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We are blighting the entire concept of social justice and equality

Holy shit. Al Stefanelli has really jumped the shark.

He’s done a video to say how horrible the Bad FTBers are, and he doesn’t hold back.

He starts with a bang:

So what the hell is wrong with these people? Who? Well, PZ Myers, Ophelia Benson, Stefanie [sic] Zvan, Rebecca Watson, to a degree Jennifer McCreight, Amy Roth, Melody Hensley, several people over at the Atheism Plus forum, a handful of others who have managed to not only drive people away from nonsectarian activism in droves, but have driven a wedge deep into what should be a unified cause. They aren’t helping, anywhere. They are radical extremists in several genres, including feminism, and are giving a bad name to several groups, several marginalized groups, including real feminists, the LGBT community, and they appear to have an incredibly unhealthy vendetta against men, as it appears, and in general against the entire Caucasian race as well.

We’re giving a bad name to real feminists? The LGBT community? We have an incredibly unhealthy vendetta against men and against the entire Caucasian race?

I don’t know any of that, and I don’t think it’s true.

But that’s comparatively mild. There’s more.

Well together they appear to be nothing other than another religious cult. They have not only become a caricature unto themselves, but they are blighting the entire concept of social justice and equality, and they are trampling on the rights of several other demographics.

 His demeanor is…unpleasant. It’s O’Reilly-like. It’s thuggish. It’s ten minutes of ragey rage, much of it quite frankly lies, and it ends with a hymn of praise for…the slyme pit.

Well Merry Christmas to you too, Al.

Comments

  1. jose says

    Congratulations on becoming the mighty influential lobby FTB is today! No wonder Zvan met with the President last week to ban men from public spaces.*

    *(This just in… I’m being told that’s incorrect.)

  2. says

    Wow, he’s cut himself off a giant slice of oppression pie, hasn’t he? Because stating the clear and obvious fact that white privilege and male privilege exist is the same as having a vendetta against men and white people? Hey, wait a minute! There are white people* and male people and even white male people on Stefanelli’s little hate list… is he going to start claiming “self-loathing” next? Is that his plan, after calling feminism a cult? I guess it is a “blight” on social justice to actually work for social justice everywhere, rather than just using the issue as a club against religious groups you dislike.

    *ALL white people, if I’m not mistaken, at least who he calls out by name… which is right there part of the issue people are calling out in the first place, and that he thinks is a sign of PURE EVIL!

  3. Nepenthe says

    Whose rights to what are we trampling on again? I’d like to know so that I can don appropriate footwear.

  4. Rodney Nelson says

    Stefanelli posted his objections to the Schrodinger’s Rapist meme and showed he completely misunderstood the concept. Since then he’s been burning straw people with abandon, accusing his “opponents” of being mean to him and all other white men. At one time I thought he was a reasonable, intelligent person who made interesting and cogent comments in his posts. Now I see him trying to win an Oppression Olympics gold medal in vilifying feminism.

  5. says

    Also, I love how “unified cause” always means “women and LGBT folks and non-whites STFU” and never “straight white dudes, leave a little room for everyone else”…

    We could be just as unified if Al gave up his ridiculous persecution complex and stubborn rejection of all things that don’t revere him and those superficially like him, and we’d ALL be happier… including Al. Carrying that much hate and irrationality can’t make him happy, can it??

  6. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion says

    Why is it so hard for some people to grasp that we are ALL part of the problem? Not just people with privilege, but -everyone-? Yes, cupcake, you’re white and male and those are privileges. Yes, you’re part of the problem, but in our society, that doesn’t make you a goddamned pariah, it makes you -the same as everyone else-.

    Right. Let’s acknowledge that, shall we? Dispense with the self-righteous posturing maybe?

    … no?

    Alrighty then. Bye now.

  7. says

    I’m a CELEBRITY now!!!

    Ophelia, for people who dislike you so much, they certainly hang upon your every word, and watch everything you do and apparently everyone you interact with. I’m just waiting for them to cycle back from “FtB has the power to DESTROY ATHEISM FOREVER!” to “FtB is completely irrelevant and nobody cares about them!” thereby showing their incredible powers of skepticism and rationality.

  8. says

    Joe, they do, they do.

    I took a quick look around the slyme pit and then gave it up out of boredom – but I was there long enough to see there’s a whole section for threads on FTB, with a lot of threads – that’s in addition to the one gigantic main thread that’s also all about FTB. It’s their one subject, along with Skepchicks and Atheism Plus, and it keeps them busy all day every day. A grand total of about 10 or 12 people. Can you imagine? Spending that much time and energy and typing and attention on a dozen people?

  9. says

    Ophelia, it is apparent that the ‘pitters are basically irrelevant without their list of enemies, and their obsessive focus on you folks. I’m still pretty much entirely unclear as to what rational threat that feminism in general and FtB in particular poses… which only leaves irrational imagined threats, and endangering things that shouldn’t exist in the first place.

  10. jackiepaper says

    I went to the pit. I saw things….disgusting things. Are we sure these rifts are deep enough? Maybe we should fill the rifts with Crocodiles just to be sure?

  11. carlie says

    Ooo, such cool music. Makes him seem like a real badass.

    How many people are in a “drove”, anyway?

    Apparently, since I’m a follower, I’m walking on eggshells, afraid to exhibit my own opinion or speak my own mind. I suddenly feel so oppressed.

    Am I going to laugh, cry, or get all ragey if I watch it?

    It’s just…sad. And kind of like watching a Charlie Brown adult in terms of content significance: wah-wa-wa-waaahh.

  12. carlie says

    Well, I just went over to the slymepit as Al suggested in his video, checked the most recent page only, and found two comments making fun of Ed Brayton’s health, body, and financial issues. Classy, slymepitters. Real classy.

  13. says

    carlie, it is amazing* how so many people who are convinced of their own superiority will turn around and behave in the lowest ways possible. As much as we over here disagree with them over there, if one of them or someone they cared about was facing a crisis I’m fairly confident that we’d refrain from using that as a way to hurt them. The slymepit earns its name when they behave like that.

    *and by “amazing” I mean “completely expected”… they just aren’t particularly decent human beings.

  14. says

    So umm when are people doing to start Vendattaing themselves against me O.O (tries to hide in the shadows so his pale skin might be less obvious)

    I enjoy the no true feminists bit there, and the word radical. Sure most radical groups are associated with violence but having opinions and being a bit rude on the internet is basically the same thing right?

  15. jose says

    Off topic sorry… couldn’t find contact info.

    Was looking up info on The Blank Slate and read your interview with Pinker and you got lots of interesting stuff there. The questions he raises are enthralling and he’s very fair with critics whom he respects, saying they’re just doing their jobs as scientists and we’ll see what things look like when the dust settles. Things need not be always antagonistic. Generally I wince at buying 10 years old science books because of how quickly science changes… but what the hell. Have you read The Better Angels?

  16. darwintyson says

    Interesting that the folks with the sarcastic responses are so dug in it they can’t see themselves. I as well as our local group stopped reading these blogs and and going to meetings as well in hopes some sanity and civility would find it’s way back to this group. .It hasn’t and you guys don’t see it or care. Ophelia continues to be the same paranoid and persecuted writer she was starting in the spring and through the summer. The disconnect I finally realized is other than a disbelief in god and organized religion we have nothing in common in the way we perceive reality.

  17. carlie says

    darwintyson, do you have any specific criticisms? “paranind and persecuted writer”, “sarcastic responses”, lack of “sanity and civility” are all nebulous, vague accusations. Can you point to anything that you specifically think is bad and why?

  18. Nepenthe says

    Sure most radical groups are associated with violence but having opinions and being a bit rude on the internet is basically the same thing right?

    Radical feminist groups (real ones, not the fevered imaginings of ‘pitters that peg “forcing a drunk person to have sex with you is rape” as terribly extreme) are mostly known for having opinions, being rude in real life and on the internet, and killing boners by not looking sexy enough. I’m not aware of any violence linked to a radical feminist group.

  19. says

    Do you mean he was unpleasantly ranty about how some other people being unpleasantly ranty is going to drive away people like himself?

    He’s setting himself up for a self-referential schism. Eeew, messy deep rifts.

  20. says

    Marcus Ranum @29: Indeed, by being unpleasantly ranty about people who are unpleasantly ranty about people who are unpleasantly ranty, the secular / skeptical / atheist “community” will now collapse and finally be replaced by a set of loosely-affiliated sub-communities.

    Some might say this has already happened.

  21. says

    Yes ok you got me Nepenthe. Technically radical refers to the roots of an issue or movement. More often I hear it used when talking about bombers and terrorists these days which is more what I was trying to riff of off. But yes I freely admit I was using a sloppy version of the word.

  22. Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts says

    I as well as our local group stopped reading these blogs and and going to meetings as well in hopes some sanity and civility would find it’s way back to this group.

    What does this even mean? Your local group has all stopped reading FtB. ok. Wait, they are also not going to your local atheist/freethought meetings in the hopes that their doing so will bring “sanity and civility” to FtB. Huh?

  23. Nepenthe says

    @michaeld

    DWAI. Just like to remind folk that there is an actual school of feminism called “radical feminism”. Didn’t mean to sound, you know, strident. :-p

  24. Silentbob says

    @ 10 SC (Salty Current)

    That is hilarious, start to finish. A bright spot in this dismal month.

    I can’t raise a chuckle. This sort of nastiness eggs on hate campaigns. Jen McCreight had to take a hiatus from blogging. Surly Amy was more or less driven from TAM. Ophelia dropped out of TAM partly due to this sort of stuff. Good people get hurt.

  25. says

    Just sort of an over-arching idea… is anyone forcing the ‘pitters to pay any attention to the people they disagree with? I mean, if they think FtB is that bad, and that irrelevant, why don’t they just delete the bookmarks and read blogs that they prefer? Which also brings up the question of why they as atheists have apparently never aimed anything remotely like this level of anger and vitriol at…oh, I don’t know, pick an obvious one… pedophile priests? The slymepit doesn’t obsessively stalk Catholic priests who have engaged in or covered up pedophilia. They don’t compulsively hang on every word of Muslim clerics inciting violence. Nope, the biggest evil they can find in the world is bloggers who don’t let them get away with sexist, bigoted, abusive bullshit.

    Clearly for that crowd, atheism is just a way to feel superior to those silly theists, rather than an intellectual or ethical position that would lead to wide-ranging consequences in attitude and behavior. They are stuck in the mode of a 6 year old who is the first to find out that Santa isn’t real, and uses the knowledge to attack and bully their peers.

  26. Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts says

    And how do you know what people who used to attend your local group are currently reading?

