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David Silverman vs. Justin Vacula

Silverman appeared on Vacula’s “Brave Hero” (jeez, but it hurts just to type that ridiculous name for a show dedicated to hating) radio tonight and gave him a good chewing out. Silverman was far more diplomatic than I could ever be: he encouraged Vacula, telling him he could be a great activist, while also unambiguously telling him to step away from the aptly named slymepit, to stop “poking and prodding” — that is, harassing people — and to stop supporting the nonsense, the lies, the photoshops, the sniping coming out of that den of lunatics. It was a solid rebuke, and an unambiguous denunciation of the slymepit. It was great.

I was in the chatroom for the show, and it was like being in a mob of baboons. They were barking mad and raving — rather than arguing for Vacula, their approach was solely one of throwing around false equivalencies, in particular, demanding that Silverman denounce me as severely as he was the slymers (this was before I’d even logged in. Silverman was not there to talk about me, it was a debate between Silverman and Vacula, but Vacula and his cronies did an awful lot of yelling about me.) It ended up with a bunch of them just typing in all caps that I SUPPORT TENTACLE RAPE, and that I HATE ATHEISTS IN THE MILITARY, so I left.

It was ridiculous. Here, I’ll make it easy for everyone: let’s stipulate that I’m an evil, lecherous old man, creepy and horrible, far worse than anyone on the slymepit; Pharyngula is a hotbed of wickedness, all the commenters here are demonic (sorry); and that everything I’ve ever done has been irredeemably destructive to atheism, skepticism, science, and the American way. OK? Call me the Atheist Satan.

Now, what the heck does that have to do with the Silverman/Vacula discussion? How does it excuse fake twitter accounts, rape threats, bad photoshops, a multi-year campaign of denigration against Rebecca Watson, Ophelia Benson, Stephanie Zvan, Amanda Marcotte, Jennifer McCreight, and basically anyone who argues that the atheist movement ought to support greater equality? How does it justify Vacula acting as a representative for A Voice For Men at conferences advocating for greater support for women in secularism, a cause he opposes?

David Silverman can disagree with me on various issues and can tell me I’m wrong in no quibbling terms, and I might argue with him, but the one thing I won’t do, that would make me look pathetic, childish, and weak, is argue that what I do is OK because Vacula or some other boogeyman is worse than I am. And yet that’s the only argument these pathetic, childish, weak bozos had.

Comments

  1. says

    all the commenters here are demonic (sorry);

    Eh, I’ve been called worse.

    Now, what the heck does that have to do with the Silverman/Vacula discussion?

    Nothing. It’s simply all they have. If they had an actual, valid argument, I’m pretty sure it would have surfaced long before now.

  2. Stacy says

    I hear Abbie Smith’s fee fees were hurt and she called Silverman a “loser.” On the pit.

    :D

  3. Stacy says

    Call me the Atheist Satan.

    No way. You’re the atheist Cthulhu. Way more badass. And more tentacles.

  4. says

    For me, the “let’s stipulate” part carries weight in two ways:

    1) Let’s stipulate that you’re terrible. It doesn’t excuse people treating you in terrible ways. Unethical behavior doesn’t magically become ethical if you don’t like the target. Ethics isn’t “Torture is wrong… well, unless I’m going to torture someone who really irritates me!” Sure as hell, ethics isn’t “Someone made me mad, therefore there’s nothing that I can do to them that isn’t justified by them making me cross!”

    2) Even if you’re terrible, it doesn’t mean that everyone who agrees with you on a specific issue is wrong by default. It isn’t enough to say “The Peez is a bad person, and he supports feminism, therefore feminism is poop.” They have to go further, and justify their position by the same standards to which they hold creationists, and not simply by finding someone to hate, associating that person with a position they hate, and claiming that both are equally bankrupt by association.

  5. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    Slymepit™ brand shampoo. Contains: false equivalence and tu quoque. Lather, rinse, repeat.

  6. theignored says

    How does it excuse fake twitter accounts, rape threats, bad photoshops, a multi-year campaign of denigration against Rebecca Watson, Ophelia Benson, Stephanie Zvan, Amanda Marcotte, Jennifer McCreight, and basically anyone who argues that the atheist movement ought to support greater equality? How does it justify Vacula acting as a representative for A Voice For Men at conferences advocating for greater support for women in secularism, a cause he opposes?

    People who do the kind of shit that those people do need to be slapped down…hard. It needs to be made loud and plainly clear that atheists and people in general have no business acting like that. Good on Silverman and Myers for standing up to them.

  7. says

    Discuss the controversy! Stop silencing them! Stop bullying them! Wait, sorry, who are we talking about again? It’s really easy to get Vacula and Michael Behe mixed up.
    .

    “I have always assumed that [people] were free to ask any question, to pursue any line of inquiry, without fear of reprisal. But recently I’ve been alarmed to discover that this is not the case.”
    .

    No, that wasn’t said at Skeptic Ink or on Brave Hero! That was said by Ben Stein in that “Expelled” movie.

  8. Steve Caldwell says

    I feel that my decision to join American Atheists was a good decision in light of Mr. Silverman’s comments.

  9. rowanvt says

    *offended* I am draconic, not demonic! And that makes me closer to satan, via being a ‘serpent’. And probably the fact that I have a multitude of pet snakes makes me even closer!

  10. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    To be fair only half of us are demonic, the other are infernal hence the infighting.

  11. says

    [T]he one thing I won’t do, that would make me look pathetic, childish, and weak, is argue that what I do is OK because Vacula or some other boogeyman is worse than I am. And yet that’s the only argument these pathetic, childish, weak bozos had.

    Well said. That’s one of the big reasons why I think we can feel justified in looking down on them. They aren’t trying to be better people, they’re trying to convince us into settling for second worst like they did. When we display a strong resolve and refuse the easy, cowardly path they took, they whine and whine and whine about how “weak” we are.

  12. Anthony K says

    I was in the chatroom for the show, and it was like being in a mob of baboons.

    No, no: we’re the baboons.

    All the independently skeptical thinkers think that. It’s a meme. An independently thought meme. The first, apparently.

  13. says

    PZ, you’ve become a football for these people to kick around (OBJECTIFICATION!!1!) Seriously. When Ron Lindsay needed to accuse someone of shutting up teh menz, he named you and not any women in the movement. When JV and his supporters don’t wanna talk about JV and his supporters harassing people, they talk about you being…a meanie-pants. So at best they’re saying that harassing women in the movement is justified because YOU’RE a meanie-pants, which sounds dubiously like collective punishment.

  14. Eristae says

    Excuse me, but what was Silverman even doing on that “show”? Trying to have a dialogue? What’s next, Limbaugh?

    Well, Silverman already did the O’Reilly Show, so . . .

    Mwahaha!

  15. mofa says

    Silverman, what an arrogant jerk, uses the word ‘shit’ ad nauseam without being specific, makes claims and accusations without providing any evidence, actually thinks ‘shit’ exists only on one side. Man o man, this dude is making the schism ever wider. Silverman has shown his stripes and they are not the stripes of a skeptic mammal. He is off with the ‘woo fairies’. Atheist yes, misandrist yes, skeptic no.

  16. cfieldb says

    Now, what the heck does that have to do with the Silverman/Vacula discussion?

    This is basically what I was thinking whenever Vacula started pointing fingers like a fifth grader trying to weasel out of detention. So he hates Freethought Blogs- fine. Like Silverman said, he’s not required to like everyone in this movement. Heck, for the sake of argument, let’s grant that he’s right in his appraisal, and FtB is a horrible network filled with evil people. While that’s an unpleasant hypothetical, it’s independent of the fact that people on Vacula’s side are stalking and harassing FtB bloggers. And since the topic under discussion is said stalking and harassing, FtB’s alleged horribleness is an irrelevant non-sequitur.

    It was just bizarre on every level. Let’s say you’re friends with a bully because, oh, you like playing tennis with him. Or you like talking politics, or shooting hoops, or whatever. And every once in a while, he beats someone up, while you stand there and look the other way. You don’t approve of that behavior, exactly, but it’s just not your problem.

    Of course, that’s ridiculous. Obviously people are going to criticize you for not speaking up, for not walking away, because to do otherwise is to tacitly encourage that behavior. Likewise, for Vacula to act as though it’s unreasonable to criticize him for participating in the message board that has served as the primary catalyst for the past two years of harassment… well, it’s just asinine.

