On the other hand

In contrast, there’s the predictably and reliably flippant opinion (or pretend-opinion) of the always flippant and callous Brendan O’Neill.

I know we’re all supposed to be spitting blood over Katie Hopkins’ Sun column about African migrants. In fact, anyone who isn’t currently testing the durability of their computer keyboard by bashing out Hopkins-mauling tweets risks having their moral decency called into question.

There you go – predictable and callous. The important thing is to register disdain for people who object to a high-circulation newspaper’s publication of a piece calling African migrants cockroaches. Nicely done, Brendan; your priorities are an inspiration to us all.

[Read more…]

Teach your children well

I was asking if Brendan O’Neill and his clone-allies at the “Institute for Ideas” have become so enamored of their own contrarianism that they’re now actually promoting bullying…or at least I was asking if O’Neill has, and I at least thought about mentioning his clone-allies too. Anyway the answer is yes, they have. Here’s Claire Fox – one of the ally-clones – doing just that a few weeks ago:

Schools should abandon their anti-bullying programmes because they make children more “thin-skinned” and less resilient, according to the head of a thinktank.

Speaking in a debate on “character education” at the London Festival of Education today, Claire Fox, director of the Institute of Ideas, said schools should focus on teaching core academic subjects, rather than “grit”.

“I think young people need to be more self-critical and less self aware,” she said.”They should stop worrying about themselves.

“If you want to encourage grit in schools get rid of anti-bullying programmes. We are taking the grit out of kids and we could do with backing off.

“We have a generation of cotton-wool kids afraid to take risks.”

[Read more…]

Guest post: To keep the liberal-tweaking going

Originally a comment by Morgan on Brendan O’Neill is broken-hearted over Clarkson.

Just as you or I would be sacked if we walloped a co-worker, especially someone below us in the pecking order, so Clarkson deserves the boot too, says his army of haters in the media and on Twitter.
Please. If this were a simple punishment-for-physicality issue, why has so much of the Clarkson-baiting commentary obsessed over what Clarkson thinks and says?

Well..
a) Because the only reason anyone’s arguing Clarkson shouldn’t be fired is because they like what he thinks and says, or enjoy that others don’t.
b) Because “he should have been sacked long ago for being a vile shit, and his employers’ and fans’ reluctance to call him on his bad behaviour is the reason it reached the point where he assaulted a subordinate” is a very obvious yet worthwhile point to make.
c) Even if those calling for his sacking have the most impure of motives, the point in the first paragraph quoted is still completely valid and sufficient.

O’Neill is essentially arguing that Clarkson should have total immunity from any consequences for anything he does, because he annoys people O’Neill dislikes. It’s the BBC’s duty to feed him as many coworkers as he wants to assault, to keep the liberal-tweaking going, it seems.

Brendan O’Neill is broken-hearted over Clarkson

Yet again Brendan O’Neill says something more disgusting than I would have thought possible. Yet again!!

I’m gutted to hear that the BBC has given Clarkson the big heave-ho over his fracas with that producer who didn’t have his dinner ready on time.

Why? Because it’s further evidence of the Beeb’s self-emasculation, its sheepish, apologetic jettisoning of anything that might rile right-thinking viewers or make Hampstead-dwelling licence fee-payers choke on their Ovaltine. [Read more…]

A kernel

For once, there’s a kernel of truth in something Brendan O’Neill writes (in the Telegraph this time). Only a kernel though.

When did atheists become so teeth-gratingly annoying? Surely non-believers in God weren’t always the colossal pains in the collective backside that they are today? Surely there was a time when you could say to someone “I am an atheist” without them instantly assuming you were a smug, self-righteous loather of dumb hicks given to making pseudo-clever statements like, “Well, Leviticus also frowns upon having unkempt hair, did you know that?” Things are now so bad that I tend to keep my atheism to myself, and instead mumble something about being a very lapsed Catholic if I’m put on the spot, for fear that uttering the A-word will make people think I’m a Dawkins drone with a mammoth superiority complex and a hives-like allergy to nurses wearing crucifixes. [Read more…]

There was a contrarian journalist

Daphna Shezaf went to QED last weekend and wrote a blog post about it Thursday. Specifically she wrote about the panel that featured Brendan O’Neill doing his usual shtick and getting annoyed when it didn’t go down well. Shezaf made a substantive point about the subject, but in my frivolous way I’m going to focus on the O’Neill aspect, because after all he’s there.