  27. darwintyson says

    @34, Let me be more specific. we voted with our wallets. It means we stopped going to any meetings/conventions that these folks attended as speakers? It means we stopped donating to those organizations. It means we created our own support group to help people that struggled to find a friendly space to come out in and express their views without a hostile negative response. It means we created an inclusive community, instead of an esoteric on line hater debate,we actually tried to create something and always hoped to use this FT blog group as a resource. Not anymore. This group has become a parody of itself and it’s a shame.

  28. says

    @40: Oh, they still get together now and again — sometimes weekly — to catch up on happenings in the movement. Just like they only check on this blog to find out what to get angry about.

    So nothing much has changed since prior to turning sanctimonious, honestly.

  29. rrede says

    They are radical extremists in several genres, including feminism,

    Genres? GENRES? WTF? As a lit prof, I call misuse of the term “genre.”

    But as a feminist, and a queer woman, living in the buckle of the Bible Belt, finding FTB (via Manboobz) has meant more and more reading over here (not always time to post with GRADING, I swear I am assigning fewer papers next term), and more and more investment in the concept of Atheism+ (not on forums because I just dislike forum interfaces), and more books to buy and read–and, well, anyway–I doubt I’d have found the network if it were not for all the ruckus.

    So, the opposite from driving people away. You all drew me in.

  30. Nepenthe says

    Ah, isn’t it great that Darwin and friends have created a place where white men can feel comfortable socializing with each other? Such venues are so terribly rare these days. Heartwarming, really.

  31. darwintyson says

    @36, there are different perspectives on why Amy left, I don’t share her moving target of reasons
    @39, I read the blogs for the first time in months yesterday in hope of change, it hasn’t.
    @40, they still attend our meetings and we discuss what we read regularly. These blogs are never mentioned.

  32. says

    Oh well sounds like things worked out for everyone Darwintyson, the people who read here have a nice space to discuss their views and you managed to build the kind of group you wanted everyone wins!

  33. says

    @#46
    Sure, whatever. I was just having a laugh at how goofy you sound. No need to explain yourself, really.

    Have you ever heard about the first rule of holes?

  34. Stacy says

    It means we created our own support group to help people that struggled to find a friendly space to come out in and express their views without a hostile negative response. It means we created an inclusive community, instead of an esoteric on line hater debate

    Tell us again how the Slimepit started?

    Hmmm…oh yeah–I remember. It was a place where people obsessively hated on Rebecca Watson. As time went on, the obsession spread to some other atheist/skeptical bloggers, including PZ, Ophelia, Jason, and Stephanie. Whom you all continue to obsessively follow, mock, and denounce.

    So you’ve redefined your brand and are recruiting new members? Good luck with that. I’ll continue to ignore you. I don’t suffer fools and liars gladly.

  35. carlie says

    means we stopped going to any meetings/conventions that these folks attended as speakers? It means we stopped donating to those organizations.

    But you think that it was extreme and ridiculous for people to stop going to meetings that were ran by and featured people who belittled them and their concerns, and to talk about those concerns and how they were treated?

  36. Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts says

    darwintyson,

    It means we created our own support group to help people that struggled to find a friendly space to come out in and express their views without a hostile negative response.

    Want to share what their views actually are? That would be mighty helpful in determining if the negative responses were warranted*.

    *Might as well do it right and link to the thread on FtB wherein they expressed their views and subsequently got negative responses.

    It means we created an inclusive community,

    So unlike here, where only white straight cis males are allowed to comment.

    instead of an esoteric on line hater debate

    Links or it didn’t happen.

    ***
    carlie,

    But you think that it was extreme and ridiculous for people to stop going to meetings that were ran by and featured people who belittled them and their concerns, and to talk about those concerns and how they were treated?

    When they do it, it is called “voting with your wallet”. When FtBullies do it, it is a witch hunt.

  37. says

    I’m getting the feeling that somebody here is vying for one of Ed’s Bryan Fischer awards.

    By the way, I did laugh. Oh, and gape a bit. Back in the early days of FTB, I read Al’s blog on occasion. Thought he was generally ok. Can’t quite wrap my head around how much of a nutcase he turned out to be. FTB is not just a cult, but a [insert canned rock muzac] Nazi cult that polices our behaviour in the world offline? WTF is this guy smoking and does he have an adequate collection of tinfoil hats to protect him from PZ’s mind control rays?

  38. mildlymagnificent says

    “the entire Caucasian race” ???

    I’m going to go right out on a limb here and say that I think, just my opinion mind you, that someone doesn’t actually understand the term ‘privilege’.

    It’s absolutely true, for the benefit of any visitors who have a similar misunderstanding, that people who own vast wealth, 40 metre yachts and holiday homes on various attractive islands are privileged to the max. That kind of privilege is irrelevant to the daily round of not wealthy or poor people.

    It does not mean that you cannot benefit from comparative privilege or disadvantage in getting service in a shop, or access to education, or hired, fired, promoted, reduced/increased hours in your employment, or in avoiding violence yourself or avoid being accused of criminal activity … merely by the colour of your skin or the kind of genitals you have or the kind of person you love. As it turns out, most of the time, white, straight, able-bodied men do better than others in these areas.

    Or is this too complex?

  39. says

    “the entire Caucasian race” ???

    Oh, sorry, make that a [insert canned rock muzac] Nazi cult which hates the entire Caucasian race and has a vendetta against all men that polices our behaviour in the world offline by means of PZ’s charismatic mind control.

  40. Stacy says

    @mildlymagnificent, it does seem to be a difficult concept for some people to wrap their heads around.

    I suppose I can understand the defensiveness, up to a point. It is easy to think, “Wait–I’m not a bigot! I’ve suffered, but nobody recognizes my suffering because it was personal and idiosyncratic and doesn’t fit the narrative of an oppressed group!”

    OK. We get it. Please understand: pointing out privilege doesn’t mean 1) You’re the enemy, or 2) People assume you’re privileged in all ways and have never suffered.

    I’m a late-middle aged, disabled, poor white woman, and holy shit, I recognize my privilege. Whenever the sheriff at the subway turnstile waves me through while double-checking the tickets/cards of the young brown men, I notice. When people at my workplace (before I retired) and in shops (still), treat me better than certain others, I notice. (I also notice when they treat me worse. Which happens. Depends on where I’m at. It’s called intersectionality.)

    I don’t get all huffy if someone points out that I have some relative privilege. Doesn’t mean that I’m on top of society’s hierarchy, or that I’ve never suffered.

  41. Stacy says

    It means we created our own support group to help people that struggled to find a friendly space to come out in and express their views without a hostile negative response

    Are they selling themselves as a self-help group for victims of the awesome gonad-obliterating power of *shudder* sarcasm?

  42. says

    It means we created our own support group to help people that struggled to find a friendly space to come out in and express their views without a hostile negative response.

    (Nods solemnly) Well, given what an “echo chamber” FTB has become, that seems like a sensible thing to do. How are the acoustics in there?

  43. Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts says

    Stacy, I thought your @58 was very good. Too bad all Al will hear is “I DEMAND you apologize for being a white male”.

    *sigh*

  44. darwintyson says

    @47,yes you are, thank you for helping me make my original point
    @48, yes except for all the one’s that have been chased away from here for posing viewpoints
    @49, no but I’m sure it’s an intellectual slur to make you feel superior so save it
    @50, don’t have a clue what you are talking about. I have never read the slimepit or been involved.
    @51, I’m not sure what you mean
    @52, just going to ignore you with the whole white cis male, link or it didn’t hapoen shit. Feed someplace else.

  45. bastionofsass says

    darwintyson wrote:

    It means we stopped going to any meetings/conventions that these folks attended as speakers?

    I don’t know the answer to this question.

    But, no one seems to have reported a noticeable drop-off in attendance. How many people make up your “we”?

  46. carlie says

    darwintyson – what I mean is that some of the most vociferous, vile, vindictive comments directed towards FtB and Skepchick bloggers came when they criticized TAM and the crappy treatment they got from DJ Groethe and other TAM organizers. Perhaps you aren’t one of the ones who were critical of that, but as woo monster clarified, on the one hand they were saying it was creating a black list and was a witch hunt and isn’t it terrible for people to personally criticize and/or boycott a meeting and/or its speakers, and on the other hand saying (as you just did) that you decided to…boycott a meeting because of the actions of people organizing/speaking at that meeting.

  47. Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts says

    yes except for all the one’s that have been chased away from here for posing viewpoints

    Still no specifics on what viewpoints were being espoused, and what, exactly, was the commentariat’s response. Links, how the fuck do they work?

    just going to ignore you…

    Ignoring, you are doing it wrong,

    with the whole white cis male, link or it didn’t hapoen shit. Feed someplace else

    Look, dipshit, you were the one who made the assertion that FtBorg is an “esoteric on line hater debate”. I just want you to do what is required so that others may evaluate your assertion, namely, provide your evidence for it.

  48. says

    Well thank you for your enlightening rebuttal with all the specific details and evidence and such that’s just what we were interested in hearing darwintyson.

  49. darwintyson says

    @59, no Stacy, just trying to help people in the bible bel that were born into religion find a way out and give them support. Simple enough concept of helping folks that need it. Thought FTB was a great resource for us and now we don’t.

  50. Nepenthe says

    @62

    You seemed confused about a lot of stuff there Sparky. Why don’t you have a glass of water and a sit down?

    PS: the First Rule of Holes is “stop digging”.

  51. John Morales says

    [meta]

    I remember the creation (and circumstances) of ‘the monument’ and have noted its trajectory, and am now bemused Al finds it congenial; it began as the bizarro-world version of the old TET in pharyngula by an aggrieved ERV and became a refuge for pharyngula rejects. Very much a reactionary and revelatory phenomenon, and its well-earned monicker remains apropos.

  52. Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts says

    Thought FTB was a great resource for us and now we don’t.

    Here, darwin, let me help you achieve greater clarity in your writing.

    FtB is not a safe space because if you push viewpoint ____, you get the hostile and negative response _____, which is unwarranted because of ______. Here is a link to where this happened, _____

    Fill in the blanks, darwin.

    ***
    Anyone else find darwin’s constant use of the pronoun “we” odd? Do all of your fellow meeting-goers approve of you speaking for them?

  53. darwintyson says

    @64, thank you for clarifying and zi appreciate your thoughtful response. I watched that RW/TAM debate manifest. It was the interaction of that debate that made me realize the separation of views. You don’t have to look any further than the sarcastic responses from this evening to understand a reluctance to return to this site. Talk about privilege. Jason’s response in slurring Grothe at that time is the absolute height of hypocrisy and then he doubled down on it. And I have a different perspective of that TAM issue but that’s a story for some other time.