  17. lochaber says

    Come on mofa, certainly you have more to say on the subject then that, don’t you?

    You didn’t even mention the femistasi, feminazis, manginas, etc.

    Seriously, show us what the real skeptics(TM) think

  18. says

    Widening the schism, eh? Well hoo-fuckin-ray. This schism can’t get wide enough for me. Good job, Dave! Keep pushing that wedge.

  19. bad Jim says

    Lots of people have been possessed by demons, of course, but in looking over my life, I’m inclined to suspect that I’ve been possessed by an angel instead, and I wonder why no one else ever complains of angelic possession.

  20. Eristae says

    mofa

    Silverman, what an arrogant jerk, uses the word ‘shit’ ad nauseam without being specific, makes claims and accusations without providing any evidence, actually thinks ‘shit’ exists only on one side. Man o man, this dude is making the schism ever wider. Silverman has shown his stripes and they are not the stripes of a skeptic mammal. He is off with the ‘woo fairies’. Atheist yes, misandrist yes, skeptic no.

    This is a prime example of the long form of *FLAIL WILDLY*

  21. throwaway, extra beefy super queasy says

    Silverman, what an arrogant jerk, uses the word ‘shit’ ad nauseam without being specific…

    Au contraire! Your post provides the perfect specific example of shit and it makes me nauseous, too. Doubly so, which is a type of adding…

  22. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    When will these pissants learn that we want the rift between us and them to widen? I’m hoping it’s going to keep increasing ’til it’s at least such a distance that we can’t hear their clueless bleating and privileged squealing of ‘what about the menz?’ anymore.

  23. mofa says

    ‘Doodoo head’? Shooooop! Is that all I GOT? What do you want from me a thesis.

  24. mofa says

    That’s it link to latin with french. So you are nauseous from the position I hold and I am nauseous because of the position you hold…let’s throw up on each other. An meanwhile the schism chasm grows ever wider thanks to Silverman…there is no fence to sit on where a chasm exists.

  25. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    mofa wrote:

    What do you want from me a thesis.

    Well, that’s almost a sentence.

  26. John Morales says

    mofa, you are to be pitied, but I’m hardly nauseated by your concerns over schismata.

    I put it to you that this episode reveals the chasm to which you refer to have been there all along — it’s just that it didn’t use to be a significant issue.

  27. JohnnieCanuck says

    Here I was hoping the ‘schism chasm’ was already big enough to do the job. Apparently not. Keep digging, mofa, keep digging. Would appreciate not hearing from your lot ever again so while you’re at it, just stifle, if you could.

  28. says

    Excuse me, but what was Silverman even doing on that “show”?

    1)as noted, he also went on O’Reilly, so…
    2)in any case, if you remember that twitter exchange between the two of them, Silverman at one point said that if Vacula actually repudiated the harassment in some form, he might get Silverman on his show; so Vacula put in the minimal effort, cribbed a repudiation Silverman had written for something else, changed a few details and posted it on Skeptic Ink. And that’s how he got Silverman to go on the show.

    - – - – - – - – - – - -

    this dude is making the schism ever wider.

    good.

    An meanwhile the schism chasm grows ever wider thanks to Silverman…there is no fence to sit on where a chasm exists.

    good.

    also, type slower, it might help with the English. alternatively, just switch to your native language, it’ll probably be more coherent and understandable by more people than your half-sentence ungrammatical ramblings.

  29. throwaway, extra beefy super queasy says

    So you are nauseous from the position I hold and I am nauseous because of the position you hold…let’s throw up on each other.

    Settle down cupcake, and keep the vomit fantasies for those who are consensually interested.

    An meanwhile the schism chasm grows ever wider thanks to Silverman…there is no fence to sit on where a chasm exists.

    This is conjecture based on what, exactly? Your gut feeling that the ‘schism chasm’ is growing? Between whom and why? What do you really represent mofa? I’m with you on the anti-misandry front, really I am. Now if only you can show that it’s a problem and what it’s REALLY attributed to. The spectre of ‘radfem’ is not a valid response.

  30. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    An meanwhile the schism chasm grows ever wider thanks to Silverman…there is no fence to sit on where a chasm exists.

    Deep

    (although, wrong, since you could have a fence it would just be rather imprudent to sit on a fence right over a chasm /rambling)

  31. mesh says

    Funny how the blame for the “schism” never rests with the people endorsing reprehensible behavior, just those who call attention to it. In any case, it’s quite telling that those chanting the mantra of “DEEEEEP RIFTS” consider it so problematic for a division to exist between a moral position and a morally bankrupt one.

  32. says

    by the way, does anyone know if anyone managed to listen to this and to the Fincke-Vacula thing enough to make a transcript? I’d like to read it.

  33. lochaber says

    So, is this the chasm that exists betwixt the camp that cares about people, and the camp that exclusively cares about tehmenz?

    as others have said, apparently it’s not quite wide enough, since you managed to crawl across.

    You’re giving chordates a bad rep, mofa.

  34. says

    @Jadehawk, Sally Strange asked permission to do the Fincke vs Vacula “debate” …. Not sure if she finished it tho.

  35. latsot says

    Caine, Fleur du mal:

    Nothing. It’s simply all they have.

    Incorrect, that’s not all they have. They also have blithering, time-wasting, eye-rolling, childish semantic games.

    For instance, one of these idiots referred to Ophelia yesterday as ‘Ophelia Cuntson’ then strenuously denied calling Ophelia a cunt. It’s different, he explained. Using a nickname with the word “cunt” built right into is is completely different to calling someone a cunt. Fortunately, when I objected he actually came right out and explicitly and unambiguously called Ophelia a cunt anyway. He didn’t say why.

    But this sort of thing is very common: engaging is silly little babyish arguments to deflect attention from…. well, their other silly little babyish arguments.

  36. Eristae says

    That’s it link to latin with french. So you are nauseous from the position I hold and I am nauseous because of the position you hold…let’s throw up on each other. An meanwhile the schism chasm grows ever wider thanks to Silverman…there is no fence to sit on where a chasm exists

    I am not interested in closing a schism when the misogynists and misogynist enablers reside on the other side. In the event that they stop being misogynists and/or misogynist enablers, I will welcome them over to our side. Until then, they can stay far, far, far away from me. I suffer through enough of that shit in my daily life that I can’t avoid. I’m not interested in signing on for more. If the atheist/skeptics/whatever community won’t shove the misogynists out (making a schism! Oh my!) then I will leave (creating a schism! Oh my!).

    And that’s the nice part about the misogyny in the atheist/skeptical movement: I can choose to leave it. I can say, “You don’t get to treat me like that.”

    So people like you have to decide if you’re going to create a schism where the misogyny is shoved out of the movement or if you’re going to create a schism where women are shoved out of the movement. You can’t keep the misogynists in and then force the women to stay, too. You can sit there and freak out about how you think they/we should stay, but you don’t control them/us, as shocking as that may be for some. This movement simply isn’t big or powerful enough to force women to put up with that shit.

  37. Freodin says

    Now, what the heck does that have to do with the Silverman/Vacula discussion? How does it excuse fake twitter accounts, rape threats, bad photoshops, a multi-year campaign of denigration against Rebecca Watson, Ophelia Benson, Stephanie Zvan, Amanda Marcotte, Jennifer McCreight, and basically anyone who argues that the atheist movement ought to support greater equality?

    Ah, don’t you see? You, PZ, control Rebecca, Ophelia, Stephanie, Amanda and Jennifer and all the others with your tentacles of evil, and all the methods you mentioned are just the heroic efforts of the few real septics… err, sceptics… to battle your evil empire.
    Sure, rape threats and lying may not be a shining example of goodness… but when these are used to counter the true evil of femnazis/stasis demaning “equality” (that is: domination over the poor oppressed men), they are certainly allowed!

  38. echidna says

    eristae:

    This movement simply isn’t big or powerful enough to force women to put up with that shit.

    Unlike, say, churches. Except that, now that heresy is no longer punishable by death in most countries, women are free to leave them too, once we overcome the conditioning.

  39. Eristae says

    Unlike, say, churches. Except that, now that heresy is no longer punishable by death in most countries, women are free to leave them too, once we overcome the conditioning.

