Your daily dose of irony

Jordan Owen and Davis Aurini claim to be making a full length feature film, a documentary about the wickedness of Anita Sarkeesian called The Sarkeesian Effect. Dave Futrelle asks whether this isn’t all just an elaborate practical joke, because the two are hilariously incompetent at making simple videos. Their latest is a poorly lit, static video of the two of them justifying donations to their Patreon account, in which they used a directional microphone that only picked up Owen’s voice, so every time Aurini speaks, there is no sound, just his face flapping.

I suppose one could argue that it was an artistic decision to improve the quality of the content by erasing the pompous racist and leaving only the slow-witted dullard.

But just to make it even funnier, after that example of technical incompetence, I tripped across another video of Owen, furiously cussing out Sarkeesian for — can you guess? — technical incompetence. Or maybe an excess of competence. She released an outtake of her kickstarter video that shows her playing video games, and Owen rants about continuity errors — she was wearing different fingernail polish in one scene — and tries to discern whether she was being recorded with her game controller off. It’s raving about the most trivial possible subtleties, and it’s clear that he has practically been watching the clip frame by frame, taking notes.

And irony of ironies, he rages that it’s too good, that it’s got transitions and text annotations, and was clearly professionally edited, so it’s not really an outtake. Errm, guy, I’m not a video person, but even I know that an “outtake” is simply a part of a movie that doesn’t make it into the final cut. It can be nicely edited as part of an earlier draft that was removed before final release.

But I just had to laugh at the goon who doesn’t know how to light a video and screws up the audio royally trying to find something technical to complain about in Sarkeesian’s work. Unfortunately, I can’t answer Futrelle’s question — if this isn’t a colossal Poe set up with years of elaborate posing by Owen/Aurini before they started this project, then they have to be two of the worst stumblebums to be playing with a webcam on YouTube.


  1. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    Mind you, since patreon has people paying in every month, it might just be that they’re scamming people and will be taking money in every month and not producing anything.

  2. Athywren - Social Justice Spellsword says

    Wait, what? Incompetent or not, how do you upload a video without watching it first?
    I mean, ok, that’s a thing that is possible to do, but who would?

  3. Seven of Mine: Shrieking Feminist Harpy says

    Especially when your entire schtick is that you’re making a professional quality feature-length documentary for which you require $15k/month. They’ve already received in the neighborhood of $16k over the last two months. Fuck knows what they’ve spent it on.

  4. says

    @ Seven #3

    They’ve already received in the neighborhood of $16k over the last two months. Fuck knows what they’ve spent it on.

    A fool and his money are soon parted. At least that’s less money the have to donate to right-wing nut politicians.

  5. numerobis says

    Outtakes that one puts out generally are shots that fail in a funny way.

    If you’re going to put anything out, of course you edit it. You’ll only spend a few minutes on it, not hours like the main production, but it’s as inconceivable for a professional to forget to edit video as it is for any of us to forget to put on leg wear when going out the door in winter.

  6. Moggie says

    I get a little annoyed at the frequent use of the term “Dunning-Kruger Effect” in online discussions, and the fact that it’s used more to point and laugh at others than to remind us of a cognitive bias which we should be on the lookout for in ourselves. But holy shit, this is pretty much the textbook example.

    WHTM has been essential reading lately, for the coverage of these clownshoes. Did you see the spoof director’s comentary linked there recently?

  7. gussnarp says

    @Ariaflame (#1): I can’t see how it could be anything else.

    Sidenote: Is anybody particularly familiar with the terms of service on Patreon? I haven’t looked into at at all, or used it, so I’ve no ideas, but most people I’ve heard of using it to receive money are in the business of creating content on a recurring basis, not a one off film. Seems like this project would be better suited to Kickstarter, but maybe they’re afraid Kickstarter would recognize them as engaging in harassment and hate and kick them off? Kickstarter hasn’t always been that responsible, but maybe. Or maybe Kickstarter has different mechanisms for ensuring you actually deliver? Or maybe it’s that bit about not getting the money if it isn’t all raised? Or they just want people to forget that monthly credit card withdrawal they authorized and keep the money flowing in…

    Or all of the above.

  8. jambonpomplemouse says

    I almost feel bad about laughing at this Jordan Owen guy. Dude’s obviously a little unhinged. He has a clear obsessive jealousy of Sarkeesian. He has hours of videos ranting about her on his Youtube channel. He makes irrational claims like that she whitened her skin to “appear more mainstream”, and that she uses verbal hypnosis to magic people into donating money to her. (You think I’m exaggerating. I am not exaggerating.) But then I remember that being a little not-quite-right doesn’t absolve you of acting like a piece of shit, and I can laugh again.

