Chapo Trap House and the rise of the dirtbag left

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For the uninitiated, CTH is a very popular (to the tune of $30k+ per month coming in via Pateron) podcast by a group of foul-mouthed socialists with a tendency to tear into liberals with just as much (if not more) zeal than conservatives. They were recently profiled/critiqued in the New Yorker. The episode in which they respond to the article (mostly by viciously mocking the author and the New Yorker in general) is a decent introduction. There's also a critique of the critique, of course.

I'm interested in this growing notion of the "dirtbag left" and the increasing ranks of the DSA, which I recognize are partly separate phenomena. (There is an amusing schism in their demo between the very young and the very old.)

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 01:11 (four years ago) link

This was probably the best intro I ever read:

http://splitsider.com/2016/09/explaining-the-chapo-trap-house-podcast-to-the-uninitiated/

Which gets into the reference-heavy jag the show occasionally launches off on.

THE SKURJ OF FAKE NEWS. (kingfish), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 01:17 (four years ago) link

these dudes sound pretty unpleasant tbh

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 01:22 (four years ago) link

I follow some dem socialists on Twitter and it took me like three goddamn months that it was a podcast and not just some sort of weird meme

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 01:23 (four years ago) link

Can someone explain to me how this podcast and its Patreon patrons are connected to progressive causes by something stronger than the tether between Hot Shots: Part Deux and the US Navy?

The beaver is not the bad guy (El Tomboto), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 01:25 (four years ago) link

I have only heard a few recent episodes, but the divide in airtime between vulgar comic riffs and actual discussion/intvws is pretty much 50/50

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 01:27 (four years ago) link

to answer yr question more directly Tombot I have seen a *lot* of tweets w/ CTH fans flaunting their newly received Socialist Organizer mailers/cards, anecdotal certainly but not nothing

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 01:31 (four years ago) link

They're still spending way too much time complaining about Hillary, the election and their critics. I find it amusing enough as a light podcast for driving but they're going to have to move on to keep listeners.

Kiarostami bag (milo z), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 01:33 (four years ago) link

a vigorous and funny response to the alt-right is probably a good thing, but this just sounds like a load of jerks being jerks

iatee otm

illbient microtonal poetry Surbiton (imago), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 01:33 (four years ago) link

This sounds pretty 'edgy'. I'll be interested to see what these guys do once they're out of high school.

DJ Untz Hall (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 01:38 (four years ago) link

I find it amusing enough as a light podcast for driving but they're going to have to move on to keep listeners.

Agreed, I think this will be a necessity after the inauguration anyway

tbh I mostly enjoy their eviscerations of liberal commentators/thinkers - fish in a barrel, sure, but undeniably satisfying

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 01:39 (four years ago) link

Have never listened to the show, read the article, I think i follow a couple of them on twitter. I hadn't realized they responded to the article with vicious mockery on their show, that's kind of a bummer since I saw them responding to outraged CTH devotees on twitter with essentially "chill the fuck out, it was a pretty good profile."

JoeStork, Wednesday, 4 January 2017 01:39 (four years ago) link

in the following episode they emphasized that they were embarrassed by people defending them

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 01:40 (four years ago) link

I think the 'jerks being jerks' stuff is overstated. I've listened to 10-12 eps now and there's nothing really offensive? They pick on dweeby Twitter people and pundits.

The episodes where they read from Ross Douthat and Megan McCardle's books are the best I've heard, followed by the interview with Adam Curtis.

Kiarostami bag (milo z), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 01:47 (four years ago) link

Can someone explain to me how this podcast and its Patreon patrons are connected to progressive causes by something stronger than the tether between Hot Shots: Part Deux and the US Navy?

It's an Air America show that can survive on its listener base, I don't think anyone's expecting them to start a revolution with a podcast. It's amusing to listen to a talk show with an actual left-wing viewpoint.

At least some of them are active with DSA and similar groups but they're also just relatively privileged liberal arts college NYC alt-media people.

