otaku knew that already, there's always been the uptight fuckwad brigade that stands against all things anime and will latch on to any possible notion in order to hurt, prohibit, or destroy it.

But Wait, There's More:
Side Note:
I once had a girlfriend who had Kallmann syndrome (some form of it).  She was years older than me, I was in undergrad, and she was getting a degree in veterinary medicine.  I ended up friend-zoning her for over a year because I am really bad at taking hints, but one day she was just like; ok, this is gonna happen, and I was all like... uh... sure, whatever works.  Whenever we drove, shopped, went out, or anything-ed together, I'd get looks, comments, and police called, because people thought I was a pedo.  I was just the only guy she had ever met who didn't fetishize her and I treated her like my regular senpai because she was in grad school and I was in undergrad, and that's why she wanted me as a fuck-buddy.  She would get furious when police would stop us and she'd whip out 4 kinds of ID that proved she was 27 and I was 21.  Relationships aren't all about looks.  She knew what she wanted and she got it.  But some people just can't handle something like that because it reminds them that the overall concepts of pedophelia, hebephilia, and ephebophilia (aka "grooming") exist, and that bothers them.  And they don't like being bothered so they appeal to authority to make their eyes not to see something that gives them zomg triggrz, and to do so at the expense of the freedom of others.

Case in point, the trial of Carlos Alfredo Simon-Timmerman, when US Customs and Border agents found in his possession, a copy of Little Lupe the Innocent on DVD in his possession.  He was arrested, indited, and literally put on trial for being in possession of actual child pornography.  The prosecution paraded "expert" after "expert" who testified in Federal Criminal Court that there was no way that Lupe Fuentes, star of the thing, was over 18, and HAD to have have been only between 13 and 14 years old.  How did they know?  Well they could just tell by looking at the video (over and over, these guys studied it hard).  The case was clear, this total perverted guy bought a porno featuring someone under the age of 18 and so he's obviously a pedo scumbag so put him on the chomo sex offender list and all that right?   Well, that's how anti-porn crusader and Federal Prosecutor Jenifer Yois Hernandez-Vega left her case... and then a very 23 year old Lupe Fuentes walked into the court room.  She called everyone an idiot and presented her age verification required to produce pornographic material under Code 18 U.S.C. Section 2257.  The judge had to order Federal Prosecutor Jenifer Yois Hernandez-Vega to drop all charges.  I can only imaging her argument against doing that was; simply "looking like" child porn should be sufficient to make it so, no matter how old the person in it actually is.  She kept this guy in jail for an extra month just because she could.  That mentality is now being applied to manga and other drawn representations of characters who do not exist and therefore can not be subject to 18 U.S.C. Section 2257.  And the worst part is, where some of those objections are coming from is just insane...

Pictured:  Someone who is 23, and not 13 years of age.

But Wait There's STILL More!  The LGBTQ+ Issue:

This hypersensitivity to ageism in sexual orientation has been a very destructive force for a great many people from the 80s to the 90s and beyond.  Are memories so short, that it has been forgotten there was a time when an age difference of something like 7 months was a thing used to mercilessly persecute same-sex couples and relationships not because a third party was worried about an age difference, but so thirsted for the ability to persecute any LGBTQ+ person by any means they possible could.  For example, the age of sexual consent in Virginia is 15, but sex is explicitly defined as a penis in a vagina, so literally anything else is considered a felony unless both/all parties involved are over 18.  I don't have to tell you how weaponized that still is as a tool to attack LGBTQ+ youth.  Rigid definitions are powerful weapons to groups intent on hurting others.  High school students labeled for life as "sex offender" because they had a lesbian relationship on their 18th birthday with someone who was 389 days younger than they were, has been a very real fate of many people.  Using that same logic to attack artists for far less than that action is misguided and reprehensible.  The state declaring all citizens under age "X" as default a-sexual, lest they commit a felony should they chose to consent to act in any orientation what soever, has been a weapon of oppression of young people and of the LGBTQ+ community.  What the fandom is doing when they adhere to such draconian standards in everything from licensed merchandise to obscure fanart, is empowering that mechanism in general, because it doesn't split hairs.  The new fans who think they discovered the internet are using a weapon of argument that they know little about, and are negligently unaware of its potential harm.  This means that:

The Calls Are Coming From Inside The House!
So now we have a social movement within fandom which is echoing the same nonsense.  Looking for any fictional indicators of the fictional age or a fictional character, to then argue that any depictions of what they consider nudity, serialization (which ranges from kissing, to judging the clothing fashion by their own internal standards, to just improper evaluations of physical features). That's not a great way to do it.  Sure there are some works that are unmistakable to any reasonable person, but others are not because age aside, the biological physical development of the person depicted has progressed far beyond that of a child.

Over the past few years, some of the most violent objections to certain artworks that may or may not depict sexually exploitative images or themes that never actually occurred in reality, have come from within fandom itself.  From vitriolic attacks and accusations of "pedophile" on artists for portraying suggestive sexual relationships between high school students aged 16-17 (because if Inu Yasha bangs Kagome she's totally under 18 dude!), to calls for criminal prosecution of anyone with Sailor Moon hentai because the sailor scouts are old?  You gonna bust me for that hentai doujinshi I bought when I was 16 that has Sailor Jupiter doing some very energetic sex stuff? 

Case in point, this complete nonsense:

The account on the right actually reported that image and the game itself to the FBI... because, sure, they're gonna spring into action over that.  Yes these are obviously troll accounts who call literally everything "pedophile" no matter what, even characters with canonically established ages far exceeding what would be needed for actual porn, let alone just the appearance of a character.  But what is disturbing is the kinds of comments spoken in support of their blanket notions, and the blind following of fans that simply parade behind such notions of some sort of child abuse and pedophilia in situations which are clearly not pedophilic.  The acceptance of these arguments and the calls for action taken are straight out of the Q-anon playbook.  Just blind forceful rage at non-principles, ending up being directed at art and artists from other countries.  This is one of the hands swinging the hammer into the ever-growing wedge between Japanese artists and American fans.  The hypersensitivity to a bullshit conclusion and insistence on the following of a set standard in which they are the arbiters, is driving individual creators away. 

By supporting this kind of thinking, these fans are enabling some of the most violent, racist, xenophobic, and anti-LGBTQ+ organizations that exist.  They lend acceptance to the message of these groups, many of which have explicitly stated an intention to use violence and deadly force to further their goals to ban all pr0nz and will not think twice about KILLING those involved, including consenting performers of all genders.

