Jeremy Stangroom @PhilosophyExp
Blimey, online warriors don’t half love the frisson of collective outrage. My advice is be deeply suspicious of it (and them).
I figure that’s about Ofek and DN Lee and Scientific American, if only because Stangroom monitors Freethought blogs and especially mine so closely. But then why would it be necessary to be deeply suspicious of outrage about it? Why is it wrong to be outraged about it?
Because of the putative love of the putative frisson, I suppose. But then he doesn’t know that, he’s just claiming it. And even if he’s right about it, or right in some cases, so what? What difference does it make? What difference does it make, especially, about the facts of the case? What’s his point?
You know, there was probably a good deal of joy involved in the Civil Rights movement, along with a lot of terror and grief and despair. Is that a bad thing? Do we look back on that movement and shake our heads solemnly and think that everyone should have been more suspicious of it, because some people perhaps got some joy out of the Beloved Community? Should we think it was all irrational and out of control and undercut by terrible motivations because solidarity offers some rewards?
No. There’s every reason to look at particulars, and to create a solid, complicated, detailed history that shows the mistakes and self-interest and power-grabbing and whatever else was part of the movement, but there’s no reason to just scowl suspiciously at the whole thing in case there were some frissons of collective outrage along the way.
A year ago there was a lot of collective outrage when Malala was shot. And? Did that merit suspicion? Also a year ago there was a lot of collective outrage when Praveen Halappanavar went to the press with what had happened to his wife Savita at University Hospital, Galway. Did that merit suspicion? Should all those people who went to Kildare Street to protest outside the Dáil have stayed home and watched the telly instead? Was it all deeply suspect and horrible because they were outraged? Were they secretly ecstatic about the whole thing because it gave them an excuse to go out?
What bullshit. We get to evaluate outrage on the merits of the case, not whether or not anybody or everybody might have Unclean motives. And then what about Stangroom’s own frisson of personal outrage at Hated Bloggers? Eh? What about the frisson he gets from monitoring my blog and confirming again how evil I am?