  54. darwintyson says

    @65, now I’m a dipshit. You can do better than that. If you take the time to go back and read what I wrote you’ll see where to find the information I noted.

  55. Nepenthe says

    Talk about privilege

    Sarcasm-privilege? Writing sentences privilege? Now I’m confused. I think it’s contagious!

  56. Stacy says

    @50, don’t have a clue what you are talking about. I have never read the slimepit or been involved

    OK, well, if you don’t know about the slimepit, you can’t understand the argument, because it’s central to the discussion here. The slimepit was created to attack feminist skeptics and atheists. Al’s video–the one under discussion–touts the slimepit. I think we all assumed you were coming from the ‘pit.

    @59, no Stacy, just trying to help people in the bible bel that were born into religion find a way out and give them support. Simple enough concept of helping folks that need it. Thought FTB was a great resource for us and now we don’t

    Well, some blogs on FtB may be a bit challenging for someone who’s just beginning to find their way out. But the focus on social justice is worthwhile. Stick around, don’t personalize, and you may learn a lot.

  57. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Ah, I see what darwin’s problem is.
    He no likey atheism mixed with social justice.

  58. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    And FFS, the name of the site is FreethoughtBlogs.
    Not AtheistBlogs.
    While many of the bloggers are atheist, that isn’t the be all end all of their interests. Some have realized that skepticism can be applied to issues of social justice.

  59. says

    Oh, sorry, make that a [insert canned rock muzac] Nazi cult which hates the entire Caucasian race and has a vendetta against all men that polices our behaviour in the world offline by means of PZ’s charismatic mind control.

    Do not underestimate the awesome, overwhelming power of the charisma of an overweight schlumpy old bearded college professor. Give me a few minutes, I’m sure I can come up with an evo-psych explanation for why my type should be so irresistible. Except right now I’m busy fighting off the swarms of nubile women and lusty young men throwing themselves at me, while the paparazzi are distracting me with all those flashes going off.

  60. says

    @Dawkintyson 73 no not really your post 72 is the closest you’ve come to giving any specifics on your views.

    Now if you’ll excuse me I have this sudden inexplicable urge to go throw myself at pz O.O

  61. darwintyson says

    @76, no, I just have a different perspective on social justice and it’s intersection with atheism

  62. jacklewis says

    *This* is ragey?
    It’s sophomoric at best and all over the place, but one thing that is not present is any kind of rage. Let’s not over do it.

    “His demeanor is…unpleasant.”
    Ouch, that must have hurt is feelings terribly.

    So exactly what made this insipid video worthy of a blog post anyway?
    At least some witty take down would have at least been somewhat entertaining, but no… not even that.

  63. darwintyson says

    @83, At some point perhaps yes but I have other plans for the remainder of the evening and I don’t want to interfere in your inexplicable urge.

  64. says

    OK well thank you for coming here to tell us you disagree and not expanding on the point to any extent that might convince us to change our minds.

  65. Stacy says

    I don’t want to interfere in your inexplicable urge

    Oh dear. darwintyson, learn the meaning of words before you use them. Otherwise you look silly.

    /friendly advice

  66. Stacy says

    It’s sophomoric at best and all over the place

    Agreed.

    but one thing that is not present is any kind of rage

    The image of the Nazis giving the “Heil Hitler” salute is not indicative of rage? OK, how about–

    “So what the hell is wrong with these people….They’re radical extremists…and are giving a bad name to several groups…unhealthy vendetta against…men in general…and the entire caucasion race….Trampling on the rights of several other demographics….You don’t advance any one group by taking away the rights of any other group….”

    yada yada yada

  67. otrame says

    The whole Al thing makes me sad. I used to enjoy his blog sometimes. In fact one or two of his posts were some really great writing. What the hell happened? I mean, as near as I can tell, he got criticized for something and just lost all sense of proportion. His ego must be incredibly fragile.

    I guess we’ve seen it before. I mean, PZ has never really recovered from the vicious attacks by Art Nazis when he claimed the art in video games isn’t art. Poor guy. He was just devastated.

  68. didgen says

    Guys I think darwintyson actually may have achieved at least a partial goal and is completely correct on one point. We should give credit, when they left the level of sanity and civility did go up. We know when you’re here darwintyson and we become deranged and rude just to keep you out. We always know when you’re here darwintyson. Yes you do perceive reality differently than we do.
    Al is unpleasant, sorry I didn’t read his blot while he was here (not really).

  69. mildlymagnificent says

    You don’t advance any one group by taking away the rights of any other group

    And there we have it. The idea that rights are a zero sum game.

    They might be if you were silly enough to fix it that way, but that’s not how it usually works. Perhaps rights are the same as power in his mind? Even then sharing power in sensible ways works as often to increase the total power of the group or organisation as it might to decrease the perceived power of the leader/ owner/ boss cocky. Even then, power is very much a question of perceptions about what it does or doesn’t involve.

    I recall a senior manager getting testy with me when I told him that I would have to consult union members about whatever-it-was-we-were-discussing. He was quite taken aback that I wouldn’t make the decision on my own – “but you’re the top officer! Why can’t you decide.” I was very polite, because there was no way to convince him that “power” to satisfy someone’s impatience is a very limited notion of power. Far better to have the backing of a thousand other people – at least in my view. We weren’t deciding how to return fire on a battlefield after all.

    Rights (and power) are not a limited resource that will run out when you’ve mined it too long. Rights that are denied many people are not even on the radar of people who don’t even realise the problem. Nobody takes away the right to wheelchair access from anyone to give it to someone else. Providing wheelchair access is an addition to the total rights available to a population. Many other rights for disadvantaged people are similarly an increase or expansion of total rights held by a population, most of whom aren’t even aware of the need for the marginal increase or extension of those rights to others.

    I suppose the big issue in some minds would be that education places and jobs are limited in number and that increasing the pool of eligible applicants decreases some people’s chances. But I really can’t think of any others – and the previously better job/education prospects have been exercised at the expense of people who were previously excluded. That doesn’t apply to most rights though, and if someone wants to argue that these advantages should be maintained at the expense of women and other groups, they need a better argument. Because that one was lost some time in the 1970s.

  70. Robert Bauer says

    Okay, this is probably the wrong thing to be mad about, but… “Caucasian”? I thought Al Stefanelli was from the other Georgia. As for me, all my ancestors hail from east of Berlin, so if Al was trying to talk about my race, or about pale-skinned folks generally, he needs to check an atlas.

    If Al should happen to read this thread: “white” or “European-American,” please. This is not the place where we describe things imprecisely just because it’s traditional to do so.

  71. stewart says

    Well, you brought it upon yourselves. If you hadn’t “labelled most of humanity as evil-doers,” Al wouldn’t have had to go this far.

  72. ChasCPeterson says

    “white” or “European-American,” please. This is not the place where we describe things imprecisely just because it’s traditional to do so.

    hmm.
    “White” is metaphorically fraught (imo), and did you know there were still Europeans living in Europe?

  73. Robert Bauer says

    *west of Berlin, not east.

    For some reason, my brain thinks the East Pole is in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

  74. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    stewart:
    Do what?
    Please provide some evidence where anyone at FtB labelled most of humanity as evil doers.
    This is one of my biggest gripes with the anti feminist, “Skeptic” crowd that obsesses over Ophelia, Jen, PZ, et al. It is constant assertions, but no proof. I am *still* waiting-over a year later-for someone to answer what Jen did that was so awful as to deserve the harassment, bullying and rape threats she’s gotten. People like Al or the Pitters of Slyme or Wooly Bumblefuck or Reap Paden whine at length, but they haven’t produced one single shred of evidence to support their ongoing campaign against FtB and Skepchick.
    So again I ask: what did Jen or Stephanie or Greta or PZ or Rebecca do that was so awful as to deserve this campaign of hate and harassment? *Specific* examples. Links. The whole nine.

  75. didgen says

    @tony
    I certainly can’t speak for the people responsible for the vicious harassment of Jen, but I have a theory from my childhood on the farm. Jen made the unforgivable mistake of having what was perceived to be a weakness. To them it was just a game.

  76. Robert Bauer says

    @ 96: “Black” is metaphorically fraught, too – in fact, it’s the same metaphor. And there are still Africans living in Africa, but the phrase “African-American” is widely used without confusion. (Or were you worried about how broadly the term can be used? I’m not going to try to guess how people in other countries might want to talk about race – good old American racism is quite complicated enough to be going on with, for me.)

    Honestly, I’m not strongly for any particular term – I picked the one I’ve almost always heard in ordinary speech, and the one I first heard in the self-identification of a Diversity Studies professor. I just think “Caucasian” is terrible.

    Please let me know if I’m tripping on my privilege, by the way.

  77. Hunt says

    I think what we have here is a failure to communicate. The various reasons behind the rift between what we might call the “Slyme” faction and the “FtB” faction are so multifarious that it would probably take a book length treatise to cover all of it. I read both FtB and have been reading Slyme for a couple weeks. The Pit is often not PC, though from what I’ve read there’s no overt racism; perhaps some of the remarks verge on sexist, but usually of a trivial or stupid nature. I don’t see much evidence of overt misogyny. If seeing a cartoon of Jesus being pleasured is not your thing, or photoshopped pictures with snarky subtitles isn’t, then skip the Slymepit. Still, I generally agree with Al that the S/P supports feminism, but not of the flavor at FtB. It’s funny that neither seem to think the other’s interpretation is legit. If you want the feminism of a meeting with young women with multi-colored hair in a liberal college town, you want the FtB variety. (And BTW, if the last sentence pisses you off, then you definitely want the FtB form of feminism.) If you’re just some dude off the street who believes women shouldn’t be treated like dirt, you might prefer S/P. It doesn’t mean you hate feminism, which is one thing I think PZ is terribly confused about. It only means you pledge to a less reverent variety of it. If you make a post called “Why do you despise feminism?” and nobody from S/P shows up to offer cogent argument, it may be that you’re the one confused, not them. What’s more, they realize you’ve begged the question in a contemptible manner, and hate you all the more for it. That type of error characterizes Myers’s willful blindness, and at times makes him a McCartyist type character. His cause is righteous, and most people agree that it is. The problem is, everyone doesn’t agree with his methods and tactics, and they find him personally disagreeable, not what he thinks he’s fighting for. Why can this be important? Because the way you fight for just causes matters, sometimes a lot.

    In case someone objects to using McCarthy as an example because he didn’t have a just cause: No matter what you think of the Cold War, within the confines of the analogy, McCarthy actually did have a just cause, with which most Americans agreed. The Soviets actually were a threat the the US. They really were trying (and did) steal secret nuclear bomb technology, etc.

