Jerry Conlon apologizes »« You just stop seeing it

Comments

  1. says

    For shame, Ophelia.
    You rejected his suggestion out of hand without properly determining whether or not acid in the face is always considered a threat. You completely neglected to evaluate possible benefits of a face full of acid, you assumed that he meant harm without asking for clarification.

    For cripes sakes – you didn’t even bother to ask what KIND of acid. Where is the due diligence?

    Not to mention that it seems that “acid in the face” incidents happen more frequently to women.
    Have you ever considered the possibility that there may be some inherent difference in women that tends to make them gravitate more towards having acid in their faces? Have you even ASKED these women whether or not the acid in their face was wanted? No, you did not. You just assumed.

    There’s a guy over in Ed’s comment threads who can set you straight on all of this so you will be reacting with REASON and not emotion.

  2. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    And let’s not forget, as Sara Mayhew made clear, that’s nothing compared to how women might be scared away by “female bullies and sister-punisher witch hunts that result in highschool shunning”.

    LOL on ‘shunning’, by the way; what does it even mean in this context – not paying attention to them? I guess that’s what people like her are fighting for – the right to be paid attention to, whether you like it or not. Ties in very well with the idea that what the anti-discussion-of-the-issues crowd consider the most important: their current positions in the community. They don’t want to risk that by letting just anyone in.

  3. says

    Why, you’re right, Jafafa Hots. Furthermore I have yet to PROVE that what he said was a threat. No doubt Justin Vacula will do a podcast quoting some other tweet of his and then asking incredulously “does that sound like a threat to you?” And then there will be another Great Penis Debate and and and…

    I gotta go now. I wonder if I dare go outside…

  4. Aratina Cage says

    I sincerely hope Jerry Conlon has earned himself a lifetime ban from all atheist and skeptic events and organizations worldwide.

  5. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    I sincerely hope Jerry Conlon has earned himself a lifetime ban from all atheist and skeptic events and organizations worldwide.

    I don’t know; for something like that he’s likely to win the Slymepit’s ‘Heroic Freethinking Skeptic of the Year’ award, and be asked to join Skeptic Ink as their newest member. Justicar, Thunderfoot and NoelPlum99 will mention him as a fine fellow in their next 137 YouTube videos (about a week’s worth). Russell Blackford will buy him a drink and Jeremy Stangroom will ask him to be his wingman for his next big night on the town.

  6. Martha says

    Ok, this is a little off topic, but you’ve got me curious now. What percentage of them actually fuck off when you tell them to?

  7. FelixBC says

    Is this Jerry Conlon an identifiable person in the atheist/skeptic community, not just a random faceless goon?

  8. screechymonkey says

    But I hope you haven’t blocked this guy — that would be repressing his FREEZE PEACH!

    Oh, and while we’re waiting for Orac to reprimand Shermer, let’s send up the bat-signal for D.J. Grothe to criticize Mayhew for her irresponsible fear-mongering about “sister-punishing” at atheist and skeptic events.

  9. mandrellian says

    Pfft! Where’s the evidence that acid in the face is a Bad Thing? I demand peer reviewed articles!!

    /veryveryskepticalskeptic

  10. Rodney Nelson says

    F #7

    Dood. I’ll take that acid off you. Is it clean?

    Check see what color it is. The brown acid that is circulating around us is not specifically too good. It is suggested that you stay away from that. Of course it’s your own trip. So be my guest, but please be advised that there is a warning on that one, ok?

  11. thebookofdave says

    I can’t believe he didn’t take his rant to an ally with common interests. He could have had a fatwa against you by now.

  12. says

    This is inexcusable. It goes above and beyond the *already* fucked up comments and threats you get Ophelia. Acid in the face? Really??!!

    Jerry Conlon & anyone else who thinks like you do:
    Fuck all of you.

    ****
    To those people who complain about the Deeeep Rifts, and in/out group dynamics…THIS shit if what many of us are happy to be rid of. Who the hell would would want anything to do with scum like this? Yes, I’m better than this shitbag. So are a hell of a lot of other people in this movement. People like this need to be made pariahs. They need to be pushed to the corners of the movement. “Kissing and making up” is not an option.