There was the “is science the new religion” debate, which turned out to be about science and politics. It was really the only panel with someone from “the outside”, journalist Brendan O’Neill. He debated with physicists Jeff Forshaw and Helen Czerski, and comedian Robin Ince. As Vicky puts it, “it quite quickly deteriorated into an exasperated and highly entertaining bun-fight between” O’Neill and Ince. Ince blogged about the exchange, O’Neill published his “speech” and allegedly said that “QEDcon was like a crazy cult”. [Read more…]

Perverted chattering degenerate misanthropes hunt for witches

It’s Brendan! Again! Yes he’s back, that mischief-loving scamp from Living Libertarian Marxism or do I mean Zombie Catholic Theocracy. What is it this time? It’s that the reporting and commentary on Jimmy Savile is – wait for it – a witch-hunt.

Wut? The guy’s dead. How can it be a witch hunt when he’s dead?

With each passing day – hour, in fact – the Jimmy Savile scandal looks more and more like a modern-day version of the hysteria that gripped seventeenth-century Salem, when a small town in Massachusetts became convinced that it had witches in its midst. [Read more…]

Chopping children for god is not abuse ok

Via Zinnia – more vicious shite from Brendan O’Neill.

There are many bad things about the modern atheistic assault on religion. But perhaps the worst thing is its rebranding of certain religious practices as “child abuse”. Everything from sending your kid to a Catholic school to having your baby boy circumcised has been redefined by anti-religious campaigners as “abuse”.

Yes imagine that! Some people are so depraved that they actually think it’s “abuse” to slice off part of an infant’s penis to please an imaginary god. How could that possibly be abuse?! 

This use of emotionally loaded language to demonise the practices and beliefs of people of faith has reached its ugly and logical conclusion in Germany, where a court has decreed that circumcision for religious purposes causes “bodily harm”, against boys who are “unable to give their consent”, and therefore should be outlawed.

Because obviously slicing off part of the penis in no way causes “bodily harm”; and obviously infants are perfectly “able to give their consent”; and anyway causing bodily harm without consent is obviously not something that should be outlawed. Right?!

No. It is bodily harm; it is without consent; it is far from obvious that it should not be outlawed.

The labelling of religious practices as “child abuse” is the most cynical tactic in the armoury of today’s so-called New Atheists. They are effectively using children as human shields, as a cover under which they and their beloved state might interfere in both family life and the realm of religious conscience in order to reprimand people for believing the wrong things and carrying ou[t] “cruel” practices.

“Cynical tactic” forsooth. I have a feeling I’ve been here before – marveling at the gall of Brendan O’Neill accusing anyone else of using a “cynical tactic.” I don’t think the former Living Marxism guy believes a word of this bullshit, I think he just enjoys the sport.

He’s chicken-shit, too; the comments are closed.

Vile Brendan O’Neill

Vile smug sneery mind-reading Brendan O’Neill, who sees through everyone’s fake right-on poses and spots the self-flattery underneath – according to him, anyway.

now it is positively fashionable, bang on trend, for everyone from top American politicians to Ivy League students to wear a hoodie to show that they “care for Trayvon”. Yet far from being an indication of deep moral sensitivity, all this hoodie-wearing looks to me like a modern, PC version of “blacking up”, with the respectable classes pulling on the garb of black America in order to send a message about their own inherent goodness.

That’s what everything looks like to him. People who support same-sex marriage look to him like people doing something “in order to send a message about their own inherent goodness.” It’s as if he’d just had that first eye-opening class with Professor Iconoclast who explains to woolly undergraduates that what looks like public spirit or dedication is actually sadism or displaced masturbation or a chocolate-substitute.

