[Thunderdome]


daspletosaurus_face_bite

This is Thunderdome, the unmoderated open thread on Pharyngula. Say what you want, how you want.

Status: UNMODERATED; Previous thread

Comments

  1. says

    @opposablethumbs

    I was going to respond to numerous things you’ve said. But to prevent more distraction and confusion than has already happened, I’ll try keeping it short this time.

    He was acting like an entitled arsehole when he immediately tried to shut down any questioning by the cute trick of accusing people of being SWERF-y prudes (as I mentioned earlier).

    Agreed.

    And (looking back at your post I first replied to) it looks like this was basically what you were originally trying to say . I don’t dispute that part (in fact I mostly missed that part because I thought it was separate, my mistake, this definitely changes my reading of your post).

    I was (and still am) confused about what you meant by “sexual exploitation”.

  2. says

    Tethys @ 500:

    Thank you!

    Pye and I have matching plumage! How very cool, I’ve never seen a leucistic grackle before.

    You’re quite beautiful, then. I’ve seen other grackles with just a bit of leucism, but not on the same scale as Pye. It seems leucism is rising in bird populations, but no one knows exactly why.

  3. ck, the Irate Lump says

    Some good news for once: A swatter has been caught and has plead guilty to 23 charges in BC. He targeted mostly young female gamers, and caused one young woman to drop out of college after she and her family members were swatted, had their financial info stolen and had their email and twitter accounts hacked. It’s nice to see someone is actually going to see some consequences for their “good harmless fun”, and hopefully it’s only the beginning.

  4. AlexanderZ says

    ck #4
    That is good news! Though I doubt he’ll get much of a sentence.
    __________________

    In other news:
    Oregon outlaws gay conversion therapy, joining two other states:

    Oregon this week became the third state to ban conversion therapy, a widely discredited practice aimed at changing the sexual orientation of individuals who identify as gay or lesbian.
    Democratic Gov. Kate Brown, the first openly bisexual governor in the country, signed on Monday the bill into law, which bars therapists from performing conversion therapy on individuals under 18. Similar laws already exist in California, New Jersey and Washington, D.C.

    The ban will not apply to religious groups and organization, only to mental health practitioners licensed by the state.

    This comes a month after Obama has announced his support for “Leelah’s Law”:

    President Barack Obama also called for a national ban on the practice last month, but religious groups and conservatives insist that such a ban would infringe on their religious freedom rights.

    “”The overwhelming scientific evidence demonstrates that conversion therapy, especially when it is practiced on young people, is neither medically nor ethically appropriate and can cause substantial harm,” Obama’s senior adviser Valerie Jarrett said in a statement. “As part of our dedication to protecting America’s youth, this administration supports efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy for minors.”

  5. Tethys says

    Brian Pansky

    I was (and still am) confused about what you meant by “sexual exploitation”.

    I think I just sprained my eyeballs. Seriously!? Even after multiple other hordelings and opposable have taken the time to explain exactly what they mean, you’re going to claim confusion on how literally sexually exploiting women bodies for profit is sexual exploitation? Check your fucking privilege. Check it again. Go watch the film I linked for you and get it through your head that the porn industry is all about sexual exploitation of women for fun and profit. You are being nearly as much of an obtuse douchbag as PJ was at this point. (ie ” I don’t read CD” is really stupid)

  6. Tethys says

    Caine #3

    You’re quite beautiful, then.

    aw,,thank you. I have always said that once I reached a certain age I would start dyeing my hair purple.

  7. says

    Tethys @ 7:

    aw,,thank you. I have always said that once I reached a certain age I would start dyeing my hair purple.

    I used to dye mine deep purple. Or dark burgundy, depending on my mood. Then I developed a severe allergy to the stuff. *sad face* The older you are, the better, too – shakes people up.

    Well, no leucistic sightings today, but this young guy perked up my day, mouth wide open and all.

  8. rq says

    Just as a note, loving all your bird pics, Caine. We had a crappy year at the feeder, but the previous winter I got some middling-to-decent shots. You’ve really got a good eye and finger for those birds, though – I love how their character peeks through in all the photos.

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

    Trigger warning for a topic that simply isn’t possible to address without **massive feelings**: people who commit crimes, especially but not only assaults related in some way to sex, as juveniles who then face consequences years later as adults.

    =========================================
    I don’t know anything about the Duggars. I learned only a couple of weeks ago that that name is connected to a reality TV show.

    But today I found out the son apparently committed some kind of ?sexual assault? ?rape? ?something else but clearly related? at the age of 15, which is now 12 years ago. He lost his job and apparently there are some severe consequences for him right now.

    **to be fair** his job was being a right-wing, theocratic, heterosexist, sexist and trans oppressive shill for the FRC. Not only that, but despite the fact that he wasn’t **paid** to be racist int he way he was paid to be theocratic, etc., I don’t doubt that FRC has a racist culture as well.

    So, y’know, there are reasons to be glad (for him and for the world) that he’s not working for FRC.

    But still…we have juvenile courts for a reason.

    Note that the son apparently didn’t go through court, and was convicted of nothing (which may or may not be a good outcome, depending on what you think of how the US juvenile justice system treats child offenders and whether the system makes things, and people, better or worse). I mention juvenile courts to remind us of the reasons those proceedings are typically secret, typically sealed, and frequently expunged: who we are when are brains are still developing bears only a resemblance to that person we will become years later…in this case 12 years later.

    I think it’s almost certain that the victims in this case were treated unfairly, b/c that is unfortunately nearly ubiquitous and being raised in a theocratic household would make the slim odds of escaping further injustice (after an assault) even slimmer.

    It’s also a slim but realistic possibility that the son was victimized at 15 by some of this. I’m not saying it’s likely, but we had an attorney general that believed that dancing must be forbidden because ZOMG the baby jesus. With the sexism and theocracy, a 15 year old child could easily be made to feel himself a molester for kissing a 14 year old in the broom closet. On the other hand, he was a boy in a sexist theocracy of a family: axe murdering 7 year olds for giggles can be forgiven if you’re daddy’s heir and you ask the baby jesus very nicely.

    Again, I’m not saying that either of these are what happened, but **no one is talking about what happened**. There’s no police report (or if there is, mercifully **someone** is clinging to their ethical duties). We just don’t know.

    And yet, 12 years later, this man has lost his job and is being written about all over for his sex crime – whatever it was, and whether or not it was criminal under the law.

    I am not comfortable with that. If he assaulted someone, in a manner prosecutable or not, he owns the responsibility for that. But having committed a bad act is not the same as being a bad person.

    I would much rather this man be excoriated for choosing as an adult to work for FRC than this man be excoriated for whatever it was that he did as a 15 year old.

    Ugh. Sometimes you just gotta hate the culture that produces this crap, y’know?
    ==============

    Related…

    While we’ve gotten more and more good research that the brain’s self-control and self-reflection centers are still developing into the 20s of the vast majority of people, there is also a wide difference between 17 and 15. THere’s quite a bit of maturing that happens from 15-19, and Huckabee’s son was halfway through that fast-developing phase when he tortured a dog to death.

    Tortured.

    To.

    Death.

    I still wouldn’t be advocating disseminating the information about Huckabee’s son’s crime b/c 17. I also believe that the media is right to focus on Huckabee’s actions to prevent the investigation and prosecution, rather than the son’s torture and slaying of a living, intelligent animal.

    Nonetheless, the information is out there.

    In my right hand, we have the knowledge that some 15 year old did something sexual of which his theocratic family and the theocratic families of his victims (and/ or partners, I suppose, given how little we know) disapproved. As I understand it, their god disapproves of a hell of a lot of things that secular society doesn’t actually consider a crime, or sometimes even bad. (And approves of a hell of a lot of things that are abhorrent.) That person is now losing a job and is being publicly excoriated.

    In my left hand, we have the knowledge that some 17 year old tortured a dog to death. We’re certain of it. The unbelievably foul decision of this person was that it was a good idea to

    Torture

    a

    dog

    to

    death.

    The adult man who committed that act as a 17 year old is not, so far as I know, losing a job or facing any serious consequences at all.

    Without calling for the former-17 year old to face adult consequences for his abhorrent act as a teen, is it reasonable of me to be pissed that some unknown “bad sex” is treated as more consequential than torturing a dog to death?

    Is it reasonable to maintain the position that unknown “bad sex” (as defined by the moral geniuses of the Duggar family) from age 15 shouldn’t be reported in the media when the person who had/committed that “bad sex” is age 27…

    …AND maintain that even if it is reported, a person shouldn’t lose their livelihood for the media’s reportage…

    …AND finally, simultaneously maintain the position that if it does come out (because some few thousands of people in the media are deeply unethical), that the consequences one faces should be less severe than the consequences another faces for the regretfully-necessary-given-dad’s-presidential-campaign & malfeasance-in-office disclosure of a 17 year olds torture and murder of a dog?

    Ugh^Ugh

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

    @Caine:

    the love in rq’s #10 is seconded.

  11. The Mellow Monkey says

    Again, I’m not saying that either of these are what happened, but **no one is talking about what happened**. There’s no police report (or if there is, mercifully **someone** is clinging to their ethical duties). We just don’t know.

    Just for clarification, [DoNotLink]TMZ claims the police report is being destroyed at the request of a victim in order to protect her identity.

    In Touch Weekly claims to already have a copy of the report. I’m not going to repeat the details because holy crap this report should not be out there, but what In Touch Weekly claims is what a reasonable person would consider molestation.

    I hope for as much privacy and safety and comfort as possible for the victims, but it doesn’t look like they’re getting any of that.

  12. chigau (違う) says

    Today, I received from my Bank, a letter informing me that, in honour of my having attained 60 years of age, they are waiving the monthly fee on one of my accounts.
    $4.00 per month.
    .
    .
    .
    I am moved, moved, I tell you!

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

    George W Bush blew up frogs as a young man.
    As president, he initiated the murder of hundreds of thousands of people and destroyed several states.
    Can we hold him accountable for at least one of those things?

    Boy, would I like to.

    Also, sorry for stealing your thunder, if I did. It just happened to be the moment I was ready to post was right after you’d finally gotten the energy and time to put a couple of posts up yourself.

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

    Okay, Mano Singham has written about the Duggar’s son …who is apparently not “the” Duggar’s son, but one son among a number. I have just learned from Mano that the Duggars are a family with 19 kids. Thus fairness to any other sons mandates that I name the particular son: Josh.

    Also, Mano provides more info on exactly what the son, Josh, did and links to even more, including a leaked police report (so much for my relief that at least the cops were being ethical in holding to their legal duty not to release a police report naming a minor accused and identifying by relationship (sibling) and age 4 of the 5 minor victims).

    This is, in fact, a case of a series of assaults and not merely a case of jesus’ sex tears.

    I’ve not read the links Mano provides, but there is apparently much more out there on these assaults than I was aware. One report I’d read even lead me to believe that there **wasn’t** a police report available.

    Sigh.

    In any case, I’ll not be trying to detail more of Josh’s bad acts, since that wasn’t the point of my earlier comment. I just want to be clear that the evidence indicates that this is NOT a situation in which the behavior alleged is behavior that I would find inoffensive even if true.

  15. carlie says

    I’m having difficulty with the whole thing given his age He was 15 when he did it (I read all of the reports, and it appears that it all happened when he was 15, was reported and dismissed when he was 16, reopened when he was late 17 but by then the absurdly short statute of limitations was up). He was a juvenile – that doesn’t change the effect he had on those girls, but what was going on in his brain? It would have been juvenile court he went to if he had been turned in then. I think it’s entirely justifiable to be upset with his parents for how they covered it up, to be upset with his parents for not getting the girls the help they needed (there’s been zero talk of how this affected his victims), to be upset with the cop who dismissed the charges, to be upset with him for everything else he’s done in his adult life. But for what he did at 15 – yeah, that should have been dealt with properly and in a sealed case.

  16. chigau (違う) says

    I cannot determine how fucking hot it is here but
    the first batch of laundry (jeans and heavy shirts) were dry by the time the second batch were ready for hanging (~15 minutes).

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

    Holey Ozone, Chigau!

    Here it’s 20, but it feels hotter. It feels damn hot.

    I think the fact that the official thermometer is at the airport in the middle of the delta and on the coast is giving us a falsely-low reading.

  18. chigau (違う) says

    My cheap thermometer sez:
    up against the south-facing, white-stucco wall, in full sun:
    off the scale, over 50°C
    .
    same wall, in the shade:
    28°C

  19. Tethys says

    Anne

    I got purple streaks in my hair when I turned 50. It was only for the summer, but it was fun while it lasted

    I shall pass that milestone in December. I figured it was a good time to embrace my white hair, and I paid a pro to bleach white streaks and add cobalt and deep violet so I don’t have to do the roots every few weeks. It’s actually far more subtle than it sounds. I’ve been calling it peacock colored, but the white ticks and iridescent shimmer of Pye are just as lovely as any peacock.

    Caine~I used to dye mine deep purple. Or dark burgundy, depending on my mood. Then I developed a severe allergy to the stuff. *sad face*

    Sounds gorgeous, both my friends who are colorists ( and blondes) currently have beautiful and completely unnatural shades of red hair. Bummer, so sad about developing allergies. I’ve never experimented with fun colors because they don’t show up in my mop of dark,unruly, extremely resistant to color hair.

    The older you are, the better, too – shakes people up.

    I remember when someone referred to Rebecca Watson’s ever changing haircolor as feminist hair. It’s so weird how much significance humans place on hair. I have noticed a few times now this odd look on peoples face mid conversation when they suddenly realize “Hey, your hair is blue and purple!”.

  20. says

    Tethys, your hair sounds gorgeous. I’m still trying to figure out what to do for turning 60, but so far I have no ideas. Hey, I’ve got until next birthday in December, I’ve still got time.

  21. Tethys says

    Sorry, but I can’t even any more on sadists and sadistic treatment of any living thing. *sticks fingers in ears* Flowers and spring and lovely colors, la lalala lalalalalalalalala.

  22. Tethys says

    aw, thanks Anne. I am lucky to have skilled pro friends, with access to all the amazing pro colors. The range of jewel tone and pastel colors and metallic colors in the salon supply store made choosing just two very difficult.

  23. Tethys says

    chigau

    The lilacs are in bloom and scent!

    Here too! :) I love lilacs, but mine is still just a baby and doesn’t have any flowers this year. Luckily many of my neighbors have mature hedges of them.

  24. carlie says

    chigau – yes. There was a vendor a few years ago who sold towels with lilacs on them for that very reason, but sadly I haven’t seen that website in awhile.

  25. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The lilacs are in bloom and scent!

    Been bringing in lilacs for the Redhead to enjoy from our bushes for a week.

  26. carlie says

    Libby Anne of course has a good breakdown of the Duggar case.

    After thinking about it more, I wonder if there were any conversations between Jim Bob and Josh (dad and son) during that year that the dad knew but didn’t report it – did he tell his son it was wrong? Did he tell him not to do it again? What kind of training/teaching was there?

  27. says

    @Tethys #6

    Even after multiple other hordelings and opposable have taken the time to explain exactly what they mean, you’re going to claim confusion
    on how literally sexually exploiting women bodies for profit is sexual exploitation?

    My lack of understanding is genuine. Also, defining something in terms of itself is not informative at all. What is being meant by this ambiguous word “exploiting”?

    Go watch the film I linked for you and get it through your head that the porn industry is all about sexual exploitation of women for fun and profit.

    I forgot to mention, the video seems not to be available where I live, outside of the USA. Though perhaps I could find it somewhere else like youtube.

  28. Tethys says

    ex·ploi·ta·tion
    ˌekˌsploiˈtāSH(ə)n/
    noun
    1.
    the action or fact of treating someone unfairly in order to benefit from their work.
    “the exploitation of migrant workers”
    synonyms: taking advantage, abuse, misuse, ill-treatment, unfair treatment, oppression
    “the exploitation of the poor”
    2.
    the action of making use of and benefiting from resources.
    “the Bronze Age saw exploitation of gold deposits”
    synonyms: utilization, use, making use of, making the most of, capitalization on; informalcashing in on
    “the exploitation of mineral resources”

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

    You might add the Marxian, Tethys.

    From Wiki, but my vaguely-remembered Marx says it seems legit:

    In his Critique of the Gotha Program Marx set principles that were to govern the distribution of welfare under socialism and communism, these principles saw distribution to each person according to two things: according to his work and according to his needs, Exploitation is when these two principles are not met, the agents are not receiving according to one’s needs’ or one’s work

    In social justice circles this definition is particularly prevalent, and might also have been the definition used.

    I actually think that it’s a pretty likely thing that PJ engaged in exploitation according to this definition, since there are all kinds of needs unmet for people working in the sex trade and especially people impacted directly by BDSM and the stereotypes, negative social forces, and ignorance around BDSM. Going out of one’s way post-shrink wrap would seem to be necessary to do your part in the social change and social harm mitigation that would be sufficient to meet the needs of these workers.

    Of course, I’m also critical of the Marxian definition, but it’s a damn common one, and unless PJ paid workers an industry-generous amount of money with the understanding that they would then use the extra compensation to meet those needs through leveraging their newly increased individual resources, it’s one PJ’s work would fall under.

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

    Tethys, that’s two definitions. Which is confusing. I hope they aren’t being equivocated.

    Holy I am Groot!, Batman, seriously?

    Tethys isn’t the one who used the word originally. And bp knows this. We can’t know which definition opposable thumbs intended.

    And if bp is really curious as to how it is possible that “exploitation” could be reasonably alleged, it suffices that ***any*** of the three definitions could be reasonably alleged. There is no reason to require that ***all*** definitions must be arguably met before a word can be used.

    If that were the case, no one could ever use “inflammable”.

  31. chigau (違う) says

    I, for one, never use the word “inflammable”.
    .
    However, I do use “uninflammable”.
    .
    As often as I can.
    .
    I just really like all those nnmnmnnmn’s

  32. Jacob Schmidt says

    Tethys isn’t the one who used the word originally. And bp knows this. We can’t know which definition opposable thumbs intended.

    And if bp is really curious as to how it is possible that “exploitation” could be reasonably alleged, it suffices that ***any*** of the three definitions could be reasonably alleged. There is no reason to require that ***all*** definitions must be arguably met before a word can be used.

    I think Brian Pansky means that, when asked exactly how a word is used, giving multiple definitions does little to clarify. Giving all the possible definitions and saying “it could be any of them” does practically nothing, especially when there’s a large difference between them: (1) is blatantly unjust; (2) is so broad it includes both (1), the very act of having employees, and the use of literal objects; (3) (Marx) implies a very different approach altogether. The issue in light of any of these definitions over the others changes how I would think about it.

    I mean, if you really have no idea what was originally meant, I’m not sure why you’re even bothering to give definitions, unless they are definitions you’d like to work with.

    If that were the case, no one could ever use “inflammable”.

    Doesn’t ‘inflammable’ actually only have 1 definition (well, several, but only 1 relating to flame)? I think the definition of “not flammable” comes from confusion over the the apparent suffix ‘in’ which is actually part of the root word ‘inflame.’

  33. Tethys says

    I hope they aren’t being equivocated.

    Word, what do they mean!? If you wish to equivocate on my copy pasted definition of the word exploitation I suggest you take it up with Merriam-Websters dictionary. You may also be less confused if you look up the definitions of equate, conflate, equivocate, prevaricate and obfuscate.

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

    @Jacob Schmidt:

    I mean, if you really have no idea what was originally meant, I’m not sure why you’re even bothering to give definitions, unless they are definitions you’d like to work with.

    bp has been expressing bewilderment at the very idea one could possibly get exploitation out of what Pink Jenkin said.

    It started with #413 (check the older comments), bp to opposablethumbs:

    I haven’t been following along that closely, but where did you get the impression that Pink’s porn was being done in an exploitative way? Or is it all exploitative to you?

    opposable thumbs responded in #424, but bp continues:

    I’m not seeing anything that fits the description of “make money out of the sexual exploitation of women”. I mean, that second quote sounds like something Greta Christina might say. What definition of “sexual exploitation” are you using here?

    after some other things addressed, he concludes that same comment with:

    But you haven’t addressed my question about this “exploitation” accusation.

    But what was bp’s original question?

    This:

    I haven’t been following along that closely, but where did you get the impression that Pink’s porn was being done in an exploitative way?

    opposablethumbs quite clearly answered “where did you get the impression that Pink’s porn was being done in an exploitative way?“.

    opposablethumbs had not answered “What definition of “sexual exploitation” are you using here?” but could hardly have been expected to, since that occurs in the same comment as the question.

    And thus, what’s **really** going on is that bp apparently differs in analysis with opposable thumbs. Instead of just saying “I disagree” and then laying out some analysis that could educate or provoke thought or even just be disproved, bp continues to act as if OT literally has no possible source for the idea that PJ might have exploited women.

    The definitions exist to prove that – so long as one of them is arguably met – OT did have a source for that idea.

    We would prefer that bp move the fuck on. It appears to be annoying to Tethys, and it is mildly irksome to me, that bp is acting as if OT hasn’t answered the question asked, when OT answered **exactly, literally** the question asked…but bp didn’t like the answer.

    If bp was asking questions that led to interesting answers that would be one thing, but bp is smart enough to read the definitions and realize that **at least one might arguably apply in this situation, and thus challenging OT for making an unfair accusation is a bit unproductive and tedious**.

    If bp wanted to advance the discussion, bp could just do what I sometimes do, start with something like,

    Okay, there are 3 potentially applicable definitions. I disagree with your accusation, OT, no matter which of the 3 is intended.

    If 1, here are my objections.
    If 2, here are my objections.
    If 3, here are my objections.

    But bp doesn’t do that. bp doesn’t do anything that appears to actually get us anywhere. All that bp provides to the discussion is a moribund insistence that OT’s “accusation” is “unfounded” unless and until OT proves it to bp’s satisfaction.

    But the thing is, ***no one cares***. Whether, personally, bp believes it matters not at all. The substance of bp’s objections might be interesting, but bp never reveals any substance. So we get a thread filling up with variations of, “I am not convinced. Convince me.”

    No. It’s not important if you, personally, are convinced or not. That the substance of the argument is laid out can be very useful, then any reader can decides which analysis best fits the evidence, and why, and what that result implies.

    EnlightenmentLiberal was maddening, but EnlightenmentLiberal put out the substance of EL’s objections (such as that substance was) to others’ statements. One could engage with the ideas and know that someone, somewhere might struggle with the same questions as EL but just not quite be as thick-headed. So the thread serves a purpose…but the purpose isn’t necessarily getting EL to agree with a specific proposition.

    Here we don’t care if bp agrees with a specific proposition, but bp commits what PZ calls the “sin of being boring” by not even providing anything with which one can work. What questions does bp consider important in deciding whether exploitation has occurred? Does it even matter much if “exploitation” has occurred if the product has oppression-reinforcing effects? Does bp ground objections in an existentialist ethical framework, a situational ethical framework, another consequentialist framework? (Hell, Contractarianism?) I’d be willing to bet (a reasonably small amount of) real money that bp thinks in terms of a form of ethics best categorized as situational ethics, but I’m not certain of it. Even if I assumed that, how far does that get me in understanding what, precisely, bp’s concerns are with the idea that PJ is exploitative in relation to PJ’s BDSM-porn workers?

    In short, I think Tethys would like bp to move the fuck on. Stating an objection of substance would probably be welcomed by Tethys. Conceding that OT had a basis for the accusation (regardless of whether bp agrees with the charge) and giving the whole thing up would probably be welcomed by Tethys. Probably a lot of things would be welcomed by Tethys.

    So throwing up all the definitions and say, “Pick one and make an argument” is a reasonable response to the frustration that Tethys feels (and that I feel to some extent, although I haven’t been engaging much with bp, and not at all directly).

    Thus listing all the definitions is a reasonable act by Tethys, and throwing on the reminder about Marx is a reasonable act by me, despite not knowing what OT specifically had in mind. We’re not interested in exactly what OT had in mind, because what OT said was always close enough to reasonable in our own frames that neither of us thought to challenge it. We’re interested in a productive conversation. Period. The one bp is having isn’t productive. Maybe throwing up some definitions on the wall will encourage bp to actually say something of substance in response.

    I’d wait to make sure, but there was a series of thumps upstairs that sounded as if they were made by a bipedal animal between 20 and 200 kilos. With that information, there’s a chance it might be a Moa, and I’ve never seen one of those birds. Given the odds that there’s a moa upstairs and the odds that bp might say something substantive that advances the conversation in interesting ways sometime during the next hour, I’m convinced my time is better spent investigating the moa theory.

  35. Tethys says

    CD

    The generous interpretation is that this is a joke at EnlightenmentLiberal’s expense.

    Nyah, I think you give far too much credit. I think he’s just using the wrong word,.. repeatedly. Kinda ironic, no? BP clearly has some nebulous yet deeply held convictions involving BDSM porn and judgement that he needs to resolve, but refuses to actually state them, up to and including complaining that the dictionary is wrong. Equivotrolling?

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

    It’s almost like sea-lioning, but without the biting, sideways attacks on the disfavored group in between the unproductive questions. .

    Maybe Walrussing? I doubt they can snap at things, and sideways attacks from a walrus seem less likely.

    Still don’t want to keep one around, however.

  37. says

    rq & CD, thanks! The birds do all the work, I just take the photos. Right now, they are wondering why the service at this joint is so slow (I haven’t had tea yet).

    Oh, and I found out that Orchard Orioles like Fruppa Fig Jam. (They are not keen on Sour Cherry.)

  38. AlexanderZ says

    Crip Dyke #45

    All that bp provides to the discussion is a moribund insistence that OT’s “accusation” is “unfounded” unless and until OT proves it to bp’s satisfaction.

    That’s not true, BP also provides an incentive/reason for you to write your takedowns which I greatly enjoy.
    _____________________________

    chigau #19

    how fucking hot it is here

    I know what you mean. There was one hamsin here recently and another one coming in a couple of days. And to top everything, my air conditioner is broken.
    I can’t stand heat. It feels like someone has been shitting in the garden of my mind.