    This project fills me with joy. A bunch of GamerGate morons have a little less money because of it. And Owen and Aurini are so incompetent that they will spend all the money on fancy equipment that they don’t know how to use, so they don’t actually get to keep any of the money either. And the film itself is such a crapshoot. Have they managed to interview a single person who has anything to do with video games? They are interviewing Paul “Your consent is not required” Elam! It’s beautiful.

  9. Sili says

    I was about to ask Ranzoid what they’re on about. But then I realised that I don’t really care.

  10. Athywren - Social Justice Spellsword says

    @Sili, 11
    Same… I was tempted, but to date, every time I’ve questioned claims of dishonesty, it’s been nonsense. The last one was fun. I got a link to a video ‘proving’ that she lied about being a gamer because she’s not a fan of the violent games that make up most of the market.

  11. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    As much as i criticize Sarkeesian for her dishonesty, these idiots are worse.

    Inane assertion without evidence, dismissed as an inane assertion.
    Evidence up, or go away.

  12. gog says

    @Ranzoid #9

    As much as i criticize Sarkeesian for her dishonesty, these idiots are worse.

    What a lovely middle ground you’ve made for yourself. You’re clearly a level-headed and reasonable person. You’re so level-headed that you take the effort to distance yourself from the target of a harassment campaign while still criticizing her harassers. Not only do you distance yourself, but you take a quick swipe, too!

    Now, I’m not just blindly taking sides here. I’m actually reacting to your statement of dishonesty. I Googled “Anita Sarkeesian Dishonest” and This is the second result. From the article:

    Sarkeesian, who is currently under an FBI investigation for faking death threats against herself, is the worst thing to happen to feminism in the gaming world.

    I can’t find any source on whether this claim about her being investigated by the FBI is true. My instinct is that it’s probably another attempt to harass Sarkeesian. That’s speculation, though, but I would say that it’s far less unfounded than your non-specific claim of dishonesty.

  13. says

    Inane assertion without evidence, dismissed as an inane assertion.
    Evidence up, or go away.

    Unless they come up with something new, I am going to assume it is just a mix of the same cries that she takes things out of context, ignores other parts of games. I’d respect her critics more if they actually looked at the replies to their criticism and responded to that, but for the most part I just see the same points brought up, over and over, without any acknowledgement that they had been found wanting.

  14. vaiyt says

    He has a clear obsessive jealousy of Sarkeesian.

    The vibe I got is that he just likes the sound of his own voice. I mean, he alone produced over an hour of videos explaining the shitty quality of his six-minute teaser. All consisting of him looking at the camera and saying stuff.

  15. anteprepro says


    As much as i criticize Sarkeesian for her dishonesty

    Fucking Christ, you people.

    these idiots are worse.

    I guess you deserve a fraction of a cookie for at least having some fucking perspective. I guess.

  16. says

    I’m going to start ambling down Sarkeesian’s Way soon, making graphics today to get my gaming blog running.

    The more they tighten their fist, the more of us will slip through their fingers.

    I am Spartakeesian. Fuck the haters, you ain’t chasing me out of gaming.

  17. Krasnaya Koshka says

    Ranzoid, you often spew non-sequiturs but I’ll ask anyway: what was Ms. Sarkeesian’s dishonesty? Specifically?

    Full disclosure: I heartily supported her kickstarter, have watched every video a couple of times each, am an avid gamer of over 30 years, found nothing dishonest. I don’t even believe the context b.s. works. Why can’t there be non-sexist context i. games from the get-go?

  18. Jackie says

    As much as i criticize Sarkeesian for her dishonesty, these idiots are worse.

    You’re as big an idiot as they are.

  19. Krasnaya Koshka says

    CaitieCat @ 19,

    As if I didn’t already love you, “Spartakeesian” sent me right over the edge into the fluffy love nest of fluffy love for Ms. CaitieCat. I’m nearly dying laughing.

  20. toska says


    I am Spartakeesian.

    This needed repeating. No one is gonna top you on this thread. An internetz for you!

  21. Janine the Jackbooted Emotion Queen says

    This happened on Twitter yesterday. (It is a longish thread.

    It seems that Jordan and Davis did not know that Paul Elam would move to acquit a proven rapist if on a jury. Thoughh when pointed out, Davis used the Innocence Project in order to compare men accused with rape in the modern day to black men being lynched in the previous century.

    I wonder what what Davis has to say about Justine Tunney’s advocacy of slavery?

  22. says

    Someone should tweet it. I have a Twitter (@TheCaitieCat), but have not signed in for a long, long time. Credit me and add #IAmSpartakeesian. Then if it catches on, we can count the number of tweets with it. I bet it’d be a lot, if it caught on.