Kiarostami bag (milo z), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 01:51 (four years ago) link

I'm realizing I could have asked the same question about Das Racist (RIP) and gotten kind of the same answer and it would have been fine. Why I felt the need to ask it of a podcast as if that requires a different kind of "authentic" pedigree is weird, and my thinking needs unpacking on that

The beaver is not the bad guy (El Tomboto), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 02:00 (four years ago) link

Can someone explain to me how this podcast and its Patreon patrons are connected to dirtbag causes?

rap is dad (it's a boy!), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 02:35 (four years ago) link

I think I need it explained to me how they are not directly related

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 03:20 (four years ago) link

I've listened to most episodes, it's a great podcast. Their coverage of the primaries was often very funny. An early ep had a great guest who detailed the situation w teacher strikes in Mexico. Occasionally they do succumb to the more deluded and counter productive tendencies of hardcore Berners though.

Nerdstrom Poindexter, Wednesday, 4 January 2017 03:43 (four years ago) link

i'll out myself. matt's a thoughtful guy. felix is lol in most moods and he reminds me eerily of turkey-obsessed college friends i miss; also i found his les mis reading compelling. will clearly guides the whole thing and holds episodes together but imo is the blankest when he goes on the attack. some episodes really are just them giggling at their own press clips. thought it was completely hilarious that their william f buckley impression was actually a capt. peter peachfuzz impression.

difficult listening hour, Wednesday, 4 January 2017 04:40 (four years ago) link

obviously the keep it negative dickhole zing crew should run podcasting

Whiney G. Weingarten, Wednesday, 4 January 2017 04:42 (four years ago) link

I don't think "keep it negative" is a fair summation of their worldview

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 04:44 (four years ago) link

a vigorous and funny response to the alt-right is probably a good thing, but this just sounds like a load of jerks being jerks

maybe if we brainstormed some more descriptions of trump's hair

difficult listening hour, Wednesday, 4 January 2017 04:49 (four years ago) link

afaict they're in the same gen x/millenial straddler segment as a bunch of my peers, sneer at the gen x detachment and corporate institutions equally, and are well-versed in the web communities that predate the 4chan weird bullshit, parallel to or members of somethingawful and other shit of the time

idk it's a thing where every political opinion coming from them seems like a deep-seated reaction from living through the late 90s and early 00s and that's the lens

mh 😏, Wednesday, 4 January 2017 04:49 (four years ago) link

douthat rip is savage

I'm trying to catch up to the Trap House but these things are like 90 minutes long. I'm on episode 4. By the time they're talking about current events, Trump's first term will be over

Whiney G. Weingarten, Wednesday, 4 January 2017 05:24 (four years ago) link

I thoroughly enjoy the Chapo Trap House. When I first discovered it it felt like a real catharsis to hear other people roughly my age or a little younger shredding New Democratism and bad centrist punditry of both liberal and conservative varieties but not in a lefty crank, counterpunch sort of way.

I can't say I love the new format with more regulars and preferred the dynamic of just Felix-Matt-Will. I like Amber and Virgil Texas individually I just don't feel like the show works as well with them regularly participating.

the last famous person you were surprised to discover was actually (man alive), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 05:27 (four years ago) link

ALSO as I think we talked about a little on the podcast thread, it seems harder for them to find their footing in a Trump world, now that the irrelevant centrist punditry has actually been rendered irrelevant.

the last famous person you were surprised to discover was actually (man alive), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 05:39 (four years ago) link

I'm trying to catch up to the Trap House but these things are like 90 minutes long. I'm on episode 4.

I've found that playback at 1.25x speed can be your friend.

THE SKURJ OF FAKE NEWS. (kingfish), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 05:52 (four years ago) link

i couldn't get through an episode of this, even though i generally agree with them

it just... isn't funny at all, or insightful. probably because the things that are funny and insightful in sad leftist twitter aren't funny outside of sad leftist twitter

qualx, Wednesday, 4 January 2017 06:16 (four years ago) link

Whiney, just listen to the Freeway Ross Douthat episode then skip to current events. Discussing the conventions doesn't really work as entertainment six months after the fact.

Kiarostami bag (milo z), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 06:20 (four years ago) link

being a completionist about a politics podcast is the most onion a/v club thing i've ever heard

qualx, Wednesday, 4 January 2017 06:22 (four years ago) link

I tried to listen to an episode but I just found it unbearable, but I realize I should have listened before I read that interview they did with Paste, which is hands down the most embarrassing thing I read last year: https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2016/07/chapo-trap-house-are-the-vulgar-brilliant-demigods.html

self-clowning oven (Murgatroid), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 06:24 (four years ago) link

i've encountered enough asshole know-it-all leftists on twitter (including at least one of the chapo guys, i think) that i haven't exactly been eager to give this a try.

