Ian Murphy of the Buffalo Beast – I totally know the Buffalo Beast, they interviewed me once, like a million years ago – Ian Murphy of the Buffalo Beast, I say, had a little chat with Michael Shermer.
A friend warns, don’t read it aloud to someone who’s driving a car. That clearly implies also don’t read it while drinking, eating, lighting a match, balancing on a high wire, cutting your toenails, sitting with a cat on your lap, holding a baby, soldering a pipe, crossing a street, swimming.
It starts this way:
DR. MICHAEL SHERMER is known as an editor, a skeptic, a TED talker, a thinker. Others see him as “that intellectual lightweight who loves Ayn Rand and didn’t ‘understand’ global warming until unconscionably recently.”
And then it goes on. Read the list of things not to be doing while reading it before you read it. But do read it. Read it all.
Anthony K says
I’m soldering a baby. Can I read it now, or should I ask the baby to—heh-heh—solder on without me and I’ll check the seams later?
F [is for failure to emerge] says
Already have! Wasn’t impressed.
May I ask why? I thought it was a pretty clever bit of writing, but would be interested in hearing other view points.
Ophelia Benson says
I think he meant the thumb!
R Johnston says
Shermer sure is doing his best to make people wonder how anyone could ever have thought of him as anything so good as “that intellectual lightweight who loves Ayn Rand and didn’t ‘understand’ global warming until unconscionably recently.” It’s almost like he’s trying to convince everyone he’s a rapist in order to distract people from the fact that he’s a spectacularly ignorant and stupid person.
Rational Feminist says
…It’s almost like he’s trying to convince everyone he’s a rapist in order to distract people from the fact that he’s a spectacularly ignorant and stupid person…
SC (Salty Current), OM says
Clever, in a good way. Had to read it twice to get it.
Funny Diva says
Oh. Mah. Flyin’SpaghettiMonstah!
The rules-lawyering exchange over “but, what abou [blah], NOW can I quote it?” has got me shrieking with laughter. Well played, Mr Murphy. You really understand your internet Troll* arguments, sir!
* also known as “flaming douchweasels” in another part of the FTBorg…
Just…wow. Mr/Dr/TW Shermer doesn’t understand the concept of “expertise in one area does NOT guarantee competence, let alone expertise, in another” do he?
SC (Salty Current), OM says
[Ian Murphy emails Mr. Deity: “would you like to be interviewed?” “Um, no. Thank you.”]
Now. See how easy that was?
Here’s another little tip: if you find it hard to delete future responses, you can just not reply! Don’t send another email!
Maureen Brian says
Curiously, I feel better about the whole world after that.
Funny Diva says
SC @9: EXACTLY!
Maybe Shermer should have said “its kind of a guy thing.”
He’d be 99% correct!
Space Monster says
Shermer has an ego so big it bends light.
Al Dente says
Murphy played to Shermer’s vanity and got him to shoot himself in the foot.
UnknownEric the Apostate says
And of course all the usual rejects are over there playing their “Skepticism means protecting your heroes!” games.
Was that email exchange real?
Because if Shermer thinks what happened is that “An anonymous woman told another anonymous woman to tell PZ Myers that I raped her” he has serious reading comprehension problems. Maybe he should ask his high-priced lawyer to read PZ’s original post and tell him what it said. He should also ask the lawyer whether he should shut up or not.
He’s like one of those clueless trolls who popped in after 4000 posts on the original thread and said something dumb that had been refuted 800 times before.
(actually, upon re-reading, most of the trolls were not clueless, they were determinedly on-point in derailing and rape-apologistsplaining)
Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says
Oh wow, that is amazing.
Ant (@antallan) says
SC @ 9 : Very, very good.
M31 @ 16 : IIRC, the high-priced lawyers’ letter to PZ demonstrated the same reading comprehension problems. Maybe Shermer shouldn’t believe that “high-priced” means “competent”.
As I see it, PZ furthered the opinions of a woman, who chose to stay anonymous.
She didn’t claim rape, but in her opinion Shermer put her in a position where she was unable to refuse sex-
To sue successfully it would seem that Shermer would have to show that PZ should know that the woman was lying, or perhaps even that the woman was not of the opinion she stated.
