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Who Buys This Junk? Dump Cake Cookbook

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I don’t even know where to start with this one. To begin with I didn’t even realize that this was a cookbook. I thought it was some kind of cake mix. Secondly, the name, while dump cakes have existed in the past, this is clearly one of those situations in which they give a product a dumb name so the internet pays attention to it. No one accidentally names something dump something, and somewhere a marketing executive thinks they are a genius.

For that matter, I can’t help but laugh at the first recipe shown. Cut calories by using a diet soda! Your eating dessert, at that point you might as well just use a regular soda. But let’s give them a pass on that, does it even sound appetizing to use soda on store bought cake mix? But before I continue, here’s the video:

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The Brave, The Beautiful, The Snotlings

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Today Fear The Snotlings takes on a Skaven team, Call of Cthulu. This is an example of why you don’t try to pick up the ball on your first move. Ever. No matter who is trying to pick it up. I had no right whatsoever to win this game, and forgot I had until I re-watched it.  But the Skaven team burnt through so much precious time just trying to pickup the ball. Also no idea why you run your gutter runner all the way down the field along the sideline.

Since I have played past this point (and a total of seven games), I decided to double check how many Snotlings have survived that long. Out of my full team, only 5 of them have played 7 games. Of course I’ve also fired the ones who have gotten serious injuries, so not everyone has died. Just most of them.

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Who Buys This Junk? Miracle Grill Mat

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So I refuse to pay for cable, but I tend to like having a lot of background noise. I used to listen to a few different live streams, some days I listen to Pandora. But lately I’ve been watching a lot of over the air broadcasts. With the move to digital, there are now sub-channels attached to regular broadcast channels. Three of these I watch a lot are This-TV (bad movies) Antenna-TV (Old TV Sitcoms) and Movies (classic movies) and I’ve noticed a trend.

It appears that there aren’t enough advertisers, as around 90% of whats advertised on all three of these channels are scams. Nearly every time I google one of them there’s a ton of pissed off people who have been conned. But the real winner are the “As Seen On TV Products” which serve a laughable at best purpose and are overpriced junk.

I feel like these gems really need to be shared, and so I have a new somewhat regular column: Who Buys This Junk? Join as I share some of the wonders I have seen.

Today’s winner is the Miracle Grill Mat, one of the ones that inspired me to start this column. For reasons which will be clear after the video:

Tin Foil.

Really, that’s it, Tin Foil. Now in fairness when talking to a friend about this product, she mentioned that some people believe tin foil causes carcinogens. But even so, would anyone worried about carcinogens from tin foil not be worried about carcinogens from this? If asbestos taught me one thing, if something does not burn and isn’t metal, you should start questioning things.

Also let’s not forget that there are grill baskets for cooking vegetables in. At this point if you really want to grill something, but don’t like everything about grilling, just get a George Foreman grill. Plus half the fun of grilling is the stuff splattering from the meat, hitting the coals, causing smoke which adds more flavor to the meat. If you really need this that badly, question whether you really want to be grilling?

Can someone tell me if grilled eggs are really that different from stovetop eggs? Hell for that matter you could just grill with a pan?

Edit: I had to add this tweet

The Best Of Snow Must Go

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So this might or might not be fair, but I decided to google “Snow Must Go” and here’s some of the best stuff I’ve found.

How Garth Snow Single-Handedly Took A Team On The Rise, Back To The Bottom

We admit the rebuild was a fail and we shake things up. By bringing in a top-caliber GM and coach, they can be our biggest assets in recruiting higher level talent.

Lot’s of good quotes here, but my favorite is that the team must bring in a top-caliber GM. Okay, I get that after the strike shortened season Snow didn’t do enough to improve the team. But acting like he somehow didn’t try or is directly responsible for teams not trading a goalie to him is a bit much. By most stats last years team was good, but bad goaltending absolutely ruined what could have been a playoff bubble team.

Snow/Wang Must Go on HockeysFutures Forum

That is such backwards thinking. Snow being allowed to hire another coach is a show of confidence by Wang. Snow should be shown the door. How many losing seasons does Snow need to have before some say enough is enough. For all the losing we have suffered through the prospect pool is average and the “core” we have does not have what it takes.
In fairness this is like shooting fish in a barrel. But this thread started last November, and has a lot of gems in the first page or two. Sticktap to “informthemasses” who argued that there was a good core and prospect system that deserved more time.

