In Which Regressive Dudes Blame A Pandemic on Women Nebulously Existing

What caused coronavirus? Many would tell you it spread to humans from a wet market in Wuhan, China, likely from a bat. The President of the United States would incoherently claim it’s possibly a bioweapon, I don’t know, we can’t rule it out (spoiler: we can) and then start rambling about how Obama did it. His fiercest rival would tell you that you know, Corn Pop down at the city pool told him to wear an onion on his belt to ward off the consumption, and that’s what we have to do with Iran.

What I’m saying is: America, perhaps a bad country?

But one of Reddit’s TOP MINDS has the answer. The true cause of the pandemic are FEEEEEEMALES thinking they can do science. With their LADY BRAINS.

Lotta filling in the blanks here.

Blaming a global pandemic on feminism is so Reddit it hurts, and this take in particular comes from one of Reddit’s GamerGate subs, since that’s still a thing in the hellworld of 2020. You may think that our friend pulled this from his ass – but in fact, he has profound evidence for his theory.

See, the doctor who studied bat coronavirii…was FEEEEEMALE. Obviously she must be a diversity hire, despite having a PhD in virology, and, y’know, China not having any major feminist movement and being an authoritarian state whose policy on ethnic and cultural minorities is hardly progressive.

But if she’s not an incompetent FEEEMALE hired by the wicked feminists of the Chinese Communist Party who let COVID-19 out because she was too busy having her period or something to do math, the only other option is clearly that she let it out deliberately. The woman who studied bats and compiled a database of bat diseases and studied potential treatments either can’t do her job or can only do it villainously. Clearly.

Our intrepid truthteller goes on to say: “I’m honestly disappointed. Everyone defaulted to variations of calling me an incel rather than disproving my point. You’re kind of proving it by your lack of counter arguments”, and presumably would also like you to know that you are the one that is owned, not him, and he is not a incel just because he spends his days posting online about how women don’t have the lobes for science and/or are wicked temptresses, releasing diseases out in the world, possibly to impress some bad boy they’re sleeping with instead of him, who would treat her right, actually.

Looking at our anonymous hero’s history, they also attack the new Star Wars films’ writer for celebrating Women’s Day, write off James Bond for asking Billie Eilish to do the theme, calls Pewdiepie a cuck, and post regularly to “just legbeard thing”, which opposes women attacking one specific type of angry nerd guy by attacking every woman who has ever and will ever live for their dastardly woman-being. Personally in quarantine I took up drawing & started playing through all the childhood games I never finished but you do you I guess

Demons & Halloween Lies: A Trip Through Hell House

Evangelical Christian culture is an enduring fascination of mine; as someone who grew up secularly, in a left-wing mainline Protestant stronghold it’s so alien to me it feels as fringe as UFO channelers, Indigo children, or internet werewolf cults. Evangelical right-wingers actually make up the largest religious group in the US, but for reasons both intentional and geographic they feel like a weirdo artifact.

Evangelical separation from mainstream pop culture results in, above all, a hidden world of films that are completely terrible in both filmmaking and assumptions about human nature, a world glimpsed by others only in fleeting PureFlix ads on Youtube. We Arrogant Liberal Elites know so little about the culture that large chunks of society belong to; what goes on in the world of people who agree with Mike “Horsefucker” Pence’s views on talking with women (don’t, lest those slutty, slutty whores tempt you into sin by existing in a professional context)?

One element of evangelical culture absolutely confounding to outsiders are hell houses, captured in George Ratliff’s 2002 documentary Hell House, which I somehow missed then despite being deep in my edgy atheist phase.

Hell houses are fake Halloween haunted houses with a Christian message, guiding visitors through scenes of sin that play like community theater Grand Guignol. Blood, guts, and acting that vacillates between stiff and downright feral.

Though the concept started in the 70s, and became common in the 90s, hell houses didn’t attract mainstream notice until one in Cedar Hill, Texas staged a scene based on the Columbine…a mere six months after the shooting. Clearly stung by the bad publicity two years prior, a church in Waco would base a scene off 9/11.

Hell houses naturally attract outrage and mockery, but Ratliff’s film, much like 2006’s Jesus Camp, stays relatively neutral. Instead of on-screen narrators or expert interviews, the believers in Cedar Hill tell their own story, and the film refuses to turn them into a sideshow, shooting them speaking in tongues as if they were singing “Happy Birthday”.

