Friday, 16 June 2017

Devlin Waugh: Sirius Rising (2000AD #1168-1174)

"Happy doomsday Devlin" - Hekt

Time to wrap up a three volume plotline from the 2000AD Devlin Waugh series.  Devlin Waugh started out in the very early nineties as something of a parody deconstruction of the over-muscled, over-maco types in UK and US comics. Written by John Smith and painted by Sean Philips he was indeed a very muscular man who could get pretty violent in a fight.  He was also an openly gay, foppish dandy of a fellow highlighting the extreme homoeroticism that comics were often unwittingly depicting.  After his first story, Swimming in Blood in which he got turned into a vampire, he was forgotten for a while, before trimuphantly returning with a slightly less extreme look depicted by the highly talented artist Steve Yeowell who beautiful depicts the now more psychedelic world of Waugh. We got to see more of his backstory as a special occult investigator working for the Dredd-worlds equivalent of the Vatican which now monitors all occurances of magic and mystery.  After attempting to retire, the reluctant Devlin Waugh was pulled into an investigation which in the first volume resulted in the release of a creature called "The Herod" which is a huge monster impervious to harm and viciously violent under the control of "Lord Benjamen Hekt" who uses it as an assassin killing everyone born on July 23rd.  In the second book, a meeting of all the various occultists in the world comes to the realisation that someone has struck "the massmind of the world" Hekt attacks them and the rest of Earth with tidal waves.  Hekt is planning on bringing back something called "The Nommo" and is preparing the way for it by flooding the Earth.  The book culminates in an attempt by Devlin and companions to stop the Nommo, but they fail and flee the place it hatched in, they now have six days before the end of the world.  I don't think I've summed this very complex story up very well, so check out Book 1 Chasing Herod and Book 2, Reign Of Frogs if you haven't already.
Devlin contemplates the end of the world.
It begins in Brit Cit, there is panic and flames as the end of the world grows closer.  Devlin and a fellow occultist called Ralph are watching, depressed.   They realise the "Jack Of Knives" has activated another "Centre of Pestilance." Ralph notes this is true, "it's bedlam out there.  Power's down over half the city and the people are either crazy or in shock."  Even the animals in the zoo are affected and have broken out and running wild.

Devlin: "I can feel it even this far away.  The vibration getting higher... a popping and whizzing like water on a hot plate... Spacetime is growing then Ralph - and the closer we get to July 23rd.  The worse it's sure to become."

Back at the Vatican, Eddie Whyteman, a sort of seedy paranormal P.I. is admiring the new prosthetic hand he's been fitted by the Vatican boffins.  It has all sorts of functions, including a built in "Ferromagnetic bomb". Then he attends a recap meeting of what the situation is now, by Pussy Willow, another Vatican operative.

To sum up, the Earth Grid is a lattice of force "analogous energy meridians in the human body used in acupuncture."  The lines correspond to seismic faults and ocean ridges as well as atmospheric highs and lows. Where they intersect they form "chakras" seven of which are designated "Centres of Pestilance."  Five have already been triggered and one has just been activated, the one in Brit Cit.   So all that is left is the one at the North Pole.

Pussy: "On July 23rd these massing energies will stream into our atmosphere and Hekt plans to focus them in the Artic Circle where the Earth's magnetic field is weakest. That will be Ground Zero for the mutagenic changes that'll ripple out and reverberate through the grid."

Hekt has killed everyone born on July 23rd so he will become the sole focus for the Sirius Transmission.  But Pussy believes the changes will be triggered in everyone, humanity has gene sequences coded in it's DNA encoded by the Sirians millenia ago.
Eddie gets drafted.
One of the Bishops asks her how they acquired these "sleeper genes".  Pussy replies it was probably direct biological manipulation.  If Hekt activates the grid the danger is he'll activate these genes in everyone.  Eddie is somewhat dubious of "this ancient astronaut crap". Lucy tells him that's a shame because he is going to be going to the North Pole with Devlin., they didn't fix him back up for nothing.

In Brit Cit Devlin gets ready to travel in a ship, Ralph notes that the Vatican Psi-Teks are reverse engineering  start-up codes the Fakir's rope, a magical item that allows travel through space from one end to another. Raplh says they might stand a chance, though Devlin asks him not to bet on it.