  13. brucegee1962 says

    I’m as anti-gun as the next liberal. I’ve never felt the slightest urge to walk around armed.

    But if I EVER got an email like this one, I would be applying for a concealed carry permit the next day.

    Ophelia, you’re one of the bravest people I know of.

  14. says

    Is this Jerry Conlon an identifiable person in the atheist/skeptic community, not just a random faceless goon?

    I don’t know about identifiable, but if you google @jerryconlon (haven’t bothered with the generic, probably many people with that name) you’ll not be surprised to see where he hangs out and what the topics of discussion are.

    (uhoh, did I just start a witch hunt?)

  15. FelixBC says

    Oh, look, he wished the pitters a very happy new year.
    http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=73&start=40275#p42405

    “JTC wrote:
    Happy New Year Pit. I read the entire thread over these few weeks and it’s been a trip. Thanks for keeping these fuckwads in check and it’s been pleasure conversing with a few of you over twitter. You’re a solid group of people and all the hyperbolic nonsense I used to read about “The Pit” on FTB is just that…. nonsense.

    Take care friends,

    Jerry Conlon”

  16. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    “You’re a solid group of people…”

    Yeah, someone who thinks that those who engage in non-stop harassment of people on Twitter and blogs, threats of violence and general scumbaggery in order to preserve the hierarchy and status quo within the atheist community are a ‘solid group of people'; not so long ago people who thought like him put on hoods to do the same to ‘uppity’ folks who just wanted equality.

    Sadly, that’s what the internet is for these people. A tall, white hood and a flaming cross – and they don’t even need to leave their bedrooms.

  17. Anthony K says

    As Michael Shermer said, pirates only killed some of their victims, not all. But not none either. You’re the price of the pitter’s free speech. Reap and friends thank you for your sacrifice.

    Seriously though, I’m so sorry that this is what you have to deal with as a woman with public opinions, Ophelia.
    I wish I knew how to best have your back, but you have my support, for what it’s worth.

  18. Lyanna says

    I’m very sorry you have to deal with this nonsense.

    I guess this is the substantive dissent we PC Femi-stasis are suppressing, hmm?

  19. davidmc says

    When there are arseholes like that on the other side of the rift, I’m not convinced the rift is deep enough or wide enough.

  20. jenniferphillips says

    One of the pitters has repudiated the comment on twitter. It’s a shame that things have to approach that extremity before anyone thinks to back away, but at least there is a limit.

  21. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    davidmc wrote:

    When there are arseholes like that on the other side of the rift, I’m not convinced the rift is deep enough or wide enough.

    The problem is that while a group of people on one side is perfectly happy to schism and get on with talking about the things that are important to them, that isn’t good enough for the other side – who keep on stalking and baiting and harassing and threatening; it’s clear they believe they own all of atheism and will not suffer anyone else to engage in it in any other way than the one they prefer.

    It’s both funny and sad that they accuse the A+ folks of emulating a religion when they themselves are engaging in exactly the kind of behaviour that what became the Catholic Church did, stamping out heresy.

  22. Bjarte Foshaug says

    Ophelia, if you read this, I will donate $ 150 to a feminist organization or cause of your choosing. If I don’t hear from you withing a couple of days, I will give the money to Equality Now as I have done in the past. Hope that’s ok.

    I would also encourage everyone else to donate whatever they can afford, both because supporting equality is good in itself, and to let the bastards know that their evil behavior will ultimately backfire and end up strengthening everything they hate.

  23. raymoscow says

    Wait: we need one of our remote male security experts to ascertain whether this was an actual threat or just a friendly warning, or even a joke. [/snark]

    Seriously, I hope you can forward this to the authorities. They might not (and probably won’t) do anything this time, but the complaint of his threat(s) needs to go on to his record.

  24. says

    With the over-wrought hyperbole on the pit these things are bound to happen. Obviously some see what they do there as a just a big piss-take, a joke. However there are people describing FtB’ers as “psychopathic ideologues” over and over and the MRA element there believing “radfems” want to kill 100-90% of men (Renee mentioned this to me, I was taken aback she’d say it even semi-seriously). So people are bound to get angry, the SammyBoals troll was decried by the pit as well as this guy will be too (I assume)… But where do they get their anger that makes them act in this way? The hand-wringing and wailing over feminism “poisoning” the movement and the hyperbolic statements of how truly evil all the “FfTB’ers” are.

