White and delightsome »« Friday Cephalopod: Goin’ for a walk

Comments

  1. chigau (this space for rent) says

    It’s Al, right?.
    with that font I thought it was AI and couldn’t understand what had against computers…

  2. Khantron, the alien that only loves says

    More deep rifts! I think. I missed the fuck out of what just happened.

  3. DPB says

    Khantron:
    From my understanding Al whined that people kept telling him to apologize for his sex and his race (without providing any examples of this actually happening) so he’s leaving FTB so he will no longer be victimized by feminists.

  4. says

    You have this reputation of a wonderful person in real life, and a Greater Internet Fuckwad on the net.

    Stay Classy PZ! We love you so much! Alway proud of you.

  5. karpad says

    Having never read Al’s blog (indeed, rarely reading much of FTB that isn’t linked back here in the various roundups), I decided to investigate.

    So, pulling his up, the first thing I’m greeted with is his photo. The way he chooses to represent himself to the world.

    White fedora, black plastic framed tinted lens glasses.

    I hesitate to say “everyone who wears a fedora is a complete douchebag.” I’m sure someone could find a counter example, if they looked hard enough. I’d like, if I could, to put a finger on why it seems such a surefire marker of awfulness, but I’m struggling with that. I think perhaps it is the contempt it shows for contemporary fashion. Now, I’m no fashionista by any stretch of any imagination. I am in poor shape and t-shirt and jeans tend to be the limits of my wardrobe on most occasions. But the fedora thing seems different. Rather than simply bowing out and refusing to play the fashion game, it feels like insisting that your individual judgment of what looks good and cool somehow supersedes the judgment of the rest of society. Which is quite a different expression. I don’t know, this isn’t really a fully formed thought. But the modern fedora, in all it’s t-shirt matched “glory” is a particular marker which says something specific, even if I cannot put my finger on precisely what it says.

    Setting that aside, I begin due diligence. And so we see… complaining about A+ because it’s all about him, you know. exemplified by his dismissal of Schrodinger’s Rapist by “I personally would kill myself before committing a rape, therefore I am not a potential rapist. Because of course, women looking at me will magically know this information. Or if they don’t they should have to give me the benefit of the doubt. Because I deserve this trust, by virtue of everyone having always given me this trust, being a white male and all.” Not a good start.

    a kind of weak Columbus Day post, wherein he acknowledges the theft of the continent. So, I guess there’s that? assuming this wasn’t sarcastic, I can’t really tell.

    And then we get “Muslims are uniquely violent among the religious.” WITH a Jeff Dunham quote. How charming.

    I don’t like this man very much.

  6. Khantron, the alien that only loves says

    I’m sorry Ing, but fedoras have been ruined by shitty misogynist geeks. It’s too bad you had to find out this way.

  7. karpad says

    Just saying. I know in person 5 people who regularly wear fedoras. Like all the time. All are white males. They are all varying degrees of misogynist. 3 of them are Ron Paul supporters. And for internet personas for this, we have Linkara, who is a self-identified feminist but seems to get a lot wrong, Yahtzee, who is… eh. The Amazing Atheist, about whom the less said the better, and the XKCD guy. Pretty sure Penn Gillette is also often seen rockin the Draper Caper look.

    I don’t think this is a coincidence.

    I dunno, I’m still refining the why, but the how beyond dispute.

  8. DPB says

    For me, fedoras were ruined by young folks. I personally like how they look, but awful people I know would get them and go

    “Look! I’m wearing a fedora! Isn’t my fedora cool!? That new pizza restaurant is pretty awesome. Like my hat! Fedoras! FEDORAFEDORAFEDORA! OMFG LET’S START A FEDORA CLUBBBBB”

    A similar thing happened with converse shoes.

  9. chigau (this space for rent) says

    I sometimes wear a fedora and I’m a middle-aged woman.
    No feathers but I tatted the hat-band.
    What does this mean?

  10. Paul W., OM says

    Karpad (emphases added):

    Having never read Al’s blog (indeed, rarely reading much of FTB that isn’t linked back here in the various roundups), I decided to investigate.

    So, pulling his up, the first thing I’m greeted with is his photo. The way he chooses to represent himself to the world.

    White fedora, black plastic framed tinted lens glasses.

    I hesitate to say “everyone who wears a fedora is a complete douchebag.” I’m sure someone could find a counter example, if they looked hard enough. I’d like, if I could, to put a finger on why it seems such a surefire marker of awfulness, but I’m struggling with that. I think perhaps it is the contempt it shows for contemporary fashion. Now, I’m no fashionista by any stretch of any imagination. I am in poor shape and t-shirt and jeans tend to be the limits of my wardrobe on most occasions. But the fedora thing seems different. Rather than simply bowing out and refusing to play the fashion game, it feels like insisting that your individual judgment of what looks good and cool somehow supersedes the judgment of the rest of society.

