At the Fountainhead Gallery »« Facebook tells a whopper

How to move on and rise above and ignore

How do you demonstrate that you are too wise and grown up and sensible to feed internet drama? By ignoring it bringing it up out of the blue for no apparent reason when no one was talking about it.

darlingm

Miranda Celeste Hale‏@mirandachale

@saramayhew @desertyard Has you-know-you stopped blogging about you& the pineapple yet? The last time I checked she’d done ~4352 posts on it

Sara E. Mayhew‏ @saramayhew

@mirandachale @desertyard It’s okay, Hermione, you can say the name: Ophelia Benson! Oppressed Pineapple!

Miranda Celeste Hale‏@mirandachale

@saramayhew desertyard Heh! :) I just died of lulz. I’ll be resurrected in 3 days’ time.

Desertyard‏@desertyard

saramayhew How many blog posts did she do about the pineapple thing? like 5 or 6? @mirandachale

Sara E. Mayhew‏@saramayhew

@desertyard@mirandachale one was too many…

Desertyard‏@desertyard

@saramayhew so much for ignoring you, huh? @mirandachale

Like that. Rise above it and ignore it by dragging it into a conversation for no reason apart from obsession.

A couple of points. One, I did a search. It wasn’t ~4352 posts, it was 4. Two, it wasn’t my idea, it was Mayhew’s idea. It was Mayhew who tweeted random out-of-nowhere malice about my way of blogging. My posts were in reply to Mayhew’s continued sniping. Miranda Hale is being dishonest in implying that I’m the one who picks these fights.

I could move on and rise above it and ignore it, but sometimes I choose not to because I think it’s worth showing the endless sniping and obsession.

Comments

  1. Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty says

    Just…Ugh.

    I really wish those folks would get a new hobby. I really do not understand this obsession of theirs.

  2. says

    I really don’t get it. Never in my life have I seen anyone hold a grudge longer than these people do.

    it’s almost as if, as soon as you stop giving them attention, they come screaming for more. I think they like it when you blog about them. I think it makes them feel important.

    Otherwise, I really can’t figure out why else they keep talking about you and FtB and Stephanie and so on.

    And before the trolls come in… they start it first every time. Ophelia ignores them, blogs about actually important shit, and suddenly they’re tweeting all about Ophelia again and whining about Ophelia’s blog on Facebook. Ophelia responds because, again, “ignore it” is a fucking bald-faced lie and it doesn’t work, as these idiots prove every time Ophelia does try to ignore them… they come right back begging for more attention.

    And I don’t get it. What purpose does it serve? What are they trying to prove? What are they trying to accomplish? Why do they do it?

  3. A. Noyd says

    It’s not too much to bully and provoke you over and over and over again, but one response from you is too much. Because you’re in total control of your responses, but their provocation is like a tornado or a tsunami—it just happens.

  4. says

    I tried blogging about Sara Mayhews recent tweetastic disaster ElevatorGATE style… While it was pretty easy and one of the daftest smear attempts I’ve seen on Twitter from the haters so funny as well I doubt I’ll come close to the “great” EG himself in terms of volume. I’m just waiting for the accusations of being obsessed with Sara now as I did one post. I was a “stalker” and obsessed with EG when I did that one post about his tweeting habits.

    Gurdur decided the #FTBullies (Specifically Greg Laden) obsessively hate and envy him presumably for that one post by Stephanie->

    Gurdur: The creep (& others) appears to obsessively hate and envy me. God knows why, I dunno why

    I tweeted a laugh at this bizarre sentiment and I now obsess over him as well apparently :-)

    Gurdur: Hmmm, hmmm, so the self-confessed troll ool0n obsesses over my tweets (none to him). Silly boy. It’s not mutual

    You would think that given one tweet or blog post count as “obsession” they would all be calling the FBI about EG, Richard Reed, Unbelieve Steve, Hoggle, Paden … Etc. Etc. All of whom seem to have just one level of output –> posts on how the #FTBullies are all such awful shits.

  5. says

    I know, about the extension and depth of the obsession. On and on and on and on. Blackford and Stangroom are still making elevator-and-coffee jokes, and Stangroom even did a taunt about “Becky” yesterday. The low just keeps going lower.

    Yet, somehow, we are the ones who are “divisive.”

  6. blorf says

    Of course FTB is divisive, you are obviously trying to split away from the ‘pitters while they will do anything to stay engaged with you…

  7. Lofty says

    Sadly I understand their obsessiveness all too well. Once their minds have concreted in an idea, they feel it’s their duty to make the world agree with them. No facts disagreeing with their positions will ever be considered. You see this in religion, sport, politics, health care etc. I have little hope of these people ever changing their minds. They aren’t flexible enough once the glue has set. Only a specialised wrecking crew can dismantle their crackpot ideas.

