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Fuck Synthrotek

Yesterday boutique music manufacturer Synthrotek decided to go out in a blaze of glory by doubling-down on wildly inappropriate social media posts. Steve Harmon, founder of Synthrotek, posted a baffling picture of Harvey Weinstein on Instagram. The accused sexual harasser, and confirmed creep, was pictured with the caption: "BUY MORE SYNTHS"

The crass non sequitur would probably have gone unnoticed by all. But when Steve was challenged on the merits of this marketing gimmick he decided to double-down on Facebook... and then triple-down. Before eventually melting down on Reddit.

Steve continued to post throughout social media; vacillating between aggressive ad hominem attacks, and defensive assertions that he was being ironic. Even under the most permissive definition of the word, it seems impossible to apply irony to this situation. He went on to claim that his pictures were somehow attacking sexism and the objectification of women, while simultaneously challenging consumerism. Several observers of this behavior, and its asinine justification, opined that we could be witnessing some form of manic mental illness.

As the day wore on his communications became increasingly erratic. Many of his comments on Reddit, and the original offending image on Instagram, were deleted or edited. Some of the remaining comments reference a spiritual being named Jesus, of presumed Mexican heritage, which he claims will forgive him.

Further revelations on Reddit appeared from a former employee. The employee had specific grievances with Steve's spiritual preoccupation in the workplace, and revelations of a criminal side-business selling "pirate merchandise" on eBay. In all of the comments from Steve, he did not seem dispute the charge. (Update: It turns out the pirate merchandise is literally a website for pirate themed clothing of the same name. Thanks to a comment here for pointing that out.)

To get a sense of the man we can look once again to Instagram where he posted a non-apology. No matter how you feel about using images of alleged sexual harassers in lazy memes, an issue that seems surprisingly controversial, I think everyone who watches this will agree that at the very least... this guy is an asshole.

Reader Comments 30

Christian scammer? Well that's a first...
October 18, 2017  | person Nonny Moose
If the entire scene boycotted Synthrotek... how would you notice?
October 18, 2017  | person_outline 1-800-THE-COPS
Tim, you can’t be a snowflake. This shit has been going on since the [Tim Edit: antisemitic nonsense] stole the motion picture camera from Edison and went to Hollywood. We all knew this was going on for the last 100 years. One of the reasons that Hitler came to power in Germany and Jewish directors in all arts expelled from Germany. This is part of the territory when you want to be a Star. Suck it, if you’re so “shocked”. Joke about it, hell yeah.
October 18, 2017  | mood_bad psysword
Some people's willingness to feel entitled to say whatever they want without reflecting upon how it effects other people is the epitome of selfishness. Doing so on an account for your business seems very foolish and shows a lack of rational perspective.

Psysword seems to think adding an anti-Semitic comment into the mix will be insightful and/or humorous.
October 18, 2017  | person PLU Collective
Thank you, Tim.
October 18, 2017  | favorite_border DCJ
On October 18, 2017 - @Nonny Moose said:
Christian scammer? Well that's a first...

While doing research on the prevalence of app piracy on Android I discovered a piracy "market place" style app. Kind of like iTunes for stealing. They even had a top 10 list of the most popular apps people were stealing. Unsurprisingly Minecraft topped that list too, but also on there was some bible study stuff. That made me laugh pretty long and hard. They definitely needed to be studying it some more.
On October 18, 2017 - @psysword said:
Tim, you can’t be a snowflake. This shit has been going on since the [Tim Edit: antisemitic nonsense] stole the motion picture camera from Edison and went to Hollywood. We all knew this was going on for the last 100 years. One of the reasons that Hitler came to power in Germany and Jewish directors in all arts expelled from Germany. This is part of the territory when you want to be a Star. Suck it, if you’re so “shocked”. Joke about it, hell yeah.

One criticism often hurled at progressives is that they preach tolerance, but are intolerant of opposing view points. You make sure you let your friends know that this is not always the case. I have been incredibly tolerant of your antisemitic and nationalist bent. For years. When you crossed the line I've had to edit the posts, and have a word with you, but I've been extremely tolerant for years.

This one just pushed past that tolerance threshold. You're free to hold any philosophy you like, but you are not allowed to embarrass me by using my site to express such profoundly disturbing philosophies here.

