I guess there’s a reason FtB lacks a style guide

Oh, no! I just realized that Freethoughtblogs lacks a style book! We have a short guide we send out to all the new bloggers that summarizes the mechanics of writing here, and includes general suggestions, like frequent admonitions to overthrow the patriarchy and return the implements of wealth generation to the hands of the workers, but nothing about style. We just tell ’em to write what they want and how they want, and it’s a free-for-all out there. I think if we said anything about style beyond encouraging godless liberty and a worker’s paradise, we’d have a revolution.

But OK, I know a lot of places enforce a house style and even dictate the kind of content that is acceptable. Let’s see what our competition is up to.

The Daily Stormer has a prime directive.

Oh. Well. I guess I’m not surprised. Nuance and thought get in the way of hatred and violence, so of course oversimplification and reduction to crude caricature is the order of the day there.

What about tone?

This fits. I’m sure you’ve noticed how often the most abominable people use the “I was just joking” defense, or scream “Satire!” at you (the Morris North Star, for instance, publishes prominently a disingenuous disclaimer that they write satire, so that when they accuse an administrator of promoting white genocide, they can quickly disavow it). But we all know they really mean it.

I’m feeling rather nauseated. I don’t think I go on. All the other freethoughtbloggers will be relieved to know that I wouldn’t impose a style guide on them even if that were within my power to do (we have an administration style best characterized as anarchy.)

But please do remember that when an alt-right Nazi or troll from /pol/ smiles and tries to tell you that they’re just having fun, they’re not. They actually are horrible, awful, people who might be dressed up in clownface.

Unpleasant character, unpleasant demise

Pope Danny Ray Johnson was a blustery, cocky, unpleasant dude: a racist, Confederate-flag-wavin’, Bible-thumpin’, struttin’ caricature of a certain kind of toxic Southern masculinity. Of course he had a church — the kind of church centered around a cult of personality, where the pastor could call himself Pope (and have a hat that spelled out “POPE” on it), where the choir would pose with their guns on display, where Rebel flags hung from the walls, a church with a bar (which isn’t a bad idea…) but no liquor license, but they’d try to get away with selling alcohol with the excuse that it was for communion. Johnson was happy to post memes to Facebook calling the Obamas “monkeys”. That’s just the kind of good ol’ boy he was. He also got elected to the state congress of Kentucky, because that’s the kind of horrible person who can get elected in the benighted counties of the regressive South.

Oh, and he was also a child molester. I’ve put the 17 year old victim’s account below the fold, because it’s a bit detailed and unpleasant, and the story just gets worse and worse.

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It’s amazing what they’ll just come out and say on YouTube

Roy Moore lost the election in Alabama, but he refuses to concede. He’s put out a video explaining why. It’s revolting.

After a brief nod to the fact that they’re still counting some military ballots (won’t make a difference to the outcome), he gets around to the real reason. It’s too important to God to allow godless sodomites to have a say in an election. We have to stop abortion, homosexuals, and men who claim to be women, and we need to have prayer in the schools, and Immorality sweeps over our land! To preserve our republic and honor the Constitution, he is going to deny the outcome of an election. Well, gosh, can we also deny the outcome of the last presidential election simply because the asshole-in-chief is an affront to morality?

I don’t think he understands the concept of a republic. Remember that next time some theocrat runs for office — their intent is to destroy that institution.

Hey, you know who else doesn’t understand anything? Carl Benjamin, aka Sargon of Akkad. Benjamin really is a Nazi at heart. He did a hangout with another alt-right fuckwit, MillennialWoes, and they let it all hang out. What is he afraid of?

You’ve got diversity in everything…it’s terrifying, isn’t it?

He’s terrified because…what? Brown people and gay people and women might also get employed and share equal status with his pale right-wing brothers? This is a blatantly racist, anti-egalitarian statement — and he probably wouldn’t consider my criticism a rebuke, but something to be proud of.

He’s also afraid of SJWs, because they’re a fucking massive problem. We have a terrible great power.

