Why are SCP Logos OK on Rule 34 Material but Not On Firearms?
Updated: Dec 27, 2021
News & Opinion
by Lack of Lepers
Sep 15 2021 · 9 min read
A fan-favorite SCP Group of Interest actually exists, and they 3D print firearms; they go by the borrowed name of “Are We Cool Yet?”. In turn, the SCP Wiki is attempting to contain (also misrepresent and slander) this group because the creator believes producing and owning custom guns is illegal in the United States.
As a composite majority, the SCP community has shifted course 180 degrees, either forgetting or recanting (when convenient) the idea established just months ago in February that the SCP Wiki’s CC license has no say on what an author wishes for their works, or any subsequent treatment or application of it; and that the SCP Wiki wants it this way by popular vote. Turns out all of the hullabaloo over Harmony’s wishes can be overturned in an instant when a severe lack of education, a near-religious aversion to a hobby perceived adjacent to an opposing political ideology by way of stereotyping, and the opportunity to be stunning & brave publicly come together on the SCP Wiki over the topic of gun hobbyists paying homage to SCP’s legacy.
Let’s get some context. The official Are We Cool Yet? Hub on the Wiki describes the fictional group as:
“… an artistic movement existing on the fringes of the international avant-garde… the only thing one need do to call oneself a member is to make art that employs, exploits, or revolves around anomalous objects, beings, or phenomena… The tendency of some such groups to produce highly visible public artworks that cause death, injury, or lasting psychological harm has led some to decry the entire movement as a bunch of “art terrorists”, a label some of its members wear with pride, some repudiate entirely, and some wear ironically.” -[source]
The GoI has been a fan favorite since its inception in 2011 by SCP Wiki author pooryoric (aka tunedtoadeadchannel). Its de facto origin tale notes the following:
“…those artists shut out by the committee organized their own counter-exhibition, to be held at the same time across the river. “Sommes-Nous Devenus Magnifiques?”, as the show came to be called, was the talk of the Parisian press for months, earning equal amounts of curiosity, dismissal, and outright derision, but the exiled gadflies had made their point — the paranormal, the anomalous, and the bizarre had found a place in the world of art and would not be so easily gotten rid of.” - [source]
And here is how the AWCY? Arms group describes themselves:
Are We Cool Yet? is a decentralized group of individuals who’s core belief is Art is Not Meant to Be Contained. Art comes in many forms. Advancements in desktop manufacturing has opened new possibilities for everyone. Some want to restrict modern artistic expressions like guncad and home built firearms. To continue these advancements AWCY empowers individuals with guidance, inspiration, and a community to share ideas. We believe in the power of open source to spread information as far and freely as possible. Art is freedom of expression, and shall not be infringed. — source
The group has been active and posting to social media video platforms since at least 2020. Recently an r/scp user noticed the letters “AWCY?” imprinted upon a gun while watching a Vox video special on the subculture of 3D printing firearms. This was subsequently brought to the attention of the creator, pooryoric, who unfortunately has lost access to his WikiDot account.
That’s a shame because this means he couldn’t use the Wiki as a megaphone on the matter, like someone might typically use, I don’t know, their personal Twitter. (Or author page.) But that turns out to be no problem at all, because yoric is a popular author of old, and according to an unconfirmed rumor, might be roommates with the Master Administrator DrEverettMann himself. In any case, he can get special treatment that no one else would get as soon as he wants it, for some reason.
So on behalf of yoric, Mann posted a staff-sanctioned thread on the SCP Wiki (the comment shown here at the bottom was deleted and the ability to reply was removed by Staff too… one has to question motives at play) that was dedicated exclusively to platforming a statement on this real-life use of “his” GoI. In it, pooryoric bemoans that people have put “his” GoI’s name on firearms, which he incorrectly refers to in a loud, wet fart of misinformation — one that is sniffed up eagerly by a lot of SCP and re-enacted in worshipful mimicry all over r/scp and Twitter — as “traffic[king] illegal firearms modifications”. In a remarkable irony that is no longer surprising in how it characterizes SCP at large but especially Staff-associated and influential individuals there, yoric demands the group “take my words off your shit.”
The problem is that AWCY? Arms has done nothing illegal or run afoul of anything here, not even by SCP’s own legal or moral standards. The creation and use of personal firearms, even via the budding and decentralizing technology of 3D printing, is and has been 100% legal in the history of the country in which it is taking place, and is protected constitutionally by the 2nd Amendment. It is 100% legal too for AWCY? Arms to use the GoI’s name as they please; something noted enough in their official reply to pooryoric.