    More worrying to me are things like the members of the pit taking surreptitious pictures of Rebecca, others talking about dropping things in PZs pocket. I saw someone on Twitter claiming he’d tap PZ on the shoulder at a conference and engage him in “an awkward conversation”. It only takes one of the more deranged fans of someone who is being called “A Brave Hero” to take things a step further.

  25. miraxpath says

    I think that this qualifies as a direct threat of assault and you should consider lodging a police report.

    I dont comment much on the anti-feminist fuckers and their shenanigans but like Bjarte Foshaug, I have reacted in ways I consider important. I have donated money to Women in Skepticism and subscribed to the CFI magazine. I am ready to do more. The slimers have succeeded in provoking women like me – basically outsiders, living on the other side of globe- into doing more for the cause. Their enablers – the blackfords, stangrooms, thunderfooters et al- have pushed me into a new awareness of how superficial their commitment to equality is and how lacking in depth/logic/compassion their arguments are. Let’s have clear deep rifts, so we can discard all these knuckledraggers and their girl cheerleaders.

  26. KellyM says

    When you google @jerryconlin, one of the first things that comes up is a positive Twitter exchange with Justin Griffith https://twitter.com/danielwaddell17/status/284168100780331008. I hope Justin is proud of the direct results of his support and admiration of the slymepit. He’ll probably post again about how Ophelia isn’t handling the threats of physical violence as well as he handles the ones he gets from Christians. Or about how the slymepit is so nice to him, that Ophelia must have done something to deserve the threats. I don’t know if anything could have been done last year to make that man decide to support the targets of abuse and harassment instead of the abusers, but it’s a lost cause now.

  27. Lofty says

    This is sooo far beyond disgusting. i hope someone catches this creep before he acts on his fantasies. He needs to be put somewhere where he can’t do damage to anyone.

  28. says

    I notice that those who condemned you for your (admittedly silly) comparison of online harassment with acid throwing haven’t bothered to condemn the person who threatened to… err… throw acid in your face.

  29. says

    Remember, that’s just reasonable disagreement.
    It’s not like acid in the face is violent.
    It’s not like it’s a known “punishment for uppity women”.
    It’s not like it ties in with the “ugly feminists” thingy.

    Also remember to apologize to Michael Shermer for being worse that the Nazis and Inquisition combined for disagreeing with him.

  30. Louis says

    But isn’t acid in the face a sign of affection in some cultures? Clearly you’re just being racist as well as humourless, Ophelia. Tsk, it’s political correctness gone mad I tell you. Next you’ll be saying that people can’t publicly threaten to kill you without being taken at their word. And then where will we be I ask you? Bedlam, that’s where.

    Oh if only Diana were alive.

    Louis

  31. Badland says

    Oh Christ. Ophelia, you’re braver than I could ever be and you have my admiration. Sick comments like this from sick fucks like Conlon are proof of how important your voice is. And the fact he felt the ‘pit would be collegial sums up that lot beautifully

  32. jamessweet says

    Man, they just duck right into the punch, don’t they?

    I actually had mixed feelings about your hacking -> acid attack post, because it could be read a couple different ways. One way is fine, which is that it’s justified for you to be concerned because these sorts of acrimonious situations can escalate rapidly. The other way was that you were making an irrelevant association to try and associate the slymepitters with acid attacks, even though they had done no such thing. I didn’t say anything, cuz I figured you mostly meant it the former way, but it didn’t sit really great with me at the time.

    Luckily, they just seem to do all the work for you. Geezus… Pretty fucked up. Sorry Ophelia :(

  33. O P says

    Oh, well actually, now I don’t consider what he said a crime. I just read your post about the slime pit and acid attacks(jamessweet’s earlier post brought it to my attention). You suggested that you may be attacked by acid; he stated in the twitter it might be good for your skin. :( The context does matter. It’s still a very mean sentiment, but not an illegal one… but I can’t comment on anything else that has been said to you. Given the caliber of rhetoric that is found in a few atheist corners, no doubt someone has threatened you.