    So, yes, there’s both a witch hunt and a McCarthyist scare :) It shouldn’t really surprise us that this stuff is happening, even if it’s comparatively a tempest in a tea cup. History does repeat.

  78. Matt Penfold says

    but the phrase “African-American” is widely used without confusion

    No it’s not, because it ignores black people who are 1) not American and 2) Came via the Carribean. Many black people in the UK would either find being described as African-American hilarious or offensive.

    In short it shows a profound ignorance of history.

  79. mildlymagnificent says

    If you’re just some dude off the street who believes women shouldn’t be treated like dirt

    I beg your pardon.

    Not treating anyone like dirt is about the lowest bar you can set for a decent person. Feminism of any sort requires at least some semblance of acknowledgement of concepts like justice and fairness.

    “Not treating women like dirt” is not feminism even when it’s self proclaimed to be a particular version of it.

  80. Bjarte Foshaug says

    PZ Myers, Ophelia Benson, Stefanie Zvan, Rebecca Watson, to a degree Jennifer McCreight, Amy Roth, Melody Hensley, several people over at the Atheism Plus forum, a handful of others […] have managed to not only drive people away from nonsectarian activism in droves, but have driven a wedge deep into what should be a unified cause.

    I just want to see the wedge driven all the way through, so that we can finally forget about “infighting”, and Stefanelli and his fellow wastes of space can fade into the regular “background noise” along with the religious right, the antiwaxers and the “911 truth” movement. Stefanelli and his allies have managed to drive me away from their movement all by themselves, and they didn’t need any help from the people on his list in doing so.

    BTW notice once again the disingeniousness of trying to frame his own sectarian views as the default, “nonsectarian” (the cousin of “apolitical” and “non-ideological”) view. There is nothing “nonsectarian”, or “apolitical” or “non-ideological” about actively opposing everything except non-resistance to misogyny, sexism, harassment and bullying.

  81. stewart says

    Tony, Tony… (#98)

    The “evildoers” bit was a verbatim quote from Al, not my assertion. I also can’t think of any context in which any of those attacked in Al’s video said anything remotely like that. If you want chapter and verse citations, you need to address that query to Al, who did make the statement I quoted.

  82. Hunt says

    I beg your pardon.

    Not treating anyone like dirt is about the lowest bar you can set for a decent person. Feminism of any sort requires at least some semblance of acknowledgement of concepts like justice and fairness.

    “Not treating women like dirt” is not feminism even when it’s self proclaimed to be a particular version of it.

    Now, you wouldn’t be trying to set me on eggshells with an uncharitable reading, would you? Second, why are you so sure that FtB is the better environment for a person who actually does have such an entry-level understanding, rather than S/P? You’re confusing lack of sophistication for moral guilt.

  83. Maureen Brian says

    How much are they paying you, Hunt, and does the deal include getting your soul back at some stage?

  84. says

    Wow, watched it, cannot un-watch it… He has officially lost it and it ain’t coming back!

    In regard to Hunt above, no overt misogyny? Yeah right… I am the official FtB fence-sitter on the Slymepit and I couldn’t say that with a straight face! Have a close look… Here are some quotes I spent a minute collating when writing a post on misogyny in the pit.

    Clueless bint. And by bint, I mean cunt.

    …here’s proof that two of the FfTB regulars are utter cunts

    …wastes-of-space like Twatson

    …stupid bitch knows all.. she has overcome her own biases and blindspots.

    It was really easy to find these when I wrote the post. There is a lot of misogyny on the pit…. You might have a better argument to say it is not much worse than the general background misogyny in society as a whole. But then the obvious response would be shouldn’t sceptic-atheists who profess to follow the one true feminism be a little better than the average?

  85. Hunt says

    How much are they paying you, Hunt, and does the deal include getting your soul back at some stage?

    I can get paid for this? Shit, I’m such an idiot.

    It was really easy to find these when I wrote the post. There is a lot of misogyny on the pit…. You might have a better argument to say it is not much worse than the general background misogyny in society as a whole. But then the obvious response would be shouldn’t sceptic-atheists who profess to follow the one true feminism be a little better than the average?

    That’s name calling, not overt misogyny. Not any more, for instance, than RW’s anti-Dawkins “dick” campaign. You can’t excuse one side and condemn another. Well, you can, but you’re a hypocrite for doing it. For the record, I hate both instances, and I do hope the SP move away from that type of behavior.

  86. Matt Penfold says

    The “evildoers” bit was a verbatim quote from Al, not my assertion. I also can’t think of any context in which any of those attacked in Al’s video said anything remotely like that. If you want chapter and verse citations, you need to address that query to Al, who did make the statement I quoted.

    But you must know, since you quoted him approvingly. I note you have not withdrawn your earlier comment, so presumably you still stand by it, in which case you need to defend it. You refusal to do so is not acceptable here.

  87. Hunt says

    Or better, I should say, move away from that type of language because it’s a linguistic issue. We all probably have a pretty good idea what a “bitch” is meant to connote, as well as a “cunt” and a “dick.” Each is pretty much as bad as the other. To FtB’s credit, I haven’t seen “dick” used much lately.

  88. says

    Hunt, says:

    perhaps some of the remarks verge on sexist, but usually of a trivial or stupid nature

    Is there an acceptable level of sexism? Something we are prepared to give a pass on? Can we, say, permit someone to call a Skepchick or FTBer a cunty cunt-cunt because it’s so trivial?

    Hunt, I wonder where do you, personally, draw the line?

    If you’re just some dude off the street who believes women shouldn’t be treated like dirt, you might prefer S/P.

    That’s not feminism. That’s common decency we should extend to all human beings.

    It doesn’t mean you hate feminism, which is one thing I think PZ is terribly confused about. It only means you pledge to a less reverent variety of it.

    This would be the ‘less-reverent’ variety that appears to dismiss all forms of sexual conduct policy for conferences? You make it sound so cosy and clubbable–they are just a bunch of non-PC funsters–but I think it is less benign than you appear to believe.

  89. Hunt says

    Actually, I have to amend my comment about Myers’s post. Probably the reason SPers won’t show up to offer clarification is that they’re banned the moment Myers makes an appearance. Are some of you beginning to understand why there’s a disconnect?

  90. carlie says

    Nobody takes away the right to wheelchair access from anyone to give it to someone else. Providing wheelchair access is an addition to the total rights available to a population. Many other rights for disadvantaged people are similarly an increase or expansion of total rights held by a population, most of whom aren’t even aware of the need for the marginal increase or extension of those rights to others.

    Exactly. And that access improves things for everybody, even those who didn’t know they needed it (much like feminism!) Turns out that taking everyone’s needs into consideration ends up helping everybody because of intersectionality. Using the wheelchair example, adding that access suddenly means that people with wheelchairs, people with bad knees, people carrying heavy packages all now have easier access too. Giving women equal opportunity in the workforce means that men who want to drop out of the rat race might have the financial support from their female partners to do so. And so on.

    The various reasons behind the rift between what we might call the “Slyme” faction and the “FtB” faction are so multifarious that it would probably take a book length treatise to cover all of it.

    Really? I think it all boils down to “bitches ain’t shit”. Pretty easy.

    .I just want to see the wedge driven all the way through, so that we can finally forget about “infighting”, and Stefanelli and his fellow wastes of space can fade into the regular “background noise” along with the religious right, the antiwaxers and the “911 truth” movement.

    Yep. If they think we’re so wrong, then they can go ahead and form their own other movement, and we’ll let competition see who wins. They should relish that opportunity to watch us go down. Yet instead, they keep trying to just make us shut up. It’s like they know they wouldn’t survive a level playing field.

    Hunt – what do you think about what they’re saying at the pit now about Ed Brayton?

  91. says

    Each is pretty much as bad as the other.

    Is it? ‘They are all as bad as each other’ is one of those fraidy-cat ways in which fence-sitters and other moral cowards can avoid taking a stand. The evil of moderation is that it is an excuse to stand by and do nothing while handwringing about how unpleasant it all is.

    (Give me a good old firebrand any day. Friend or foe, at least you know where you are with them and wont be let down in the pinch by some jelly-kneed moderate.)

    Even if Rebecca’s ‘dick’ campaign is truly as awful as the cunty cunt-cunt stuff that oozes from the ‘pit, then surely we can agree that hers was a transitory error whilst that of the Slymepit is relentless and pernicious. There is a difference both in degree and magnitude.

    Even you are prepared to concede that FTB has not done the ‘dick’ thing of late. Are you not ready to get down off that fence and take a side?

  92. Hunt says

    Hunt, I wonder where do you, personally, draw the line?

    Overt misogyny is the outright expression of hatred of women in general. You know it when you see it. For instance, many or most PUA express a contempt for women, while using them for sexual gratification, that is clear, overt and unmistakable. That’s not where I draw the line. I don’t “draw the line” anywhere. I’d like to see the language use of “cunt,” “bitch” (and yes, “dick”) eradicated.

    It’s a general awakening and enlightenment. Yes, perhaps SP is a bit less “evolved” along the line. You may think the use of “cunt” in any context is contemptible, and I would agree with you. But as I said, we’re talking about an evolutionary process, and it’s easy to sneer at a place you might have been only a few years prior. Really, it’s important to remember that “dick” was being used as a pejorative only a couple/few years ago on FtB!

  93. Hunt says

    Even you are prepared to concede that FTB has not done the ‘dick’ thing of late. Are you not ready to get down off that fence and take a side?

    I already did. See above. It’s quite possible that if you brought the topic up at the Slymepit, the general consensus at the moment would be that name calling using sexual organ epithets would not be considered verboten. Now, it’s up to you to ask yourself just how horrible this is. I don’t know; maybe I’m wrong, and a little bit of effort would swing everything to that side of the argument. We’re never going to know until someone gives it a try. Or, maybe SP will grow out of it all on their own, like FtB did.

  94. Maureen Brian says

    OK then, Hunt! Give us the link to one place in Pharyngula where someone has been banned without some misdeed.

    I’ll just play this violin while we’re waiting.

  95. says

    Overt misogyny is the outright expression of hatred of women in general.

    Not quite. Misogyny is a term that is being redefined. Just as ‘misanthrope’ is being recast less as actual hatred of humanity to a form of curmudgeonliness about other people, so is ‘misogynist’ being defined to be a deeper hue of sexism.

    This is a good thing too, because we need a word for the more egregious form of sexist. These are the ones who do not come so clearly labelled as bigots but are adept at disguising their ugly sexism, or able to muddy the waters by passing their filth off as harmless larks. Something you appear to have bought into, Hunt.

