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Oct 04 2012

Politics and the bloggish language

Since Vacula used his resignation as an opportunity to do more hissing and finger-pointing, I’ll give it a bit more attention. Apart from anything else the editor in me is refusing to be silent. He writes really badly, which is another drawback in a director.

Following a lengthy period of self-reflection and deliberation, I am freely resigning from my position…

Bad right out of the gate. Tin ear. “A lengthy period”? “Of self-reflection and deliberation”? Who talks like that? Dude, just say you’ve thought about it carefully. Talk normal. This impulse to inflate the vocabulary is fatal.

Unfortunately, some persons in this community who have been quite vocal in objecting to my appointment – and many who were quick to dismiss me — do not seem to be interested in that.

Same again. “Some persons”?

…a ‘you are with us or against us’ attitude is coupled with personal vendettas and whispering campaigns taking the stage regardless of concerns about the cohesion of the secular movement.

How did the stage get in there? It doesn’t fit. But never mind that. What a joke: Vacula has been relentlessly pursuing personal vendettas himself, and he’s been right in there with the whispering. The pious above-it-all act is just that: an act. (Oh maybe that’s how the stage got in.)

Organizations are attacked, leaders of major organizations are condemned, prominent authors are boycotted, and ‘real-life’ careers are targeted as a result of disagreements or misunderstandings which likely could have been resolved by a simple telephone call…or ignored.

Passive voice, passive voice, passive voice – with no agents. One reason the passive voice is often a bad choice is because it evades the need to provide a subject of the verb.

And then the substance again applies to him at least as much as to anyone else. Vacula targeted me, for one, and I’m not alone in that. He too attacks and condemns and targets.

Almost immediately following my appointment with the Secular Coalition for America, I was the target of a campaign of lies, character attacks, and distortions.

Sounds like your podcast about me, which you never corrected. On the contrary, you did a blogpost complaining about my pointing out that you’d misrepresented me in your podcast. That takes a lot of gall – and very little in the way of “self-reflection and deliberation.”

My detractors did not only brand me as an ‘enemy of the people’ in a similar fashion to the eponymous play written by Henrik Ibsen…

Oh good god. Avoid the self-important note! Plus avoid using big words if you don’t know what they mean.

I have indeed made some mistakes and handled some situations poorly in past months. These mistakes were errors of judgment and were not, by any means, coupled with malicious intent. My detractors have blown these mistakes out of proportion almost never bothering to mention my concessions, never to personally contact me in a constructive manner to address grievances, or correct their own mistakes — and treated me unfairly.

Bullshit. Just outright bullshit. I did “personally contact” him – but maybe by “in a constructive manner” means not actually pointing out a substantive misrepresentation. Maybe treating him unfairly is criticizing him for doing something bad. Heads he wins tails everyone else loses, eh?

I am thus putting my personal wants aside and resigning from my position as co-chair of the Secular Coalition for America’s Pennsylvania chapter in order to end this toxic controversy. I do not wish to see the organization and its staff which I will continue to support – and many individuals who support me — buttressed with attacks.

Ha! Mustn’t rub it in. That wouldn’t be constructive, or fair.

Anyway there you have it. Spiteful, self-regarding, self-important, incapable of recognizing error. That’s Justin the Martyr.

 

 

92 comments

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  1. 1
    Stephanie Zvan

    Almost immediately following my appointment with the Secular Coalition for America, I was the target of a campaign of lies, character attacks, and distortions.

    Given that the campaign was very focused, I don’t think the passive voice does anything more here than create a small group of people he’s libeling here.

  2. 2
    Margaret

    buttressed with attacks

    *giggle* So he thinks the SCA is being strengthened by the attacks on his bigotry? Me too.

  3. 3
    PG

    So now that he’s resigned, will you apologise for misrepresenting his doc-dropping Surly Amy? Plenty of times it’s been said that the address was public and made public by Amy herself prior to Justin posting it on the Slymepit, and never has it been acknowledged by you nor the rest of the FTB blogosphere. As for libel, that’s rich; how about accusing denizens of the Slymepit to be potentially dangerous criminals that would look up Amy in real life and harm her? How about positing that Justin posted it there to rouse a mob?

    It is patently absurd that you would even believe let alone theorise such a thing, nevermind that her address could be found in five seconds Googling “Surlyramics CA”, NEVERMIND that she also posted it HERSELF on Twitter following the post on the Slymepit – deliberately exposing her own address to millions of people. How careful of her safety is she if she’s willing to do that?

