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Jun 09 2013

Pick up the Skype

I mentioned yesterday that I was more cheerful about the Dublin conference, and added that it was because there had been some communication. I was cryptic about it because I’d forgotten to ask if it would be ok for me to mention it.

(Some buffoon pretended to think I was making a threat. Seriously – “there’s been some communication” – a threat.

I'm now happy about going to Ireland. There's been... a 'communication'. And I'm not telling you what is was, so BE AFRAID! #atheismplus
@atheismplus
Atheism+

Not a communication, some communication. And why would that be a threat anyway? Jeezis.)

I repaired the omission today, so I can be less obscure: I’ve talked to Michael Nugent and Jane Donnelly, and it went well. (Nothing to BE AFRAID of there, either. It went well, meaning what that normally means, not what it means in a TV show about MI5.)

17 comments

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  1. 1
    Rob

    Some people do like to sweeten their morning cereal with a healthy handful of paranoia and conspiracy, rather than brown sugar. Apparently.

    Have fun in Dublin Ophelia. After the last while you deserve it.

  2. 2
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    … on the same afternoon that Jason Thibeault does a blog post about how these foolish cretins mythologize everything related to FtB!

  3. 3
    A Hermit

    Glad to hear it…for all the complaints about Michael Nugent I still have a feeling that he’s a valuable ally in a lot of ways.

  4. 4
    karmacat

    Wow. Such a classic case of projection

  5. 5
    Jason Thibeault

    Yes, yes… it went well… everything is going according to plan! MWAHAHAHAHA.

  6. 6
    Sistaista

    Feel free to join Arnie and the gang at the SLYME PIT, as they DESTROY the arguments of the BABOONS over and over again.

    The SLYME PIT RULEZ.

  7. 7
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Wait… the Atheism+ twitter account?

    It can’t be.

    Can it?

    Maybe they were joking/satirizing? Or is that one of those sock accounts?

  8. 8
    SallyStrange

    It’s a sock account. Cuz that’s “satire”, you know – setting up a Twitter account very similar to someone you don’t like and saying things that are the opposite of what they would say. Sophistimacated humor that there is, yes it is.

  9. 9
    MrFancyPants

    It’s a sock/hate account, NateHevens. Just one in the many used to attack the FtBloggers.

  10. 10
    hyperdeath

    As others have pointed out, @atheismplus is yet another impersonator account. It was registered shortly after Atheism Plus began, and has been active ever since. It’s supposed to be parody, but it’s mostly just jeering.

    The author’s one of those people who lets their personal resentments seep through into what they write. For example, they seemed extremely bitter at JT Eberhard getting engaged at Skepticon.

  11. 11
    oolon

    It can actually be quite useful I’ve seen more than a few bumblefucks retweet or cite that fake account as evidence of how bad A+ is…. Instantly discredited :-)

    Oh dear! Ophelia has asserted there was communication from Ireland and it didn’t involve an ex… Nugent is clearly heading back towards the #FTBullies side of the pendulum!

    The pitters can’t help themselves as they’ll be smarming and obsequious when he appears to be “on the fence” or in other words giving them support. Then when he posts quotes from the pit or wonders aloud why they have trouble removing an offensive photoshopped pic they all bend back the other way. The pendulum swings back and forth all the while hoping they can “win” an ally. If he goes full out against they’ll be scorned and crying Rich Sandersens “RAGE TEARS!!!11!!” … During this Josh, Ophelia etc have been consistently critical of his attempts at dialogue and not trying to curry favour. I’m sure this inconsistency and lack of principle doesn’t go unnoticed.

  12. 12
    rorschach

    Nugent is clearly heading back towards the #FTBullies side of the pendulum!

    No, I don’t think he’s heading back, it’s where he’s always been. We may disagree on his ill-fated dialogue project, but apart from that I never had any doubts over which side he is on. Which sets him way apart from the slymepitters. He may get into a position of having to talk to Vacula there, but I don’t think it will be what Vacula hopes it to be.

    I reckon Justin Vacula will be this year’s Hamza Tzortzis, the guy everyone wants to get a look at, take a photo of and laugh about. We’ve been there, done that in 2011. We’ll cope this year.

  13. 13
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    You consistently credit Nugent for positions that his actions don’t warrant, Rorschach. Fostering “dialogue” between harrassers and abusers, treating them as if they had equal claim to be heard, is not “on the right side.” It doesn’t matter how many times a person *says* he’s not for harassment if his actions don’t back it up. It seems like you believe there’s some sort of “essential” Nugent or some expression of intent that shows he’s Ontologically Good even when he’s shit about particular issues. I don’t understand this.

  14. 14
    JohnM

    Josh @13 – I think it’s important to remember Nugent’s background. The man spent years promoting dialogue between Catholics and Protestants in Ireland, a situation where both sides were certain they had the right of it and both sides had done some truly terrible things. They have only gotten to where they are now by letting go of the past to some degree (some days go better than others).

    Yes, Nugent is wrong about the usefulness of dialogue in this case. But he pushes it because his whole life experience tells him otherwise.

  15. 15
    cubist

    JohnM has the right of it, methinks. If any human being is justified in thinking that dialogue is a Really Necessary part of getting along, it’s a bloke what’s had a nontrivial role in helping end The Troubles.
    You know… that unfortunate, decades-long part of Ireland’s history which involved a Deep Rift whose estranged factions were throwing bombs and firing live ammo at each other.
    Given Nugent’s experience, I can’t help but suspect that his thinking was along the lines of yes, yes, the photoshopping and incessant invective are all quite terrible, but at least nobody’s getting maimed or killed. No Molotov cocktails? This should be a piece of cake! Of course, the combatants in The Troubles actually were interested in talking things over, if you could get past their (real or imagined) grievances. All evidence thus far indicates that one cannot say the same of the Slymepit contingent…

  16. 16
    Ophelia Benson

    But surely The Troubles were not ended via blog posts. Were they?

  17. 17
    cubist

    sez ophelia benson: “But surely The Troubles were not ended via blog posts. Were they?’
    Of course not. Just sayin’ that, with that kind of history/experience to draw upon, it makes sense how a well-intentioned person like Nugent could end up screwing the pooch in as spectacularly counterproductive a fashion as he has with his Marvelous Magical Dialogue (aka “Slymepit Ireland”). He thinks Dialogue can work to bridge the gulf between (a) people who “only” send harassing emails/tweets/photoshops and (b) their targets, because he has hard evidence—well, as ‘hard’ as evidence can decently get in the context of sociocultural matters of this sort—that Dialogue worked to bridge the gulf between (a) people who send firebombs and large-calibre bullets and (b) their targets.
    If I’m right about Nugent’s thinking on this matter, it doesn’t make him any less wrong about Slymepitters; it merely accounts for how he could have gotten such a wrong idea about how best to deal with Slymepitters. And we shall see how long it takes him to conclude you know, this really isn’t going to work… about the current Dialogue With Slymepitters.

  1. 18
    Dublin, 29-30 June! » Pharyngula

    [...] has been some concern that Michael Nugent has been enabling certain abusers to mouth off, but as Ophelia mentions, we’ve been talking about it behind the scenes. We haven’t resolved all of our [...]

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