  34. raymoscow says

    OP @44, discussing how on-line harrassment recently escalated into an acid attack is ‘suggesting you may be attacked by acid’, which sets a ‘context’ that somewhat justifies a veiled threat of an acid attack? OK, in which universe?

  35. brianpansky says

    O P, are you saying that Ophelia’s other post somehow makes this even a millimeter less wrong?

  36. Aratina Cage says

    it might be good for your skin

    How can you even think that?! It’s fucked up beyond belief. You know the damage it does to women. Might as well talk about “corrective” rape in an approving manner, or how wonderful female genital mutilation is.

  37. sheila says

    I think Bjarte Foshaug has a great idea. Please nominate a charity. If not I’ll pick one next week (when I know how much tax I have to pay this quarter, and how much is left)

    Actually, I’d be very happy to chip in towards a “Cheer up Ophelia” fund. That would include Fluevog shoes, or even Manolo Blahnik’s if you like, although I suspect you might prefer something else. Really, it would only be fair after all the education and inspiration you’re provided since I’ve been reading your blog.

  38. Martha says

    Illegal or not, this comment is about four standard deviations outside the bounds of decent behavior. What will it take for the community to finally have its “At long last, have you no shame?” moment?

  39. says

    About my controversial remarks in “From hacking to acid throwing.” I didn’t set out to say that. I heard about the acid attack on the BBC early in the morning, so I found the BBC story for ur-B&W News and then decided to post about it – because throwing acid is extra special cruel and horrible, and it’s usually done to women, and why the hell would anyone do that to someone in the Bolshoi. For several reasons, in other words, none of them anything to do with me or my haters. But then while doing that I found the BBC’s follow-up story about the deep rifts in the Bolshoi; that sounded like deep rifts throughout history – you know, Stalinists v Trotskyists, New Left v Old Left, New Left v Women’s Liberation, SCLC v SNCC – and our local deep rifts. I’m interested in that stuff. I spent most of my 20s reading about Stalinists v Trotskyists.

    Then at the end I was struck by the bit about Facebook hacking, and the jump from that to acid throwing.

    That’s all there is to it. I was struck by it.

    But there is a background idea here, yes. It is that what the people engaged in this endless non-stop hate campaign are doing is dangerous. Not figuratively dangerous but literally dangerous. Yes, I am in fact afraid that they are going to get each other so worked up about us that one day someone will do something violent. Yes, that’s what I think. I think they’re playing with fire, and that we’re the ones who will be burned by the fire. I think it’s reckless and irresponsible to work up systematic hatred in this way. I think most of them are intelligent enough to realize that.

    A couple of them turned up here to tell us that the people at the mildew pit are all very against this acid threat business. Apparently we’re supposed to be impressed. I’m not the least bit impressed. The acid threat is the direct result of their incitement.

  40. Matt Penfold says

    He’s turned up (or at least someone claiming to be him) saying he has apologised to Ophelia, and it was all just a joke.

  41. says

    @Chigau, thanks for the link… Interesting apology, “childish joke”… I dunno bout that as I’m pretty childish and my jokes never include threats of violence. But good on him for apologising, assuming its him. I think the people saying to him don’t hang out at the pit have it to a tee. On there Ophelia is a “professional victim” so by threatening, creating “joke” memes etc you are doing what she wants while producing some quality “disagreement”. I guess after Jerry spent some time lurking there reading about pretty much everything Ophelia says and does he felt he knew her in some way. So it was ok to have a “joke” with this dehumanised caricature that is portrayed in the Slymepit. Pitters, if you’ve not worked it out yet, Ophelia *really* doesn’t like the attention, so why not knock it off?

  42. says

    Can we not say things like “good on him for apologizing”? Because it’s not. It’s preferable to not apologizing, yes, but it doesn’t make him “good.” That’s way too minimal. Drawing the line at threats of acid is drawing it way way way too far away from basic decency.

  43. says

    O P, are you saying that Ophelia’s other post somehow makes this even a millimeter less wrong?