    Um, is this a Poe, or an astonishing display of flaming assholery?

  11. karpad says

    Nice to see you too, paul. Having never read Al’s blog means “before this day.”
    I then proceeded to read each blog post on his front page, in descending order, and provided a reaction to each. But apparently you got too butthurt over your silly hat being criticized to actually read on.
    Al has proven himself a racist, misogynist douchebag. He did so in less than 3 blog posts.

    Sorry to have so offended you and your fedora, but choice of hat is not a protected group. And like Juggalo makeup, Beats By Dre headphones, and popped collars, people are both allowed and encouraged to draw inferences from the messages you send in fashion. This is why one does not wear sweatpants to a job interview.

  12. says

    Oh good fucking lord, karpad, get over your damn self. Your post was fucking silly. And it wasn’t especially funny. And it was a little bit dumb. Frankly I think the reception it got was positively cheery compared to what it could have been, given the subject matter. “Butthurt”? No, the shit you wrote was DUMB.

  13. Paul W., OM says

    Karpad,

    I know this will come as a shock to you, but I don’t have or wear a fedora.

    But maybe I’ll get one and wear it, in solidarity with my fedora-wearing friends whose sheer uppityness so offends you.

    And I quote, again, but with new emphases added:

    I’d like, if I could, to put a finger on why it seems such a surefire marker of awfulness, but I’m struggling with that. I think perhaps it is the contempt it shows for contemporary fashion.

    How dare those awful people show contempt for contemporary fashion!

    You know what I thought when I saw that picture of Al?

    I wondered if he was bald.

    A lot of bald guys wear hats, for good practical reasons. And there just aren’t a lot of hats for men that are fashionable now—hat-wearing has mostly gone out of fashion, especially for men, and these days the only common men’s hats are baseball caps, knit caps, and other mostly butt-ugly “practical” hats.

    If a bald guy wants to keep his scalp from getting sunburned, and doesn’t want his head to get cold when there’s a cool breeze, what is he supposed to wear?

    Even a lot of non-bald people think it’s kind of a shame that hat-wearing is passe, and that if you wear a hat, just because you want to wear a hat, a lot of people will assume you’re making some kind of a statement, and think it’s their job to pass their ignorant judgment on your fucking hat.

    Apparently, we’re not supposed to wear hats because… well, because people don’t do that anymore, and it might send a message, and we might be held to account for flouting society’s all-important judgment.

    So please, can you point me to a list of currently approved male headwear?

    Can you then—pretty please—shove it up your conformist, judgmental, status quo-defending ass?

  14. says

    What evidence do you have that Al is a racist?

    oh for fuck’s sake.

    Actually come to think of it, I want to know too. Also, PZ, I want some hard evidence from you that Al might be a giant, and just how he’s supposed to have caused that flood. These are strong accusations you’re making.

  15. Ichthyic says

    for people wondering what the fuck is going on, don’t just read Al’s last substantive post (the one before he says goodbye), read the comments TO that post.

    the history becomes much clearer, starting with leftsidepositive’s responses.

  16. says

    Also, PZ, I want some hard evidence from you that Al might be a giant, and just how he’s supposed to have caused that flood.

    Your analogy is stupid. You can’t just call someone a racist without providing context and expect people not to ask a reasonable question about it.

    Ichthyic, thank you for the link. Investigating now.

  17. Ichthyic says

    Ichthyic, thank you for the link. Investigating now.

    that’s just the tip though, you would have to delve much deeper to really understand what’s going on.

    do you really care?

  18. says

    Of course I care. Wouldn’t bother asking the question if I didn’t. Al’s blog has been interesting, but I don’t read most of the comments on FTB except here. Anyway it was all very surprising and fast, and now racism is being tossed about. Yes, I care very much. Thank you again for the link. I would like to know more.

  19. says

    Your analogy is stupid. You can’t just call someone a racist without providing context and expect people not to ask a reasonable question about it.

    Nobody called anyone a racist.
    Puzzle the rest out yourself.

  20. Mak says

    I’ll never understand the fedora hate. Is it just the “cool” thing to hate on right now, like glasses used to be? (Still are?)

    It’s a fucking hat. They come in different shapes and sizes and colors and styles. Much like everything else people wear (shirts, pants, GLASSES), certain face and body shapes look good in certain hats and look bad in others, and it’s a matter of finding the one that looks good for you.