    Also, thanks. I meant it, too. Building my own crucifix this aft, ready to mount up. :)

  23. omnicrom says

    Ranzoid @9

    As much as i criticize Sarkeesian for her dishonesty[…]

    I’m sure you have some specific citations and examples for you attempt to claim the middle ground…

  24. numerobis says

    Just watched the video John@28 linked to. Aurini is at least not completely technically incompetent. I mean, at least he’s got a sense of what’s showing in the scene — like making sure there’s a skull.

  25. Saad says

    As much as i criticize Sarkeesian for her dishonesty, these idiots are worse.

    Let’s hear it in the Thunderdome, shall we? You sound like you’re pretty sure of what you’re talking about.

  26. F.O. says

    Less money in the Gaters pockets, more of their vile pettiness published for anyone to see.
    How can this go wrong?

  27. speed0spank says

    I wonder what what Davis has to say about Justine Tunney’s advocacy of slavery?

    Probably not too much. I’m not sure why they are trying to compare anything to black men being lynched considering turtle neck guy is hella racist himself. He throws the N word around and apologizes to the white nationalists who watch him when he says something “too PC”. He also has said he “is a white nationalist *on paper*” whatever the hell that means. I think it means he is a racist POS.

  28. Numenaster says

    I am Spartakeesian!

    Although my oldest niece now thinks I’m more like the real Spartacus since she saw me break up a set-to by rowdy middle school boys this Halloween. :) She said I looked “scary” and I said “Good.”

  29. vaiyt says

    Davis Aurini certainly doesn’t care. In case his Anton LaVey impersonator schtick didn’t tip you off, he’s a Dork Enlightenment racist liberturdian.

  30. ck says

    F.O. wrote:

    Less money in the Gaters pockets, more of their vile pettiness published for anyone to see.
    How can this go wrong?

    You probably don’t want to know. People might take it seriously, and some already are.

  31. =8)-DX says

    @Ranzoid #9

    As much as i criticize Sarkeesian for her dishonesty, these idiots are worse.

    Calling Sarkeesian “dishonest” is a fallback catch-all critique that basically plays into the hands of GamerGaters. In other words if Sarkeesian lied, they can say it’s about ethics in video games journalism (although she isn’t a journalist, rather a media critic, they can point to media coverage of Sarkeesian and say it’s unethical because it doesn’t point out her “dishonesty”). False claims of dishonesty from Sarkeesian are:

      •  “She said game X is all about misogyny when it includes many other tropes” (Not true, she points out many times that the games have other content and even perhaps good reasons to include the tropes she is discussing).
      •  “Anita is cherry-picking, only choosing examples that fit her narrative.” (Not true, talking about tropes by necessity requires that you take that slice of media that includes the trope to exclusion of others, plus Anita repeatedly points out that a given trope is a) not representative of all games b) not the only thing in those games c) often makes sense to be used. This is the most common claim of dishonesty and is quicly disproved by spending 5 minutes on cataloguing narrative devices in media is not dishonest.)
      •  “Anita made up the death threats and is harassing herself.” (Baseless assertion. No evidence to date for this. Even if it were true it is no critique of her actual work.)
      •  “Anita lied about being a gamer.” (Incorrect – in one talk she distanced herself from the label “gamer” – meaning a particular stereotypical representation, in a later talk she accepted being a gamer in the sense – “someone who plays videogames”. Redifining “gamer” to be more diverse and inclusive, essentially “everyone can (and does) play videogames” is part of what she is trying to do, so it’s not dishonest for her to self-label in that way).
      •  “Anita is a feminist but wears makeup. Hypocrisy!” (Just adding this to show the absurdity of the claim.)

    So no, anyone talking about Anita being dishonest is only playing into the GG narrative, this is not a legitimate criticism of her work, and either way her sincerity has no bearing on whether or not the points she makes in her videos are actually valid or not. Address the points, while actually watching the videos, but if you call Anita dishonest, you’ve basically said you shouldn’t be taken seriously in this discussion.

  32. jambonpomplemouse says

    The whole Anita’s not a real gamer! Lies! Ethics! was nonsense from the beginning, but it got stupider when CH Sommers (a middle aged conservative woman who’s paycheques are literally signed by the Super Koch Bros. and who’s never played a video game) sauntered in, like Drew Barrymore pretending to be a high school student, all “Hey dudes! Let me rap at ya! You’re right! Those ‘gender warriors’ shouldn’t be allowed to talk about your game boys!” and they swallowed her bullshit like it was ice cream.

    And don’t get me started on Milo of Breitbart! Dude wrote an article in August 2014 blaming video games for mass shootings and calling gamers rapists. But he jumped on the GamerGate HateWagon and now he’s one of their heroes. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a group of less rational individuals.