Seriously, that's like applauding Aleph for their highway efforts in encouraging vegetarianism because you're that much of an animal rights advocate... never mind that whole Tokyo subway gas attack thingy.  Anti-porn movements stem from religious fundamentalism and anti-LGBTQ+ hate groups.

The initial waves of this kind of thing are only forming now, and it will be years before they hit shore here, then bounce off hit somewhere else, and come back to this side.  But they will have implications for business.  From license valuations, to accusations of censorship-in-anime, this is going to seriously impact anime and manga as a business.  And since it is a business, we'll see what stays; in business.

Reminds me of a song...

Yep, that one.

American Anime fandom might go full Q-Anon Pizza Gate insane...

Reverse 9th Amendment Triple Play:
The 9th Amendment basically says "if it isn't prohibited, it's allowed" and that's applicable to the government and what it can and can't stop people from doing.  We now have an end-run around that in the form of private enterprise deciding to disallow everything it does not explicitly approve of; which a company can do.  But like with private telecom taking and then selling user data, call logs, stored photos, travel activity, text messages, etc and simply selling them to government agencies in order to circumvent the 4th Amendment requiring a warrant to obtain such things, so have these behemoth companies become de-facto agents of what is deemed socially appropriate, regardless of legality.  It would be as if a car rental agency refused you certain types of cars based on your outfit, or if a restaurant refused your order after seating you because you "look like you could lose a few pounds and should just stick to the salad."  That's not a big deal because there are more than adequate competing entities that won't do that... but what if there weren't?  What if giant corporations like merchant banks, Amazon, Apple, Google/Alphabet, and ISPs were the only option because they had managed to put impenetrable barriers to entry in place for competing companies.

There is an immanent shift to crypto currency like dogecoin or someone's gonna make "H-Coin" "Ero-Doras" or "Hentai-Chedder" or "a$$Bucks" to be used to purchase items that the over zealous international Neo-Comstock trend will make both retailers and merchant accounts reluctant or refuse to deal with.  If anyone is doing that, I want in.


The future is tax exempt!

So, back to the Galapagos Effect many times before.  Where international sensibilities will move so far away from what is popular in anime, that international licensing of anime will become a losing gambit.  What it surprising, is how much the fandom has embraced these notions and is further driving a wedge in between Japanese anime, manga, pop-art, etc, and its very self with a fervent self-righteousness that has been seen in things like the D&D Moral Panic or the "video games cause school shootings" of Hillary Clinton in the 1990s.  Younger American audiences in particular seemed to have missed the memo that "ANIME IS NOT MADE FOR YOU!"  No, I'm not even saying that the artists and writers don't take international audiences into account sometimes (they do)... and perhaps I should say something more along the lines of "Anime is not financed for you."  Meaning that when someone in an office somewhere is figuring the net cost of capital and a possible return on a project (even an intangible one), international markets rarely are brought into those calculations, ratios, projections, regression analysessesses, whatever they're running on the spreadsheets.  It really doesn't happen much.  I know it causes cognitive dissonance and no one wants to think the energy they produce and show as fans has a null effect, but in said cases, it just does.  That's not to say you can't thoroughly enjoy it, but anime is made for its domestic audience, and you aren't in it unless you live in Japan.  When it comes to anime production taking North America into account, the subject almost never comes up in meetings unless the property is Pokemon or is a Video Game that is expected to be released internationally.  I know because I've been in these meetings.  The only other region that gets a seat at the table without having to ask for one is China, because the market there is simply too large to ignore and the threat of piracy for that region is tremendous. 

So the very idea of a different cultural set of emergent norms needing to be taken into account for a product that is not part of such things is enormously egotistical.  A fiction which has a character that has no demarcated age, being in a sexual situation (as many a high-school student has found themselves to be in) is not some sort of pedophilia-fest. It doesn't even meet the APA classification of pedophilia let alone the legal criteria for anything actionable in criminal prosecution.

Artists are going to have to add visual disclaimers to all their art, just to avoid these "true believers"and their harassment, regardless of if the art features nudity or does not.  In order to protect themselves from the hoard of reactionary internet morality-police which go around calling any image of a girl in a bikini with no established "sexualized child pron" it's going to take explicit levels of disclaimer.  Notice how the crowd that sees a Nagatoro in a bikini goes bezerk about it being "child prornography" but they don't say one fucking word about any drawings of Hanamichi Sakuragi chilling out in a tiny Speedo with exposed rock hard abs a serious bulge (Hanamichi Sakuragi happens to be the 16 year old main character of Slam Dunk, in case you didn't know).

Badges and watermarks like this one are going to unfortunately become commonplace in the face of the vitriolic slobbering harassment by the neo-Comstock pro-censorship fan movement, that artists will undoubtedly face more of in the future.  This is not the first time something like this has been used in general, but it is the first time such a need to do so has fallen on the actual artists and not a publisher /licensor.  Like when Central Park Media had to run an opening narration that said all the characters in La Blue Girl were totally College Sophmores, nevermind those uniforms...

Obligatory Boomer-Blaming:
Yep, gonna blame this one on boomers too.  They absolutely have to keep infantalizing and creating ageist separations with them at the top and everyone else at the bottom.  That's why for a boomer, the work "millennial" just means "anyone younger than me" and they don't care about the actual defining qualities or the fact that zoomers exist and someone who remembers using Geocities has a significantly different experience from someone who is all over Twitch.  Yet they've made age demarcation so indelible, extreme, and profound, that it continues in younger generations who have grown up knowing nothing but that.  Almost no one in anime fandom remembers when the boomers raised the alcohol age from 18 to 21 mostly "just because" and how arbitrary those lines were.  The boomers worked hard through ensuring harsh and draconian punishments were met out on anyone straddling that line and daring to cross to the wrong side.  They continued this intensity into other forms of social activity, from music, to manga, to ESRB and GTA... the demarcation lines were pushed to peak intensity.  Boomers NEED to be the forever "adults" while always telling the forever-child generation that it's not their turn yet.  And it is this intensity that the current generations well, because they have lived with nothing else.  This extreme age labeling and knee-jerk reactionary to every piece of art as not-ok is happening because it is literally clashing with the reality so many fans have lived with for so long.  This reaction is seen as normal and not extreme.

