The stars have aligned once more and our position on the celestial stage has granted us a fifth Sunday in July. As such, for every fifth Sunday, there must be a Special Edition. That's just how it works. After the jump, my gloves come off.
*WARNING: READER DISCRETION ADVISED DUE TO LANGUAGE*
I need to be crystal clear about something before I even think about diving into this month's chosen topic. I wasn't holding off on voicing my opinion about this because I wanted to spare anyone's feelings, nor do I have any grandiose delusions about being the proverbial "last word". Trust me, I don't have that type of clout in the FGC. Understand that what I wanted was to wait until all the dust settled from the usual squabbling, damage control & blatant sycophancy. No, sir... didn't want any of that cluttering or clouding up my position on this particular matter. However, before I cut loose, there are some things I feel need to be addressed.
This (seemingly) eternal struggle between Smash & the FGC has worn out its welcome with me. Whenever I hear the old, familiar bullet points getting revved up for the usual cyclical pattern of bickering, a part of me now just shuts off. Look, I'm all for spirited debate because there's a great deal of understanding & empathy that can come from the clashing of ideals. That opportunity gets dashed to bits, though, whenever those who either lack the capacity to properly articulate their grievances or the proud few that simply get their rocks off by arguing for the sake of instigating conflict get involved. FYI, I initially judge the merit of a person's character by how well they carry themselves in a conversation. If you can talk to me like a rational adult about a given topic, regardless of how passionate you are about it either for or against, then you have the pivotal requirement for maintaining my attention. On the other side of that coin, if you cannot clearly express your point without resorting to continuous profanity or name calling, then I have no time for you whatsoever. You will have effectively defeated your own purpose in my book & I'm not big on frivolous chatter.
Now that I've explained that, I'm going to break one of my rules: no blatant profanity. (I'm momentarily breaking this rule out of frustration on a number of fronts... don't get used to it.) I was at Defend the North this past weekend. I wasn't there as a player, spectator, staff or vendor. I was there as part of the KPB stream. For those who (somehow) don't know this, I'm also the primary commentator for KPBLive at certain events. Apparently, people like the sound of my voice. Because of this, I'm granted an exceptionally unique viewpoint of things at these gatherings. Go figure, shit went a little sideways in White Plains. Over the last few days, I've seen some people condemn the tournament while others have opted to praise it.
Know what? They're both wrong. Minimum functionality should not be praised as the exception to anything because it's supposed to be the expectation. Furthermore, management through delegation only serves to increase the divide between you & your guests/audience. Also, a little bit of cross promotion never hurt anybody. I know there are people who, almost reflexively, feel the need to defend what transpired over the weekend in White Plains (pun intended) and bully for them. Hate to break it to you, but I'm not going to be one of them. If I sound jaded, tough titty. Forgive me, but I've found myself in this position a few too many times to remain civil. Oh, and on an aesthetic/logistical note, round tables are a bad idea. I once quoted Ian Fleming in regards to the recognition of patterns... at this point, it isn't happenstance or coincidence. Congratulations, we have thoroughly recognized & documented, beyond the shadow of any doubt, the existence of a pattern.
Now to address the players. Or, to be more precise, directly address this "Smash VS the FGC" nonsense. Again, both parties are wrong. Bruce Lee once commented that he didn't appreciate the concept of adhering to a single style of martial arts because all it did was show you the strengths of your chosen style & highlighted the weaknesses of others, but not the inverse and that reversal is integral to growth through learning. Smash crowd, you guys have a great community and your level of organization is damn near second to none. Unfortunately, the natural duration of your game is a hindrance to people enjoying it. FGC, my brothers & sisters, we're living in an incredible time for our shared passion with a crop of new games/expansions coming out this year and unprecedented opportunities for growth. The collective problem at large, however, is that you can't help but turn into delinquent jackasses whenever we don't get "our way". Ultimately resorting to the vitriol that's been spewed as of late only defeats the purpose of your argument. If you were not present at the event & feel the need to speak ill of it, kindly shut the fuck up because your opinion truly does not matter. Oh, and to whoever it was that penned the now infamous "Open Letter"... you can go fuck yourself. Don't worry about the courtship, skip the flirting, ignore the foreplay and just get right down the business of fucking yourself.
There are two incredibly important things about this ongoing squabble that I'm going to shine some light on for all you dipshits out there who chose to perpetuate this madness instead of working towards a solution or, at the very least, a common ground. One, understand that this is a business now just like it was last year and the year before that. It's going to an even bigger business next year. Why is that relevant? Because as long as there are streams of revenue to be collected from gaming, organizers & coordinators are going to continue to take money from whoever will sign up for their events. Unless there's a massive boycott -- from both camps -- that's never going to change, which means all of you assholes are stuck attending a few of the same events together until there's veritable "separation of church & state". Good luck with that. Although, as a responsible adult, I feel the need to issue the warning that you probably shouldn't hold your breath while you wait. That won't end well for you.
Secondly, and this is the more pertinent fact, a lot of you seem to forget that we exist in something of a bubble. There's no in-depth media coverage of us like there are for other events. Sure, a blurb or two might pop up somewhere as part of a fluff piece or as reference to something... but for the most part, no one is scrutinizing what we say or do. For the last couple of months, everyone's been real keen on shouting out that "We eSports now!" due to the misconception that money equals acceptance. What they really should be saying is "We finally reached the plateau everyone else already left years ago & are willing to overlook the scrutiny that comes with it!". To be fair, though, that second one isn't as catchy. Thankfully, we're really the only ones who are fully aware of all the fuckery that goes down in the FGC. But what happens if the media gets a hearty whiff of the frothing cesspool that is r/kappa? What if they, like far too many others, sift through all that garbage & assume that that's what we're all about? Especially in the era of the 24-hour news cycle and the hair-trigger reactionary mindset that takes hold when something irregular pops up and/or is deemed offensive... yeah, that's not going to be fun.
I'm only marginally apologetic for my opinions right now because too many people in our community make it their business to set/hold us back & I'm just exhausted from always trying to be proper. Seeing the bigger picture means that, more than often than not, you have to be the bigger person & not allow constant fatigue to set you off. For the record, I'm not at that tipping point. No, I just needed to vent & get all this out of my system before moving on. If this piece turned you off from reading my work, sucks to be me. If, however, you realize that everyone -- even the Dynamek One -- just needs clear out all the negativity from time to time, then I'd like thank you for understanding.
Until next time... keep fighting the good fight, my friends.