    Will you apologise for Rebecca Watson’s doc-dropping? Will you apologise for Greg Laden’s doc-dropping and threats made to Justin Griffith and his desire to reawaken his PTSD? Greg Laden, a person whom you willingly — and gladly — socialise with, who unlike Justin Vacula actually made actual threats? Will you apologise to Abbie Smith for your witch-hunt against her? I didn’t think so.

  4. 4
    Aratina Cage

    *sigh* I just read the blog post Vacula did about you. Even with all the screenshots of you saying explicitly what was wrong about what he did on his show, he still pretends that it is your responsibility to come on his show to correct his (non-malicious, I’m sure!) mistake.

    So that’s how it works, eh? Misrepresent things about someone to burden them with having to come on your show to personally correct the misrepresentation that you made? Dastardly.

  5. 5
    Aratina Cage

    @PG
    You have quite a few corrections (about me) to make yourself on Edwin Kagin’s Blasphemous Blogging blog! Get your butt over there and make them!

  6. 6
    Aratina Cage

    Will you apologise to Abbie Smith for your witch-hunt against her? –PG

    What the fuck?? Apologize to the person who started a hate blog aimed at several other women bloggers, of which one of the main tactics was to talk smack about those other women’s private parts, which went on for over a year before it was offloaded to a new site where it still continues? What the ever-loving fuck should anyone apologize to her for?

  7. 7
    Dan L.

    As for libel, that’s rich; how about accusing denizens of the Slymepit to be potentially dangerous criminals that would look up Amy in real life and harm her? How about positing that Justin posted it there to rouse a mob?

    Sound plausible to me. You idiots are deranged.

  8. 8
    theoffensiveatheist

    A guy loses his job & his ability to support himself (& his family?) & your happy? Your reaction coupled with those of some of the (no doubt) “Approved” comments tell me much about what this place is & what it is claimed to be by some of it’s detractors seems born out. Please feel free to ban &/or remove my comment (as if you need my approval). You claim to want a “Safe place” (to venture from in order to attack) where you can retreat & feel comfortable. I just felt a little sick.

  9. 9
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    A guy loses his job & his ability to support himself (& his family?) & your happy?

    It’s an unpaid, volunteer position we’re talking about.

  10. 10
    Dan L.

    A guy loses his job & his ability to support himself (& his family?) & your happy?

    Dude resigned of his own free will. If doing so puts his family in jeopardy then you should be disgusted with him for endangering his family because of some stupid internet drama.

    Your reaction coupled with those of some of the (no doubt) “Approved” comments tell me much about what this place is & what it is claimed to be by some of it’s detractors seems born out.

    I have the distinct impression you already decided “what this place is” long before you posted this. If I go looking for comments by “theoffensiveatheist” do you think I’ll be able to confirm this hypothesis?

  11. 11
    talynknight

    @theoffensiveatheist #8

    I guess you missed the whole part about the SCA gig being a volunteer position with no pay huh? If anything if you are so concerned about his ability to support himself then you should thank those that encouraged him to resign so he could focus on something that does pay.

  12. 12
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    theoffensiveatheist displays that same attention to facts and respect for the truth that we’ve come to expect from that whole group of folks. Wow!

  13. 13
    Sili

    Just what does he think “eponymous” means?

  14. 14
    PZ Myers

    He was the “target of a campaign of lies”, huh? Could he possibly tell us exactly what those lies were?

    So he didn’t really write a piece for AVoiceForMen, he didn’t really post Amy Roth’s address (with photo!) on a hate site?

  15. 15
    oolon

    Interesting PG speaks for the slymepit, I asked them if they were happy with the d0x’ing and if they saw it as a d0x. ERV gave me some rambling rubbish defending it and saying it was not a d0x. Plenty of others were happy to agree it could be seen as a d0x and the ease of availability of the info was not an issue. Voice of reason from the slymepit, as opposed to PG here ->

    …I don’t think many people found him posting it a smart idea – from memory he posted it and immediately people were like WTF (because the Slimepit self-corrects, heh)

    Many on there criticised it – surely a pretty good sign it was a *bad* thing to do! Given what doesn’t get criticised over there…

  16. 16
    Stephanie Zvan

    As for libel, that’s rich; how about accusing denizens of the Slymepit to be potentially dangerous criminals that would look up Amy in real life and harm her? How about positing that Justin posted it there to rouse a mob?

    Actually, PG, I (and you seem a bit confused about whom you’re addressing here) said that Justin posted Amy’s address to a group of people who had produced two threats that had to be addressed by conference organizers and who had been getting together to hate on Amy. Those things are both true.