Devlin: "I'm about to go traipsing round the Artic with an amatuer psychic sleuth in the dire hope we can prevent poleshift and save the Earth from invasion by amphibious extraterristrials.  We need more than a chance.  We need a bloody miracle."

And he takes off to meet Eddie. We cut to them using a sled and dogs to travel to the North Pole. They now are down to six hours to save the world.  Eddie complains the Fakir's rope is trying to strangle him.  He doesn't know why they have the damn thing, they still haven't cracked the codes.  Devlin tells him to quit whining, he's having to deal with sunlight which is "absolutely ravaging my skin".  They find the Vatican Tac-Team ready to try and stop this last Centre of Pestilence being activated.
The Vatican Tac-Team.
There are tanks and Judges there waiting, they are to defend the Centre while Devlin and Eddie infiltrate Hekt's underwater base. Devlin comments the sumersible is like a sarcophagus, Judge Luciano tells him that they have detected things in the water, "big things".

We then cut to Hekt, one of the Jack of Knives tells him he's sent the Herod to deal with the Judge troops and soon they will activate the final node when it's been purged. Hekt is looking a foetus in a jar saying he is remebering his birth, how they begin as amphibians on the way to growing into a man, "millions of years of evolution compressed into months". The womb is the "ultimate biological machine".

He asks if the "Jack of Mice" is ready to join them.  But he's still downloading his consciousness into his new body. Hekt says he is the first of his cloneselves, "the first of my sub-personalities to develop full autonomy".  So he wants him by his side when they trigger the deluge.

Hekt: "This is my crowning moment.  Twenty long years of planning and every piece is finally in place... rhyming and chiming in harmony.  We tremble on the brink of a new reality.  Soon I'll gaze upon the face of the deep."

We then return to Devlin and Eddie now diving deep down underwater, while a Judge-Inquistor asks Luciano if they stand a chance and Luciano says they better suceed, "I don't fancy the idea of waking up to find the world flooded and ruled by frogs from outer space.  Do you?"

Inside the submersible, Eddie notes Devlin's dapper clothing.  Devlin says it would be neglectful to face their nemesis in "anything less than Armani". He has a reputation to consider after all.  Eddie asks what they are looking for, and Devlin says their info is somewhat vague so they are looking for any anomalies.  Eddie finds one and they head off to investigate, Devlin grins and says, "I'd forgotten how exhilarating saving the world can be."
Mega Shark!
Eddie spots something big on the radar.  It turns out to be a huge shark. It smashes into their submersible and breaches it.  Eddie says these are no ordinary sharks, they are prehistoric ones. Extinct supposedly for three million years.  The shark turns to attack again. Devlin insigates a mind-link and they escape the stricken craft.

Back at the North Pole, the Judge-Inquisitors are battling the Herod.  They are throwing everything they have at it, but not even scratching it as it smashes the tanks and kills them. "It's like trying to stop a Earthquake" yells one of the Judges.

Eddie is sinking fast, going into shock due to the cold of the water.  Then one of the sharks swallows him. The story cuts between them and the devastation at the North Pole. Back at the Vatican they see the activating of the Centre of Pestilance. Lucy says they haven't lost yet, Devlin and Eddie might just make it.  She tells Psi-Tek to focus exclusively on cracking the codes of the Fakir's rope.

Eddie and Devlin are still in telepathic contact. The warmth of the shark's insides have revived Eddie.  Devlin draws some of his own blood to get himself eaten by the same shark while Eddie tells him not to throw his life away saving him. Inside they meet up.  Eddie's leg is injured and he's bleeding profusely.  Devlin fixes him up while noting his blood is AB negative, "the Dom Perignon of blood.  You're bringing out the gourmand in me."
In the belly of the beast.
Devlin the takes out his big blaster gun and blows a hole in the side of the shark.  The blood brings the other sharks to come and feast on it while Devlin lays a big mouth kiss on Eddie to allow him to breathe underwater.   They swim away and find the entrance to Hekt's iceberg lair.  Inside Hekt is being told the North Pole is theirs by the Jack of Knives. Now they are sending up the "Spirit Kites to activate the World Grid" this will allow them to open the outer gateways, "then it's time to meet our makers".