  39. says

    CD:

    We would prefer that bp move the fuck on. It appears to be annoying to Tethys, and it is mildly irksome to me, that bp is acting as if OT hasn’t answered the question asked, when OT answered **exactly, literally** the question asked…but bp didn’t like the answer.

    I am reminded of the time (a ways back), when Brian Pansky came to Tdome to whine about the complexities of gender, and how he did not understand them, oh no! It was something like 2 to 4 instances of Tdome, with people explaining every which fucking way, all ended with the continual plaint of Brian Pansky: I still don’t understand.

  40. AlexanderZ says

    Caine #52
    That’s a beautiful bird. I find its vivid coloring pretty odd for a northern forest bird. It looks like it would be more at home on some tropical island. How come you get so many lovely and diverse birds, do you live in a major migratory route?

  41. says

    AlexanderZ @ 53:

    Yes, we’re a major stop, migration-wise. I love our more colourful birds, but we have nothing on other parts of the world, where the birds are so wonderfully coloured, you’re tempted to think they aren’t real!

  42. AlexanderZ says

    Caine #55

    but we have nothing on other parts of the world

    On a scale from crows, pigeons and sparrows (and those nasty green parakeets) where I live, to an island full of birds-of-paradise, you’re much closer to the latter than the former :)

    Speaking of coloring, that fox squirrels is really cute. Are the bright yellow patches on its fur natural, a reaction to the orange or some coloring artifact (I’m asking because the orange looks almost unnaturally yellow, at least to my eyes)?

  43. says

    AlexanderZ:

    Speaking of coloring, that fox squirrels is really cute. Are the bright yellow patches on its fur natural, a reaction to the orange or some coloring artifact (I’m asking because the orange looks almost unnaturally yellow, at least to my eyes)?

    That’s from the orange – Fox squirrels are a basic brown and reddish brown – the tail carries the reddest colour.

  44. says

    I really hate to see colorization of photos. I appreciate black and white (and sepia), and I think colour seriously detracts from many old photos, a lot of which focused on people. Character can be easily overlooked when colour is involved. This is one subject I’m a serious curmudgeon on though – I hated the colorization of movies, too.

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

    @Caine, #55:

    It was something like 2 to 4 instances of Tdome, with people explaining every which fucking way, all ended with the continual plaint of Brian Pansky: I still don’t understand.

    I seem to recall that, though I’m getting it confused with morgan doing something similar. I remember morgan better, though, because morgan eventually identified that some internal blocks were interfering with ability to absorb, frequently thanked people for making attempts (noting the thanks applied even if morgan couldn’t get anything/much out of them in that moment), and ultimately decided to go away and do some personal work. So, you know, the mere acknowledgement that there is informational content in your rhetorical opponent’s comments goes a long way toward making persistent befuddlement tolerable.

    What is super-extra-frustrating with bp is that one deeply suspects that bp is actually absorbing information, possibly even significantly more than morgan was able to do in that one particular thread (morgan’s incapacity being highly situational and, relative to bp, uncommon: I have a lot of respect for morgan), bp doesn’t appear to be willing to acknowledge the work that others are doing.

    It might – just might, who knows – stem from a deep-seated fear of being wrong. That’s how I frame bp when I’m reminding myself to be generous to the person (however much a comment, idea, or dynamic needs to be taken down). I don’t know bp’s thought process, of course, but the fear of being publicly wrong is common, and it would explain the interesting combination of

    1) the refusal to put there bp’s own thinking
    and
    2) the refusal to flatly state that someone else is wrong.

    2) would make sense as a way for someone afraid of being wrong to try to keep the conversation on a level where **no one** is accused of being wrong. After all, if you think because another person’s thinking is incompatible with your own that that someone else is wrong, well then unless you do put out convincing evidence, they are going to go on and continue thinking that…which means they are likely believing that, their thinking being incompatible with your own, that you are wrong! Oh noes!

    Much safer to insist that more information need be acquired before anyone can make any sort of determination about anything than to start taking public notice of any apparent discrepancies between one person’s position and another’s.

    Me? The only way I’ve learned as much as I have is by being relentlessly, frequently wrong…and trying thereafter to remember how I went wrong and where I can find the off-ramp to RightTown.

    I try to apologize genuinely if my error wasted someone’s time or incorrectly represented someone’s position or, even worse, hurt someone. (And, yes, it happens. And too often. I remember a time when I was trying to offer emotional support to someone distressed by an interaction with you, Caine, when I repeated that person’s characterization of the interaction as you “yelling” – or similar – at them. It really wasn’t fairly characterized that way at all, and I tried to immediately own up, recognizing that my priority of being reassuring had led me to neglect information I had at my fingertips that contradicted what was, effectively, an accusation of bad behavior aimed at you that I was repeating.) And of course, I **try** to be right. But whatever things might make me hold my tongue (and there are a good many reasons to do that in various contexts), I try to make sure that merely fear of being wrong isn’t one.

    =======
    For clarity, I add as a separate post-script that realizing you’re too uneducated on a particular topic to make a substantial contribution is different than mere fear of being wrong.

    Very different.

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

    @Caine, #60:

    I’ve always hated colorization as well, except that of one particular artist that used obviously-fake and over bright colorization to transform the focus and/or meaning of old photos. That seemed an honest and interesting use of colorization.

    I have to admit that many of the photos at that link are so well done that they largely overcame my normal objections to colorization. Some didn’t, but the efforts are clearly becoming different as technology changes. I’m surprised at my willingness to tolerate some of those colorizations.

    But one in particular stood out for me as particularly useful, and therefore it was the case of colorization where I was most satisfied with the result. It was a photo of an older girl/young woman still in concentration-camp stripes, face hollow with malnutrition (the writing identifies the person as 18 years old, but in the chaos of liberation not all of that information is reliable).

    I’ve spoken to people about the holocaust. It didn’t directly touch my family, but did for some people I know. The mother of one of my fellow congregants at the shul where I was a member was a Holocaust survivor, and when she died a few years ago I went to sit with my fellow congregant. Listening to stories of her mother’s life was part of the expected activity and the Holocaust was discussed (although not at length – other stories were much more relevant to celebrating her mother’s life).

    Some of the younger people with whom I’ve talked about the Holocaust – in the congregation, even – have some trouble relating to those old concentration camp black-and-whites. It feels less real to them. When I saw that photo in color, I instantly thought of how useful it might be in communicating the experience of the Holocaust to persons who never had a chance to witness an event that was captured as a black and white, who never learned to feel the subject matter of a black and white as something happening rather than something over and done.

    I have generally opposed colorization. I love sepia, and still would be saddened to see colorization replace the warm, living tones of a good sepia photo.

    Nonetheless, I’m glad the photo of the woman-in-stripes received the artist’s attention it did, and I would happily use it if I were ever again to present in public about Holocaust experience.

  47. chigau (違う) says

    Caine #60
    I totally agree.
    I hated that colorizing of old movies.

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

    This is a great discussion of a case where the decision of most widespread import actually got handed down a couple years ago. Obviously justice in this individual case is still necessary, but in the process of attempting to reach that justice, Angelica Choc has already broken through the single most important shield protecting Canadian lawlessness across the globe: the immunity of parent companies for the actions of their subsidiaries.

    Angelica Choc’s case against Hudbay in Canada is truly historic. The trial in Canada has paved the way for other indigenous communities to seek restitution for human rights violations by subsidiaries of multinational companies.

    “This case has sent shockwaves through the mining industry,” said Grahame Russell of the humanitarian organization Rights Action. “This has set the legal precedent that the subsidiaries can be tried for human rights abuses in the home country of the parent company. Angelica’s case acknowledges that this is not just a Guatemalan problem, but a Canadian problem taking place in Guatemala.”

    “It is no longer possible for Canadian companies to operate in foreign jurisdictions and to think that if something goes wrong that there will not be any consequences,”

    My one regret is that people don’t seem to realize, in reference to the added-emphasis quote, that this really is, “a Canadian problem taking place in fucking Canada”.

    The executives that make the decisions to require things of their subsidiaries, or even just tolerate things of their subsidiaries, are made in Canada. While the corporations are theoretically separate entities, the subsidiary relationship does not allow for independent decision making in the same way that being separate humans means that one’s own decision is not to be used to hold another accountable. This is only the beginning of locating the problem where it belongs, and that is only a beginning to uprooting the problem for good and all.

  49. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    I might be confusing people, but I thought Warren Buffet was a pretty decent person for a rich guy.

    Right.
    http://www.wsj.com/articles/better-than-raising-the-minimum-wage-1432249927

    Highlights:

    No conspiracy lies behind this depressing fact: The poor are most definitely not poor because the rich are rich. Nor are the rich undeserving. Most of them have contributed brilliant innovations or managerial expertise to America’s well-being. We all live far better because of Henry Ford, Steve Jobs, Sam Walton and the like.

    In my mind, the country’s economic policies should have two main objectives. First, we should wish, in our rich society, for every person who is willing to work to receive income that will provide him or her a decent lifestyle. Second, any plan to do that should not distort our market system, the key element required for growth and prosperity.

    That second goal crumbles in the face of any plan to sizably increase the minimum wage. I may wish to have all jobs pay at least $15 an hour. But that minimum would almost certainly reduce employment in a major way, crushing many workers possessing only basic skills. Smaller increases, though obviously welcome, will still leave many hardworking Americans mired in poverty.

    ….
    The better answer is a major and carefully crafted expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which currently goes to millions of low-income workers. Payments to eligible workers diminish as their earnings increase. But there is no disincentive effect: A gain in wages always produces a gain in overall income. The process is simple: You file a tax return, and the government sends you a check.

    In essence, the EITC rewards work and provides an incentive for workers to improve their skills. Equally important, it does not distort market forces, thereby maximizing employment.

    Seriously, no one deserves billions. You could cure fucking cancer and you still wouldn’t “deserve” billions of dollars – unless about 90% of those were tied in the facilities connected to curing cancer.

    This is the first time I hear about EITC, but the immediate problem I see is that this can’t help a family who is struggling to pay this month’s rent. It’s a sum of money you get once a year, and those who fight extreme poverty usually fight it for mere day to day living.

    EITC looks like something that could work in addition to the minimum wage, certainly not as a replacement.

  50. says

    Caine
    Your wildlife seems to be at least one redeeming feature of the fucking cold you live in.

    +++
    CD
    I’m with you on the uncomfortableness of that whole Duggar thing.
    The US treatment of minors in the judicial system is one of the most horrifying things about that whole mess.
    I think we all agree that chidren can inflict horrible harm on other children. Lasting, devastating harm. That is not the question. The question is how much moral responsibility do they have.
    When I look at the 15 yo I see somebody who has been indoctrinated in a cult for all that time, who had no healthy outlet for his budding sexuality. If all things sex are evil and sinful, how can you understand the difference between
    1) evil deadly sin of masturbation
    2) evil deadly sin of engaging in consensual sexy times with somebody
    3) evil deadly sin of touching your sister’s genitals while she’s asleep?
    For me, the moral question is:
    -What did JIm Bob and Michelle Duggar do when Josh was 15?
    -What are they doing now?
    -What does Josh do now that he’s 27?
    And in both cases I see a lot handwaving. His parents got him religious counselling. They made sure there were no legal consequences whatsoever. There’s no indication the victims got any support. Given that some of the victims are his sisters and that the rest is most likely coming from the same circles, I guess they were victimised over and over again: By having been raised in a cult where there is no meaningful difference between being the victim of sexual assault and having had happy sexy times. By having had a lot of pressure not to “ruin everything” by destroying the picture perfect image of the family. After all their wealth depended on being TLC stars.
    I therefore don’t buy their “but it was in the best interest of the victims” crap.
    I don’t buy what Josh Duggar is buying now. I don’t see any real remorse. Any understanding of what has happened and why touching your sister’s genitals without consent is not a “youthful sin” like stealing a chocolate bar or nicking your parents’ whiskey.

  51. says

    Making Sense of News

    Learn essential, critical thinking skills in the age of social media to effectively navigate and make sense of news

    I started this course today. Sorry for posting late (it has started already, but work is only due in two weeks or so.)
    Looking at some of the issues raised in Thunderdome concerning levels of evidence, and the like, it may be a fascinating course for people unfamiliar with the intricacies of such.

    And it is *FREE*!

  52. says

    @ Giliell

    I don’t buy what Josh Duggar is buying now. I don’t see any real remorse. Any understanding of what has happened and why touching your sister’s genitals without consent is not a “youthful sin” like stealing a chocolate bar or nicking your parents’ whiskey.

    It is one, long, self-perpetuating fuckup. He is very likely still incapable of comprehending the import of all the issues you have raised. Never mind remorse.

  53. Tethys says

    Further to Beatrices link on Warren Buffett, and the notion that expanding a tax credit is a better idea than paying people a living wage in the first place: a short comic about privilege. (hint Warren, some of us don’t make enough to even file taxes much less get a tax credit.) No one ever handed me anything on a plate

  54. Arawhon, So Tired of Everything says

    Reading the imgur comments for that comic, I am reminded just how many people are intensely invested in their myths about how the world works. So many arguing against the comic or posting the stories of how their parents managed to succeed and make their lives easier, all the while missing the point of the comic.

  55. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Anne Meara died. I hate the sexist title of the article. A talented woman should be honored for her achievements, not who she spawned….

  56. AlexanderZ says

    Beatrice #66
    Buffett is a nice guy, as far as rich people go. Which is why Earth is such a depressing little planet.

    Honestly, I’m generally amazed about most discussions of minimum wage, but opposing the minimum wage in the US? Where some states have almost double the min. wage than others without suffering any financial repercussions? It’s just delusional and I can’t see the economic logic behind it. I could understand if it was about competition between different countries, but in USA the states are competing with each other. If anything, raising the min. wage should make the economy more efficient.

  57. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    If anything, raising the min. wage should make the economy more efficient.

    Well, DUH,
    not that the Koch brothers care….

  58. chigau (違う) says

    Nerd
    re: Anne Meara
    :(
    For some reason, I have managed to avoid knowing she was Ben’s mother.
    I really liked the Stiller and Meara team.

  59. Tethys says

    Tracing the dynamic life story of a Bronze Age Female

    tThe remains of a Bronze Age high status female found inside an oak-coffin in a monumental burial barrow at Egtved, Denmark. The Egtved Girl’s garments are extremely well preserved and her exceptional wool costume consists of several wool textile pieces as well as a disc-shaped bronze belt plate, symbolizing the sun.

    Testing revealed that she traveled quite far from her birthplace in her short life.

  60. says

    @ chigau

    Just to emphasise, that’s a friend’s work, not mine. We have had seemingly endless rain for weeks now, so I have not been able to fly anything.

    I am keen to build a weatherproof one, but also haven’t had the time for that either. :'(

  61. AlexanderZ says

    Erm… I’ve already misunderstood one of CD‘s remarks, and I do try to space my stupidity out. Then again, CD did write a long comment about the importance of not being afraid of this sort of thing, so…:
    Nerd #76

    Well, DUH,

    That site shows min. wage myths. The fact, at least as far as the site you’ve referenced goes, is the opposite: That min. wage can cause unemployment. That min. wage does not reduce poverty. That min. wage does not stimulate the economy, etc.
    The site’s view is the exact opposite of the one you seem to hold (if I understood your sarcasm correctly) and which I (and the rest here) share.

    In fact, that site belongs to Employment Policies Institute, a conservative think-tank that has been criticized for its mishandling of economic issues. EPI is funded by Rick Berman, who is in turn funded by the Koch brothers.

    A better view on min. wage is presented in Anthony Atkinson’s book “Inequality: What Can Be Done?”. Here is my favorite moment from a discussion about the book with Janet Gornick, Robert Solow and Paul Krugman.

  62. AlexanderZ says

    P.S.
    You know, I always suspected Rick Berman was evil ever since he fired Ron Jones (and was proven right by ST:Voyager), but I never realized just how evil he is.

  63. Jacob Schmidt says

    RE: Duggar

    This bullshit popped up on my facebook. It is, quite frankly, a train wrack of stupid reasoning attempting to justify an already held conclusion.

    While the news is buzzing with the very bad things Josh Duggar did to some of his sisters over a decade ago, what people aren’t talking about is the fact that the girls have recently been victimized … as recent as today.

    The author, obviously, purports to speak out of concern for the victims. All this attention being brought to their trauma could be painful for them. And that is, indeed, true. Some or all of them may have preferred to never think about what happened again, and simply move past it. It’s a reasonable concern when dealing with cases like…. wait, what was that?

    bad things Josh Duggar did to some of his sisters

    The second fucking sentence. In a piece that is supposed to advocate for the best interest of the victims, the second fucking sentence erases some of those victims. Not all of the girls Duggar molested were his sisters. Christy Lee Parker, out her dire concern for these women, couldn’t even be bothered to acknowledge they exist.

    I was gonna go through the rest, but frankly I …

    Leave those girls alone… or you’re no better than Josh.

    Fuck you, Christy Lee Parker.

  64. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    AlexanderZ#81
    Sounds like I made a mistake in not reading the full web site. The top page looked fine to me, but I often don’t have time to read much beyond that.

    I know why an increase in the minimum wage works. The poor spends all their money. If they have a little more money, they spend that little more money. That increases the local economy as a whole, as the extra spending pays other poverty line wage earners, who then spends it, making the money go around.

    I’ve only worked minimum wage once in my life, one summer while doing my undergrad studies. I worked in the small engine repair shop at Sears as grunt labor, but just being around mechanics was a learning experience that has come in handy since then. Like when I changed the diaphragms on a lab vacuum pump in 30 minutes about three weeks ago. Good for another 15000 hours.

  65. emergence says

    Okay guys, this was funny for a while, but now it’s getting annoying. I can’t unsubscribe from this thread and my email is getting flooded with hundreds of notifications. It’s getting difficult to sort through my actual mail with all of this extra stuff coming in. Is there any way that I could unsubscribe? I tried the “manage your subscriptions thing, but it didn’t work.

  66. AlexanderZ says

    Nerd #84
    No problem, I was afraid that I didn’t get the joke/sarcasm.
    _______________________

    Jacob Schmidt #83

    the second fucking sentence erases some of those victims.

    Not only that, but she’s a hypocrite too. In another article she posts the names of two underage kidnapped and raped girls. By her own logic that article amounts to abuse. And a much more severe abuse because she names the victims (something that the press didn’t do in the Duggars’ case) and the victims are still underage (they were 12 and 6 a year ago when the repeated rapes took place).

    However, it takes only a brief look at her work to see that none of it really matters to her. Her shtick (and that of Mad World News) is to always take the opposite position of what she imagines the “leftist, liberal lamestream media” takes. I’d bet any money that she doesn’t care about abuse victims at all. It’s all just a little game for her – to play the role of the “lone conservative heroine” sticking it to the liberals.
    If you continue browsing her stories you’ll see that the only rape/abuse victims she cares about are either Christian, or ones whose abusers are Muslim and/or non-white.

  67. AlexanderZ says

    emergence #85
    Just label it as “junk” and be done with it.
    Besides, PZ will close this thread in a hundred comments or so.

  68. Tethys says

    emergence

    I can’t unsubscribe from this thread and my email is getting flooded with hundreds of notifications.

    If you scroll all the way to the top there is a link to tech support, who should be able to help you unsubscribe. It seems to be a glitch with the latest update.

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

    @AlexanderZ:

    Erm… I’ve already misunderstood one of CD‘s remarks, and I do try to space my stupidity out. Then again, CD did write a long comment…

    And hopefully by now the science is settled that going against *my* advice is not to be done!

    Cuz Right Reverend, dontcha know?

  70. chigau (違う) says

    theophontes
    Your friend does good work.
    While you work on the rain-proofing, don’t forget the paint-ball-launcher.

  71. AlexanderZ says

    CD #89

    Cuz Right Reverend, dontcha know?

    I do. I’m more iffy on the whole “FuckToy of Death” (feminist or otherwise) idea. I can’t even imagine the logistics involved.

  72. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    Ken Ham(ster) has launched, predictably, against Dolly Parton, for scolding Christians to follow their Bible’s advice: “do not judge lest thou be judged”, in support of LGBT rights. “Why NOT let everyone love who they want to love, why be so judgmental?”, to paraphrase her question. Ham takes umbrage (unsurprisingly) and immediately analogizes judging gays to judging murderers.
    to quote Hamster:

    I doubt Dolly Parton realizes it but in saying “if people want to pass judgment, they’re already sinning,” she is doing exactly what she tells Christians not to do—she’s judging! And I sincerely doubt that she, or anyone else for that matter, would say that we can’t judge murderers or thieves and call their behavior wrong.

    <chuckle, chuckle> Hamster never fails to make me laugh AT him, for failing to see his own reflection in the mirror, when he compares those he doesn’t like, to thieves. No need to describe the failure of his “analogy” here, but I’ll doit anyways. To put it in simplest terms, murderers and thieves HURT somebody, Gays wanting to LOVE a partner are the exact opposite of murderers. To compare those groups is an epic failure.

  73. Jacob Schmidt says

    Ham’s argument actually seems OK. It works just fine as reductio ad absurdum. If we accept that must not judge, we must accept that we must not judge murderers. We’re obviously allowed to judge murderers, so “we must not judge” must be a false premise. Therefore, the argument “we must not judge, so we must not judge gays” relies on a false premise.

    Of course, “judge not, that you be not not judged” is a biblical assertion, so Ham is forced to write up some special pleading on why his judging is OK: “So of course Christians must judge, but they are to do so in a right way and only after first repenting of their own sins.

  74. microraptor says

    So this afternoon I was running an errand and when I got to the place I was going, there were a couple of guys having this very lively conversation about minimum wage. See they were all in a twist about the idea that the government was going to raise the national minimum wage to $15/hour. This was a terrible thing, you see, because of beef. Specifically, if those people who were making minimum wage in big cities suddenly started making $15/hour, they’d suddenly start buying more beef. This would be awful because the demand for beef would go up, which would raise the price of beef, possibly up to as much as $8/pound. And this would be bad because at that price, many people out in the country would start going to farms and just buying whole cows to have them slaughtered and butchering the whole animal instead of going to the grocery store and buying meat by the pound. And this would be just terrible because… something. Probably Obama.

    Felt like sharing that.

  75. chigau (違う) says

    microraptor #96
    Yeah. That makes Sense™.
    .
    on another topic
    fuck mosquitoes

  76. says

    I don’t want to derail the Not quite home thread with this, so I’ll ask here- What the hell is brive talking about here:

    The point with Radford is that the core FtB bloggers and their followers were happy to accept the Stollznow “sexual assault” ball and run hard with it. Now it transpires it was a crock and a man’s reputation was run down for ideological motives. And yet you think you have the high ground in this debate?

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

    @Tony:

    A while back I heard about a document that Radford wanted Stollznow to sign. Stollznow didn’t. Radford posted it online.

    I’m a little unclear on the next bit, either
    1) Radford claimed that Stollznow signed it, then backed down when it was clear she didn’t but claimed publicly that Stollznow had privately communicated an intent to sign before backing away…

    or
    2) Radford merely claimed she had privately communicated an intent to sign before backing away…

    In either case, some people then circulated that Stollznow had signed this document and agreed that there had been no bad acts by Radford. These people insisted that the document posted proved that the accusation had been false (which, even if she had signed, would have done no such thing…I would merely have downgraded any certainty that those relying on public documents might have in judging the accusations true. Possibly by a long way. But it wouldn’t have “proved” the accusations “false”.)

  78. says

    @Tony, Crip Dyke,

    I’m similarly taken aback. I was presented with the claim that she’d suddenly retracted all allegations and signed a statement, yadda yadda yadda the other day. I’m still deeply skeptical, as Radford jumped the gun before, but as Crip Dyke said, agreeing to withdraw accusations under threat of a libel lawsuit really isn’t the same thing as saying that the allegations weren’t true.

    I’ve obviously got no right to know, and it’s entirely her own business, but I am curious, as I’ve seen a load of hyper-skeptics crowing very loudly lately, and declaring that we’ve now got proof that ruining the reputation of upstanding men is a far more serious problem than sexual assault. They’re pretty insufferable, and I’m seriously wondering why I’m bothering to argue with them at all at this point.

  79. Seven of Mine: Shrieking Feminist Harpy says

    @ Tony!

    Looks to me like the usual Slyme bullshit:

    Woman says she was assaulted = probably lying because who doesn’t want to make themselves a target for ‘pitters, really?
    Accused says he didn’t do it = clearly has no incentive to deny having sexually assaulted anyone

  80. Saad says

    Damn, I did not know Ally Fogg allows MRA scum on his blog to comment freely. I don’t want to post there so I just had to stop reading after the second misogynist asshole’s post.

  81. microraptor says

    @Giliell- I’m sure it’s older than that. I just thought it was funny given that they never actually got around to figuring out what the downside to having your own cow slaughtered was (maybe they were going to go to “and then I’d have to buy another freezer” and got sidetracked or something, but probably Obama).

  82. says

    Can someone give me a couple of best examples of the behavior of dictionary athesits and the use of that characterization? I’m finally going to start regular posting on my blog (I was holding off until I got some constructive criticism from tourette’s experienced persons) and while I have some sources. I’m interested in seeing the range of examples and uses of the term.

    A sample,

    The reason that this term is a pejorative is because what a dictionary atheist does is waste time and fill the conversation/argument space with useless noise, thus rationally annoying the shit out of many people. There are things connected to intense emotions to be discussed and they are screwing around ([not really “screwing around”, there is a strategic value in the behavior. see below]). The definition of the word atheist has absolutely nothing to do with what an atheist should do in a social context. Figuring out what an atheist should do requires other concepts to be attached to the concept of atheist. Words are merely proxies for concepts and atheists don’t need to be reminded of that concept, it’s fucking insulting and anyone wasting my time like that is not acting like a social ally.