I'm afraid after all this time, and repeated requests that you not post this shit, I am going to have to ban you.
A lame publicity stunt. Not worth worrying about Tim. Best option is to ignore it... and not buy their products.
October 18, 2017  | person_outline Simon
Tim, thank you. A phrase I've been using very often lately: "WTF is wrong with people"
**** ***, psytoothpick you ******* *****.

Not even addressing the fact that Edison was a grade A asshole who ripped off his junior associates (my how noble!) and cast shade at Tesla that almost completely ruined the latter - in case anyone's interested in the real history, including Edison's antisemitism and the cringeworthy effects his financial legacy would later have:

http://jewishcurrents.org/thomas-alva-edison-and-the-jews/

Goddammit I hate fucking idiots.
October 18, 2017  | person Nonny Moose
On October 18, 2017 - @Tim Webb said:

One criticism often hurled at progressives is that they preach tolerance, but are intolerant of opposing view points. You make sure you let your friends know that this is not always the case. I have been incredibly tolerant of your antisemitic and nationalist bent. For years. When you crossed the line I've had to edit the posts, and have a word with you, but I've been extremely tolerant for years.

This one just pushed past that tolerance threshold. You're free to hold any philosophy you like, but you are not allowed to embarrass me by using my site to express such profoundly disturbing philosophies here.

I'm afraid after all this time, and repeated requests that you not post this shit, I am going to have to ban you.

This and this whole post is why I <3 discchord
October 18, 2017  | touch_app markaudulus
Hell yeah Tim, thanks for being an opinionated voice in a sea of sycophants worried about their bottom line and scared to offend anybody.
Opposing viewpoints are important to listen to, but when the line is crossed between intelligent debate and foolish man children spewing their hatred all over the place, we all have to say enough is enough, and call them out.
October 19, 2017  | person AdamTomlinson
Also, the owner wasn't selling pirated things on eBay. He sells synthrotek stuff on eBay, and has several companies, one of which is pirate themed clothing and accessories company for people into pirate LARPing.
October 19, 2017  | person_outline Ex loyal synthrotek customer
The website for his pirate stuff is piratemerch DOT com.
October 19, 2017  | person_outline Ex loyal synthrotek customer
Ah, the ex-employee made it sound like counterfeited goods.... not literally pirate themed merchandise. Thanks for the clarification. I thought it was odd that he didn't issue some kind of denial there.
No problem. That's the last favor I'll ever do for synthrotek. Fight the good fight!
October 19, 2017  | person_outline Ex loyal synthrotek customer
#imwithTim
October 19, 2017  | person_outline Matt B
Makes sense - comment was "pirate goods" and it was assumed to be, erm, the vernacular...

None of which absolves the sheer idiocy of any prior forecasts of snowflakery by ill-qualified prognosticators of course.
October 19, 2017  | person Nonny Moose
Regarding the banned dude: There's a huge difference between the intolerance demonstrated by racists and showing intolerance to racism and racist bullshit. There's no logic in equivocating the two. One group wants to take away rights from people (or worse), the other group wants to stop them from doing so. It's like the crazies who say Antifa is a hate group; no logic coming from this because these people are illogical selfish assholes who engage in mental gymnastics to protect their frail egos and push aside cognitive dissonance.

Good job blocking him, Tim.

As for the original issue... wow. Tasteless. Glad I'm not a customer of that guy. Good job on your commentary about the whole thing, Tim.
October 19, 2017  | person dysamoria
On October 18, 2017 - @Be The Noise said:
Tim, thank you. A phrase I've been using very often lately: "WTF is wrong with people"

Me too. For a while I was thinking I hate people. Not true. I love people. I hate the shit people do.
October 19, 2017  | person_outline El Jeffe
On October 18, 2017 - @Tim Webb said:

One criticism often hurled at progressives is that they preach tolerance, but are intolerant of opposing view points. You make sure you let your friends know that this is not always the case. I have been incredibly tolerant of your antisemitic and nationalist bent. For years. When you crossed the line I've had to edit the posts, and have a word with you, but I've been extremely tolerant for years.

This one just pushed past that tolerance threshold. You're free to hold any philosophy you like, but you are not allowed to embarrass me by using my site to express such profoundly disturbing philosophies here.