 

 

but he’s (Snow) mainly become associated with such words as “bizarre” and “insane.”

 

By bizzare and insane, he’s referring to myths that have been beaten to death by the media. Mainly the yearly rumors that Yashin was coming back because he was skating at the Islanders Iceworks facility, and that the Islanders tried to trade every single one of their draft picks to the BlueJackets to move up two spaces.
Let’s say Snow really did make that offer to the BlueJackets? Snow wouldn’t have let someone in the org release that information, and if the CBJ did you’d have to consider them idiots for not taking the trade. But don’t let that change your opinion of Snow or continue treating it like a fact.

 

 

awful trades that set this team back, lack of accountability with roster decisions (Bailey), media having a field day with this circus of an organization, or any of the other things that plague this franchise, I’m nearing my breaking point.

 

These guys, the reason I’m including this link is because it contains links to 10 other articles they wrote bashing Snow. That’s in a timeline of November 25th 2013 to March 3rd 2014. Isles Nation itself only started in June of 2013. Look, I just would have been more supportive of the protests if we weren’t coming off a playoff run and there were obviously fixable reasons for the Islanders troubles last year.

 

 

It’s time the commissioner sat down with Wang/Snow and said, “Hey guys, look, it’s been almost eight years and the other guys don’t want you in the league anymore. We want someone in the league who, you know, tries, and knows what they are doing.”

 

The team is one season removed from the playoffs and were 2 OT goals from knocking the Penguins from the playoffs. So now’s a good time to get rid of them.

 

 

First, I would be remiss not to mention that Josh Bailey is locked in at $3.3 million through the 2017-2018 season. For a team that doesn’t like to spend money, wasting $16.5 million over 5 years on Josh Bailey doesn’t sound like the best plan out there.

 

You know this is a classic article because when it talks about Snow’s trades, it’s just the two Vanek trades and the Nino for Clutterbuck deal. In case you couldn’t tell from the quote, the author is not a big fan of advanced stats (appearently) as he compares Nino and Clutterbuck in Goals/Assists/Points. This completely ignores that they are two different players who are being asked to do different things. Last season Nino was constantly shletered, while Clutterbuck got a lot of PK time and was asked to keep higher quality opponents in check. So yes, Clutter is going to have less points then Nino, but he’s more effective for the team then if Nino was trying to do Clutter’s job.

 

 

So, I say this to us blue-collar fans of the New York Islanders: our management are complete and abject failures. It is time for the fans that actually attend the remaining eight home games to hear our vocal chords and hear them loud. Let go, free yourselves, and make the incompetents hear your voices: Fire Garth Snow.

 

So I decided to finish on this, because he expects the Islanders to be so bad that their first home grown superstar (John Tavares) will leave at the end of his current contract in 17-18. He also quotes the Toronto Sun as calling the Islanders laughing stocks, because Toronto newspapers spend so much time covering anything other then the Leafs?

Update

So a few people tweeted at me ( and ) sent me tweets mentioning how ridiculous the Isles Nation guys were at the time.  Also they linked me to tweets like this one

And I decided to take a closer look at the Isles Nation guys. As mentioned, the first post on the site was June 2013. Between December and February they made 11 different posts (not including the actual protest post) which were calling bashing Snow for last years team. So I decided to check out their staff page. Seven of the Twelve (really?) writers are 23 and under (at least according to the page, it might not be up to date) including a sixteen year old.

But no, tell me more about the long hard struggle you’ve been a part of, really.

Also one of the co-owners is the guy who used to run the @NYIFans4Change and most likely the NYIFans4Change website whose level of anti-Snow and Wang was hiliarous. He’s also 20 according to the staff page.

Look, I don’t want to take the road that guys would use against me saying “Well I’ve been watching Hockey since they were an expansion, I know more then you”, but going through the Milbury years left such a lasting mark on me. It’s hard to explain what it’s like to see a half dozen highly talented players come through, have so much hope, and see them spit out in such a short amount of time. To see Garth Snow take a calm, patient and long term plan with the team (and really only deviate from it with the Vanek Trade) has made me willing to give the guy as much time as I have. Plus people who claim the rebuild started in 2007 are just using hyperbole.