  8. says

    Well yes but why is the idea their minds have concreted in the idea that “a few people who blog at FTB or Skepchick are the worst people in the world”? It seems like such a narrow, specialized, monmaniacal idea to get concreted in. I could see getting concreted in the idea that “feminism is the worst thing ever” but the obsession with six or seven people who are not heads of state or CEOs or even best-selling atheists – not so much.

  9. Susan says

    With this woman as a guest at TAM, I can’t believe any feminist who is aware of this could possibly want to go. This woman is … what can I say? I can’t say crazy or nuts in the non-clinical sense (though I am mentally ill myself), so what word is correct? She’s obsessed to the point of an extremely unhealthy mental state. And just plain nasty. I wouldn’t want to get within a mile of her, or any conference where she is an invited speaker.

  10. smhll says

    I have a happy pineapple story for you. My husband and I saw a production of R. B. Sheridan’s play The Rivals in college. This play is most famous for the character of Mrs. Malaprop, she for whom ‘malapropisms’ are named. Anyway, one of her language manglings that he and I quote a lot is to say to each other “you are the very pineapple of perfection.” (Mrs. M apparently meant ‘pinnacle’.) This is the thought branch that gets triggered in my brain every time you mention a pineapple.

  11. Susan says

    Off topic … do you think registration by women at TAM will be even lower this year? Whatever good the conference might once have done has been destroyed by the presence of Sara Mayhew, Penn Gilette, and Shermer. This has been quite deliberate on the organizers’ part, and I don’t mind saying that I’d like to see the conference suffer for it.

  12. Martha says

    I think I’m turning into an old fogey. I agree with all the comments, but I just can’t get past the use of “concrete” as a verb! FWIW, I felt the same way about “research” and have had to admit that the tide has rushed past on that one. #sillypetpeeves

  13. says

    @Susan, given the haters need to believe Skepticon was a failure due to imagined lack of attendance (I think it was PZ or RWs fault) I’m sure any data showing TAM had any drop would be edited out. They are even sending Justin Vacula to WIS in order to try and put people off that conference, what with his legendary ability to repel all “gender” feminists.

  14. says

    it’s almost as if, as soon as you stop giving them attention, they come screaming for more. I think they like it when you blog about them. I think it makes them feel important.

    Nate- Bingo!! You hit the nail on the head!

  15. says

    Susan Jacoby is the Keynote at TAM… isn’t she one of the evil feminists they hate so much, or have I missed something? I also see Cara Santa Maria who, if she actually knew about this stuff, would very likely be yet another person they would otherwise hate (judging from the stuff I’ve read and seen from her in the past… unless, again, I’m missing something)…

  16. rnilsson says

    Ah, but nobody can ever be more aloft than Mesmeranda — All hall Celeste!
    Haymew may moo how she will till the cows come home, I won’t ever care what she says.

    Thanks, smhll, for the explanation of malapropism! I did not know that before.

  17. Lofty says

    Martha, it helps to pronounce concrete with an accent on the second syllable. It means a joining together, as an opposite meaning to discrete. Ditto impact vs impact
    .
    Anyway, I deal with people fixated on personal hate all the time. (eg as customers, fellow club members etc.) So long as I am not their current target I can work with them. But conduct an intelligent conversation with them on the subject of their obsession? Unpossible. They erupt into a sound and fury show that is truly horrible to behold.

  18. rnilsson says

    Oh, and ever responsive to well-founded and -argued requests from our gracious host, I have donated a cookie this time to FtB instead.

  19. rnilsson says

    Lofty, I agree that “people fixated on personal hate” or “fixhated” if I may terminate another coin, are impossible to eat.

  20. says

    Miranda says it’s odd that I’m screencapping her tweets.

    Well Miranda it’s odd that you tweet about me, isn’t it. It’s not really all that odd that I screencap your tweets that are about me. If you’re hunting and groping around for things that are odd, you might first look at the oddity of the fact that you’re tweeting about me. That’s more odd than my commenting on it is.

  21. says

    Sara Mayhew – I wouldn’t have known her from a bar of yellow soap if not for her venomous grade-school sniping (I can just see her in pigtails, laughing at another kid’s skinned knee). Now that I do know who she is, I’m avoiding her. Way to make an impression, dumbass!

    Miranda C Hale – I did know who she was, now I longer give a fuck because all I see is her standing behind Mayhew, laughing to get the approval of her Alpha. Craven lickspittle.