…the reason thousands of young girls are getting raped is not because the police didn’t want to do something or couldn’t do something. It was because they were afraid of social justice warriors calling them racist.

That doesn’t even make sense. Say or do something racist, and someone might rightly say to you that you’re a racist, therefore the problem is…people able to point out reality? A policeman might shoot an unarmed black man to death, but that’s OK — the real horror to a Sargoonian is that someone might point to a pattern of such incidents and declare that there is clear evidence of racist oppression. Say it right out loud, in public!

So we need to silence those goddamn SJWs.

The worst case scenario for the alt-right’s success in this endeavor is less intolerable to me and my family than the SJW success. So from a tactical evaluation, I have to choose this angle. I have to try and explain to the alt-right that they can get what they want and they should take this gambit, even if it means the end of liberal democracy.

I don’t think there’s much difference between old Christian theocrats and the new Nazis at this point.

The Hayek revelations

Good grief. I just read Salma Hayek’s piece in the New York Times. It’s a horror through and through — Harvey Weinstein is a terrible human being. There was the familiar constant pressure for sex, and his anger when denied, but what’s new here is how Weinstein, who had a reputation for sponsoring great art movies, was in active force in compromising the art. What he did to Hayek’s movie, Frida, was unconscionable.

Halfway through shooting, Harvey turned up on set and complained about Frida’s “unibrow.” He insisted that I eliminate the limp and berated my performance. Then he asked everyone in the room to step out except for me. He told me that the only thing I had going for me was my sex appeal and that there was none of that in this movie. So he told me he was going to shut down the film because no one would want to see me in that role.

Frida Kahlo did many self-portraits, and her striking appearance was part of her identity, and Weinstein wanted to reduce her looks to something more conventional? She was afflicted with polio as a child and severely injured in an accident in her teens, and lived her whole life with a disability and chronic pain, and Weinstein wanted to erase that in a biography? How clueless is he, and how many of the good Weinstein-produced movies were made in spite of his interference, and how much better would they have been if he’d never been allowed to say a word?

He offered me one option to continue. He would let me finish the film if I agreed to do a sex scene with another woman. And he demanded full-frontal nudity.

Christ. Hayek gave in on that demand, reluctantly, and with much anguish. But now you’ll need to keep this in mind next time you watch Game of Thrones or some cop show which features a stroll through a strip joint. The nudity isn’t some critical part of the story, or even a part of the atmosphere added for verisimilitude. It’s probably because some guy high up in the production likes the power of being able to compel the women acting in his show to expose themselves. It’s not that nudity and sex can’t be a natural part of a story, but that there’s so much of it, and it’s almost entirely gratuitous.

It sort of turns out well, with regard to the movie, at least…except for the part where Hayek’s success was added to the Weinstein luster, and that he then intentionally stunted her career.

Months later, in October 2002, this film, about my hero and inspiration — this Mexican artist who never truly got acknowledged in her time with her limp and her unibrow, this film that Harvey never wanted to do, gave him a box office success that no one could have predicted, and despite his lack of support, added six Academy Award nominations to his collection, including best actress.

Even though “Frida” eventually won him two Oscars, I still didn’t see any joy. He never offered me a starring role in a movie again. The films that I was obliged to do under my original deal with Miramax were all minor supporting roles.

It seems just to me that Weinstein’s reputation as a patron of the arts is going down in flames, along with his reputation as a decent person.

Oh, gosh, I made the Morris North Star!

Fortune and glory surely await me. Although I suspect they only include me because a mention on my blog gives them far more attention than their cheesy alternative campus newspaper would otherwise.

That’s what passes for intelligent discourse on the right. Sadly, all they have to offer is slurs and hate speech. Well, that and highlighting how adorable I can be.

The Great White Fuckups of America finally begin to lose

Last night, I stopped paying attention to the news when I heard, early in the returns, that Doug Jones was far behind Roy Moore in the Alabama election.

The last thing I read about it was Charles Pierce’s despairing description of a Moore rally.