You had ONE JOB Corona-chan!  One fucking job...

What Do Ya Do With A Drunken Sailor?
...what are the drunken sailors of anime fandom but those who are so beholden to the idea that demarcated age is necessary to portray not only explicit sexual activity, but even hint at existing relationships, or have some character in a swimmie suit?  Is someone gonna tell them that every main character in High School of the Dead is definitely not over 18? What happens when they watch Fushigi Yuugi?  Are they gonna freak out?  Well, they're teaming up with anti-LGBTQ+ and Abstinence-Only right wing Q-Anon MAGA philosophy to chain all characters to the pillar of a-sexuality until... until what exactly?  They're never gonna age naturally...  so what do they want?  They want to erase characters and destroy art is what they want.  Before you know it, it's going to be "Sailor Uranus is totally grooming Neptune!  What a horrible thing to show!" and demand it go away, and be banned through the application of law.  This is not healthy.  It's going to really fuck things up, and governments are empowering it.  Returning anime to the early 1990's when it could get anyone under 18 kicked out of school, or abducted to a "therapy center" because it's "oh so violent and look what it shows!" is going to force it into channels that make it harder to obtain, and less profitable to license. 

Seriously, like I said, stock up on Dogecoin because soon that's going to be the only form of payment you can make to Patreon art accounts you follow, OnlyFans cosplayers, hentai retailers, hell- probably even some vtubers are gonna get cut off because the characters they use are deemed "child exploitation" and then barred from the use of services.

 She said she's horny for sex!
Because ...reasons!

What Does it all Mean?
Well, as mentioned, anime and manga could be in for some serious depreciation in terms of future licenses.  A property that now can't be introduced in some countries, as well as now requiring social damage-control in the countries where it's still legal (thanks to fandom toxicity) just isn't worth paying for in terms of acquisition, let alone localization, promotion, distribution, all that.  The problem is that people are going to counter this argument with a big "nuh-uhhhh. I personally buy lots of this and sales around the world are up and all this stuff so you're dumb and stupid!"  ...this omits the fact that the cause of effects I am talking about hasn't even been close to fully entrenched yet and the results of it will most likely only start to happen to a noticeable degree between one and two years from now.  Remember in 2017 when I wrote about global shipping issues having an effect on other industries and the movement of capital which is going to effect A) Japan and B) ipso-facto anime, manga, and gaming content.  ...yeah that was 2017.  Notice anything happening this year?  Oh yeah, that kind of thing.  This is gonna take time.

Here's Where I Try To See Why The Other Side Is...
Is it because young fans have been skeeved on by older people?  I've been in that situation. 14 in NYC in the 90s at 2am after sneaking into The Limelight?  Oh yeah lots of that happened in clubs, on the street, Back Stage at The Bank, PYramid, at Odessa, on the Train ...yeah, it was pretty gross.  Dudes, chicks, ...whatever would crawl out of Tompkins Square Park late at night, all that.  I must have looked hella pedo-bait.  But hey, that's why you carried knives.  (Not that I didn't get flirty at St. Marks Comics's Brooklyn location to get a discount... totally worked).  But is this negative experience what the fans see happening to the characters they follow and identify with?  Are they trying to "save" them?  Does it make some people think that this is empowering or encouraging those with criminal sexual motivations to engage in skeeving more often (or do worse)?  Is it just projection?  No matter where it's coming from, a draconian rubric of anime and manga content is not going to help stop what they are worried about, and it will not help anime as an international business.  I've watched it try to be relevant to the actual sources and companies in Japan and for 12 years I watched them treat North America as something not worth taking input from (unless it was Pokemon or some game properties).  The Iron Chef license got more attention in how new programs were made in Japan than just about any anime ever did.  I didn't do the Iron Chef license but I know the people who did and yadah yadah.  If North America all of a sudden comes off as hostile, that's going to push things way back.  An entirely new generation of more diverse leadership is going to have to be in place at many Japanese companies not just the anime companies, but the Keiretsu level shit, so Sumitomo, Matsushita, Sony, JR, JT, 711 Holdings (no I'm not kidding) hellz Toyota is probably in there somewhere.  It's a big machine and one sprocket can decide not to budge and that's that.  But such reactions are hurting anime, hurting artists, and not accomplishing anything. 

Once again, I didn't tighten this up.  Maybe I should just start making these into videos or something.

But hey, in honor of what month it is:

It's always Fuck The Police month!

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Sus Sus Sus: Sus sus sus sus, sus sus sus


Get literal with that, ya 馬鹿ck suckers.

I wrote this without an outline.
It's far too long and not an easy read.
This will not be over quickly.  You will not enjoy this.

Treat all links as NSFW. They aren't all that but I'm not labeling every single one.

So weeaboos are losing their shit because someone did a good job of translation and not transliteration in an anime.  The catalyst of course is Nagatoro: They used the words "sus" totally sus to do that in such a sus way.

Things to suss out
First thing, is first: Translation is not Transliteration.  They are different things that's why they have different words.  It is also not Interpretation either because anyone who has had to do that in real-time (especially in a Japanese-English dynamic where one is super explicit and the other is so implicit that it's almost as important to mention the not-mentioned), the purpose is to get the point across, not to give a vocabulary lesson.  There are so many instances of the intent of a statement being more important than the separate literal definition of each word that makes it up.  Context plays more of a role in effective translation than dictionary definitions. 

I'm not even just talking about the absurd examples of translating "hot dog" into "heated canine."   Actually... let's talk about that:  Think about "hot dog" for a moment and the realize:
It's a noun: A food item that one Nathan's brand is famous for, also refereed to as a tube steak, or red-hot, the physical shape of which has lead to a connection in Modern English to serve as a conduit between "someone from Vienna" Weiner, and Penis, but not someone from Frankfurt "Frankfurter" (oh we'll get back to that).  And red-hot is so dated that it's instinctive definition is no longer a meat product but if you are Gen X-Y it's candy and for Zoomers is half of something that means "gossipy-shit" ...unless you're in Australia, where it means something mad different. 
It's a verb:  If someone is "hot dogging" they aren't in the process of manufacturing or preparing hot dogs.  They are also not heating up an actual dog.  It usually means they are showing off, but not just showing off, they are showing off with an unnecessary significant risk. Hot dogging causes you crash your B-52 into the ground killing everyone on it including that one poor bastard in the back who had no idea what was going on. No one who speaks English is going to have trouble with that.  Now try it in Mongolian... yeah, you're gonna be using different words that are not food related.
It's an adjective: If a person is called a "hot dog" they are not being called a food item, or a heated canine.  A dated equivalent could be "rascal" but if you use that in dialogue for a character that is known for overuse of contemporary slang, it's not going to be a good fit, and you might go with "drippin stan... not gucci" RAWRXD.  Either way, the trans-literal accepted  definition of food-item or the absolute-literal definition of heated-canine do not apply.