    Yeah, that’s what I was thinking of when I wrote that. There are some things (like Churches) that are powerful enough to make women (including women who aren’t of their particular brand of Christianity) put up with their misogynistic shit. The recent examples have been the Catholic Church killing women in the name of non-viable fetuses.

    I’ve already opted out of any and all branches of Christianity. I’ve already told them that I won’t willingly put up with their shit, for all that they can make me put up with some level of that shit anyway.

    But deciding to put up with misogynistic shit? No. If I was willing to choose misogyny, I’d be member of a Church which can offer way more social support in a much more direct manner than any disembodied secular movement that I only have access to through the internet. Plus, there are all kinds of liberal churches that are very good with not being misogynistic despite the fact that they follow a book that is wildly misogynistic. I was always involved in the atheist/skeptic movement because I thought it was supposed to be better than the other groups, including the liberal Christian ones. I’ve found out that this is not the case, much to my pain. I’m still involved in some periferal level, although I don’t really consider myself to be a part of it (not after Jen quit entirely and Amy did her absolute best to remove herself from any controversy to avoid harassment and nevertheless continues to be harassed). I want to believe that the movement can get better. That’s why I’m still here. That and the fact that, while a bunch of people I respect have left, a bunch of people who I respect have not left. Abandoning them isn’t something that is easy for me to swallow. I’m loyal to a fault. This actually cases me trouble when I’m trying to play games like Risk; I can’t bring myself to betray someone, even if it’s in a game and for fun. So here I stay . . . for now.

  40. says

    uses the word ‘shit’ ad nauseam without being specific, makes claims and accusations without providing any evidence

    Yes, it’s annoying when people make claims without being specific about what they’re claiming or providing any kind of evidence or references to back it up.

    It’s almost as if such people are more interested in hearing themselves talk than making any real point. The absence of any content in their speech makes it impossible to engage in any kind of real discussion; all you can do is mock them.

  41. says

    mofa’s not a sock puppet. He’s been around FtB for months, largely sneering at Jason from what I’ve seen. He’s this guy. I note from his recent tweets that he’s not all that interested in getting specific about “shit” himself.

  42. Ichthyic says

    there is no fence to sit on where a chasm exists.

    why don’t you go and get your spelunking gear together? Apply for a grant to investigate just how deep that chasm is.

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  43. Badland says

    Aw shit. An Australian from Melbourne. Now I have images of Wanc Hoggle dancing through my head

  44. Akira MacKenzie says

    Yaaaaawn… It’s too fucking early in the morning (for me, at least) for this dudebro bullshit.

    Go throw yourself into your fucking “schism chasm,” mofa. Some of us can’t sleep with you sexist pigs squealing from the sty and I’ve got to be to work by noon.

  45. Donnie says

    My hastily penned song regarding “Deep Rifts(TM): Apologies to “The Bloodhound Gang” and other similar songs:

    The bridge, The bridge
    The bridge is on fire
    We don’t need any water
    Let the motherfucker burn
    Burn motherfucker, burn….

  46. mildlymagnificent says

    Nooooooooh!!!!

    He’s from Adelaide. I thought we were supposed to be the civilised ones. Phhbbbbt, phut. There goes any chance I’ll be darkening their doors. Think I’ll sign up for that floristry course after all.

  47. Pyra says

    As much as I understand that people don’t want to give credence to people who are not all that important, the fact that I know who JV is without having ever engaged with him means he’s become a little too important to ignore. There should be someone to go in, now and then, and rebut those we disagree with. There is a notion that if we try to ignore it to make it go away, that it’s not a big deal. It is a big deal to say “No, what those people are doing is not something to condone” every now and then. No, I don’t think the whole community needs to go on their shows and into their little bubble spaces online. I think just a leadership voice now and then calling people out is a good idea. It’s not much a matter of whether the person really is worth the time to address, but more a way of having a sort of public record of having said, “No, this isn’t reasonable behavior and these people do not represent all of us in the movement.” Just, you know, occasionally.

  48. Eurasian magpie says

    Schism chasm chafes shittier secularists.

    Repeat with increasing speed or/and inebriation.

  49. Lofty says

    mildlymagnificent:

    Nooooooooh!!!!

    He’s from Adelaide.

    I spent much of today cycling this luverly crisp winters sunny day through Mofo’s heartland. There’s tens of thousands more like him around there. Keep safe and well!

  50. says

    Has anybody yet asked Vacula or his pals why it requires bravery to be anti-feminist? I mean, I’m a feminist, which means I go to rallies, organize rallies, write my legislators, study gender issues, research and write about gender issues, and occasionally get into fights on the internet or occasionally in meatspace with people who really don’t like feminism. None of those things are especially scary, although the occasional bout of rape threats can be alarming. What exactly is so scary about feminists?

  51. Lofty says

    SallyStrange

    What exactly is so scary about feminists?

    Wang shrinkage I believe. Some people obsess about size. Thinking about what feminists might do to them makes them scared and small.

  52. says

    the fact that I know who JV is without having ever engaged with him means he’s become a little too important to ignore.

    Just no. He’s way too ignorant to be important.

  53. says

    I’m a feminist, which means I go to rallies, organize rallies, write my legislators, study gender issues, research and write about gender issues, and occasionally get into fights on the internet or occasionally in meatspace with people who really don’t like feminism

    According to the slymepit mob, none of that counts as activism. This is another of their themes: that nobody on FtB does activism of any kind, while they do.

  54. says

    I guess I just fail at being an activists – I have neither the desire nor the skill to photoshop Justin Vacula’s face onto the body of a pig that’s trying to have sex with a lawnmower. Or whatever counts as REAL activism over there.

  55. macallan says

    all the commenters here are demonic

    And that’s supposed to be a bad thing?

  56. says

    @PZ I think you mean Jason

    ++++

    Has anybody yet asked Vacula or his pals why it requires bravery to be anti-feminist?

    Because Caine will call the a cupcake and we all know that there never was any greater crime than that…

  57. sqlrob says

    What do you want from me a thesis.

    Actually, yes.

    “a position or proposition that a person (as a candidate for scholastic honors) advances and offers to maintain by argument”

    Maintaining a position by an argument would be a good start.

  58. Joey Maloney says

    Now, what the heck does that have to do with the Silverman/Vacula discussion?

    Tu quoque, baby! Tu motherfucking quoque!

  59. maudell says

    Is PZ a fascistic banner of all freedom-fighting commenters in the name of PC, or is he allowing too many mean people to comment? I can’t keep up.

  60. stevem says

    re mofa:

    That’s it link to latin with french. So you are nauseous from the position I hold and I am nauseous because of the position you holdThat’s it link to latin with french. So you are nauseous from the position I hold and I am nauseous because of the position you hold…

    “Nauseous” means “something that will give you nausea”. Having nausea is “nauseated”.
    You are nauseous, not “because of the position [we] hold”, but because of the position YOU hold. in your words:

    So you are nauseous nauseated from the position I hold and I am nauseous because of the position you I hold.

    FTFY

  61. Martha says

    @Eristae #46

    I suffer through enough of that shit in my daily life that I can’t avoid. I’m not interested in signing on for more. If the atheist/skeptics/whatever community won’t shove the misogynists out (making a schism! Oh my!) then I will leave (creating a schism! Oh my!).

    And that’s the nice part about the misogyny in the atheist/skeptical movement: I can choose to leave it. I can say, “You don’t get to treat me like that.”

    So people like you have to decide if you’re going to create a schism where the misogyny is shoved out of the movement or if you’re going to create a schism where women are shoved out of the movement. You can’t keep the misogynists in and then force the women to stay, too. You can sit there and freak out about how you think they/we should stay, but you don’t control them/us, as shocking as that may be for some. This movement simply isn’t big or powerful enough to force women to put up with that shit.

    QFT. This is way too good to appear only once in this thread. It captures my feelings on the issue completely.

  62. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    Actually “nauseous” can mean both thanks to common usage, though I agree that nauseated would be more euphonious here.

    Nauseous
    Adjective

    1 Affected with nausea; inclined to vomit.
    2 Causing nausea; offensive to the taste or smell.

    Merriam-Webster

    His opinions are nauseating though. Incoherent, without merit, and frankly boring.

    The rift cannot get deep enough and wide enough for me.

