DC Thomson peddles fake news.

Hate-mongering, by DC Thomson

As some of you may know, I have earlier explained how Googling my name may get you to see a couple of nasty articles. DC Thomson (DC Comics is not related, thank goodness!) is the owner of The Evening Telegraph. That is, the newspaper in which these articles have been published. However, DC Thomson has a dark history from the very beginning. For instance, DC Thomson’s current and historical business practices, such as the refusal to hire people originating from certain groups, reflected the bigotry of its founder, Douglas Coupar Thomson. Notable victims of such policies included Dundee’s sizable community of people of Irish heritage, for instance. While times have changed and so has content and form, certain intentions and methods remain steady, as do their consequences.

The Evening Telegraph is originally a local Dundee newspaper, although its articles’ implications have now become global in scope. What is notable is that outside of Dundee, the articles encourage stangers to take up a prejudiced treatment against me. As my reputation has been badly affected by the articles, funding opportunities for Total Rendition have been missed. Since I already lost access to gaming-grade equipment, this could not come at a more sensitive time.

Dundee Breitbart

In fact, the Evening Telegraph can be likened to a mini-Breitbart. A mini-Breitbart with a regional focus on Dundee. A city which I have left, since the publication of the articles. The existence of DC Thomson may explain why Dundee compares badly to other cities, both in Scotland as well as Europe in general, in metrics such as drug overdose deaths, teenage pregnacies and crime rates. DC Thomson is a very effective propaganda machine able to entice the guillable to look away from actual issues. Instead, it entices to people to focus on fake issues and red-herrings.

Contrary to popular belief, Dundee’s economy does not revolve around creative occupations or technical innovation let alone video games. Rather, Dundee’s economy revolves around DC Thomson. While Dundee’s jute and jam industries have all but disappeared, DC Thomson monopolised its hold over journalism in Dundee. DC Thomson functions as a parasite; It feeds on the negative emotions of the general public and that of Dundee in particular. The astounding fact is that this has continued so far, for more than a century. DC Thomson effectively foreshadowed Breitbart’s hate-mongering and the negative mental health effects of Facebook more than a century ahead.

Norsefire

I have designed Total Rendition to train people’s bullshit detectors through immersive and engaging play. That is, my goal is to teach players of Total Rendition the ability to discern propaganda by means of play. This, I believe, is the antidote to the likes of DC Thomson and other fake news peddlars.

I have been refused custom by several hostels, makerspaces (I’m talking to you, Edinburgh Hacklab) and pubs (ironically, including one named after George Orwell). This followed the publication of the articles that we are discussing. In fact, more than once, it has been admitted that this was on account of the reputation that I have received as a result of the articles. I’m sure George Orwell himself would have actually have turned inside his grave if he found out about that.

Regardless, these facts are extremely shocking. It shows a general public with low amount of critical thinking skills. Norsefire Britain as depicted in V for Vendetta could just be around the corner. Indeed, a media landscape that engenders hatred coupled with a civil society insufficiently educated to recognise malicious smear pieces, can be found across the Western world. The damage this combination is able to cause is unspeakable.

The parable of the missing white woman

Now if you are reading this as a so-called angry white-male, chances are you will be (unfairly) blaming feminism for this, if you are not bashing me instead. Then again, please do mind that the articles are a horrible example of missing white woman syndrome. Now fortunately, and not just for her sake, the complainant is not actually missing. Because if she was, I probably would not have been able to write you this. If there is anything that serves as a trigger for angry white males, it is exactly that: A (fake) story of a white woman supposedly victimised by a foreigner.

The complainant is however conspicuously absent from the narrative in both Evening Telegraph articles. We don’t get to know the possible motivations for the complaint by the “stalked woman”, to give us the information to discern whether these complaints could be justified or not. Indeed, the Evening Telegraph affords the “stalked woman” only the ability to become an abstract white British/Scottish woman. A perceived alien element is in turn (to be) perceived to be victimising her. Indeed, I have actually suffered plenty of abuse coming from angry white-males of far-right political constitution, since the articles’ publication.

Little finesse

The editors of the Evening Telegraph are prudent enough – legally speaking – not to mention my ethnicity, as much as they probably would have liked to. Instead, they will mention my formal bail address at the time.

Likewise, it glossed over a variety of other unpleasant facts such as the loss of equipment to the Scottish Police Services. Finally, it falsely – if subtly – claims that I supposedly had perpetrated a protracted stalking-campaign between January and June. In reality, there was only very sporadic (and mutual) contact in and around both January and June. If that’s supposed to be illegal, I guess we should just say “welcome to Norsefire Britain”.

The Evening Telegraph, however, did not mention that I pleaded not guilty. In fact, the trial was recently cancelled a few days before it was supposed to hit court. A fact the Evening Telegraph has since failed to report. There is little finesse in the way they deliver “news”.

Weeding out the bullshit

The Evening Telegraph has neglected to mention that the complainant, at least at the time of making the complaint, worked at Dundee Contemporary Arts. Therefore, politico-cultural imperatives may have very well motivated the vexatious lawsuits.

The article incorrectly mentions that I come “from” the Lily Walker Centre, which is a homeless shelter. In fact, that shelter does not even permit me to stay over there. The Department for Work and Pensions does not deem my work on Total Rendition “gainful and effective”. And since I’m an EU citizen, I’m subject to tests whether my line-of-work in the DWP’s view is “gainful and effective”. I suppose that working on Total Rendition is not a bullshit job. Yet it are bullshit jobs that are the kind of jobs that the DWP wishes you or me to do, if you’re lucky enough to live in Britain! I therefore receive no financial backing from either the British or the Scottish government to make Total Rendition, or from any government for that matter. I am only able to work on Total Rendition and sustain myself from private endowments alone.

Fair AND balanced!

If the Evening Telegraph cared about even-handed journalism, surely they could have bothered to make mention of all this? However, remember they would rather want to impute all the well-known Right-Wing Authoritarian tropes instead. For instance, that I’m supposedly a drain on the country in some way or a menace to its local women.

Conversely, that I am working on Total Rendition has gone unmentioned. In the police proceeds (which read like a very badly written piece of BDSM erotica), the complainant however did mention Total Rendition in a very tangential manner. Likewise, consider my arbitrary detention at HMP Perth for 40 days, without a trial. A gross violation of Habeas Corpus, in 21st century Europe! Obviously, not a convenient fact in the Evening Telegraph’s authoritarian and xenophobic fairy-tale cuckoo-land.

Freedom!

The incidents however underscored why the message Total Rendition brings to the world is for the better. Although the message is serious, I still strive for Total Rendition to be a fun and engaging experience. So everyone who would like to join me in my quest for a freer, more open-minded world, is most invited to play Total Rendition!

Regardless of your interest in Total Rendition, please mind this article, especially if you are in any way connected to Dundee. We know that large scale media corporations such as DC Thomson have the capability to influence political events, when we do not think straight.

-Mordechai Gabai