Also, as noted in excruciating and very resolute fashion, the SCP Wiki abides by the letter of the CC license above all else, even in spite of an author’s requests for and sovereignty over their own works, meaning that there is not even a modicum of a moral or legal argument left for SCP to leverage for themselves in regards to AWCY? Arms abiding by pooryoric’s wishes; this doesn’t stop them from trying in an impressive confusion. (The fated, unintended consequences of betraying a long-standing ethical right and tradition at SCP rears its ugly and laughing head yet again.) Unsurprisingly, it seems that SCP’s stance of prioritizing the legal terms of the CC license above ethical or emotional arguments isn’t about the legal terms at all, but about how much they like you.
The loud inaccuracy in calling what AWCY? Arms does “trafficking illegal firearms modifications” has been brought to the attention of r/scp moderators, SCP Wiki staff, and pooryoric. However, it has not been acknowledged and no correction of the misinformation has been made. The Wiki post, the r/scp thread, and the Twitter announcement all proudly display the unbidden and official sanctioning of embarrassingly incorrect information regarding the hobby of 3D printing guns, but also of basic American rights as well. Some of us at SCF wanted SCP to change this…
...but the more antagonistic of us are happy to leave it alone, it doing a better job at humiliating SCP than the correction would. Clearly the SCP staff and influencers are proud to be representatively and definitively incorrect here; they don’t care about silly facts when matters of politics are within reach.
The irony kicks into hyperdrive when yoric tries to paint AWCY? Arms itself as an “irony”. He insists so despite also saying in literally the previous sentence that they are a perfect fit for the butt of the joke intended in the creation of the GoI, that joke being “specifically at the expense of the kind of edgy douchebags who’d do things like make instagram accounts to trade gun parts and flex their beer guts about how rebellious they are”. This isn’t irony, this is very fitting. (I hear someone humming Alanis Morissette.) AWCY? Arms is about as accurate of a real-life portrayal of the ideals of the fictional GoI as you can get (minus the illegality, killing, and terrorism, which through yoric SCP seems to attribute to them without any evidence or reasoning).
It’s pretty funny when the creator of a GoI who fancies himself an influential author can’t diagnose when and where irony is present, but who also can’t identify when the exact character of his creation is put in front of him. But then again, pooryoric had very little to do with the majority of AWCY?’s development as a feature GoI, in contrast to his grandstanding as the voice for it; “his”. Yoric can with authority explain the posture of his original AWCY?’s character at least:
“The name wasn’t “are we cool” in the sense that they were going to become awesome. It was “are we cool yet? please, I’m sorry, stop hitting me. Are we cool? I’m sorry!” in the whiny tone of a bully whose victims have finally had enough and begun to defend themselves.”
If we want to consider the gradual and ongoing infringement of the right to bear arms in the United States as the actions of a stronger bully (say, the government), or if not that then the raiding, social media harassment, and libelous portrayal of AWCY? Arms by a larger and bully-like SCP Wiki, then AWCY? Arms certainly fits this description even more. The detail of the intended right of firearms as a means of defending one’s self from aggressors is not lost on this author, at least.
But cruising in the hyperdrive, we hit a black hole of concentrated irony when we consider that the SCP Wiki has never in any official capacity, or on the privileged behalf of a GoI/article creator who might have feelings on it, released any statement about the potential inappropriateness or embarrassment of >1800 installments of SCP-themed Rule 34 material on a well-known internet porn site.
Somehow, in a demographic of predominantly 15–19 year olds, SCP’s name, GoIs, and popular articles on bukkake and guro art is of no concern for the SCP Wiki.
And honestly, I’ll put down the knife and agree with them at this point; rule 34 content shouldn’t be a concern. Rule 34 is an application of SCP’s material that the SCP Wiki really can’t control, and so they shouldn’t have an official or platformed response to it. Best to ignore it. Making porn of SCP stuff is perfectly legal and a constitutionally-guaranteed expression of free speech. End of story. Some might even consider it… art! Porn has the added bonus of being something that, like printing personal firearms, doesn’t in and of itself hurt anyone or intend harm, but can be controversial, and has unintended applications with poor outcomes nonetheless.
There’s just something about putting AWCY? into plastic frames on guns instead that really grinds pooryoric’s gears, emphasis on the “poor”. It would seem AWCY? Arms are “…those artists shut out by the committee [who] organized their own counter-exhibition… the talk of the [Wiki] press for months, earning equal amounts of curiosity, dismissal, and outright derision, but the exiled gadflies had made their point — the paranormal, the anomalous, and the bizarre had found a place in the world of art and would not be so easily gotten rid of.”
Pretty darn good fit if you ask me. At least other, better representatives from SCP have a good sense of humor about it:
From the SCP-914 Experimental Logs. [source]
So is pooryoric uncool yet?