    I wear a fedora because I can’t wear “normal” hats (i.e. baseball caps). They look even stupider on me than any fedora ever has. So apparently my choice is to either wear a hat that I enjoy and look good in, wear a hat that looks extremely silly on me and makes me feel extremely self-conscious because it makes my head look even bigger and rounder than it already is, or wear no hat at all, which in South Florida is not actually an option.

    The “modern fedoras” (aka trillbies) with the short brims that are turned up don’t look good on me, so I went out and found an old broad-brimmed fedora that tones down my facial features, and I look just fine in it. Certainly much better than in a “normal” hat that apparently I’m supposed to wear or else I’m a big ol’ douchebag, even though it doesn’t actually protect my neck from the sun or cover me in the rain. Since, you know, once upon a time fedoras were utilitarian.

    I don’t wear a fedora to be “cool”. I wear it because I like the way it looks, it’s extremely utilitarian in an extremely sunny (and rainy) region of the country, and I feel good wearing it. The “appropriate” hats make me feel completely the opposite.

    Though I dunno, maybe I am a douchebag.

  21. Ichthyic says

    Wouldn’t bother asking the question if I didn’t

    *shrug*

    I can easily imagine a lot of webophiles who would be happy to just go on a crusade to “prove” someone is not a racist, just because they think it “unjust”.

    even if they didn’t have the slightest clue who the people involved were, or what their positions were, or what the history of the situation is.

    but hey, so long as you have a vested interest, have fun.

  22. unclefrogy says

    most of the pictures I have seen lately of Walter Mosley he is wearing a fedora what does that make him?
    you finally convinced me that I need a nice dark felt Derby even if I only wear sweats!
    uncle frogy

  23. Walton says

    Leonard Cohen frequently wears a fedora on stage. This makes fedoras awesome as far as I’m concerned. (Though I doubt a fedora would suit me.)

  24. Mak says

    Some time ago, an associate of mine was heckling fedora wearers on a public blog, and in response came a bunch of people disagreeing with him and posting pics in their hats. Myself included, though minus the pics because even at my best I’m not very photogenic, especially if I’m taking the pic myself. Instead, I included a link to the article I posted in my previous comment.

    Afterwards he messaged me in private and asked what sort of hat would look good on him.

    We decided on a moderately narrow fedora with a snap brim (I don’t remember if it was tapered or not), a fez, and a newsboy cap. He’s one of those lucky guys with a versatile face shape.

  25. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Anthem is pretty darn good. My favorite might be the song The Future.

    +++++
    To no one in particular:

    I’m seriously wondering how this “trying to get me to feel guilty about [being a white man]” nonsense springs up again and again. Of course, it might just be a meme that’s passed around, selected for because it functions as a convenient strawman. But I wonder if there’s something else going on.

    The Knobe effect, somewhat simplified, is that when an action has an unpleasant side effect, the person who performs the action is more often judged to have deliberately intended the side effect (more often than if the side effect was pleasant instead).

    So I wonder if what’s happening sometimes is a listener hears something which (however irrationally, not to mention unintentionally) causes them to feel guilty for a moment, and that unpleasant feeling causes them to attribute to the speaker an intention to cause guilt.

    I.e. “you made me feel bad” leads to “you tried to make me feel bad”.

    Maybe?

  26. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Not to discount the importance of the memetic spread. I mean, I can observe it being propagated, so I’m sure the shared narrative accounts for many individual instances. I just wonder if maybe the Knobe effect is another predictable mechanism by which this idea gets reinvented.

  27. strange gods before me ॐ says

    The Knobe effect, somewhat simplified, is that when an action has an unpleasant side effect, the person who performs the action is more often judged to have deliberately intended the side effect (more often than if the side effect was pleasant instead).

  28. jose says

    I don’t understand, who’s Al and who’s his racist friend and why is this interesting.

  29. carlie says

    jose – it isn’t interesting to you because of you not understanding. Try reading the thread.

  30. says

    From his blog:

    I cannot help that I was born with light skin and with a penis. I will not apologize for these things, nor will I allow anyone to convince me that the concept of privilege has more to do with how someone was born than how someone behaves or perceives themselves among their fellow humans. (emphasis mine)

    *facepalm*
    You know, for someone who claims to value social justice, he somehow completely and utterly fails to understand how privilege works. Maybe he is better off somewhere else…

  31. says

    I’m sorry Ing, but fedoras have been ruined by shitty misogynist geeks. It’s too bad you had to find out this way.