  83. AlexanderZ says

    Caine #103

    Pye is back!

    Befriend him! Get him to start eating out of your palm.
    ______________________________

    Brony #106
    Wasn’t the “Not quite home” thread a good example of dictionary-atheism at work?
    Also, I agree with you about them ‘not really “screwing around”’. They are clearly some sort of base nihilists who have chosen atheism because it doesn’t pretend to impose some divine/external moral system which will be at odds with their vile behavior.

    They always make me wonder: are they so much dumber than the average religious predator that they don’t understand how to use religious infrastructure to their advantage, or are they so privileged that they don’t even want to pretend to be “moral” as the religious predators do?

  84. says

    @AlexanderA
    I’m sure there are good examples of using the strict definition of a word to avoid how the word is functionally used in the “Not quite home” thread. I’m still processing lots of little things that I saw Joshua Shafer do that had conflict-related implications and strategic uses. My comment was much shorter than it could have been.

    I’m interested in threads where the term is actually used, but the behavior in more recent threads is certainly useful to find more generalized examples. An important feature of social pejoratives is how old they are and the objective behavior they seek to reference. Community specific social dog-whistles (especially new ones) implicitly involve a struggle over what they mean, who it gets applied to and if the pattern they seek to identify is even a significant problem worth stereotyping. I’m contrasting dictionary atheist with SJW in terms of these issues. Here is one post I am using.
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/10/26/michael-luciano-makes-me-laugh/
    Where Michael Luciano does a little yelping at being called a dictionary atheist. There is nothing quite like the fights that explicitly use the words.

    They are clearly some sort of base nihilists who have chosen atheism because it doesn’t pretend to impose some divine/external moral system which will be at odds with their vile behavior.

    I think I see what you mean in terms of philosophy, but I’m not so sure that most people like this actually think in those terms (I’m not disagreeing, just explaining my angle on it). One of the holes in my education is my lack of direct experience with a lot of philosophy on it’s own terms. Because of the weird way my mind works I end up reverse engineering many philosophies by how I see people use them, and then looking for a fair comparison with a source on that philosophy. Can you explain what you mean a bit?

    A useful provisional assumption for me is to assume that at best people are unaware of the implications of their reasoning and that motivated reasoning results in terrible things done while feeling good about it. At worst you have functional psychopaths and sociopaths who use philosophy to justify their motivations. There is a spectrum in between.

    They always make me wonder: are they so much dumber than the average religious predator that they don’t understand how to use religious infrastructure to their advantage, or are they so privileged that they don’t even want to pretend to be “moral” as the religious predators do?

    I’m sure that many are dumb. in this case they are dumb for reasons that involve not really appreciating how their reasoning affects their system one behavior (the fast impulsive choices we make “without thinking”) in a best case situation. The other end of the spectrum is intentional malicious deceptive behavior. They think that they know why they do what they do, but their actions and information about groups of people and their actions reveal more than one set of behavioral profiles.

  85. says

    Caine @108:
    Are you having posting problems as well?
    I left a comment in the Not quite home thread and initially it said “your comment is awaiting moderation” (it’s visible now though), which was odd, both because I’ve used the same nym for years now, and I’d commented quite a bit in that thread already. Tech glitches-gotta love ’em (not really).

  86. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Are you having posting problems as well?
    I left a comment in the Not quite home thread and initially it said “your comment is awaiting moderation” (it’s visible now though), which was odd, both because I’ve used the same nym for years now, and I’d commented quite a bit in that thread already. Tech glitches-gotta love ’em (not really).

    I’ve been having some problems too. Preview usually doesn’t work. And sometimes I get the in moderation message for a perfectly bland post. Rather erratic as to when it happens.

  87. Akira MacKenzie says

    Tony! @ 113

    Oh, I agree, DukeDog7*/Egnor/Whoever-The-Fuck-He-Is has well past his chew toy expiration date. His presence is beginning to stink more than amuse.

    Time for PZ to take out the trash.

    *Sadly, my beloved Brittany is named “Duke.” I feel offended on his behalf.

  88. says

    AlexanderZ:

    Befriend him! Get him to start eating out of your palm.

    Oh, he’s befriended – I baked two pans of lemon poppyseed muffins for him yesterday. :D Pye is on the seriously spooky side, and I limit my intrusiveness to baked goods and photos. :D

  89. says

    Tony @ 110:

    Caine @108:
    Are you having posting problems as well?

    No problems posting, but I was dumped into moderation yesterday in the “would rape be okay now?” thread. Looks like they got fished out by PZ, I expect there was momentary haywire with the filters.

  90. says

    AlexanderZ, to clarify (about birds), I live in farm country. Grackles, Crows, Starlings and other birds are shot, baited (poisoned), and trapped. I would never do such a disservice to them as to teach them that any human was benign. The majority of “my” birds don’t fuss much about my presence, they’ve learned I’m the waitstaff, but I don’t push it.

  91. says

    @Tony #98:
    It got me curious, so I used a little google-fu. Unfortunately there is not much to be found. There are a few slymepit followers (including brive) who brandish about some signed agreement between KS and RB. As far as I can tell it is the same document that was once proven false. B but it was freshly posted by RB on twitter a week ago -clicky-

    However this time there is this official thingy that went out the same day -clicky-. IANAL and I would like to read what a lawyer has to say. To me it seems they must have reached some settlement out of court because:
    1) Radford could not have won the case, because it was dismissed with prejudice. That means it was NOT proven in the court that KS is a liar.
    2) Stollznow could not have won the case, because then RB would have to pay her attorney fees (at least that seems logical to my laymen mind) or court fees for filing frivolous lawsuit. But both parties are ordered to carry their share of costs.

    Assuming the signed document posted in the tweet is the real deal, it is troubling. KS could have simply buckled under the pressure and decided to sign it in order to avoid the costs and distress of a draged-out public court where RB would use every underhanded tactics there is. Viscerally I believe this to be more likely.

    It seems undeniable to me however, that on the surface this available evidence does actually point to KS being liar to outsiders and that troubles me.

    I am curious if there will be some reaction from PZ or Lousy Canuck. In the agreement is a plea to withdraw/ammend blog posts relating to this issue. If that plea were followed, it would also oblige slymepitters to delete their articles brandying KS as “liar” but they do not seem to realize it. Or they simply do not care.

  92. numerobis says

    emergence@85: if you’re using gmail, click on one of the emails. Click on “More” just below the gmail search bar. Then select “filter messages like these” and follow the directions. I tend to “Archive” and “label” so it all goes to a different mailbox than the main inbox.
    https://support.google.com/mail/answer/6579?hl=en

    Outlook and hotmail and whatever you’re using surely have equivalents.

  93. emergence says

    Thanks numerobis, I set up a folder for the emails to go to.

    While I’m here, I’ve been wanting to ask a few things to whoever can offer some ideas.

    It occurs to me that most people, including me, tend to just go through their day-to-day lives accepting that the various political, cultural, and scientific opinions that they hold are correct without actually having the necessary background knowledge to know why they are correct. For example, I “know” that the sun is fueled by nuclear fusion, but I honestly couldn’t name the experiments that confirmed that, or explain how the process of nuclear fusion works.

    I realize that it’s not really practical for everyone in the entire world to become an expert at every academic discipline in existence. In spite of that, I still feel like I should at least have enough knowledge of most important subjects that I can explain how something works or how something happened, and also be able to explain what evidence we have that whatever it is does exist or did happen. This is especially important for culturally or politically charged topics. If I don’t know how the sun works, that would normally be alright and I could accept the limits of my knowledge. However, if I don’t know how it works and there are people going around insisting that nuclear fusion doesn’t exist, then I have a problem.

    If whatever topic I’m ignorant of is also an active political issue, like a good number of issues discussed on FTB, then that’s even worse. My opinions on these issues could significantly affect how I live my life and what political decisions I make. If I haven’t actually personally studied these issues myself, I have no choice but to go to someone more well-informed than I am and just try to see if it makes sense to me. If there are two groups going back and forth over a particular topic, I’m stuck bouncing back and forth in who I think is right based on who responded to who last.

    Taking all of that into account, I suppose my questions would be both about how I can gain enough knowledge in all of these different academic topics to have an informed opinion on them, and what sort of topics I should focus on learning about. Which topics are important enough that I should have an informed opinion on them? Which types of sources should I read, watch, or listen to in order to learn more about these important issues?

  94. says

    chigau @124:
    I was on an Albany, NY news site earlier in the evening and it said the temp was 68°F. Hard to believe it’s nearly June with temperatures like that (even though that’s in the northeast part of the US).

  95. says

    emergence @122:

    Taking all of that into account, I suppose my questions would be both about how I can gain enough knowledge in all of these different academic topics to have an informed opinion on them, and what sort of topics I should focus on learning about. Which topics are important enough that I should have an informed opinion on them? Which types of sources should I read, watch, or listen to in order to learn more about these important issues?

    As a practical matter, I think there’s a limit to the number of subjects anyone can be sufficiently (however you define that) knowledgeable on. I think you should narrow down the subjects you want to learn about and then figure from there what information is most vital for you to know. Take abortion for instance (it’s fresh in my mind after posting a lengthy response to a blockheaded individual here). There’s a ton of questions one could ask about abortion. To name a few:
    • what is abortion?
    • what are the reasons women seek to obtain abortions?
    • what is the abortion rate for women in the U.S. (just to pick a country)?
    • do African-American women have more abortions than Caucasian women and if so, why?
    • what are the arguments for and against abortion?
    • what is bodily autonomy and why is the concept important to pro-choice advocates?
    • if Roe v. Wade were overturned, what practical effect would that have on women in the U.S.?
    • before Roe v. Wade, what options (if any) did women have for terminating a pregnancy?
    • would criminalizing abortions reduce the incidence of abortion?
    • what are the motives of anti-abortion opponents?
    • what are TRAP laws?

    There are many more questions that one could seek answers for regarding abortion. But my point is that I think it’s a good idea for you to identify the subject you want to learn about, and from there, decide what specific information you’re looking for. Rather than asking anyone else, ask yourself: what subject am I interested in expanding my knowledge of? After all, only you know what is important to you.

    As for sources, since you haven’t narrowed down the subject you want to learn about, it’s hard to steer you towards any specific source. One thing to consider when you do start researching any subject is evaluating the credibility of your sources.

  96. says

    Chigau:

    “frost warning”
    NOW???

    Oh no. It’s been on the cool side here, lots of rain (which we need), but no serious cold. Fuck, I hope a frost doesn’t hit, it will fuck up all the fruit trees.

  97. says

    Godsdamn, I just spent about 20 minutes out on the deck, shooting birds, and fuuuuck, it’s cold. Still can’t feel my fingers properly.

  98. says

    Tony:

    Key West installs permanent rainbow crosswalks.

    Very cool, and serious cheerful! I’d like to see those everywhere.

  99. says

    @emergence

    Taking all of that into account, I suppose my questions would be both about how I can gain enough knowledge in all of these different academic topics to have an informed opinion on them, and what sort of topics I should focus on learning about. Which topics are important enough that I should have an informed opinion on them? Which types of sources should I read, watch, or listen to in order to learn more about these important issues?

    My thinking on this issues tends to be a bit predatory since I’m often trying to deal with something that I find to be a problem with people that contribute to the problem. (How I act is another matter, this is strategy behind the scenes). Depending on your reasons for wanting the knowledge you might be able to swap a step out with something similar.

    1) Identify your 1-2 most important issues.
    2) Investigate the simple political messages used by the people on both sides of the issue.
    3) Use those messages to pull out subjects and topics that are now your general areas of education. If you are not sure ask a professional who would know. Lots of professionals have blogs and answer email.
    4) Beg, borrow or whatever you need from whoever or wherever you need to gain a basic education on those general areas (I shamelessly torrent). You can limit yourself to only educating yourself on only the things that directly pertain to the political messages in order to deal with them or support them, but in the long term this might create the habit that has been seen where a person just recites or posts things without engaging with respect to them. You want a general education so that you are prepared to give complete responses as well as being able to deal with tangents that might require other information.*
    5. Functionally use that knowledge by engaging people on the issues or finding other ways of using the information. Nothing internalizes information like it’s functional use because it gets lots of other memory processes involved in how it’s accessed. Discussing, arguing and fighting with people using knowledge all have their own skill sets and mental abilities that may need exercising (escalation, escalation, emotional control and clear thinking, many others) so you may need to be patient with your self here and be deliberate about it if you can.
    6. Polish your skills by adding effective rhetoric and emotional impact choices to your work.

    In parallel:
    -Learn the scientific method. (identify phenomena, read about phenomena, propose explanation for phenomena, test for something that must be true if explanation is accurate and make sure data can potentially disprove it, analyze results). Internalize it and make it a part of how you look at the world. Anyone can do science. This is a weapon and a tool.
    -Learn good reasoning skills. This is about how emotions and perception work together properly assess what you are seeing, what you should do in response to it, and how you should try to feel about it. Bad reasoning is a reason why people are hyperskeptical with respect to harassment and rape claims. Despite the reality around them motivated reasoning drives them react to things in irrational ways.
    -Learn good logical skills. This is about how reason directs a structured process for analyzing and working with reality. You need to be able to deconstruct an argument, look at the pieces as if it were a disassembled weapon that you are trying to learn about (because it is), and understand how the pieces work so that you understand if it reflects reality or not.
    -Practice being wrong/making mistakes and cultivate the habit of directly saying what you did, why it was a problem, what you are going to do about it, and what future you looks like. It sucks but people have to learn to endure these emotions and create alternate habits that create a good reputation. Describing what you did and why it was a problem is very lacking socially. The future you part is more vital than people realize because attacking an old habit is only half of the problem, overwriting that habit with something else is the other half. You need a plan.

    *Something that helps is to keep in mind that the brain stores what you know in a network fashion depending on how you learned it and use it. That means that knowledge connects to other knowledge and you have an advantage in learning something it it shares concepts with something else. Using that knowledge in lots of ways also increases the complexity in how you can access it. The result is well internalized information that you can mentally manipulate in many ways and for many purposes.

  100. says

    Adding to my previous post…

    Brian Pansky encouraging learning bayesian reasoning (a very good thing to learn) gets into another part of this. Trying to get better at dealing with information better often requires a complete shift in the way that you think. This is a long term benefit and something that often difficult in unpredictable ways depending on your psychology and background. It is also something that can be hard to accurately do in a targeted manner so learning some skills associated with certain thought patterns is the way to go.

    Many of us have habits of thought that make accurately assessing reality difficult. When you argue with people online you can eventually learn to spot things on that list and think of them in terms what people do when confronted by things they can’t deal with or don’t like. These generate fallacious thinking and more.

    For example we commonly encounter people who engage in “black and white thinking” or “polarized thinking”. They hyperfocus on an extreme (In response to criticism “I guess everyone here thinks they are perfect then!”, ignoring/missing substance mixed in with emotionally intense statements, “Not all X!”) or refuse to mentally fill a category with the diversity that it contains (Stereotyping, “That place is an echo chamber!”, “All ‘insert minorty’ ‘insert behavior/characteristic'”!).

    You need to cultivate precision in thought. Properly mentally modeling reality requires being able to think in probabilities, percentages, spectrums and more. Assume that every category in you mind contains subcategories. Assume that every concept in your mind connects to other concepts in a concept map. Learn to mentally model interactions of concepts with subcategories. This stuff might seem daunting, but it is structured and very worth it.

  101. says

    In my #133 it should say “Discussing, arguing and fighting with people using knowledge all have their own skill sets and mental abilities that may need exercising (escalation, descalation, emotional control and clear thinking, many others) so you may need to be patient with your self here and be deliberate about it if you can.”

    That’s actually kind of reflective of the oppositional psychology that I have to control. My inner demon wants to escalate twice XD

  102. AlexanderZ says

    Brony #109

    @AlexanderA

    I am the alpha and the omega!

    Can you explain what you mean a bit?

    I don’t think most dictionary atheists are capable of having any real philosophy. When I called them “base nihilists” I meant that they embody (partially or fully) the most vile aspects of moral nihilism and the early nihilist movement, but without any real thought or structured ideology that actual nihilists may have.
    In their arguments about the “neutrality” of atheism (which I technically agree with, but find it completely meaningless and inane when applied to an atheist movement) I see almost a sadistic desire to eradicate any morality whatsoever. For them nothing matters except their own fulfillment, similar to a nihilists’ approach to hedonism. It’s quite obvious to me that Joshua Shafer was getting a kick out of people’s reaction to his immorality, and had a sadistic (and sexual) pleasure of triggering rape victims as well as decent human beings to the point he felt compelled to post his dick pic. However, his actions aren’t that different from those of the Amazing Atheist or ThunderF**t. They hate for hatred’s sake and despise any limits (which they see as artificial) or restrains to their immediate desires. Which is why they are so obsessed with rape and feminism.

    I’m not so sure that most people like this actually think in those terms

    Probably not. I don’t entirely certain they’re capable of much thought at all. Just adult toddlers who thought that they have finally found a playroom with no rules, that throw a tantrum when they realize that rules are everywhere.
    ________________________

    Caine #115,117

    Grackles, Crows, Starlings and other birds are shot, baited (poisoned), and trapped.

    That’s sad. Still, it’s good to see that muffins are an acceptable way of inter-species communications.

    I never got to befriend a bird. The closest I came to that was with a crow that nested a few meters from my window. I watched it (I don’t know its gender, but the crow’s mannerism* reminded me of Granny Weatherwax so I decided that it’s a “she”) and she was starting to notice me. Sadly she didn’t survive the winter and neither did her chicks, as far as I could tell.

    *She was the top crow in the area and made sure that everyone knew that. She was entirely fearless and very argumentative, fighting with cats, cuckoos (she wasn’t fooled by their tactics and managed to remove their egg, much to the dismay of the cuckoo pair), other crows and anyone else. One time I remember when of my neighbors was feeding the stray cats the crow landed next to the cats and patiently waited in line for her serving. When the woman refused to feed her (even though she tried to mew like a cat!) she cawed a few curses and went away especially pissed.
    ________________________

    Tony! #126

    a lengthy response to a blockheaded individual

    Excellent comment. Too bad there are no more mollies, because you definitely deserve one!

  103. Tethys says

    Tony

    it said the temp was 68°F. Hard to believe it’s nearly June with temperatures like that (even though that’s in the northeast part of the US).

    Spoken like a true Floridian. :D It is currently 68 and raining here in Minnesota, which is pretty normal for late spring. Two days ago it hit the upper 80’s for the first time and I felt like my brain was melting. We do a pretty good impression of tropical Florida by July, but the 90 plus degree and humidity days are thankfully short-lived. I think I turned my AC on for three whole days last summer. I was planning to get my tomatoes into the ground today, but since Caine and Chigau’s weather will be my weather in another day or so I think I will hold off rather than risk cold damage. ( love the crosswalks too BTW)

  104. says

    AlexanderZ

    That’s sad. Still, it’s good to see that muffins are an acceptable way of inter-species communications

    Bagels can also facilitate intra-species cooperation. L once saw a small crow find a bagel in the parking lot and begin eating it. A larger crow came along , drove the first crow off, and took over eating the bagel. After a short time, the small crow returned with three colleagues, and the four of them proceeded to beat the shit out of the big crow and then divide the bagel amongst themselves, in roughly equal portions.

  105. says

    AlexanderZ @136:

    Excellent comment. Too bad there are no more mollies, because you definitely deserve one!

    Thanks.
    RIght now what I could really use is a job.

    Pardon me, I am going to go crawl into a ball in the corner and weep extensively for a while.

  106. says

    Warning: Long post ahead. Teal deer at the top.

    In light of recent discussions here, I am going to endeavour to begin the first steps on the path leading to a physical instantiation of the Commune. In order to do so, I need an idea of the actual scale of the project for budgeting and related purposes. Thus, the following question: who here is actually interested in physically relocating to the Commune? If yes, continue reading. If not, but you would like to be involved in the project in some supportive capacity, you might also want to continue reading.
     
    Outlines:
    The Commune will be physically located in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area in the U.S. (Other locations are possible, but 1)I can actually survey sites here personally and know where likely spots are located, 2)I like it here, and it’s pretty civilized for Yankeeland, 3) there is a majority of North Americans on here IIRC, and I don’t think I can get Canadian residency, and 4) I know that cooperatives are doable under Oregon corporate law.

    The Commune will be operated on democratic lines by the residents. (I prefer a consensus model akin to that of C.T. Buter’s On Conflict and Consensus, but others are possible)

    Monetary costs of residency will be present bu minimized to the greatest of the commune’s ability.

    There will be food production onsite in the form of hydroponic and other forms of gardening, and most likely goats, chickens, fish, and/or rabbits as livestock.

    There will be workrooms and areas on site fit for a variety of crafts, as well as storefronts to retail same onsite. The Commune will support members’ business ventures with capital and other resources as available.

    Structure will most likely rely heavily on cob, recycled cargo containers, and other recycled materials

    with some type of onsite energy production (probably a mix of solar, wind, and possibly biogas. I’d like onsite sewage reclamation as well; it’s a shameful waste letting that go into the river via the municipal sewers.)

    Other stuff too, but discussion is needed.

  107. says

    @AlexanderA

    I don’t think most dictionary atheists are capable of having any real philosophy. When I called them “base nihilists” I meant that they embody (partially or fully) the most vile aspects of moral nihilism and the early nihilist movement, but without any real thought or structured ideology that actual nihilists may have.

    I think that I see the connection. I was not considering the history with the philosophy (and was unaware of it). If Wikipedia is accurate here I think the biggest parallel is the oppositional reaction of a group within a social structure. If you break up cultural “standard operating procedures” a period of chaos follows with biases created by the sort of people involved. Stochastic effects from other norms, personalities, fads and anything else that might interact with that event.

    In that context pointing at a the definition of a word so defining to a culture (atheism) is an effective way of drawing attention in a general sense. The things they choose to attach to atheism at that point reveal their intentions, conscious or unconscious. Invoking the brain in a computer usually fills the mind with confusion by implying that there are too many unknowns to take meaning from what someone is saying. (I keep using the conscious/unconscious distinction because it lets me mentally keep the widest range of potential motivations in mind. Reality leads to precision.)

    In their arguments about the “neutrality” of atheism (which I technically agree with, but find it completely meaningless and inane when applied to an atheist movement) I see almost a sadistic desire to eradicate any morality whatsoever. For them nothing matters except their own fulfillment, similar to a nihilists’ approach to hedonism.

    I am sure some of it is sadistic. There will be people in there who delight on the pain and suffering that they cause. But there will also be people who view it as a necessary means, people who don’t care and people who might care if they actually knew about the pain they cause. I’ve had to learn a lot about how the internet and personal communication habits distort human interaction because we are relying on text.

    This is a complicated one for me because on one hand emotional effectiveness is very important in activism. So there are many ways that I refrain from pointing out the actual diversity in something, someone or groups of someones so that I do not hinder another person’s message. I’m only explaining here because the Thunderdome is less focused so I can get more detailed. It’s weird but I’ve discovered that I essentially run a complicated threat analysis (and other analyses) of each comment I respond to so that I can give the most appropriate and effective response. It’s a little exhausting so I don’t comment as much as I wish.

    It’s quite obvious to me that Joshua Shafer was getting a kick out of people’s reaction to his immorality, and had a sadistic (and sexual) pleasure of triggering rape victims as well as decent human beings to the point he felt compelled to post his dick pic.

    I agree that he felt emotions that led him to come back over and over. That is not necessarily pleasure of that sort, though it’s not so bad to have that as a default assumption given the sort of social situation we have. For example they could be genuinely confused and coming back over and over. I’m not totally sure on each specific behavior, but would agree that JS was getting some enjoyment out of some of it. The dick pick certainly.

    This would be another area where I choose to avoid pointing that out in a regular post though. Unless contained in a very carefully constructed comment it runs the risk of contrasting with other important messages. When changing society a certain amount of strategic simplification often has to occur to make that change efficient.

    However, his actions aren’t that different from those of the Amazing Atheist or ThunderF**t. They hate for hatred’s sake and despise any limits (which they see as artificial) or restrains to their immediate desires. Which is why they are so obsessed with rape and feminism.

    No one hates for hatred’s sake. Emotions are sensations tied to perception that inform us of how we should feel about what we are perceiving based on past experience. I have occasionally mentioned that I don’t really like the phrase “spreading hate” because I feel that it obscures the nature of the hate in terms of what it’s attached to. It’s difficult to effectively fight what you don’t understand. I find Thunderbutt just as annoying but I try to make my comments about how shitty his thoughts and actions are with respect to what he hates. It’s a dark thing to do but you can be pretty visceral about what you see and that is satisfying.

    Probably not. I don’t entirely certain they’re capable of much thought at all. Just adult toddlers who thought that they have finally found a playroom with no rules, that throw a tantrum when they realize that rules are everywhere.

    Keep in mind that childish behavior exists in adults because the parts of your brain laid down in childhood are scaffolds upon which your current brain and mind were built. Simpler logic and reasoning abilities appear first and your life experiences during that time can act like permanent biasing agents. Some of them are like mental scars. There is only so much anyone can do in the situation they find themselves, but not every extreme reaction is from someone who chose to keep acting in a particular way and kept doing it purely because they enjoy it. I’m not condemning anyone’s approach, only pointing out that some knowledge of the real structure of people can be very useful in coming up with new ways of interacting with them.

  108. says

    @140 Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Neat! I’ve thought of doing similar things…

    I probably won’t move there any time soon, and I’m not sure what I could really do to contribute from where I am, but I’d really like to hear how that goes. Will there be an associated blog or something?

  109. says

    Dalillama @140:

    In light of recent discussions here, I am going to endeavour to begin the first steps on the path leading to a physical instantiation of the Commune. Thus, the following question: who here is actually interested in physically relocating to the Commune? If yes, continue reading. If not, but you would like to be involved in the project in some supportive capacity, you might also want to continue reading.

