Cringey Sunday

Yikes, after the visceral horror of mismanaged lab work, I needed a finisher of extremely cringey behavior, and the Internet provided. It’s this guy.

He rushed the stage at the California Democratic party convention to snatch the microphone away from Kamala Harris, because he wanted to talk about some “big ideas” — apparently, he’s concerned about extinctions, which I can sympathize with, but in this case the guy with the man-bun was inappropriate and disruptive and making his cause look bad.

I was impressed with how it was handled, though: no tough-guy threats, no violence, they just smoothly shuffled him off the stage and took him to the exit — they didn’t even press charges. I don’t know if that was a mistake, though, because the perpetrator seems completely clueless about what he has done wrong and will learn nothing from his behavior. He doesn’t even seem embarrassed, just smugly confident.


  1. ramases2 says

    Living on the other side of the world I see no reason to pay an overly amount of attention to US primary candidates. There are after all so many of them, most of them (in both major US parties) are very right wing. For me keeping up with closer countries such as Indonesia, Timor-Leste or India is more important. Nevertheless I just googled this candidate to find out her position on an issue that is pretty much a limpness test to distinguish real progressives from fake ones. It is easy, after all, to pretend to love the whales when it brings in a few votes when it does not cost you anything and will not lead to false slanders being leveled against you.
    Turns out this candidate has gives address to AIPAC. This is what she has to say about the oppression of the Palestinian people:

    ” I will do everything in my power to ensure broad and bipartisan support for Israel’s security and right to self-defense.”

    She was a co-sponsor of a Senate resolution expressing objection to the UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which condemned Israeli settlement building in the occupied Palestinian territories as a violation of international law. At the AIPAC conference, she said that “the first resolution I co-sponsored as a United States senator was to combat anti-Israel bias at the United Nations”.

    So congratulations to the protestor who called this awful human rights abusing person out. It is not the issue I would have chosen, but I am glad there was someone there to disrupt her. Why are not large number of progressive US people going into all her meetings to disrupt them?

  2. psychomath says

    Well, Ramases2, I’d say that many people pick their battles. Kamala Harris is certainly not the only Democratic primary candidate with shitty views on Israel and Palestine, and there are several other issues that also need to be dealt with. May I ask after your country and your participation in its governance to understand the grounds for your judging others? Your idea that we can make things better by “disrupting” every meeting by Democrats is fascinating. Is that how you managed to make your country into a utopia?

  3. Akira MacKenzie says

    I’m sorry, but some should taken a baseball bat to the head of this greasy, Millennial, hipster shit until he was either comatose or dead. I want social and economic progress as much as the next lefty, but if the last election taught us anything its the danger of disunity. The social change this clown wants is never going to happen as long as we’ve got conservatives/libertarians breathing down our necks. We to get rid of them before we have the luxury of bickering about neoliberalism vs. socialism.

  4. says

    I’m completely convinced that animal rights activists are the pro lifers of the left: Very whit, cis het middle class who have chosen the ultimate innocent they can defend who also conveniently cannot tell them to shut the fuck up.
    The only difference is that they do have at least partly a point about factory farming and cruelty.

  5. psychomath says

    @ Akira

    I’m against the disruption tactic, but primaries are not about unity. It is good that arguments about the platform of the party, and the social/economic justice question is essential. Fuck anyone, including you, who thinks that now is not the time to argue about these issues. It is exactly the time.

  6. unclefrogy says

    I think that the take way for this is how it was handled. No he will probably not learn much from this but he is not very likely in a learning frame of mind anyway. No need to “beat the hell out of him”. He was not violent so just take him calmly outside .
    uncle frogy

  7. KG says

    May I ask after your country and your participation in its governance to understand the grounds for your judging others? – psychomath@3

    What a piece of stupid, morally vacuous, crap. The notion that it is illegitimate to protest about the policies of or events in other countries until your own is perfect is a fundamental denial of our right and duty to fight oppression and injustice wherever they are found. For non-Americans to be lectured in this way about criticising America is doubly outrageous, since American actions have global effects beyond those of any other country.

  8. psychomath says


    Eat a bag of shit. It is completely appropriate to ask how the tactics that someone advocates worked out in their situation. Anyone is absolutely free to criticize as they wish, but if they want to offer solutions, they ought to have some grounds for making the offer. This should have been more or less obvious, if you had taken thirty seconds to think it over, you sanctimonious dipshit.

  9. psychomath says

    I mean, hell, if we are just going to give advise willy-nilly, I have some. Your country, my country, every country’s problem is the same: the ultra rich (a small number of families) control almost all of the resources and thereby the governments of the world. The solution is obvious: we kill them and take their stuff. There. Problem solved. Only, it isn’t quite that simple is it? There may be circumstances that make it unlikely or even impossible. It might be that maybe the people who are actually on the ground in those countries might have things to say about it.

  10. pipefighter says

    I heard she was talking about pay equity. Like, I get that mass extinctions are an existential crisis, but, you know, you’re obviously a dude, rushing a stage when a women is talking about gender equity, and you’re telling her, “well sweety, that’s wonderful and all, but I have something waaaaay more important to talk about!!!” Not cool dude.