    “Oh, they are just being a little un-PC, just like the FTBers used to be with their dick jokes. They are well-meaning folks deep down and they’ll come around in the end.”

  96. carlie says

    Hunt, have you ever heard people talking about how in some ways they preferred the overt racism of the deep south to the veiled racism of the north, because at least it was easier to tell what side people were on and deal with outright hatred than to be sniped at in hundreds of little ways that were never obvious enough to even complain about without people saying they were seeing things that weren’t there? That’s where we are with sexism now.

  97. says

    Carlie has it right. It’s sexism in camouflage, given a pass by folks who want to believe it’s all in fun and not meant seriously because the opposite conclusion is really too frightening to bear. It’s little different from the garden variety of overt sexism, except in outward form, and wounds just as deeply, though employing many small cuts to do the work of a single hatchet blow.

  98. Hunt says

    OK then, Hunt! Give us the link to one place in Pharyngula where someone has been banned without some misdeed.

    Oh man, this is rich, since I have a pre-loaded response. You should have known this was a set-up!

    You can check out my own banning. I’m listed as huntstoddard in the Dungeon, with links to the post where it all went down. Now, let me be clear. I have no quarrel with Myers or his right to ban anyone he thinks is being a pain in the ass, but of course, that’s not the topic of discussion. The tl;dr version of the entire travesty is that I argued that Atheism+ was being mismanaged and needed a central message and leadership. I also questioned why Carrier had not renounced the “with us or against us” argument.

    And there you have it. It was an argument in good faith, so I purport.

    And that’s a Royal Flush!

  99. carlie says

    Hunt, you said:

    Probably the reason SPers won’t show up to offer clarification is that they’re banned the moment Myers makes an appearance.

    Going to that thread, I found 13 instances of your name.

    #6 – first warning by PZ that your comments didn’t have substance.

    #7 you doing specifically what you were asked not to do.

    #8 – PZ warning you again to lay off

    #9 – you repeat it.

    #12 – you do so again

    #13 is the time you were banned.

    That’s hardly an example of being “banned the moment Myers makes an appearance”.

  100. Hunt says

    Hunt, have you ever heard people talking about how in some ways they preferred the overt racism of the deep south to the veiled racism of the north, because at least it was easier to tell what side people were on and deal with outright hatred than to be sniped at in hundreds of little ways that were never obvious enough to even complain about without people saying they were seeing things that weren’t there? That’s where we are with sexism now.

    Truth to that. According to Myers, we’re all “fucking racists” down deep, in some hideous unconscious way. If that is true (and it probably is, without the “fucking” prefix), we all have some racist sentiment, whether by evolved psychology (NO! let’s not open that can of worms) or social programming. What chance can there be that we’re not sexists as well, in some covert way? So you’re casting the SP in the role of covert sexists, hiding behind a jokey facade? That actually fits with a few of the comments I’ve seen there, exhorting members to keep a “lighthearted” refrain. I don’t know; maybe they’ll chime in.

  101. Hunt says

    That’s hardly an example of being “banned the moment Myers makes an appearance”.

    No, you’re conflating two different things. One was in reference to (I think) Skeptixx on the “why do you despise feminism” post, and the other was the post when I was banned (like 4-6 mo ago?). Arguing the details of Myers’s chest beating is kind of irrelevant to the point, but as I dimly recall the last comment I made was a synchronization mistake, before I grokked the fact that “go away” meant “if you don’t go away, you’ll be banned.”

  102. carlie says

    Hunt – that’s how I read your last comment too, but I can see where that also could have been unclear to someone else reading it. But as you said, that’s a bit of a derail.

    So you’re casting the SP in the role of covert sexists, hiding behind a jokey facade?

    No, I’m casting them as unconscious sexists. I have no doubt a majority of them feel as if they are feminists in some sense of the word. That’s what makes it so uncomfortable for them; if they were proud sexists, they wouldn’t care if someone called them that. It makes them feel bad to be called sexist. But instead of saying “Hm, what am I doing that could be sexist, and how is it that this thing I’m doing is sexist, and what kind of effect does it have?” they’re responding with “NO I AM NOT YOU ARE SO MEAN”.

    Let me give you one tiny example. I can’t count the number of threads in which some stereotypical guy comes in to argue about something, not necessarily feminism even, but often it’s that. Multiple commenters respond directly to his statements, with quotes and everything, but over the course of a few dozen comments it becomes clear that he’s only responding to the ones with obviously male sounding ‘nyms. Is this him saying to himself “I will ignore the women because they don’t count”? No, but it is him paying much more attention to the males, and not even realizing he’s doing it. If this gets pointed out to him, even kindly, rarely he’ll say “Jeez, I just re-read the thread and you’re right, I had no idea I was doing that”, and then try to consciously tilt his attention back to be more equal. More often, he’ll say that’s stupid and no he wasn’t and this is a witch hunt and no wonder people say we’re so terrible and we’re driving people like him away from the movement. Oh, and usually we’re also whiny bitches. And that’s with the evidence right there in writing that he was doing that. It’s understandable from an emotional standpoint, but baffling from a logical one. And that seems to be the general gestalt of the slymepit.

  103. garnetstar says

    I’ve never understood why a rift should be so terribly damaging? There’s never been a group of people anywhere who all agreed perfectly on how to do things. There have always been rifts, and things seem to get done anyway.

    There were (and are) black people in America who advocated non-violent resistance to racism, those who felt that a degree of violent resistance was sometimes necessary, those who advocated changing American society, those who advocated a separate black nation, those who advocated Islam as a tradition that was more accepting, etc. There were feminists of all different kinds with all different approaches. I recall a rift in the feminist movement when the interests and existence of poor, minority, and/or lesbian women were ignored, and those women formed rather separate groups of their own that focused on social justice and feminism, analogous to atheism+.

    Many times these various groups had rifts between them, but they all worked to advance their causes in their own ways and have all had some success. The recent rift between gnus and accomodationists doesn’t seem to have driven people back to religion, nor stopped the advancement of atheism in general.

    Why spend time and energy obsessing about the other faction? And, that means you, Al and Slymepit. I just don’t see that degree of obsession and anger at Ft Blogs.

  104. stewart says

    Matt at #111

    I didn’t quote him approvingly; I quoted him ironically. If you don’t get irony, I’ll spell it out: I think him making a statement like that makes him sound batshit crazy.

  105. says

    Huntstoddard has 132 posted comments on Pharyngula. He had a long history as an obtuse, tedious ass before the banhammer fell on him — so to complain that he’s an example of someone who got thrown out as soon as I showed up is rather clearly false. I’m afraid Ophelia is now about to discover what a slimy pain in the butt he is, too.

    As for the slymepitters…they’ve lost all presumption of charity long, long ago. Of course I’m going to shut down dedicated dishonest propagandists the instant they show up.

  106. says

    Hunt,

    That’s name calling, not overt misogyny. Not any more, for instance, than RW’s anti-Dawkins “dick” campaign. You can’t excuse one side and condemn another. Well, you can, but you’re a hypocrite for doing it. For the record, I hate both instances, and I do hope the SP move away from that type of behavior.

    So are you arguing that calling Richard, “Dick” is …. Misandry? The poor little oppressed diddums! I think I’d argue it is a bit childish, but that is about it…

    So given you deplore the Slymepit for their unpleasant language and you wish they would stop that type of behaviour… Why are you not over there telling them that!

    Oh I see… Calling Richard Dawkins “dick” is *exactly* as bad as calling the feminist atheists on FtBs fat/old/ugly cunts/bitches/bints/whores, photoshopping them and creating hilarious “memes” like this day in day out. So you feel the need to purify FtBs for past crimes before you go over there and sort them out as well. Well once FtBs has been sufficiently sorry for the “Dick” thing I’ll look forward to hearing about your pit adventure :-D

  107. says

    jacklewis @ 84

    “His demeanor is…unpleasant.”

    Ouch, that must have hurt is feelings terribly.

    Hey you know what? Here’s a funny thing – I wasn’t trying to hurt his feelings. Oddly enough, that’s not my goal. I was trying to characterize and analyze his video, as accurately as possible. His demeanor on the video is unpleasant. I mostly don’t like videos of one person talking; I’d rather read it. But there are gradations. Some are ok, it’s just that I would rather read it. Others are actively unpleasant. Al’s is actively unpleasant. I wouldn’t like it even if I agreed with him.

  108. Slinky's Human says

    Carlie at 127

    But instead of saying “Hm, what am I doing that could be sexist, and how is it that this thing I’m doing is sexist, and what kind of effect does it have?”

    This is what I did after ElevatorGate. My first response was “needs thicker skin” and I could easily have fallen into the slymepit. But I kept reading and changed to “Who am I to tell someone how she should feel in that situation?” Rebecca and the other Skepchicks and Crommunist and Ophilea and Jenn and PZ and some I’m forgetting helped me learn about privilege and that I wasn’t the feminist I thought I was.

    Far from driving this particular white middle aged white cis bi male away, FtB keeps me coming back and I keep learning. Thanks.

  109. ChasCPeterson says

    “Black” is metaphorically fraught, too – in fact, it’s the same metaphor.

    Agreed. And an implicitly and deleteriously polarizing one, imo.

    And there are still Africans living in Africa, but the phrase “African-American” is widely used without confusion.

    It certainly would cause confusion if somebody said ‘African-Americans’ but actually meant ‘the entire Negro race’ (the parallel construction to Stefanelli’s).

    Don’t get me wrong–I’m not arguing in favor of using the term ‘Caucasian race'; it’s strongly redolent of the abandoned and (arguably) racist typological race concepts that science has left far behind. My point (peripheral and de-raily as it was) was that the term is no more “imprecise” than the alternatives proferred. It’s been a very, very long time since the word Caucasian meant ‘people who trace their ancestry back to a particular mountain range in southeastern Europe’. Everybody knew what Stefanelli meant by it.

  110. stewart says

    Thanks, Ophelia. I treasure the compliment and will try to live up to it (the FB GA gallery has gotten pretty big, for those who haven’t seen it). On the one hand, I think your clarification ought to have been superfluous, on the other, I can see that where Matt and Tony were coming from is connected to the very real phenomenon of slymepitters showing up and trying to play games with us. It can be hard work, but it often pays off to see what the person you’re reading has been saying elsewhere; one eventually develops a good feel for what is behind particular (must use scare quotes here) “tones.”

  111. Matt Penfold says

    Matt and Tony – meet Stewart. He’s been reading (and commenting at) B&W for forever, and he’s a genius at Gnu Atheist humor.

    Let’s hope some has bought me a new irony meter for Christmas as mine is obviously on the blink.

    Sorry Stewart.