    I never imagined anything like the Commune becoming a reality. I figured it was just the stuff of pipe dreams. Given the events of today, I can’t imagine I have anything to offer (moving would be great, but that’s waaaay off in the distance), but it does sound intriguing, so at the very least, I can offer support (in some way).

  110. microraptor says

    @Dalilama- So are you aiming for Portland itself, or thinking more about Vancouver, since the taxes will be different?

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

    When I’m actually earning money, I’d be happy to contribute in exchange for visitation rites.

    Yes, I used that word correctly.

  112. says

    AlexanderZ:

    One time I remember when of my neighbors was feeding the stray cats the crow landed next to the cats and patiently waited in line for her serving. When the woman refused to feed her (even though she tried to mew like a cat!) she cawed a few curses and went away especially pissed.

    What a nasty woman! That crow had every right to be pissed. Crows are so smart, and will happily engage in a relationship with a human, too.

  113. opposablethumbs says

    I would be awed and overjoyed to have a crow come and take food right from me. Closest so far are one crow and a couple of magpies that come and get some fruit and a mix of seeds and lard from one of the feeding stations. There was a robin a little while back that would take food from your hand without landing (sadly the current lot of robins are much shyer); to do anything like that with a crow would be amazing!

  114. says

    Opposablethumbs:

    I would be awed and overjoyed to have a crow come and take food right from me.

    Oh gods, so would I. I would be honoured.

  115. The Mellow Monkey says

    Dalillama

    I’d like onsite sewage reclamation as well; it’s a shameful waste letting that go into the river via the municipal sewers.)

    Have you looked into composting toilets? They’re not that difficult to construct and are wonderfully non-wasteful. Greywater collection for gently used water would be very do-able as well.

    As for relocating, I’m so utterly lost right now I don’t even know where I’ll be two months from now, so I’m not much use for information there.

  116. AlexanderZ says

    Tony! #139

    RIght now what I could really use is a job.

    That’s awful, Tony. I can only say that your analysis was correct – cutting shifts and unspecified “customer complaints” (when a manager wants to improve customer relations they will tell the employee what the complaints are so that the employee could improve their service. Not describing the complaints only makes sense when the manager wants to make sure the employee can’t respond to those accusations, whether real or not) are tools that many managers use to force employees to quit. When these measures don’t and the employee proves to be “too stubborn” those managers will escalate the situation by further harming the employee, including spreading unfavorable information to sabotage the employee’s future job prospects.

  117. emergence says

    I saw a couple of crows recently, maybe a few weeks back, when I was studying for finals. I was looking out of my bedroom window and noticed a large crow stomping on a smaller crow across the street from my house. After a few minutes of this, the larger crow picked up a set of sticks lying nearby and flew off. I guess the larger crow was beating up the smaller crow to steal his/her nesting materials. I don’t know why I didn’t go out sooner, and I kind of wish that I did. When I did go out, the smaller crow was flopping around on the ground and could barely move. I think that he/she had a ton of broken bones. I was able to walk right up to it without it flying away. It looked like it was so scared of me that it was going to hurt itself more trying to get away, so I walked to the other side of the street, called animal services, and went back inside.

    The whole dictionary atheist thing kind of bugs me for a number of reasons. The core concept I kind of accept, but how it’s put into practice is what I don’t like. I think that it’s true that atheism in and of itself simply entails a lack of religious or supernatural beliefs, but that’s to say that atheism is a component of a belief system, not a whole one. The dictionary atheists seem to think that having no beliefs at all consists of a belief system, or at least want to ignore that some of their beliefs, like misogyny or homophobia, make no sense and are remnants of religious fundamentalism. I think that it’s true that atheism in and of itself seems to come with several attached ideas, or at least lack of attachment to certain ideas. There’s no reason to support misogyny or anti-eroticism if you don’t have a religion that you get it from. (There’s no justification at all, and many religious people don’t, but you get my point.) In spite of that, I think that it’s wrong to think of “Atheism” as a monolithic ideology with exactly one set of beliefs that can be supported in the absence of supernatural phenomena. You run into this with religious people trying to say that atheism as a whole is bad because the Soviet government under Stalin was so horrible. Trying to say that the people on this blog are somehow ideological bedfellows with totalitarian communists or the like doesn’t make any sense. Secular humanists have distinct beliefs from Stalinists, or the conservative atheists that we argue against here, and trying to say that all atheists are identical, or should be identical, makes about as much sense as saying that all theists have the exact same beliefs. Dictionary atheism is still pretty stupid, though. A lack of belief in the supernatural isn’t enough to carry a personal belief system.

    I actually also have a weird question that’s kind of related to what I was talking about before. When I was younger, in my early teens, I occasionally went scuba diving. I remember using a sort of inflatable vest as a buoyancy control device, where I would let air from my tank into the vest to help me float at the surface or stay at a certain depth. Looking back, I’m not exactly sure how that worked. I don’t really understand why the air in my tank didn’t help me float when it was in the tank, but did help me float when it was pumped into the vest. All of the mass was still there, so I don’t really get how redistributing the mass made me float better.

    Actually, writing this comment I think I have an idea; the air in the tank is pressurized and therefor denser, but if the air is let out into the vest it can expand and lower in density, making me more buoyant.

    I don’t know if that’s right, but I still think that it’s kind of weird that I accepted that something like this worked even though when I first thought about how it worked it didn’t make sense. Imagine if I hadn’t used one of these things and seen that they worked. It seems like, in science, you have to constantly judge between what you have empirically observed and what you reason to be true. I’ve seen numerous times when science deniers or pseudoscientific cranks either reject solid empirical evidence based off of sloppy reasoning on why what the evidence indicates can’t be true. I’ve also seen numerous times when these same people will defend badly obtained experimental results in spite of the underlying math not making any sense.

    Sorry if this post seems a little bit disjointed or unfocused, I just had a few different things I wanted to say.

  118. says

    Commune life…

    I lived in a commune ages ago, and I was happy there. I’m not as tolerant of people now, and I’m too worn the fuck out to contemplate moving, let alone selling my house and property. For good or ill, I’m planted where I am right now.

  119. AlexanderZ says

    Dalillama #138

    the four of them proceeded to beat the shit out of the big crow and then divide the bagel amongst themselves, in roughly equal portions.

    So the crows can read, talk, use tools and they even discovered egalitarianism?
    I think they meet all the requirements for sapiens. Surely more so then certain humans *cough*Republicans*cough*.

    P.S.
    Good luck with your commune.
    ____________________________

    Brony #141,143

    Sorry AlexanderZ!

    Don’t worry. I found it amusing, that’s all.

    I think the biggest parallel is the oppositional reaction of a group within a social structure

    Exactly! Given the nature of our “deep rifts” the dictionary atheists are a sort of a reactionary, counter-revolutionary force (which reverses the roles of my historical analogy, but I hope you get my drift). I think this explains why any attempt to give positive (as in “we believe in…” as opposed to “we don’t believe in…”) meaning to atheism is met with such fervent resistance. They see this as a zero-sum game and any change, no matter how small, as a blow against their worldview.
    Frankly, they’re right. A more Atheism+ movement means that the Radfords and Shermers of the world will be without a job, if not behind bars.

    But there will also be people who view it as a necessary means, people who don’t care and people who might care if they actually knew about the pain they cause.

    Point taken. When I talk about dictionary atheists I talk about either the leaders or the more colorful or vocal specimens. Obviously there are others. As we speak there may be teenagers whose first step into atheism (or even science in general) is some TF video on Youtube. That’s unfortunate, but my approach to them is the same as to “low-key” Gamergaters and other followers of bad ideas: It doesn’t matter that your views or motives are not as vile. It doesn’t matter whether you represent a majority of that group or not. Because if you’re a quiet member of a group, then I will judge you by the words and actions of the most vocal members of your group. And I will continue to do so until you’ll be forced to distance yourself from that group.
    This approach worked on me when I was young. Or, more accurately, it was half of what made change my ways. The other half was patient, knowledgeable people who carefully explained to me where I was wrong and why. However, I would not have listened to the latter if I hadn’t been sufficiently destabilized by the former. Yes, it’s a two-pronged approach, but it’s useful to prod your opposition with the sharper end when they aren’t ready to listen.

    I’m only explaining here because the Thunderdome is less focused so I can get more detailed. It’s weird but I’ve discovered that I essentially run a complicated threat analysis (and other analyses) of each comment I respond to so that I can give the most appropriate and effective response. It’s a little exhausting so I don’t comment as much as I wish.

    I mostly restrict myself to the Tdome because the Lounge thread is moving faster (I’m a slow reader) and I’m afraid of being disrespectful to people by not reading fully all of the comments. That’s the same reason why I usually don’t respond to the longer threads. (Since Tdome is more of a do-(almost)anything say-(almost)anything place I feel comfortable enough to allow myself to develop a bit of a backlog here, but I always try to read as much of the conversation as I have time to).

    This would be another area where I choose to avoid pointing that out in a regular post though. Unless contained in a very carefully constructed comment it runs the risk of contrasting with other important messages.

    When I started editing Wikis the first comment I got was “be bold!” I think it’s applicable to other contexts as well :)

    No one hates for hatred’s sake.

    “Hate for hatred’s sake” was one of slogans of the nihilist movement. You’re correct that there is always more to it, but as you said yourself, “When changing society a certain amount of strategic simplification often has to occur to make that change efficient.”
    I don’t know exactly what goes on in the mind of ‘pitters and their heroes and their ilk (though I gave some guesses in my previous comment), but given the magnitude of their hatred I think it’s best to focus on it rather than attempting to psychoanalyze each and every ‘pitter.

    I’m not condemning anyone’s approach, only pointing out that some knowledge of the real structure of people can be very useful in coming up with new ways of interacting with them.

    Point taken, though I doubt that I can bring myself to interact calmly with certain people.
    ____________________________

    Caine #151
    First of all, I’m sorry for the horrible structure of that comment. I omitted some words and, well, it’s just a mess. I have no idea what I was thinking.

    What a nasty woman!

    In her defense, she was angry that that crow was usually eating the corpses of kitten that were rundown in the parking lot. Part of the crow’s morning routine was to slowly walk by all of the parked cars, peeking underneath them to find dead cats. Sometime she would caw at passing cars when she saw them slowing down to let a dog or cat pass.
    Not that excuses the woman – the crow never hurt living cats (unless they tried to climb her tree, and even then she always tried to scare the cats away rather than wound them).

  120. AlexanderZ says

    emergence #156

    The core concept I kind of accept, but… it’s wrong to think of “Atheism” as a monolithic ideology

    That’s why I said that in theory I agree with them, but disagree in practice. The bare concept of atheism is very minimal, but we’re never talking about atheism. We’re talking about an atheist movement, or atheist conventions or atheist agendas or atheist books etc. All of these things are composed merely of the pure concept of atheism, but are a combination of atheism and the desires, ideas and worldviews of people who support atheism.
    Any atheist interaction or product is therefore composed of both the atheist idea as well as all the necessary ingredients for an action to take place (why do I desire to act in the first place? Why do I care? What do I hope to achieve?) and thus it can no longer apply to the dictionary meaning of atheism. Just by writing “I am an atheist” you already become something greater.

    It seems like, in science, you have to constantly judge between what you have empirically observed and what you reason to be true.

    It depends on how you view things. I always hated water and was aware of its force, I was also aware of the force of the wind. So in my mind floatation was never a question of mass (an unfamiliar concept at the time) but rather an interaction of forces – each pushing in different directions. That’s also why I didn’t have a problem with metal ships – I knew, based on my bath toys, that force is differently distributed based on the shape of the object and that object with similar weight but different shapes aren’t as easy to sink.
    Basically, all science is teaching yourself to think appropriately. Sadly, while pressure and density were not a problem for me, I couldn’t get the proper “thinking mode” for other subjects. (For example, I can solve trig and calculus, but I don’t really understand them – I just apply known methods until I reach a solution).

  121. says

    Tony!

    I never imagined anything like the Commune becoming a reality. I figured it was just the stuff of pipe dreams.

    It may yet be; I make no promises.

    Given the events of today,

    Actually a part of the the impetus behind my decision. A lot of us seem to chronically be in situations like that, and if I can’t fix the world I can at least try to help my friends.

    I can’t imagine I have anything to offer

    Your presence is all that’s under question, and all you need offer. (OK, technically your presence and your commitment to helping keep the place going, by whatever means; it’s not like there’s a shortage of bars in Portland where you could work and bring in money; more on this later)

    (moving would be great, but that’s waaaay off in the distance), but it does sound intriguing,

    Well, funding and building it are going to take a while too; to clarify my original question, for both yourself and others, it is as follows:
    Would you, given the opportunity, move to a place such as I described? If so, how many people are in your household? Once I have a rough headcount for people who need to be accomodated, I can determine what the actual funding needs are (currently I’m estimating ~25,000 per person, and also how large a site is needed. After that, I plan to investigate the availability of housing grants through various public and private entities, as well as possible crowdfunding options and loans. The next step will be the foundation of a corporate body of some type (probably a 501 (c) but I’m not certain yet). I will need some other people to also be on the board of such an organization, at such time as it begins to exist. Such a body will have an easier time getting such loans than we would as individuals. Various details now nebulous cannot be solidified without further details still to be collected.

    so at the very least, I can offer support (in some way).

    I’m going to go ahead and add you to the headcount, then?
    microraptor
    Portland Metro, on the Oregon side of the river.
    The Mellow Monkey

    Have you looked into composting toilets? They’re not that difficult to construct and are wonderfully non-wasteful. Greywater collection for gently used water would be very do-able as well.

    Greywater reclamation is a given, yes. Composting toilets are a possibility, but I also have some ideas involving a methane digester in the basement.

    As for relocating, I’m so utterly lost right now I don’t even know where I’ll be two months from now, so I’m not much use for information there.

    *hugs*

    AlexanderZ

    Not describing the complaints only makes sense when the manager wants to make sure the employee can’t respond to those accusations, whether real or not) are tools that many managers use to force employees to quit.

    And also creating a paper trail so they can claim someone was fired with cause and try to screw you out of unemployment benefits (a previous employer did it to me, but their assholery got the better of them; the employment department couldn’t find a number that got in touch with anyone who could discuss the issue).
    Caine

    Commune life…

    I lived in a commune ages ago, and I was happy there. I’m not as tolerant of people now,

    I do not anticipate a total re-creation of the type of communes popular in the U.S. a few decades back (and at intervals previous to that); while there will be communal amenties of various sorts, individuals and/or families will also have separate apartments/households; (L and I have limited tolerance for people as well) something of a hybrid of a commune of the American type, a housing cooperative, and a worker’s cooperative. I also hope to claim it as a scalable prototype of an in-city arcology (for which another name will have to be coined, since I don’t feel like picking a fight with Soleri’s heirs, silly gits.) to increase density while maintaining livability.

    and I’m too worn the fuck out to contemplate moving, let alone selling my house and property. For good or ill, I’m planted where I am right now.

    A lot of folks here are in similar places in life, hence my call for a headcount. If we really all did want to come, we probably could fill a small arcology.

  122. The Mellow Monkey says

    Dalillama

    Would you, given the opportunity, move to a place such as I described? If so, how many people are in your household?

    Given the opportunity, I would. The communal aspects coupled with privacy (plus the food and energy production, etc) are the things I’ve always wanted and doubted I could have. I’m a household of one, though were it feasible I suspect my brother and mother would want to follow me.

  123. chigau (違う) says

    I’ve been clicking through the older ‘Related’ links.
    holy time-sink
    .
    .
    I miss Smoggy Batzrubble.

  124. says

    I do not know how I deserved the honor, but my little czech blog just got a visit from someone who calls themselves “Unhiddenness” and he (yes, I have evidence indiceting he is he) left one comment “talk in English, f*(slur used for male gays)*ott”. I used some google-fu and found out that while not a slymepitter, he hates SJW in general and PZ in particular.

    Of course he got banned immediately and his comment should disappear automatically in a few hours from the front page. But it really confuses me. What kind of person reads comments on blog written by someone they hate, and then considers it appropriate to go over to someone else’s blog only to insult them because the blog is written in language they do not understand? There are more possibilities, but I think we can strike the possibilities: well adjusted, rational, intelligent and a few more.

    My mind boggles. I cannot empathise with such a person, this kind of behaviour is just too stupid for me to comprehend sober and possibly even when drunk to stupor.

  125. says

    I see now that this sentence somehow disappeared from my previous post:
    The evidence suggests he went to my blog from this very thread.

  126. says

    Charly @ 164, don’t worry about it – I get a lot of referrers from Thunderdome and other threads here, and the occasional idiot will comment. The last one left “you fuck children in the ass” on a post. They seem to think that sort of thing is witty.

  127. says

    [threadkrupt]

    It’s getting near to that time of the year again. Fourth of June. Next Thursday. ‘Merkins have the Fourth of July. Independence Day. Xina has something less celebratory. The opposite actually. The day that the petty dictator Deng Xiaoping gave in to his darker impulses and sent in the army to massacre his fellow citizens. The incident has entirely defined China ever since. Nobody wants to address the 800 pound gorilla in the room, nobody wants to tackle the skeletons in the closet. The country cannot escape the gravity of its own crimes. Glorious to get rich, it uses ruses to distract awareness that it stands on bloody red feet of clay. “If only we stand one more day!” Such faith in a future that will never provide the redemption it seeks. It has become a race to the bottom: nationalism, repression, belligerence … anything besides humanity, or imagination.

    But then there’s also:

    These people.

    &
    These sentiments.

  128. says

    @emergence 156

    I think that it’s true that atheism in and of itself simply entails a lack of religious or supernatural beliefs, but that’s to say that atheism is a component of a belief system, not a whole one. The dictionary atheists seem to think that having no beliefs at all consists of a belief system, or at least want to ignore that some of their beliefs, like misogyny or homophobia, make no sense and are remnants of religious fundamentalism.

    I think that the reasons for acting like a dictionary atheist are found in what use of the behavior does (like a logical fallacy) because the functional use of the behavior is to try to deal with a particular belief or behavior they do not like that is associated with the word atheist. At its most basic these people simply see something that they do not like and are bringing up the word atheism with respect to what they do not like. It’s the self feeling contaminated, afraid or angry at something connected to social emotions. What matters for intent and strategy is how and why each person appeals to that word and definition.

    I think that it’s true that atheism in and of itself seems to come with several attached ideas, or at least lack of attachment to certain ideas. There’s no reason to support misogyny or anti-eroticism if you don’t have a religion that you get it from. (There’s no justification at all, and many religious people don’t, but you get my point.) In spite of that, I think that it’s wrong to think of “Atheism” as a monolithic ideology with exactly one set of beliefs that can be supported in the absence of supernatural phenomena.

    This is complicated by how it is that the atheist community exists. We have gathered in response to something else. There are people who natively do not believe in gods, but the emotions attached to such a concept(s) are still there and need attaching to things. Most of us define ourselves with respect to the community that we left and are opposing. Any meaning in what it is to be an atheist exists in the summation of the individual reasons for being an atheist and many of us are atheists because of our experience of religion which is where any potential biases (none are requirements) in what we should do as a group. Many women have a lot to say with respect to how religion contributed to their atheism, and many of those reasons apparently also apply to the atheist community. There are layers to how the whole dictionary atheist thing works. A social problem affecting both our community and the culture as a whole is a thing that needs addressing and regular social maintenance, like an “upkeep cost” to use a gamer-friendly analogy.

    You run into this with religious people trying to say that atheism as a whole is bad because the Soviet government under Stalin was so horrible. Trying to say that the people on this blog are somehow ideological bedfellows with totalitarian communists or the like doesn’t make any sense. Secular humanists have distinct beliefs from Stalinists, or the conservative atheists that we argue against here, and trying to say that all atheists are identical, or should be identical, makes about as much sense as saying that all theists have the exact same beliefs. Dictionary atheism is still pretty stupid, though. A lack of belief in the supernatural isn’t enough to carry a personal belief system.

    Authoritarians love to associate awfulness with easy or simple symbols. To be an authoritarian is to want the simplest set of social tools to manipulate for the sake of efficiency. It’s easier to grab a personality or a named social group and oppose them instead of figuring out what specific beliefs and actions were a problem in what historical context. So you will see simple uses of recent history for functional purposes. They are lazy, but there is more to it than that. Deviating from that “laziness” is emotionally difficult because the biology tells us awful horror stories about what might happen if we deviate.

    Interestingly I seem to see that the defining feature mental bias of that sort of thinking process is to grab symbols pertaining to the whole individual/community divide. That is a major player in how human bias works at the social level.

    I actually also have a weird question that’s kind of related to what I was talking about before. When I was younger, in my early teens, I occasionally went scuba diving. I remember using a sort of inflatable vest as a buoyancy control device, where I would let air from my tank into the vest to help me float at the surface or stay at a certain depth. Looking back, I’m not exactly sure how that worked. I don’t really understand why the air in my tank didn’t help me float when it was in the tank, but did help me float when it was pumped into the vest. All of the mass was still there, so I don’t really get how redistributing the mass made me float better.

    A key to understanding this to see how we often center a concept around ourselves instead of the biggest contributor to the dynamics of the situation, water. Accurately describing buoyancy requires the chemistry and physics of water. Imagine water to be a large collection of little magnets with – and + arranged such that as many – area lined up with as many + as they can. The force keeping a boat afloat is more accurately described as the displaced water exerting a force on the volume that the boat takes up relative to its mass (so density is involved). The water is actively pushing on the boat as a large collective.

    A small tank filled with something that could be a gas in a liquid state does not disrupt this arrangement very much. That something in a gas state will take up a larger volume and displace more water and thus be pushed on by the water more.

  129. says

    A general statement first to explain why I keep bringing Tourette’s Syndrome up and a request.

    I’m not trying to drag things to me but rather the ideas and concepts that I spend a lot of time working with are relevant, and TS (and ADHD and OCD) is honestly the biggest defining feature of how I interact with the world. It’s directly related to the issue of dictionary atheists because of how it shapes mind and relates to my aptitudes on a human level that developed as a side effect of dealing with the details of the experience of TS. In many ways interacting here is one of the hardest things a person with TS can do if you consider the common complaints (impulsiveness involving social insults, aggression, sex and functional use of social rules. But oddly enough my strengths involve knowledge about the nature of insult, obscenity, aggression, dominance. It’s like the iconic angel and demon sitting on one’s shoulders except that you understand that it’s one creature and it resides in what is normally implicit unconscious mental processes.

    I see what insults and insulting characterizations do on a functional level that helps with strategic analysis because I can break them apart into pieces and figure out the function of each piece. A part of me loves figuring out how to manipulate a social situation using things that are invisible to most people and that is a terrifying thing to discover about yourself and why many of us have OCDs related to social rules. You can be a person who wants to be and do good with a mind that is always reminding you of just how bad you can be if you wanted to. I believe that in many ways it is at least part of authoritarianism and conservative thought. I have the mind of the enemy and I want to use it for good. Biology often yields difficult moral and ethical issues.

    The request is, just how useful am I around here anyway? With that up there as the mental standard that I measure myself by around here I very often have no idea just how helpful, useful or detrimental that I am. I am apparently skilled in the very thing that can cause so much trouble so “walking on eggshells” takes on a meaning that makes me want to appeal to an obstacle course filled with sharp rusty metal edges and lots of lemon juice.
    The reason I often post so much is because I see a lot that bears talking about. But then everyone else probably feels that way too.

    @AlexanderZ

    Don’t worry. I found it amusing, that’s all.

    No problem. I tend to pay attention to these things out of a sense of curiosity for how I engage in “small errors”. Those tend to be suggestive of the nature of larger issues. My text errors and omissions are actually very interesting in relation to my psychology. It’s probably complicated for most people but I’m actually quite casual about my nature as a biological object, but I spend a lot of time trying to recognize the problems society has with interacting on that level. We have a long history of fucking up when trying to determine what we are relative to one another as human objects.

    Exactly! Given the nature of our “deep rifts” the dictionary atheists are a sort of a reactionary, counter-revolutionary force (which reverses the roles of my historical analogy, but I hope you get my drift). I think this explains why any attempt to give positive (as in “we believe in…” as opposed to “we don’t believe in…”) meaning to atheism is met with such fervent resistance. They see this as a zero-sum game and any change, no matter how small, as a blow against their worldview.

    Frankly, they’re right. A more Atheism+ movement means that the Radfords and Shermers of the world will be without a job, if not behind bars.

    Very true. So I’m wondering where you and I intersect in our ways of looking at this because we will both be missing and possessing parts that the other does not.

    They are reactionary (what they react to) in the sense of having behaviors consistent with what we have seen from “our” traditional “foes”, the religious (other things too). This whole schism has been very interesting from the perspective of discovering just what sorts of things atheists have in common with the religious as well, as how we are different from other atheists. Problems with authority and it’s functional use seem to be a major one to me.

    So as a group skilled in the use of reactionary psychology, we are currently being challenged by people who are more concentrated in their use of reactionary psychology, and lack a social narrative such as the one the religious possess. So they chose what biology and evolution has left them given what we have abandoned as a group.
    But there will also be people who view it as a necessary means, people who don’t care and people who might care if they actually knew about the pain they cause.

    When I talk about dictionary atheists I talk about either the leaders or the more colorful or vocal specimens. Obviously there are others. As we speak there may be teenagers whose first step into atheism (or even science in general) is some TF video on Youtube. That’s unfortunate, but my approach to them is the same as to “low-key” Gamergaters and other followers of bad ideas: It doesn’t matter that your views or motives are not as vile. It doesn’t matter whether you represent a majority of that group or not. Because if you’re a quiet member of a group, then I will judge you by the words and actions of the most vocal members of your group. And I will continue to do so until you’ll be forced to distance yourself from that group.

    Here I will again emphasize that I am not trying to be seen as criticizing, but only contrasting as a person who has a very different way of seeing and interacting with this situation. I don’t want to take anything away from anyone but rather I am offering other tools that might be useful.

