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Feb 08 2012

The man who could not see his own reflection, but thinks he looks Amazing nonetheless

Obligatory trigger warning because HOLY FUCK.

There is, suddenly, a lot of to-do about TJ Kincaid, also known as The Amazing Atheist, a provincial and prejudiced man who believes himself to be superior to others by virtue of having figured out the question of God (e.g., “there isn’t one”). A lot of people who have otherwise ignored his rants are tuning in now that he’s flamed out so spectacularly over at Reddit, you know, like you do. And most of the criticism is, as it turns out, about the fact that he appears to be suffering from a bigotry version of the Dunning Kruger effect. I think this is close to the mark, but does not go quite far enough.

Russell Glasser of The Atheist Experience passed around the Freethought Blogs back channel a preview of his most recent post, where the events over at Reddit are covered in excruciating detail. Among other things, he said the following to a rape victim (below the fold):

Yeah. Well, you deserved it. So, fuck you. I hope it happens again soon. I’m tired of being treated like shit by you mean little cunts and then you using your rape as an excuse. Fuck you. I think we should give the guy who raped you a medal. I hope you fucking drown in rape semen, you ugly, mean-spirited cow. Actually, I don’t believe you were ever raped!

Emphasis mine. All this and much more because he was taken to task over a comment that he doesn’t believe in “triggering language“. As though post-traumatic stress disorder is something we should be skeptical of.

What kind of lack of empathy does it take to completely fail to understand that some people have been through extraordinarily traumatic experiences, and those experiences might in fact be relived after someone expresses a desire to do exactly the thing that traumatized those people in the first place? This is the sort of man who might be expected to wander around war veterans’ hospitals popping paper bags behind the victims’ heads. TJ intentionally seeks to cause offense, and holds it as a virtue.

He apparently believes that anyone fighting for women’s rights and anyone fighting to end rape culture and anyone fighting to undermine privilege is de facto attacking men — that feminists laugh about instances of misandry when in actuality the vast majority of us see it as every bit as execrable, and stemming every bit as much from the existence of present-day gender roles and the artificial divide between men and women in our culture. His pushback against feminism is evidently, in his mind, about dogmatism, as if it is some sort of doctrinary and ideological point that the concept of patriarchy exists and that the concept of privilege exists. Both of these constructs actually describe our society quite well, and make specific predictions that are borne out statistically, to the point where it would take extraordinary evidence to show that these constructs are NOT accurate models of our society.

And still, he thinks he is amazing. Really, all he is is what his profile on Youtube describes: a surprisingly popular angry little man ranting in an empty room and fully intending to disgust or amuse by turns.

TJ Kincaid does not represent me as an atheist. He does not represent the majority of us as atheists. It makes me sick that such a narrow minded and hate-filled toad is followed by over 290,000 users on Youtube. And all because he got that one question right, and he does a decent impression of Lewis Black only, you know, minus the funny.

But then, it’s almost no surprise. Penn Jillette is still super-popular, despite calling a woman a cunt publically, even where Michael Richards’ career ended over him calling a heckler a nigger in a not dissimilar context and level of public exposure. Perhaps there is a huge audience for people who do not care about causing offense to women, even where people are already over the racism tipping point. This is a sad commentary on our society, if this is the case.

The take-away lesson I’m getting is, if you want to get popular, bash women. Or, get popular, then it’s okay to bash women. I’m not sure which way the causality arrow goes. Either way, the inability TJ displays to comprehend the very simple and basic fact that words actually have consequences outside of ourselves, and that what we’re doing by writing is in fact attempting to effect social change by changing others’ minds with these words, is staggering. And the corollary implication that he denies privilege while exerting said privilege to say what he wants about women because, you know, bitches ain’t shit, is damning. It says that the people calling this a bigotry Dunning-Kruger are right, in addition to my assertion that he actually does not understand the whole point of social activism and that we’re trying to effect social change here. I mean, that’s the whole point of what we do when we blog or vlog or podcast or whatever.

