It’s no secret that we’re currently engaged in a culture war, whether you want to admit it or not. Most of the people who run “mainstream” culture, especially geek culture, tend to be from one single side of the political divide—the Left—and often very far to that side. We see it in their pushing of politics through their works and their public statements, and we see what they think of anyone they deem guilty of “wrongthink.” But I’m not here to talk about that; that’s been discussed to death by many people over the last several years. You can so easily find successful youtubers talking about how these politically-motivated people have ruined Star Wars, have ruined Star Trek, have ruined comics as an industry. Calling out their crap is important, and it is laudable to try and save something important to you.
However, this is not winning us the culture war, and by its nature cannot do so. Why? Because in a war over culture, the primary weapons it must be fought in is cultural creations. Talking about how bad things are can only have a limited impact. We might be able to pressure change via complaining, assuming enough people vote with their wallets. However, the possibility is entirely there that the left will not react to it, preferring to let franchises burn to the ground before changing things to assuage fans they have decided “toxic,” or simply “bad.” Remember, SJWs always double down. And, somewhat rightly, they will say “if you don’t it, create your own.” Now, they don’t seriously mean this, thinking that we are incapable of making viable alternatives that will succeed. Also, it is not easy to start from the ground up and build alternatives—and they will stop us at every step of the way, if they can. But that’s the way we have to win this. Present enough alternatives that people will see and support, thus making them true alternatives in the eyes of the greater public, who will hopefully move to them, to us. Present enough products, creative works, that are not so obviously offensive that they can easily get them removed, enough quality alternatives, and we will start to make a difference.
The hardest part about being a creator, for most creators, is that marketing/promotional game, however. Most of us aren’t great at it; we’re good at creating, not selling. So, as you might expect, we could greatly benefit from people giving us greater exposure.
This is where I am talking to many of these successful content creators of youtube. I know that outrage gets clicks, and that people like seeing you complain about how bad Star Wars, and other stuff has become. It’s funny, and cathartic for people feeling the same way while lacking a platform. We need more of a bridge between these people and those creating alternatives. Again, this is how we can truly make change. I’m sorry, but odds are you’re not going to be able to “save” Star Wars. We might score small victories here and there, but the trend shows no signs of changing. All this complaining isn’t going to do much; you’re already more or less preaching to the choir. We need to be building our own things, utilizing our own allied platforms to spread that, and enact change that will lead to changing the direction of culture and the creation of quality works. Some creators already do this. World Class Bullshitters on youtube does shout out creative projects, and accepts advertisements from anyone who wishes to pay for their project getting mentioned. Comicsgate was this, as well, at least at first, though it’s become a dumpster fire now and largely serves as a vehicle for a handful of people to make money now.
Complaining changes nothing, and is a weapon with a very limited effect, at best, in this war. Only by creating and supporting alternatives, alternatives which are not SJW converged. If people actually want change, they will have a healthy mix of calling out SJW crap and also helping boost alternatives. Frankly, I’m tired of seeing complaining. It’s not just because I am creating alternatives myself—there are many of us. It’s just that I am good at seeing the big picture, and I don’t see us winning at this rate, strictly by complaining. And as I’ve mentioned above, most of the biggest players in this culture war almost exclusively complain. Creators who have been regularly achieving success and who are on our side in this, such as Larry Correia with his Monster Hunter International and Grimnoire Chronicles series, Nick Cole and Jason Anspach with their Galaxy’s Edge series, Jon Del Arroz with his Von Monocle series and recent comic successes with Flying Sparks, the new Meta-Man comic, and the upcoming adaptation of Richard Fox’s Ember War series, are who will allow us to get a foothold in the arts, and start pushing back.
But they are only a few people, and few outposts in the void. More of us need to reach that point. In order to do that, we need to start reaching more people, and to do that, we need exposure… and you get the picture. This is how we can win. But it requires cooperation, and people with large platforms being willing to forgo the short term gains of clicks in order to start making a real impact and real change in these industries we care about.
Will they do it? I hope so, but all the same, I won’t be holding my breath. Only time will tell. I just hope we have enough left to make a difference regardless of what happens. If you want to help me have a bigger impact in this fight, you can check out my books here.