  63. smhll says

    Is PZ a fascistic banner of all freedom-fighting commenters in the name of PC, or is he allowing too many mean people to comment? I can’t keep up.

    I believe the argument is that he is inconsistent (or uneven) in who he allows to be mean. (However, I have rarely heard any of his critics express it this coherently. It is only by dint of constant wincing and wading through ridiculousness that I’ve even gleaned anything that looks like a point in what gets typed on this topic.)

  64. screechymonkey says

    PZ@65:

    [Jason] writes about mofa (Mark Senior) here. He’s one of those nuts…but if you’re an Australian who is a bit embarrassed to be sharing a continent with him, check out this meetup thread where other Australians are kicking his butt. Catherine McTier in particular seems pretty smart to me.

    I checked out that thread. Mark Senior noticed your link, and now posted to “warn” some of the women in the thread about you. Apparently Senior has seen you at an Australian conference surrounded by “young women groupies,” and he “carefully watch[ed] PZ’s eyes and body language …I will say no more. I will let you guess what things I would like to say further but are unable to say in this forum.”

    This guy can’t even smear someone competently. Has he forgotten that he’s the one proclaiming that harassment policies are vile things that supposedly ruin men’s lives for merely looking at a woman wrong? Since the Slymepit’s solution to everything is “call the cops, otherwise it isn’t serious,” did he call the police to report PZ’s eyes and body language (hey, the police deserve a good chuckle from time to time)!

    Interesting how it always seems to come back to the insinuation that PZ couldn’t possibly really sincerely care about these issues: he must be pretending to just to get laid by feminist groupies.

  65. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I use the older delineation between nauseated and nauseous for clarity. Using the same word for Vacula and myself leaves me, well, nauseated.

  66. screechymonkey says

    The other unintentionally hilarious poster in that Adelaide thread is “David Donnellan,” who wants all you ladies to know that “I feel duty bound to spill blood if any woman was being harmed. I’ve done it before, I’ve lost my teeth, and had my cheekbone smashed. I’ll do it again.”

    That’s right, ladies, if you ever need someone to prove his manhood through violence, David is there for you! He’s the true feminist! No, no, he wouldn’t call himself a “hero” . . . oh, wait, he does.

    And if you’re thinking that he probably goes on to lament that society doesn’t adequately protect men from violence…. well, I see you’ve played this game before!

    Gosh, Adelaide Atheist meet-ups must be fun. David can regale you with his fighting stories (did you know he once got punched by a professional boxer, and the female cop did nothing about it?), Mark can whisper those dark truths about PZ and his groupies that those pesky defamation laws prevent him from posting, and of course you’ll be safe from any harassment. Well, anything that their heroes Scented Nectar et al would agree is harassment.

  67. says

    Young…women…groupies…surrounding me? What? I must be getting really old, because I’ve never noticed this. You’d think evil, lecherous old man, creepy and horrible like me, would be thrilled to find himself in such a situation, and it would be notable.

    Maybe it was because my wife was with me at the GAC, and she was keeping me on my leash. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

    Oh, wait, I have been in situations where I’m in groups of men and women, one of a crowd. That must have been it. I just didn’t notice the cult-like hold my fat, lumpy, old body had on the libidos of the young women in the group.

  68. mildlymagnificent says

    screechymonkey

    Well, now that you put it like that, it looks like these are occasions not to be missed. So sad that I’m needed at home and won’t be able to join in. Really sad. You can picture my sad face I’m sure.

  69. screechymonkey says

    I just didn’t notice the cult-like hold my fat, lumpy, old body had on the libidos of the young women in the group.

    Don’t be silly. The attraction isn’t physical. It’s just that feminists completely forget their misandrist, anti-sex dogma and go ga-ga for any man who recites feminist talking points. I can’t tell you how many times the following scene has happened to me:

    Me: “Hello”
    Shrieking Feminist Harpy: “HELLO? How dare you say hello to me, you oppressive tool of the patriarchy! Security!”
    [security guards arrive, women of course, because companies are now afraid to hire men for fear of being sued by Feminazis]
    Guard 1: “What seems to be the problem here? Is this penis-haver oppressing you?”
    SFH: “Yes! He just came up and started speaking to me! And he was looking at me, too! I think — [sniffs] — I think he was about to [whispering] ask me for coffee
    Guard 1: “That’s a violation of article IX, Section 2, paragraph (b), clause 6 of the Anti-Harassment Policy.”
    Guard 2: “You’re going to have to come with us!”
    Me: “Wait…”
    [pause]
    Guard 1: “What?”
    Me: “No, really, I meant wait a second while I check my privilege. Done now, thanks. You see, I think she heard me say ‘hello,’ but what I really meant to say was ‘sorry.’ As in, ‘sorry for being part of the patriarchy.’ Of course, intent doesn’t matter, and the fact that I thought I heard myself say ‘hello’ is probably just due to my privilege, so I’m sure she is correct. Please take me away and punish me for the sins of all men.”
    SFH: “Ooh, tell me more!” [flutters eyelashes]
    Guard 1: [cooing] “I didn’t know you were an ally!”
    Guard 2: “Maybe we can all ‘punish’ each other for the sins of all men”
    Me: “Sure, why don’t we go somewhere private and discuss… intersectionality?”

  70. Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters says

    Given the latest information about PZ’s horrible ways, I’m shivering to think how bad a parent I am to have let my kids stay up until 4-am at Women in Secularism2, playing Cards Against Humanity in PZ’s hotel room with a lot of (danger music) FtBullies. But then a denizen of The Brave Hero Community has already informed me that simply allowing my teenage kids to read Pharyngula, let alone hang out with Pharyngula commenters in meatspace, should warrant a child welfare investigation.

  71. says

    all the commenters here are demonic (sorry)

    (Look up at nym)

    (Khan scream)…DAAAAANNNNNNTTTTTE!

    David Silverman can disagree with me on various issues and can tell me I’m wrong in no quibbling terms, and I might argue with him, but the one thing I won’t do, that would make me look pathetic, childish, and weak, is argue that what I do is OK because Vacula or some other boogeyman is worse than I am. And yet that’s the only argument these pathetic, childish, weak bozos had.

    It’s pretty much the dominant trait of anti-justice movements. And it makes a lot of sense, psychologically speaking, for them to entirely focus on “they are worse, so what we do is justified. After all, an anti-justice movement or the action of punching down is a deeply selfish and immoral action and it is extremely difficult to self-justify without demonizing the opponent. So most of the argumentative effort with the supposed enemy has more to do with convincing the fellow tribe that what everyone is doing is justified, lest anyone think too much about it and decide to start supporting the “target” population.

    Oh, wait, I have been in situations where I’m in groups of men and women, one of a crowd.

    You’re forgetting that to the he-man woman-hater’s brigade, having a single young woman in a group of equals is the same as having a horde of young nubile biddies acquiescing to your whims. Because IT’S ALWAYS PROJECTION and that’s how they’d treat the existence of a single woman in a group of theirs that they considered “hot”.

    Also, given PUA and MRA ideology on what “desire” looks like, I have little faith in mofa’s ability to judge your perverted and objectifying lust from images.

  72. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    You don’t understand, PZ… we took their toy (the atheist movement) away from them. And now they’re gonna hold their breath until we give it back. See them turning red right now.

  73. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I’m listening to this right now. Vacula is even more disgusting than I thought. He lies, he dissembles, he plays I KNOW YOU ARE BUT WHAT ABOUT PZ? You dumb little fuck. You’re not very intelligent, you’re not quick-witted, you’re not interesting, you have no ethical core.

    Listening to Vacula I hear all the parochial, small-town little fish in big ponds I remember from growing up in a cow town with nothing going on but a football team. “My team, love it or leave it.” The kind of person who bullies in high school and graduates from the football team to being the Biggest Car Dealer In Town.

    You’re never going anywhere, Vacula.

  74. Minnie The Finn, Fluffy Pink Bearer of Loose Morals says

    Oh if only I were demonic, or infernal. Or even baboonish. The best I can do is slightly offensive and occasionally malodorous.

    Must. Try. Harder.

  75. says

    You don’t understand, PZ… we took their toy (the atheist movement) away from them. And now they’re gonna hold their breath until we give it back. See them turning red right now.

    That’s a good metaphor. Doesn’t bother me if they pass out.