That we are all commenting on his inability to see his own reflection in the mirror is good — maybe if enough of us say it, maybe his popularity will wane. Maybe TJ will be a Michael Richards, instead of a Penn Jillette. It would be a good way to teach him that sometimes your words have consequences you don’t intend, and sometimes those consequences will cut your own knees out from under you. Maybe once he’s found out that his words can hurt HIM, maybe then he’ll learn that his words can hurt OTHERS, too. Maybe then he’ll learn that there’s a huge difference between satire and offense, and while that line might be different from person to person, what he’s said is so far over that line for almost everyone involved that there should be absolutely no doubt that he has intended to do damage to that person well beyond merely insulting them. In such a concentrated attack, he succeeded in showing exactly how little wordcraft he possesses.

And it all comes down to the difference between freedom of speech, and freedom to speak without consequences. Funny how it’s always the same sort of people who mix those up, and forget that those consequences always extend beyond yourself.

Other FtBers who have posted reactions to this nonsense include Daniel Fincke, PZ Myers, Crommunist, Jen McCreight, and I’m sure more will chime in as time allows.

33 comments

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  1. 1
    Ophelia Benson

    I can’t keep up!

    :b

  2. 2
    Jason Thibeault

    Leastways that means you aren’t the only one punching the stupids!

  3. 3
    m5

    Not excusing or saying it makes this ok, he is still a reprehensible turd of a man and always has been, but perhaps this meltdown being so over the top has something to do with the video that surfaced of him putting a banana in his ass. I would imagine that would drive anyone over the edge.

  4. 4
    Jason Thibeault

    Yeah, I dunno. While I agree that this video leaking is very likely not intentional on his part (e.g. to drum up hits or something), and that he was very probably (and rightly) angry that it leaked, I don’t know why he’d decide to flame out so spectacularly over rape over it. And I don’t like people making hay out of it because there’s nothing really wrong with enjoying putting things up your ass. Whether it’s your cup of tea or not, at least he wasn’t hurting someone with that particular video.

  5. 5
    m5

    Yeah, I wasn’t trying to shame him for that. Nothing wrong with some butt-fun and everything wrong with leaking such videos. Just thinking that if something like that happened to me, I would probably be unstable and flip about about anything for quite a while after. If you’re really angry about something it can leak into unrelated things. I dunno, I probably didn’t need to bring it up, feel free to delete the comment and replies.

  6. 6
    Jason Thibeault

    Meh. I mostly only delete spam, or occasionally, comments by people who threaten to sue me unless I stop pointing out they’re spammers.

  7. 7
    Marshall

    Meh. I mostly only delete spam, or occasionally, comments by people who threaten to sue me unless I stop pointing out they’re spammers.

    Seems a pretty good policy. People should take responsibility for the things they say, so deleting comments should be a last resort, I think. If anything I think we can be sure that [CHRIS] won’t be showing up to crap all over THIS thread. I hope.

    This guy is terrible. I’ve never watched his videos, and now I never will. There are differing DEGREES of terrible misogynist crap, but this isn’t veiled or based on a misunderstanding, this is HATRED OF WOMEN, pure and simple, without any obfuscation or equivocating.

  8. 8
    Rabidtreeweasel

    Heh. I was married to someone like that. If he got embarrassed publically his immediate recourse was to belittle the closest woman for something completely unrelated. It was a form of misdirection. “I know right? But look at that bitch over there in the screw me skirt. Yeah, sweet heart, I’m talking to you!” It was how he reasserted his place, by putting women in theirs.

    I agree there’s no way to know for sure that that is, at least consciously, what he was doing. Whatever his reasons, it’s inexcusable.

  9. 9
    ratty

    “He apparently believes that anyone fighting for women’s rights and anyone fighting to end rape culture and anyone fighting to undermine privilege is de facto attacking men ”

    It’s amazing that he can say horrible jokes and yet you’ll still bring up straw men against him anyway.

  10. 10
    Jason Thibeault

    ratty @9: Is it now?

  11. 11
    Jason Thibeault

    My, what a big strawman I must have erected for it to make it all the way into one of his Youtube videos!