  112. raymoscow says

    I hereby officially redraw my sympathy for the time the Baptist kids made fun of Al’s purse and questioned his heterosexuality.

    It was FTB’s fault, obviously.

  113. says

    I’m absolutely, disgustingly sick of the tired, old “I was banned for merely disagreeing!” trope. Time and time again I’ve heard that being dragged around like a broken old wagon. And time and time again it’s been utterly refuted as bullshit, as there was much, much more than simple “disagreement” to cause the ban.

  114. says

    I’m absolutely, disgustingly sick of the tired, old “I was banned for merely disagreeing!” trope.

    Me too; it pretty much guarantees that whoever is saying it convinces me that they were being annoying. There’s a certain strategy that appears to consist of:
    – loudly having an opinion
    – loudly holding it in the face of argument to the contrary (in itself, not unacceptable)
    – being shocked, shocked I say, to discover that everyone doesn’t simply reverse course and now agree with this importantly presented opinon
    – ignoring a warning that they are becoming tiresome, annoying, or some combination of reasons why the blog-owner may no longer want the importantly presented opinion (by dint of continuing shovelling or endless repetition) to continue cluttering up thread after thread
    – getting banned
    – “boo hoo, I was banned for disagreeing!”

    It’s a variation of the “I managed to annoy you so much you punched me in the mouth, so you lose the argument” offense, which generally has the disadvantage of:
    – not being a very good offensive strategy
    – getting oneself punched in the mouth
    – losing, anyway

    In fact the strategy is almost a spelling mistake. It should read: “I was banned for being disagreeable!” Well, yes. And here’s why: It’s unreasonable to expect the entire blog to relocate or go away, simply because (random disagreeable person) has chosen to argue with it especially since that random disagreeable person has already demonstrated an ability to continue to obtusely argue to no purpose. Since the blog can’t go away (besides, any random disagreeable person will simply follow it) to get rid of the disagreeable person, the blog-owner flicks out the ban-hammer and blessed silence ensues.

    Then, the “victim” goes to another (nearby) blog where some of the same people that they successfully annoyed earlier hang out, and boo-hoos about being banned until – oops, banned again.

    There are two ways of looking at this. One is from the perspective of the annoying person: they managed to become annoying enough that they were banned and therefore they are a victim for being banned. The other is from the perspective of the blog readers, who probably were wondering “how much does this prat think they have to annoy all of us, before we will love them?” The “how annoying do I have to be in order to be lovable?” strategy is similar to the strategy of “how much do we have to bomb you in order to make our politics appeal to you?” only from a position of complete weakness.

  115. Robert Bauer says

    @ Matt Penfold: As I said, I wasn’t proposing that “African-American” be used to describe people who aren’t American. But your point about the Caribbean is well-made. History fail indeed. (For that matter, it occurs to me that, for all I know, lots of folks of Slavic descent would be sorted into the same racial pidgeonhole as me, but geographically come from Asia.) That particular proposal is withdrawn.

  116. Aratina Cage says

    Giving a bad name to the LGBT community??? I’m really glad I didn’t watch the damn video now.

  117. Rodney Nelson says

    Slinky’s Human #134

    Far from driving this particular white middle aged white cis bi male away, FtB keeps me coming back and I keep learning. Thanks.

    Other than being a late middle aged and a hetero male, I agree with Slinky’s Human. I started lurking at FTB some months ago and discovered that I was quite sexist. I was as sexist at Hunt’s mythical slymepitter. I didn’t hate women, I wanted them to be equal to men in terms of wages, educational and work opportunity, and suchlike, but I wasn’t really doing anything to support this equality. I was certainly unaware of the rape culture, the concept of privilege, and the everyday sexism women have to endure.

    I started reading here at FTB and following links. I’ve become enlightened about what feminism is actually about (or at least what I think it’s all about). I’ve tried, with more and more success with greater practice, at not being overtly sexist. In short, FTB has shown me how to be a better man human being.

    Sorry, Hunt and the slymepitters, but you’re wrong about how FTB is chasing well-meaning people away. But then you should be used to being wrong about many of your opinions.

  118. says

    That’s name calling, not overt misogyny. Not any more, for instance, than RW’s anti-Dawkins “dick” campaign. You can’t excuse one side and condemn another. Well, you can, but you’re a hypocrite for doing it. For the record, I hate both instances, and I do hope the SP move away from that type of behavior.

    Ah, well, abuse. I think the occasional bit of invective can spice up a discussion, though I’ve been re-educated considerably to avoid gendered/ableist insults (which pretty much caps my strategic invective arsenal at pre-coldwar levels) however, here’s something to think about:
    – If a particular piece of invective flung your way is true, then – so what? It’s true. Deal with it.
    – If a particular piece of invective flung your way is not true, then – so what? It’s a lie. Who cares? Whoever flung that invective is either knowingly lying, or mistaken (in which case you can try to correct them)

    Classes of untrue invective include things that are racially or gender charged, if inappropriate. I mean, if someone tries to insult me by calling me a “6 foot tall nerdy white guy” I’m pretty much going to go, “ayup. your point being?” And if someone tries to insult me by calling me “French” they’re going to look like an idiot when I demonstrate my accent. ;)

    What I’m saying, in other words, is that the slimepit insult stuff is drama-filled, but wrong. Not morally wrong, just inaccurate and pointless. It’s like calling someone “poopy head” – I suppose it’s possible to reduce someone to tears calling them “poopy head” if they’re really sensitive but (shrug) there’s no poop on my head so if you call me “poopy head” you’re wrong and besides, even if I did have poop on my head, so what? Now suppose someone says I’m “funny looking” – obviously that’s a matter of opinion (since “funny looking” isn’t much of an objective criterion) so I can’t get my feelings hurt over that because to some people (like, my dogs and my horses) I probably am pretty funny looking. Hell, I’m funny looking to myself, most mornings. Next?

    I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t see what the point of the slime pitters is, or what they think they’re accomplishing, other than demonstrating that they can be screechy and have rage. Uh, so?

  119. says

    jose @ 25 –

    I’m glad you liked that interview with Steven Pinker. It was one of the first things I did for the brand-new B&W, more than ten years ago – and it was very generous of Pinker to do it. It helped B&W get some attention right from the outset. He’s a very decent guy.

  120. Stacy says

    Yeah, one person* called Richard Dawkins “Dick” once, and the pitizens bring it up Every.Time. anyone objects to them calling women cunts and bitches and etc.

    I’ve known 3 year olds who argued better than that lot. I’m sure Al feels right at home there.

    * Stephanie Zvan, was it? I’m sure it wasn’t Rebecca.

  121. Stacy says

    @Jason Thibeault

    It was Stephanie, yes, though you might want to read why

    Oh, yes, I should have mentioned that. It’s the diminutive of his name. She was being (deliberately) familiar, not calling him a penis.

  122. Matt Penfold says

    Oh, yes, I should have mentioned that. It’s the diminutive of his name. She was being (deliberately) familiar, not calling him a penis.

    Are there really people who are not aware Dick is a diminutive of Richard ? Or is their apparent ignorance feigned ?

  123. Hunt says

    Huntstoddard has 132 posted comments on Pharyngula. He had a long history as an obtuse, tedious ass before the banhammer fell on him — so to complain that he’s an example of someone who got thrown out as soon as I showed up is rather clearly false. I’m afraid Ophelia is now about to discover what a slimy pain in the butt he is, too.

    No, as I said before, this is a conflation of two things I said. One, SPers are banned the moment you show up (e.g. Al, Skeptixx), and the example of my banning months ago, which was an example of conversation shutdown (as you’re attempting here; well, they’re both conversation shutdowns).

    At least it’s nice to see you not in red type.

  124. Matt Penfold says

    No, as I said before, this is a conflation of two things I said. One, SPers are banned the moment you show up (e.g. Al, Skeptixx), and the example of my banning months ago, which was an example of conversation shutdown (as you’re attempting here; well, they’re both conversation shutdowns).

    Did you ever apologise for your poor behaviour in the occasion of your being banned ?

  125. Hunt says

    especially since that random disagreeable person has already demonstrated an ability to continue to obtusely argue to no purpose

    As determined by us, holders of the officially sanctioned truths of the universe. Boy, you’ve got it all figured out.

    Sorry, Hunt and the slymepitters, but you’re wrong about how FTB is chasing well-meaning people away. But then you should be used to being wrong about many of your opinions.

    I don’t really subscribe to the “chased away” thing. I still read at FtB. I still read at Pharyngula! I’m in favor of people going to places and deciding for themselves and not burning bridges. There’s a implied proscription against visiting SP, carefully fostered by PZ, which basically has FtBers quaking like 17th century New England churchgoers. They’ve never been there, but they know it’s eeeeevilllll. This is what Al was getting on about. I disagree with that. Go there and discover for yourself. You may hate it (and I might eventually agree with you.) Without overextending the McCarthyist metaphor, there are grains of truth to looking at all these things in that historical vein, since this type of crap is never purged from the repertoire of human behavior, and you’re fooling yourself if you think you can’t be subject to it. In fact, this entire situation is an almost perfect breeding ground for McCartyist type behavior. It would almost be surprising if it didn’t make an appearance in one guise or another. You got the real hidden threat. You’ve got the “they walk among us” thing. You’ve got the “how many are there? and are you one of them?” thing. If you equivocate, or speak out against the prevailing opinion, you’re immediately under suspicion. You may even be one and not know it! The insidious thing is there can be truth to varying degrees to all or parts of it, and it’s hard to tease apart what is real or imagined. Nowhere on FtB have I seen anyone propose that this type of stuff should be guarded against. (Tellingly, it’s up to outsiders, people like Shermer, to offer those warnings.)

  126. Hunt says

    I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t see what the point of the slime pitters is, or what they think they’re accomplishing, other than demonstrating that they can be screechy and have rage. Uh, so?

    And I might agree with you. To be honest it’s not really my thing. It reminds me a little too much of certain sites devoted to free expression that are truly some of the most execrable places I’ve been. i’m not saying SP is that bad, but I’m not really so interested in this whole dust-up to devote hours of my day to Photoshopping snarky pictures about it. BUT, as you know, this debate isn’t just about SP. Shermer has entered the fray. To a certain extent, both Dawkins and Harris (tangentially) are in it. There has been an entire blog network, Skeptic Ink, established in response to it, etc. Really, to focus just on a puny place like SP is like paying attention to one fight and not the entire battle.

    I mean, this thing is never going to be resolved amicably. I don’t ever see SP and FtB singing around the campfire. For one thing, the differences aren’t just ideological but there are political and other components to it. I’ve seen favorable references to gun ownership on SP, etc. That type of thing is never going to fly at Pharyngula, for instance. If anything, there might be smaller scale resolutions. E.g. Shermer, Myers and Benson might kiss and make up. I can see that happening. I can’t see FtB and SP joyfully singing together.