    But what about women who wear fedoras? No reason, just askin’. (whistles)

  32. abear says

    I’ve never seen any evidence Al is a racist, but he did write a really stupid post recently trying to make a joke about some poor woman getting murdered.
    Oh wait,that was someone else.

  33. says

    Rather than simply bowing out and refusing to play the fashion game, it feels like insisting that your individual judgment of what looks good and cool somehow supersedes the judgment of the rest of society.

    So am I to understand that fashion changes 4 times a year on its own, instead of just so that more clothes can be sold? The fashion makers use sweat shops to make the clothes and emaciated models to market them, and they change what is “in” often enough that people will get rid of perfectly good clothes before they are worn out. Its hardly “the rest of society”, its a small group of assholes with a huge amount of power deciding fashion on behalf of everyone else. The more people resist, the better I say. I look weird the majority of the time, who gives a shit?

    and no, I don’t own a fedora.

  34. Matt Penfold says

    I’ve never seen any evidence Al is a racist

    No one has claimed there is any evidence. However there is evidence he is happy to associate with vile misogynist. You see, you needed to think to understand the point PZ was making.

  35. melody says

    I will never give up my fedoras… or pillboxes, berets, pageboys, sun hats, ushankas, etc. As a hat collector, all hats are equal in my eyes.

  36. Nepenthe says

    The folk whinging about how Al’s not been conclusively proved to be a racist, whatever that would even mean, need to listen to the song more carefully. It’s addressed not to the racist, but the guy who keeps inviting his racist friend to parties, which are then ruined by said racist’s anal haberdashery. The narrator of the song wishes that his friend would stop inviting the racist friend around. The narrator’s friend isn’t going to do this though, because he’s not interested in “politics” and presumably believes that racism is simply a mild political disagreement.

    This is precisely what Al has been proclaiming: he’s not going to stop inviting his “racist friend”* to the party, because no one can tell him who to associate with. Freedom! and other bull.

    *The racist friend is, in this case, mostly the sexist friend, but TMBG hasn’t written a song about that.

    @69
    My favorite part about that quote is the “let anyone convince me”. Yeah, he’s fighting the power by not letting himself learn what everyone’s talking about when they say “privilege”. He’s gonna stick with his own notion that “privilege” is people being assholes. And Ken Ham’s never going to let anyone convince him that evolution doesn’t mean that crocoducks and jellywolves should be waddling/swimming around, he’s going to stick by his guns. Because freedom!

  37. jose says

    Daniel Fincke and carlie, thanks!

    I thought it was funny at the beginning, like he was pondering if he should admit to have listened to the vein-popping fuckyoufuckingbitchfuckyoufuckingfuckfuck podcast at all ^_^ happy he decided to go all the way and then a little more.

  38. says

    I might reconmend X-men first class as a baby’s first intro to privledge. A major theme is that Prof X due to being an upper class white het man is very blind to a lot of the troubles and issues his friends are experiencing…which tragically sets up Magneto and the Brotherhood on their start of darkness. He’s someone who has had everything easy failing to understand people who have had everything hard and the movie seems to want to show that going from someone well intentioned but unable to fully empathize with others into someone less naive and more aware is what changes him from an upper class twit into wise mentor.

    Movie has its own problems but I thought it seemed to use the concept well without casting direct blame and guilt: Xavier’s flaw isn’t from malace but obliviousness…the fact that he can literally read minds but is still blind to this alsoacts as a good metaphor for the difficulty in conceptualizing such concepts

  39. says

    Fez’s are cool.

    Must insert plug for fez-o-rama.com… Very high quality workmanship and eminently giftable.

    My 2nd best fedora is a 1930 Stetson Sovereign, right behind my 1930 Borsalino. You simply cannot get hats like that anymore, which is probably why so few people appreciate a good fedora.

  40. Mak, acolyte to Farore says

    My 2nd best fedora is a 1930 Stetson Sovereign, right behind my 1930 Borsalino. You simply cannot get hats like that anymore, which is probably why so few people appreciate a good fedora.

    *JEALOUSY*

    There’s nothing like vintage felt.

  41. abear says

    Now I’m really confused.
    Is Al’s racist/misogynist friend the blogger that wrote that disgusting joke post about the murdered woman? That was not only misogynist but racist too. Instead of shitting on poor Al, why not go after his friend, the real villain.

  42. says

    Just to clear up the confusion: Al Stefanelli, to my surprise, suddenly announced that he was leaving FtB. Why? Well, no one had said he should, but it turns out that a couple of us had been dissing his great good buddy, Reap Paden — the flaming asshole with a dumbass podcast — and he’d apparently taken it personally. Even though no one had connected him with Paden or taken him to task for past participation in his godawful podcast. Nope, we’d just pissed on his pal, the ranting raving screaming incompetent jerk who hates all feminists.