    What you say here may be rationally inferred from that, sure, but that’s you making that connection. It’s nothing I ever said.

  17. 17
    EllenBeth Wachs

    Never personally contacting him? Uh, wasn’t that me that PERSONALLY appeared on his fucking podcast and spoke to him personally for an hour afterwards to try to set him straight about you and TAM? And then he and Karla Porter had the gall to personally misrepresent that I “came around” to their way of thinking?

    Oh right, but nobody ever personally contacted him.

  18. 18
    Aratina Cage

    Another thing about Abbie Smith/ERV, her latest incendiary comment is on Vacula’s resignation post calling us “terrorists”.

    We have so much to apologize to her for, don’t we? /sarcasm

  19. 19
    iknklast

    Buttressed with attacks? Attacks don’t buttress – they tear down or threaten. Weird.

    Perhaps he meant that it would be buttressed against attacks?

  20. 20
    Bjarte Foshaug

    The only equivalence between what Vacula and his fellow wastes of space have been doing and the righteous anger they have gotten in response is the false kind. The reasons people have been attacking Ophelia, Rebecca, Amy, Jen, Stephanie, Greta and pretty much every other woman who didn’t volunteer to be treated like shit are such that you have to be chemically pure of anything other than infinite ugliness to agree with them. The reasons people have been attacking monsters like Vacula and Smith is because of their psychopathic behavior. To suggest that Ophelia or any of the other targeted feminists are the real bullies is like beating up another person and accusing her of hitting your fists with her face.

  21. 21
    IpsoFactoJohn

    I hope the same witch hunt will be launched against Surly Amy, since she doc-dropped private details of a Twitter user after she received his details via a DMCA counternotice.

    Wouldn’t want to infer you are a bunch of hypocrites.

    Anyway, your hate makes us stronger.

  22. 22
    Aratina Cage

    What witch-hunt? You people can’t even use that word correctly even though it is a very important one to atheists in our condemnation of religions.

  23. 23
    Stephanie Zvan

    IpsoFactoJohn, will you let us know when Amy is appointed California’s co-chair for the SCA?

  24. 24
    PG

    @ Aratina Cage

    No, I suppose not. After all the prominent FTB feminists are not averse for carrying out dirty tactics like dropping people’s docs, harassing them, threatening them and attempting to get people fired/removed from their jobs/positions. Instead of apologising for Greg Laden, Ophelia has lauded his actions and offered him a toast. I agree, it would seem dishonest to offer a sincere apology after all of that.

    Also, I did some digging and I came to the blog post from Vacula: Ophelia, you absolute drama queen. You would go on an utter tirade and demonise him on your blog, Facebook and Twitter, for not reading all the threats you receive, and for having the gall to say “does that sound threatening to you?” (ignoring where he assumed devil’s advocate) you explode in a temper tantrum? Because when you recount all of your criticism, you recount all of it, even the benign and constructive?

    Here’s the thing: he shouldn’t have said “does that sound threatening to you?”, that was wrong, but your reaction was worse – much worse. You don’t have the cognitive dissonance to recognise that a dumb comment should be met with universal derision and the person shunned? And your accusation of him telling lies about you is just itself dishonest. He simply did not address all the threats you get. You’re supposed to be a leader, for fuck’s sake, BETTER than Vacula, and you do petty shit like that? Unbelievable.

  25. 25
    Dan L.

    Anyway, your hate makes us stronger.

    If an opponent’s hate makes a side stronger then FTB should be running the world by now. You guys hate like you’re being paid for it.

  26. 26
    PG

    correction: “should be met with universal derision” should be “shouldn’t be met with universal derision”

  27. 27
    Dan L.

    @PG:

    Hypocrites accusing others of hypocrisy is hypocritical. Can you give even one reason why anyone should take you seriously?

  28. 28
    ewanmacdonald

    The more I look at Vacula’s resignation the more I cringe. The inability to communicate clearly, the colossal amounts of self-pity, the projection, and the outright lying are so reminiscent of Sarah Palin’s quitting the Governorship of Alaska.

  29. 29
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Isn’t “but those other people did it too” an admission of guilt? How does anyone get to screw up so badly that they defend someone by admitting their absolute guilt?

  30. 30
    Ophelia Benson

    I’m supposed to be a leader? The hell I am! I’m a blogger. I’m a columnist. I write stuff. I’m not a leader. I’ve never said I was. I’ve never offered to be. I’ve never volunteered to be.

    You stalkers talk so much bullshit. Spending all day slyming is bad for your brains; you recycle the same old nonsense among the same ten or twenty people and you come to believe it.

