Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the con
First the Open Source Boob Project, now this: a young writer named Rachel Moss attended WisCon, a sci-fi fan convention marketed towards the feminist/pagan crowd, and proceeded to do a right cunty hatchet job on it for Something Awful, complete with covertly taken photographs so she could illustrate how OMG LOL FAT FAT FATTY many of the convention-goers were. The internet then proceeded to implode.
Something Awful, if you’ve never visited it, is sort of a catch-all entertainment/humor/pop culture/all things geek website. It aspires to be a combination of FARK and the Onion, with a success rate that’s hit or miss at best. Its reader-based forums, however, are soul-destroying quagmires of racism, sexism and homophobia. It’s like being stuck in a portable toilet with a bunch of frat boys, spend more than a couple minutes in one and you’ll be longing for someone, anyone to post a picture of Goatse. It’s unclear whether Moss did the post on assignment from SA (the original is no longer available but there are enough excerpts of it floating around the web to get the general gist of it) or took it upon herself, but it’s fairly clear that she went to WisCon, which advertises itself as being both fat and GLBT-positive, for the sole purpose of taking a big steaming dump on it in the name of lulz, as the kids say. The shooting fish in a barrel method of writing humor is a bit lazy and simple, and yet somehow Moss manages to make it profoundly unfunny. Let’s face it, while it’s commonly believed that all you have to do is say the word “fat” and the jokes just write themselves, it actually never was the most brilliant source of laffs in the world, and is now just boring. Making fun of fat people is for amateurs, like middle school kids and Larry the Cable Guy. Yet she somehow fumbles the rest of her source material as well. Observing a panel discussion on the future of feminism where one of the speakers calls herself Moondancer, Moss instead aims her vitriol at Moondancer’s nine year-old son, referring to him as a “little pussy,” presumably for no other reason than he’s being raised in a feminist household. While sitting in on a panel about polyamory, a topic where the jokes really do write themselves, she instead snidely makes mention that one of the speakers has “[the fake disease] fibromyalgia.” She is baffled and irritated by a transgendered speaker simply because he identifies himself as a male, yet is still sexually attracted to other men. There are also a few vaguely racist remarks that I won’t sully this fine publication by repeating. And of course, there’s endless amounts of fat bashing, none of it funny, while Moss hammers the final nail into her komedy koffin by making sure in the middle of all this “fat people with their fat bodies and their fatness” wanking to point that she herself is not, in fact, part of the plus-size contingency.
What is almost as disheartening as the fact that Moss’s post brought out the Something Awful forums bridge trolls in force is the fact that, until very recently, she was reportedly an active participant in numerous feminist blogs and websites. Now in the writeup she claims “I suddenly remember how much I hate my fellow women,” as if at some point during the convention she got hit in the head with a bowling ball, like Fred Flintstone. One wonders if she began to fear that being openly feminist was going to cause her trouble getting a date, and thought she ought to tone it down to appeal to the boys. You see this a lot in the feminist community online, a small but vocal group of women who will try to play both sides of the fence, espousing feminist ideals while making sure to let it be known that they still need big strong men to give them some deep dicking action sometimes. Feminists also have long had a reputation for being remarkably humorless, so it’s possible she needed to resort to a quick and dirty tactic to gain laughs, such as, oh, I don’t know, taking mean-spirited jabs at overweight people who want to be able to enjoy sex just like thin people, or remarking that every black person in America is going to vote for Barack Obama. You know, because he’s black. Cutting fucking edge comedy right here, folks.
Bottom line is, if you’re going to be a twatrag, at least have the decency to be a funny twatrag. Taking pictures of fat people and drawing an arrow pointing at their stomachs and ‘WTF?’ with Microsoft Paint isn’t going to get you a gig writing for Slate. It will, however, earn you lots of hate mail and ‘Legendary Asshole’ status, like Jason Fortuny and the genius behind the previously mentioned Open Source Boob Project. Then again, any kind of fame on the internet is better than no fame at all, so LOL FAT PEOPLE ARE FAT LOL, I guess.