All you have to do is look at just about every Cup winner since the Red Wings won it, they all had 4-5 seasons of losing and missing the playoffs. The GMs of those teams also didn’t inherit a farm system that was bare of any promising prospects and a team that was basically held together by gum and twigs, overpaying for a lot of mediocre free agents. Coming off a playoff season, the Islanders looked like they had a solid core of players, and were just missing one or two pieces. They weren’t a team is such desperate straights they needed a god dam protest of all things.

Update #2

The more I dig, the more I find…

Context, #GamerGate and Politics

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So I’ve been trying to hold off on posting anything about #GamerGate cause it’s so dumb. It’s really a non-controversy, and is thankfully circling the drain. But for those not in the know, who might be curious here’s my quickest possible summary:

A guy wrote a huge post claiming his ex had sex with a bunch of people in the gaming industry. The woman is a game developer, so supposedly those people she had sex with gave her good reviews. From that point it became a huge avalanche of hatred aimed at the girl. For the most part news outlets tried to ignore the story, because you don’t want to feed the machine and get this woman attacked more. Eventually news stories started coming out, but because they were negative in opinion (towards the people attacking said woman) it just got the mob angrier.

So what happened was it morphed into #GamerGate, with the cover being that they were against unethical practices by video game journalists. But as it went on, people pointed out more and more that attacks were largely against woman in gaming while most of the men and journalistic issues were ignored. Real ethical issues that have come up since #GamerGate started have largely been ignored. Because at the end of the day it’s a movement to harass women.

On top of all that, I should add that some of the worst of the worst of America’s Right Wing politics got involved. Christina Hoff “I’m a feminist but here’s why I’m against Feminism” Sommers, Milo “Breitbart is ethical right?” Yanosomething and even Jack “I hate Video Games” Thompson have come out in support of #GamerGate. Jack Thompson is never one to turn down free attention, while Milo and Sommers make their money by pushing a conservative agenda.

So a movement involving Gamers and Conservatives. Why if you’ve been to this blog before that’s almost an exact mix to call out my favorite punching bag Micah Curtis. It shouldn’t be surprising then that Micah is now back as a “Video Game Journalist” writing for Techraptor. It just so happened that the woman all #GammerGate was after has written a few long posts about her experiences. She recently posted a new one here, that rips into all the BS that Techraptor is spitting out.

Micah was quick to come to the defense of his company, and falling back on his favorite excuse that something is “being taken out of context”

Ethics In Video Game Journalism

So the question any sane person would ask, what did she take out of context? It actually took me a few tries to find out what was taken out of context as she was mainly talking about a different author on TR. But here’s the section:

What’s got Micah all fired up and ready to go? That screenshot within a screenshot in the middle. There’s actually nothing quoted from Micah. Just a screenshot from a video he edited and created. Wait there’s more though, that screenshot is actually the MAIN TITLE IMAGE used to promote this article on techraptor. Now she is trying to make the point that techraptor is heavily biased in favor of #GamerGate.

Since I hate when Micah says stuff is being taken out of context, it’s time for a breakdown of the article and to see if it’s unfair to paint him as biased for GamerGate just because of a screenshot.

Before I begin this article I want to say right out of the gate that this is the last time that I will be critiquing the videos of any Youtube personality or anyone who is essentially “internet famous.” There’s a specific reason that I chose this video.

This video for those interested is a rather long video by Foldable Human. Micah made a reply video (which I can only get through roughly 5 minutes before I can’t take the stupidity) and then followed it up with the article. This screenshot is from Micah’s video, but it was made to promote the followup article. So this isn’t pulled out of context by anyone but TR. It’s worth mentioning that Micah’s response video is titled “Foldable Terrorism: A Response To Dan Olson”. So to him the original video is already comparable to terrorism. No bias from him at all.

