UPDATE: It looks like Austin Jones was guilty of Child Porn Production.
Mob justice – the new Puritans – strike the Warped Tour in the same way peasant “enlightenment” mobs lopped off heads of denounced enemies of the Republic via the guillotine in the French Revolution. The accused, Austin Jones, has not even been offered a sham mob justice trial, but has been ushered toward the execution platform.
Tumbrlettes, let’s hold off for a moment on the mob justice and the drivel that is permeating comment sections on this firestorm that are throwing young girls into the “defenseless victims” category and dropping “gender studies” like buzzwords like victim blaming. This is the real world, so let’s have a real conversation. You can surely stave off your Twitter destruction of Austin till the facts come out, unlike the courtesy you showed Joss Whedon.
I’ll say this bluntly; I’m not sure that fan girls – despite their age – “twerking” in videos for Austin Jones necessarily constitutes sexual harassment or anything close to Pedophilia which some people have been throwing out like they do words such as “racism.” Labels – especially ones like “Pedophile” that carry as much social weight/burned at the stake consequences as the word “heretic” did during the Middle Ages – should be carefully considered before attached to someone’s name.
In fact, shame on some out the “Journalistic” outlets in our music scene that have already done the labeling and helped further this mob action. I’m looking at you and your podcast Pupfresh. Let’s try to at least have some cool heads and flush out the facts – you know like real journalists do. We don’t all have to pull a Rolling Stone.
— Pup Fresh (@PupFresh) May 10, 2015
Also I dub this entire firestorm #TwerkGate
Is it raunchy and inappropriate because of the age variation? The current socially acceptable answer in this point in Western history would be, “Yes.” I make that point because of how “relative” everything is in our culture – including the nature of law. Post-modernism has it’s price you know. Note, I’ll go with “Yes” as well.
To some extent, the twerking video requests do constitute taking advantage. This however, is not even close to the same level of asking for nudes that the fellow from Front Porch did. However, would the reaction and disdain for this be different if he was 17 or 18 at the time of these twerking requests?
Depends on who you ask, but the change.org petition is up and they are demanding all kinds of blood and entrails from what is probably going to be the corpse of Austin’s career, especially if this guy has anything to say about it.
I can't imagine how hard it is to share a story like the ones about Austin. All of you girls are so much stronger than I will ever be.
— Pup Fresh (@PupFresh) May 11, 2015
Somehow, I don’t think that’s get this beta orbiter laid with these girls that are “so much stronger” than him. Maybe he can lure some of Austin’s fans into his own quarters. (Wait for the rant video of his that is later featured in this post. It’s full of some quality anger and frustration.)
Austin has already been labeled a pedophile and a host of other nasty labels without any real pause to consider how serious said labels are. The line between what is or is not “pedophilia” on a legal basis can be thin; in Illinois the legal age of consent is 17 – exception for those over 18 in a position of trust and/or authority.) In most states its 18. That one year makes a big difference.
It also assumes actual sexual encounters of someone kind. Is twerking and some of the “dancing” Austin requested really something we can throw into that category?
Dancing At The Warped Tour
If you’ve actually ever been to the Warped Tour – which I have multiple times and its clear some of this mob hasn’t – it’s a rather large mix of kids who are about to start highschool, already are in highschool, have just graduated, or are in their early 20s. You don’t actually know anyone’s age, but its safe to assume a good 50% are in highschool or younger.
There are many different tents and “booths” set up where people dance – regardless of age. I managed to win a t-shirt at one “booth” in which I danced with and against multiple people. The lady with the loudspeaker organizing encouraged us to dance the best we could to eliminate the other competition. (I won.)
Does this mean she was preying upon the younger kids when she encouraged us all to dance because some of the kids dancing were below 18?
Was it therefore inappropriate?
How about the Trojan condom tent that was giving away freebies to all comers regardless of age? Was that somehow encouraging “inappropriate” activity based on the mixed ages who attend the Warped Tour?
In fact, what about hardcore dancing? Maybe that’s inappropriate depending as well – or some how “sexual”. (I could make that happen actually.)
Seriously, who can we all throw under the bus?