    Meanwhile: PG is being naughty; PG is using a new email address to get around the moderation.

  31. 31
    Stephanie Zvan

    PG is also both confusing you for me and lying about me.

  32. 32
    Aratina Cage

    Instead of apologising for Greg Laden, Ophelia has lauded his actions and offered him a toast.

    Uhm… How many more “corrections” are you going to queue up? Just give us a rough estimate, OK, PG?

    prominent FTB feminists are not averse for carrying out dirty tactics like dropping people’s docs, harassing them, threatening them and attempting to get people fired/removed from their jobs/positions

    Let’s see… Jerry Coyne dropped the docs on Wally Smith. PZ Myers dropped the docs on Victor Ivanoff and one other harasser. Another atheist dropped docs on Dennis Markuze. Who else has had docs dropped on them? Oh, Thundefoot waved around the possibility of doing so but didn’t. Still, who else?

    You would go on an utter tirade and demonise him on your blog, Facebook and Twitter, for not reading all the threats you receive, and for having the gall to say “does that sound threatening to you?”

    How is it demonizing someone by pointing out their behavior and condemning it? And don’t retreat to arguments about tone on this one. Don’t ignore the threats or the background environment the threats were being made in.

    he shouldn’t have said “does that sound threatening to you?”, that was wrong,

    Oh, so Vacula was wrong. I hope Vacula takes note of that. Vacula, PG said you were wrong.

  33. 33
    Argle Bargle

    an ‘enemy of the people’ in a similar fashion to the eponymous play written by Henrik Ibsen…

    Ibsen wrote a play entitled “Henrik Ibsen”? I learn something new every day. Or else Vacula doesn’t know what the word “eponymous” means.

  34. 34
    Susannah

    PG #24

    You don’t have the cognitive dissonance to recognise that a dumb comment should be met with universal derision and the person shunned?

    Correcting this to “shouldn’t” (#26) doesn’t make it any better. “Cognitive dissonance”? Is it me, or does he not know what that means, either?

  35. 35
    rebeccawatson

    Hey can someone help me out here? #3 up there says I dropped some doxxxx and I’m wondering where I dropped them and what was on them because I am very confused. I may have been drinking when it happened? Unsure. Thanks.

  36. 36
    Aratina Cage

    Is it me, or does he not know what that means, either?

    I almost get the feeling with PG that we are being punked by a chat bot. Maybe we should start copying chunks of his words and looking for exact matches on Google to see if they are being copied from somewhere.

  37. 37
    Ophelia Benson

    Yeah I think that “Rebecca dropped dox” item is another one of those made-up facts the slime people keep repeating to each other until they all forget it’s made up.

  38. 38
    oolon

    Well Rebecca dropping dox is a new one to me, I think PG might be a very confused slimepitter. So that is pretty confused… I mean if she had done anything like that it would be in letters 10ft high on Phawrongula.

  39. 39
    DontBeAPig

    Watson:

    Hey can someone help me out here?

    Sure.

    http://isgodasquirrel.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/rebecca-watson-doc-drops.html

    evidence Rebecca Watson has doc-dropped. She has done it more than once, as well.

    Further, Watson actually revealed information that was not publically available. Justin did not. Those are the facts.

    This is what happens when you never venture outside of the echo chamber that is FTB and Skepchick.

  40. 40
    Dan L.

    Yep, sure he was Becky… YouTube videos are so harassing and dangerous that we must expose these video linking abusers by publicly dropping their information for all to see, and so that they can be properly harassed by your feminions. Oh, but that wouldn’t be harassment would it? That would be justified retaliation right? It’s ok to do this shit to men because they are not really human beings after all. Fuck them and their privileged penisis, right Becky? Right?…

    Seems legit, yo.

  41. 41
    CJO

    Buttressed with attacks? Attacks don’t buttress – they tear down or threaten. Weird.

    Perhaps he meant that it would be buttressed against attacks?

    The word he wanted was “buffeted” I’m pretty sure.

    PG:
    You don’t have the cognitive dissonance to recognise that a dumb comment should be met with universal derision and the person shunned?

    Bwaaa! The hits just keep on coming from you fucking geniuses.

  42. 42
    Aratina Cage

    Oh, Booly the plagiarist, how lovely!

  43. 43
    Dan L.

    @39:

    The interesting thing is that you guys got pissed off originally by a youtube video made by Rebecca Watson that was not even remotely abusive. This led to months and months of frothing fury from slimepitters, as well as a lot of specific hatemail and abusive comments.

