Go home, Thought Catalog, you’re drunk
I took Thought Catalog off of my RSS reader well over a year ago. Why? Because nearly every article I saw gave me profound douchechills and honestly kind of ruined my day. Back then, it was mostly like, “12 Incredibly Profound Things About Being a White 20-Something Living in Brooklyn” and other crap that is unhealthy to read if you have curmudgeonly tendencies.
Still, whenever people asked me about how to get into writing on the internet, particularly if their skills were not so well honed, I would suggest they try there. Why? Because Thought Catalog will pretty much publish anything and hey, even though they don’t usually pay, it’s something to show editors of places that do.
However, the fact that they pretty much publish anything and have essentially zero editorial standards is maybe becoming a little, shall we say, problematic. Because now it’s not just like, dumb LiveJournal crap, it’s also a bunch of hate-filled crap.
Earlier this week, the site proudly published an obscenely transphobic article by VICE co-founder Gavin McInnes, who is, without question, one of the most repellent human beings in the world today.
Though I loathe to do it, I don’t want to give them any more traffic on this article, so here is a clip from McInnes’s charming essay, titled “Transphobia is Perfectly Natural.”
“Haven’t you seen all the totally functional, happily married, normal trannies walking around? They aren’t all dead, you know. They sell flowers at the local village and bake pies for their scores of adopted children. They’re non-heteronormative. In fact, the only thing more normal than castrating yourself and taking tons of hormones to grow tits is chopping them off. Women who get double mastectomies and then have their cunts turned inside out are just righting a wrong. They need to have a weird cheese blintz-looking thing sticking out of their previous cooch because it feels way better than wearing a strap-on. Sure, the nerve endings aren’t the same as a real dick, but standing up to go pee pee is something these women were born to do. How dare you have a problem with that?”
I will tell you right now, it will be a goddamned cold day in hell before anyone named Gavin ruins my day. He’s an absurd and ridiculous person, and I’m almost glad that he’s so terrible, because who in their right mind wants to be on the same team as someone like that? Transphobia is as disgusting as Gavin McInnes is.
However, as much as I believe in free speech, I do believe it should be up to a publication to decide what they want to put out into the world, and that yes, they can be judged for that. Gavin McInnes is free to be an asshole and to think asshole things, but no one needs to be donating the soapbox and bullhorn.
Then, yesterday, there was this uh, article (?) that reads like a disjointed comment from a Stormfront website.
After a bizarre explanation of the inciting incident, Anthony Rogers goes on about looting and how “you cannot find Jordans, rims, weaves or Quick Trips in Ferguson, MO” and never quite gets to the way in which this reminds him of a specific “rap video.” I guess because there are black people? One cannot be sure.
Also on the the site today is some bizarre thing about how Michael Moore only supports gay marriage because he wants free cake. Previously, the site has published articles by an MRA pretending to be a feminist.
It seems that the site has become a breeding ground for trolls, and that it might not kill them to have some editorial standards. While this Anthony Rogers fella was probably not paid for his ever-so profound thoughts, it’s very likely that Gavin McInnes was. That was a choice the site made–and like most sites, they probably don’t have a huge freelance budget, and this is what they chose to spend that small budget on. That’s messed up.
Thought Catalog’s bread and butter, in a way, is posting incredibly offensive shit from complete idiots, which then results in other sites to talk about how incredibly offensive that shit is. Which is why I have not linked to them once in this piece. They make money, essentially, off of trolls and people so desperate to be published that they are happy to write for free. And I’m not entirely sure which is worse.