    Another that comes to mind is that we’ve built our own clubhouse because we got tired of dealing with their shit in the old club and don’t want to be associated with them anymore. They treated us and/or our friends like shit, so we severed ties. Based on their actions they obviously didn’t want us around, they obviously didn’t like listening to what we have to say to the extent they tried to drown out our conversations with purposeless trolling, and they obviously stood opposed to the goals we joined the original club to advance. Now that we won’t hang out with them anymore, they’re busy spewing shit louder, complain that we’re ruining “our” (their) club, and that we (but not them) should sacrifice our principles and friendships to merge the clubs back together.

    So, slymepitters, what do we get out of putting up with you? I honestly see no benefit.

  76. says

    What exactly is so scary about feminists?

    if you remember their narrative, speaking out against the Femi-FTBullies will cost you your job/prestigious volunteer position, and you’ll be doxxed and your life destroyed because now everyone will know your credit card numberyour address the meatspace name you used to post under and that is attached to your gravatar picture.

  77. Louis says

    Is there a link to this monstrosity? I’m fucked if I am sullying my google.

    Louis

  78. ChasCPeterson says

    You’re not very intelligent, you’re not quick-witted, you’re not interesting, you have no ethical core.

    yeah.
    He’s an activist, a leader, and a brave hero though.

    Just ask him.

  79. Amphiox says

    Isn’t it interesting how these disgusting specimens, even when trying to be insulting, automatically assume that women have no agency? That the “groupies” surrounding PZ are there because of PZ’s nefarious mind-control powers or somesuch, and not by their own free choice?

  80. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I’d be interested in your impressions after you listen to it, Louis.

    Did you, Chas (not that I’d blame you if not. . I almost didn’t)?

  81. Louis says

    Josh,

    I’m tempted to click on the link, after all Chas did kindly provide. And what Chas provideth let no person turn away. However, I am afraid. I am afraid there might be ranting. I am afraid I might be moved to bad language. And….and….{looks around}….sarcasm.

    I know. Can you imagine the horror?

    Louis

  82. Louis says

    OH FUCK OH FUCK I HAVE CLICKED I HAVE CLICKED IT’S OPENING WITH A CHURCHILL SPEECH!!!!!

    THEY TRULY DO NOT UNDERSTAND IRONY. OH FUCK! OH FUCK!!! MY EARS!

    Louis

  83. says

    I went and listened to the whole thing. Silverman is an awfully generous fellow, thinking Vacula could be useful.
    And yet again, wow, Vacula is so incredibly dense. Not to mention apparently unable to not attempt to immediately interrupt when a thought pops in his head.
    And with the chatter after, it seems pretty clear none of them understood what Silverman was trying to say. It was particularly amusing when they complained about Silverman’s use of profanity.

    I just can’t respect any of them.

  84. Sili says

    Yeah, how dare he go all Nixon and say “sh-t”. Why can’t he be civilised like us and a gentlemanly “cunt” or an educated “bitch”? Really? What is the world coming to? I swear! They’ll let just anyone into the club these days!

  85. says

    I’m currently listening to the show and David Silverman sounds much more like a brave hero than Justin Vacula.

  86. DBP says

    The amazing thing is that vacula is probably experiencing more fame and fans than he ever had before he became the poster boy for Awful Sack of Shit brand misogynists.

  87. Eristae says

    So, how long before Silverman joins FtB? Or has he already joined and it’s a secret? I mean, everyone who isn’t on the Slympit’s side is a blogger for FtB, right? Just like how Rebecca Watson is a prominent FtB blogger. Right? Right?

  88. vaiyt says

    @Sili

    Yeah, how dare he go all Nixon and say “sh-t”. Why can’t he be civilised like us and a gentlemanly “cunt” or an educated “bitch”? Really? What is the world coming to? I swear!

    QFT.

  89. Louis says

    WARNING: TEAL DEER

    Here are my thoughts for Josh and others. How to start?

    Well, I cannot claim this will be an exhaustive review, it isn’t. Also I only listened to the first ~38 minutes of the show, i.e. the entire one-on-one between Justin Vacula (the show’s co-host) and David Silverman.

    Another confession, I don’t know much about Justin Vacula, and I know barely more about David Silverman. I know a little from the few snippets I read here and a couple of other places across the net, I do not claim this is exhaustive. Some of those places are not FtB or Skepchick {shock horror}, I’ve even read things at the Slymepit and sundry places. Amazing.

    I also do not claim not to have a dog in the hunt. I do. I am pro-feminist/a feminist “ally”/a feminist/whatever term makes you happy. I agree with, and generally am aware of, the basic tenets of feminism. Make of that what you will, it’s not very important. It doesn’t really come up.

    So on with my utterly incomplete and non-binding, personal “reviewette” of Justin Vacula and David Silverman’s conversation on the “Brave Hero” internet radio programme 16/06/2013. All views contained within are mine, do not represent anyone else, and are probably laced with more sarcasm than insight.

    1) The Name and Intro.

    I was a few seconds in before my gasket blew. I could just…just mind you…cope with the unironic use of the term “Brave Hero”. Actually, I wasn’t sure it WAS unironic until I heard the intro: Churchill’s speech about “The Few”. That blew my fragile little mind.

    Churchill’s speech, some context:

    The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the World War by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. All hearts go out to the fighter pilots, whose brilliant actions we see with our own eyes day after day, but we must never forget that all the time, night after night, month after month, our bomber squadrons travel far into Germany, find their targets in the darkness by the highest navigational skill, aim their attacks, often under the heaviest fire, often with serious loss, with deliberate, careful discrimination, and inflict shattering blows upon the whole of the technical and war-making structure of the Nazi power. On no part of the Royal Air Force does the weight of the war fall more heavily than on the daylight bombers who will play an invaluable part in the case of invasion and whose unflinching zeal it has been necessary in the meanwhile on numerous occasions to restrain…

    In the intro the bolded phrase precedes the italicised phrase, my bold and italics. This is done so that the bolded sentence leads into “turning the tide of the World War by their prowess” which in turn leads into the sung phrase “Brave Heroes!”. So we are left with “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. Turning the tide of the World War by their prowess, Brave Heroes!”.

    Look, I don’t like to come over all British, but really? REALLY? I realise this is jumping the gun a little, but nuance and context and the understanding thereof do not seem to be strong suits in Mr Vacula’s deck based on this one radio show. Can he really be this clueless? Can he really not see that the deliberate use and editing of Churchill’s speech in this manner is directly comparing him, and other Brave Heroes, to “The Few”? Can he really not see that that comparison makes the conflict he is engaged in, presumably the one over the place of women within the secular/atheist/sceptic movements etc, means he is equating this conflict directly with World War 2, and thus his opponents in this conflict with the Nazis. {Cough} Godwin {Cough}. And only seconds in.

    I was sceptical that Mr Vacula was this unaware or unthinking, so I went and checked this radio show of his. I confess I certainly did not listen to every episode, but I read the notes associated with each of the 23 shows, and the upcoming 24th show (I hope I have those numbers right, it’s a little late and I’m a little drunk) and out of that number 17 seem to be unabashedly dealing with the controversy/drama.conflict etc within the atheist/secular/sceptic community. That’s ignoring the three shows and one upcoming show about the Women in Secularism conference.

    Why is this relevant? Well I hoped, and indeed assumed, given the little research I did about Mr Vacula before writing this, that the “conflict” he was referring to was the one between, say, atheism and theism, or church and state separation, or something else. In other words the topics about which Mr Vacula claims to be an activist, and indeed has done some activist work about. However, it appears that the focus of this Brave Hero radio show is very much on the internecine conflict within those movements over feminism and sundry related topics.

    Now I didn’t listen to those shows, as admitted, so I could be wrong. But those topics were deemed significant enough aspects of the show to be put into the summaries by, presumably, Mr Vacula himself. So these are his words and priorities, not mine.

    So I am left with the unfortunate conclusion that Mr Vacula and chums are wrapping themselves in the mantle of Brave Heros, of the Royal Airforce’s World War Two Fighter Command “The Few”. I.e. people who genuinely put their lives on the line, risked life and limb in order to defend Britain against Nazi invasion, and indeed to play a significant part in liberating Europe from the horrors of World War Two. They are also casting the conflict as being analogous in some fashion to World War Two, it’s an unambiguous reference after all, and they are casting their enemies in the role of the enemies of “The Few”, and thus Churchill. If anyone has forgotten who those enemies were, they were the Luftwaffe, the Nazis.