    I just don’t know WHY this shit is so important to them. I don’t know WHAT it is that was done to them that was so offensive that it demands constant “pushback”. I don’t know HOW they can accuse their targets of being obsessed with THEM when they’re the ones who began this crusade and they’re the ones who resurrect it as soon as anyone stops talking about them.

  22. evilDoug says

    concrete v.t. & i. Form into a mass, solidify; make concrete instead of abstract. [f. prec.]

    The Concise Oxford Dictionary

  23. says

    IMO, this is all about a classic power struggle and an attempt to control the message that the A / S movement sends to the outside world. I always assumed that leaving behind religious dogma and woo also entailed looking at every thing else with the same critical eye and willingness to let go of my most cherished beliefs when presented with solid evidence, but to a very vocal contingent of the A / S community, critical thinking stops when talk of political ideology begins.

    The anti-feminists we’re dealing with are no less rabid or obsessed than the Tea Partiers or Libertarians are at the national level. They honestly think that feminism = socialism, equality = communism, and so they think they are engaged in the ultimate battle for truth and democracy.

    They live in a world where each individual is personally responsible for their own lot in life, allow no consideration of extenuating circumstances, and view any attempt by the downtrodden to speak out as a slippery slope towards totalitarianism.

    They view the world through a libertarian lens so victims are such because they choose to be, and those that choose to swim instead of sink are intellectually and morally superior.

    It’s a world view that can’t be cracked by critical thinking and can’t be reasoned with. Look to national politics and compare it to the Deep Rifts™, the resemblance is no coincidence.

  24. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    Good grief. Did these people get surgery to have their self-awareness removed, or did it just wander off in the night?

  25. says

    Hmm but is exchanging snotty snipey tweets the way to control the message that the A / S movement sends to the outside world? It seems much more like just aimless high school-ish malice.

  26. athyco says

    The “Ophelia Benson! Oppressed pineapple!” bit goes far to put paid to her earlier tweet refusing Justin Vacula permission to use her drawing on his #bravehero radio show titled “Go Home, Pineapple.”
    (2 March 2:33 p.m.)

    rather not. It was just supposed to be a doodle of how funny the phrase sounds, not about Benson.

    Still no mention of the Facebook spat that caused it to refer to Ophelia in the first place. Still no mention of the background of students being harassed and excluded as the reason for that choice of Facebook avatar. Still no mention that the drawing was taken down here as requested without a word of argument, even though there was far more evidence of fair use connection with the post than Justin Vacula ever had with Surly Amy.
    (2 March 2:37 p.m.)

    Whatever the legality, using someone else’s art w/o permission is extremely bad manners, and manners matter.

    Wanna be floored by a little extra fillip? Justin Vacula retweeted that second one. Nobody mentioned that he’d done just that to Surly Amy–not just in 2012 (with full knowledge of the earlier T’f00t brouhaha) but again in January 2013–and on a page to raise money for himself–to go to WiS2. Amy’s page of 298 images clearly state that they’re released this way: “…under a non-commercial Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike license. Please feel free to share alter and use with attribution.” (Bold mine.)

    But it’s non-obsessive and funny to tweet about “Obsessive pineapple” weeks later if you don’t let any of that info creep into the equation. And they’re the charitable, open-minded, benefit of the doubt, non-call-out and mannerly set. (I think the self-awareness slunk off in shame in the middle of the night, Wowbagger.)

  27. says

    Huh. I’d somehow gotten the impression that Hale was one of the decent people. At least she’s only an “Other Presenter” at TAM 2013, and not a Main Program Speaker like Mayhew. Still raises the jerkitude level at TAM, but not as much.

  28. says

    Wowbagger:

    Good grief. Did these people get surgery to have their self-awareness removed, or did it just wander off in the night?

    That’s what really gets me. It’s almost surreal, the way in which they can’t see the hypocrisy..

  29. evilDoug says

    Sometimes I think I agree with some of the Jesus junkies who say that there are lots of people who claim to be atheists because it is “cool.” Fill in the form in the back of the manga comic, send it off with one dollar and 25 pull tabs from Red Bull and get your Atheist and Skeptic Kit and Badge (basic edition; training in thought and logic extra).

    I wonder how much the desire to be thought of as “smart and edgy” keeps some of the mildewed in action. Good, solid material is hard work. Sniping is easy (with apologies to snipe – I quite like them). I think it quite sad when someone like Mayhew, who apparently has some decent talent as an artist, feels the need to attack others. It says to me she harbors doubt about her ability to “make a name for herself” with hard work at the things she is good at. I’ve seen the same sort of behavior from kids. Some of them grow out of it.