Devlin and Eddie surface inside Hekt's base.  Eddie notes that of all his debauched experiences, he's never had mouth-to-mouth with a vampire.  Devlin says it was his first time with "someone of the non-caucasion persuasion". They go and look for the poleshift generator. Eddie uses the EM scanner in his bionic hand to locate the generator which is being fired up as they speak, "well he might have lit the fuse but let's see if we can't put a stop to the fireworks." says Devlin.

As they walk, Eddie asks if the poleshift really results in mass extinction.  Devlin confirms it as well as jump-starting evolution as well.  If the dinosaurs hadn't become extinct they'd all still be living in trees. They come across the Jack of Mice being reborn in his new body.  Devlin takes great delight in killing him again quipping, "you only live twice."
Hekt.
Hekt is gleefully watching as the Jack of Knives gets ready to fully activate the North Pole Centre of Exellence.  He has the Nommo wit him who he calls "Ixaxxar".

Hekt: "It's opening hyperdimensions interlocking with our own. A great rusty gmte opening onto the future.  The deep is calling me home."

Then Devlin and Eddie arrive on the scene and Devlin points his blaster at Hekt, telling him he'll put him down "like the mad dog you are."

Hekt calls him a thorn in his side and becomes angry when he realises The Jack of Mice has been killed.  Eddie yells at Devlin to shoot him, but both are frozen in place by Hekt's new powers.  Hekt takes away the blaster saying he's paralysed his brain stem, "isn't it amazing the things you can do when you put your mind to it."
Hekt and Ixaxxar versus Eddie and Devlin.
We then cut to the Philippines where some Judge-Inquisitors are waiting on the edge of a volcano with the other end of the Fakir's rope. The code to it has been cracked so Eddie and Devlin can use it to escape. But is it too late, the nodes are activated and their chained up survivor of the Herod's July 23rd rampage is screaming. The "Sirius current" is about to ripple through the whole world grid.

Lucy: "Global switch-on. Everyone - everywhere - evolving into a new lifeform so we can survive the catastrophic earth changes caused by poleshift. Mutate or die."

Back in Hekt's base, he's starting to change physically.  The "Spirit Lens" is focusing and vibrating every cell preparing his body for ascension.  He shoots Eddie in the knee caps when Eddie tries to tell him he's wrong about the Nommo.  He transforms into a being made of blue light saying Ixaxxar has shown him the way.

Devlin yells at him that Ixaxxar is senile from being entombed from so long. But Hekt again says Ixaxaar has shown him the way.   Freed him from the shackles of everyday consciousness. And when the gateway opens, the rest of humanity will follow.  He's so close already, "they're coming to take me away."  Then he shoots Devlin three times in the chest.

Hekt, Jack of Knives, The Herod and Ixaxar then travel to the snowy surface as the born-on-the-23rd man back at the Vatican also starts mutating too. Soon everyone else on Earth will follow, and greeting Hekt, The Herod, Jack of Knives and Ixaaxar is a huge floating spherical object which declares it's "III greetings from the Sirius Corpus: III You have our attention".
This could be bad.
Back down inside Hekt's base, Devlin gets up.  Noting that being "nosferatu isn't completely without its uses", he asks how Eddy is.  Eddy is still bleeding from badly now from his ruined knees.  He hands the Fakir's rope to him so Devlin can use it later.  Eddie is going to try and shut off the EM scanner, while Devlin will head up and take on Hekt.  Devlin wishes his well saying they have travelled a hard road but he cherishes every step forever.  "Screw forever" says Eddie "let's just get through the next ten minutes".  And Devlin climbs up and away.

Hekt meanwhile is joyfully saying that Ixaxxar showed him how to "draw down the lightning.  Filled me with the fire of rapture".

Sirius Corpus: "III You have disrupted earth's presequenced evolutionary schedule: III Global grid disruption will trigger human psycho/somatic failsafes: III The decloaking of Sirius Conciousness in the Human Lifewave:"

Painfully Eddy drags himself through Hekt's base while Devlin finally reaches the surface and challenges Hekt, while the Sirians start to prepare for the turn on of the next phase of human evolution when the EM generator triggers the poleshift.