    It is wise to confront and strategically deal with the people who most strongly define a group in specific ways (colorful and vocal specimens). I support and often think about how to properly shame a group for allowing specific behavior within its midst. And that requires a certain level of stereotyping. We do have to prioritize what defines a group when moving from ourselves to social activity, “human flocking” is a thing I pay a lot of attention to. So here I refrain from contrasting with “our side” when it comes to social messages as often as I can.
    But I have seen “pitter” start to be applied as a more general epithet connected to kinds of behavior (not a lot, but some. And not you! This is a more general statement.). That is useful when confronting people directly connected to the Slymepit, but risks alienating people that visit and don’t know anything about the Slymepit, and instead simply share behavior that is of more broad cultural importance. I do not want to take social weapons away from anyone, but these are the sorts of things that I tend to notice on a human level so I am hoping that it lets people modify their own weapons to be more efficient. We must be careful that our messages to local cultural conflicts are separate from our messages to the culture universally.

    This approach worked on me when I was young. Or, more accurately, it was half of what made change my ways. The other half was patient, knowledgeable people who carefully explained to me where I was wrong and why. However, I would not have listened to the latter if I hadn’t been sufficiently destabilized by the former. Yes, it’s a two-pronged approach, but it’s useful to prod your opposition with the sharper end when they aren’t ready to listen.

    I hope that I have been successful in showing that I am not trying to judge what worked for you because that is often important to best communication. In all honesty I try to be aware of just how different my perspective is from that of everyone else (literally about 99% of humanity) despite the fact that like everyone else I grew up thinking that I was “just like everyone else”. I will try to remember what worked for you because that is important to add to what I normally do.

    I mostly restrict myself to the Tdome because the Lounge thread is moving faster (I’m a slow reader) and I’m afraid of being disrespectful to people by not reading fully all of the comments. That’s the same reason why I usually don’t respond to the longer threads. (Since Tdome is more of a do-(almost)anything say-(almost)anything place I feel comfortable enough to allow myself to develop a bit of a backlog here, but I always try to read as much of the conversation as I have time to).

    I often avoid the lounge because I am a person with hostile, aggressive and assertive instincts. I also have to read slowly, as well for my own reasons (ADHD). It is a place I should post in more often for the practice of controlling such, but since this place (Freethought blogs) is on the bleeding edge of social change I often avoid it because I can be more “socially dynamic” than I often wish.

    I think the general theme of the lounge is to simply just be as friendly and helpful as you can despite any other mental burdens. It is a very valuable social arena to have available.

    When I started editing Wikis the first comment I got was “be bold!” I think it’s applicable to other contexts as well :)

    Let me know what you think after you act bold and the results leave you on a bed with an anxiety/panic attack, and cold sweats for three hours (and realizing that other people still have more cause to complain then you). I do not know your background, but I must take on a certain position on this site as a white male with a more “traditional” psychology. Being something on a “hyper-male omnisexual” is not enough to differentiate me usefully, I’m not sure why but would rather focus on what FTB tends to focus on out of simplicity. If FTB evolves into something that lets me explore that I will do so as well.

    I feel the emotions of criticism very strongly. The scientific literature says I am more compatible with positive reinforcement but that is a thing I would not dare to try to suggest around here. It is not a thing that I can communicate to everyone in a way that would avoid conflicting with the normal social flow. I suspect that people on the autism spectrum feel similarly (and I feel that TS is like autism + externalized behavior like aggression).

    “Hate for hatred’s sake” was one of slogans of the nihilist movement. You’re correct that there is always more to it, but as you said yourself, “When changing society a certain amount of strategic simplification often has to occur to make that change efficient.”

    I don’t know exactly what goes on in the mind of ‘pitters and their heroes and their ilk (though I gave some guesses in my previous comment), but given the magnitude of their hatred I think it’s best to focus on it rather than attempting to psychoanalyze each and every ‘pitter.

    It’s good to know the origin of the phrase, I enjoy learning that sort of thing.

    As for the pitters, I am always obsessed with understanding them. A piece of my mind is just like them. Oddly enough I want to understand them for their own sake as well as mine and “ours” (I tend to encourage that instinct). But this might be a place where the things I have to do on a human level are necessarily different from what you and “we” do. I must analyze each comment from a context that allows me to avoid my excesses, and capitalizes on my advantages.

    Point taken, though I doubt that I can bring myself to interact calmly with certain people.

    Fair. And something that I hope I did not implicitly critisize.

  130. chigau (違う) says

    On another topic
    all you squirrels, magpies, crows, blue jays, whatevers
    could you settle your differences more quietly?
    jeez

  131. says

    chigau, what makes you think it’s a lot of different critters? It might just be one mockingbird.

    We, on the other hand, have the catholic church carnival in full concert mode down the road. Loud bad covers of oldies so moldy you could use ’em for penicillin. If they play that don’t stop believing song again, I may smash something.

  132. Rob Grigjanis says

    chigau @171: Our local red-winged blackbirds don’t go quiet for anyone, including ravens, hawks and people. We’ve all been driven away during nesting period.

  133. chigau (違う) says

    Anne, CCL
    hhmmmm
    the mockingbird would be bi tri quadri-locating
    too horrifying to contemplate
    I wish large, red-eyed ravens on your local christfest.

  134. chigau (違う) says

    Rob Grigjanis
    The only red-winged blackbirds I’ve met are very polite.
    Must be a hemisphere thing.

  135. Rob Grigjanis says

    emergence @156: Some basic buoyancy theory. Hope it helps.

    In a fluid in the neighbourhood of the Earth’s surface, the pressure at depth d is ρ₀gd, where ρ₀ is the fluid’s density and g is the acceleration due to gravity at or near the Earth’s surface.

    Picture a rigid upright cylinder, with length L and radius R, immersed in the fluid so that its top is at depth d. Suppose the density inside the cylinder is ρ₁.

    We can calculate all the vertical forces acting on the cylinder. The force of gravity is just the mass times g downwards, and the mass is the volume times the density, so the downward force due to gravity is πR²Lρ₁g.

    The downward force due to the fluid’s pressure at the top of the cylinder is its area times ρ₀gd, which is πR²ρ₀gd.

    The upward force due to the fluid’s pressure at the bottom of the cylinder is its area times ρ₀g(d+L), which is πR²ρ₀g(d+L).

    So, adding all the forces gives a net upward force on the cylinder of

    πR²ρ₀g(d+L) – πR²ρ₀gd – πR²Lρ₁g = πR²Lg(ρ₀ – ρ₁)

    If ρ₀ is greater than ρ₁, the net force is upwards, and the cylinder rises. If ρ₀ is less than ρ₁, the net force is downwards, and it sinks.

  136. Rob Grigjanis says

    chigau @175: Hmm, pretty sure Ontario and Alberta are in the same hemispheres, no matter how you cut them. I can only conclude that Ontario red-winged blackbirds are made of sterner stuff than the Alberta variety.

  137. chigau (違う) says

    Rob Grigjanis #178
    For some reason, I thought you are in the Antipodes.
    ..
    The SO went on a bird-walk in the river valley the other day and saw some.
    They don’t come to my back yard.
    The fuckingmagpies and fuckingbluejays would make short work.

  138. Rob Grigjanis says

    chigau @179: I remember the magpies from my time in Edmonton. Intelligent, malevolent beasties. We have blue jays, but none nesting nearby.

  139. Rob Grigjanis says

    Caine @181: Yes, the one in my back yard always gives me fair and loud warning before it attacks me.

  140. says

    Cross posted from the Lounge:
    I feel like I just asked (even though it was last year), but can I request that the Horde signal be raised? I just cooked my last eggs, sausage, and grits. I have very little food left in the house, and as I mentioned upthread, I have $412 I have to pay in rent by Thursday. The other bills can wait until the end of the month, but food and rent is essential. I have enough pet food to tide me over for about a week more, so that’s not vital. Obviously, I understand that not everyone can help out, and there are no guarantees on any amount, but anything anyone can give would surely be of help.
    My PayPal email account is t*a*n*t*h*o*n*y*v*@*y*a*h*o*o*.com (without the asterix, but with the @). Thanks all.

  141. says

    APOPO, a wonderful non-profit organization trains giant rats to sniff out bombs and tuberculosis:

    The Belgian non-governmental (NGO), non-profit organization APOPO has made it their incredibly admirable mission to train the highly intelligent African giant pouched rats aka HeroRATS to use their noses for such humanitarian purposes as expediently detecting bombs in post-conflict countries and detecting tuberculosis in developing countries, thus potentially saving the lives of thousands of people. The rats are trained from a young age and are rewarded through positive motivation.

    APOPO trains the rats through operant conditioning, using a combination of a click sound and food rewarding. Training starts at the age of 4-5 weeks, with socialization. The young rats are weaned from their mothers and APOPO’s trainers begin socializing them to the sights, sounds, and textures of the human world. Once our rats are six weeks old, click training begins, where we teach the rats to associate a click sound with a food reward – usually banana or peanuts. After two weeks at this stage, the rats learn that click means food, and are now ready to be trained on a target scent. After these steps, our rats specialize in a target scent in either TNT for detecting landmines or TB for detecting TB in human sputum samples. After odor imprint, the complexity of their tasks gradually increases until they reach the final training stage where they have to do a blind test in order to be accredited.

    As of this date, none of the HeroRATS have died in the line of duty and the trainers take special care to apply sunscreen to the rodents’ ears when they are working outside. Anyone wishing to contribute to APOPO can either donate directly or “adopt” a HeroRAT with an ongoing subscription.

    There are videos at the link.

  142. says

    Ophelia’s blog just keeps getting more and more ridiculous. She’s harping on and on and on about Hebdo. (Obsessed, much?)

    According to her, it’s “not racist” to further promote a racist trope, if you’re “really” targeting the racists.

    It’s “dishonest” to point out that the long history of depicting people of color as apes/monkeys/subhumans is relevant to the depiction.

    And I’m “stupid” (“thick”, “dense”, whatevs) for standing my ground in pointing out a racist trope, and that the use of that trope is doing a whole lot of splash damage.

    But, hey, it’s “satire”, and a person of color “approved”, so I guess that makes it okay, and us stupid Americans are too dumb to really understand it anyway.

    Frankly, the way she keeps defending a dehumanizing depiction of a person of color (“it’s a joke!”), I don’t want to hear her utter one single word of complaint about the Slymepit’s “satire” of her. Hypocrite.

  143. chigau (違う) says

    I guess if you dig a deep enough hole, it can bottom-out in the Thunderdome.

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

    I guess if you dig a deep enough hole, it can bottom-out in the Thunderdome.

    Um, chigau? I don’t really understand this. I guess largely because I’m uncertain of your intended referent/s.

    Care to educationalize me?

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

    @WMD Kitty, #188:

    I agree with her that the racism or not of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons cannot be judged separately from their French context, but I have no idea why she thinks there’s no reasonable debate in France about the racism-or-not of the cartoons.

    If she had stuck to the point that picking the moment when Charlie’s staff were killed for expressing their point of view to chastise Charlie’s staff for expressing their point of view is sick and twisted, is gratuitously harmful to those close to the people killed, and is both laughably and distressingly unnecessary since to need 650 words of opinion in the Sun to make you aware that some people thought Charlie dealt in harmful generalities, you would have to have missed the fact that some people who thought Charlie dealt in harmful generalities kinda killed a few people who worked at Charlie just a little bit (and she made this point, though never this thoughtfully if my sporadic reading of B&W caught her most elaborate expressions of it). If you’re interested in multiple opinions about Charlie’s cartoons, and you’re consuming European mass media, you were already aware that strongly divergent opinions on Charlie’s work existed. That was inevitable from the coverage of the threats and the coverage of the 2012 firebombing long before the coverage of this year’s murders.

    It can thus be reasonably argued that choosing this historical moment to chastise Charlie’s staff for harmful cartooning was a harmful choice on its own.

    So, sure. That’s fine. It would have been much better if those folk had either seriously studied the cartoons and their context and written an informative article about the different opinions of Charlie’s most knowledgeable fans and most knowledgeable critics or talked about the attack, but avoided doing both in the same article and scrupulously avoided any implication that it is in any way possible to publish a political cartoon whose drafting or distribution deserved death.

    But we can take that position without taking the position that there’s no reasonable case to make that the cartoons are racist. I wouldn’t make that case, b/c I’m not familiar with the cartoon’s context. My time in France was quite a number of years ago, and not even a full summer. Longer than most vacations, sure, but neither nearly long enough nor nearly recent enough for me to be a fair judge of what’s going on, much less a competent partisan for one or another point of view on Charlie’s work.

    I’ve never seen Ophelia say that she’s a long time reader of Charlie or that she has particular expertise on the dynamics of racism, religious oppression, sexism and/or class oppression as they are uniquely expressed in France. So why be so confident that there’s only one reasonable interpretation? Why dis people for having another interpretation?

    I suppose, WMD Kitty, if you’d written a major post on your own blog, even a blog with ridiculously low traffic, it might be reasonable to go off on you for doing that other thing – using the moment in which Charlie’s staff were murdered for expressing their views to amplify your criticism of their expressions.

    But when Ophelia addresses the topic of the presence or absence of racism, classism, sexism, and religious oppression between Charlie’s covers, I think it comes across badly to use that language for someone who disagrees in the comments on her posts.

    Of course, I didn’t read anything between you & Ophelia, so I don’t know. Maybe you insisted that Charlie’s repeated use of striped paint demonstrates capitulation to conservative authority. That would be dumb. Not least because striped paint.

    But at this point, sadly, I’d be unsurprised to find Ophelia engaging in behavior towards at least some of her commentariat that I think is ill-thought and unfair.

  146. says

    I’m not going to do that whole Charlie Hebdo stuff again. I’ve written the long and the short of it back then. It’s still there to read.
    Here’s a recent post about racism in France and I recommend browsing that site for more. In short: Yes, French people of colour consider the CH stuff racist. I don’t see how white American’s opinion trumps that.

  147. says

    What happened to my comment?

    Again.
    I’m not going to do all the CH stuff again, it’s still available in the old threads. Here’S a recent article on everyday racism in France, there’s a lot of other articles on that site. In short: Yes, French people of colour think it’s racist and I don’t see how white Americans’ opinion trumps that.

  148. says

    OK, apparently those comments go down the memory hole. Probably the URL:
    Final try
    I’m not going to cover the CH stuff again. It’ still there in the old threads to read. In short, French people of colour think that it’S racist, so I don’t see how whte Americans’ opinion trumps that.
    I’m trying to link to the article with do not link, not because I don’T want to give them traffic, but because of spam filter

    Recent article on everyday racism in France. There are many more about CH and such on that site.

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

    Your comments don’t go down the memory hole, Giliell. I simply don’t have enough knowledge of France, its politics, its culture, or its expressions of oppression to effectively translate what you’ve sent my way into something I would call an opinion worth listening to on the Did Charlie Publish Racist Cartoons or Not? question.

    I tend to think that they did publish racist cartoons, but I don’t see why my opinion with such limited information behind it, should be relevant to anyone. I might share my limited info and analysis with my kids since I have a responsibility to educate them, but for anyone else, they’ve got much better sources available.

  150. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    WMD Kitty,
    IMO, you’re going to have to walk away while you’re still just disappointed. Arguing with her isn’t going to do anything but exhaust you and piss her off. Shit got ugly fast over at B&Ws, didn’t it? Leave it behind you. It isn’t worth it. The discussion is worth having, but not in that location or with those people.

    Chigau “blessed my heart” over personal shit xe didn’t care to hear about and could not grasp some time ago and thus ended my respect for Chigau. Fuck ’em, WMD Kitty. Don’t let it get to you. Keep in mind that xe had Chaz’s back at every turn. Don’t give it another thought that xe’s sniping at you.

    I was also disappointed in Josh but I don’t think the “pet gay” thing was called for.

    I’ve, as The Dread Pirate Roberts suggested, gotten used to disappointment.

  151. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Why can’t I just keep my mouth shut?

    WMD Kitty,

    I also don’t appreciate Ophelia siccing her pet gay on me.

    Not cool.
    Very much so.

  152. says

    CD
    The “down the memory hole” was meant to refer to the fact that I’d typed that bloody comment three times and every time it disappeared when I posted it.
    Of course not everybody can have a totally nuanced opinion on everything.

  153. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    Dalillama, Schmott Guy,
    I’ve wanted to do something like that for ages. It sounds wonderful. I’m definitely interested but I’ve got a large family, a house that will be a bear to sell and not much money. I’m not sure how it could be done or if I’m even one of the people you’re asking, but I’d like to know more.

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

    @Giliell, #198:

    Ah. Okay. I get it now. Thanks for explaining.

    In good news, still eating veggie burgers with jerk sauce and lettuce fresh from the garden. Every other day or so. It’s just so good and so convenient.

    Tonight I whipped up a batch of brownies.

    Tomorrow I’m making up another jug of ginger-sesame-peanut-chile sauce. Then I’m going to make lots and lots of bean-thread, soba, and rice noodles over the next 2 weeks and enjoy them like the Brontës.

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

    Well, I guess we’ll have to see if I’m accused of doing horrible things to Brian Pansky again.

  156. opposablethumbs says

    Giliell, I have a great deal of respect for your observations (in general, and in this case). And I totally agree with what’s been said generally about huge problems with cartoons/jokes etc. that may aim for ironic/anti/post/etc. racism/sexism and end up reinforcing what they think they’re criticising to the point that they become just another part of the problem.

    But I do think it’s pertinent to add that French org SOS Racisme, which has a very long history of fighting racism in France (since 1984. Made up largely of French PoC and currently headed by French PoC Dominique Sopo. They were the originators of the “touche pas à mon pote” campaign back in the ’80s) has spoken out a lot in support of Charlie Hebdo (e.g. http://sos-racisme.org/a-ceux-qui-ne-veulent-pas-etre-charlie/ (Sopo calls CH France’s “biggest anti-racist weekly”)).

  157. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Trigger warning for violent rape:

    .
    .
    .
    In 2012 a young woman was raped at a party. Due to horrific circumstances the case made it to the papers. In fact, it’s still in the papers, with a new story every couple of months, speculating what exactly she was raped with.
    It looks like she has to keep reliving the horrific experience, and be dragged through papers for YEARS because examiners can’t conclude what she was raped with, in order for the prosecutors to decide whether to also charge the rapist with attempted murder or not.

    I want every single reporter, editor and whoever wanted and allowed printing of that story in that manner over and over again FIRED.
    Sure, write about the absurdities of our legal system. But not like that, this is just sensationalism that comes at the expense of a traumatised young woman and probably others that can recognize themselves in her.

  158. opposablethumbs says

    …. aaand clicked too soon. Meant to say, it’s not just white foreigners who say CH is anti-racist while French PoC (generally speaking) say it’s racist; there looks to be a lot of French PoC who also think CH is anti-racist. It’s not like SOS Racisme would hesitate to denounce CH if they thought CH was fucking up.

  159. Anthony K says

    I also don’t appreciate Ophelia siccing her pet gay on me.

    Wow. WMD Kitty can fuck right off with that.

    I don’t think the “pet gay” thing was called for.

    No? Just for edification, in what context would it be called for for someone to say such a thing?

    Not cool.
    Very much so.

    Finally, for fuck’s sake.

  160. says

    Crip Dyke @ 193 –

    I suppose, WMD Kitty, if you’d written a major post on your own blog, even a blog with ridiculously low traffic, it might be reasonable to go off on you for doing that other thing – using the moment in which Charlie’s staff were murdered for expressing their views to amplify your criticism of their expressions.
    But when Ophelia addresses the topic of the presence or absence of racism, classism, sexism, and religious oppression between Charlie’s covers, I think it comes across badly to use that language for someone who disagrees in the comments on her posts.

    But I didn’t use “that language” if you mean what WMDKitty said @ 188 –

    And I’m “stupid” (“thick”, “dense”, whatevs) for standing my ground in pointing out a racist trope, and that the use of that trope is doing a whole lot of splash damage.

    She was lying when she said that. I never called her stupid or thick or dense or whatevs – I told her to investigate the cartoon she cited, and when she continued to talk about that cartoon while obviously having no idea what it was about, I said this:

    You haven’t learned a single thing about the cartoon, have you. You have no clue what it was about, what it meant, who the target was, anything. You’re just assuming you know, even though you’ve been told you don’t. You have it backwards. You’re 100% wrong on the facts.

    I didn’t call her anything, I said what she had failed to do and what was wrong with her current state of knowledge.

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

    @Ophelia Benson, #208:

    I didn’t call her anything, I said what she had failed to do and what was wrong with her current state of knowledge.

    I’m not reading that stuff, so I can’t take your word for exactly what happened any more than I take WMD Kitty’s word for exactly what happened. As far as I know you might have forgotten (and thus not quoted) something that is both more directly on point and more supportive of the charge that you characterized WMDK as “stupid” or similar. Likewise, WMDK could be wildly off base.

    However, in my sporadic reading of your blog since the January attack on CH, you do seem to feel comfortable expressing unreasonable certainty, and the language you quote to defend yourself from the assertion by WMDK that you called WMDK some version of “stupid,”

    You’re 100% wrong on the facts.

    doesn’t do anything to dispel that impression I have developed based on my own readings of your words.

  162. says

    WMDKitty @188:

    Ophelia’s blog just keeps getting more and more ridiculous. She’s harping on and on and on about Hebdo. (Obsessed, much?)

    That’s a shame.

    According to her, it’s “not racist” to further promote a racist trope, if you’re “really” targeting the racists.

    (note-whether or not this is Ophelia’s actual position is unknown to me since I don’t follow her blog, but I’ll assume for the purposes of this comment that it’s accurate)

    Here is a nice look at CH’s comics –

    What everyone gets wrong about Charlie Hebdo and racism:

    To broach this question [what CH critics get wrong about its satire–me!], it helps to start with a cover that is not specifically about Islam — we’ll get to that later — and that has been widely circulated among Charlie Hebdo’s non-French critics as one of the magazine’s most obviously racist.

    The author uses CH’s October 2014 cover for this example (click the link to see the cover)

    Here’s what the cover shows: a group of headscarf-wearing, pregnant Nigerian women shouting “Don’t touch our welfare!” The title reads, “Boko Haram’s sex slaves are angry.”

    On the surface, then, it would appear that the magazine is ridiculing Nigerian human trafficking victims as welfare queens; hence the outrage among non-French readers. However, that is not actually what the cover is conveying. In many ways it’s saying the opposite of critics’ interpretations.

    French satire, as Vox’s Libby Nelson explained, is not so straightforward as it would seem; jokes usually play on two layers. In this cover, the second layer has to do with French domestic politics: Charlie Hebdo is a leftist magazine that supports welfare programs, but the French political right tends to oppose welfare for immigrants, whom they characterize as greedy welfare queens cheating the system.

    What this cover actually says, then, is that the French political right is so monstrous when it comes to welfare for immigrants, that they want you believe that even Nigerian migrants escaping Boko Haram sexual slavery are just here to steal welfare. Charlie Hebdo is actually lampooning the idea that Boko Haram sex slaves are welfare queens, not endorsing it.

    That’s what’s tricky about two-layer satire like Charlie Hebdo’s: the joke only works if you see both layers, which often requires conversant knowledge of French politics or culture. If you don’t see that layer, then the covers can seem to say something very different and very racist.

    I definitely wouldn’t have been aware of the two layers. But then I’m not the greatest at noticing satire.

    Later, he says:

    You don’t need me to walk you through the way that these women are drawn to see the racist tropes in their depiction — tropes that come directly from colonial-era racist ideas about Africans as sub-human, and tropes that are unnecessary to make the magazine’s point about welfare. And the emphasis of the cover, making light of Nigerian victims of mass rape in order to skewer French politicians, is uncomfortably revealing. The very real suffering of these women is treated insensitively, as a low priority.

    This is a regular pattern in Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons, even if you see the two-layer satire they often play at. People of color are routinely portrayed with stereotypical features — Arabs given big noses, Africans given big lips — that are widely and correctly considered racist. These features are not necessary for the jokes to work, or for the characters to be recognizable. And yet Charlie Hebdo has routinely included them, driving home a not-unreasonable sense that the magazine’s cartoons indulged racism.

    Further, the portrayal of people of color, as well as Muslims of all races, has been consistently and overwhelming negative in Charlie Hebdo cartoons. Reading Charlie Hebdo cartoons and covers in the aggregate, a reader is given the uniform and barely-concealed message that Muslims are categorically bad, violent, irrational people. This characterization indulges and indeed furthers some of the widest and most basic stereotypes of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims. That would certainly seem to be racism in its most unmistakable and transparent form.

    (There is a counter-argument among Islamophobes that Islam is not a race and thus racism against Muslims is impossible. I have heard enough sweeping statements conflating Islam with Arabs to know that Islamophobia is often experienced and indeed expressed as about race, but if you prefer, you may read “racism” as bigotry here.)

    I don’t think it’s unreasonable to criticize CH for making use of racial stereotypes. If Ophelia rejects that, I hope she has strong arguments for doing so.

    @192:

    I also don’t appreciate Ophelia siccing her pet gay on me.

    Even though this is the ‘Dome, I’m going to say this as nicely as possible-
    This. Is. Not. Fucking. Cool. At. All.

    You can be mad for Josh (I’m assuming it’s him since they are friends, and he does comment over there, but if I’m wrong, apologies). You can criticize him for the things he says. You can criticize him for defending Ophelia. But suggesting that he’s her “pet”-even in jest…even if by “pet”, you don’t mean “non-human animal owned and cared for by a human being”-treats him as a thing. Some ‘thing’ to be unleashed and sicced on others. Some ‘thing’ that is under her control. Some ‘thing’ that follows her commands. That’s just disgusting to me and I think you ought to apologize for that comment.

  163. says

    CD @203:

    Well, I guess we’ll have to see if I’m accused of doing horrible things to Brian Pansky again.

    I’m still in the dark on why he feels that way.
    In any case, I imagine he skipped right past your comment explaining what I meant about the logical implications of atheism. Shame too, as I wasn’t able to clarify until a short time ago, and your comment appeared long before mine. Had he read yours, he would understand the point I was making (since you laid out exactly where I was coming from).