    It’s because everything becomes well if you can find one imperfect molecule in a woman’s behaviour, imagined or real.
    Then suddenly everything makes sense. Then suddenly everything is right again. the world isn’t full with horrible people who do horrible things to women, the world is full with horrible women who get just desserts.

  44. mattandrews says

    Is filing a complaint with the police an option? It’s a long shot (particualry in getting them to take this seriously), but this is the textbook definition of a terroristic threat.

    And Jerry? If you’re still there, go seek professional help. If your reaction to a disagreement online is to threaten that person with disfigurement and torture, I worry for the people around.

    Particularly any women in your life.

  45. Beatrice says

    I’ve had less free time lately, so I haven’t been around B&W much. I’ve just now read about this on Pharyngula.
    I’m so sorry you were sent this horrible message. There is no excuse, and while it’s your prerogative to accept the apology or not, I don’t think some half-arsed “I was just kidding, but sorry anyway” is nearly enough.

    There is absolutely no excuse for sending you this kind of a message and anyone defending this action in any way is probably not much better than the message’s originator.

  46. Sassafras says

    A couple of them turned up here to tell us that the people at the mildew pit are all very against this acid threat business.

    Yeah, didn’t they also say they weren’t going to shit on Greta about her cancer? We all saw how well THAT went.

  47. says

    There is no apology to accept or not accept. Conlon says he sent me one on Facebook, but that can’t be right, because I didn’t receive any such apology there.

  48. raymoscow says

    Maybe there’s a message in the ‘Other’ box on FB messages?

    Not that it particularly matters.

  49. glodson says

    Jerry, minimizing your threat as a joke does not make for an apology. It might have been a joke to you, but to anyone else, it was the threat of a bully bent on harassing Ophelia. There was nothing childish about it. I don’t know if you are apologetic because of the backlash, the fear of police involvement, or because you regret the threat.

    I hope it is the last one. If it is, you need to examine your own behavoir and thoughts closely. That comment showed a complete blindness to what many have been discussing concerning harassment and bullying. It shouldn’t even need an explanation why threating anyone with acid in the face is beyond any semblance of human decency, let alone someone who has faced a long campagin of threats and harassment.

    Ophelia, I know it is not much, but I am sorry that you have to put up with this nonsense. But I am very glad that you do. Thanks to you, and several others, I have learned much. So thanks.

  50. O P says

    O P, are you saying that Ophelia’s other post somehow makes this even a millimeter less wrong?

    Brian, Yes, it’s a foot less wrong. It’s the difference between someone saying “Im going to kill George W. Bush” and George Bush saying “I think someone is going to kill me” and that same someone saying “I’m okay with that.” Let us return, shall we, to the time when Mr. Bush choked on a pretzel. How many liberals said that day “aww, he survived it?” Should people be criminally punished for schadenfreude? Everyone would be guilty, especially if it does not matter who the object of schadenfreude is. Obviously everyone here likes Ophelia, so they are enraged that someone would express schadenfreude toward her, but schadenfreude and violent threats are not equal. Of course, I still wouldn’t invite Jerry to my birthday party, but I also wouldn’t report him to the police.

  51. mattandrews says

    Of course, I still wouldn’t invite Jerry to my birthday party, but I also wouldn’t report him to the police.

    Oh, bullshit on that. Consequences have actions. Threatening to throw acid in someone’s face because you don’t like what their writing?

    And your salty snack violence-on-Bush analogy is fucking idiotic.

  52. Beatrice says

    O P,

    “Won’t someone rid me of this troublesome priest?” or alternatively
    “What miserable drones and traitors have I nourished and brought up in my household, who let their lord be treated with such shameful contempt by a low-born cleric?”

    (via Wikipedia)

  53. Beatrice says

    It’s the difference between someone saying “Im going to kill George W. Bush” and George Bush saying “I think someone is going to kill me” and that same someone saying “I’m okay with that.”

    Actually, it’s the difference between “I’m going to kill George W. Bush” and “Maybe someone should kill George W. Bush”. While the second can be just empty words or a wish that some other thug commits murder, it can be interpreted as a threat.

  54. Walton says

    That’s awful, Ophelia. I’m so sorry that this happened to you. It shouldn’t happen to anyone.