Om nom nom

Remember when I mentioned we'll get back to Frankfurters, penises, and hot dogs?  Well one sweet Transvestite from Transsexual Transylvania, has a musical number in a certain movie where the line is "you're a hot-dog, but you'd better not try to hurt her, Frank Furter" (and this line is even preambled by a reference to mustard).  Don't get hot and flustered, but translating this into another language while somehow trying to preserve the literal meaning of hot dog as both food-item and adjective for a type of person, and a cultural double entendre (name of character + reference to Frankenstein), while maintaining the tacit double meanings implied by the lyrics that relies on the audience already being familiar with the entire linguistic matrix of interconnected values, AND keeping whatever the final product is on-tempo with the actual song it's in ...well it's just not possible if your goal is complete preservation of exclusively literal meanings that an ESL student would be familiar with recently having learned.  ...I told you not to get hot and flustered, here use this.

Si, verdad.

I once was translating curriculum materials for a Graduate Level course regarding inter-organizational communication and one of the sessions focused on the film "12 Angry Men" (the Peter Fonda one, not the later one).  If you haven't seen that movie, go watch it.  Come back to this spot right here: -THIS SPOT RIGHT HERE-  ...there ya go.  Now, let's consider Juror #12's  line; "let's put this out on the stoop and see if the cat licks it up."  It's not just an English Language thing, it's such a New York thing that students with native-level abilities from not where I am from were having trouble with it. To simply translate that literally, would be just so worthless. Furthermore, in the film as dialogue, the line is meant to indicate a character who has a very significant lack of confidence in their ideas, for no rational reason. It implies that the Mad-Men bosses he works for are such mean bastards that they've worn him down to nothing but barely functioning self-doubt.  I had to somehow come up with a line in both Japanese and Mandarin which gets his entire point across and fits into the rest of the scene, uses an obfuscating reference that makes sense to the target audience, and I had less than an hour to do it. Thankfully I know a Chinese-Italian-American 3rd generation NYC family that I messaged and they gave me something to work with that would at least make sense to ABCs and it went from there.  Japanese was more difficult and I don't remember what I put because this was in 2010.  I'm sure there must be existing translations out there but I didn't have them handy and I had from 1am to 8am to get the entire lesson done not just that part.

So when someone runs a contemporary slang equivalent like "sus" up the flag pole to see who salutes it, the only people who are going to be upset are those who have just attained the level of novice understanding in terms of the cultural and linguistic nuances-Japanese, a source of organic gamification points within the fandom and then end up feeling de-valued because they don't see the result they themselves expect. 

Translation is about getting as much of the audience as possible to do the above concept.
It's not about reinforcing your sense of self importance, audience member. The professional translator has no time for that, sorry for the cognitive dissonance.

Historical History:
Anime fandom is particularly sensitive to translation irregularities.  From TV stations making last minute changes because of no-no words that just can't be on a kids show and since all animation is a kids show; boom censoring; to the war-crimes of Carl Macek just making up shit regardless of what the original work was about, anime was too often defaced by poor translation or deliberately malicious action.  Knowing that such things have happened, and that they detract from the original intent of the storytelling as entertainment that appeals to them, anime consumers have almost always reacted negatively to such things, especially when it is discovered after the fact.  I once got in an almost knock-down drag out trying to explain to a former writer/director for Bucky O'Hare and Rambo: The Force of Freedom, that no; doing things the old way to an anime and just changing names and inserting dialogue where there wasn't any was so not OK, especially since viewers could switch between both languages with the push of a button on a DVD remote. I wasn't allowed back in the studio for a while despite doing the "that's not my job but the boomers are making me do it anyway" dialogue translation and rewrites.

So fans are rightfully touchy, which is why one sees this subject get bought up every time a new generation of fans thinks they're the ones who discovered anime.  But not always rightfully correct.  There's a good reason localization is now thought of as a necessity, and with both subtitled and dubbed versions not being separate packaged media any more, there is no cost risk at all.  Since like there used to be such risk of buying a very expensive "bad dub" or sub job, fans would be steadfastly cautious to buy what they wanted doing as much research as was possible.  If you were lucky, your local video rental place had a big anime selection maintained by a serious otaku that would only order the subbed versions.

These days now literally more easy to find in the Cowboy Bebop universe than real life.

Subtitled versions could get away with less localization sometimes by using on-screen notes.  Famous example being the "Natta de Cocoa" scene in Yugen Kaisha, which really liked to play the Japanese homonym double meaning joke on the audience (I mean 幽幻怪社's in the title ffs).  Can't always do that with subtitles let alone dubs that are gonna go on TV.   A little leeway is needed and expected.

Do you really want both the written manga and English voice cast anime lines to call her "Bunny" every time?  "Usagi" sounds better to your non-Japanese linguistic sensibilities doesn't it...?  Mixxzine, I'm lookin at you...

Loss of Status Reaction and Loss Aversion Psychology:
If you go through the fandom hard enough and young enough, you will have a phase where this whole new world opens up to you and you all of a sudden gain an understanding and nomenclature of a semi-cloistered group.  "Normies" all of a sudden doesn't include you anymore and you have something that sets you apart.  That something has value.  It can be seen with the evolution of hip-hop lyrics into what marketing suits now call urban vernacular, and it can be seen with otaku as well.  It's that moment when you've heard enough words you know what they usually mean but not always.  So these fans end up thinking that when a wife calls a husband "anata~" it should only be translated as "oh, you" and not sugarpie, muffin, sweetness, honeybun, puddin', darling... light of my life... even though those terms are actually more accurate in conveying the intended meaning most of the time in that context.  The "spectrum" (yes that spectrum) comes into play here as well, because "implied meaning" can be a stumbling block for some people. Such things should not be dismissed.  But imma not go into it anyway (this is gonna be tl;dr as it is).