To give a bit of background on myself as a person, I spend a lot of my spare time reading books or listening to lectures. My major interests are the subjects that I studied when I was in college: theology, psychology, sociology, world relgions/worldviews, literature, and so forth. As I write this, I’m listening to a lecture by renowned theologian Ravi Zacharias on why he is not an atheist. I’m even tempted to revisit the Dawkins/Lennox debate soon as well, but I want to read a chapter of Animal Farm before I do so, just so I’m still on track. That’s me in a nutshell. In a way, I am the eternal student. I feel like if I’m not learning or reinforcing what I’ve learned, I’m regressing.

Micah studied everything while in College, apparently. It actually wouldn’t surprise me, given how scatter-shot his philosophy and world view is. What does it even mean to be “Learning or reinforcing what I’ve learned”? You should be questioning what you’ve learned, question who you’ve learned it from and even see if there are differing viewpoints from what you’ve been informed. For example I grew up believing that Communism was this huge evil force of darkness. Then I read the Communist Manifesto and thought “What’s bad about this?” and started studying communism more. This led to the communist/anarchist you see today.

I should point out that my interests in communism started early, due to a British animated movie made on Animal Farm. I watched it while my dad thought I was asleep. I always felt like the animals could have ended up with a better life if the pigs hadn’t turned on the rest of the animals. That’s why I’ve always held out hope for humanity, that we can look around and make the world a better place together, instead of a few people leeching off of everything society creates.

Also I’m currently listening to my viking metal station on Pandora because that’s an important fact.

With all of these things in mind, one thing that I love to do is try to find a way to apply this knowledge to my daily life. One way to do so is to expose myself to the opinions and ideas of the opposition, evaluate them, and see what they have to offer. I think that the video I put forward speaks for itself. I looked at Dan’s video with his little puppet, and found his views of Gamergate uninformed, his claims legless, and his appeals to be worthless. I watched Dan Olson’s video, and found his propaganda as easy to see through as glass.

So I’ve watched the video (Dan Olson’s, I have not watched all of Micah’s reply video because it’s impossible) and one of the first things that Micah mentions in his is that he’s skipping the first 7 minutes of Dan’s. You see Dan actually takes a good half of his video to lay the foundation of his claims. One could say that Micah might even be taking Dan Olson’s video out of context by skipping the first 7 minutes. But that would make Micah hypocritical.

I think it’s a fair argument to make that in all of Micah’s writings and tweets (that I’ve seen) I’ve never once seen him reference an opposing viewpoint to his as being correct. There’s nothing your ever going to say to get Micah to change his opinion about #GamerGate, because in his mind he is infallible. Which is where I first ran into Micah, as I pointed out glaring errors in one of his reviews, he proceeded to delete my comment AND not make changes to the review.

Despite the fact that pulling the video and its message apart weren’t exactly difficult, I feel the need to elaborate further. I didn’t choose this video because it was easy to dissect. I could have chosen several other anti-Gamergate videos that have been put out there. This video in particular was one that I felt summed up the ideologies of the anti-Gamergate. These are the thoughts and ideas that permeate that particular group’s mindset. It’s not based on evidence. It’s not based on science. It’s not based on ideas that can be applied to the real world. It’s based on emotions. It’s based on this thought that things must be “safe” or things must be “inoffensive.”

I love how it’s “that particular group’s mindset” as if there’s someone making decision or there’s a hivemind in operation when it comes to people on the left. What’s my favorite saying? Oh yes, It’s Always Projection, Always. Is there any group that’s more of a hivemind then #GamerGate? There are “no leaders” when it comes to #GamerGate. For a time when GG was trying to deflect criticism, they made a tag called #NotYourShield which was literally a shield against claims of racism and sexism. GG pointed out that members of their community were black, hispanic, women, etc.. etc… But of course this doesn’t end well, when some of the #NotYourShield people spoke up against the harassment or tried to leave the community they were attacked.


She for example pointed out that maybe they have a PR problem, and the emailing companies is getting them nowhere. So of course she needed to be harassed by GG. I’m sure somewhere along the line someone will claim “but no one that harassed her was using the hashtag or part of the group” sure that’s possible, but the only reason someone would harass her would be GG.