    I guess I have to repeat myself: hypocrites making accusations of hypocrisy is hypocritical. Get your own house in order.

  44. 44
    Aratina Cage

    Calling that (exposing a one-time abusive commenter’s ip address and/or email address) doc dropping just reeks of desperation. All of the info exposed could be faked. It’s not doc dropping in any sufficient sense of the term.

  45. 45
    Ophelia Benson

    Well that was what I thought. I’m not really familiar with the term “doc dropping” (except seeing it used by others) so I don’t really know what it covers, but I would think posting someone’s address complete with a picture is different from outing a pseudonymous harasser.

  46. 46
    Dan L.

    Oh right, these people are not smart so I probably have to spell this out really explicitly.

    The argument being made here is that:
    1) Rebecca Watson posted a moderated comment complete with IP address and email address…
    2) For the purpose of getting people to harass this guy…
    3) All because he made a youtube video that isn’t even remotely abusive.

    The major premise implicit to this argument is that it is bad to harass people over youtube videos that aren’t abusive. If the slimepitters are taking that as a premise of their argument then they have a serious problem: they seem to spend all their free time harassing people on account of non-abusive youtube videos. And then they accuse the people they’re harassing of hypocrisy.

    In other words, slimepitters have no basis for claiming the moral high ground. They conceded that when they first started the campaign of harassment and intimidation against Watson and anyone who dared to defend her.

    @Aratina:

    Not just this instance; the whole “dox dropping” issue is a red herring. The only reason documenting a person’s identity would be an issue is if it leads to a person being harassed. The real question is who’s being harassed — and by whom. I’ll give one guess why slimepitters want to draw attention away from the real question.

  47. 47
    PrehistoricLife

    Well that was what I thought. I’m not really familiar with the term “doc dropping” (except seeing it used by others) so I don’t really know what it covers, but I would think posting someone’s address complete with a picture is different from outing a pseudonymous harasser.

    Nice swerve there, Ophelia!

    Justin did not divulge details that were private and unavailable on the web. Rebecca Watson did.

  48. 48
    Parse

    “Further, if you are particularly awful, we reserve the right to warn all of our blogger friends about you and make your email and IP public. In extreme cases, we will turn over all your information to the police.”
    From the Skepchick Comment Policy, emphasis mine. You know, the thing you agree to if you’re going to comment on SkepChick?

  49. 49
    oolon

    Hehe ‘doc dropping’ gets a new defintion. The facebook page was added as a URL so would be completely open for anyone to see on the comment.
    https://www.facebook.com/brock.lee.77312

    How many people want to stand up for the fake ‘Brock Lee’ having read that page?

    So ‘doc’? Private information? IP Address… Pretty tenuous given they do not map to addresses and change unless you have a static IP. So unless Rebecca knows someone in the ISP that owns that IP she couldn’t doc drop even if she wanted to.

    I give them a B for effort but a definite F- for facts

  50. 50
    PrehistoricLife

    Aratina:

    Calling that (exposing a one-time abusive commenter’s ip address and/or email address) doc dropping just reeks of desperation. All of the info exposed could be faked. It’s not doc dropping in any sufficient sense of the term.

    I guess 9/11 was faked as well!

    By your own standards, Justin most certainly did not doc-drop. Rebecca doc-dropped private infromation not available. Justin did not.

  51. 51
    oolon

    @PrehistoricLife,

    Justin did not divulge details that were private and unavailable on the web. Rebecca Watson did.

    Nope… Not private given ‘Brock’ decided to add the facebook page as their advertised ‘site’. Click on the ‘oolon’ you’ll what I mean.

  52. 52
    rebeccawatson

    Ahh, so posting an email someone sends me counts as doc dropping. OK, thanks!

  53. 53
    screechymonkey

    Yeah, “doc dropping” is starting to seem like one of those terms, like “bullying,” that has been so overused by some people that it’s become devoid of information content.

  54. 54
    Sassafras

    Posting an email address and IP address are obviously the same as posting a home address because they all have the word “address”. The haters can only think in keywords.

  55. 55
    Dan L.

    @PrehistoricLife:

    So you think it’s bad to harass people over youtube videos that aren’t abusive?

  56. 56
    Argle Bargle

    If posting an email is doc dropping then posting a picture of someone’s apartment complex counts as doc dropping, even in slymepit country.

  57. 57
    oolon

    A fake email address given ‘Brock’ is clearly not a woman. The image on the facebook page is of a model not ‘Brock Lee’.