    I am not convinced we are off to a good start.

    Justin Vacula and chums = Brave Heroes = The Few
    The conflict within the atheist/secular/sceptical community = World War Two
    Those opposed to Justin Vacula and chums = Nazis.

    Wunderbar! These are not subtle allusions. I am not an English graduate but a mere synthetic organic chemist who can parse the odd sentence. Disturbing.

    2) 4 mins 48 seconds:

    “Many other people have outright refused to have these discussions.”

    When those who disagree are Nazis, I wonder why that might be? Sorry, this isn’t really a serious point, it just made me laugh!

    3) General:

    Tu quoque. Mr Vacula seems to have trouble understanding why this is a logical fallacy. This goes on for a bit. If PZ and Rebecca Watson did horrible thing X, it is in no way a justification of anyone doing horrible thing Y. If you do horrible thing Y, you are not immune from criticism because someone has done horrible thing X.

    Also, in this instance the “horrible things” are not equivalent, but more on that later. So on the pure logical form, this is a mistake by Mr Vacula.

    But, allow me to be charitable, perhaps his point is that the criticism is unfairly targeted at him. Well, I suppose the key there is the word “unfairly”. Are both, for example, PZ Myers and Justin Vacula equally culpable of “horrible things”? And thus deserving of equal censure? Naturally I don’t think so, partly because I don’t think Mr Vacula is capable of understanding the point so eloquently made by Mr Silverman (who, incidentally, I didn’t think did a great job, but that aside) on Twitter and again in this radio show. I.e. that of Mr Silverman’s full throated disavowal of people who vandalise churches in the name of atheism.

    Mr Silverman has, to the best of my knowledge, never vandalised a church in the name of atheism. Yet he openly, unabashedly, unambiguously disavows those who do. These people are not his allies.

    Professor Myers has, to the best of my knowledge, never published a rape threat or threat of violence against those he disagrees with. Yet he openly, unabashedly, unambiguously disavows those who do. These people are not his allies. (These are, incidentally, a subset of the people he criticises and bans from his blog)

    Mr Vacula has, to the best of my knowledge, never published a rape threat or threat of violence against those he disagrees with. Yet he DOES NOT openly, unabashedly, unambiguously disavows those who do. These people are apparently his allies.

    There’s the difference. Well, one difference.

    The problem Mr Vacula had, was that other people had said mean things to him and this had hurt his Fee-Fees. This is, of course, SRS BSNS. Mistakenly claiming equivalence (see below) was a terrible mistake of Mr Vacula’s. Of course Mr Vacula is not responsible for the vileness of others. He IS responsible for his willingness to tolerate it and to tacitly approve of it by his silence. He should have gone down the road of, rather than accusing PZ Myers et al of abusing him, which AFAICT they haven’t, PZ playing silent host to violent rhetoric etc in comments and provided examples. Then he has the, much stronger case of saying “PZ Myers is a hypocrite, he deplores violent rhetoric directed at him and his allies but not violent rhetoric directed at me and mine”. That’s actually a good, as in logically sound, criticism. It’s wrong, it’s incorrect, PZ Myers DOES deplore those acts, statedly so, but Mr Vacula is vastly more likely to get a hit on that tack than any other. No one, after all, is perfect and we are all hypocrites to a greater or lesser extent at some juncture. Ask PZ Myers if he deplores and disapproves of violent rhetoric from his “side” as Mr Silverman has asked Mr Vacula if he does. Easy. I wonder why Mr Vacula doesn’t do this but instead chooses to misconstrue the source of any objectionable statements and treat them as justification for his vacillation. I suspect it’s because he knows the answer. And the answer will make him look foolish. Perhaps that’s too much credit. Even modest subtly seems to elude him.

    4) Threatening to kill someone is not the same thing as saying someone is a bigot, or a liar, or a misogynist, or even a plain old arsehole. Threatening to rape someone is not the same thing as saying someone is a bigot, or a liar, or a misogynist, or even a plain old arsehole. None of them are very nice, but the difference is not merely quantitative, it is also qualitative.

    Call me an arsehole or a mangina or whatever and I won’t be offended. Call me a dirty brown bastard, or “the black spot”, or “a monkey who should get back to the trees from whence he came”, or a halfbreed or a throwback, a paki, a dago, a wop or any of the wonderful racial epithets I have had thrown at me by my school teachers, my fellow pupils, various strangers and occasionally a work colleague since I was about 7 years old, and I really will not be offended. I might ask you to settle on one term of racial abuse and stick with it, because even with my heritage it’s fucking hard to be a paki, wop and dago all at the same time, but you’re not OFFENDING me. I will, however, point out you are being racist. That your words and actions are those of a racist. You are acting in a racist way. You are, as far as is discernible from your behaviour, a racist.

    You might not like that. You might even be offended by it, heaven forfend. But let’s not pretend for one second that my calling someone a racist for demonstrably racist acts is equivalent to their actual racism. These things are not quantitatively equally horrible, nor are they of the same quality. Pointing out a revealed KKKer is a racist is equivalent to cross burnings and lynchings? Erm no.

    If you do something that is demonstrably misogynist or sexist, being told that you are doing that, being told that you are acting like a misogynist, that because of those acts you ARE a misogynist is not an insult, it’s a review. It’s criticism. You might not like it, but then sometimes hard lessons come at the expense of positive self image.

    Making pictures of Rebecca Watson tied up and…well discretion forbids me carrying on…THAT is not criticism, that is, at best, abuse. Fine, we all love a good bit of abuse, abuse is fine and dandy. But are we really so stupid as to pretend that that specific piece of abuse exists in a context free universe of purest disconnection? Because it doesn’t. It exists in a universe where is is just one of a number of comments directed at Ms Watson which specifically reference her sex as a negative quality. I.e. are sexist. Which deliberately exploit the dominant paradigms of our societies to shame her in a manner pertaining to her sex. I.e. are sexist. Which threaten her with acts specifically targeted as threats to someone of her sex. I.e. are rape threats by men against a woman.

    Even the most dunderheaded must see that “you’re a misogynist” is not equivalent in kind or extent to “you deserve to be raped”.

    Let’s take it away from this into the relatively abstract. I’m a relatively physically capable chap, bit of rugby experience, the odd belt or twenty in a martial art or three, a relative predisposition to moderate acts of violence when provoked. Actually it was, as a youth, the bane of my existence, and I am sodding glad that as I have matured I have learned to control those less civilised aspects of myself. Let’s just imagine that I met some random misogynist, let’s call him Bob. He, perfectly calmly and rationally, explained his position and I sat there and listened. I then rose up, and being a bit bigger than poor old Bob, said “I’m going to kick your arse you sexist piece of shit.”. Is ANYONE, truly ANYONE, going to say that I have not just threatened Bob? I might have used an abusive term for him, which is just a bit nasty, but I’ve also directly threatened him.

    Of course no one, I hope, is foolish enough to claim that is not a threat, a qualitatively different species of interaction from criticism, dislike or even abuse and hostility. What if Bob is on the other side of the internet and I say that? Less immediate perhaps, less credible perhaps, but what if I repeat it? And I change identities and follow Bob around repeating it? What if I encourage others to repeat it? What if I encourage people closer to Bob than I to act on my words on my behalf? When does this trigger a warning bell for people? When I first utter it? When I ramp up my campaign of harassment? When I turn up on Bob’s doorstep? When I hospitalise Bob?

    Perhaps someone can now insinuate that the above hypothetical is actually a cleverly veiled threat. Please do so, I intend it to be misread in precisely that way. It proves another point for me: that there are a subset of people desperate not to engage with their opponents in good faith. I think one of those people is Mr Vacula. Why else tap dance around a simple denial like he did?

    5) Another short one: Apparently Mr Vacula posted Surly Amy’s address details because people on FtB said he was trying to get Surly Amy’s details… Please, for the sake of my faith in humanity, tell me I didn’t misunderstand that! It’s at ~25:38.

    …I…I…I don’t even. Seriously? “I’m not trying to get her details, look I have them”. With “enemies” like these, who needs “friends”?

