Never a dull moment, eh? Al Stefanelli has left FTB, and on his way out he did a podcast with his friend Reap Paden.
I listened to as much as I could stand, which wasn’t much. I transcribed a few high points.
Reap Paden: I guess I pissed some people off with my last. I guess the main thing – I called Stephanie Zvan a bitch. She was being a bitch.
They both agree it’s a good word. “I use it all the time,” says Al. “So does my wife. I can understand that it’s controversial, but everyone’s entitled to their opinion.”
They say swearing is great, they like swearing. Hooray for swearing. “If it’s a word that offends you don’t use it,” one of them adds. They compare “bitch” to “fuck” and Al talks about offending people by saying fuck, and being obliging enough not to use it if he knows someone dislikes it, then they say it’s a great word and they like it.
(Commentary: yes, I like it too, and I use it quite a lot in blogging [and certainly in conversation]. I notice it doesn’t work all that well on a podcast (or radio) though, at least not the way Al and RP say it. I could explain why, but I don’t feel like it right now.
But anyway the whole discussion misses the point. “Swearing” isn’t the issue. The issue is epithets. It’s a different thing. “Bitch” doesn’t go in the box with “fucking,” it goes with “nigger” and “faggot” and “kike.” And of course “cunt.”)
RP explains why it’s fine to call Stephanie a fucking bitch repeatedly. He said “She’s a bitch and here’s why”; he didn’t just say “she’s a bitch”; he explained why she’s a bitch, so that’s totally ok.
But those stupid people got all in a lather. “Everybody’s running around with their arms over their heads screaming.” All angry and upset.
Because Stephanie’s such a fucking queen of the shit? Give me a break. Get over yourself.
Al says people aren’t familiar with your podcast. If they were, they would know what to expect. It’s like someone who tunes into Howard Stern. Nothing is sacred, there are no sacred cows, and people would get they if they listened to more of RP’s podcast. That’s how shock radio works.
That’s you, that’s how you are.
I listened to a couple of minutes more but then I couldn’t stomach any more of the shock radio schtick. I never have liked shock radio.
Meanwhile, we have new people joining FTB very soon. You will be thrilled! I promise.
Update: I forgot to add Al’s farewell post (although he apparently didn’t think of it as such when he wrote it).
Update 2: Al’s actual farewell post, which he wrote after I wrote this one. Note first two sentences:
Yes, I’ve decided to leave Freethought Blogs. Now, before you go assuming there were pitchforks and torches involved, this was my decision.