The planning for the next Hell house dives into awkward comedy: a debate over whether the occult “roleplaying game” Magic: The Gathering is called Magic or The Gathering, delight over being cast in “the suicide scene”, portentous talk of how dozens of people die at every rave ever held, a switch in the occult scene’s candles after a warlock’s complaint. But Ratliff plays their beliefs sincerely.

And it’s the sincerity that makes passages of Hell House chilling. A woman whose experience acting in the Hell house led her to forgive her rapist, who attended that Christian event openly; a man who prays over a seizing child to cure him. Moments like this, of course, wouldn’t seem chilling in the culture of Cedar Hills’ evangelicals. Of course you forgive those who hurt you. Of course you attribute healing to God. It’s a clash between fundamentally different views of how the world works.

The climatic trip through the hell house makes you wonder how many people truly come to a place to be converted. Much of evangelical pop culture is aimed at outsiders, but consumed by the in-group. Turns out most people don’t want to watch turgid indie films in the hopes of changing their entire religion. The silliest manifestation of this tendency were Chick tracts, which invariably act as if people who grew up white in America would never have heard of Jesus until someone hands them a cheap comic at a bowling alley. I always wonder to what extent they realize they’re preaching to the choir – the hell house’s visitors are already-converted locals or outsiders tricked by its resemblance to a typical haunted house and more apt to be annoyed than converted.

Most commentary on hell houses attack their most obviously offensive elements – the allusions to recent tragedies – and pass over their hatred of women. Who could ever guess why skeptics & atheists of the 2000s mostly ignored women’s rights unless it let them be racist?

But the “rave” scene involves a woman being date raped, and in the end someone goes to Hell. Guess who? That’s right – the rape victim, who is victim blamed for her rape, kills herself in despair of ever being believed, and is dragged off to Hell. We can only hope the rapist would be granted a chance to repent, and maybe even get a seat on the Supreme Court.

The Columbine scene is here downgraded to a schoolroom suicide (and obligatory Hell-dragging-offing). The true centerpiece is a sequence that combines two hell house obsessions – AIDS and abortion – into one bloody tableau.

Hell houses first attracted controversy by advertising a chance to see AIDS funerals; here, a gay man is dying of AIDS when a woman who just took an abortion drug, and is now bleeding to death because that’s absolutely how abortions work, is wheeled in. He rejects God and goes to Hell; she repents at the last second and is saved.

The final sequence in any Hell house depicts Heaven and, well, heck. A man enters the gates of Heaven; his sins were many, but he was cool with Jesus, so it’s alright. Others descend to Hell, where a man babbles about how being molested as a child made him think being gay was okay (you’d think the child molester would be in Hell too, but I guess he was cool with Jesus, too, so it’s all good).

Here is where Ratliff pierces the bubble and introduces the film’s only critical voice. Our savior takes the form of a group of edgy teens who question the attraction’s homophobia and the concept of someone being damned to eternal torment essentially for having depression. They display the eloquence groups of angry teens are famed for, but the operators can’t really muster a proper response to the idea that, y’know, maybe reality has “nuance”.

Hell houses are far from beloved by the bulk of American Christians, especially mainstream Protestants, who object to conversion by fear. After all, someone who believes exclusively because they’re afraid doesn’t really believe. But the make-your-own-emotionally-manipulative-fake-haunted-house kits still sell, and the Hell house in Cedar Hills is still kicking, even if it doesn’t make headlines anymore.

The conservative culture warriors of the 1980s through 2000s, though, have mostly vanished or pivoted to more overtly political tactics. The Supreme Court legalizing gay marriage didn’t seem like an ending at the time, but the way that – a homophobic city hall clerk or two aside – Republicans basically conceded the victory dropped the curtain on purely cultural or religious rage. It took a few years for the old homophobic, “they’re coming for your children” arguments to resurface, now targeted at trans people, but there’s a distinct directness in their rage. People attack trans folk many ways, but they don’t often say they’re going to Hell.

Part of this is flirtation with an alt-right that’s largely atheistic and more openly hateful, and abiding by the harassment tactics of GamerGate. Dogwhistles are so 1999. Part of this is an openly not-especially-religious President. Part of it just secrecy: Republicans still believe the world is ending soon, they still support Israel primarily due to Biblical prophecies about its existence being a precondition for Jesus’ return, but as long as they don’t say it, anyone that does accuse them of believing what they believe looks like a nutter, don’t they?

Ratliff once said that the people in Hell House do it because they don’t have therapy; that this is how they process and purge their feelings. Within the walls of a hell house, we see the unfiltered id of the right-wing evangelical vomited out for all to see, with no regard for decorum or smarm, and wholly dedicated to saving souls through fraud and trauma.