Wozniak on Kimye's Baby (jaymc), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 06:25 (four years ago) link

"I haven't listened to this but I don't like it based on reading an article about it" is the most boring and non-contributing thing you can possibly say.

the last famous person you were surprised to discover was actually (man alive), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 06:28 (four years ago) link

Except I did listen to it?

self-clowning oven (Murgatroid), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 06:29 (four years ago) link

Like, "I tried to listen to an episode" is the first goddamn thing I say in my post

self-clowning oven (Murgatroid), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 06:30 (four years ago) link

They do definitely reflect the worst of leftist Twitter at times. Like it's clear from recent episodes their way of continuing in Trump World will be to still hammer Clinton relentlessly land act like centrist democrats are worse than actual fascists. They are really mad at Hillary for losing to Trump when all I heard from them for months was that she was just as bad.

Nerdstrom Poindexter, Wednesday, 4 January 2017 07:13 (four years ago) link

The show works better for me when Matt or Amber bring up something that show they've done a but more homework on this stuff.

My particular fave episodes are stuff like having on Adam Curtis, Matt Karp on his book on Antebellum American politics setting up race science and eugenics shit trickling down to Breitbart, or even the pilot ep of sorts where they excoriate the weird mentality behind Michael Bay's "13 Hours."

THE SKURJ OF FAKE NEWS. (kingfish), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 07:23 (four years ago) link

xp p sure they're mad at hillary for beating bernie with the weight of the DNC behind her, propping up trump as an easy win and then running an embarrassing general election campaign built on "of course i'll win"

qualx, Wednesday, 4 January 2017 07:45 (four years ago) link

and given that this toolbag seems to be the presumptive 2020 favorite of the DNC, which has not shown any indication of shifting platform aside from a few pockets of support for keith ellison, keeping the fire under the democrats might be the only thing that saves us from 4 additional years of actual fascism

qualx, Wednesday, 4 January 2017 07:49 (four years ago) link

Nerderik P.

salthigh, Wednesday, 4 January 2017 08:17 (four years ago) link

The "weight of the DNC" that Bernie's ramshackle campaign couldn't overcome but Obama could somehow. We can blame this vague "rigging" for Bernie's loss (and not acknowledge that maybe he should campaigned in the south) but can't admit the Comey letter had an effect on Hillary's?

After the primary was pretty much over they called the differences between Trump and Clinton "a wash". Matt Christman perpetuated the deluded idea that the Bernie delegates at the Nevada caucus were "disenfranchised", just as one example. Granted it wasn't the job of the left to get Hillary elected (I'd have personally preferred Bernie for a number of reasons) but you don't get to act mad at her campaign for losing when you perpetuated the equivalency narrative throughout the campaign. Many Dems have been able to acknowledge that she was a vulnerable candidate that we were stuck with because not enough people ran but it seems like it would literally kill many on the left to just say "we got carried away".

Also, encouraging people to spread "Bernie Would've Won" memes is pretty asshole-ish and counter productive but I don't know maybe stopping actual fascism will require purging People who don't hate Hillary but I could be wrong.

Nerdstrom Poindexter, Wednesday, 4 January 2017 08:23 (four years ago) link

but you don't get to act mad at her campaign for losing when you perpetuated the equivalency narrative throughout the campaign

You kind of do? I listened to the post-DNC podcasts and a lot of commentary revolved around things that seemed iffy even at the time when it seemed like a lock - trotting out Mike Bloomberg, the lineup of neocon security/military people lining up for Hillary, etc.. It goes back to 2000/2002 - if you're going to present Republican-lite as the face of the party why wouldn't the voters who are into that just vote for real Republicans? They were also right back then on focusing on decency being poor judgement.

Were the Hillary fainting jokes in bad taste? Sure. That's still the most tiresome part of the podcast, but it's also a fairly small part of it.

Kiarostami bag (milo z), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 08:33 (four years ago) link

Funny thing about Bloomberg is we was one of the few convention speakers who got kind of a positive reaction from the Bernie or busters there when he mentioned that he described himself as an "independent" what or John Lewis got anti-tpp chants. There was definitely messaging problems w HRC's campaign but given the consequences of the election (potential loss of social programs for one) people with visibility on the left seemed reluctant to encourage voting for the obviously better choice of the corny old lady and pickedvthr campsign apart for things all high level campaigns do becuae they were probably confident she was going to win anyway.