  12. 12
    ratty

    FYI there’s a difference between ignoring someone and attacking them.

    It’s still inaccurate.

  13. 13
    Isaac

    I’ve often heard feminists talk about there being a rape culture and I didn’t really know where this came from, until…

    Fuck you. I think we should give the guy who raped you a medal.

    I guess that’s as clear cut as it gets. People like that are scum.

  14. 14
    Troythulu

    I think I actually saw one of his videos, way back, and I wasn’t impressed then, either. What a reprehensible character. His is definitely on my list of channels to avoid.

  15. 15
    Marshall

    Ratty, how is it that you can acknowledge that the things he said were terrible and still choose to focus instead on one stateme- I’m sorry, one WORD of one statement in this post? Does that seem in proportion to you?

  16. 16
    Jason Thibeault

    Even more interesting: The Amazing Atheist assumed in this quote (and in many further downthread) that his victim was a woman. His victim, the person he was attempting to rape-trigger, was in fact a man.

    He was so damn quick to think this, I’m assuming, because of his ingrained hatred of feminists — who are in his mind, I’d wager, the only folks capable of decrying rape culture and patriarchy. And what’s even more interesting, on having just learned that piece of information that I missed the first time through, I decided to reread my original post, and I don’t have to change any gender pronouns. The victim’s gender does make the link to his other misogyny slightly more tenuous, but it’s all part of his psychological profile.

  17. 17
    Jason Thibeault

    ratty @12: tell that to the MRAs and MGTOWs who think that not being discussed equally in any conversation about women’s issues means they’re being personally attacked.

  18. 18
    'Tis Himself

    I’d never heard of this turd until today. Is he important in some way or only self-important?

  19. 19
    friedandburnt

    Gladly.

  20. 20
    friedandburnt

    Oh sorry, I am ratty.

  21. 21
    Jason Thibeault

    Tis Himself @18: he’s got 290,000+ subscribers and his videos have 94,000,000+ views in total. For a grade-A douchenozzle, he’s a superstar.

    Laci Green, by contrast, has gone from atheism videos to sex-is-awesome videos and still has 150,000+ subscribers and 19,000,000 views. Thunderf00t has about the same number of subscribers and 39,000,000 views.

    friedratty: and you’re welcome to do it, but you will appear, as noted, disproportionate, especially as concerns MRAs’ tactics in such a situation. Ignoring male problems to discuss (demonstrably more prevalent) female problems elicits “you hate men” and “misandry” cries no matter how seriously this person has taken male problems in the past, just for not talking about them NOW, and TO THE EXCLUSION of women’s problems.

  22. 22
    Ace of Sevens

    I wouldn’t extoll the virtues of Thunderf00t too much, considering history of demonizing Muslims. Speaking of Laci Green, she and TJ have a history. Sexism is hardly new behavior for him. His subscribers don’t care.

    I’m not sure Laci’s channel is a fair comparison as her focus is sex ed, not atheism. A lot of her subscribers aren’t atheists and/or don’t give a shit about atheism. I kind of suspect that TJ does represent a plurality of American atheists, or at least the ones who make a big deal about that identification.

  23. 23
    Seriously?

    I don’t get why these comments are causing more uproar than the past shit he’s said? He’s made videos insulting everybody imaginable. Even kids who commit suicide after being harassed http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOF3t3h8QhE&feature=player_embedded#!

  24. 24
    Ace of Sevens

    As far as I can tell, no one around here watches YouTube and he wasn’t on the radar until Kazim called him out. Apparently, most people don’t care about YouTube the way I don’t care about Reddit and Twitter.

  25. 25
    F [is for failure to emerge]

    Only occasionally do I see anything with respect to Shit that People Say on YouTube. So yeah, someone would have to notice and mention it first. Most of the YT references I find, though, are more along the lines of “Here’s a cool video hosted on YT that I found mentioned elsewhere, have a look,” whether it is about science, atheism, or cats. (Or rabbits.)