    That’s assuming you’re referring to that comment in the first place. Apologies if I’ve made a mistaken assumption.

  164. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I did , in fact, call WMDKitty “thick”, and I did, in fact, call her a liar. Because her behavior was brazenly dishonest right out there in public where everyone who was trying to talk to her could see she wasn’t being honest. You are reading the words of a woman who claims to be intimately concerned with justice and identity issues who thinks it’s apt to go “sic her pet gay.” I can’t even be angry at that because it’s so ridiculous and silly. But that’s who you’re dealing with.

    There’s a real, genuine problem in our conversational circles. Overly confident assertions of bigotry and overwrought condemnations of character resulting from genuine, if difficult and fraught, conflicts of opinions and priorities in politics. That’s real. And I’m not going to not say anything about it. If you find that disappointing, then I suggest you prepare to be very disappointed in me for the foreseeable future.

  165. says

    I also don’t appreciate Ophelia siccing her pet gay on me.

    Congratulations on making the most absolutely reprehensible comment of the year so far. Stay tuned, though, there’s still half the year to go; someone, somewhere, might prove themselves to be more awful.

  166. Okidemia says

    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk- #195 and #196.

    In short, French people of colour think that it’S racist

    I fear this position is too short.
    See opposablethmubs comments @204 & 206. Please try to give a look at Dominique Sopo’s take on Charlie Hebdo.

    As far as I can remember, French pocs of recent origin (i.e. whose parents were not French citizens) were fully part of CH readership until the mid 90’s and very few would have ever claimed CH to be racist at the time.
    Shift occured during the mid 90’s and 2001.
    But please notice that pocs currently making the claim that CH is racist always conflate racism and disdain for (muslim) religion*, and their position IS that islam cannot ever be criticised.
    This take was introduced as a result from the increase in communautarism, and the issue is more complex than simple categories (because indeed, communautarism is a response to different kinds of racism).

    I’ve read the link you proposed and it is very interesting, but nowhere does it claim that CH was directly racist nor that it was directly responsible for the current tenses due to both communautarism and racism in France.

    *There’s a huge difference between specific racist harassment of muslims and atheist critics of religions, but the conflation was of course a political move used to silence atheists.

  167. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    More disappointment: Yes, I am explicitly saying that there is a dynamic going on that ensnares good people in a terrible bind. There is a certain level of, shall we say, currently-mainstream-received-opinion among leftists that is conversationally enforced in an increasingly disturbing way. It’s “agree with this or you’re being racist,” or “if you defend this or bring this up, it’s transphobic.” It goes on all the time lately.

    1. This is real, and it’s poison. If your first reaction to this is to think I’ve gone full slymepit and that I’m uttering gibberish no better than “WITCH HUNTS GROUP THINK SEE HOW FEMINISTS ARE” then get it out of your system right away.
    This problem is real and difficult. It exists. I did not become an unreconstructed slymepitter for acknowledging this. If you can’t allow that this dynamic may actually be happening without reflexively writing it off as ‘one of our own going right wing’ then you have a lot of work to do. I won’t be nursemaiding you through it.

    2. This phenomenon is not new. It happens in cycles in every social justice flourishing. It can be difficult to see outside of it because it’s emotionally raw for all participants. And it does not require that one set of participants be THE BAD ONES against THE PURE ONES. Reasonable people with understandable conflicts among their political and ethical commitments are all caught up in it. If you can’t handle that ambiguity without declaring your conversational opponent a thoroughly bad, very bigoted evildoer you need to go put on your grown-up pants.

    I like and respect so very many of you, including those of you I’ve fought with over select issues. But I don’t like this dynamic and I’m going to be objecting to it a lot more explicitly than some will like.

  168. says

    Y’know, the underlying attitude behind WMDKitty referring to Josh as Ophelia’s ‘pet gay’ is bothering me quite a bit more than it did upon initially reading it. It’s actually got me rather pissed off, so I’m retracting my niceness.

    WMDKitty-you frequent social justice spaces. You claim to be interested in SJ issues. You damn well ought to know how homophobic that statement is. I don’t know if you claim to be an LGB ally, but if so, I question how much of an ally you are after saying something so reprehensible. While Josh said it doesn’t bother him (which is his right), did you give a moment’s fucking thought to how others might feel?
    You can fuck right off with that shit.

  169. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Oh, it’s disturbing as hell, Tony, no doubt. It takes much more than a silly tantrum insult like that to actually make me hurt, but that doesn’t mean I think it’s OK.

  170. says

    Crip Dyke @ 210 –

    I’m not reading that stuff, so I can’t take your word for exactly what happened any more than I take WMD Kitty’s word for exactly what happened. As far as I know you might have forgotten (and thus not quoted) something that is both more directly on point and more supportive of the charge that you characterized WMDK as “stupid” or similar.

    I read all my comments on that thread before I posted the comment above, to make sure. They are few and short. I nowhere called WMDKitty stupid or thick or anything like it. If you’re too lazy or hostile to do the same, that’s your problem. It’s not a good reason to claim I have no idea what I said on my own thread.

  171. The Mellow Monkey says

    I also don’t appreciate Ophelia siccing her pet gay on me.

    While there are many arguments to be made about Charlie Hebdo satire and many different opinions–and the opinions of French PoC are going to be the opinions that matter most–I’m having a hard time thinking of a good argument that defends the above sentence within a social justice context.

    Really, really hard time

  172. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Crip Dyke: I am *astonished*. You have a duty to do better than that! You do not get to say “Well, I’m not going to read that, but I think it’s plausible that you might have said that based on other things of yours.”

    I actually can’t believe I’m reading that from you. I know you. And I think I know you to be an ethical person. What in the world?

  173. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Yeah, but it’s just mean, reactionary Ophelia, or Josh, or [insert other people equally implausible as stand-ins for “unreconstructed bigot”]. They probably said something just awful. Do not be misled into thinking it might be that WMDkitty was egregiously wrong. Her “pet gay” comment should not be read to indicate that she’s anything less than scrupulously trustworthy. It’s reasonable to assume that she is, and it’s just those bad/mean other people.

    Slow clap.

  174. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    “[Sycophantic agreement, with enthusiasm,” he squawked, mindlessly.

  175. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Frankly, the way she keeps defending a dehumanizing depiction of a person of color (“it’s a joke!”), I don’t want to hear her utter one single word of complaint about the Slymepit’s “satire” of her. Hypocrite.

    That deserves emphasizing. This is who WMDKitty is. A moral trainwreck.

  176. says

    Oh yes, I’d forgotten that part – distracted by her calculated insult of you, I guess. That’s such a lie. That is not what happened. I never said “it’s a joke!” I told her to investigate the cartoon so that she could discover the facts about it. Chris Lawson finally did it for her.

  177. says

    Chris Lawson finally did it for her.

    And quite well & convincingly, I thought. Given that explanation, it’s astonishing that anyone could stick to the position that the cartoon is racist. I want to just think that emotions were high and it was late, but given the “pet gay” comment, I cannot really believe that.

  178. opposablethumbs says

    Okidemia

    But please notice that pocs currently making the claim that CH is racist always conflate racism and disdain for (muslim) religion*, and their position IS that islam cannot ever be criticised.
    *There’s a huge difference between specific racist harassment of muslims and atheist critics of religions, but the conflation was of course a political move used to silence atheists.

    Thanks for the info, I didn’t know about that. Do you have any links handy? (I’m not sure where to look, tbh!)

  179. Okidemia says

    Tony! The Queer Shoop #211

    I definitely wouldn’t have been aware of the two layers. But then I’m not the greatest at noticing satire.

    The very writings in the journal nevertheless make it clear what their stance is. CH has always been more than comics/cartoons etc. The readership is essentially anti-racist, anti-homophobic (and probably anti-transphobia as well) and anti-sexist, but they would naturally be kind of third-wave, that is, including large amounts of transgressive hiptsteristic and hysteristic kind of willingness to shock out and be gross for the free sake of grossing out. The aim was to push some subjects in frontlines of the media arena (before internet existed). I remember people would never have been speaking about many of their controversial takes. But eventually ordinary people did, from time to time, speak together about things they are never giving a thougt on.
    .
    I simply wish their writings were translated, so that people go further than misunderstood cartoons. From here, it seems that mostly republicans have tried on them in the USA, but it’s definitely not their natural readership, quite the contrary. It sounds as fake as possible –it is very hard to believe.
    Despite the cross-cultural gap, I’d rather see the readership equivalent kinda as pharyngulites themselves: strongly secular and willing to battle down religious biggots, highly sensitive to social justice issues with special mention to immigrants, backing up bi- homo- and trans-sexualities, and commenting on vacuous politics from electoral applicants. Tell me if I’m wrong, but the only point they have not in common with the commentariat here is that their majority-wing was leftist, including but not limited to communists and libertarian socialists (both are not highly regarded here, but remember there’s both a generational and cultural prospective to consider on this).

  180. says

    Okidemia
    I’m not saying ALL French PoC.
    They are obviously not a monolith. But many do and that’s good enough for me to be at least very careful.
    Really, I’m not getting into that discussion again. I have no spoons for it at the moment and I’ve written extensively on it before.
    I’m also pretty careful about traditional leftist people/publications. That’s probably because I grew up in that milleu. I wary of their well intentioned racism.

    +++
    Wait, is anybody still surprised about WMD Kitty being WMD Kitty? I could type down how this is going and mail it to somebody so you can compare it afterwards and notify Randi that I want my million dollars.

    +++

    You have a duty to do better than that! You do not get to say “Well, I’m not going to read that, but I think it’s plausible that you might have said that based on other things of yours.”

    Sure, there’s a good chance you’re going to get some transphobic shit there which is well tolerated by the blog host, but you really MUST do this.
    Entitlement much?

  181. Okidemia says

    opposablethumbs #229

    Thanks for the info, I didn’t know about that. Do you have any links handy? (I’m not sure where to look, tbh!)

    Unfortunately I mostly speak from self experience on that very subject, but for sure I’ve already read a bunch of writings making that point explicitly. It has a lot to do with anti-racism organisation power struggles between the 90’s and the new millenia (mainly SOS-racism), because I’ve been around and they are associated with political movements I’ve been unofficially trending in*.
    But I can provide some links as I see them from now on. One question though: do you read French? (maybe not fluently but you’d have to read with some ease).
    .
    *This is for my love of side stories (and inside stories): I don’t remember it happening quite exactly, but the odds that I met Dominique Sopo are actually quite high. He’s been in the ‘Youth Socialist Party’ (‘mouvement de la jeunesse socialiste’-MJS, the current equivalent of youth movement relating to Democrats in the USA) at a time I was satellite in an org called “Socialism from bottom”, a trotskist organisation that was secretly trying on (deep) entryism in the MJS. Well, the moral of the story is that while I was ‘revolving in the fun’, I’ve just been a political joke (maybe not even a funny one), when he eventually became a credible potential candidate. If he ever runs for presidency, I’ll certainly vote for him.

  182. says

    Fuck you, Josh.

    You called me “dishonest”, you called me a “liar”, and YOU HAD NO REASON TO DO SO.

    I asked you to prove it — you haven’t.

    I commented IN GOOD FAITH, only to be attacked by Ophelia and her little pack of annoying attack chihuahuas.

    I NEVER SAID OPHELIA CALLED ME STUPID. (So y’all can fuck right off with that deliberate “misunderstanding”.)

    Oh, and if anyone’s offended at me calling little Joshy here Ophelias “pet”? Consider his actions. He licks her fucking boots on command, and leaps to her defense without bothering to think about what he’s responding to. Any disagreement with her is automatically “dishonest”, no evidence required.

    Fuck you, Josh. Fuck Ophelia. And fuck the entire B&W commentariat. I’m fucking DONE with that den of hypocrisy and lies.

    But I must thank you, Josh and Ophelia, for showing your utter dishonesty and meanness to the rest of the crowd. I can only hope they see you for what you are. Lying hypocrites of the highest order.
     
     
     
     
     
    …and I’m still waiting for proof of my alleged “dishonesty”.

  183. Okidemia says

    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk- #231

    But many do and that’s good enough for me to be at least very careful.

    Wise enough. Being careful is what should be, the perfect default to hold. I’m just asking you not to throw out the baby with the bath waters. I trust you to do that whatever your opinion turns to be.
    .

    I’m also pretty careful about traditional leftist people/publications.

    Definitely the right approach. To their defense, a publication that includes left (democrats), far left (commies :), ultra left (anarchists) and non-affiliated (greens) is definitely not a traditional leftist outlet. At least you can acknowledge that… Charlie Hebdo generally escaped any dogmatism because of that inner diversity (and still escapes, but admittedly the nature of the journal changed after the events, as I conclude from the latest issues). I’ve been around many tradi-leftists, I know what you mean… :-)
    .
    I understand that you don’t want to dwell back into that. Whenever you feel we can (even if it is never :), I’ll tell you about the specific cartoon you spotted. I’ve done my homework (because it’s a recent one and I did not know the specifics about it). I won’t be making it in a TD spirit (I don’t feel like I need arguing with you or anyone else here), rather I give you the context as it was, and you do whatever you want about it. And it doesn’t matter if we choose different takes about it.

  184. says

    Oh, and Giliell, this:

    Wait, is anybody still surprised about WMD Kitty being WMD Kitty? I could type down how this is going and mail it to somebody so you can compare it afterwards and notify Randi that I want my million dollars.

    was uncalled for. All I did was point out something racist, and call attention to it. I WAS ATTACKED FOR IT.

    If you think I’m “dishonest”, why don’t you provide evidence of my alleged “dishonesty”?

    YOU CAN’T, because I don’t deal in lies and deception. It takes too much energy to construct the lie, remember the lie, and then maintain the lie. I don’t have the time or energy for that shit, thanks.

    My “pet gay” comment WAS out of line, and did a lot of splash damage. For THAT, I’m sorry. It was uncalled for.

    I’m not cool with racism or any other -ism.

    Why should I approve of something that depicts people of color as sub-human? Why should I believe it’s “ironic”, instead of straight up racism, especially given the nasty history of dehumanizing people of color by equating them to monkeys? And why, why, why should I be expected to just ignore something that’s basically saying, “Half of your family is sub-human”? Why should I be expected to excuse it because “it’s satire”? Would I be expected to walk past such “satire” taking aim at the LGBT community? Or at women? Or at the disabled? No, and this is no different. I refuse to walk by and ignore things that dehumanize people.

    Or is it only okay for YOU to get angry?

  185. says

    Josh @213
    “Overly confident assertions of bigotry and overwrought condemnations of character…”

    Yes, that’s exactly what you did by assuming dishonesty right out of the gate instead of giving my comment an honest reading.

  186. says

    WMDKitty @233:

    Oh, and if anyone’s offended at me calling little Joshy here Ophelias “pet”? Consider his actions. He licks her fucking boots on command, and leaps to her defense without bothering to think about what he’s responding to. Any disagreement with her is automatically “dishonest”, no evidence required.

    However Josh acted is irrelevant.
    You used dehumanizing language against someone, and you don’t even have the goddamn decency to apologize.

    You can fuck the fuck right off.

  187. says

    WMDKitty @236:

    My “pet gay” comment WAS out of line, and did a lot of splash damage. For THAT, I’m sorry. It was uncalled for.

    It seems I was hasty in my prior comment. Thank you for apologizing.

  188. microraptor says

    Post 188

    And I’m “stupid” (“thick”, “dense”, whatevs) for standing my ground in pointing out a racist trope, and that the use of that trope is doing a whole lot of splash damage.

    Post 233

    I NEVER SAID OPHELIA CALLED ME STUPID. (So y’all can fuck right off with that deliberate “misunderstanding”.)

    No, technically you never said it. You just really, really implied it.

    Your dishonesty is showing, but that’s quite frankly the least offensive thing you’ve done so far.

  189. says

    Okidemia:
    Did you happen to read this part of the quoted material in my #211?

    Further, the portrayal of people of color, as well as Muslims of all races, has been consistently and overwhelming negative in Charlie Hebdo cartoons. Reading Charlie Hebdo cartoons and covers in the aggregate, a reader is given the uniform and barely-concealed message that Muslims are categorically bad, violent, irrational people. This characterization indulges and indeed furthers some of the widest and most basic stereotypes of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims. That would certainly seem to be racism in its most unmistakable and transparent form.

    In addition to not “getting” satire, I can’t read or speak French, so I’ve avoided saying that the CH creators are or are not racist. It’s clear though, that some people do feel that way, and I think the point above is a valid one.

  190. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Sure, there’s a good chance you’re going to get some transphobic shit there which is well tolerated by the blog host, but you really MUST do this.
    Entitlement much?

    That’s cheap, ugly, and you know better. Shame on you.

  191. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    WMD you really are a stupid little piece of work. There are a lot of things you can criticize about me, but being a “bootlicker” who takes commands from Ophelia or anyone else is so dumb you’d be ashamed of yourself if you had any sense. Honestly.

  192. says

    WMDKitty @233:

    I NEVER SAID OPHELIA CALLED ME STUPID. (So y’all can fuck right off with that deliberate “misunderstanding”.)

    When I read your comment @188, I got the impression you were talking about Ophelia because she was the only person you named.

    Ophelia’s blog just keeps getting more and more ridiculous. She’s harping on and on and on about Hebdo. (Obsessed, much?)
    According to her, it’s “not racist” to further promote a racist trope, if you’re “really” targeting the racists.
    It’s “dishonest” to point out that the long history of depicting people of color as apes/monkeys/subhumans is relevant to the depiction.
    And I’m “stupid” (“thick”, “dense”, whatevs) for standing my ground in pointing out a racist trope, and that the use of that trope is doing a whole lot of splash damage.

    Your wording was ambiguous, so instead of castigating people for reaching the conclusions they did, perhaps you could communicate your thoughts more clearly in the future.

  193. says

    Josh @242:

    That’s cheap, ugly, and you know better. Shame on you.

    I stopped reading her blog because she refused to entertain the idea of tweaking her language to be more inclusive of trans people. And this was after a very polite request from a trans person that she make a small change. Her refusal to even entertain the possibility that her language was excluding trans people, combined with her doubling down on that position pissed me off. Do I know of other cases where someone could accuse her of transphobia? No. But that example turned me off.

  194. Anthony K says

    Oh, and if anyone’s offended at me calling little Joshy here Ophelias “pet”?

    Own your actions, sleazeball coward.

  195. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Tony, I understand that. There are times when I’ve advised Ophelia I think it would be better to give a bit on some of these things. I don’t approve of or endorse every single thing Ophelia says, just as I don’t for any friend, and just as I don’t expect anyone to do for me. But overall I think it’s ridiculous and over the top (in a way that would be funny if it weren’t tragic) how Ophelia has become The Transphobe according to some of the most self-satisfied commenters here. It’s an outrage. So that’s where I’m coming from.

    No. Not because she’s my super bestie and I just can’t think when my loyalties are challenged. I think it’s actual bullshit and it’s damaging.

    Gileill is making an excuse for Crip Dyke. You cannot look at Crip Dyke saying “I won’t read that stuff so you maybe did really say it” and not see how patently bullshit that is. How unfair and *wrong* it is when the accuracy of the matter is the very fucking thing we’re disputing. I know you see that. Any honest person can see that, and it’s not a good look to fail to acknowledge it because doing so is super uncomfortable for someone you like.

    I like and respect Crip Dyke too, and obviously I’m not saying anything behind her back as she can see exactly what I’m saying here. And that’s why this shocks and appalls me. Don’t punt bullshit excuses for something you know damned well was a terrible move.

  196. says

    WMDK@233:

    …and I’m still waiting for proof of my alleged “dishonesty”.

    Reading through the comment thread, it’s apparent that the “dishonesty” in question is the a priori argument that the Charlie Hedbo cartoon is indisputably racist. Some people–mostly uninformed people–think it is. People much closer to the situation, including a major anti-racist organization in France and the very politician portrayed in it say that it is not. So you can fairly be categorized as engaging in intellectual dishonesty by continuing to insist that your opinion is a fact.

  197. says

    Tony! Nah, you were right to call me out on it. And you’re right — my OP was somewhat vague. Unintentionally vague, but still, I can see where one might infer that Ophelia had called me “stupid”.

    I should have specified that other commenters had piled on and were calling me stupid. My bad.

    Josh — I’m basing my comments on your behavior. If you don’t want to be seen as a boot-licking sycophant, maybe you should stop acting like one.

    I still feel that Ophelia is deliberately ignoring the long (and ugly as fuck) history of dehumanization of the other by depicting them as sub-human. It NEEDS to be taken into consideration, especially given CH’s equally ugly history of using highly exaggerated racial caricatures. “Ironic” racism (and sexism, et al) is not “ironic”, it’s just racist (sexist, et al).

  198. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Note to others: WMDKitty will run you ragged repeating the same truism. Just be aware that she steadfastly refuses to acknowledge the role of context and political deployment in shaping whether an image or words have a certain effect. She’s pretending she has no idea that context is a thing. It’s a very strange, essentialist way to approach the world.

  199. Anthony K says

    FUCK YOU AND FUCK OFF, YOU RACIST SHITSTAIN

    You forgot to mention he’s gay, you sleazeball coward.

  200. says

    WMDK:

    I merely offered you the proof that you requested, vis a vis your intellectual dishonesty. So you can scratch “you haven’t proved my dishonesty” off your litany of grievances.

  201. Anthony K says

    She’s pretending she has no idea that context is a thing.

    She may not know. She just may be that fucking thick.

    (I called you straight up thick. So nobody has to be too terrified to go search for the actual evidence.)

  202. Anthony K says

    So, according to you, the depiction of a person of color as a sub-human animal is… what, then, if not racist?

    Well, referring to someone who’s gay as a ‘pet’ is pretty close to that mark. Have you considered applying to Charlie Hebdo? You could teach them a thing or two about dehumanizing, Kitten.

  203. Anthony K says

    Not just pet, of course. “Gay” pet. Because the ‘gay’ part is important, somehow. Presumably WMD Kitty doesn’t mind straight pets. She hasn’t dehumanized me, yet. O-o

  204. consciousness razor says

    Josh:

    Tony, I understand that. There are times when I’ve advised Ophelia I think it would be better to give a bit on some of these things. I don’t approve of or endorse every single thing Ophelia says, just as I don’t for any friend, and just as I don’t expect anyone to do for me. But overall I think it’s ridiculous and over the top (in a way that would be funny if it weren’t tragic) how Ophelia has become The Transphobe according to some of the most self-satisfied commenters here. It’s an outrage. So that’s where I’m coming from.

    I haven’t paid much attention to a lot of it because I only have so much blog-reading time in my life, but I’ve noticed this has been a long-term issue, in addition to a degree of insensitivity and hostility toward Muslims that seems unreasonable to me. I appreciate how open you are here, but frankly what you’ve done is one thing and what she’s done is another. I’d like to understand where Ophelia is coming from. What do I really have to work with, besides simply assuming she’s one of the good ones, that’s supposed to help me do that?

    Real or perceived, those sorts of criticisms are something a person who is genuinely attempting to be on the right side would take seriously, examining and responding to them carefully, not being dismissive or defensive when you can get some reasonable grasp on how they might have some merit, even if you realize you may not fully understand the thrust of the criticism or it doesn’t quite hit the mark in some (maybe unimportant) way or another. When things go on this long, I do think we should expect a lot more give and take than I actually see in a lot of cases, a bit of humility and patience and seriousness when trying to understand others’ perspectives, honestly admitting mistakes whether intentional or not, accepting that others will make mistakes and learning from those, apologizing when appropriate, sincerely trying to change behavior, and so on. There ought to be some outrage reserved (maybe not much) for when that sort of shit doesn’t happen, over and over again.

    Maybe it’s a question of us living different lives and basing all this on our different experiences. But the question here really is just how I’m supposed to view this sort of thing (and based on what), if I’m not going to be giving anybody any special degree of trust or leeway or whatever for no particularly good reason, and if it’s not the case that all of the ridiculousness and outrageousness and unfairness and so forth really is only on one side of the fence.

  205. opposablethumbs says

    Okidemia #232, yes, I read French – thank you! Please don’t go to any bother, though – just one or two, and only if you come across them anyway. I will come clean and admit that I’m not going to be researching seriously or even close to that, I just want to have a glance to get some idea.
    It sounds a little bit like the way some really right-wing groups in the UK, such as BNP/National Front/EDL types on the one hand, and islamist groups on the other, will sometimes do a pretty good job of adopting SJ language to paint themselves as exempt from criticism (the BNP attacking islam for its sexism, for example, while covering up the fact that they really want to attack all muslims rather than the religion and don’t actually give a toss about sexism except as a stick to beat muslims with; and islamist groups making out that any criticism of islam is actually racist). So I just wondered if in your experience this was a similar kind of thing.

  206. says

    You know, actually, that “pet gay” comment crossed a line…there are boundaries even in the Thunderdome. Cool it or get slapped down.

  207. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Consciousness razor: A good place to start would be to read what the person actually writes, or at least with a bit more attention to detail. I read Ophelia’s blog a lot more than many here. Obviously, we’re friends, and that goes back almost ten years. Because I read her more consistently than many commenters here, I have a broader context.

    I realize that some are going to write this off as mere friendship loyalty, and there’s nothing I can do about that. But please be willing to consider that “this” that’s been “going on a long time” has a whole lot to do with the repeated accusations here. By repetition (I DON’T mean by malicious conspiracy) a claim has come to be accepted here, culturally, as a fact. Yes, I’m literally saying that an atmosphere and an impression have grown up and become so normalized that fewer and fewer stop to question whether it’s actually true and the most fair way to assess the situation.

    Shorter: I perceive a lot of “where there’s smoke there must be fire” and much less actual engagement. It’s one of the reasons I don’t come here much anymore. Every group, every collection of people like those here, grow cultures and mores. That’s normal. But that can go wrong, as we all know. One of those wrongs, in my perception, is the “this” you’re referring to about Ophelia. It happened like a frog slowly boiling in a pot and never noticing it while it was happening.