  11. psychomath says

    I’m sorry for raging out. I’m just very tired. Criticisms are fine, but I think anyone who can hear them already knows. The people I work with and my friends and family have been in a state of shock for two and a half years. I feel like the work I devoted most of my life to had, at best, no effect. I’m furious, I’m scared, and I am very, very tired. If you think you can help solve things come on out. You can stay at my place, use my car, and eat my food.

  12. KG says


    Thanks for the dietary recommendation. Sounds like Kamala Harris offers much the same to the Palestinians.

  13. thirdmill says

    I think there’s a huge danger in picking any issue, whether it be Palestine, mass extinctions or whatever, and saying it’s a deal breaker. No candidate is going to be good on every issue — hell, leftists don’t always agree among themselves on specific issues — and even if the Democrats nominate someone who is only slightly better than Trump, well, slightly better is at least a step in the right direction. Part of the reason Trump got elected in the first place was all the leftists who didn’t think Hillary Clinton was pure enough so they either didn’t vote or voted for a third party candidate. The Ralph Nader voters gave us George Bush in 2000 too.

    I don’t like Kamala Harris because she’s far too pro-police for my comfort. However, if she gets elected we will have a president who is pro-abortion rights, pro-single payer health care, and pro-adequately funded schools and social programs, all of which make her far far preferable to Mr. Trump. Politics is the art of the possible, and if that’s the best we can do for the time being, then that’s the best we can do for the time being.

    By the way, I’m not that familiar with her position on Israel, so it’s possible that it’s more nuanced than has been suggested. It’s not inconsistent to say BOTH that Israel has the right to exist AND ALSO that the Palestinians have the right to be treated a whole lot better than they are. That, in fact, is my position.

  14. psanity says

    Yay, pipefighter.

    Could we just, everybody, take a moment to understand that this wasn’t about a “protestor who called this awful human rights abusing person out.” Nor was it about downtrodden masses unable to make their voices heard. An oblivious white dude thought that what he had to say was just so much more important than whatever girly blabber the black woman was going on about.

    And, keep in mind, this was no heroic storming of the Bastille. This was such an audience-friendly situation that they were taking questions from the audience and there was no security presence between the audience and the stage. That’ll teach ’em! Go, white dude! Why should you have to wait your turn?

  15. psanity says

    And it wasn’t fucking about Palestine, either, which was a transparent derail by a commenter who didn’t seem to have any clear notion of what the event was, what the format was, what was being discussed, or what happened there. How easy it is to be distracted into chasing a squirrel rather than noticing that it seems to be OK for any random white dude to interrupt a woman discussing women’s rights issues, because, apparently, she’s not at that moment talking about the rights of white dudes to love fish.

  16. DanDare says

    The derail would make an interesting thread of its own (or two).
    How do we weigh different issues?
    How do we distinguish candidates positions from the thought processes they used to get there?
    This thread though is white guy mansplaining to black woman and audience about his issue, screw everyone else.

  17. brucegee1962 says

    If you want to have a single-issue litmus test, then it has to be climate change. Period. The sad lot of the Palestinians won’t matter diddly if we all go extinct (and take all the larger mammals with us for good measure).

    If you hear a Deomcrat say something like “We must do more to fight climate change, while at the same time making sure to protect American jobs in all energy sectors” then by all means kick that candidate to the curb.

    A decade or two ago, I was contemptuous of single-issue voters too. But now, there’s really only one that matters.

  18. Knabb says

    @Akira, 4

    Nice. Always nice to see beating people to death mentioned as a strategy for unity, especially when the description of the person takes time to mention their generation. Nothing fascist about that at all.

  19. KG says

    But now, there’s really only one that matters. – brucegee1962

    Not true. For example, it is rather important to avoid a nuclear war. Ditto, to combat the worldwide rise of fascism. And as it happens, neither of these issues is unconnected with the uncritical support the vast majority of American politicians give to Israeli racism, oppression of the Palestinians, and contempt for international law.

  20. loreo says

    @Akira “dissenters who threaten our political power should be beaten”? So what, we’re going to defeat authoritarianism with – violent authoritarianism? That sort of party-first politics is only going to get us Obama 2.0 at best, with a witty and urbane sheen over the deportations and bombing runs.

  21. Ichthyic says

    So what, we’re going to defeat authoritarianism with – violent authoritarianism?

    well, if you look at history… violence IS the only solution we have ever had to rising authoritarianism.

    it’s essentially a one sentence summary of WWII, with one correction: violence is not reflective of authoritarianism specifically.

    Punching a Nazi does not make you a Nazi.

    or are you one of those people that think antifa was fascist? because then I just would have to laugh at your utter stupidity.

  22. Rob Grigjanis says

    Ichthyic @24:

    Punching a Nazi does not make you a Nazi.

    No, but bashing an animal rights activist in the head with a baseball bat until he is comatose or dead, in the interest of avoiding “the danger of disunity”, would suggest that brown shirts might be an appropriate fashion choice.

    Did you even read what loreo was responding to? Akira was talking about getting rid of people whose priorities differ from his own, not fascists.