A recent show in Philly involved some guy ditched all of his clothes and started hate moshing everyone in sight. At least he waited for the breakdown to behave like a moody insane deviant, but what about all the people around who had to see his bare ass and drooping ballsack? I guarantee not all of them are 18 – not at these shows.
Should he asked every one there what their age was and killed the shock surprise factor in the process? (Note the guy hitting people with a chair is the reason we can’t have nice shows anymore – or rather that most venues won’t allow anything that utters the words, “metal” or “hardcore” in the title on the fliers.
In case I’m a terrible communicator, or you are just very daft, the point is that none of this is every clear-cut where it plays out like a math problem where 1+1 = 2. Chances are that despite how memorable and legendary this hate-moshing was – he could get nailed for indecent exposure and “to a minor” could be tacked on. On a side-note, what if he was under 18? Does that mean everyone there that saw him and was moshing as well are guilty of viewing child porn? (Does that mean this video counts as such? Let’s hope not.
Details Yet To Surface
Some of our enlightened and well-educated friends have already passed judgement in order to be seen as supportive against exploiters and warriors of justice and “deuchebags” in the scene. Let it be known that it’s rather easy to get thrown under the bus by adoring fans, haters, and Tumblr SJW’s alike. Kevin Lyman in a surprising change of pace from his usual social justice tenant adherence isn’t ready to join with the above crowd yet.
“The word ‘pedophile’ is a strong, strong term,” Lyman tells AltPress. “While the world can be screwed-up at times, there is a criteria for things. In the court of the internet, people’s lives are being dragged out in front of the world with no due process. People throw very strong words out onto the internet and when it is old news to them, it leaves a trail of destruction in other people’s lives. This country was built on the concept of ‘innocent until proven guilty.’ Are we going to go back to this Salem witch hunt mentality? Communication needs to happen. I am actively encouraging that If women and girls feel they are being victimized, tell your parents, go to the police, talk to counsellors.”
No shit right?
Unlike some, Lyman actually understands the importance of not rushing to judgement or lightly throwing out labels like “pedophile” in a situation that involves twerking. Yes, this country was built on innocent before proven guilty, but that can be ignored if you desire to prove your loyalty to the “Im a good person” club to prove to your fellow highschool mob members – notice the comments on the Change.org petition, Youtube, and Twitter; they all wreak of people who have something to prove.
In fact, it’s not enough for you to denounce him, other popular figures in the scene need to do the same or feel bad/made to feel their wrath. Take some of the people trying to bully comedian Jarrod Alonge into taking a certain stance:
On a humorous side note of irony, you’ll notice that the same people who denounce the terrible puritans for the Salem Witch trials gladly encourage and participate in the exact same behavior – except it’s okay when they do it. Anyone remember their lynching of Sam Pepper?
Lyman is standing very strong in concern to caving into those trying to bully him and tour’s image into dishing out justice before all the details have come out:
When asked if he felt this stance would jeopardize attendance at this year’s tour, Lyman responds, “If you’re not going to go to Warped Tour because of some perceived mob-mentality injustice, you should maybe volunteer at a non-profit that day.”
He put it rather nicely, but this is a rebuke for those people who swear they won’t attend the Tour unless their demands are met. Note the below video or “podcast” that attacks everything from Austin’s character to if he is funny, entertaining, ect. I guess ad-hominems determine the truth of allegations. Here is some SJW commentary in which this fellow seems to rant about “empowering women” and him being on a power trip, abusing his attention, and about how his apology wasn’t good enough. Not as much on the actual situation.
This kid is throwing his “friend” to the curb, but it appears he legitimately believes Austin’s behavior was too inappropriate. So much for friendship right? I suspect his career might have something to do with it, but I also suspect the social justice mob pressure plays a part.
If you wish to pass judgement, here is some of the supposed evidence:
— emma (@srsly_emma) May 10, 2015
His reputation may never be recovered, but these mobs quickly move on after they get bored of their public executions. If you end up in a similar predicament in which the mob is burning torches and heading your way, remember to stand strong, and wait for the dissipation usually only days later.
Perhaps, just perhaps, we should save the pedophile label for you know – actual pedophiles.