So in situations like this, all of a sudden here comes something to take away that value.  To tell a person that what they thought they knew is not an entire book, but just that single page in the beginning with nothing written on it, which (if removed) has a new zero effect on the quantitative or qualitative value of its contents. The position they believed themselves to be in is thrown into sharp releif from the light of an elevation that has emerged from so far up the hierarchy.   What is lost may not be tangible but the feelings it creates are very real.  Furthermore, to have to face that realization because of a causal factor created by someone who has a more adept skill-set than said fan, fulfillment not only a sense of loss, but a sense of lose by malice, something stolen... something taken they were powerless to prevent. That moment when the guailo with the yee-haw accent responds in perfect Chinese to a conversation between 2 other people, or when the little Korean girl spits perfect DR Spanish to some cabron who's running his mouth about her, thinking she doesn't know what he's saying (only in New York), that instant impact of the loss  of anonymity and feeling exposed is off the same tree as what the anime thing does when something is localized by someone who knows Japanese context better than the audience.  It's like when your skill set doesn't help you.  When your collectables appraise for less than what you originally paid for them... this feeling lives in that triggering of a status loss, and the inability to mitigate it can lead to things like little nuggets of frustration, aggression, withdrawal, depression, or scapegoating.  Loss aversion is a fear reaction.  In extreme cases, it can have damaging effects, even on people who you might not empathize with.

This guy is dealing with some shit.

It is real to someone who feels real reactions to things.
Don't always let your first reaction be to simply laugh at someone in that situation.  Doing that makes you feel better at their expense.  Star Trek actually depicted an extreme example of this loss reaction. Like all of DS-9, this story arch started good and then ended stupid as hell.

Not every encounter with this phenomenon goes so off the rails into actual psychosis.  A lot of it leads to bickering about the "wrong" way things were done and an irrational vortex of all the logical fallacies by those who are angered but have no recourse of logical argument.  The demands to remove that "wrong" way which has caused this sense of value loss are simply justified with "because, reasons!" or something to that effect.  If left to continue, it ends up causing intense feelings to the point where the id takes a larger share of control. A reaction idiotique so to speak. Their thought processes and existing cognitive structures are then thrown into the spotlight when someone gets intense and... what... what in the non-visible spectrum of ALL the fuck...

@Locksneedfartin: A thing that happened.

マジで verità.

What has been see can not be unseen:
Wow.  OK, so Nagatoro is gonna be known for not just having sus in the translation, but now for the way this uber-chud who either is a total garbage human, or was just born in a different multiverse that hat it's big-bang 14 years later than we did and just woke up here with bad trolling skills in this one thinking the year is 2007 without noticing.  Yes, (former) Twittererererer @Locksneedfartin managed to just create a Charge of the Light Brigade into chuderry chud-ness of chudding, so hard that it made it to Know Your Meme 24 hours after it happened.  It took no time at all for this wackadoo to start soapboxing about MAGA issues like transphobic shit and just being totally racist because apparently they think that's how the world works and anything else is so wrong that the other people against it are all deliberately bad-stoopede.  When people get worked up, their "don't say the quiet part out loud" bigotry cloaking device malfunctions and we get this:

How to lose your twitter account in MAGA easy steps

Twitter was always a dumpster fire, but the color of the smoke is an indicator of what the toxicity is and where it's coming from at any given moment.  Somehow it's worked its way into fandom and it's time to address that. This person, and a whole bunch of others who didn't know a single correct thing about what translation, localization, slang, context, licensing, Japanese language, sus, scrub, and other words actually have established histories, end up going fundamental when their brains short circuit in a fit of rage-lag. 

The whole insane thing that ended with this, shows this dorkoff knows nothing about Japan, Japanese, Translation, Localization, Word Origins, or how not to be a scumbag.

There really is no more to say about this person that hasn't already been said.  What needs to be asked, is how do so many, out of a generation that should know better, end up nodding their heads and approving of stuff like this and liking it.  It's not really because this fandom attracts that kin of demographic, or creates incubators for such ideas to gestate and ferment to toxicity.  It's the much larger social, cultural, and economic environment that has come to dominate us all (people who live on planet money, excluded of course).  I sure as hell don't want to defend this guy but I also think it's important to study what the fuck is going on with these people.  I think it's important because, as mentioned, the overall macro environment is the largest causal factor in this, and though we can close the roof of the stadium, the game is still going on. So yes, once the roof is closed attention can be focused on the doors and what comes through them, but that's not an easy thing to do or maintain.  This shit is sneaky and sometimes people who follow these philosophies genuinely think they themselves aren't being harmful, so confrontational methods can end up being counter-productive and actually intensify what one seeks to stop. Not this time though.  This one was... I still don't know what that was other than terrible.

There are so many things I still want to cover now, but if you're still reading at this point, congratulations, you don't exist because no one is gonna read this far.  Mitigation without malice is too often treated as some sort of tacit support for what is deemed the explicit problem, even though it is not.  So Someone's still gonna think I'm defending this @Lockneedfartin fuckwad who needs a pencil shoved up the diickholle and then broken off in there.   I'm not, so it should be obvious.

Getting back to the plethora of perplexing panorama panoply:
This is the beginning of a contracting phase of fandom and ipso-facto the domestic and international market for all otaku related things. Things will get worse before they get better.  For this kind of thing, self regulation is not easy when it's bottom-up, but top-down is nothing but a nightmare scenario.  And it's only one of several challenges on the horizon (oh you better believe I already have another post in the works already about awful shit happening to anime fandom). This will not be over quickly.  You will not enjoy this. 

Oh and since this Locksneedfartin shitstain seems like a badge-bunny:



Saturday, April 24, 2021

Just Don't Know What Went Wrong: When fandoms are harpooned by sensationalism.


Well, shit.
A mass-shooting is being tied to My Little Pony Fans, somehow.
(Because of course it is).