    Oh I can’t be bothered any more. The whole podcast/radio show was an exercise in point missing, false equivalence, shoddy logic, and tu quoque from Mr Vacula. If this is a “leader” who is supposed to represent me as an “atheist”, then please, don’t. I don’t care if Mr Vacula is a sexist or not, he’s certainly not very good with reasoning. Dare I suggest that the degree granting institution that gave him his degree should be checking their course’s rigour?

    Louis

  90. ChasCPeterson says

    no, I didn’t listen to much of it. The three attempts to connect, in between of which Vacula filled time by repeating that others had outright refused to have these discussions. Then Silverman finally connected, Vacula said the same thing yet again (but this time to Silverman), and then Silverman started ranting–it would have been good, I thought, for him to have had a couple of examples in mind, just in case–and then uh Vacula started reading some stuff and asked for a response, and Silverman said pretty much the same stuff again instead of responding and I quit.
    I do not find Brave Hero Radio to be worth my valuable time. Or my worthless time-wasting time either.

  91. jono4174 says

    I’m not troll-bait but….

    mofa got some pretty good bang for his buck. 3 posts for 37 (38 including this one) replies
    18* troll
    20 you silly troll
    21 come on troll you can do better
    22 baited – hook (not line and sinker)
    24 baited – hook (not line and sinker)
    25 baited ban request
    26 arguing with troll
    27 caught – hook,line and sinker
    28* re-troll
    29* re-troll
    30 silly troll
    31 incoherant re-troll
    32 silly troll
    33 who is this troll
    34 arguing with troll
    35 silly troll
    36 worth reading comment – followed by silly troll
    37 settle down cupcake
    38 silly troll
    39 baited – hook (not line and sinker)
    41 arguing with troll
    43 counter troll
    45 TL DR; trolled
    49 trolled
    51 link to twitter account of troll
    52 silly troll
    53 trolled
    54 trolled
    55 yawnnn
    56 silly troll (funny song)
    57 trolled
    60 trolled
    61 who cares
    65% PZ
    70 correction to PZ
    71 trolled
    74 TL DR; trolled
    76 TL DR; trolled
    78 trolled
    79 trolled

    special mention goes to #43 [Giliell, professional cynic] for the re-troll – undeservedly ignored (until now)

    (posted on the internet, from my computer)

  92. Pteryxx says

    Louis:

    1) The Name and Intro.

    I was a few seconds in before my gasket blew. I could just…just mind you…cope with the unironic use of the term “Brave Hero”. Actually, I wasn’t sure it WAS unironic until I heard the intro: Churchill’s speech about “The Few”. That blew my fragile little mind.

    FYI, that’s a recurring theme among MRAs in general – the few proud brothers fighting for Truth and Freedom and all that. For comparison, check this screed on manboobz:

    http://manboobz.com/2013/06/11/agent-orange-addresses-the-mens-rights-movement-in-possibly-the-most-unintentionally-hilarious-video-ever/

    What are we if not the voice of reason and truth in an otherwise insane world? How did we fall so far as to worry about how possible allies may view us in the future? Do we not stand upon our own merits? Have we not continually crushed our enemies beneath our feet with the weapons of sharp rhetoric and truth spoken with passion and resolve? Do we really care so much about how we are branded that we are willing to sacrifice each other upon the altar of political correctness and forsake our brothers?

  93. anteprepro says

    I’m not troll-bait but….
    mofa got some pretty good bang for his buck. 3 posts for 37 (38 including this one) replies

    Yes, Pharyngulites like pouncing on trolls, the sun also rises, and water is wet. I’m pretty sure the response ratio is about that for creationists and libertarians as well. The only exception is for trolls who post a shit-ton, rapidfire, and thus the Pharyngulites respond to multiple troll posts at a time, lowering the ratio.

  94. carlie says

    Louis, thank you for that summary. I’ve had the link open, but can’t quite bring myself to listen to it.

  95. Louis says

    Pteryxx,

    I’ve got little problem with the “voice of truth and reason” trope. It’s one, for example, atheists have used in the fight against rampant religious privilege and theism of various stripes.

    And I saw that vid via Manboobz too. I laughed, I cried, I went off and got sufficiently drunk to forget about it a little. ;-)

    What amazed me was the blatant Churchill/WWII/Nazi allusions of Mr Vacula. I have a relatively high opinion of myself some days, with the wind behind me, but adopting the mantle of The Few!? Some of the most unambiguously brave people of the last century? I…seriously, that’s near pathological levels of narcissistic lack of self reflection. The degree of unselfawareness (a perfectly cromulent word) is genuinely staggering to me. Paging Messrs Dunning and Kruger.

    Louis

  96. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I’m not troll-bait but….

    mofa got some pretty good bang for his buck.

    About that

    That is, on the slim chance you’re posting in good faith, go learn.

  97. jono4174 says

    #115 Had a read. Thanks.

    It doesn’t quite say what one *should* do about the trolls. I think #20 and #21 were pretty good. My brain falls out of my head if I try to read, say #45. I tried four times.

    #112 Accounting humor :)

  98. anteprepro says

    It doesn’t quite say what one *should* do about the trolls

    Regular bridge maintenance and guard your stock of goats gruff, expose them to daylight and furry feet, let them gradually erode, use flash guns and rocket-launchers, add a “Z” and let DIC Entertainment try desperately to make them Cool, levitate a club, or just give them a sequel so they become goblins.

    Also, fire and acid work wonders in a pinch.

  99. throwaway, extra beefy super queasy says

    My brain falls out of my head if I try to read

    Explains so much.

  100. anteprepro says

    For serious though, the article does give specific tactics:
    Instaban them and deny them an audience.
    Shame
    Name and shame (aka DOXXING OH NOES)
    Poke the weak point.
    Feed them until they explode.

    As far as I can tell based on that, the Pharyngula Approved Options are Shame (letting them know what they are doing is unacceptable, social pressure) and Feed Until They Explode (general mockery, letting them talk themselves into a corner). Poke the Weak Point is very targeted mockery and is acceptable as long as it doesn’t get too personal, cause splash damage, etc. Though PZ does ban and currently said that he will Name and Shame if need be, he definitely does so rarely. We’ll see if that changes as things get noisier.

  101. Cyranothe2nd, ladyporn afficianado says

    Louis, having listened to Vacula’s horrid podcast before, thanks for fighting the good fight (you Brave Hero, you!).

    5) Another short one: Apparently Mr Vacula posted Surly Amy’s address details because people on FtB said he was trying to get Surly Amy’s details…

    Whaaaaat? How does this even make sense?

    2) 4 mins 48 seconds:

    “Many other people have outright refused to have these discussions.”

    THEY ARE CENSORING MEEEEEEEE!!! *spams with a billion messages, goes to women’s conference, obsessively talks about it on podcast*

    About Justin and threats–he makes a (ridiculous) distinction between internet threats and “real” threats. Because the internet ain’t real, you know. And no one who ever wrote screeds on the internet actually ever acted on those threats (Gabby Giffords and the Boston Marathon are just outliers, honest!).

  102. jono4174 says

    Cheer up. I tried again and got thru it. Sorry #45, my main complaint was about the repetition and wearing your heart on your sleeve in response to a obvious troll.

  103. throwaway, extra beefy super queasy says

    that’s just sad.

    Jono is a thunderf00t and Jerry Coyne fanboy so I don’t think this miniscule dropping is even scraping the surface of pitiable sadness yet.

  104. throwaway, extra beefy super queasy says

    People who make a big deal about falling for trolling tend to think that such simple trickery is masterfully artful. Putting emphasis on ‘not getting tricked’ is a way that trolls lend support and obscure the real support for things such as racism, misogyny, homophobia, etc. They are more than simply pranksters, and their effect is larger than simply tricking people to believe they’re for real and to respond as any ‘normal’ person would. When you start to put an emphasis on the troll getting the upper-hand you are essentially saying that reacting as a person tends to is somehow a greater offense than being the dipshit troll. This is why I really do not give a fuck about your list Jono.