  55. says

    Ray @ 71 – ah! I’d never noticed the “Other” box before. I’m clueless.

    Yes, it was there. He didn’t mean to threaten, just to insult me for being so ugly.

  56. brianpansky says

    “Brian, Yes, it’s a foot less wrong. It’s the difference between someone saying “Im going to kill George W. Bush” and George Bush saying “I think someone is going to kill me” and that same someone saying [[[“having bush killed would do some good.”]]]”

    oh, so not different at all then. glad that’s settled.

  57. Cam says

    Ophelia – the “Other” box is sort of famously hard to notice. In fact, I only noticed it after hearing about how hard it was to notice.

  58. O P says

    Beatrice,

    Actually, it’s the difference between “I’m going to kill George W. Bush” and “Maybe someone should kill George W. Bush”. While the second can be just empty words or a wish that some other thug commits murder, it can be interpreted as a threat.

    But its not. Read her original post, read his tweet.

    Olivia: “Interesting. One minute it’s just hacked Facebook accounts, the next it’s acid attacks. Maybe I should start wearing protection.”

    Jerry: “Maybe a vial of acid would do you good. You already look like you were set on fire and put out with a wet rake”

    He is insulting her appearance, just like he says in his apology. What he is says is awful. It’s not a threat, but it could seem that way, especially without the background of her post. It did to me, after all.

    And no reason to call my analogy “fucking idiotic” Matt. Do you feel insulting someone’s intelligence is acceptable while insulting their appearance is not?

  59. theoreticalgrrrl says

    I want to make a new board game. I’ll call it “Atheist, Rush Limbaugh or Taliban?”.

    You get a quote and read it and the rest of the players, have 15 seconds to decide if the quote came from a VIP Atheist, Rush Limbaugh or The Taliban.

    First Quote:
    “Maybe a vial of acid would do you some good.”

    Quick, you have 15 seconds!
    Atheist, Rush or Taliban? (hint: it can be more than one).

  60. brianpansky says

    “Olivia: “Interesting. One minute it’s just hacked Facebook accounts, the next it’s acid attacks. Maybe I should start wearing protection.”

    Jerry: “Maybe a vial of acid would do you good. You already look like you were set on fire and put out with a wet rake”

    He is insulting her appearance”

    ? that may be filed under “intent”. what he actually *said* involved acid. in the wake of fear about acid attacks. That’s the context. I’m thinking you are the actual person who needs to understand the context of communication. and the “receiver-end-is-important” model of communication.

    “especially without the background of her post”

    I’m inclined to say the exact opposite. like I said, the context was attacks. maybe you could explain the context you saw more clearly than I am seeing.

  61. athyco says

    O P @ 83:

    He is insulting her appearance, just like he says in his apology. What he is says is awful. It’s not a threat, but it could seem that way, especially without the background of her post. It did to me, after all.

    Bold mine. O P, this doesn’t make sense to me. (1) If this tweet had come out of the blue, without the previous post, it would have been more of an “out of left field WTF” moment attributable to no group without investigation, maybe even coming from a religious source. (2) If he wanted only to insult her appearance (rational skeptic-like, huh?), then he could have gone with just the fire and wet rake (I can’t believe I’m typing this). (3) If he wanted to insult her appearance AND let her know that he was part of the “watching brigade” up on his latest shift, he could have keyed in on her comment about wearing a mask.* (4) But NO, he goes for the violent action. The one that says he’s part of the watching brigade and willing to escalate from this will make her feel bad/sad to this will make her feel afraid.

    *Damn. If you believe that Jerry Conlon wouldn’t have gotten kudos for tweet selections 1, 2 and 3, I’d say you have no ability to judge probabilities.

    And no reason to call my analogy “fucking idiotic” Matt. Do you feel insulting someone’s intelligence is acceptable while insulting their appearance is not?

    If you’ve got the goods to show that your analogy wasn’t idiotic, it’s in no way an insult of your intelligence.

  62. Mario says

    Maybe this won’t mean much but I want to show my full support for you Ophelia. There are a lot of people like me who really appreciate what you do, thank from the bottom of my heart.

  63. rrede says

    I’d also like to chime in to say how horrified I am at the lengths these harassers are reaching for, and how much I wish I could do more. Thank you for all that you do.