  30. says

    Hmm but is exchanging snotty snipey tweets the way to control the message that the A / S movement sends to the outside world? It seems much more like just aimless high school-ish malice.

    Humiliation is their way of silencing dissent. Again, a page out of the right wing national playbook. Paint your political enemies as whiners and good for nothing leeches and you always look like the best alternative. It’s like they get their political tactics straight from Rush Limbaugh or Karl Rove or worse yet:

    Mike Savage: “Liberalism is a mental disorder”
    Anne Coulter: “You will find liberals always rooting for savages against civilization.”

  31. says

    hyperdeath

    It’s almost surreal, the way in which they can’t see the hypocrisy..

    But it’s not hypocrisy if you’re right, see…

    [massive eyeroll]

    ——

    PS I tweeted at Mayhew that she was fucking boring and should change the record. One of her white knights – sorry, #braveheroes – sprang to her defense with a #stupidcunts hashtag and an accusation that I was a “”feminist” trying to tell women what they can say”.

    That takes a truly impressive level of both hypocrisy and not just a lack of self-awareness but rank self-ignorance.

  32. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    Ophelia wrote:

    Hmm but is exchanging snotty snipey tweets the way to control the message that the A / S movement sends to the outside world?

    The message they’re sending is “This is our club and you can’t be part of it unless you like what we like and do what we say, and we’d rather have it that way and stay small than change so more people will want to be involved.”

    Which is pretty damn stupid when it’s the atheist community we’re talking about.

  33. Anthony K says

    So, what are these two fucking brainiacs going to talk about at TAM anyway? The ~45,339,932,122,458 homeopaths in the US?

  34. Silentbob says

    @ 17 NateHevens

    I also see Cara Santa Maria [at TAM] who, if she actually knew about this stuff, would very likely be yet another person they would otherwise hate (judging from the stuff I’ve read and seen from her in the past… unless, again, I’m missing something)…

    You realize, right, that Cara Santa Maria was the panel host to whom the now infamous “it’s more of a guy thing” line was addressed?

    In both his responses to Ophelia, Shermer quoted Cara Santa Maria as defending him against “accusations” of sexism. So she’s probably perceived as a Shermer ally.

  35. says

    Ah, thought I recognised the name, Ophelia.

    I’m aware I may cop some crap for blocking all of those #braveheroes immediately, but I think it’s entirely reasonable to choose not to interact any further with someone whose initial response to me was to accuse me of trying to shut women up and then label me with #stupidcunts.

    Not that I’m particularly offended by the tag (I’ve been called a lot worse by far more worthy opponents) or the hypocrisy, but both are a good indicator that I’m not dealing with a particularly wise or self-aware person. Why waste my freakin’ time with this wannabe goonsquad?

  36. says

    Years ago there was a 12 year old kid in my neighborhood who I barely knew who would keep running up to me and spitting at me as I was talking to friends in their driveway.
    Day after day.
    Finally I had enough, lost my temper and chased him for a few steps.

    I stopped when I realized that he had a huge smile on his face. Not because he had successfully gotten my goat, but simply because he finally had my attention.

    Eventually he grew out of it and ended up becoming a pretty nice young man in later years.

    Dunno what just made me remember that.

  37. Margaret says

    Ophelia, you get another pair of earrings for this, and as I said in the other thread (i-agree-with-this-sentiment), they’ll go to the thrift shop supporting S.A.F.E. House New Mexico (which helps victims of domestic abuse).

  38. Jafafa Snots says

    Ophelia, the professional victim, always writes up more blog posts about other people, than they do about her.

    Go fuck yourself, pineapple.

  39. cactuswren says

    For some reason I’m thinking of a former co-worker of mine, a man little more than half my age at the time who within hours of meeting me decided to call me by a diminutive form of my given name. I had not invited such a renaming. I had, in fact, asked him on meeting him which form of his own name he preferred: one was on his time-card, but he’d been introduced by the other, so I asked him, “Is it Jay, or Jason?”

    I had introduced myself as Susan. Everyone in my workplace addressed me as Susan. The name on my time-card was Susan. I had not suggested that I wanted to be called anything but Susan.

    By the end of the day, he was addressing me as Suzie.

    I politely informed him that I was Susan, not Suzie.

    For weeks afterward, he greeted me on a daily basis with “Hi, Suzie — oh, sorry, Soo-ZUN. I forgot, you hate nicknames.”