You grow exhausted from the effort it takes to keep mockery at bay long enough to explain that what Moore and Bannon are selling is a dangerous blend of religious extremism and McCarthyite bombast, Roy Cohn in Torquemada drag. You grow exhausted by the effort it takes, over and over again, to remind yourself that there are good people in the crowd cheering this river of sludge and nonsense.

Finally, you give up. Roy Moore is a vehicle for collecting suckers, for liberating them from their responsibility as citizens in a self-governing republic, and anybody who thinks this waterheaded theocrat belongs in the United States Senate is a dupe and a fool. Finally, you don’t care if the people behind Roy Moore, and the people in the crowd in front of him, believe you are a member of the coastal elite or an agent of Lucifer. Finally, you grow weary of the smug condescension of religious bigots. Finally, you decide to put down the twin burdens of excusing deliberate ignorance and respecting the opinions of people who want to light the world on fire to kill their imaginary enemies. And you give up and tell the truth.

These people deserve what they get.

Then I went to bed.

I woke up to howling winds rattling the house, and I peeked out the window to see a bleak cold landscape to match my soul. So I resignedly opened up the news to this, Rosie Gray’s post-election wrap up.

Everything had to break exactly right for Doug Jones to win the Senate election in deep-red Alabama, and it did. Jones ran a disciplined campaign that hinged on black turnout, and it delivered for him.

WTF? Jones won? How could that happen? Moore had Bannon and Clarke and Gohmert and Trump all backing him — he had all the racist/nationalist/dumbshit fuckwits pulling for him in Alabama. That isn’t a recipe for success anymore? And then I read how Jones won. He had the black vote. Black citizens turned out in spite of all the obstacles put in front of them, all the voter suppression, all the dirty tricks, like all the stories I read of Alabama cops pulling over black drivers on the way to the polls to make them late, the weird games with demanding that they re-register, that they were listed as ‘inactive voters’ and had to jump through extra hoops to get the ballot. The white vote strongly favored Moore. Heck, the college-educated white demographic voted for the kiddie-diddling theocratic incompetent whose wife argued that he couldn’t be a racist because one of his attorneys was a Jew. He totally won the Bubba vote. This guy.

The white people of Alabama voted for the worst candidate…because he was white. If you want to complain about “identity politics”, fine, just keep in mind that the worst perpetrators are those fine light-skinned people of European descent that the neo-Nazis want to build an “ethnostate” for — the great white fuckups of America.

Black Alabama saved us.

And then I read that the state of Texas might be in play in the near future — that Republicans are facing a lot of competition and a lot of state races are going to be contested. Why? Shifting demographics as the Hispanic vote in Texas rises.

Brown Texas is going to save us.

The Republicans are playing against time, and have gambled everything against an inevitability — the US is going to become a majority minority nation within a generation, an environment in which bigotry will no longer be a viable political position. Further, the one white demographic that opposes the Republican status quo are the young people. It’s a rising tide that’s going to destroy the current conservative dominance. The only question is whether the Republicans will succeed in wrecking the nation before we bury them.

Stuporific!

Ted Crockett fails his saving throw against intelligence and is stunned by a fact from Jake Tapper! The stunned ox look is delightful.

I was also giggling at his sad, forlorn “Merry Christmas, Jake” as the clip ends. Sorry, Ted, that was a pathetic comeback.

Unfortunately, stupid might just be a winning strategy in the Alabama election.

Toughen up, Republicans!

A Republican insider giving advice to Democrats…are you going to trust him? Bruce Bartlett thinks Democrats need to toughen up, because we shouldn’t have asked for Franken’s resignation.

I’m torn about it, too — he was a good senator. But he was also flawed, and I’m glad that the issue of sexual harassment has become an important topic within the party I best identify with (but don’t wholly agree with, by a long shot).

However, can we just tell Republicans giving such advice to simply fuck off? Until they have enough fiber to repudiate the scumbags, who are far, far worse than Franken, I don’t think any of them have the privilege to give anyone advice. When you’re strong enough to strip your support from Roy Moore, and when you’ve got the moral integrity to reject King Asshole who’s occupying the presidency, then maybe your advice will be worth listening to.