  105. says

    What are we if not the voice of reason and truth in an otherwise insane world of internet forums? How did we fall so far as to worry about how possible allies may view us in the future on message boards? Do we not stand upon our own merits in comments threads? Have we not continually and figuratively crushed our enemies beneath our feet with the weapons of sharp rhetoric which are not themselves feet and are, in any case much more suited to cutting than crushing, and truth, which is also not feet, spoken with passion and resolve, mixed evenly into a passion-slash-resolve admixture that hardens into a footlike but still sharp weapon capable of both crushing and cutting? Do we really care so much about how we are branded that we are willing to dial up the purpleness of our prose to insane, forsakish levels and sacrifice each other with footlike weapons of web commentary upon the altar of political correctness and forsake our brothers?

  106. jono4174 says

    #126 #127 OK. From what both you’re saying in very different ways, I might have been spending a bit too much time on the recent reddit DRAMA.

    While we’re here. I know thunderf00t is an idiot (for being a sociopath, and for being repetitive), but is there a problem with Jerry Coyne?

  107. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    all the commenters here are demonic (sorry)

    Does that come with a prehensile tail? I’ve always wanted one of those *looks wistful*.

    Horns would be fucking cool too.

  108. DLC who is totally not a cambion baron says

    Vacula. for some reason I keep hearing it as Vacuous.
    Some of us aren’t demons, really. Totally not. Entirely not. no.
    I agree about the Deep Rift.
    It needs to be much deeper, and wider. One might even say Riftier.
    Riftier… I like that. It has a certain Truthiness to it.

  109. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Thanks “cupcake

    LOL why do we always get the incompetent, barely sentient trolls who always insist on using words they don’t understand?

  110. Jacob Schmidt says

    jono4174

    Sorry #45, my main complaint was about the repetition and wearing your heart on your sleeve[1] in response to a obvious troll[2].

    1) What’s wrong with honestly demonstrating emotion?

    2) I fail to see your point (rather, I think you missed Eristae’s). Mofa was trolling, and obviously so, but xe was doing it by parroting ridiculous ideas that are common within skepticism at large. These ideas have a fair bit of traction, and can be pretty dangerous in some contexts (i.e. pressuring women to accept misogyny for the sake of “civility” with misogynists). These ideas should be opposed.

  111. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Sidebar: Has the CFI board had their June meeting and has there been any announcement about their decision? Or has this become a “we’ll ignore it til it goes away thing”.

  112. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Thanks, Louis. And you’re correct: pathetic doesn’t begin to cover what a worthless, empty, cowardly meaningless statement that is. I def will not be supporting CFi in any way shape or form again.

  113. screechymonkey says

    Oh, they’re saying something, all right.

    The CFI Board wishes to express its unhappiness with the controversy surrounding the recent Women in Secularism Conference 2.

    They’re unhappy with the controversy.

    They’re not unhappy or apologetic or bothered by Lindsay’s behavior; they’re just unhappy that other people wrote about it or complained.

    That doesn’t even rise to the level of a notpology.

  114. anteprepro says

    Vacula. for some reason I keep hearing it as Vacuous.

    I always think “Vacuum Dracula”. It works because it helps explains the suckage.

    Also: Yeah, that CFI statement was epic-level evasiveness. It sounds like it was written by a focus group. Like they just decided “this is the best possible time to issue a statement that basically just regurgitates our Mission Statement and offers up feel good bafflegab instead of addressing anything specific or relevant to the issues at hand”. What is it with the leadership of atheist organizations? Fucking embarrassing.

  115. David Marjanović says

    THEY TRULY DO NOT UNDERSTAND IRONY. OH FUCK! OH FUCK!!! MY EARS!

    MY GOGGLES, THEY DO NOTHING!

    Sorry.

    I’m not troll-bait but….

    mofa got some pretty good bang for his buck.

    Exactly. We intend to give him bang till he goes bang. This is Pharyngula. We feed the trolls till they explode.

    Dance, mofa! Dance!

    My brain falls out of my head if I try to read, say #45. I tried four times.

    …You need to get out less and read more. Seriously.

    Riftier… I like that.

    Riftia pachyptila – I like that!

  116. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    “CFI practices Thinking Out Of The Box and reaching Alignment on Action Items.”

  117. says

    I’m a relatively physically capable chap, bit of rugby experience, the odd belt or twenty in a martial art or three, a relative predisposition to moderate acts of violence when provoked.

    I’m sitting with that guy come next week.

    They have had their meeting and made their announcement. Pathetic does not cover it.

    And just like with conferences, people will vote with their wallets. This is why we won’t have a slymer conference on empowering men in secularism. Or on freeze peach in the atheist community with particular consideration of FTBullies.

    Brilliant, isn’t it.

  118. says

    Thanks, Louis, for the precis. Saves me the time of listening myself, as it sounds like it would just confirm the impression I got from the Vacula-Fincke debate: that the former is a shallow thinker who really can’t get past his own talking points.

    And invoking Churchill on the Battle of Britain RAF? That’s the origin of “Brave Hero”? SRSLY? Jesus Christ on a crutch, what a self-important ass.

  119. Louis says

    Eamon Knight,

    I was a deliberately shallow precis! Appropriate to the material under review. ;-)

    The misuse of Churchill, the utterly unselfreflective use of those words from that speech, the lack of appreciation of irony, the lack of self parody, THESE are what has convinced me that Mr Vacula is not someone I need to worry about wasting my time with. I hold out hope for the odd creationist, various species of other science denialist, the odd racist here, the odd sexist there. Most people are, to some extent, amenable to reasoned debate and discourse. People who lack the ability to laugh at themselves to the degree required to don the mantle the intro of that internet radio show demonstrates are not serious enough to bother with seriously.

    I have Views (TM) about comedy and humour. Someone who cannot demonstrate the insight of irony is not someone who is thinking profoundly, in my view.

    Louis

  120. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    I am not wasting another second of my life listening to Bigot Vacula. Apologies if someone asked this upthread: is there a transcript? I’d like to read what Silverman said.

  121. says

    Louis:
    Just now catching up on this thread. Reading your (non)teal deer.
    Had to stop and express my anger and rage (and that is just from reading your first point).
    Vacula’s comparison of himself and his (sooooo NOT calling them allies) associates with The Few is an insult to those fighter pilots.
    To equate feminists in the atheist movement to Nazis is an outrageous and offensive insult.
    I had a great degree of disdain for Justin before this.
    Whats the next step up from disdain?
    Oh yeah, despise. Between this and his good buddy Karla Porter’s shoutout to the WBC, ‘despise’ is perfect.

  122. richy skull says

    Hey everybody! Just stopped in to laugh at ya for a min. Too bad about the Ron Lindsay thing huh? You know its almost as if you all are a lunatic fringe considering the way no popular organization is buying into your rhetoric. Gotta give PZ props for showing up for the Brave Hero podcast with Dave Silverman. and hanging out in the chat. I must also point out how nice your head looked as it was handed back to you on a platter PZ, or was it your ass?? Eh, no matter. Pretty interesting how the organization PZ just honored with a lifetime membership is being sued for wrongful termination of a minority. Do you think that you will ever manage to have as much class as Justin? How long can you keep denying the obvious and pretending no one notices all the stupid inconsistent shit that comes out of your mouth PZ? Has anyone of you started to realize you are losing, you have been losing and you will continue to lose because you are jerks. It really is pathetic to watch but it’s fun to laugh at. The bottom line is you are pretty good at acting tough here and calling people bozos but you are too chickenshit to have a conversation with any of them. If they are just clowns then what are you scared of? Don’t try that “I have better things to do with my time” BS you spend plenty of time blogging about things you claim are not worthy of your time. It really does provide an example of how little you actually grasp. When it comes to very basic concepts you often appear overwhelmed or clueless.

  123. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    bozos but you are too chickenshit to have a conversation with any of them.

    They have come here to “converse”, but they are afraid/unable to present any evidence to back up their points, and give us nothing but inane OPINION and ATTITUDE like that is evidence. Only in the minds of arrogant fools. Nothing cogent and evidenced based to argue with, so they lose every time.

  124. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh, and forgot to add to #153: The OPINION and ATTITUDE is all you presented in your inane and irrational post. Not one iota of real evidence to have a reality based discussion.

  125. Louis says

    Oh look! A moron!

    Well that’s nice. I haven’t seen one of those in, ooooh, must be minutes now.

    Louis

  126. says

    but you are too chickenshit to have a conversation with any of them

    Dan Fincke had a lovely conversation with Vacula the other week — and pretty much saved everyone else the trouble of bothering.