    And when at last I said, ‘Jay, don’t you think that’s getting old?” …

    … somehow i was the one “making a big thing of it”.

  40. says

    Everything erikthebassist said in comment #25. The overlap between anti-feminist and libertarian “skeptics” exists and it’s no goddamned coincidence.

    Also, everything Susan said in #12. TAM doesn’t deserve decent people in attendance when they align themselves with the most horrible elements of the skeptical community.

    It’s like they get their political tactics straight from Rush Limbaugh or Karl Rove

    Or the Discovery Institute, what with all the demands for MORE EVIDENCE.

  41. Bjarte Foshaug says

    @Susan #12

    Whatever good [TAM] might once have done has been destroyed by the presence of Sara Mayhew, Penn Gilette, and Shermer. This has been quite deliberate on the organizers’ part, and I don’t mind saying that I’d like to see the conference suffer for it.

    QFT. It’s funny how, when I went to the first TAM London back in in 2008 (this was while Phil Plait was the leader. If only…), the two speakers I most wanted to see were Richard Dawkins and James Randi himself, and I was devastated when both of them had to cancel * (I still had a wonderful time, mind you). It seems like a completely different universe at this point…
    ___________________________________________________________________
    * Already then I should have taken a clue from the fact that Dawkins prioritized an event where Bill Maher was going to receive an award in his name.

  42. Sassafras says

    The points about anti-feminists and libertarians are very true, but in Mayhew’s case at least, she’s a liberal feminist. She’s just happy to let hateful anti-feminists do dirty work for her. It’s OK to harass and call people “cunts” as long as they’re Sara’s approved targets.

  43. Bjarte Foshaug says

    @Ophelia, thanks for the tip. I have heard the name, but that’s about the extent of my knowledge. QED is also in London, isn’t it?

  44. says

    According to friends of mine who have been to recent TAMs, most of the attendees are teachers and other professionals who know nothing about any of this nastiness, and in fact not a few of them think that blogs and online forums are “a waste of time” (as if this were just about flame wars on the Internet).

    I suppose the economics work out in such a way that the JREF can afford to allow a few dozen people to stop going (at least, that’s my estimate of the number of people I’ve seen publicly say they’re not going any more, in the last couple years). I don’t know how much Surly Amy’s sponsorship and grantees were worth to them, but it obviously wasn’t enough to make a difference to the organization. At over $400 a head this year, I’m guessing that the JREF is missing out on at least $15K, but a conservative attendance figure will have them raking in over five million anyway.

    Clearly, a few people refusing to attend isn’t going to send an economic message that the JREF will hear.

  45. says

    You realize, right, that Cara Santa Maria was the panel host to whom the now infamous “it’s more of a guy thing” line was addressed?

    In both his responses to Ophelia, Shermer quoted Cara Santa Maria as defending him against “accusations” of sexism. So she’s probably perceived as a Shermer ally.

    Ah yes, I recall hearing that her contribution was something along the lines of, It is SO HARD to get women to agree to speak on panels… after she had approached two women and apparently given up after both refused.

    I don’t recall the source though. If anyone has it that would be much appreciated.

  46. says

    Sally – the source is Shermer’s second “response” to me, the one in Free Inquiry. CSM told him that via email – she invited two women, and both refused. The end. Because of course there are two and only two atheist women in the LA area who could be on that panel, and sadly both of them were unable to do it.

    Two. She asked two. When there were three men actually on the panel!

  47. says

    Anyway, one of her language manglings that he and I quote a lot is to say to each other “you are the very pineapple of perfection.”

    Ophelia, I think you should ask Amy to make you a Surly saying “Pineapple of Perfection”. It would be the funniest “reclaim” ever.

  48. Josh Slocum says

    It’s the best idea ever. Do it! And it should be sparkly, too. A Premium, Perfect Pineapple.

  49. Stacy says

    Sparkly, I concur. How much does Amy charge for a commission? Your readers can chip in! We’ll call it “The Sara and Simper Miranda Pineapple Fund.”

  50. Silentbob says

    @ 53 SallyStrange

    I don’t recall the source though. If anyone has it that would be much appreciated.

    @ 55 Ophelia Benson

    Sally – the source is Shermer’s second “response” to me, the one in Free Inquiry.

    Actually, as I said, the same quote appears in both responses: the first one and the second one. The “Shermer ally” bit I was referring to (@ 38) reads:

    What I can say is whether it’s real or perceived, a gender bias does seem to exist in atheist/secular/human circles, but I’ve never known my friend and colleague Michael Shermer to contribute to this problem. He is, in my estimation, as pro-woman and pro-atheism as they come.

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