I'm afraid after all this time, and repeated requests that you not post this shit, I am going to have to ban you.
Thanks Tim for not allowing your site to be soapbox for "profoundly disturbing philosophies".
@Frozen Lonesome: You're welcome? ;)

I feel super weird accepting praise for shutting down nationalism. This shouldn't be praise-worthy. I'm uncomfortable, and disheartened, with the fact that in today's politics "I think Hitler had some pretty bad ideas" is now a controversial stance.
On October 19, 2017 - @Tim Webb said:
@Frozen Lonesome: You're welcome? ;)

I feel super weird accepting praise for shutting down nationalism. This shouldn't be praise-worthy. I'm uncomfortable, and disheartened, with the fact that in today's politics "I think Hitler had some pretty bad ideas" is now a controversial stance.

I fully agree. But in times like these, its important not to remain silent. And not everyone does speak up. I'm slightly guilty of my not following my own advice cause I have a pretty deliberate apolitical stance when it comes to social media. I post about music, my music, and science mostly.

But when at Discchord, I feel like I'm hanging out on my friend's front porch, having a drinking and talking about things that make me happy. If someone was to shout at us we would certainly respond. Many sites would just ignore and delete (which I'm sure you often do) but its your place and the community guidelines are very clear and should be followed so the site remains a welcoming place to be for everyone.
Tim wrote: " the fact that in today's politics "I think Hitler had some pretty bad ideas" is now a controversial stance. "

Not sure what you mean by this... who would object to that statement and why? USA neo-Nazis? The "South will rise again" types?

Hitler had some bad ideas and, worse, he acted on them. Here, in Australia, everybody hates Hitler. We have a tiny, tiny neo-Nazi movement (probably under 100 or 200 people nationally). They are a crackpot fringe that has been around since the 1960s. Nobody takes them seriously.
October 19, 2017  | person_outline Simon
Yes, there's a staggering number of "Alt-Right" in the USA that were actually offended by the game Wolfenstein... because it kills Nazis.

Oh also there was black woman in the trailer, that really pissed off the Nazis.

https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/12/15780596/wolfenstein-2-the-new-colossus-alt-right-nazi-outrage

Prepare to be sad, but the article ends on a positive note... hey, at least most people aren’t Nazis!
The article didn't make me sad because articles based on comments on the Internet are interesting but not a real indication of reality. Threads with "comments sections" enable nutters on the left & right to make wild statements - that doesn't mean the average citizen agrees with them.

I have faith in the USA - even Bush has just made a speech in NYC knocking many of the alt-right attitudes. Despite Trump and the alt-right I don't think that what happened in Germany in the 1930s will happen in the USA today. There are too many people fighting the good fight to let that happen.
October 20, 2017  | person_outline Simon
You're being thanked for standing up and speaking against nationalism because those of us who care about our country not becoming a fascist hellhole want to see we aren't as alone as the fascist and racist assholes make us feel with their loud clanging. More so: it's growing more important than it has been for decades to speak up against injustice because the "more racist than usual" racist assholes in power now have emboldened the racist assholes throughout the population of racist USA (not that the entire country is racist; there is a grotesque percentage of racism here despite the fact that it's supposed to be not okay if you're a patriotic American who believes in the American propaganda of opportunity and freedom).

An ethical populous has to make clear that unethical behavior is unacceptable by the masses. We must be seen, be heard, and be counted as the majority, not bullied into fearful silence by the racist minority assholes who believe that aggression and violence will make their minority into a majority; they think they're taking a stand for thier so-called morality, when it's just a pile of defective, self-serving, irrational, ignorant, xenophobic bullshit.
October 20, 2017  | person dysamoria
dysamoria: ::::applause::::
October 20, 2017  | person dreamsyphon
I'm donating to PP in Steve's name. Let him hide in Idaho with his shitty kits. Memes aside, the guy seems bent on proving himself to be an asshole.
October 22, 2017  | person_outline John E B Good
On October 22, 2017 - @John E B Good said:
I'm donating to PP in Steve's name. Let him hide in Idaho with his shitty kits. Memes aside, the guy seems bent on proving himself to be an asshole.
Oh yeah, he's been all over social media this week trying desperately to prove that. He's even released a multi-part video series as evidence. I'm on his @mention list as he tries to explain his position... while even in his explanation videos he can't avoid being casually shitty to women and gays.

https://twitter.com/discchord/status/921514742476402688
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