Nerdstrom Poindexter, Wednesday, 4 January 2017 08:55 (four years ago) link

Also, encouraging people to spread "Bernie Would've Won" memes is pretty asshole-ish and counter productive but I don't know maybe stopping actual fascism will require purging People who don't hate Hillary but I could be wrong.

― Nerdstrom Poindexter, Wednesday, January 4, 2017 3:23 AM (twenty-two minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i don't think spreading memes has ever been productive in any direction

seriously didn't realize there were still people aside from high ranking democrat pols and frederik who think the answer to defeating trumpism over the next 4 years is to double down on the 2016 strategy

this is some gluing humpty dumpty together again shit

qualx, Wednesday, 4 January 2017 09:00 (four years ago) link

that Bernie's ramshackle campaign couldn't overcome but Obama could somehow

yeah it's almost like these are two different candidates running on entirely different platforms with entirely different relationships to the DNC

how close are you to running out the "of course the DNC sank bernie, he wasn't a member of their party!" argument that was briefly popular 8 months ago in an entirely different america

qualx, Wednesday, 4 January 2017 09:04 (four years ago) link

Yes, Mike Bloomberg is a well-known figure on the socialist lecture circuit. Hugely popular on the left. Yuge.

It is a reminder that the one thing worse than jokes about Hillary's medical problems is the narrative around BernieBros and "Bernie or Busters" where whatever ills that pop into your head can be ascribed to them.

The fundamental disconnect here appears to be your belief that the left's issue with Clinton is that she was "corny."

Kiarostami bag (milo z), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 09:06 (four years ago) link

xxp obvs

Kiarostami bag (milo z), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 09:06 (four years ago) link

I never said "everything was perfect w HRC's messaging except that leftist twitter and this podcast didn't like it". I'd have preferred a different candidate but Hillary won the primary, she was obviously the better candidate compared to Trump. When you vote for a candidate you are voting a coalition into office. Making equivrlrncies beyeeen her and Trump was ridiculous then (kind of offensive actually when you put in perspective ) and looks even more ridiculous now. Maybe you can post the photo of them at a party together I've seen a million times and I'll withdraw that.

We have social media, we know the left got "carried away" I don''t see the point in denying that base level reality. I mean people were literally crying st the convention because they thought Bernie would get the nomination somehow.

Nerdstrom Poindexter, Wednesday, 4 January 2017 09:12 (four years ago) link

there is probably a roundabout way to bring katy perry into this but there are limits

Left, Wednesday, 12 May 2021 23:18 (three days ago) link

i hear stuff about gender and sexual deviance being an indulgence we can't afford if we want to win. that we can't even acknowledge colonialism because it will just alienate people or make them feel guilty. this is often coming from the radical anti-electoral left too. i know this shit happens in france and germany and the US and other places

You might hear all kind of things all kinds of places. There is not a large section of "the left" (such as it is) who don't want to acknowledge colonialism in the US. There are some assholes on Twitter.

Joe Bombin (milo z), Wednesday, 12 May 2021 23:20 (three days ago) link

xp you’re Left and you’re right

JoeStork, Wednesday, 12 May 2021 23:25 (three days ago) link

re: mutual aid. it's the only thing. i wouldn't have to think about this other shit at all except that i actually tried to engage with the establishment left and i had to learn about all this shit to make sense of why it wasn't working for me

Left, Wednesday, 12 May 2021 23:31 (three days ago) link

if the US left is better at this irl then i am glad. all i know is what i see online

Left, Wednesday, 12 May 2021 23:33 (three days ago) link

We don’t have an establishment left here afaict

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Thursday, 13 May 2021 00:12 (two days ago) link

get him to the greek

Allen (etaeoe), Thursday, 13 May 2021 03:04 (two days ago) link

I need to study up on my podcasts I guess

left pretty much totally otm despite their abrasive manner

bruenig has posted more extensively about being anti-abortion in the past, she's just smart enough to have realised now that her position on it is extremely niche and makes her no friends at all on either the left or the right, so she now much prefers to be quiet about it rather than actively courting controversy with it. https://bypass.theweek.com/articles/447812/why-im-prolife-liberal here is an article of hers from 2014, before she had the platform she does now.

