04 12 12 - 09:27A PC magazine writer saw a shark, and decided it needed jumping:
Take this particularly nasty bit of Tumblr malware by "anti-trolling" troll group GNAA, which stands for Gay N***er Association of America. According to its Wikipedia entry, this group of dubious activists is on some sort of mission, though that mission is unclear. This is about as close a mission statement as the group makes on its site:
This website is maintained by GNAA, world-famous trolling organization. We do not support and do not promote racism, homophobia, etc.
The most interesting thing about this "look at us, aren't we socially ironic by using racial slurs" group is that its Wikipedia entry is based in Tarzana, California. Tarzana, according again to Wikipedia, is a residential community in California established by Tarzan writer Edgar Rice Burroughs. Tarzan, jungles, n***ers, get it? Funny stuff. Yawn. - GNAA Tumblr Tantrum Is No WikiLeaks
Presumably, she thinks she's bought us over to her side by mentioning wikileaks, which "everybody" thinks is a good thing. It's a typical tactic of dramatic people: compare something you don't like to something you think everyone should like. That way, if they object, you can suddenly accuse them of doing two wrong things and claim a pattern has been established.
While the GNAA are obviously trolls, the article responds with even more racism and race-baiting, including the offensive and pointless last comment in which it conjures up racial imagery of its own and tries to pin it on the GNAA.
It seems to me the point of the GNAA is to poke at the parts of our society which we cannot talk about, including our fragile attitudes toward race, gender, equality and the last 200 years of shifting slowly to liberal democracy.
While GNAA chooses an offensive FORM for their message, the message itself is something useful; on the contrary, the above article uses an inoffensive FORM to convey an offensive message, which is that any dialogue on race will be met with racism and race-baiting unless it is a dialogue based on inoffensive FORM only.
That's legitimate commentary.
What is illegitimate commentary?
'Bradley Manning, 22, had just gone through a breakup. He had been demoted a rank in the Army after striking a fellow soldier. He felt he had no future, and yet he thought that by sharing classified information about his government's foreign policy, he might "actually change something."' - Messages from alleged leaker Bradley Manning portray him as despondent soldier
It's activism when you start out with a goal in mind.
It's vandalism when you have a break-up, slap someone in your workplace, and then because your future at that job is doomed, decide to get all dramatic and thieve a bunch of classified information to draw attention to yourself.
That'll show that ex-lover and ex-boss.
Why on earth are we comparing GNAA's legitimate but offensive memetic activism to this selfish drama queen and the resulting destruction of many lives through leaked secrets?