Part One: A thing that happened:

The Lateral Spiral Maneuver:
It's more of a side-spiral than a downward one. There was once a time where it almost felt that being a fan of any facet of popular culture that wasn't pro-sports was no longer a target for derision, especially if that fan happened to have an XY chromosome.  Gone were the days of the 80s and 90s where one would face all kinds of harassment for daring to wear an Urusei Yatsura t-shirt or choosing to play D&D rather than give a crap about March Madness.  This was an emergent time when technology enabled access to new media in a new way, but new media consumption would have to fit into an increasingly balkanizing environment for young people within standard and higher education. The still continuing result of which has been a decent into full Zimbardian control dynamic between administrative authority, with students, and students with other students.  Such a prizonized school system of zero-tolerance monitored behavior and unthinking maximum consequence for that which does not deserve it, has created a more intense social hierarchy, that emerging students have known all their lives.  There was no moment when things changed.  No one day when shit got real.  It was always this.  Always.  The shooter was 19, we have to take into account that this was more of a factor on him than it would be on someone in their 50s, to say it isn't, is foolishly discounting something with a significant impact.

The main difference aside from a now exponentially increased intensity of these terrible conditions from just a few years ago, is their targeting system has moved away from what was once thought of only as "nerd culture" or geeky shit, because everyone has something they're a fan of now thanks to proliferation.  This chain of institutional abuse simply moving from one type of target to another has only just recently been broken by the one and only Coronachan, who by forcing classes into homes, have for the first time exposed parents to the type of micro-tyrancy that some educators are all to accustomed and comfortable deploying.  It also puts physical barriers between bullying abusers and their targets of abuse.  But the old habits hard to break now return in this sensationalized coverage that no one will still be talking about after 20 days from now (random guess, call it 17 or 22 if it makes you feel better).  He's a "weirdo" because of MLP, not because of the tremendously shitty life he's probably had as a whole, oh no, couldn't be that.

You Call This Archeology?
This entire process seems to be book-ended for the moment.  Columbine is on one end, and FedEx Shooter Brandon Hole on the other.   People old enough, remember after Columbine happened, that if you wore a black leather trench-coat and listened to Manson or KMFDM, the school Stasi  were coming for you to have a little sit-down "chat" or something.  I remember police showing up to an address I no longer lived at because I fit "the profile."   But a whole generation was about to get it stuck to them, because Mortal Kombat existed.  Yep, Mortal Kombat confused the boomers, it looked violent, and had come out just in time to be blamable for obviously causing 2 students who were abusing substances to cope with mental illness and getting tortured on a daily basis at an institutional learning facility which had spectacularly failed in its fiduciary duty to ensure they were able to be reasonably safe from such things. They came for the video games despite no evidence they played a role in anything.  It was easy for them.  It was all there in a nice little package.  And most importantly, it helped direct attention away from the systemic failures which were the true cause, because acknowledging those would mean acknowledging that said problems were boomer-caused and needed to be addressed... and we can't have that now, can we?

To Hillary Clinton, Joe Lieberman, Jack Thompson, Captain Kangaroo, Arthur Pobert, and Patrica Vance: Fuck You so fucking much.

Then is Now. Now is Then. This Blog is on Repeat.
A guy who had a red-flag, went to white supremacy websites in 2020, and had a job and life so shitty he couldn't see a way out of it, went and shot people where he worked, and then offed himself.  But holy shit he had a waifu thing for Applejack, so that must be the 100% causal factor because lol NERD WEIRDO! Do something normal like watch The Kardasians!  Nothing else comes into play now, it's the pony thing.  The news is quick to jump on it because it's more sensational than, say... the brand of shoes this guy preferred, and because someone liking something they are "not supposed to like" still not only can be played up as deviant, but also is a tool for the producers, program directors, writers, to meme to an audience which gets a dopamene hit in the elevation of their own self-image by the diminishing of others.

So the narrative is:
This guy = Brony
This guy does mass shooting
Mass shooting = Nazi
Brony = Nazi

Not only is this saying that the Brony community is full of nazis, even though it's not, it also tacitly argues that in some cases being a Brony causes you to become one... somehow?  As of the time of writing this, according to stories published by CNN and The Daily Beast, "no clear motive" has been released.  Yes he went to Brony websites and simped for AJ.  Like I said, he also probably wore shoes every time he went out, so is the news gonna look really hard at NewBalance or whoever?  No, because that's dumb.  So it any singular focus.  It's an appealing action because it's lazy.

New required reading.

Right now, the people who fit the modern American definition of "nazi" are proliferated in almost all the things.  Brony culture doesn't have any more of a "nazi problem" than NFL fans, or people who prefer Dunkin to Starbucks... meaning they're in just about everything, because this kind of shit doesn't gravitate just to one thing or another. The racism,hatred, and appeal of absolutism that goes with modern "nazi" is not a square peg looking for a round hole, it is a weaponized gas.  A toxic miasma that wraps itself around any and all challenges that humans face, becoming a tainted clear-coat over the entire structure of someone's life.  It manifests, then infects, damaging the coda of human thought to such an extent as to be irredeemable.  But was that causal here?  Was it truly a function of the Brony community?  It has been declared so:

From the publication that brought you a totally not made up but also yeah they totally made it up, story.

So whether this incident has anything to do with nazi anything or it doesn't, the social attitudes against the lifestyle activity that is "Brony" have been labeled as having a "nazi problem."  The infuriating component of this is that many of these political pontifications are the product of positions and posturing from petty princesses in Ivory Towers who have had nothing but disdain and derision for a fandom that they do not partake in, with nerd-shame and bullying being penultimate to said activity's full extinction, execution, cancellation, secession from existence, whatever you want to call it. Many of the sources of this associative pairing are bad actors using mala fides arguments in an effort to not help preserve, but rather destroy MLP fandom. It's "take that you nerds! You're not allowed to like something I don't think you should like!"  This was seen with anime fandom in the 90's and now we see it here, when there has yet to be an established connection of motivation to anything at all.  The same red herring arguments could be made about any other activities. Remember Nazi Furries and how crazy that shit was?

Not every mass shooter is a nazi. Some just don't like Mondays.
Racial motivations are common, but not the only motivations ever.

So people making this specific connection are being both disingenuous and reactionary. It's irresponsible to say "he's a brony therefore nazi; so that's why he did it" while ignoring the current hellscape of an underfunded educational system that produces waves of PTSD in the young people trapped in it, the stigmatized barriers to mental health and often inaccessible price tag such help comes with, and an overall despair which has later generations dropping dead at younger ages thanks to the financial greed, medical gluttony, and psychopathy of the boomers.  That kind of thing produces a mindset that can make Fascism attractive as an alternative to the current situation. That's literally how Fascism started the first time. 

And it's not just about guns, I already talked about guns and entertainment media.

'sssup Bitches!