What seems to not be contented is the fact that Shermers strategy for hooking up seems to be plying women with alcohol until their inhibitions are lowered. There are named witnesses to this, and Shermer himself has not refuted this.
If this is your pickup strategy you should be careful not to step over the line and take advantage of people who get to inebriated to give consent, you are basically playing the odds that you can always make out when to push and when to hold back.
It’s a wonder to me why Shermer does not realize that the “get’em drunk and fuck them” strategy might backfire.
None of this is meant to disparage the experience of the women who have come forward, in name or anonymously, it’s just that even when looking at facts not in contention, Shermer does not come out smelling like roses.
On a more serious note:
What the hell is going on with that dude? Why call in the lawyers and Streisand yourself like that?
It amuses me (and by “amuses” I mean “makes me sick”) that this apparently is a gross violation of trust and exploitation of an unsuspecting victim.
I guess Ian shoulda plied him with drink before doing the interview – then it woulda been alright.
hoary puccoon says
Okay, either Shermer knowingly posed for a photo of himself pointing his thumb at his private parts, or he was the victim of some really, really good photoshopping.
There are also rumors that he bragged about trying to bed a different young woman at every con.
Apparently, gossip about him has been circulating for years. Has he made any effort prior to this to issue a rebuttal on the order of: “I understand that women attend cons because they are interested in skepticism/atheism, not because they wish to make themselves available as sex toys. I treat women with respect, and think that other men should, too.”?
It seems to me that skepticism works both ways. When guys deliberately set themselves up to be studs, they are also putting themselves at increased risk for allegations of sexual misconduct, up to and including rape.
I don’t know if the rumors about Shermer are true. I’ve enjoyed his column in Scientific American and a couple of his books. On the other hand, I was deeply underwhelmed by Skeptic Magazine and I thought what he wrote in his tiff with Ophelia was ridiculous. So this isn’t about Shermer. This is about people telling women that they’re responsible for being raped if they drink too much at a party– but the same people acting like men are the injured innocents when it’s a guy who brags about his predatory attitude toward women who gets hit with a rape allegation. And then pretending that the guy is doubly the injured innocent when so many people react like, “HIM? I’m not surprised!”
And @18: Garbage in. garbage out. it doesn’t matter how good your lawyers are if you don’t tell them what they need to know.
Jafafa Hots says
I hope the upset doesn’t put Shermer off his drink.
I am in no way commenting on this specific case but I don’t like this line of argument. It is too close to ‘they were asking for it, based on their prior sexual conduct’, which is not a road we want to go down.
Anyway, with that firmly aside… man, Shermer certainly is the dumbest smart guy I’ve ever seen.
I have to disagree here, there is a clear pattern of behavior that is directly related to the how the claim of rape came about. Its not that people are pointing out that Shermer likes women a lot and is often seen with one, its that he likes to get them drunk.
hoary puccoon says
ewanmacdonald @ 24–
I’m not arguing that guys who set themselves up to be studs can’t be falsely accused of rape and I don’t think that their prior behavior should be dragged into a court of law, if they actually go up on a rape charge.
But if a guy has been going around for years gossiping about what a great stud he is, when the gossip turns sour it’s a little late to start screaming “how can you possibly suspect sweet, little ME?”
With my vast knowledge of “Law and Order” I would point out prior acts are admissible in a court if those acts constitute a pattern of behavior having direct bearing on the crime.
His behavior mirrors that of a person I know IRL who has a personality disorder. This person can’t deal with criticism or feeling bad, so when they do something wrong they lie to themselves and everyone else about what happened to escape having to feel so shitty. Of course reality doesn’t agree with their stories so they get confused and angry when something comes back to bite them in the rear. Most of all nothing is ever their own fault, they find really creative ways to blame others. Its a constant exercise because they are virtually always trying to manipulate something out of people (or get out of doing something they should). It isn’t cluelessness, its a desperate attempt to stay afloat mentally after their abuse of others catches up with them.
thats my take anyway. I have no clue what he was thinking for sure, its just so damn similar to this person I know that I felt compelled to share.
Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges says
First, being “unable to refuse sex” means she couldn’t consent. Which means rape even if that word hadn’t been used by Jane Doe. But let’s clear things up, shall we? Since for some reason people like Brian Dalton are saying the same thing.