In Which Conspiracy Theorists Uncover the “Sinister” Truth About Clickbait

The world is going to hell. In an era of government corruption, creeping power and open descent into fascism, conspiracy theorists are doing just what you’d expect they do: ignore every problem in favor of ranting about feminists and Star Wars. Because who cares about the world’s problems when they don’t impact well-off twenty-something white nerds?

There are many problems with journalism today: the rise of fake news as a phenomenon bolstered by prominent right-wing figures; editorial writers who would rather regurgitate the same tepid story bashing college students than talk about actual problems; and the growing reach of companies like Sinclair Broadcasting. Anyway, Reddit is creeped out by journalists talking about Star Wars:

“What the hell is with the way article headlines are being written these days? At first, it felt like a humorous coincidence, but now it’s seriously starting to creep me out”

8e8sso8mk2111.jpg

My god! You’re telling me internet clickbait often uses repetitive headline structures? Gosh, ya cracked the case!

This thread – sitting at +2764, with 91% upvotes – continues to discuss this vile conspiracy to, uh, have opinions about Star Wars.

“Many people don’t read beyond the headline. It happens even on here. With the style of writing shown in the OP you don’t just quickly inform the smartphone addict, you also immediately tell them how to feel about that information.”

Or maybe it’s teasing what the author thinks about the subject. But nope, having an opinion in a story about media is brainwashing people. And that’s why Roger Ebert is history’s greatest monster.

“Nobody has the time to read an entire article and then do all the critical thinking required to reach an opiniated conclusion.”

Nobody reads articles anymore, whines someone who complained about dozens of news stories they didn’t read because of a meme.

“Because they entire media apparatus is owned by a single middle eastern tribe.”

SHARK NOISE SHARK NOISE! It’s the Antisemitism Megalodon!

(((And that’s a good thing)))

I don’t know how to process someone implying a phrase is Jewish. When you’re so Antisemitic you think a collection of five words is in league with George Soros.

“I don’t bother reading beyond the headline on reddit because I assume the comments will contain a more researched and nuanced discussion than the actual article”

This may seem odd, but to be fair, Redditors do have high IQs due to all that Rick and Morty.

I think you don’t get it.

  • Movies / TV are cultural nuclear weapons.
  • People are influenced by what they sense – without realizing it.
  • The more you repeat a message – the more it will be accepted and embraced.

Insidious messages like “that movie you liked as a kid, but now with women in it” are truly the modern nuke.

I’ll always enjoy the internet dork dude backlash against The Force Awakens for the magical phrase “little white cuck ball”. There is so much to unpack in an 4Chan user reading psychosexual, racist meaning into BB8. BB8, the little soccer ball droid. “Little white cuck ball” is the modern “cellar door” – it is a statement too beautiful to fully take in. The human mind cannot plumb its depths.

BB8!

“The articles are shaping the perception of the masses (with variations of the message depending on the target) to accept critical and masterfully crafted, hidden and integrated ideas shown in major film such as star wars.

The goal being a continuous shift of the cultural paradigm towards a global unification, also known as new world order.

You embrace ideas that were repugnant to your grandparents and your grandsons and granddaughters will go throught the same process.

We were born in a cult and Star Wars is a tool to evangelize (replace old cultures with new ones) so the small amount of cult leaders can keep enslaving billions of humans.”

Jesus, dude. Just…Jesus. You need a hobby. Maybe collect some stamps or something. Just…do anything but this

And ah yes, I’ve always been proud of my ancestor’s motto, “we’re super mad about women being in a movie that doesn’t exist yet”. A truly noble lineage.

“Operation Mockingbird. CIA controls all aspects of MSM, and the popular narratives on “social media”. Welcome to fascism.”

*sees every Trump speech, the alt-right, and Charlottesville* True fascism is people having different opinions than me about Star Wars.

r/conspiracy could discuss many things. But oddly, this community of paranoid young men with a oppression complex who hate women, minorities and Jews somehow overlooks everything Trump does. Who could possibly know why? But by God, they’ll fight against anyone who vaguely criticize Star Wars, or praise the Star Wars movies they don’t like, or hold an opinion they disagree with even slightly, with all the fierceness anonymous internet commenters can muster.


This is my first post of the year, and naturally, I spent it on some weird, petty Reddit thing. But The Space Lizard Report will return more regularly – as soon as I can install a global conspiracy to make people like the prequels.