But before he can do anything, Hekt is cleared for ascension by the Sirians and disappears in a puff of blue flame along with Ixaxxar leaving Devlin with the Jack of Knives and The Herod. "Now prepare for the end of everything" says Jack as The Herod looms over them.  Jack doesn't intimidate Devlin who starts to kick his ass while dodging the attacks of The Herod.
Devlin makes his escape as Eddie makes the ultimate sacrifice.
Eddie reaches the EM generator as the countdown reaches under a minute but can't get close enough to shut it off.  Devlin activates the Fakir's rope and it also activates at the other end at the top of a volcano in the Philippines.  Devlin travels through the ropes space warp with The Herod behind him.  Meanwhile Eddy realises "who wants to live for ever anyway?" and just before the countdown ends he activates the bomb in his bionic arm and blows the EM generator and Hekt's base and himself to smithereens taking Jack of Knives on the surface out too.

The Sirians state "III Evolutionary shift parameters: stabilised DNA activation program on shutdown: : III Disengaging holosphere:"  Devlin realises what Eddie - "that poor sweet boy" - had done.  But they still have The Herod to deal with and it's halfway through the hole the rope made.

But this is it's downfall, they shut the rope off and the hole closes which neatly slices The Herod in half.  Then Devlin and the two others manning the rope push the half Herod into the volcano and for good measure blow it up sealing The Herod in the lava for good.
The bisected Herod entombed for good.
Lucy calls Devlin from The Vatican to tell him that things are returning to normal, the Centres of Pestilence are powering down and the Earth's Grid is restabilising, even though it will take months to fully become safe. Devlin notes that in the process thousands died by floods, earthquakes and disease not to mention "wholesale zodiacal genocide" it's not been a huge success.  They return to Pussy Willow's ship:

Devlin: "I'll fix us some Bloody Marys and we shall all get roaring drunk and toast another glorious day on Spaceship Earth".

There is a short sequence after this that shows what became of Hekt.  Now a Nommo himself he swims through the Sirius system and reflects that "I'm happy here.  For the first time in my life this is where I belong... Sirius rises".
Nommo!Hekt is sort of cute.
This is very much a story that only really makes sense as the last part of a larger storyline so I hope it's been read as such, with this concentrating pretty much purely on action and less on characterisation.  All the pieces fit together very well, I did realise what Eddie's fate would finally be when he revealed his Chekhov's bomb in his bionic hand.  It's a shame he died, because a shambling paranormal detective in a milieu where magic does exist could have remained an odd couple partner for the impeccable looking Vatican affiliated Devlin, their banter is excellent and I like how they can quip while also facing down the possible end of the world as they knew it. Killing The Herod off as well as allowing Devlin to escape the explosion was also a really clever way of taking down something that had been built up as completely unstoppable.  The Fakir's rope helped kick off the plotline only fair it helped end them too.  I even quite like how Hekt got a happy ending, the guy seemed to really hate being human and while it was a dick move to trigger the changes he experienced in all humanity, seeing him as a cute little Nommo at the end makes it hard to totally hate him.  Matching John Smith's boundlessly inventive imagination is Steve Yeowell's wonderful art which depicts all kind of weird and wonderful characters beautifully with crisp, firm detail.  This storyline overall was great stuff, filling out Devlin from the rather one note creation he was in Swimming In Blood and giving him allies, peers and enemies in abundance. Magic might feel a bit of a weird fit for Dredd's world, but Smith makes it work and the cheeky way he uses The Vatican as now the centre of tracking, investigating and dealing with occult threats is just highly amusing.  Devlin will return in the next collection, "Red Tide" when UK comics month comes around again.

20 comments:

  1. "Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny"

    Ooh, lots to unpack here. Another one of those tales where I sort of recognise the influences and sources. Like I share a common reference pool.with the author.

    The megalodon was a clever touch. Think it might be a subtle Jonah pedantic reference. Contract to popular belief, he wasn't swallowed by a whale. The Bible says "big fish" and megalodon was probably the biggest.

    Leylines and pole shifts. Hmm, I'll ramble on in a layer post about something I once tried to put together on that. May have mentioned it before actually. It's the idea I abandoned that then cropped up in that film The Core.