And here’s a news flash for Brendan and his idiotically complaisant editors: he doesn’t know that. He doesn’t know why people do what they do. Freud didn’t know, Nietzsche didn’t know, and he doesn’t know. He certainly doesn’t know why all the people who wear hoodies as a Trayvon-statement do so. Sure, maybe he’s right, maybe there’s an element of vanity in it for a lot of people; there usually is, with most things we do; so the fuck what? What about the element of vanity in Vile Brendan’s vile posts? We don’t think he does those out of sheer disinterested public spirit do we? Doesn’t he think he’s a devilish handsome fellow, looking up at us in that dashingly “you can’t fool me” way?

And then read the comments under his vile post. That’s the kind of person who likes his stuff. Vile smug sneery mind-reading git.

H/t Kevin Anthoney.

Part deux

More on O’Neill. (Don’t ask ‘why.’ I’m interested in this kind of thing – the blithe indifference to facts, the perversity, the malice, the lack of responsibility, the should-know-better quality; the smugness, the preening, the bullying on behalf of the already powerful.)

on 31 March, atheists in the US military had their first-ever get-together on a military base, under the banner ‘Rock Beyond Belief’. ‘All of us want to come out of the closet and demand equality’, said one sergeant, no doubt pissing off gay military servicemen who, not unreasonably, probably think that such phrases are best used by them rather than by their godless colleagues.

Note that “no doubt.” Note the “probably.” He doesn’t in the least know that gay military women and men think that such phrases are best used by them rather than by their godless colleagues. (Not to mention the fact that he doesn’t know they can’t be both. He doesn’t know that all gay military women and men are theists. Gay people in general have good reasons to be wary of theism.) He doesn’t know that, and he gives no reason to think so. That could be because it’s so hard to think of one.

O’Neill’s point seems to be that atheists are not in fact closeted – which if you know anything at all about how atheists are viewed in the US is completely ludicrous. Of course there are closeted atheists! Lots of them, all over the country.

Let’s pretend for a second that you’re O’Neill, and you need this explained to you. It’s like this, O’Neill: atheism is hated in many parts of the US, and so are atheists. In many places atheists don’t know if there are any other atheists in their school or workplace or town, and they feel isolated and weird and afraid.

Think about that simple little statement of facts. What do you suppose the upshot is? It’s that many atheists don’t tell anyone they are atheists. Others tell a trusted few but no one else. That is what it is to be closeted.

So why would gay soldiers be pissed off because atheists talk about being closeted? Why would they think the word is for them and not for anyone else?

We can stop pretending that you’re O’Neill now. I don’t know how he would answer my questions. I don’t think there is any reasonable answer.

Then there’s this:

although there is certainly cultural hostility towards atheists in parts of America, elsewhere, particularly in academia, publishing and throughout the political and media worlds of Western Europe, they enjoy untouchable ‘darling’ status these days, being fawned over like never before.

One, untouchable ‘darling’ status? Are you kidding?

Did he miss the outburst of vituperation at Richard Dawkins in the wake of the Ipsos Mori poll, complete with the Telegraph’s shock-horror story about a distant ancestor of his owning slaves…two centuries ago? Has O’Neill missed the whole backlash? (That would be odd, given how much he’s contributed to it himself.)

Two, even if that were true, what difference would it make to people in Creeping Jesus, Alabama? One might as well say that because there are some rich people named Jones, all people named Jones are rich.

It is their creation of a movement based on negatives rather than positives which explains why the New Atheists are so screechy. Because bereft of anything substantial or ideological to cohere themselves around, they instead spend the whole time attacking their opposite number – those who do believe in what New Atheists do not: religious people, the thick, the unenlightened. Like electrons in an atom, the ‘negatives’ of the New Atheist clique are forever whizzing around the ‘positives’ of the God lobby. The hole at the heart of modern atheism was best summed up in what Time magazine last month described as ‘The Rise of the Nones’ – that is, the speedily growing group of Americans who now list their religious affiliation as ‘none’. That is fine, of course, but then to cultivate an entire identity, a whole life’s outlook, on the basis of that ‘none’? That is sad. Who wants to be a ‘none’? I’d rather be a nun. At least they still believe in something.

Yes, they believe in something – they believe in a male god who founded a church run exclusively by men; they believe in their own subordination; they believe women should die rather than have an emergency abortion; they believe the Catholic church deserves their loyalty and subordination despite its lurid history of cruelty and brutality. What a strange thing for O’Neill to boast of.