The wider Culture War has been raging for some time now, but, as of late, it really seems to me that several lines have been crossed, and the future seems headed to a dark place due to that.
The attack aimed at an author from within a published comic was bad enough, but physical assault lies on another plane entirely. And that is exactly what happened last week to YouTuber Jeremy Hambly, better know as Unsleeved Media or The Quratering. The night before the opening of GenCon, a large gaming convention, in Indianapolis, Indiana, Hambly was hanging out with fans at the Tin Roof Bar near the convention area, a man later identified as Matt Loter (who also goes by Matt Fantastic) approached him, and after confirming that Jeremy was, in fact, Jeremy, began to violently assault him until Jeremy managed to get into the relative safety of the bar itself. The frustrated attacker then punched a window before leaving.
The situation has been covered in depth over at Bounding Into Comics, which has several articles about what happened and what has gone on afterward, and, of course, Jeremy has talked about it on his Twitter and YouTube channels, and others have made videos about this.
But it needs to be said, especially when we are seeing no small number of SJW-types–even non anonymous ones– celebrating this attack. And you can bet that for every SJW who openly supports this type of action, there are many more wise enough to not say so publicly, or feel that it is, in some twisted way, “justified.” They have no problem blaming the victim when it’s their enemy.
Far more so than the personal attack aimed at Jon Del Arroz, this represents a clear line being crossed. Political violence is no longer limited (not that is makes it any less reprehensible) to openly politically active figures and political events like rallies, where we see antifa thugs assaulting people regularly. Now, even just being someone who has controversial opinions relating to things like card games and cosplayers can lead some psycho to attack you.
Jeremy seems to have done all the right things in his post-attack response, pursuing all legal avenues at his disposal, and Ethan van Sciver has already started a crowdfund to raise legal fees for Jeremy. However, we also saw that the bar did not want him to call the cops, and, so far, has not released surveillance footage that might well show the attack. And then GenCon itself promoted the attacker’s game, and banned people from its Twitch chat for asking about the incident. Matt Loter, the attacker, had a booth at the convention, though apparently he scurried away in the aftermath of his attack.
Hopefully, justice will be served here, and Loter will face either jail time or significant financial losses, but what is most important, beyond ensuring that he is hit with the full force of the law for his actions, is that we stay vigilant. No longer are they content with character assassinations, attempting to get you banned from social media, or attacking your livelihood, be it via trying to get you fired or sabotaging your products.
They want you gone, by any means necessary. Even if Loter does see justice, I don’t think this is the last of these incidents we will see. When we usually talk about the culture war, we see it as a non-physical thing,
But like any war, it has multiple dimensions, and as we have seen, one is the physical. Stay safe, be prepared to protect yourself via all available legal means, and don’t let them intimidate you.
I certainly intend to do just that, in addition to fighting with my fiction, which you can check out here. It’s tough, being, in a sense, a serviceman in two armies at once, but we do what we have to do. Only through that can we achieve our goals and win this fight.