    It is a very dense story though in terms of ideas and references. Bit like some of Moore's stuff. I should be hitting the hay, so I'll try and dream about it and let my semi conscious see if it can come up with anything.

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  2. Cool, I look forward to your more in-depth musings. This was one of those stories that made me glad I write this blog, because when I first read it I was totally bewildered by it. But sitting down and going through it slowly and in detail made me actually understand what was going on.

    Also it reflects what I love about 2000AD. How it can play host to gung ho simple but fun space opera like the V.C.s and yet also have space for dense and complex tales of magic and mayhem. Such a great comic. I'm now wrestling with Zenith Book 4.

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  3. Hi, sorry for not getting back to you fully yet. But just arranging to get my head kicked in by Nazis. All will be revealed soon. :-D

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  4. Sounds.. interesting! I am intrigued :)

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  5. I'm writing this whilst listening to an Erasure retrospective on BBC red button (Sarah Cox is doing the intervening, phwoar)

    But anyway Devlin is growing on me. I didn't really catch him first time round. I love that old fashioned moustacheioed machismo. And thats really enhanced by him being gay. You know I have a bit of nostalgia for that old fashioned masculinity. Like the Tom Strong stuff. Big barrel chested physiques, before everyone ended up with David Beckham style abs. There was always a bit of latent homoeroticism about it though. It's that Charles Atlas circus strongman thing. Almost like classical admiration of the male form. Greek gods and all that.

    Incidentally Charles Atlas's 'dynamic tension' method was once tested in court. There was a 'trade description' trial about his claims. So the judge just ordered evidence of getting some skinny guys and them doing the regime. Guess what? It worked! So Charles won the case. Funny how so much of that entered the public consciousness. "You too could have a body like mine", "7 stone weakling", "Getting sand kicked in your face". All from that one advert.

    I do have a soft spot for that very "in your face" (Ooh er missus) hyper gay stuff. I've got a few of the 'Fist' compilation albums. Heavy pumping beats, and so over the top. "No. Women. Allowed. *unce* *unce* *unce*."

    But yeah, this does have a real old school Turkish Bath towel slapping vibe about it. It somehow manages not to be parody or overwhelm the underlying story. It's a tribute to the writers that they tread that line so well and pull it off (f'narr).

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  6. Devlin is great, and I find it cool that when he first appeared in the Megazine in the early 90's no1curr that he was a gay man. UK comic fans generally seemed to be a bit more open minded than the mainstream US ones at the time. John Smith the writer had also written "The New Statesman" for CRISIS which revolved around a love triangle between a bisexual white man who loved an African American woman and an English man. I wrote it up on my blog, one of my early ones. I believe John Smith is himself gay so Devlin really allows him to have some fun with playing with tropes and stuff as well as the more magical stuff he's into as well.

    Those Charles Atlas ads are so iconic that Grant Morrison created a character who was based around the advert but the "Muscle Mystery" exercises actually allowed him to cast powerful magics as well as bulking him up. He appeared in Doom Patrol, before getting a miniseries of his own.

    I used to like checking out Tom of Finland's hypermale depictions. I used to draw a character based around his work (just minus the enormous schlong) although the character had a cat's head.

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  7. Wow, that is so weird. I'd never heard of Tom of Finland until you said that; but at literally the same moment peevee on Mammoth has just posted something about him. This is not helping my tendencies to solipsism!

    But I'm super hyper at the moment. Finally got my Nazi challenge thing up on that Stormer site (emailed you the post). Got such a buzz. Really hoping they go for it. Heh, seems I can't shake off some aspects of my personality. Still I always say it's the toxic bit that's the problem not the masculinity; and anyway I know loads of girls who are just as into it. You know better than I it's certainly not a gender thing.

    When I calm down a bit ill try to respond with something more rational, but I'm currently buzzing round my living room doing Hong Kong Phooey impersonations. :-)

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  8. Oh this is getting weird. Just mentioned a particular magazine cover on David Futrelle's Facebook page and then 5 minutes later a mate (who has no connection with Mammoth) posts it as his Facebook picture!

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  9. Hahaha, nice challenge. Don't think you're in any danger somehow though :)

    I am surprised you hadn't heard of Tom of Finland, some of his work got co-opted by early Punk. Still your synchronicity is becoming spooky...