  127. Hunt says

    Did you ever apologise for your poor behaviour in the occasion of your being banned ?

    I didn’t confess my sin. On the other hand, PZ never apologized for calling me an authoritarian asshole. Still waiting on that one. I’m sure it will come any day now. As I recall, I wasn’t being all that annoying, but I’m not going to reread the whole thing with a hanky to find out.

  128. DBP says

    I’ve seen favorable references to gun ownership on SP, etc. That type of thing is never going to fly at Pharyngula, for instance.

    Why not? I know of a couple members of FTB that own guns. At least one of them comments pretty regularly at Pharyngula

  129. says

    There’s a implied proscription against visiting SP, carefully fostered by PZ, which basically has FtBers quaking like 17th century New England churchgoers. They’ve never been there, but they know it’s eeeeevilllll. This is what Al was getting on about. I disagree with that. Go there and discover for yourself. You may hate it (and I might eventually agree with you.)

    Bullshit. Bullshit throughout. No proscription, no careful fostering by PZ, no quaking – don’t be schewpid.

    I have been there. I saw a fair bit of its parent on Abbie Smith’s blog, and I’ve seen a few samples from the offspring. I do know what it’s like. They tell lies, they monitor me and others as if we were fucking al Qaeda with a suitcase full of smallpox, they call us cunts and every other insult they can think of, they photoshop us – and on and on. Don’t you tell me I don’t know what it’s like. And fuck your “eventually” – they’ve been at this for more than a year and a half now; “eventually” was a long long time ago.

  130. DBP says

    I didn’t confess my sin. On the other hand, PZ never apologized for calling me an authoritarian asshole. Still waiting on that one. I’m sure it will come any day now. As I recall, I wasn’t being all that annoying, but I’m not going to reread the whole thing with a hanky to find out.

    Why should he apologize to someone who was being obnoxious and ignored multiple warnings to stop being obnoxious on his blog?

    And no, you couldn’t have been obnoxious, now could you? It kind of reminds me of this guy:

    “I’m not a racist. I just don’t believe in mixing the races that way,” Bardwell told the Associated Press on Thursday. “I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/15/interracial-couple-denied_n_322784.html

    Everyone else found you obnoxious, but they’re the ones that are wrong!

    You’re not annoying in the same way that guy isn’t racist.
    *facepalm*

  131. mildlymagnificent says

    You’ve got the “they walk among us” thing. You’ve got the “how many are there? and are you one of them?” thing.

    I know the point I’m about to make isn’t what you were talking about, but the words will do for the purpose. ‘They’ don’t walk among us, they are us.

    The real difference is that there are many people who are conscious of their own built-in or cultural biases and conscientious about trying to change themselves to be better people. Not perfect, just better than the day or week or year before. Even someone like me who’s got 40 years of feminism under her belt has occasional thoughts or forms of words that are inappropriate. You have to acknowledge that you are not an isolated individual and culture is powerful. Other people throw their hands in the air and give up and give in – allowing themselves to perpetuate bias and prejudice with the excuse that that’s the way I was brought up, that’s the way it is, one person can’t do much. It’s a pretty feeble excuse.

    After all, the one thing everyone can control is their own words, their own behaviour. And the words we need to master above all others are, “I’m sorry. That was wrong. Let me put it this way.” or “I take that back” or ” Yes, you’re right. I shouldn’t have said that.” or whatever is appropriate for the occasion.

    And you can even be light-hearted about acknowledging your own unthinking prejudice. “Everyone’s a little bit racist, oka-a-aay” horrified me when I first heard one of my daughters singing this lustily in the kitchen. Then I listened. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9CSnlb-ymA

    Just because we have acquired faults doesn’t make us bad people. It’s only when we try to justify the unjustified that we move into truly bad territory.

  132. says

    Correct me if I am wrong, but wouldn’t it be the slymepit denizens that piss and moan about CENSORSHIP!! Obviously only when it happens to them! They don’t like my comments (MyCatsareMyGods) on Al’s ranty rage video being so highly upvoted so they have resorted to marking them as spam.

  133. says

    DBP:

    I know of a couple members of FTB that own guns. At least one of them comments pretty regularly at Pharyngula

    I know there’s me, and at least 2-3 other regular Pharyngula commenters who own guns, and I’m 99% sure that Stephanie Zvan enjoys recreational target shooting. That nonsense about gun owners not being welcome is just another facet of the myth/lie that FtB is some sort of evil monolithic group that cannot stand dissent. Mostly so that people can pretend that they are unwelcome because they “disagree”(lie) rather than because they are tiresome assholes expressing odious viewpoints in an obnoxious manner…

    … which come to think of it is why they don’t want anything like ethics attached to atheism, because once standards exist then many of them would have to change or admit that they don’t live up to any reasonable ethical standard.

  134. DBP says

    @Joe:
    You were specifically who I was thinking about.

    Just for the record, I own 2 mil-surp rifles but don’t really frequent the comments sections.

    @Hunt:
    Watch as neither of us are chased out or castigated. If you aren’t full of shit, it will be happening in 3,2,1…

  135. says

    in 3,2,1…

    *oh, my cue!*

    FREE THOUGHT AT FTB? Can’t have that! Out you go!!!

    Stephanie Zvan is apparently a decent shot. Her husband Ben has a license to carry, and has occasionally when we have gone out shopping or to restaurants together. Both are pro-gun-control.

  136. stewart says

    Hasn’t everyone for whom this has been on the radar gone and looked at what is actually in the slymepit, as well as what some of its contributors, both regular and occasional, have written and photoshopped elsewhere? Use of a term like “implied proscription” or the idea that a dictate from PZ could intimidate anyone from looking at whatever they felt like on the Internet – well, both are completely ludicrous on the face of it. Where on earth does anyone even get such absurd notions, let alone the nerve to write them where anyone can see them?

  137. says

    Stephanie Zvan is apparently a decent shot. Her husband Ben has a license to carry, and has occasionally when we have gone out shopping or to restaurants together. Both are pro-gun-control

    OMG! Other gun owners that are actually FOR gun control? Stop the presses! Now I know who to call in for back up!

  138. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    And I may need to adjust my humor meter. Thanks for the heads up Ophelia. I jumped the gun.

  139. carlie says

    That was really nice to say, Rodney. Thank you. That brings a little bit of hope back that it’s not all just bashing our own heads against the wall over and over.

    Plus there’s the fact that Rebecca didn’t have an “anti-Dawkins “dick” campaign.”

    Yes, but there didn’t seem to be any hope of success dislodging that one from his mind.

    They’ve never been there, but they know it’s eeeeevilllll. This is what Al was getting on about. I disagree with that. Go there and discover for yourself.

    If you go back to its origins, you’ll find a number of us waded in for awhile and finally gave up in the face of all of the yelling and the misrepresentation and the willful ignoring of anything we actually tried to say. You’re being just like the Christians who assume atheists must not know anything about Christianity, otherwise they’d like it! Well, no. Our disdain of the slymepit is well-supported by having viewed a lot of it happen in real time, and by trying unsuccessfully to engage its members.

  140. Rodney Nelson says

    I’ve lurked at the Slymepit and at Erv’s predecessor. I’ve even mentioned that both here and at Pharyngula. I found both places to be quite blatant about promoting sexism and calling pretty much any women cunts and bitches. I wasn’t that sexist even when I was a sexist.

  141. Anthony K says

    If you go back to its origins, you’ll find a number of us waded in for awhile and finally gave up in the face of all of the yelling and the misrepresentation and the willful ignoring of anything we actually tried to say.

    Funnily enough, Al must not have been among us:

    Imagine my surprise when I finally decided to check out the Slymepit for myself, only to find it nothing even remotely like what I was led to believe.

    Apparently, Stefanelli was the 17th century New England churchgoer, led to believe the ‘pit was eeeeevilllll thanks to PZ’s proscription.

    Nice coup, Slymepit. You scored yourself a real freethinker with him. A real upstream-swimming salmon, Al is.

  142. says

    They’ve never been there, but they know it’s eeeeevilllll. This is what Al was getting on about.

    I just went ahead and actually watched the drivel. It appears to me that Al is delusional. And he is wrong, of course. Many of us have been engaged in this mess from day 1, and many of us spent hours and hours, weeks and months trying to reason and argue with first ERV and a few choice commenters, and later with those who felt they should associate themselves with what came to be known much later as the slymepit.

    So yes, we’ve been there. Stefanelli is apparently just another overrated pseudo-skeptic who has lost his shit over what should be fairly trivial disagreements.

  143. Stacy says

    There’s a implied proscription against visiting SP, carefully fostered by PZ, which basically has FtBers quaking like 17th century New England churchgoers. They’ve never been there, but they know it’s eeeeevilllll. This is what Al was getting on about. I disagree with that. Go there and discover for yourself. You may hate it (and I might eventually agree with you.) Without overextending the McCarthyist metaphor, there are grains of truth to looking at all these things in that historical vein, since this type of crap is never purged from the repertoire of human behavior, and you’re fooling yourself if you think you can’t be subject to it.

    Ouch, this is so stupid I actually winced for Hunt.

    A forum devoted to obsessive hating on certain bloggers is disliked by those bloggers. McCARTHY!!

    PZ isn’t the boss of me. I refuse to give the SP the hits they crave because I’ve seen the sort of reasoning they use–they’re always turning up in the comments here at B&W and elsewhere. I don’t find them scary, I find them ludicrous.

  144. says

    Plus there’s the fact that Rebecca didn’t have an “anti-Dawkins “dick” campaign.”

    Apologies to Rebecca for perpetuating that one upthread without checking. This only weakens Hunt’s wibbling about how we are as bad as the ‘pitters.

    There’s a implied proscription against visiting SP, carefully fostered by PZ, which basically has FtBers quaking like 17th century New England churchgoers. They’ve never been there, but they know it’s eeeeevilllll.

    I don’t think you will find that is true. A desire not to link to the ‘pit is not the same as a proscription. And most of us, being freethinkers, have dropped by at various times to see for ourselves and had our suspicions confirmed.

    Hands up all here who have been to the ‘pit?

  145. Aratina Cage says

    Many of us have been engaged in this mess from day 1, and many of us spent hours and hours, weeks and months trying to reason and argue with first ERV and a few choice commenters, and later with those who felt they should associate themselves with what came to be known much later as the slymepit.

    So yes, we’ve been there.

    And many of us have not only been there, we were dragged there. Most of the worst of it is about specific people from here. I remember feeling like I was being sucked into a real life Harry Potter scenario, because when I didn’t use a certain person’s pseudonym but referred to him in a comment about things he had written as “you-know-who” and as a pastry item, it was like I had ushered in Voldemort the way he hounded me both in writing and on video. Unbelievably, not naming names when talking about what he had done turned out to be the best thing you could do to draw his attention. He didn’t care a bit that I was merely reporting facts and had wanted to avoid interacting with him altogether given the awful things I had observed about his behavior toward two women bloggers. And then, as we all know, the pit oozes together and slimes you with abandon.

    We’ve never been there? Hah!

  146. =8)-DX says

    Oh shit, I’m a caucasian male. PZ has a personal vendetta against me personally!

    What I find odd is how he pretends PZ Myers calls others sexists and racists and forgets tha PZ commonly points to his own sexism and racism and privilege.

    Yeah, the problem with broad societal predjudices is that everyone holds them, including the people they are pointed against. It takes convinction, self-awareness and rejection of one’s own behaviours to overcome these predjudices.

  147. Hunt says

    Plus there’s the fact that Rebecca didn’t have an “anti-Dawkins “dick” campaign.”

    Apologies to Rebecca for perpetuating that one upthread without checking. This only weakens Hunt’s wibbling about how we are as bad as the ‘pitters.

    Fair is fair. I somehow confused the “don’t be a dick” maxim from the A+ forum rules and something that transpired in the Watson/Dawkins book boycott. It didn’t happen.

    I don’t think you will find that is true. A desire not to link to the ‘pit is not the same as a proscription. And most of us, being freethinkers, have dropped by at various times to see for ourselves and had our suspicions confirmed.

    Hands up all here who have been to the ‘pit?

    Its doesn’t seem to be possible that SP is heavily trafficked from FtB given that Pharyngula alone has 100K hits per day and the main thread at SP has only 1Meg views.

    As you probably know, Myers will also ban any Slymepitter on sight, meaning any person who consorts with the commentators there. For instance Steffanelli was banned for that reason. Presumably, that doesn’t include those either lurking there or commenting disfavorably. On the other hand, we’re talking about PZ Myers. Color me paranoid, but it wouldn’t surprise me even slightly if Myers banned someone merely for being a bit too animated, or at talking at too great a length, about a topic that appeared there. Banning anyone who even consorts with them is a pretty clear message. Let me just ask it directly. Do you agree with that?

  148. Hunt says

    You know? it’s basically the Hatfields vs. the McCoys. When things descend into clannishness, there are precious few ways of extraction. Shermer was right. Beware tribalism. It makes me wonder how easily I could fix this whole mess if I only had a Neuralyzer.

  149. says

    Hunt,

    As you probably know, Myers will also ban any Slymepitter on sight, meaning any person who consorts with the commentators there. For instance Steffanelli was banned for that reason. Presumably, that doesn’t include those either lurking there or commenting disfavorably.

    Well I got away with commenting on the pit for quite some time, especially since the pitters said I’d get banned instantly. But I was commenting ‘disfavourably’ on the whole although its hard to be judgemental all the while and they do make a few good jokes so I did laugh with them as well as at them. However I was also annoying to PZ as he doesn’t like to entertain that his policy towards them is over the top. I have to say that is up to him and if he finds us annoying and his commenters find us annoying why shouldn’t we be banned? You were, I was… We lost no freeze peach! I miss it a little as the pitters cannot insult someone quite as effectively as the Pharyngula commenters do, so I have to make do with half-arsed insults these days. But I don’t think I’ve lost out, I really don’t think PZ or the Pharyngula commenters have lost out from not having us comment! So what’s your problem?

    Banning anyone who even consorts with them is a pretty clear message. Let me just ask it directly. Do you agree with that?

    I didn’t and that was my main problem with PZ’s policy, guilt by association. Many of the pitters do not use sexist terms or engage in anything other than tolerating the others doing it. They have ignore lists so it is perfectly possible some there don’t even see the majority of it… But I think I’ve been swayed by the Stormfront pub analogy, you may go to the pub run by the bigots at Stormfront just for a beer but by merely going there you are giving them tacit approval.

    Also the trolling side of things… Pitters, even if they do ‘ignore’ Boss Hog and the worst of his little piglets, are exposed to the trolling philosophy and pit reward system which basically allows you to comment here but only if it is part of some piss taking. See John Welchs Troll Manifesto, he is actually in my opinion one of the pitters with some real integrity (He criticised Justin Vacula for Surly Amys d0x’ing and Thunderf00t for accessing the emails)… But he posts things like that, basically saying don’t bother arguing – just take the piss.

    Their aim is to “win” .. Not the argument as we all know that is impossible … But to “win” points in the game, get something they can twist or turn to use against FtBs. They profess to hope they will eventually drive FtBs off the internet, but I doubt anyone really thinks that is a possibility (Maybe John Loftus is sufficiently delusional ).

    What is the point of PZ and his commenters engaging with trolls cut from the same cloth over and over? I doubt they enjoy it after years of it and they are not providing a public service…. So the pit gets the shitty end of the ban hammer.

  150. Rodney Nelson says

    Hunt #182

    Its doesn’t seem to be possible that SP is heavily trafficked from FtB given that Pharyngula alone has 100K hits per day and the main thread at SP has only 1Meg views.

    I visited the slymepit once. That was enough to tell me that slymepit was an apt name. I doubt I’m the only one who did that. Sorry if reality doesn’t match your biases.

  151. says

    You know? it’s basically the Hatfields vs. the McCoys.

    Except that it’s not. There’s no tit-for-tat here, no matter how much you feverishly imagine it to be.

    There’s clear water between these sides: the FtBers, A+ers and Skepchicks wish to be left alone. (Indeed, when this all kicked off they were genuinely surprised at the amount of pushback they got from the ranks of the sexist bedwetters.) The Slymepitters won’t let these good folks be but exist to troll them.

    Banhammers are not violent, nor do they represent retribution or reprisal. They are simply hauling the shutters down in the faces of ne’er-do-wells.

    It makes me wonder how easily I could fix this whole mess if I only had a Neuralyzer.

    You seem, bizarrely, to imagine yourself above all this. When indeed you are an obtuse fellow who appears to have the back of the ‘pitters. Or at least an extraordinary blind spot around them.

  152. Aratina Cage says

    (Maybe John Loftus is sufficiently delusional.)

    I’m sorry, but how funny is it that there are only 10 whole comments on a post about FTB’s decline, the last one noting that FTB keeps picking up new bloggers for every one they shed? Jeepers, John. I can’t believe the silly things he has written against FTB ever since leaving FTB (and he was not at all forced out or booted out, just like Al and many others).

  153. Anthony K says

    Its doesn’t seem to be possible that SP is heavily trafficked from FtB given that Pharyngula alone has 100K hits per day and the main thread at SP has only 1Meg views.

    Whoops! So much for the claim that the lurkers are all leaving FTB for the fresh air of the Slymepit.

  154. says

    I’m sorry, but how funny is it that there are only 10 whole comments on a post about FTB’s decline, the last one noting that FTB keeps picking up new bloggers for every one they shed?

    And we could pick up a lot more than that if we wanted to. There’s a waiting list. We add slowly and carefully, and there’s a ceiling.

  155. Anthony K says

    Do you agree with that?

    Such entitlement. Nobody owes anybody space on their blog.

    Seriously, what kind of fucking question is that?

    I tell you this: PZ is far too lenient with trolls. Given the traffic he does and the trolls he attracts, it’s a wonder any kind of conversation can take place there at all. People who think he’s some kind of draconian overlord are simply stupid, spoiled, and self-centered.

    You want a place to speak, hunt? There are hundreds of free blogging platforms.

    You have to earn the audience, though. You aren’t entitled to a piece of PZ’s readership, just because you want it.

  156. Aratina Cage says

    You aren’t entitled to a piece of PZ’s readership, just because you want it.

    Wait–who are the McCarthyites again? I’m getting extremely confused. Are our eyeballs their property or not?

    *points* COMMUNISM!
    *points again* And FASCISM!

  157. Anthony K says

    Seriously, Aratina, I’m not the only one who finds their sense of entitlement completely ludicrous, am I?

    The think they’re entitled to the right to act like complete bags of shit, and have PZ lay out the welcome mat when they feel like dropping by to wipe their shit-covered feet on his carpet?

    What fucking delusional dipshits.

  158. Anthony K says

    See John Welchs Troll Manifesto, he is actually in my opinion one of the pitters with some real integrity (He criticised Justin Vacula for Surly Amys d0x’ing and Thunderf00t for accessing the emails)… But he posts things like that, basically saying don’t bother arguing – just take the piss.

    So he’s going to defend free speech by ensuring that nobody he doesn’t like can have a conversation without one of the putters sticking their stupid in.

    Oolon, does the word ‘integrity’ have a different meaning in the UK than it does here in the part of the world that’s not a big playground for some giant cockroach with too much time on his fucking useless hands?

  159. says

    Oolon, does the word ‘integrity’ have a different meaning in the UK than it does here in the part of the world that’s not a big playground for some giant cockroach with too much time on his fucking useless hands?

    Give me a break I am looking for integrity in the Slymepit! He was pretty much the only one to take Thunderf00t to task.. He was one of the handful that criticised Justin for his d0x of Surly Amy, and not just because it “looked bad”… I did say *some* integrity, surely no one is totally lacking in that department!

    But yeah that trolling post is pretty awful, hopefully a temporary integrity failure brought on by frustration that the apocalypse didn’t take out FtBs…

  160. says

    oolon how many times have I told you to stop sharing your stories from the pit here? It feels like about six. I never appointed you Ambassador to the Pit, and I don’t need your debriefings. You really ought to be able to figure that out for yourself. Am I a likely audience for The Wisdom of John Welch?

  161. stewart says

    “Color me paranoid, but it wouldn’t surprise me even slightly if Myers banned someone merely for being a bit too animated, or at talking at too great a length, about a topic that appeared there.”

    I wouldn’t colour you paranoid; I’d colour you disingenuous. I think it would surprise you a great deal, because you were trying to get a point you know is false accepted in a sneaky way.

  162. christophernicholas says

    What’s a “real feminist?”
    He accuses FTB of “driving a wedge” into what should be a unified movement. But his video seemed pretty wedge drivey itself. And I’m not sure atheists should be a unified group. It’s possible for two people to be atheists but to agree on nothing else, no other issue, except their lack of belief in a god. Can atheists still work together to promote secular values while having deep, serious disagreements about other important issues? I’d think so, but the vitriol flying back and forth on FTB suggests otherwise.

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