Generational differences are still at work here, and I know I've been repeating things like this ad nauseum (last post for a long time when I do this I promise);  When Charles Whitman went to the top of the University of Texas and blasted 19 other people on the ground before being shot by police, literally all the warning signs were there and he sought help from 5 different doctors.  It being the 1960's they just crammed a bunch of Valium down him and told him to keep his hair short... Then when the -holy shit that didn't work- happened, they tried to blame it on everything other than the fact that doctors gave habit forming tranks to a guy with a brain tumor who had been in the US Marines and expressing violent idiation for a year.  When Mark David Chapman gunned down the worlds most famous hippie, John Lennon, and directly tied it to a popular book at the time, no one called Sallinger some right-wing manifesto author, the boomers kept lining up to give their hero Holden Caulfield a fucking blowjob, and forcing 7th graders to read Catcher in the Rye in school well into the 2000s. They couldn't have what they liked besmirched because of violent actions, but you dear X-Y-Zer are NOT going to get the same measures they gave themselves.  MLP is gonna get it.

Oh and fuck you Tipper Gore too.

Part Two: The nazi-problem:

That Was Just the Prologue:
Now we switch gears to the larger scale of things.  By no means does that actually mean the presence of nazi ideology and those who proliferate it should not be aggressively addressed anyway.  Nazi espousers are bad and can not be allowed into social spaces. When something is dangerous, the threat it poses needs to be stopped immediately and you can go into the causal relationships after that.

Something should be done to combat this presence, and that action should be uncompromising in commitment, self-sustaining, and most importantly, explicitly agreed upon regarding what criteria is necessary to be fulfilled in order to spark such action.  If you guessed it's that last one that's going to be the source of potential problems, you've been paying attention, so good for you!  What does count and what does not count needs to be defined because the "I know it when I see it" way of doing this is woefully insufficient here, and unless you're title is god of the internet, impossible to implement logistically.  Everyone who is jumping into this with the blunted impetus of just Nazi = BAD is not looking where they leap. This is going to become a problem once the obvious content is dealt with and time marches on.  How is this uncompromising effort going to be mitigated with the idea of similarity ≠ synergy; imitation ≠ endorsement; parody ≠ approval; transverse ≠ subvert?  People are already used to hair-trigger banhammers and censorbots being so hypersensitive and overbearing, that they make mistakes of unimaginable stupidity concurrent with robot-logic as portrayed in Futurama episode: Insane in the Mainframe. If you put A.I. in charge of not only filtering content, but then exacting punitive measures against the offending party, then it will fuck up at an error rate beyond a reasonable threshold, and even humans can end up acting the same way too making things Kafkaesque.

The above was banned from youtube for "promoting hate speech" because by the most extreme technical definition it might fit some word filter that doesn't know what mimicry-satire is or what references are. (Link to video here, along with the Original Artist Witch Taunter online public profile).  This is like when some media platforms took down Schindler's List because it had "nazi imagery" in it, because they could not figure out that the movie is not an endorsement of nazi ideology. Don't worry, Spielberg is replacing all problematic images, with walkie-talkies.

Here's Where I Repeat the Same Thing I Just Said With Different Words:
Website gatekeeping of actual nazi ideology as portrayed in visual or audio media
is an important and ongoing goal, such things are a danger to public safety manifested.  To initiate and maintain this effort effectively, the definitions and criteria that must be set as identifiers must be set in a rubric of limited (but not nonexistent) specific criteria, because the material it will encounter will have maximum variability.  There is a problem however, in that so many are  coming at this with all the disorganized energy of a college freshman cafeteria protest against Taco Tuesday, and the results will be just as ineffectual.  Saying "Ban Nazi Stuff!" is so easy, sometimes no one thinks of what "Nazi Stuff" actually means beyond the superficial, and how said "Nazi Stuff" will actively seek to subvert, sidestep, or otherwise surreptitiously remain a presence where it is not wanted.  Because these fascist elements are definitely going to try to get around those obstacles, they're not gonna just go home and sulk.  If you can't define it, you can't ban it effectively, and there's no Miller Test that can be done at a pace effective enough to allow for the volume of website activity not to be throttled to the point of determent to functionality.

The official English language account of Dies Irae was kicked off of Twitter for "offensive images" ...think about the logic that needed to be in place to actually do that.  This is an example of "doing it wrong."

It Has to Look AND Quack Like a Duck.
No one is watching Shewolf of the SS because they think that the Münchner Abkommen was the best way to institute Das Nürnberger Gesetze.  It's because the Commandant has oppai-tastic tig ol' bitties.  Software (and people who don't know shit) have censored or otherwise restricted access to things that fit a technical quantitative definition, but are qualitatively very evidently not a an endorsement. Some of the loudest voices of the anti-nazism in fandom ideal can also be some of the most ineffectually vague.  If you don't know what the Münchner Abkommen, Das Nürnberger Gesetze, Anschluss Österreichs, Nacht der langen Messer, The Marshall Plan, Operation Gladio, of the outcomes of the Nuremberg Trials were... do you even know enough about what it is you're trying to prevent?  Nazis know, they're actually really into that shit.  Here's the wiki entry of an informative history source I recommend (the original work is in French but there must be an English verson out there) it's by no means exaustive despite being 240 minutes long, but it is one of the fewer historical studies to focus on social, cultural, and soft economic aespects of the war in Europe, and mostly ignore the military nuts and bolts that everything else is so obsessed with.  It also does not deal with the Pacific theater, the Invasion of Manchuria in 1931, the Dai Tōa Kyōeiken (aka GEACPS), or Unit 731.  That's other reading.

So, is this Parody, or Promotion?  Should it matter or not matter? What is do be done if anything? (A warning, specific tagging, censorship, banning the artist from future access?  All of these are options).  Answers to these questions need to be in place before the need to ask them even happens, otherwise this will bogg down to nothing.  Some instances will have to deal with these issues en masse as well.

Quality of inquiry needs to be high, or these images all get treated as if they are the same.  Furthermore, (no one reads this but) if a significant group of Bronies saw these, there would not be 100% concurrence right now of what they qualify as (allowed or disallowed), and such views will likely differ a year or two years from now regarding the same images, depending on what has yet to happen. A manifestation of creeping absolutism is a possibility. Such progression is not bad or good, they can be both, and the result of application shall be the arbiter of such things.