    Comment from ‘Brock’ on the news story of a police officer kicking a woman on the floor.

    unfortunately the dumb bitch lived :(

    So slimepitters are now standing up for the most misogynist, racist scum on the internet.

  58. 58
    davidmc

    He must have been thinking of flying buttresses.

  59. 59
    Aratina Cage

    OK. This is all one troll sockpuppeting us, isn’t it?

    Again, you can make fake email addresses (as the troll knows all too well). You can fake your IP address. You can fake a Facebook page (ask Hoggle bout that!). You can fake a nym. You can do all that in order to drop an exquisite turd on someone’s blog like the troll you are. Many blogs have a policy of exposing that normally protected information for particularly nasty, defamatory, or abusive trolls. It’s not the same as doc dropping which is the unprovoked divulging on the Web of personal details, like an address or phone number, about someone you are intentionally harassing.

  60. 60
    Ophelia Benson

    Aratina – could be. I’m keeping a beady eye on them.

  61. 61
    Stephanie Zvan

    Hmm, that whole “cognitive dissonance” thing was one of Chris Hever’s weird obsessive ideas. He also loved to morph to try to get around bans. Doesn’t necessarily mean this is him, but it is suggestive.

  62. 62
    Aratina Cage

    I guess 9/11 was faked as well!

    What the hell is this supposed to prove? That anything can be faked? Quite the crackpot you show yourself to be, PrehistoricLife.

  63. 63
    Nothing

    LOL!!! So THAT is those dumbshits’ argument for “Vacuousla didn’t really doc drop, Rebecca Watson did”??? Hahahahhah! Suuuure! Because anyone can track somebody down using a fake e-mail address and an IP. You know? As opposed to a real residence address with a real picture of it.
    Yeah I’m already seeing how much skeptical and critical thinkers those A*s trully are.

  64. 64
    hyperdeath

    Yes, Rebecca released a small amount of information, but an IP address is pretty much useless from the point of view of tracking someone down. You get to know their nearest city*, their ISP, and (unless you can force the ISP to reveal information) that’s about it.

    * GeoIP services like to pretend that they offer greater accuracy, but they usually don’t. For example, my IP bounces around within a 40 mile radius of where I live.

  65. 65
    Chris90210

    They were right about you guys. “Free thought bullies” indeed

  66. 66
    LeftSidePositive

    And that video the pseudonymous troll tried to post on Skepchick is a blatant abuse of a Beatles song!! Yes, I know Lennon had *LOTS* of misogyny in his early days and yes, I know I choose to be willfully blind about that in his music (Fuck it, “Norwegian Wood” is beautiful, even if it is rationalizing criminal levels of entitlement that women sleep with you…), but DAMMIT, “I’m a Loser” is a really introspective song about someone who is putting on a proud face and being brash, and he’s lost someone he LOVES because he was so invested in his ego, and the song is admitting he’s a loser underneath. The whole fucking POINT of the song is why it sucks to act like a “pick-up artist” (if such a term had existed in 1964, of course), and how people like “pick-up artists” are real losers. To use a song like that to tell men not to be “manginas” is an outrageous example of point-missing.

    AAARRRRGHGHBEATLESFANGIRLHULKSMASH!!!!

  67. 67
    Aratina Cage

    Let it all out Chris90210. Tell us how you really feel.

  68. 68
    Aratina Cage

    I want to note that PG’s comments here have a high correlation with a comment of John C. Welch’s on Vacula’s resignation post. It’s probably him, which makes a lot of sense really.

  69. 69
    Ophelia Benson

    Hmm, PG reminded me of someone else the other day. Can’t remember which one though.

  70. 70
    Ophelia Benson

    Blah blah blah allegations blah blah blah you Amy Greg Laden blah blah blah doc drops toast violence email blah blah blah.

    Duly noted. Plus I ate the pope, and Amy ate a puppy, and Greg ate a baby. Plus we put the bop in the bopshoobopshoobop. We did all the things. Whatever you say.

  71. 71
    mickll

    Today I learned that posting someone’s address, with pictures on a site stuffed with people who hate them is not “doc dropping” but posting a screenshot of an email message is, and also doc dropping is bad.

    Did I miss anything?

  72. 72
    dmcclean

    I agree with 41 that “buttressed with attacks” was probably a confused version of “buffeted with (by?) attacks”.

    He appears to think eponymous means something like “having a name that I just mentioned”, which I suppose is understandable.

  73. 73
    AJ Milne

    I did not put the bop in the bopshewhatsits. Nor anywhere else, for that matter.

    Shot the sheriff, tho.

    But, re:

    “A lengthy period”? “Of self-reflection and deliberation”? Who talks like that?