    I hate the fact that, as I type this, I know with certainty that some onlookers are already getting the impression that I must be one of the apologists, or slymepitters, or anti-SJ’ers. I hate that it’s not possible to have this conversation with shades of gray. It’s stultifying.

  208. says

    Gee, guys. I’m sorry. I’m such an asshole for trying to point out something problematic. I’m such a horrible person, for caring about how people of color are portrayed. And I obviously have no sense of humor, if I can’t laugh at the dehumanization of others.

    And apparently, I’m not “sincere” in my apologies. You know, because I’m completely oblivious to the stuff going on in my own head. Josh, Reader of Minds has declared it so!

    Pretentious jackass.

    Anthony K I wasn’t talking to you, I wasn’t talking about you, and I fucking apologized for that comment. You can fuck right off back to Ophelia’s little den of lies and hypocrisy, now, and give your little report to Ophelia about how I’m, like, sooo horrible for trying to be a decent person.

  209. Nick Gotts says

    Okedimia@230

    The very writings in the journal nevertheless make it clear what their stance is.

    And how many people read those writings, compared to those who see the grossly racist caricatures on the covers? I thuoght of one of those again when some girls who had been kidnapped, raped and impregnated by Boko Haram escaped recently. I’m sure you know which cover I mean. What would you say to those girls and their families?

    large amounts of transgressive hiptsteristic and hysteristic kind of willingness to shock out and be gross for the free sake of grossing out.

    And fuck anyone who gets hurt in the process, right?

    I simply wish their writings were translated, so that people go further than misunderstood cartoons. From here, it seems that mostly republicans have tried on them in the USA, but it’s definitely not their natural readership, quite the contrary.

    That really ought to tell you something.

  210. Jacob Schmidt says

    I’m such an asshole for trying to point out something problematic. I’m such a horrible person, for caring about how people of color are portrayed. And I obviously have no sense of humor, if I can’t laugh at the dehumanization of others.

    Are you trying to convince me that you’re wrong? Because one of the best ways to convince me that someone is, in fact, wrong is to have them give a snarky and sarcastic summary in which they pity themselves because others are attacking them for being good people.

  211. says

    So, according to you, the depiction of a person of color as a sub-human animal is… what, then, if not racist?

    So your’e unequivocally against the cartoon in question, regardless of context**, to the point of calling someone with a different view out-right racist. The alleged dehumanization of the cartoon seems to be what you take most issue with.

    Yet you actually called Josh a “pet gay” and seem to not at all understand why that is a shitty, utterly dehumanizing thing to say to someone.

    Your apology was not sincere. You just apologized for “the splash damage” but you didn’t apologize to Josh, and you won’t even acknowledge WHY it was a shitty thing to say. You just speak around it, and expect everyone to just accept your non-apology, even after you said such a horrible, bigoted homophobic thing while refusing to acknowledge why it was so shitty. You are also unable to connect the hypocrisy of your words and behavior in relation to your feelings about the topic at hand.

    No one is reading your mind. We are reading your WORDS.

    Why can’t you have just said, “You know what, you’re right. That was a shitty thing to say. I apologize for saying that, Josh.” Why can’t you acknowledge WHY it was a shitty thing to say?

    I’m such a horrible person, for caring about how people of color are portrayed.

    This sin’t sincere. This is just whiny, self-serving bullshit. And you’re not acknowledging that you used homophobic language here, which is what people are currently taking issue with. Instead, you’re turning it right back to you, and trying to frame it as if you are so super duper caring about POC and why are people attacking my love for POC when people are actually angry that you used homophobic language and don’t seem to know why that is not okay.

    It’s passive aggressive, manipulative bullshit.

    If you’re so very much against alleged racism, don’t be so fucking casual about homophobic language. At least own your fucking mistakes, rather than offering a non-apology and then turning it all back around like you are the victim when it was you who said something really fucking shitty.

    I already apologized for that comment.

    You apologized for the splash damage. Not really the same thing. It was such a weak, insincere apology.

    **I don’t know enough about the topic to make an informed opinion. I do not know if it is or isn’t racist and that is not the point of this comment.

  212. Anthony K says

    and I fucking apologized for that comment

    You did, and I missed that. I’m sorry.

    You can fuck right off back to Ophelia’s little den of lies and hypocrisy, now, and give your little report to Ophelia about how I’m, like, sooo horrible for trying to be a decent person.

    Yeah, it’s really that entire line of argumentation that’s problematic. Everyone’s a sycophant. It’s just ‘hive-mind’ reworded.

    So, what am I going to get for this ‘report’ I’m going to make? What’s my reward for my sycophancy? What’s the prize here for agreeing with PZ* when that charge is levelled by the anti-Pharyngula crew? Does PZ pay his minions more or less than Ophelia? I don’t have a conversion calculator handy.

    *Note that I haven’t actually agreed with Ophelia here. That’s all on WMD Kitty. I just called out her over-the-line comment. That’s me trying to be a decent person, WMD Kitty. See how that works?

  213. consciousness razor says

    A good place to start would be to read what the person actually writes, or at least with a bit more attention to detail.

    Well, I have (but obviously not “more” than I have). I didn’t mean to suggest I’m totally ignorant, but I’m sure I’m not as closely acquainted with her articles and comments (and others’ comments there) as you are or she is. I mean that I’m not in a place where I could be outraged by the response or think of it as a real tragedy, at least compared to my feelings about Ophelia’s mistakes that prompted them. Maybe that’s because I’m ignorant of various pieces here and there, I’ll grant you that, but on the substantial disagreements here I just don’t know of anything redeeming or anything that should make me less angry with Ophelia for that kind of shit. There’s often this sort of sarastic or dismissive mood cast over it, instead of showing some real signs of sympathy or understanding for a person coming with a criticism like that. Even if it’s not intentional or not suggestive of her real thoughts, it just isn’t a constructive way to deal with things like that, and people can hardly be blamed for taking it the wrong way. You don’t get to just scoff at people and pretend like your motives are unquestionable, so the other person must be at fault — we need something tangible to back that up.

    I hate the fact that, as I type this, I know with certainty that some onlookers are already getting the impression that I must be one of the apologists, or slymepitters, or anti-SJ’ers. I hate that it’s not possible to have this conversation with shades of gray. It’s stultifying.I hate the fact that, as I type this, I know with certainty that some onlookers are already getting the impression that I must be one of the apologists, or slymepitters, or anti-SJ’ers. I hate that it’s not possible to have this conversation with shades of gray. It’s stultifying.

    I agree the atmosphere here (and many places, to be fair) can be stultifying sometimes. People in general are pretty good about coming to their judgments quickly, not so good about thinking through all of their assumptions and criticizing and discussing them fairly (but harshly).

    But of course there are lot of others things involved in it too — for one thing, on the bright side, it’s a tight-knit community, but that can also make it very insular in some ways. Some things I can say here, if I took them elsewhere, simply wouldn’t be understood — which of course shouldn’t be taken as a sign that we’re on the right track or something silly like that, but often that is the tacit assumption. Of course want to think of this as a special place, however special it really is. At least I can still say that with some amount of self-awareness, as someone who’s (almost?) been assimilated.

    For what it’s worth, I would have a hard time getting that impression about you, partly because I’ve known you a long time, but also because you haven’t said anything here that gives me that kind of a vibe. Overstating some things here and there, being somewhat biased? Sure. But that’s not so bad.

  214. says

    I was just checking my gradesheet where I keep track of everyone’s Sycophancy score, and I’m sorry to say you’re all failing. Failing hard. Even when I try to apply a curve to it, there’s no way to turn a whole bunch of negative scores into passing grades.

    Sorry. This will be going on your transcript, and I don’t know how you can expect to graduate with this big F dragging your GPAs down.

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

    @Ophelia Benson, #219:

    I read all my comments on that thread before I posted the comment above, to make sure. They are few and short. I nowhere called WMDKitty stupid or thick or anything like it. If you’re too lazy or hostile to do the same, that’s your problem.

    No. It’s not. I don’t have a problem if i choose not to read all the comments on your blog, just like I don’t have a problem if I choose not to read all the comments on Ed Brayton’s blog or the Black Skeptics blog or Jamila Bey’s blog or on some random article at the Toronto Star.

    Not reading the entire internet is not a bug, it’s a fucking feature.

    Nor is it lazy if I don’t read some particular thing on the internet. Just because you think something is important enough to read does not make it objectively so. Every bit of text put up on the internet is intended to be read. There is no objective measure that says that I’m required to read your blog or the comments thereon, but not required to read every other damn thing on the internet.

    Calling me “lazy or hostile” for choosing not to read something that I consider unimportant is exactly the kind of cheap-ass bullshit that makes me mistrust you.

    It’s not a good reason to claim I have no idea what I said on my own thread.

    And quote me making that claim. You can’t? Oh.

    Now, what I actually said is that I don’t know the truth of certain claims. Before Ophelia addressed me, I told WMDK:

    I didn’t read anything between you & Ophelia, so I don’t know. Maybe you insisted that Charlie’s repeated use of striped paint demonstrates capitulation to conservative authority. That would be dumb. Not least because striped paint.

    After you, Ophelia commented, in scrupulous fairness given the fact that I hadn’t examined the evidence, I admitted ignorance and gave an Ophelia-based hypothetical source of error:

    I’m not reading that stuff, so I can’t take your word for exactly what happened any more than I take WMD Kitty’s word for exactly what happened. As far as I know you might have forgotten (and thus not quoted) something that is both more directly on point and more supportive of the charge that you characterized WMDK as “stupid” or similar. Likewise, WMDK could be wildly off base.

    Note that this is actually more generous to you, Ophelia, (might have forgotten) than it is to WMDK (might have made a nonsensical statement predicated on the existence of something known not to exist, i.e. striped paint).

    Why, again, would I believe it’s plausible that you treat at least some commenters poorly?

    ……

    I’ll get to your comment in a bit, Josh. I’m trying, but I have family stuff right now.

  216. Nick Gotts says

    I see the cartoon I mean has already been referred to here, at least indirectly, by Tony@211. It’s well worth following Tony’s link, as well as reading the extracts he quotes. Here’s a further quote, from later in the article:

    But just as we have to consider the larger context when understanding the intent of Charlie Hebdo’s satire, so too must we consider that larger context when evaluating the satire’s effect. And that larger context is not flattering to Charlie Hebdo.

    French society is in the middle of what we in the United States would call a culture war. Though French colonialism ended in the 1950s and 1960s, France has absorbed a large number of immigrants, many of them Muslim, from former colonies in North and West Africa. Those immigrants and their descendants face systemic discrimination.

    France’s white majority, whether Catholic or secular, tends to be highly skeptical of the idea that the immigrants can ever truly assimilate or be French. This is often expressed as hostility to Muslims or to Islam itself. These attitudes make it very difficult to be a Muslim, or ethnically non-white, in France.

    Within the French culture war, Charlie Hebdo stands solidly with the privileged majority and against the under-privileged minorities. Yes, sometimes it also criticizes Catholicism, but it is best known for its broadsides against France’s most vulnerable populations. Put aside the question of racist intent: the effect of this is to exacerbate a culture of hostility, one in which religion and race are also associated with status and privilege, or lack thereof.

    Or as we tend to say here: “Intent isn’t magic.”

  217. says

    Crip Dyke – don’t be so fucking disingenuous. You know god damn well I wasn’t saying you have to read my blog. I said you shouldn’t accuse me of shit right after saying you don’t read the supposed source of the shit. You don’t get to say “I don’t want to read your blog but I’m accusing you of saying various things there anyway.”

  218. says

    Seconding Ophelia’s #274.
    WMDKitty, why do you refer to her blog as a “den of lies”? It’s one thing to say “Ophelia lied about X” and quite another to insinuate that her blog is full of lies.

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

    @Josh, #221 & 222:

    First, I’m not sure if 222 is a continuation and likewise addressed to me, if it’s addressed generally and thus inclusive or me, or doesn’t address me at all. I think the last possibility is remote, so I’m going to assume in this comment that you were addressing me in 222 and just skip dealing with whether or not I was addressed exclusively.

    Moving on, since this is a fast-paced thread right now, I’ll quote both those comments:

    Josh in #221:
    Crip Dyke: I am *astonished*. You have a duty to do better than that! You do not get to say “Well, I’m not going to read that, but I think it’s plausible that you might have said that based on other things of yours.”
    I actually can’t believe I’m reading that from you. I know you. And I think I know you to be an ethical person. What in the world?

    Josh in #222
    Yeah, but it’s just mean, reactionary Ophelia, or Josh, or [insert other people equally implausible as stand-ins for “unreconstructed bigot”]. They probably said something just awful. Do not be misled into thinking it might be that WMDkitty was egregiously wrong. Her “pet gay” comment should not be read to indicate that she’s anything less than scrupulously trustworthy. It’s reasonable to assume that she is, and it’s just those bad/mean other people.
    Slow clap.

    Now that we have all that before us in context, I’ll respond in more detail.

    You have a duty to do better than that! You do not get to say “Well, I’m not going to read that, but I think it’s plausible that you might have said that based on other things of yours.”

    What the hell? I can’t say something is plausible or implausible based on the evidence of past data not derived from the specific event under discussion?

    Josh, I love you. I disagree. Strongly. Why can’t I say that it’s “plausible” Bill Frist would diagnose someone in 2015 based on video evidence and never having diagnosed that person…given that he did so under global scrutiny about Terry Schiavo?

    Note I’m doing that based on past evidence, real evidence that anyone can double-check. The judgement of plausibility applies to some hypothetical document by Bill Frist that doesn’t interest me sufficiently for me to read it, but there is evidence involved here that decides the “plausibility” or “implausibility”.

    I absolutely *do* get to say that I’m not wasting my time reading Bill Frist while simultaneously asserting that it is my opinion based on past evidence that someone else’s characterization of what Bill Frist wrote is plausible. I don’t even think it requires me to provide triplicate-level clarity that I am ignorant of the actual statement as written by Frist so long as I don’t imply I am not ignorant. But when addressing Ophelia and WMDK I specifically did identify myself as ignorant. That’s useful information for others in assessing the value of my statements for use in a process of accepting or rejecting specific conclusions.

    Yeah, but it’s just mean, reactionary Ophelia, or Josh, or [insert other people equally implausible as stand-ins for “unreconstructed bigot”]. They probably said something just awful.

    No. I said I have read and am currently in mind of specific instances of past behavior which count as evidence. This is enough to make me think X is plausible, but far from enough to make me think X is “probable”.

    Do not be misled into thinking it might be that WMDkitty was egregiously wrong. Her “pet gay” comment should not be read to indicate that she’s anything less than scrupulously trustworthy. It’s reasonable to assume that she is, and it’s just those bad/mean other people.

    What? I specifically said that WMDK could be “way off base” and otherwise was agnostic about specifics.

  220. says

    Ophelia LIES about not supporting racism, because she has explicitly supported an openly racist publication that has a history of targeting outsiders and othering them. She LIES every time she claims it’s “not racist”. She LIES when she whines about “context” — and she’s a hypocrite, because “context” is the exact SAME argument she repeatedly shot down in the debates over the word “c*nt.”

    Support her if you will, but know that you’re getting in bed with a dishonest backstabber who won’t hesitate to throw you under the bus for her own convenience. Just look at how she treats trans people…

    Judge me if you will.

    I just ask that you judge her with the same measure.

  221. microraptor says

    Those are quite the claims. You actually going to provide any citations?

  222. says

    I’m increasingly getting the feeling that your agenda is just to try to smear Ophelia Benson in whatever way you can, WMDKitty, using whichever mishmash of assumptions, misrepresentations, and falsehoods that you piece together and gish gallop over the thread. It’s unbecoming. I get it, you disagree with her and don’t like her. Your behavior here so far has been anything but admirable, or respectable, and far from being convincing, you’re just being off-putting.

  223. says

    It’s perfectly fucking OBVIOUS. She supports Charlie Hebdo. CH has a history of using racist imagery, and regularly dehumanizes and marginalizes minority groups. CH is, in fact, a driving factor in the de facto segregation going on in French society. Ophelia’s claims that “it’s not racist” are thus exposed for the lies they are.

  224. What a Maroon, oblivious says

    Giliell, here,

    “It’s a baby” is not so much an exception. In that case “it” is known as a dummy subject, meaning you need a gramatical subject in that position. Also part of “it clefting”, a way to emphasize things: It is only know that she can live her life freely.

    It-clefting is one method of topicalizing in English, but the key is that it includes a relative clause (as in your example). To (mis)quote Dylan, “It’s a hard rain that’s gonna fall,” as opposed to “A hard rain is gonna fall.” “It’s a baby” doesn’t qualify; “It’s a baby that I ate” would.” So it’s not relevant to my example.

    As a native speaker of English and a linguist, I’m well aware that English generally requires an explicit subject, as I’m sure you know is true for French and German as well. There seems to be something of a sprachbund effect going on, though I’m not sure if it’s true in, say, Dutch or Welsh.

    As for the notion of dummy subject: I’m not terribly fond of that term for theoretical reasons, but I’ll concede that in case like “It’s raining”, the antecedent to “it” is pretty obscure. So is that what’s going on with “It’s a girl/boy/baby”? I’d argue no, because such a sentence is typically uttered in a context where the speaker (a) assumes that their interlocutor is aware that the topic of conversation is a newborn baby or a fetus and (b) is unsure about the sex/gender of the baby/fetus. So in that context there’s a human antecedent to the pronoun, but one of indeterminate sex/gender.

    The only other context I can think of in English where it’s generally accepted to use “it” to refer to humans is in the case where someone responds to a knock on the door or a call to the telephone with “Who is it?” (and the response being something along the lines of “It’s me” or “It’s the plumber”). Again, in that case there’s a human antecedent of indeterminate sex/gender.

    But anyway, outside of those cases and maybe a few other, similar cases that I’m overlooking, I think we all agree with Tony that using “it” to refer to humans is dehumanizing.

  225. says

    CH has a history of using racist imagery, and regularly dehumanizes and marginalizes minority groups. CH is, in fact, a driving factor in the de facto segregation going on in French society. Ophelia’s claims that “it’s not racist” are thus exposed for the lies they are.

    Huge numbers of people disagree with you, including the majority of the membership of PEN. You seem to be trying to change opinions and minds; you may be doing that, but not in the way that you think. If you’re not going to answer direct questions about statements that you make (“look at the way she treats trans people…”) then there’s really no reason to listen to you anymore. You say that B&W is a “den of lies and hypocrisy”, and yet the only falsehoods and hypocrisy that I’ve seen in the ongoing, revolving debate between you, Ophelia, and Josh, have come from you, WMDKitty.

    I recommend that you avoid B&W like you have said repeatedly that you are going to do (while returning repeatedly to reengage), consider your intentions earnestly in light of your implied claim to be in support of social justice goals (while simultaneously using a dehumanizing homophobic slur), and move on to some other thread (that isn’t going to trigger you into using so much bold face and caps), because you’re not going to get Ophelia to change, or any of her commentariat. Even people here who stopped reading B&W for one reason or another are disagreeing with you. I’d say that’s a sign of a lost cause.

  226. What a Maroon, oblivious says

    Me @ 284,

    As a native speaker of English and a linguist, I’m well aware that English generally requires an explicit subject, as I’m sure you know is true for French and German as well.

    OK, that was unnecessarily snide. My apologies, Giliell.

  227. Okidemia says

    Nick Gotts #266

    What would you say to those girls and their families?

    That I’m really sorry for what they had to endure and will have to survive.
    And if they could do more, that some people at the place I come from just think people like them are just becoming pregnant to steal their monney, which is so obviously fucked up thinking that other people decided to draw a cartoon about it, which is not designed to mock them but alert about the idiots that think birth control is in the hand of everyone on earth and that coercive sexual power is one of the humankind abomination nobody cares enough about.

    And fuck anyone who gets hurt in the process, right?

    No. Why do you think so? Why do you think I should think so?
    Forgive me if I’m not devolving my complete attention to a few really bad cartoons that were not only misfiring and odious, but to all the others that I’ve seen, and which are more common than you think. Some are mocking the previous president in a very childish manner. That’s also what I have in mind when it comes to my memories about CH.

    That really ought to tell you something.

    Sure, it’s telling me a lot of things. Maybe we could intersect and get the bigger picture together?

    I understand me resaying things I’ve been saying in the past about it triggered your apparently irritated answer (maybe I’m wrong and I misinterprete you, you tell me). I hope you oversee that I get what your are saying, and these are perfectly valid points to make.

    Did you oppose every single journal that published pictures of the murdered Kenyan students worldwide? What would you say to their families?

    Both situations are quite imperfectly analogous, but I think there is a point to make about communicating. Not every body is able to write what they feel and compel other with quintessential wording. Some people get pictures (of lovely birds, as some here; or of death and war, as some photo journalists are doing). Some get to draw. Some get to draw at CH. The very latter make no secret they don’t understand the world as it is and try to make sense out of the mess and sadness of the world. They have nausea, they draw nausea. Everybody is calling that humour, but dark humour is often nausea. French culture is about nausea and the fragility of existence, about not understanding things and not being successful to communicate them.

    Was I clear? Nope. I know. I’m French.

  228. PatrickG says

    CH is, in fact, a driving factor in the de facto segregation going on in French society.

    Citation desperately needed. Teh Google tells me they had a circulation of 60,000 prior to, y’know, having lots of them murdered. That did bump their numbers temporarily. The actual on-the-right newspaper Le Figaro has over five times that*, and I’m willing to bet they’re probably driving things just a tad more.

    * Or so the Wikipedia tells me.

  229. says

    WMDKitty, if it’s not obvious by now, I’m not interested in discussing Charlie Hebdo with you. I don’t care what Nick Gotts said about the paper. I’ve been addressing your behavior, and asking you for clarifications. You continue to ignore me when I ask you to back something up. You’ve proven yourself to be an untrustworthy source driven by anger and willing to say things that have no basis.

    So, for the absolute last time (I promise): what evidence do you have (citation to posts, or comments, or anythings) about how Ophelia “treats trans people” that would cause you imply that her “treatment” is a pattern of mistreatment? If you ignore this question this time, I’ll leave you alone and not bother you with it again. I will not, however, ever take you seriously or engage in any kind of substantive debate with you, ever. Alternatively, you could say that your comment had no real basis, and you have no substantive complaint with the way she interacts with trans* folks.

    An actual unqualified apology to Josh for the slur would be nice, but I’m not expecting one at this time. Small steps.

  230. says

    Well alrighty then. Now that I know that you consider citations that prove your point to be “gotchas”, I’ll leave you in peace.

  231. says

    As for Ophelia, she’s shown a pattern of not caring if she hurts other people. She has refused, in the past, to use inclusive language, after a trans-person asked her, politely, to be more inclusive.

  232. Tethys says

    Is there some reason that WMDkitty can’t conduct the inquisition over on the actual OP that addresses Hedbo on Ophelias blog?

    Just look at how she treats trans people…

    Throwing out this accusation as if it is a) factual and b) constitutes proof of racism because c) Ophelia is a lying backstabbing liar; is not particularly compelling coming from someone who recently typed out the phrase “sicced her pet gay on me..” and expected sympathy here in T-dome.

  233. says

    Okay, WMDKitty, if you are going to reopen the discussion, I’ll respond.

    1. One event does not represent a “pattern.”
    2. Link to the post in question? I asked you for a citation, not an interpretation. In fact, I suspect that you don’t even know; Tony was the one who mentioned that post, and although it caused him to stop reading B&W, it didn’t stop plenty of other very pro-trans* people. Kudos on reading the comments and wrapping them into your narrative, though.
    3. B&W is not a blog about trans* issues. So sometimes Ophelia is going to misstep in that regard, because, you know, we’re all biased. Each and every one of us, including you, WMDKitty. I’m a white straight dude, and I misstep and screw up about trans*- and feminist- and PoC-issues *all the time*. And I struggle with that and try to do right. You cannot always get it right all the time.
    4. What other people can you point to that Ophelia has “shown a pattern of not caring if she hurts” ?

    And speaking of “not caring who she hurts”, and considering your constant labeling of “hypocrisy”: where, now, is your real apology rather than notapology for calling Josh her “pet gay” ? At this point, with all of your dissembling, I’m ready to demand it. All you’ve said is that that comment created splash damage. Yes, surely, it did. It created direct damage, too. Do you think Josh goes through life blissfully unaware of the fact that american society detests and condemns gay people? Do you think it’s cool calling him a pet? If not, then follow the guidelines of a real apology and explain:

    1. What you did.
    2. Why you did it.
    3. Why that was wrong.
    4. What corrective action you’re taking.
    5. What you could/should have done differently.

    Those five actions will require you disconnecting your emotions and engaging some empathy. Or you can just tell me to fuck off, again, and I’ll happily fuck right the fuck off.

  234. Tethys says

    Just to be perfectly clear, I have no desire to involve myself in the IMO tedious and vindictive Hedbo argument which is why I am not over on Ophelias discussing it in the first place. I also do not actually think Ophelia is a liar, my previous comment

    Ophelia is a lying backstabbing liar

    was referring to WMDkittys opinion.

  235. says

    I called Josh her “pet gay”. I’ve already admitted and apologized for this, but I’ll play your little game for shits and giggles.

    I was fucking ANGRY at Josh for his knee-jerk defense of a blatantly racist image.

    It was wrong because it hurt people I care about.

    I’ve already apologized, like five times for it, despite what you might think.

    And in the future, I’m just going to avoid B&W, because it’s clear that Ophelia and her little gang of ass-lickers don’t want their circle-jerk interrupted by reality.

    NOW would you kindly fuck off?

  236. says

    Tethys, just fyi, the reason this convo is happening here is b/c WMDK told the commentariat at B&W to “go fuck themselves sideways” or something, and stopped commenting. But continues to argle bargle here, apparently. But now that I’ve been given my marching orders to fuck off, it might actually be over with.