There’s a difference between an idea of stuff being “safe” or “inoffensive” and people actually wanting to just live their life. Females, alternative lifestyles people and others love games and just want to enjoy the games they’ve been playing their whole life. This comic is to me one of the perfect examples of growing up being a gamer that wasn’t a straight guy. It touches me because I’ve loved games my whole life and have wanted to share my joy of games with others and have gotten strange looks. I don’t want the community of people playing video games to be smaller.

That caption is clearly an unbiased view.

This is the next image in the article. Feminist Frequency is one of the three main people attacked by #GamerGate. Her crime? She originally made a video series about sexism, and eventually moved onto video games. Anyone whose a fan of video games isn’t surprised by these claims about sexism, let alone be offended that someone would point them out:

Then there’s strong female characters like Lara Croft (who was almost all boobs) and Samus Aram (the main character from Metroid whose strong personality was destroyed in the game Other M). This list could go on and on.

Toxic masculinity is a problem in our society. Boys (and girls for that matter) are expected to grow up in a certain way and to a certain standard. Trying to be something your not is hard for a lot of people, and it’s even worse when they are attacked by bullies or their families who believe how everything should be. This post is already pretty long, but it’s not hard to see why toxic masculinity might be a thing that needs to be stopped. For a bit more coverage, I recommend reading here.

Though I detest some things H.L. Menken said, he was spot on with this; “The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear – fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplainable. What he wants above everything else is safety.” Though Menken was a critic of religion, and used the above quote in one of his criticisms, I can see many parallels between the anti-Gamergate and many religious people I’ve met in my life that exercise what I call “blind faith.” There is an idea that all things must be controlled and filtered or else someone might get hurt. It’s not that you should simply change and become a better person. No, all of society must change to your whims because it will make everything safe for everyone.

Oh God the Projection, it hurts! GG is playing on the fears of gamers who somehow believe that new people are going to come around and magically change their games. This is largely a response to the fact that a majority of gamers are now woman (although GG will divisively claim they aren’t “true gamers”).  No one from the “anti-Gamergate” is trying to control anything. They are pointing out that harassment of people you disagree with is wrong.

Sexism is pretty deeply ingrained in our culture. Things aren’t going to change overnight. Anyone from Anti-Gamergate pointing out sexism isn’t censorship. It’s measured steps to improve games for EVERYONE. Sexism in games and media just reinforces a bad/poor perspective that isn’t helping to make things better. Will sexism ever be removed entirely from games? No, because there will always be a fraction of people who will buy Dead Or Alive and demand bigger breasts.

Here’s the thing too, if your really that upset about a game being “clean” or “safe” or “not sexist” then just don’t buy the game. If a developer feels like they are being forced to change from their vision, then they can stop making the game. There are plenty of people who make indy games just so they can stay true to their vision.

This sort of authoritarian idea will always be the enemy of free speech and a free market. Though the claim of the free market being Gamergate’s “god” is silly, it would be a lie to say that they don’t enjoy the freedoms that the market gives them. The free market is equal, because the dollar has the loudest voice. If you can make enough of an impact with your money, people notice. Free speech is also something that Gamergate enjoys and wants to preserve as well. “Don’t say this, don’t do that” are words that people hate to hear because they want to be themselves, not some sort of cookie-cutter human being that you’d see in Pink Floyd’s music video for The Wall.

If society never reflected backwards on what we’ve done and how it might be wrong, we’d still be trying to Americanize Native Americans and segregating black people. Over time we come to realize how our perception of something might be wrong. It took 17 years to realize why not allowing a man to marry another man might be wrong. Society is a living, evolving being. You can’t make cookie cutter human beings out of that, because you can’t control every aspect of society. You will never know what will influence and change someone.

That being said, at the same time we can make life better for everyone, so that everyone can enjoy it. Live and let live should be the watchword of the day. People can make racist, sexist, offensive video games. I’m just allowed the choice of playing them or not playing them. It’s hard for a straight white male to realize how society is stacked in their favor. But when you open your eyes, open your heart with empathy and take a good look around you can see how tough it can be for everyone else.

Not to go offtopic, but just as an example I was at an interview a few weeks ago. I had started it when another interviewee had come in. I could not see the interviewee, but I heard the interviewer immediately ask if he had a criminal record, and that he would have to look professional at any job he went to. My interviewer never said anything like that to me, and I guessed that whoever it was, was a black guy with dreads. When I got up to leave, I saw him and I was right. He was also better dressed then me.