    (Looks uncomfortable…)

    Anyway, y’know, it is kinda inspiring to see this collegial attitude of peer support from the nasties…

    It’s all like: “Next they came for the appalling ethical embarrassments… And I got to thinking: ‘Wait… I’m an appalling ethical embarrassment! This could be trouble! To arms, comrades!’”

    (Wipes tear…)

    I tells ya, it’s just like in Les Misérables. Except that after watching it, you feel this odd compulsion to shower.

  74. 74
    Argle Bargle

    Plus we put the bop in the bopshoobopshoobop.

    I’d like to shake your hand. You made my baby fall in love with me.

  75. 75
    hjhornbeck

    mickll @71

    Did I miss anything?

    Don’t forget that petitions which decry specific behaviors, with evidence, and ask for specific actions are “personal vendettas and whispering campaigns.” Evidence of bad behavior does not stop said behavior from being merely “alleged.” Also, all those opposed to Vacula’s appointment are terrorists.

  76. 76
    Ophelia Benson

    LOL

  77. 77
    screechymonkey

    I’d like to shake your hand. You made my baby fall in love with me.

    Yeah, but she also let the dogs out.

  78. 78
    leebrimmicombe-wood

    They were right about you guys. “Free thought bullies” indeed

    So, Chris. Do you think it would have been wise for Vacula, a man with a history of vendetta and harassment against certain women, to continue with his volunteer position at SCA?

    Or do you reject the suggestion that Vacula has a history of vendetta and harassment?

  79. 79
    Deanna Joy Lyons - Mentioner of Patriarchy

    PG way up top said two different things about Amy’s address

    “the address was public and made public by Amy herself prior to Justin posting it on the Slymepit,”

    “she also posted it HERSELF on Twitter following the post on the Slymepit”

    Which one is it, PG? Get your lies straight before you post them, eh?

  80. 80
    Anne C. Hanna

    I’m really disappointed (but perhaps not entirely surprised) that Justin decided to quit rather than actually walk back the nasty stuff he’s done. And I’m disgusted that he used his notice that he’s quitting as yet another vehicle to perpetuate the same old distortions that his defenders have been promulgating this entire time. I think it really does demonstrate that he’s not suitable for this particular leadership role right now.

    But I’m also a little bit uncomfortable participating in mocking his grammar fails from my privileged position of actually having received a decent education. He’s a jackass, to be sure, and he deserves to be castigated for it, but there are plenty of non-jackasses whose command of written language is somewhat iffy due to circumstances beyond their control, and I’d rather not do splash damage to them. :/ Whatever my other disagreements with Dan Fincke, I think this was one of the stronger points he’s made, and it’s made me reflect a little bit about how I want to handle this particular kind of issue.

  81. 81
    G Pierce (Was ~G~)

    I agree with 41 that “buttressed with attacks” was probably a confused version of “buffeted with (by?) attacks”.

    I learned a new word today. Until I looked it up and heard, “buffeted” suggested, all I could think of was that time Grandpa Simpson had fallen down at the Big Boy, ostensibly with a soup and salad buffet.

  82. 82
    Dunc

    there are plenty of non-jackasses whose command of written language is somewhat iffy due to circumstances beyond their control

    Sure, but I’m guessing most of them don’t go out of their way to use a dozen ten-dollar words per paragraph to try and make themselves look smart.

  83. 83
    Ophelia Benson

    Anne – I agree with you, up to a point. That’s part of what I meant by my penultimate sentence (though only part, and the sentence is still undeniably mocking). But the thing about the elements of that post that I pointed out is that they’re all the product of trying to big up the writing. If he hadn’t been trying to sound Big he wouldn’t have sounded absurd. I said tin ear and that really is what I meant – I don’t think he’s undereducated, I just think he gets in his own way by trying to self-aggrandize.

    Also, I don’t think I said anything about grammar; it was all vocabulary and style.

  84. 84
    Ophelia Benson

    Mmph. I was typing while Dunc was posting. Exactly – that’s what I was getting at.

  85. 85
    G Pierce (Was ~G~)

    I agree with Anne to a point, too. However, click around his blog (links in the bottom), and they are all self-marketing, some of which is done in a weird third person as if he has agents writing his blog for him. And even the resignation post starts in the form of a press release which starts in the third person and then goes to first. Seems odd and self-important. If someone were going to do a press release, wouldn’t it be the SCA? What “press” is being sent this release? Did he *send* this to anyone?

    Either way, the style just *butresses* the idea that he is full of himself which the content pretty well already cements.