    No, FtB, I think, is not the YT police. Hell, that would be a full time job for any army. Despite that, I’ve seen AckAck mentioned in a mildly positive manner and also called out as a fuckwit previously in some of these blogs, possibly predating FtB.

  26. 26
    Russell Glasser

    @Ace of Sevens:

    A few weeks ago, somebody sent me an annoyingly vapid YouTube video of some kind of Christian “beat poetry” that had become popular. I went looking for responses, and found TAA’s response to it, and thought it was good.

    THEN I started watching his other videos, found the “I hate feminists” stuff, and revised my opinion. Told my wife about it, she and the Godless Bitches show had a field day with it, and from that point he was on our radar.

    Then she saw this crap happening live on Reddit, and… well.

  27. 27
    Jason Thibeault

    Via Shit Reddit Says, evidently TJ’s account terroja was deleted last night. Expect the neckbeard to announce his new Reddit account so we can resume destroying his karma by pointing out every time he’s a fuckwit.

  28. 28
    John Horstman

    I know it doesn’t necessarily follow that because there are a disproportionate number of atheists involved in feminist activism (because of how misogynist most codified religions are) that there would be a likewise disproportionate number of feminists in atheist circles (I mean, skepticism is all about challenging ideas and underlying assumptions, which is exactly what feminism does, with a scope focused primarily – though not exclusively, and increasingly less exclusively – on gender), but I’m still shocked at the level of hateful vitriol directed against women and people who don’t also hate women that has been purifying in atheist virtual spaces. Thanks for keeping up the (well, a) good fight, Jason.

  29. 29
    Jafafa Hots

    I care about YouTube – it’s a great place to listen to music or watch important news clips, learn how to hack your MP3 player, stuff like that.

    I’ve never seen the front page though. I never have seen the “popular” stuff. The whole “I have my own TV show” aspect of it where people just yammer, that’s completely uninteresting. The featured videos, as far as I can tell, are essentially self-produced reality TV shows. I don’t even watch the professionally produced ones, why would I watch amateur ones?

    Oh, and comments – thats the other worthless part of YouTube. The only place I know where there can be a prolonged verbal race riot even when the video is just someone’s kitten.

  30. 30
    Smhlle

    I want to narrate this like a very serious nature documentary. “In rape culture, angry men (man) wants to give rapists medals.”

    OMFG.

    Is this “amazing” atheist dude the same raging ball (singular) of spittle and invective that ranted so hard against Rebecca W. during Elevatorgate that it seemed that he was going to blow an artery like a freaking geyser? He’s rather memorable. If only Invective was an Olympic event…

  31. 31
    Pierce R. Butler

    But his paintings are so purty…

  32. 32
    Steven

    I had a trama trigger growing up, it’s kind of a weird one involving a video game:

    When I was a kid I had to go to counselling a lot for depression. One day while I was gaming I got in a conversation with my mother about the Councillor, that day I had talked about my family. My mother got mad and asked me what I told her because these kind of people can call Social Services, I got really scared and confused…

    At any rate, years after the incident my hair would stand on end and I’d get disturbed whenever I got to the exact point of the level I was on when she got mad at me.

  33. 33
    Anonymous Atheist

    I had a difficult time deciding where to post this comment, on all the blogs’ recent posts about these problems… Blaghag posted an “open” thread tonight, but I didn’t want to be the first one to drag this downer into it. Hopefully someone (Jason?) will notice this comment at the end of this thread and give it some more attention.

    Tonight I unfortunately stumbled across another (less-famous) atheist with some unpleasant (less-horrifying) things to say about women. After seeing the first post at the top of his homepage, I went looking for more:
    http://joeholmansblog.blogspot.com/2012/01/save-world-syndrome-aspiring-harlots.html
    http://joeholmansblog.blogspot.com/2009/08/womens-names-quandary.html
    http://joeholmansblog.blogspot.com/2008/10/telling-off-young-ones.html

    Also, about race:
    http://joeholmansblog.blogspot.com/2010/01/racism-what-it-is-what-it-isnt-and-why.html
    http://joeholmansblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/what-makes-politician.html

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