  64. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Ophelia, I also wanna say that you are awesome and brave and brilliant. I appreciate what you do, and you were on of the first skeptic blogs I ever read. Thank you. You don’t deserve either the threats from vicious misogynists or the wheedling bullshit of their apologist brethren.

  65. Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts says

    Adding my THANKS to Ophelia!

    Your writing has helped make me a better human being.

  66. O P says

    Brian,

    “especially without the background of her post”

    I’m inclined to say the exact opposite. like I said, the context was attacks. maybe you could explain the context you saw more clearly than I am seeing?

    Ugh. It would require to explain the “joke,” which is unjustifiably mean.

    A quote from Bill Maher might actually be useful:
    “Remember Rick Perry down in Texas? He said Obama’s suggestions for gun control disgust him. And he said the real answer to this problem isn’t laws, it’s prayer.

    “You know what, I know you’re not supposed to say this about elected officials, but I would pay to watch Rick Perry defend himself against a school shooter with prayer.

    “Although I guess that’s just a crazy fantasy, Rick Perry in a school.”

    I think what Bill Maher says was funny. And Bill maher says he would pay someone to watch Rick Perry get shot.
    Now Jerry doesnt say he would like to watch acid be thrown on ophelia, or that he would personally do it, but he does say it would be good for her, because it would improve her appearance. Bill Maher expresses much more clear hostility because he actually says he would pay someone to shoot Rick Perry. And there have been politicians shot. Did he threaten Rick Perry?

    I think Jerry’s tweet is contemptible. But I don’t think it was a threat. It even can seem like a threat. But mostly because he doesn’t have the delivery of Bill Maher, the “context” of the joke was not included in the original post, the subject of his joke is distasteful (acid and lookism), and the object of his “joke” is a sympathetic person. I would still advise him not make jokes about acid ever again.

    Would you like to make it a crime for people to say things like Jerry did? Nevermind whether it was truly a threat or not. If you do, then you would need consistently say that what Bill Maher said was a crime too because his words were clearly more hostile and I can guarantee you there are some Rick Perry admirers who are now yelling for Bill Maher’s head.

    But I would support banning someone from a conference because of something like this being said if I were one of the organizers of the conference. Although I’d be more open to the concept of forgiveness than so many here seem to be. Apologies are cheap, but certainly some sort of penance would suffice.

  67. Bjarte Foshaug says

    @Ophelia

    Maybe Canadian Women 4 Afghanistan?

    Done! :)

    I chose the Canadian one because it was easier to pay online, but thanks for bringing the Swedish one to my attention. It goes on my list.

    @sheila #50 that’s awesome! :-D

  68. Rodney Nelson says

    Ophelia,

    You’re very dear to me (as an internet voice) and I appreciate what you write.

    The slymepitters keep whining about deep rifts and hijacking atheism and divisiveness but somehow all the attacks and bullying come from their side. If they left us alone everyone here would breathe a sigh of relief and go about our lives in considerably more peace. But they won’t go away to stay on their side of the rift. They’re a combination of a spoiled child yelling “pay attention to ME!” and bullying.

    Somehow they’ve decided it’s FTB and A+ people who are the bullies but are we the ones uttering rape threats and now threats of permanent disfigurement? I’m sure some slymepitter will dig up a tweet saying something like “fuck off and die” and pretend it’s a threat but in real life we’re not the ones making threats.

    And Jerry Conlon, your apology proves you’re a bully. “It was just a joke” is what bullies say when they get caught. Here’s a clue, jokes are supposed to be funny. Threatening to throw acid in someone’s face isn’t funny.

  69. theoreticalgrrrl says

    At least he did apologize, which is much more than what the usual harrassers are doing. It was an incredibly horrible thing to say, and he recognized that.

