Mythcon, this conference by Mythicist Milwaukee, has lost another one. Aron Ra withdrew from participation over the fact that the con was featuring a trio of alt-right-leaning, incompetent pseudoskeptics, the Armoured Skeptic, Shoe0nHead, and worst of all, Sargon of Akkad (see previous post on the bad history of the alt-right). Now, surprisingly, Seth Andrews has announced his withdrawal as well. I say “surprisingly” because he was the one lashing out most viciously against critics of the conference. Like this:
Agreed. It's the frothing hyperbole and fear-pimping by bad-faith agents of chaos that I stand against.
— Seth Andrews (@SethAndrewsTTA) September 15, 2017
He wasn’t accusing alt-right neo-Nazis of
frothing hyperbole and fear-pimping by bad-faith agents of chaos: the
bad-faith agents of chaos were those fellow atheists who saw him being exploited by people who wanted his name on a roster just to legitimize those three awful people. That’s been his reaction ever since — accusing anyone who said he should not use his (formerly) good name to support this group as part of the
Outrage Brigade, among numerous other insults.
Unfortunately, while announcing that he is
respectfully withdrawing from the conference, a large chunk of his tirade is, once again, aimed at everyone who told him this was a bad idea. Here is his third and longest point in his announcement.
The hysterics (who I’ve winkingly dubbed The Outrage Brigade) warned that MythCon would be some kind of frothing Thunderdome, a roiling cauldron of racism and misogyny, a white male circle jerk, and (my favorite) a neo-Nazi training camp. (Of course, the participation of Iraq-born Faisal Saeed Al Mutar and Singapore-born Melissa Chen would make this the most bizarre Klan camp in history.)
Extreme voices like Dan Arel – who broadcasts from his latest residence in the town of Oblivion – gleefully poured gasoline on every spark, going so far as to call the hotel with alarmist tales of possible disaster. (Remember that this is the same guy who thinks we should punch Nazis, and that all police officers are terrorists. We can move on, folks. Nothing to see here.)
I watched with my jaw on the floor as The Outrage Brigade digitally tarred and feathered friends, fellow activists and wonderful humanists (Dillahunty, etc) with accusations of being white supremacists, rape apologists, and a long laundry list of other disgraceful slanders. It’s unconscionable.
Beyond the ALL CAP, profanity-spewing freak-out fringe, there has also been a swell of legitimate, good, mature, and genuinely concerned people who feel, correctly, that Sargon doesn’t represent good faith and respectful dialogue, but has instead demonstrated a penchant for inflammatory, click-bait, shock-jock controversy unworthy of a seat at the adult table.
Man. The thing is, that he is now being compelled to admit that all of his critics were right about this conference, that Sargon is a disgrace, the other two are “vague, lazy, hyperbolic”, and Jesus but does he resent being exposed as wrong. If hyperbole is a sin, what does he call what he just wrote? Maybe he thinks pettiness is his salvation. I’ll also note that he threw me into his Outrage Brigade, and here is what I wrote about the event. I forgot to include the ALL CAPs. I even forgot the profanity. I must have been sick that day.
And then he ends with this sentiment.
We have a long way to go, but I desperately want for us to find and travel the High Road toward a more rational, more compassionate, more beautiful world.
Sorry, guy. Your High Road looks rather ugly. That you’re oblivious to it doesn’t make it attractive to the rest of us.