This application of quantitative thought where qualitative should be, is a pitfall that many social movements have faced and many have also succumbed to.  It's now the NYPIRG thing fell apart in the early 2000s, it's how MADD went from a Traffic Safety group to the Prohibition Party, and has the final result of an absolutist mindset of polar orientation (meaning that any move or adaptation away from the "pole" of what the stated ideology is, is seen as a move toward its antithesis or that which it stands against).  That brings a significant potential determent to the main goal.

If you even bring this potential shortcoming up, some of the energized hoard dog-piles like the Sans-Culottes at the Bastille or Red Guard on the Four Olds.  Just asking where the demarcation will be or even a "how does this work" question at all, brings slobbering accusations of counter-revolutionary thought.  In their methodology it is a bivalance of proclamation: You are with them explicitly, or against them.  This leads to the conclusion that anyone who does not openly voice emphatic support in one of only a few prescribed ways, without question, is ipso-facto not "with them" and therefore supports nazis doing nazi things. The process of flawed logic ends up producing this:

X = Against Nazis
Y = Asks how best to be against Nazis
X = Y didn't state they agreed with me hard enough!!
X = Y therefore is a Nazi!
Y = "dafuq?"

Figuratively or literally, that formula if left to continue unabaited ends like this:

Robespierre Executes the Executioner, having run out of necks.

I already stepped on this landmine by saying that a vague policy can lead to both ineffective actions, and creeping absolutism in these matters, and the result was immediate and predictable.  They were ready to go full  红八月 just for that. I actually forgot that, Twitter has a collective reading-level of "high school" at maximum on its best days, and shit flew over so many heads it would have been more effective to just post the Spider Man meme with "how do I banned Nazi" in the word-bubble.  Creeping absolutism is not good in this case, because there will always be lack of full concurrence, which will cause balkanization, conglomeration around the maximum of definitions will then become something forced rather than a willing activity, and as the authority of it continues to grow it shall begin banhammering things that don't fit the original criteria of dangerous ideology but simply have some sort of similarity too close for its now ingrained sensibilities.

And I was originally going to talk about how the line from Nagatoro getting translated as "sus" was fine, and the only people complaining were people who had no JLPT scores to their name.

I know someone is already thinking "this is about modern nazis, not that historical Beer-Hall Putch stuff, and ¡internet!, and you don't get it"   Shut your freshman face up.  Yeah I know all of that, everyone knows that.  You think those Habbo raids were really National Socialists of America having a long-delayed victory party in the wake of the fucking Skokie case?  They're doing it to was originally get a rise out of people (because zomg_triggrz lulz) and then it grows from there, with the infected idealogues latching on to it like a remora fish onto anything the moves.  They are drawn to it like an insect is to a bug zapper.  It expands... grows out into a tree with many branches like racism, nativism, misogyny, jingoism, debate-bro stupidity, and the inevitable ethnicized religion (wherein the name of a religion is used to denote a person's ethnic or racial identity, which it technically can not do, but has grown into such function via repeated bad-faith statements).  Cutting down that whole tree is a longer and harder process than lopping the smaller branches.  And care must be taken so that -branches or trunk- when cut, don't land on and damage something unrelated.  This is not an easy process.  If it were, this entire problem would have been solved by 1979.

Someone is gonna read this and call me pro-nazi, for not being energetic enough, for questioning methodology, and because it points out the shortcomings and potential unintended consequences of going full Leeroy Jenkins on just "ban all nazis" as a plan.  That's like starting Le Mans with a half full gas tank because you can get off the line quicker.  It's not a good strategy.

Pictured: the what, not the how.

Anti-nazi efforts in American online fandoms and social media are having bit of a Boromir- Moment.  Some see using one of the defining characteristics of actual fascist totalitarian movements as acceptable, as long as they and their like-minded policy members are the arbiters of such figuratively weaponized discharges.  Just let ME use the one ring and it will totally work out I just know it  = totalitarian arbitration. That never works out for the best because there's no off-switch.  Becoming that which you oppose in order to oppose it, is a literary device, and as it is such, should not be used as a model for real world sociopolitical strategies in entertainment or online interactive media.  A fan shouldn't get dog-piled and banned just because they're crossover-ing Girls und Panzer w/ the Maine 6 or something, even if the evocative imagery is there.  Take this adorable video of Anchovy for example (NSFW lyrics if you are where they speak Italian).  Is it just expressing an appreciation for Anchovy and her aesthetic?  Or is it a rousing call to continue the cause of the Partito Nazionale Fascista... because you really can't get any more literally Fascist than Giovinezza and the anime reincarnation of Mussollini (except maybe if you played All'armi Inno Fascista).

Measure Twice, Cut Once:
So for the last time, I'm not going all paradox of tollerance here calling this a slippery-slope.  The singular mote of this entire idea is that this "critique is not dissent."  Saying "don't fuck up" is not the same as saying "don't do it."  This is a thing that should and must be done.  Inspecting the engines before takeoff is not an insult to the mechanical crew.  It's something you do to add redundant safety.  So equally, is the advocating for clear definitions and processes not an indicator of disagreement with the premise or its impetus.

Kneejerk reactions based on ignorance are nothing new:

I almost got suspended from school for having a Dark Horse issue of Blade of the Immortal because someone saw this fucking page and lost their shit.  The counter to my primafacia defense of "it has nothing to do with nazis" was actually challenged with "it doesn't matter, it just reminds people that nazis existed and nazis are bad so therefore this is also just as bad."  I literally had to have a friend (parent's friend) threaten a lawsuit to get them to back off.  So let's try to do things correctly, so results will last and the avenues of infiltration will be forever blocked for this kind of ideology, and they won't be able to cry foul or hitch a ride in on something.

All this over some fuckwit going all waifu for Applejack.  I'm not gonna let some big media repeateateteded story of "bad person was fan of such-thing, which means such-thing is bad and watch out if your kids have a fucking Rainbow Dash t-shirt or some teacher sees a Vinyl Scratch pony figure in the background of a middle schooler Zoom classes" change what I like.   ...moral panic, thy name is the for-profit news cycle. 

Fuck that shit, Applejack is cool.  Both as a Pony and as Booze.
(And no I'm not country, NYC born, raised, still live in when not in Tokyo).

Fight against the presence of nazis.  Don't (necessarily) break any laws over MLP though... we can go full Abbie Hoffman for better things.  And everyone out there, please remember, the worst Nazi infiltration is still happening exactly where we all know it is: