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Jan 25 2013

He bruised his knuckles when he punched her

It was all Mary Beard’s fault, as it turns out. No really; it was. The guy who ran that website says so. If he doesn’t know, who does?!

The co-owner and moderator of the website that published abusive comments about Mary Beard has accused the Cambridge academic of using the row to deflect from her own comments about immigration on Question Time.

He said that friends and colleagues of Beard, professor of classics at Cambridge University, had been “trolling” his site, Don’t Start Me Off!, which he closed down this week, by bombarding it with Latin poetry.

Oh my god that is so mean! Latin poetry, when all they wanted to do was hang around peacefully posting comments about Mary Beard’s genitalia and similar reasonable stuff.

The co-owner and moderator, Richard White, a Kent-based local businessman,…told MediaGuardian: “If she is genuinely hurt I am sorry because we never try to hurt people’s feelings. My suspicion is that she used our site to deflect the debate because she was so roundly thrashed after her appearance on Question Time last week.”

If. Genuinely. We never. My suspicion is. Used. To deflect. So roundly thrashed.

What a lying piece of shit. What a lie, to say “we never try to hurt people’s feelings.” I use the word “lie” sparingly, partly because other people throw it around so very carelessly, but that just is a ludicrous lie. It’s like hitting someone with a baseball bat and then claiming you never try to hurt anyone.

“We do not go out to be offensive and it is true that a lot of the postings that were made you would see said by other people like the comic Frankie Boyle.”

So.the fuck.what.

It doesn’t matter that you can see nasty shit said by other people – that is, it does matter, because it’s a very bad thing, but it doesn’t matter in the sense you meant: it doesn’t make it ok for you to say nasty shit too. If little Jimmy’s mommy let him jump off the roof would you jump off the roof too? The fact that other people are shits doesn’t give you dispensation to be a shit.

He did more explaining of why he’s not the troll, she’s the troll.

“Trolls are people who go and abuse people directly in places like Facebook and Twitter and if anything she is the troll because she encouraged her friends and colleagues to flood the site with Latin poetry, which they did. I allowed a lot of the poetry to go up because I didn’t have time to translate it.

“She came to us by Googling us and in a sense looking for negative comments. We never went to her.”

Yeah, dude – you hosted a lot of ugly crap about her and your horrific punishment was Latin poetry.

And the thing about Google? If she can find it on Google, that means other people can find it on Google. She has a reputation. She would probably like it not to include stuff scribbled by strangers about what a cunt she is because she said something.

White said that “as a classics scholar” Beard ought not to seek to curb freedom of speech. “She is a historian and she should know how much blood has been spilt over the years seeking to preserve freedom of speech, which you do not give away lightly,” he said.

Right. The glorious cause. Freedom to photoshop women’s faces onto female genitalia. That’s what the martyrs died for.

 

14 comments

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  1. 1
    Maureen Brian

    Suddenly, I haz a sad. What if the poetry was by Catullus and our hero is too stupid to read it?

    (In 2013 this joke has a limited audience. I can live with that.)

  2. 2
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    Maureen, I was thinking the same.

  3. 3
    Marcus Ranum

    @Maureen, I was thinking the same thing!

    And “attaboy” to the friends and colleagues for speaking up and for weaponizing the classics.

  4. 4
    Argle Bargle

    Please, for us uneducated, ignorant plebs, why does poetry by Catullus have any significance?

  5. 5
    Z

    @Rodney Nelson:

    Because of stuff like this:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catullus_16

  6. 6
    leftwingfox

    Because of stuff like this:

    … wow.

    That’s a hell of a bookend.

  7. 7
    chrislawson

    …especially apposite as Beard herself has written about Catullus 16.

  8. 8
    Ophelia Benson

    I bet Catullus has a sad that he didn’t have the Internet.

  9. 9
    chrislawson

    I find it interesting that Latin is full of formal verbs like irrumare, pedicare, and that there are so many different acts with their own very specific term (e.g. irrumare is quite different to fellatio even though both involve the same mechanical act). I particularly like the Wikipedia entry for “Synonyms and metaphors” for the numerous variations and permutations of futare:

    These words have few synonyms or metaphors, and belong almost to a sort of technical vocabulary.

  10. 10
    Argle Bargle

    Goodness gracious, it seems like Catallus was quite the outspoken poet. Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo indeed!

  11. 11
    abbeycadabra

    Ophelia @8

    I’m not so sure – then wouldn’t the rest of us be subjected to Lolcatullus?

  12. 12
    opposablethumbs

    How very apposite. And it’s absolutely breathtaking that Richard White (and I am so resisting the temptation to do the easy but wrong-on-so-many-levels thing with his name) has the gall to complain about … people being less than sycophantic to him on the internet. There must be a massive shortage of irony meters after that.

  13. 13
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    What about the Freeze Peach of Latin poetry aficcionados?

  14. 14
    dab

    abbeycadabra @ 11

    I’m not so sure – then wouldn’t the rest of us be subjected to Lolcatullus?

    This. This is perfect.

  1. 15
    What we need is a filter » Butterflies and Wheels

    [...] Yes Richard White who said “we never try to hurt people’s feelings.” He actually said that. [...]

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