    So the song seems appropriate. Nobody had any problem with Stefanelli…but his asshole friend was someone we weren’t interested in spending time with. #77 gets it.

    Oh, and what’s with this idiocy about hats? Lots of different kinds of people wear fedoras…you can’t judge them by what they wear on their heads. My son has a very nice dark gray pinstriped fedora, and he’s a liberal campaigner for the Minnesota DFL. I’ve eyed a few hats now and then, and think a fedora is a nice classic design.

  43. A. Noyd says

    abear (#84)

    Instead of shitting on poor Al, why not go after his friend, the real villain.

    Bigotry doesn’t thrive because of nasty individuals. The “real villains” aren’t the obvious bigots, but the society that tolerates, supports and enables them. People who befriend obvious bigots and fail to call out those friends for spewing hateful abuse are enablers.

  44. chigau (this space for rent) says

    abear
    If you were a little more specific, people would know which post you are actually talking about.

  45. Paul W., OM says

    Jafafa Hots @ abear,

    One person did in fact accuse Al of racism, and claim to find evidence for it in his most recent few posts.

    And apparently out of his hat, though that may only be evidence of general douchebaggery, not specifically racism.

    I think PZ should have been a bit more careful to make clear that it was a metaphor. I got what he meant, because I was familiar with the basic story and the song, but even I wasn’t entirely sure it was just a metaphor.

    I expected some people would misinterpret it, and cringed a bit.

    But enough about Al. Fedoragate has revealed Deep Rifts from the head down.

  46. davidhart says

    So y’all don’t like my fedora?
    [Checks bank account]
    Damn, I’m going to be a hell of a long time saving up for a shtreimel instead:-)

  47. says

    My spouse (on random coincidence) got out my pith hat today and it reeked like dead socks. I knew it was having a teeny bit of a mildew problem, but ye-uck.

  48. says

    Well you know who wears hats?

    RELIGIOUS PEOPLE.

    So there. :P

    (my opinion has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that my head is too big for a hat and combined with the thickness of my hair they won’t “sit” and that makes me look bad. Nothing at all. Stop insinuating.)

  49. chigau (みじん切り肝臓) says

    Jafafa Hots
    I could knit you something…practical.
    Fashionable, not so much.

  50. erikthebassist says

    So I listened to that whole podcast Daniel Fincke linked up thread and I have to say, while Reap Paden comes off as a complete asshole, Al actually had me going for most of it.

    He sounded like the reasonable counterpoint to Paden’s invective towards feminists, until oh, about the last five seconds, where he says he doesn’t care if people use the word cunt.

    Wow, way to let your privilege show there Al, stay classy indeed.

  51. erikthebassist says

    well at least the last 5 seconds before I turned it off.Then they went in to a story about a Pew study about religious belief that I wasn’t interested in hearing them talk about.

  52. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Last night I said:

    I fully expect that all the people who tried to make Al feel guilty and apologize for being a white man will now demand the same of me.

    Aha!

    I was right.

  53. Electric Monk says

    Love that album….

    Now if I could just find a rock to wind a piece of string around.

  54. Pyra says

    WOW! That was a whole playlist! I’d forgotten all about them. Trip down memory lane for me. I think the song is a fitting metaphor.

  55. Pyra says

    On the subject of people who feel “Schrodinger’s Rapist” is hard to grasp…

    I’m having one hell of a hard time figuring out how people can tell women how to go about not getting raped and how to behave to minimize danger, and yet not understand how this has caused a huge segment of us to default to being cautious and uncomfortable in situations with men.

    How can we be expected to do both? I’d like to ask those who are of this mentality…

    I know, I know… Damned if we do (take precautions and see each and every man as a potential rapist and dress conservatively and not attend parties and not drink, and get raped anyway) and damned if we don’t (fail to default to being wary around men without knowing the man in question, wear revealing clothing, go out at night, drink, and get raped.)

    Do I go on, after having been raped by someone I’d previously trusted and even been intimate with, acting like every man is just a good guy and not fear them for fear I might offend them with my discomfort? Or do I go on and only judge after a good long trial run, thereby offending all men I meet?

    How can someone not see this glaring reality?

  56. says

    I hesitate to say “everyone who wears a fedora is a complete douchebag.” I’m sure someone could find a counter example, if they looked hard enough.

    No need to look hard at all, Terry Pratchett wears fedoras, and if I was you I wouldn’t call a guy who smelt his own sword a douchebag, he might want to make sure he got the edge sharp enough.