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  10. Apparently not. I conceded they'd won the bet so gave my full contact details and said I'd meet at a mutually convenient venue at their pleasure. I also said I'd give them a 3 to 1 advantage. They suddenly changed their mind and I got banned for 'promoting violence'. What sort of Nazis are they?!

    From Mr Stormer himself:

    "I’m not interested in beating you up because I don’t fear your ideas. The people who start the violence are always on your side, that’s because when a free intellectual debate becomes necessary your side always loses. Us “fascists” and “nazis” only become violent in self-defense, when you judeo-leftists make it a zero sum game."

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  11. LMAO! Such brave, most fearless of them. Still I'm glad you're not going to get hurt in defense of feminism :)

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  12. Hey, why does everyone keep assuming I'd get hurt? You know how skilled I am; in my head. But yeah, such brave. I wasn't even bothered about that particular issue, they'd just been really bugging me over a thing where they had a really nasty go at a teenage girl and then the Ariana Grande victims. So this had been brewing for a bit.

    But to move on and perhaps tie it in with the theme of your blog, I wonder how much a part popular culture plays in this. I really got the impression from reading their posts that there's a lot of media influence there. At the risk of sounding like one of those moral guardian types, it did seem they were just quoting stuff from video games, comics, films etc as if they were their own real world experiences. They'd describe some incident they'd been in or their tactics for their fantasy apocalypse and I just kept thinking "that doesn't work in real life!". That's one of the reasons I was sort of hoping they'd go for it.

    (and you'd have ended up reading my comments here out at my inquest)

    But I can't deny maybe I'm equally influenced. You know what I'm like and who my heroes and heroines are. I've always been a bit of an interventionist as you know. But was I trying vicariously to live out some sort of Punisher or Tom Strong scenario? Hmm, it's definitely something to ponder.

    It was quite fascinating how motivating it was though when I thought it might be happening. There was a huge endorphin and adrenaline buzz. But I was really able to channel that. In those 48 hours I worked harder on fitness and technique training than I'd ever normally do. All those preparation montages you see in films suddenly became really plausible. I've always preferred the badass normal characters. Wonder how much I was channeling that?

    Of course if someone had said here's some anti Nazi super serum, I wouldnt have said no.

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  13. Well I imagined you'd win, but you might have ended up with a small bruise man!

    I do think you're right, they exist in a self reinforcing echo chamber and don't have much to do with folk outside it so the media influences more than it probably does "normal" folk like us. But often in a very surface way, I mean think how many comics are about superheroes who battle fascists, or the fact most videogames have you play the good guy and even when you are given the option to play like an asshole (like the Vampire game I was playing or the new one I am playing called Deus Ex: Human Revolution) you'll usually be penalised with less experience, more fights and so forth. So often they're talking about an imagined version of the media they consume too. It's bizarre.

    Still I'm glad you got a rush out of your challenge :) Shame you got banned sounds like you could have had some more fun with them.

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  14. I'd not thought of that but you're right (unsurprisingly). It's like that current kerfuffle with the new Wolfenstein. All the usual suspects complaining that the Nazis are 'now' the bad guys.

    Eh? Isn't that game literally where we get jet pack Hitler from?

    But that echo chamber alternate facts thing seems really pernicious in those circles. I find it a bit bewildering. I suppose though when I was a yoof there wasn't really a mechanism for spreading memes (in the original sense of the word) as quickly or widely. So yes we had subcultures. But apart from intermittent fanzines it was more word of mouth proliferation. So it mutated as it went along. More differentiation even within a sub culture. And perhaps more genuine scepticism. Now people can so easily find a bunch of people who exactly share, and reinforce, their very narrow world view. Like the fedora phenomenon. How is that a thing? Who can do that unironically?

    Also there's the anonymity aspect. It's so easy to be an Internet warrior. You could of course be a Nazi back in the day, but you had to put some skin(head) in the game.

    Not too bothered about the ban. Did what I came to do. Exit with quip. Credits roll.

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  15. We're showing our age I think. I'm the same, of course because I resent peer pressure I never found myself in physical echo chambers and though I am members of a few different communities online, I don't always agree 100% with what people say in them. And yes it's mad some of the sub-cultures that exist online now.