    This kind of hostility is quite common. I remember reading books as a teen by second wave feminists and being horrified at the nastiness directed at them when they were part of the ’60s Anti-war peace and love movement. I always imagined that the ’60’s were this great time when men and women fought together for social justice and peace. But women were constantly told to stop talking about sexism because it’s a trivial issue, or at best a side issue to be dealt with after all the important stuff was taken care of. And sexism in the black community is often treated the same way. There’s a blog called http://www.whataboutourdaughters.com/ that I highly recommend. I deals with the same attitude that black women shouldn’t talk about sexism because there are more important things to deal with or that talking about it makes the black community look bad (sound familiar?)
    Then there’s the Occupy Wall Street movement. Same shit. Women who say they were sexaully assaulted by men in the movement are told they should not report it because it will hurt the cause, which is focused on more important issues than silly little women and their concerns about bodily integrity and privacy.

  70. says

    I just remembered something.
    About a year ago some guy stalked and attacked women on and off campus.
    Only when he tried to abduct a femael student something happened.
    Actually, what mostly happened was that they told the female students not to walk alone after dark, because, well, who cares that the lecture is until 8pm…
    But one of the things he did that the police mostly ignored was to throw water at women, usually squish it out of a bottle, you know one of those plastic thingies they use in chemistry with a kind of straw on top.
    Because the horror those women suffered before they realized that it was not acid must have been priceless.
    And hey, it was just water, can’t you take a fucking joke?

  71. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    I’m very sorry to hear you were subjected to this vile threat, Ophelia.

    As for Conlon’s “apology”, what kind of warped individual would joke about throwing acid over someone?

  72. says

    I read this when PZ posted about it but never got around to commenting. I wish I was shocked by this but sadly I am not. Also, apologies are nice but they do not make anything better automatically. Especially when the “apology” that was given shows they really have not changed their thinking.

    Jerry has removed his Twitter account but I did look at the cached version. I have not really paid attention to the slimers on Twitter so I had not really looked at one of their profiles before. It was shocking. The obsession, the nastiness, and the general obliviousness of it was truly astounding. I figured there might be a post or two on this topic but the cached version had basically nothing but angry tweets about Rebecca Watson and others that call them out for their sexism and misogyny. After reading the tweets I am not surprised this person would tweet about throwing acid in someone’s face. And people like PZ and Ophelia are the bullies? What amazing disconnect from reality.

    Has anyone seen Jerry being active online since this incident? I would not be sad if he decided that he needed to take a break for a while, the longer the better.

  73. says

    Oh yes. That’s just it. The level of their obsession is astonishing and, thus, frightening. There are many people who monitor a small number of us every single day, as if it were their career, and then tweet and tweet and tweet about it, along with a few videos and blog posts and podcasts and Facebook posts for good measure.

    Every.single.day.

  74. Informed Citizen says

    [This comment was posted by someone who has never commented here before. I’m told people at the mildew pit are ranting about calling the police on me for “threatening” Jerry Conlon because of this comment, which posted some biographical information about him. There was no address or phone number. Since the commenter is otherwise unknown, I suspect this was a trap. How cute. Conlon threatens me with an acid attack, I do not call the police, so the mildew people try to work up a pretext to call the police on me.]

  75. Jef says

    @O P #96

    I think you’re only applying half of the context. In your example, Bill Maher is a professional comedian who explained the background at the start of his gag and gave a virtual wink to his knowing audience as he delivered the line…and it was still a shitty move. It’s worse when someone anonymous tweets a rubbish ‘joke’ without an appropriate explanation.

  76. David Marjanović says

    I’m with comment 105. Jerry, dude, if you really seriously think that kind of thing was funny, you need professional help. You’re in Canada, so you can actually afford it.

    And why did you think anybody would care if someone’s face isn’t your particular type? What made you shout out this useless information?

    Let us return, shall we, to the time when Mr. Bush choked on a pretzel. How many liberals said that day “aww, he survived it?”

    I didn’t (and not just because I didn’t want Darth Cheney to step in). Instead I took it as evidence that Fearless Flightsuit had never gotten off the booze.

  77. Steven Carr says

    ‘As for Conlon’s “apology”, what kind of warped individual would joke about throwing acid over someone?’

    Jimmy Carr actually. But he would be totally shocked by that tweet, as would any half-way sane person.

    That tweet was bang out of order. Bad, bad, bad…

    I’m shocked and I wasn’t even on the receiving end. I don’t want to imagine the horror of being the person reading that tweet and knowing it was directed at that person.

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