she's typically pretty evasive on queer issues but with her general commitment to catholic social values and https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/is-there-a-christian-way-to-be-gay/ this book review which largely endorses the author's approach (the way to be a good gay catholic is to be celibate), i am very much with those who are not very fond of her. she's not very vocal about her catholic social values these days beyond all the pro-family stuff and the occasional twitter beef that she starts by criticising people (often queer) who make criticism of the family structure etc. but that's why when she does write her pro-family stuff like that latest article it annoys a lot of her critics (personally i don't really care that much about that part of it but the twitter fights she starts are terrible)

idk if she's ever been explicitly transphobic but accusing berlatsky of pedophilia in the exchange posted earlier was just terrible and she didn't apologise for it. while it's true that singal deliberately took the screenshot out of context to make berlatsky seem more ridiculous and remove the context of singal's transphobia etc., just bruenig being friendly with singal is red flag enough for 'sympathetic to transphobia' on top of the 'strong believer in catholic social values' thing honestly.

re: 'what does post-left mean on twitter' it's just the red scare/aimee terese/stupidpol axis of "the left needs to be more bigoted in general to appeal to the working class"/social conservatism justified with terrible applications of marxist theory. some of it's just a transparent grift of course but there's a lot of idiots who seem to believe this shit for real. obviously has nothing to do with the previous nihilist etc. meaning that left (poster) brought up, i think someone (aimee?) just started using it and it caught on to describe that position.

ufo, Thursday, 13 May 2021 09:48 (two days ago) link

"accusing berlatsky of pedophilia" is laying it on a bit thick tbh. she posted a snarky tweet not a police report

intern at pelican brief consulting (Simon H.), Thursday, 13 May 2021 11:05 (two days ago) link

i'm sorry but I've seen all this evidence before and it leaves you with the impression she's a social conservative who pretty much never publicly endorses social conservatism except if you read into her petty twitter beefs or whatever.

if there was even the slightest hint of actual problematic shit in what she's published since actually gaining an audience I would change my tune in a heartbeat I do not actually care to defend tradcaths believe it or not

intern at pelican brief consulting (Simon H.), Thursday, 13 May 2021 11:16 (two days ago) link

if writing for that nazi buchanan/taki rag (something i didn't know about) doesn't make it clear enough then nothing will

Left, Thursday, 13 May 2021 11:29 (two days ago) link

Nobody denied that Bruenig had Catholic social values. The question is, so what? Left said that having idiosyncratic personal views that one doesn’t advocate for publicly is analogous to being an abuser, and people “defending” such people are using the same rhetorical moves as people who defend abusers. He is just taking it as a given that his own position is maximally virtuous and anything that departs from it is hateful and must be stamped out. As if only moderates and centrists have covered for bad people in the past and the far-left has a clean track record! This self righteous attitude is endemic in the on the left, with disagreement regularly being conflated with harm.

treeship., Thursday, 13 May 2021 11:34 (two days ago) link

I would consider it harmful and not merely a difference of opinion if she was out there using her incredibly massive platform to say "abortion is bad" tbf

intern at pelican brief consulting (Simon H.), Thursday, 13 May 2021 11:38 (two days ago) link

Even here, you are calling the American Conservative a Nazi publication rather than a paleoconservative one. What is the point of that? And now that I point it out I will be seen as “defending” the bad people rather than just trying to push back against out of control rhetoric.

treeship., Thursday, 13 May 2021 11:38 (two days ago) link

Xp

treeship., Thursday, 13 May 2021 11:39 (two days ago) link

You don’t need to support something or even have sympathy for it to bristle against this kind of overheated, inaccurate type of speech.

Like, there are individuals I don’t like, people who bullied me in school, bosses who were disrespectful of my time and contribution etc. But if someone came on here and started misrepresenting any of these people I would object to that too. People can be jerks and not genocidal rapists or whatever.

treeship., Thursday, 13 May 2021 11:41 (two days ago) link

since when was pat buchanan not a nazi or paleowhatever not a euphemism for fascism. never mind forget it

Left, Thursday, 13 May 2021 12:29 (two days ago) link

it's a reactionary magazine for sure. i would not write for it personally.

treeship., Thursday, 13 May 2021 12:37 (two days ago) link

lmao she wrote for the american conservative, that's hilarious

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Thursday, 13 May 2021 12:40 (two days ago) link