When I look at society in general, I think that Gamergate was a long time coming. There has been a rise in authoritarian and anti-capitalist sentiment in the United States and abroad since 2007-2008. At some point it was going to clash with those who love free speech and a free market. I could have dissected a video by Jim Sterling, Angry Joe, or anyone along those lines that fits that thought, but I decided on this one. This video is the very thought process that goes through anyone anti-Gamergate. Fall in line with these supposed “representatives” or you are a sexist bigot racist homophobe to the max.

I wonder what could have happened in 2008 to give Micah that idea? So everything was fine in Micah’s book during the Bush presidency and he didn’t abuse his power at all. Of course the Anti-Capitalist sentiment is Micah’s opinion of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Even as a communist, I am willing to work to fix Capitalism if we can make it work for everyone. But as of right now the amount of money the 1% has just keeps increasing. Capitalism as it exists right now isn’t working, and a very small minority of people (literally 1%) are enjoying life while the rest of us toil away.

The projection is strong in this one. No one in “anti-Gamergate” is trying to force anyone into line. People remark that your views and opinions are sexist/bigoted/racist/homophobic to the max. But a lot of the time if your involved in GamerGate your involved in a group that has proven to be highly misogynistic and almost nothing they’ve done will fix the damage done. Also donating some money to a charity because you’ve been horrible doesn’t erase history.

There are probably plenty of good people who are involved with GamerGate for the wrong reasons. But at this point GamerGate isn’t going to do anything to fix ethics in Video Game Journalism. There’s no unified attempt to “destroy games” or “destroy gamers”.  I’ve been a gamer since I was 6 years old, all I want to do is play games with other people and have fun. This whole GG debate is obnoxious and has done a lot more harm then good.

It’s also ironic that GG immediately declares everyone who holds an opinion opposite of theirs to be an SJW. SJW is Social Justice Warrior, which was a joke about a political correctness overreaction that has been picked up by GG, Mens Rights Activists and others to denounce any opinion they disagree with. What once was a joke is almost a tag I’d be proud to be called.

I say that people can speak for themselves. If they wanted representation, they’d elect someone. Usually I close these articles with a snappy sort of statement or reference to pop culture. Instead, I’m going to close with a quote from John F. Kennedy.
“Conformity is the jailer of freedom, and the enemy of growth.”
I think there’s a lot of funny things in this short bit. A study was done recently that showed how bad gerrymandering was. The researchers took the 2012 congressional vote in North Carolina and randomized the districts 100 times. The average number of seats won by Democrats? 7.6. In 95% of the results Democrats won 6 to 9 seats. The actual number Dems won in the election? 4 because of how gerrymandered districts are in the state. So must people don’t have a Representative that is actually going to represent them.
Back to conformity? Again? Everyone that has spoken out against #GamerGate has been reviled and attacked. My favorite example is Felicia Day, who said this about GamerGate. The response from GamerGate? She was almost immediately doxxed (her personal information released online). If you don’t know anything about Felicia Day, she comes off as an absolute sweetheart and only a heartless monster could read that post and think it was a good idea to release that information.
TL;DR Unsurprisingly there is a ton of bias in Micah’s article and video. He was never going to watch Foldable Human’s video with a willingness to open himself up to what was being said. He made his decision about it before he watched it, and then just confirmed his own conclusions. The original article that riled up Micah goes to extreme lengths to show all references and allow people to make their own decisions on the author’s opinion.
This goes into an even bigger problem in society today. No one actually wants to read, they just want the TL;DR version or a quick 140 word twitter version. People seem against doing researching and questioning their held beliefs. They will just keep going back to their same echo chambers so they are never wrong and can never be questioned. And Micah will just keep claiming it’s all taken out of context.
Zoe’s article is simply to show that Techraptor, GamerGate and Micah care more about bashing their supposed “opponents” (the people pictured in the image) then any kind of actual ethics in video game journalism. That screenshot (which was turned into the main title image for an article) shows a perfect example of that. Micah makes no references to actual games journalism and instead rallies against some vague SJW conspiracy.