    It's a shame that one of the best things about the internet which is the ability to find people who share your interests (had a few hook ups thanks to the internet back in the nineties/early noughties) should also now be one of it's worst aspects too.

    I wonder about these people's relationships with their families. I can always rely on mine to keep me grounded and provide different perspectives on things.

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  16. I was thinking about what you said about family and grounding. I was going to give an edited version of that 'trajectory of radicalisation' model. Then of course the Finsbury Park thing happened. Now the news is full of people having that discussion. Some interesting input from the guy who heads up 'Prevent'. He was articulating those points very coherently. Like he suggests, strip away the surface detail and get down to personality, and Islamic terrorists and far right ones are indistinguishable. Hmm, on a broader level have to say I'm getting a bit tired of old hangouts appearing on the news as the backdrop to this sort of thing.

    On a semi related note you'd possiblly find a comment by a mate on this sardonically amusing. It was the point that Muslims are terrorists whereas far right attackers are 'mentally ill'. "I guess this just proves Islam cures mental illness". Heh. But I am feeling sorry for my Muslim mates at the moment. Not just in the 'SJW' you have to say that sort of sense. But can see how it's just the shitty end of the stick whatever. Got people trying to kill them, but they're still the ones people are suspicious of. Amazing they can still keep a sense of humour about it all.

    But anyway, I'm currently melting here. Fantasising about being hosed down with icy water. Also a bit dazed and confused. My Manc mate Julia called last night at ungodly o'clock (like 3am). Having a lovely chat though. Then we started hearing about FP, so ended up staying up all night listening to the news. Julia was a mate of Jo Cox. She was telling me about the commemoration thing they'd had this week. And the theme of not letting wankers divide us. But we did end up wondering about all this 'reaching across the isle' thing. Came to the conclusion that with some people there's just no point.

    So I have been mulling more on our original subject of online Nazis. Be interesting to see what motivated the FP guy. Hes nearly 50. So is he likely to have been influenced by the subculture we've been chatting about? Guess we'll find out. But what about the 4 Chan generation? Will they grow out of it and look back with embarrassment? Or are we breeding a new generation of fascists? Interesting topic, if a bit worrying. Also considering the overlap between racism and MRA. Theres like an alt-right packag deal. I guess it all grows out of the same feeling of inadequacy and the need to scapegoat for their failure.

    Be very interested in your thoughts on all this. You being the expert and all. Especially that ridiculously OTT resentment at the minor improvements in representation in media and the obsession with gatekeeping their perceived 'spaces'.

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  17. It's boiling here too, but it has it's upsides I've been writing instead of sleeping. I just heard about the Finsbury Park thing I have ranted a lot to my family about how white terrorists aren't labelled as such, they're just "othered" as mentally ill people so no one has to deal with white terrorism. Drives me up the wall.

    I do think most of the 4chan generation will grow out of it. Before 4chan existed one of the biggest sites for trolling and so on were the boards on GameFAQs. I posted there a lot under several different IDs and conducted epic trolling. I was in my mid twenties and I sort of cringe at what I did. I wasn't racist or anything, I was more a performance art troll. But I would never dream of behaving like that in an online community now.

    Gatekeepers can sod off. Funnily enough I think that's got worse over the years. When I was posting on GameFAQS the hobby was still seen as very nerdy and everyone was welcome to join in. Now well, Gamergate need I say more. That said, I post and moderate at a small videogame wesbite and no one there had heard of gamergate (I certainly hadn't) so I think it's influence is smaller than it sometimes seen.

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  18. I think there is an annoying tendency to gatekeeping in some progressive circles. Like for some people it's just another subculture with all the shibboleths and exclusivity, rather than a means to an end. Been pondering that a bit recently. I'm quite proud of "'filthy casual'feminism'" though. :-)

    Yeah, non of my other gaming friends have even heard of Gamergate. Neither have a lot of my 'capital F' feminist friends. Same with MGTOW and incel etc. I think those 'movements' over estimate their own notoriety.

    I've heard about, but never seen, the original versions of trolling. Did have sort of real world versions though. I think I've told you about my Vietnamese law school mate who went to Battersea Dogs Home in a bloodstained chefs outfit and asked:

    "I'd like to adopt some puppies please; about 5 kilos each"

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