  237. chigau (違う) says

    PZ Myers
    I was just checking my gradesheet where I keep track of everyone’s Sycophancy score, and I’m sorry to say you’re all failing. Failing hard.
    NOOOOOO,?!‽!?
    *sob*
    I’ve been trying so hard!

  238. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Seriously go fuck yourself, m’kay? You don’t get to drop your loaded pile of shit dog whistles. God you’re a poisonous little ass.

  239. PatrickG says

    WMDKitty, I did indeed read Nick Gott’s comments, and I did indeed read the article Tony linked at #221, and which Nick Gott addressed.

    However, it’s a long cry from “CH is part of and reflects the privileged majority” to “CH is a driving factor in perpetuating the privileged majority”. My citation request was for your overly broad claim. I’ll also remind you that in a comment addressed to you over on the B&W thread, I agreed with you that some of CH’s material is racist, does splash damage, and is a legitimate thing to criticize. Kind of irritating that you seem not to have read that.

    By the way, please do recognize that the “privileged majority” criticism is true of a number of publications, as well. You’ve singled out CH as singularly evil, a “driving factor” to use your words. That is what I’m asking you to support.

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

    @Josh, please read my #s 210 & 272 and address my #277. You might, along the way, wish to spend time with Ophelia’s #275.

  241. says

    I do not know enough about the Charlie Hebdo situation.

    But I do know that depictions can be triggering and whatever else that category of perceptual things that lead to powerful memories contains. These images are racist to some people and not to others and I do not think there is a standard that avoids how people perceive what is racist at a basic level. Some of those getting a depiction in what they see won’t be able to ignore the memory that it connects to no matter what the context is. That fact should not detract from providing social support to people threatened by terrorism, but the fact still remains.

    I also find it hard to understand how anyone could think that way of using gay people in an insult was appropriate. It reduces a people to a social tool and frankly shows that they can not actually deal with the other person on their own terms in an argument. Bad on all fronts.

  242. PatrickG says

    You’re just “angling for a gotcha”.

    That was truly special, wasn’t it.

  243. PatrickG says

    It was wrong because it hurt people I care about.

    Holy shit. Words. I can’t even.

  244. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I read your responses, Crip Dyke, such as they were. Frankly I’m not inclined to say much about such a weak, desultory response. I’m not interested in being bullshitted. And you’re bullshitting hardcore. Gross.

  245. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    To be CRYSTAL clear, Crip Dyke, Ophelia’s #275 has you squarely pegged. I can’t believe you pulled that. I’m still stunned.

  246. says

    WMDKitty

    It was wrong because it hurt people I care about.

    With the implication that you don’t give a shit if it hurt Josh, the actual gay person to whom you were dehumanizing and boiling down to a “pet” (aka not human). What the fuck does Josh’s sexuality have to do with any of this. anyway? Why did you feel the need to throw “gay” out as an insult?

    Why in the world would you even think that is okay even if you’re angry? And why do you not see how hypocritical it is to be to demand such easy forgiveness of your homophobic language while pointing to Josh and calling him an unequivocal racist? You seem more worried about the largely hypothetical “splash damage” than you do of the fact that you used homophobic language directed at an actual human being you are communicating with. Josh is a real person! A human! Who happens to be gay. And you seemed to be perfectly okay using his sexuality as an insult merely because you were angry, as if that’s a fucking reason. It’s not. It’s bullshit.

    For someone who likely calls herself an ally, you certainly aren’t acting like one. I just think you were trying to be as hurtful as you could, and the most hurtful thing you could think of was to use his sexuality as an insult and to call him a pet. That’s not making you seem any nicer or reasonable, honestly. “I was angry” is not an acceptable answer. It’s fine to be angry and to express that anger, but you don’t get to use BLATANT homophobic language all because you’re angry and then tip toe around it when you’re confronted.

    I also note you ignore my point about the blatant hypocrisy. Alleged racist cartoons: Bad. Homophobic language: Eh, as long as you say you’re sorry for the splash damage, it’s fiiiiine.

    As I said, I personally don’t know much about this topic. You’re not convincing me of anything at all, here, and I’m not inclined to consider your arguments particularly sincere. (Thankfully, I’m a grown ass adult and I don’t need someone who calls someone a “pet gay” because they are angry… I can find out the information on my own. This is not an invitation for education.)

  247. says

    WMDKitty:
    I am not interested in “crucifying” you. I’m interested in some measure of truthfulness. I’m an academic, so I deal with situations of statement and reversal all the time. Here’s what I think might be a useful apology from you, vis a vis Josh. Note that you don’t have to *like* him or even agree with him, but that slur needs to be addressed in a meaningful way.

    1. I called Josh the “pet gay” of Ophelia.
    2. I did it because I was angry. I was angry because I disagreed with his premise that CH is not racist. (etc.)
    3. It was wrong of me to characterize him that way. Josh is neither a pet nor an unconnected sexuality. He’s a person, with real feelings.
    4. I am not going to refer to people in dehumanizing ways in the future. I’m also not going to reduce them to their sexuality. People are more than their sexual preferences.
    5. In the future, I can take a few moments (and shall) to ponder before I post something that might incite anger based on someone’s sexuality. (Add here all you want about how sexuality is not a choice, etc.)

    This is the part where you can continue to argue your point, after making a fair apology. Then we never complain at you again about the slur, and everyone moves on. Note, though, that any snarky copy/paste of this is not going to win you points. Sometimes, in your life, as an adult, you have to be sincere. This is one of those times.

  248. says

    Let me point out that I really should have thought out this wording better.

    I also find it hard to understand how anyone could think that way of using gay people in an insult was appropriate. It reduces a people to a social tool and frankly shows that they can not actually deal with the other person on their own terms in an argument.

    I’m bothered that I left an implicit possibility of there being a way that gay people as a category could be used in an insult. I apologize to anyone who might have thought that.

  249. says

    Even my thirteen year old nephew who lives in the middle of the Arizona desert knows not to use gay as an insult, like for fuck’s sake, how is that a thing you even thought was okay?! Like why is this even a discussion we had to have? Shouldn’t you know better? This is not rocket science. This is basic human fucking decency. It’s 2015. Grown adults should not have to apologize for this shit because it shouldn’t even be happening, especially here of all places.

    HONESTLY.

    That is all. I am off my soap box. Back to your regularly scheduled Thunderdome. I will be back to my video games and books. *poof*

  250. says

    Honestly Brony, the entire thing is absurd. Like really. This is a thing that happened?! This should not even be something we’re arguing about. But it is. And that’s fucking sad.

  251. says

    This whole thing could have been avoided, if Ophelia would have simply acknowledged that the cartoon in question was, at the very least, problematic.

    That was it. That was, quite literally, ALL I WAS ASKING FOR.

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

    Josh, I made no accusation.

    i think you’re trying to say – and failing – that one may not base a claim or accusation on evidence that one is unwilling to examine.

    THAT i completely agree with. However, that is the opposite of what I did.

    Instead, I made clear where I was ignorant and why and refused to draw conclusions about the current circumstances because they involved things that I couldn’t know without reading the thread – which I wasn’t going to do.

    Ophelia comes along and says that I **must** read the thread. Then she adds:

    It’s not a good reason to claim I have no idea what I said on my own thread.

    If either of you would like to make a more limited and consequential claim that I only have to read the blog if I want “to claim [Ophelia has] no idea what [she] said on [her] own thread”, I’ll retract my bit about your insistence that I read her blog, that I have a DUTY to “do better” than making clear the limits of my knowledge and refusing to judge where I don’t have evidence.

    Both of you seem to want me to read you in the context where you are outraged about my basing a claim or accusation on evidence I am unwilling to examine. Both of you seem to want me to use that particular context as a necessary stepping stone to reach the only reasonable interpretation of your words.

    I can’t read you in that context, however, since if I’ve ever done that in my life, it certainly wasn’t in this thread or in any recent time I can remember.

    So.

    I’m asking you as a friend.

    Re-read my actual words. Try like hell to read them with a fresh eye. Quote back to me the claim or accusation I make using evidence I am unwilling to examine.

    If you can’t find something that can be reasonably quoted to support the claim that Ophelia has made that I used evidence I’m unwilling to examine as a “good reason” to make the positive claim that she has “no idea what [she] said on [her]own thread, then it would, I think be only reasonable to concede that Ophelia both read me wrongly and treated me badly in this thread.

    I’ll quote the patch that I think Ophelia most likely had in mind when she made that claim about me, but feel free to reread anything by me and to use any statement at all to support Ophelia’s claim, so long as it’s reasonable to do so.

    Here’s the patch I think Ophelia had in mind:

    I’m not reading that stuff, so I can’t take your word for exactly what happened any more than I take WMD Kitty’s word for exactly what happened. As far as I know you might have forgotten (and thus not quoted) something that is both more directly on point and more supportive of the charge that you characterized WMDK as “stupid” or similar. Likewise, WMDK could be wildly off base.

    As a friend, Josh, I’m asking you to make me better by finding and pointing out my specific errors and bad acts, or repair the bad feeling created by your endorsement of what I currently feel is a patently false claim about me by Ophelia combined with what I currently feel is an unreasonable insistence on your part that I need to “do better,” given that I was actively avoiding the specific bad act that you think I would have to “do better” to succeed in not doing.

    If you think it’s bullshitting to ask for evidence, fine, I’m bullshitting. But you know I’m willing to admit error when someone shows me evidence that I’ve been wrong. Instead of merely insisting that I’m bullshitting, you can end this now by dropping that evidence in my lap – you’ll even get an extra apology that it was necessary to drop it in my lap by virtue of my failure to notice it on my own. You can also end this now by conceding that I never did the bad thing – engaging in false accusation – attributed to me, and by that fact I’m clearly a victim of Ophelia’s recklessly false allegation in this thread.

    Please. Don’t refuse to engage. One or both of us can come out of this better, but you have to actually cite the evidence to get us there.

  253. PatrickG says

    @ WMDKitty:

    “This whole thing”. Cute. Way to completely deflect from your fuck up and blame it on someone else.

    That was, quite literally, ALL I WAS ASKING FOR.

    You have got to be shitting me. If that were actually true, 90% of your comments wouldn’t … exist. Do you think we can’t read your comments above? I mean, here, just a few comments up:

    Support her if you will, but know that you’re getting in bed with a dishonest backstabber who won’t hesitate to throw you under the bus for her own convenience. Just look at how she treats trans people…

    You denying you have an agenda doesn’t mean you don’t have an agenda. A blinding, glaring, white-hot agenda. Now, that’s not to say that all items on said agenda should be dismissed, or that there aren’t constructive conversations to be had.

    But you don’t get to pretend that this was all just an innocent misunderstanding. You’re way on the record here. Don’t pull this “mistakes were made” crap.

  254. says

    Well, Patrick, if she’d engaged her brain instead of jerking her knee to defend her pet hate-zine, NONE OF THOSE OTHER POSTS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED.

    I’m not saying this to excuse or dismiss my own fuck-ups. I’ll happily own my fuck-ups.

    I’m saying it because it’s fucking TRUE.

    I’ll admit, I deserved to be called out, because I FUCKED UP.

    But for fuck’s sake, HOW CAN YOU NOT SEE WHERE OPHELIA CONTRIBUTED TO THIS WITH HER IGNORANT INSISTENCE THAT A BLATANTLY RACIST IMAGE “ISN’T RACIST”?

  255. PatrickG says

    HOW CAN YOU NOT SEE WHERE OPHELIA CONTRIBUTED TO THIS WITH HER IGNORANT INSISTENCE THAT A BLATANTLY RACIST IMAGE “ISN’T RACIST”?

    First, my eyes. IT IS HARDER TO READ ALL CAPS IF YOU’D FORGOTTEN.

    Second, I don’t view this as the binary choice (RACIST or NOT RACIST) that you apparently do. It’s been my reading that OB has consistently said that the huge mistake is viewing French society through American eyes, that we should weigh accusations of racism against the actual responses of people supposedly targeted, that it’s a satirical magazine that hits AND misses, that these are enormously complicated issues, and finally, that this whole thing, as you put it, is prompted by a bunch of US-centric writers going off of knee-jerk reactions.

    I don’t completely agree with her, as I understand her position, but I’d hardly characterize her position as “ignorant”. Far from it. I do think she’s minimizing splash damage to some degree, and perhaps putting too much reliance on SOS Racisme and other French actors to balance her (self-admitted) ignorance of French society. I do think there’s fruitful conversation to how satire can inadvertently (or in some cases deliberately) reinforce harmful stereotypes, how to avoid that, how to not punch down, how to improve the genre, and so forth. There are any number of topics that deserve careful treatment here.

    However, you make it impossible to even begin discussing the issues! You are, after all, the person who dismissed contradiction with an unpardonable slur, called the same person a “RACIST SHITSTAIN” for disagreeing with you, accused OB of being a “backstabber” hosting a “den of lies”, grandiosely claimed that CH is “a driving factor” in the segregation of French society without evidence, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Clearly, you’re driven by a level of anger I can only characterize as weird and obsessive. For you, it’s clearly much more about smearing Ophelia Benson than it is about the actual issues at hand.

    And then you have the nerve to continue denying your own role in this whole kerfluffle with:

    if she’d engaged her brain instead of jerking her knee to defend her pet hate-zine, NONE OF THOSE OTHER POSTS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED.

    Are you drunk? I mean, seriously, this is weapons-grade, jaw-dropping deflection and self-absolution here.

    I’ll give you one thing: I do think your subsequent apologies for the slur were sincere.

  256. Nick Gotts says

    Okidemia@287

    What would you say to those girls and their families?

    That I’m really sorry for what they had to endure and will have to survive.
    And if they could do more, that some people at the place I come from just think people like them are just becoming pregnant to steal their monney, which is so obviously fucked up thinking that other people decided to draw a cartoon about it, which is not designed to mock them but alert about the idiots that think birth control is in the hand of everyone on earth and that coercive sexual power is one of the humankind abomination nobody cares enough about.

    The cartoon does mock them: it represents them by grossly racist and misogynist caricatures, and puts words in their mouths that have nothing to do with their actual situation and suffering. It’s quite evident that the cartoonist, and those who chose the cover, are among thise who do not care enough about coercive sexual power – at least when its victims are black African girls.

    And fuck anyone who gets hurt in the process, right?

    No. Why do you think so? Why do you think I should think so?

    See above: evidently they did take exactly that attitude to the kidnapped girls and their families.

    Did you oppose every single journal that published pictures of the murdered Kenyan students worldwide?

    I think that was wrong, that it would not have been done if the victims had been white; but as you say, the situations are imperfectly analogous. Those pictures were at least pictures of a real event, and were not grossly racist caricatures.

    French culture is about nausea and the fragility of existence, about not understanding things and not being successful to communicate them.

    Oh, right; that makes it OK to publish racist caricatures of kidnap victims.
    Oh, wait – no it doesn’t. And whatever else it is, French culture – like British and American culture – includes a lot of poisonous racism and misogyny. And being of the left – including the non-dogmatic, fragile, nauseous left – doesn’t exempt people from those influences, or excuse pandering to them.

  257. says

    WMDKitty: Your second “apology” was so far from being an apology as to be laughable.

    You know, at this point, fuck you. You have no clue and no desire to make things right.

  258. says

    What a Maroon
    You’re completely right. I should have made myself clearer. It-clefting is one instance with the “it” as a dummy subject. “It’s raining” would be another one or “It’s a bright day” where we have a dummy “it”.

    Okidemia
    I meant “traditional” in the sense of “having a long tradition/been around for a long time.”

    French culture is about nausea and the fragility of existence, about not understanding things and not being successful to communicate them.

    You know, Ive been reading French philosophers a lot. Foucault, Derrida, Barthes, de Beauvoir… It amazes me that the culture that gave us those people, the people who developped the very tools we’re using in cultural critics is so oblivious to their work.

    WMD Kitty

    If you think I’m “dishonest”, why don’t you provide evidence of my alleged “dishonesty”?

    Now, if you could show where I accused you of dishonesty? Oh, no, I didn’t. I pointed out a pattern in your behaviour.
    Like, saying something really horrible, then getting huffy and puffy and THEN apologising, but expecting us to forget that you do this time and time again.
    You know, I didn’t criticise you for arguing your point. If you were paying attention to anybody who is not you you’d have noticed that I’m actually on the “CH is pretty racist” side of the debate.

    Gee, guys. I’m sorry. I’m such an asshole for trying to point out something problematic. I’m such a horrible person, for caring about how people of color are portrayed. And I obviously have no sense of humor, if I can’t laugh at the dehumanization of others.

    No, you’re an asshole for behaving like one. Here’S some news: You can be right on an issue and still be an asshole. You’re deliberatly conflating the two.

    +++

    Ugh. What a piece of shit.

    is equally dehumanising. No matter who said it.

    Josh

    That’s cheap, ugly, and you know better. Shame on you.

    Same to you. DEmanding that somebody enters a space they do not consider safe for themselves is entitled.
    Also, you know, given that Ophelia Benson happily let SC spew lies about me, I really don’t give many fucks about “fair representation” of what people said in this case. If she’s happy to let people lie about me and brush it off when I point it out, she can hardly expect that others check everything said about her.

  259. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    I’m of similar opinion to Nick Gotts about Charlie Hebdo.

    Unsolicited advice:

    WMDKitty,

    I don’t know what kind of anger takes hold of you sometimes, but when it does you go completely off the rails. You completely lose censure over your mouth and unfortunately, that usually shows your bigoted side. It’s impossible to argue with you because you don’t actually read and respond to people, you skim just enough to fuel your own rage and spew more insults.

    You know that this place is far from careful about tone, but at some point insults become just incoherent babble. You cross that point, at the same time crossing borders with the kind of insults you use.

    I don’t for one moment believe your appology was sincere. It was to get people off your back so that you could continue with your main topic.

    When you calm down, you’ll appologize ffor the whole shitfest, somewhat more sincerely, and expect people to just forget about it. Again.
    Can you sense when the rage takes over? Take a break from internet, of just watch funny videos of tiny animals doing stuff…. but don’t start arguments here. Because you always show your ass. Have you notices that you already got a reputation for that? On the top of my head, I remember the breastfeeding, mothers in general, circumcision… There might be more. The things you say when you’re angry…. anger is NO excuse for those. There is no excuse for “pet gay”. Considering that this behavior is a pattern, I’m tempted to say that we see real you when you’re angry. I hope not. But you have to try to control that impulse you have. For yourself if not for people you hurt on your way.

  260. Lofty says

    A really excellent reply on an article discussing the legalization of gay marriage in Australia:

    Yakadeeyak: 03 Jun 2015 9:39:56am

    This whole process is being forced on so many people, who simply put, find the thought of it a put off, pure and simple. They feel an un-natural way of life is being forced on them as normal. Many think like this but are now afraid to say it due to the labelling they endure, free speech on the matter has been bullied for sure.

    off putting : 03 Jun 2015 10:09:15am

    You may find it off putting. I find grown men who hit on women more than ten years younger than them off putting. I find speedos off putting even on Olympic athletes. I find Tony Abbott off putting.

    However none of that really matters, as we live in a society where we tolerate things that we find off putting for the sake of public cohesion. Because you or others find homosexuality off putting it not a reason to prevent them from marrying. In fact unless you’re homosexual, it will not affect you in anyway.

    Unnatural by definition means: contrary to the ordinary course of nature; abnormal. Homosexuality occurs in over 1200 species. It is uncommon, but not unnatural. In fact just because something is uncommon or even ‘unnatural’ does not make it wrong. No one is forcing anything on you, you will not be required to marry someone of the same sex. Your life will continue as normal. Homosexuals are already walking around in public, raising families, working amongst the rest of us. They are no going to magically disappear just because you find them off putting. They will still exist after they’re married, operating in society in the exactly the same way.

    If you don’t like the reaction you get when you call homosexuals unnatural, maybe instead of crying ‘free speech’, maybe you could evaluate how your words make others feel, and maybe just keep your opinions to yourself. Because ultimately you haven’t offered on tangible reason for not allowing homosexuals to marry, except that you find it off putting and believe it or not society doesn’t operate around your personal feeling. People disagreeing with you is not bullying.

  261. anais says

    I’ve been reading B&W and Pharyngula for about as long as they’ve been around, and regularly read all of the comments (but never comment myself). So I’m really familiar with Crip Dyke, Josh and WMD Kitty and have usually been in complete agreement with their opinions. So I was surprised by the vehemence of WMD Kitty’s tantrum about Ophelia and disgusted by the vitriol and insults aimed at Josh.

    But what really left me open mouthed with shock was Crip Dyke’s disingenuous, and frankly utter bullshit reply to Ophelia and Josh. If you haven’t read the comments CD, why are you even joining the discussion? Fuck off with the ‘plausibility’ rubbish, it doesn’t fly. I held you in high esteem and now I’m not sure why. It seems to me that you’re being quite dishonest. Don’t ask Josh to point out where you’re wrong; why don’t you reread what you wrote yourself and try and work it out. It’s very obvious.

    And Gilliel is quite right to say that demanding someone enter a space in which they feel unsafe is entitled. However why did Crip Dyke feel the need to weigh in at all if she wasn’t going to read the actual comments? She shouldn’t have said a thing if she wasn’t willing to read the original post and comments that triggered this disagreement. Marilove’s right: this is fucking sad.

  262. Nick Gotts says

    I don’t know what kind of anger takes hold of you [WMDkitty] sometimes, but when it does you go completely off the rails. – Beatrice@330

    Yes, I agree completely. WMDkitty, please take note of the fact that even those who agree with you about Charlie Hebdo (and in my own case, very rarely read Ophelia Benson any more because I find her views so repulsive), agree with those condemning your behaviour here.

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

    @anais:

    If you haven’t read the comments CD, why are you even joining the discussion?

    The conversation came here, I didn’t seek it out. But I read WMDKitty and felt moved to write. As I was writing, I was working out what I wanted to say. Ultimately I determined that what really moved me to write and what I really wanted to say is that I’ve seen quite a lot of evidence that Ophelia treats some people in a manner I think is bad.

    She has, in this very thread, said that I used the situation in those comments I’m not interested in reading as “good reason” to say that she didn’t know what was going on in her own thread. This was patently made up. Pure fantasy. I said literally nothing of the kind. I bring this up because although it comes after my first comment on the topic, it’s a perfect example of the behavior of Ophelia’s that I dislike and that has caused me to avoid commenting at B&W.

    Thus my conclusion wasn’t about whether the current situation was faithfully described by WMDK or not. My conclusion was that

    But at this point, sadly, I’d be unsurprised to find Ophelia engaging in behavior towards at least some of her commentariat that I think is ill-thought and unfair.

    it’s a conclusion that I made on other evidence, but it is only reinforced by Ophelia’s insistence in this thread that I am “lazy and hostile” for failing to read comments that I didn’t want to read and that wouldn’t change my point whether or not Ophelia had been unfair to WMDK specifically. It was further reinforced when she made up the idea that I “claimed” she was ignorant of her own writing. It was further reinforced when she wrote in comment #275:

    I said you shouldn’t accuse me of shit right after saying you don’t read the supposed source of the shit. You don’t get to say “I don’t want to read your blog but I’m accusing you of saying various things there anyway.”

    I did not accuse her of shit. I did not accuse her of shit. I did not accuse her of shit.

    The entire basis for the outrage is made up, Poof! No one, not you, anais, not Josh, and not Ophelia has quoted a specific portion of a specific comment of mine and made the assertion, “This constitutes the accusation that Ophelia protested.”

    So I can’t even defend myself against anything. Somewhere there’s supposed to be an accusation I’ve made, but no one will identify it.

    Why is that, anais? Why do you choose not to identify the specific allegation I’ve made that, if I’ve made it on the basis of evidence I’m unwilling to examine, would be obviously and grossly unfair? Morally “astonishing”?

    I’d really like to know.

    Fuck off with the ‘plausibility’ rubbish, it doesn’t fly.

    What is this “plausibility” rubbish? What, precisely, do you think I’ve said or implied?

    It’s not “rubbish” to say that accusations of swearing against a person you’ve heard swear before are “plausible”.

    All “plausible” means is “possibly true”. It’s not yet ruled out. How is noticing that rubbish?

    Obviously you find my #277 unconvincing, but I seriously don’t get why all statements of “X is plausible” are rubbish.

    And if it’s not all statements of the type “X is plausible” then it’s not “plausibility rubbish” – it’s some other kind of rubbish. What makes the statement

    “I don’t know whether Ophelia did this or not, but based on past experience I can’t dismiss it out of hand, and that makes me sad…”

    rubbish?

    I held you in high esteem and now I’m not sure why.

    Because sometimes I write well and/or offer valuable insights and/or information? On a website where my only contributions are words, it’s the only reasonable guess I’ve got.

    Even if I’m completely in the wrong here, even if you or Josh or Ophelia whacks me over the head with a clue by four and suddenly I see that, previously unacknowledged by me and entirely forgotten by my conscious brain, I wrote a terribly unfair screed against Ophelia somewhere in the early 200s, even if that were to happen all it would demonstrate is that I can be badly, badly wrong.

    No heroes, anais. If I write something worthwhile, esteem the writing.

    When I write rubbish, circular file it. There’s no reason for you to attach value to any bad writing I produce just because it’s written by the same hands that wrote some other piece of writing that actually communicated something useful.

    You have no responsibilities to me whatsoever. But it would be nice, if you have respect for me as a person, to specifically point out my errors so that I can get better, so that I don’t repeat the same error in the future.

    I think that would move things forward a lot farther than vague references to “plausibility rubbish”. I’d also personally appreciate it. While I don’t **want** to be wrong, someone pointing out where I’ve gone wrong is always a blessing because it’s a chance to learn. “That was great!” is sometimes nice to hear, but one doesn’t learn anything of substance from the agreement. So if you get around to pointing out my errors, I’ll give you my thanks.