In Which Conspiracy Theorists Face Their Greatest Fear – a bean

Paul Joseph Watson, a vlogger in Alex Jones’ sprawling paranoid media empire-slash-supplement lifestyle brand InfoWars, is a major figure in modern paranoid internet dude conservatism, or – as he’d describe it – the new punk rock.

Yeah man, you’re really annoying the leftists by saying something dumb and getting called dumb before everyone moves on with their life.

Paul Joseph Watson is a tough rebel, an iconoclast who fears nothing – except for soybeans.

“Soy boy” is the latest term to spread like wildfire through the alt-right/InfoWars/terrible internet dude scene. Like all of their terminology – from “cuck” to “virtual signaler” – it’s treated as a devastating insult by those who use it, and is heard by everyone else as meaningless horseshit. Just like Watson’s own personal catchphrase, “imagine my shock”. Wow, buddy…I’m starting to think you aren’t really shocked, or something.

Soy feminizes men, Watson says. “You’ve probably seen the Buzzfeed Try Guy video where they measure their testosterone”, he goes on, apparently not knowing what “probably” means. I don’t think I’ve ever googled “testosterone levels of the staff of a website I dislike”, but then again I haven’t shilled even one dubious brain pill.

Watson thankfully includes a two-minutes-hate of feminist men who made a Tweet he dislikes, who also once tweeted about eating soy. Frantically searching for signs your enemies ate a food is a perfectly normal activity. Who hasn’t done such a thing? As you’d expect, this montage ranges from political celebrities to just random nobodies who made a bad Tweet once. Also, he takes a chance to be xenophobic about refugees, because of course.

You’d also expect random cuts to things we’re just instinctively meant to understand as bad. For example, Watson cuts to a woman – unnamed, and never mentioned in the video – saying “I’m triggered”. You sure showed…uh, whoever that was. He also cuts to Jeb Bush. Hasn’t JEB! suffered enough?

The crux of Watson’s theory is that soy contains estrogen. Babies are being fed a soy milk formula, and thus there’s a grand theory about how there’s a plot to raise a generation of Soy Boys. A terrifying world where boys are, uh, feminine a bit, maybe? The implications are truly not that troubling, honestly.

Soy boy outrage ran through the alt-right like a wildfire. Perhaps its finest result was leading 4Chan users to drink onion juice to offset the “effects” of soy and regain their manliness. Stefan “once posed as a woman online to agree with himself” Molyneux compared the consumption of soy to the fall of Rome.

But by and large, “soy boy” has become just another insult thrown about by the alt-right, a sign of cutting wit to them and a sign of meaningless, braying jackassery to everyone else. There’ll be a new one a week from now, and it’ll be just as confounding. But at least we can take pleasure in the fact that this one hurt 4Chan literally.

In Which Reddit Bans A Toxic Cesspool of Misogyny

[cw: rape and misogyny]

r/incels was toxic and misogynistic by Reddit standards, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more terrifying sentence. It was a place for people to congregate to yell about how much they hate women, and then wonder why women won’t sleep with them. It was every nasty, sexist tendency of toxic masculinity-fueled, entitled young men shoved – or, you may say, quarantined – into one hellish place.

Reddit banned r/incels, acting swiftly to stem the tide of such terrible behavior by waiting nearly two years to do literally anything. But let’s not be churlish: Reddit actually Did A Good for once, and we should applaud them, and also ask them to maybe be a bit faster next time.

And on a personal note, I also applaud…myself! Because even though I heard about how awful r/incels was, I never once looked at it. For once in my life, my drive to find something terrible & gaze deeply into it from afar, like a pig wallowing in mud, was defeated by my mind’s self-preservation instincts. Go me! But now I must pick over the fragments of r/incels’ fetid corpse.

Incels, short for “involuntary celibates”, are some of the worst people on the planet – again, they stood out as terrible on Reddit, a kind of zoo for disgusting male subcultures. At their best they appear to have spent time raging against literal strangers maybe having sex, asking profound questions like “why do women like men who are nice and considerate, and don’t spend all their time insulting women on the internet?”. Truly the mystery of our time. Earnest displays of joy and happiness were anathema to them, triggering bizarre and terrifying displays of revulsion.

At their worst, incels are genuinely criminal, often condoning rape – even outright discussing how to get away with it. r/Incels was a vile echo chamber where misogynistic ideas were reinforced and deepened by an insular community. Angry, entitled misogynist dudes still have places to congregate – for example, Reddit – but they have one less place that’s for them – and that’s why we should celebrate its ban.

And to incels themselves: to misquote The Social Network, let it be known that women don’t hate you because you’re a nerd. They hate you because you’re an asshole.