  86. 86
    ellenbethwachs

    I just think he gets in his own way by trying to self-aggrandize.

    Yes, and he does so at the expense of others.

  87. 87
    Anne C. Hanna

    Oh, I agree Justin’s being rather pompous, on top of all his other obnoxiousness, and I think it’s completely justifiable to criticize him for that. I just was a little uncomfortable that his word choice fails seemed to be front and center rather than his attitude (but fair point that “grammar” was also not the best word choice on *my* part, Ophelia). I hate feeling like I’m being a tone troll about this, especially since I’m sure you didn’t mean for it to come off as mocking his education rather than his attitude/actions, but if you’d like me to point to a specific thing that made me feel a little bit iffy about this post, I think it was the fact that it started off with this:

    Apart from anything else the editor in me is refusing to be silent. He writes really badly, which is another drawback in a director.

    rather than with stuff like this:

    Vacula has been relentlessly pursuing personal vendettas himself, and he’s been right in there with the whispering. The pious above-it-all act is just that: an act.

    Yes, his writing skills might be seen as a criterion for the position, but if he was a great guy and just kind of a lousy writer, I don’t think anybody would be objecting very strongly to him taking on the role.

    I know he’s been a huge ass to a lot of people, and I don’t really want to police their responses. I just don’t want to see splash damage either.

  88. 88
    Ophelia Benson

    Well yes, I suppose, but then…I really did mean something by the title. I don’t consider Orwell’s essay as authoritative as a lot of people do – I think he’s dead wrong with the blanket ban on all Latinate or polysyllabic words, for instance – but I do think it’s right that certain kinds of bad writing are deeply political and should be scrutinized with extra skepticism. I think Vacula’s style is symptomatic of his broader problem…which is basically what EllenBeth said: self-aggrandizement at the expense of other people.

    In other words a great guy wouldn’t write badly in that particular way.

  89. 89
    Anne C. Hanna

    Yeah, the pomposity does seem to be linked to his larger issues. It just wasn’t initially obvious to me upon reading that that’s the style issue that you were critiquing. I don’t really wanna belabor that any further, though, I just wanted to get a clearer understanding of what you were aiming at. So, thank you.

    I was trying to remember which Shakespeare character seemed to be unable to speak in anything other than pompous malapropisms, and I think the answer is Dogberry, from _Much Ado About Nothing_:

    “O villain! thou wilt be condemned into everlasting redemption for this.”

  90. 90
    Aratina Cage

    Some of the supportive blogs for him at SkepticsInk keep referring to Vacula’s “apology”. Where would that be? In the comments on them, the most Vacula says is, “Thank you.” That is hardly an apology!

  91. 91
    Ophelia Benson

    Do they? How unskeptical.

  92. 92
    xmaseveeve

    I noticed the shirking use of the passive voice, but what also struck me about that part was the phrase ”’real life” careers’. This carries an odour of the idea that women only play at having careers, work for pin money; take jobs away from deserving men. It also suggests that men who defend women have the luxury of not having to be careful for fear of losing their jobs.

    Ultimately, the phrase, ‘real life’ implies that Vacula was brave to be a sexist. He was a pioneer of Truth for revealing the home address – and a photo of the home address – of a young woman, to a bunch of mouth-foaming misogynists, some of whom he knew had threatened her.

    Vacula is casting himself as the hero, the guy in Kafka’s ‘The Trial’; a misunderstood ‘Enemy of the People’.

    Ophelia – you pinned him. Talking about ‘Politics and the English Language’, Orwell said that ‘Good prose is like a window pane’. Will Self, for example, produces intricate and sometimes very beautiful stained glass prose. Vacula’s prose is spattered in his own slung mud.

    I do take issue with the grammar. Clarity of thinking needs proper grammar. Atheists don’t like religious waffle. If we believe in reason, we sharpen our tools; we educate ourselves, and learn from our mistakes. Vacula seems to have been able to read countless books, articles and blogs without noticing how sentences work. You have to be a detective and sometimes a psychic, to figure out the meaning of a paragraph full of absurd contradiction.

    In PitchGuest’s post above, he says ‘your’ for ‘you are’, and ‘it’s’ for the possessive. I don’t condemn people for such mistakes if they are saying something worthwhile, but combine it with disingenuity, and it puts my back up. Sorry. Typos don’t matter (unless they are funny!) but saying the opposite of what you actually mean does matter. Some people think they are so clever that they are above grammar, but text is all.

    Are misogynists psychologically unable to master the mysteries of the apostrophe because they look too much like clitori?

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