I’m not quite following this “we shouldn’t hold
individuals up as archetypes representing issues and political movements” point you’re making, Left, when the other point seems to be “we need to throw this person out with the dishwater because they have a bad stance on one issue they no longer speak about publicly”

in my experience, most people reading articles that are forwarded to them, unless they’re linked to a book or a series, barely notice who wrote a piece let alone research the writer’s last decade

mh, Thursday, 13 May 2021 12:56 (two days ago) link

"accusing berlatsky of pedophilia" is laying it on a bit thick tbh. she posted a snarky tweet not a police report

insinuating he was a pedophile then. it was wildly inappropriate of her to just throw around something like that, come on lol. i would dislike her just for being pals with singal (which is more than just that one tweet) even without any of the other reasons really.

she's a social conservative who pretty much never publicly endorses social conservatism

she has publicly endorsed 'abortion is bad' plenty of times. while her position is less terrible than the evangelical one of criminalising abortion it's still not good and she used to talk about it on twitter and in her writing much more. as i said, she's been smart enough to quiet down about that more recently to avoid controversy, but it was a deliberate move she only made after her views apparently caused too much dsa/twitter drama sometime in 2018. like yes her soc-dem opinion columns these days are generally fine enough but it's certainly frustrating that such a prominent voice of the left in the media these days still has views wildly out of step on a number of important issues.

https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2016/10/28/pro-life-millennial-women-speak-out here's her appearing in a pro-life propaganda video by a catholic publication
https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/pro-life-anti-poverty/ here's another of her early pieces (again for the american conservative lol)

ufo, Thursday, 13 May 2021 13:00 (two days ago) link

Does she also think we fought on the wrong side of WW2?

lmao she wrote for the american conservative, that's hilarious


Waiting for her column on how we fought on the wrong side in WW2.

Van Halen dot Senate dot flashlight (Boring, Maryland), Thursday, 13 May 2021 13:00 (two days ago) link

one thing which this entire conversation is ignoring is the possibility that people can in fact change. would EB still write for The American Conservative now? what if she was antagonistic to certain progressive principles before but has relaxed her views? should it not be seen as a triumph if a former conservative turns Good; should we not celebrate the prodigal returned?

not saying she HAS changed, more gesturing to the possibility of it and therefore the potentially uncharitable nature of 'check the history', as though a person is a fully carved block as soon as they establish themselves in the public eye

imago, Thursday, 13 May 2021 13:14 (two days ago) link

thank you for the links, ufo, that does change things considerably imo. The Week is not an obscure publication by any means, and that piece clearly suggests that abortion should be illegal. Softening that to "Catholic social values" is disturbing.

The pro-life leftist position maintains that human life is so significant, so inherently valuable, so irreplaceable that it should be the central subject of political concern. This view requires, therefore, that since we care enough about the outcome of pregnancy to insist against abortion, then we must continue to care about the outcome when abortion is no longer a legal option.

rob, Thursday, 13 May 2021 13:16 (two days ago) link

xp well, if she's since retracted this view publicly, sure

rob, Thursday, 13 May 2021 13:16 (two days ago) link

i'm not sure if that's exactly what she was advocating there though you can certainly read it that way (it's a little vague) and i'd honestly forgotten about that part of it. regardless though for quite some time her views have been 'abortion shouldn't be criminalised just unwanted pregnancies reduced through better welfare for parents'. by 'before she had the platform' i meant having risen to the prominence she has now since she became a wapo columnist in 2017 and then nyt columnist last year.

people can still like her soc-dem opinion pieces if they want but i did want to make it clear to those who were confused as to why she is so criticised just what the issues were

ufo, Thursday, 13 May 2021 13:24 (two days ago) link

mh: there is no reason why this has to be about her specifically but why am i (or any other critic that none of these people need to even hear about to be defended from) represented as holding all the cards here? why not look at how things actually stand right now instead of what they might look like in some sort of slippery slope dystopia if i get what is assumed to be my way?

there is a strange kind of substitutionism going on here when one relatively prominent person is taken to symbolically represent non-conformists in general and it's bizarre to say the least how the demands for conformity are being represented and who they're being attributed to in this discourse. considering (yet again) the glaring asymmetries of social and other kinds of capital here

Left, Thursday, 13 May 2021 13:26 (two days ago) link

This is bullshit. You are claiming the right to be uncharitable to your opponents and tag them with nefarious innuendo. I am saying this is a bad way to be, regardless of how influential it is as a way of being. Not everything is a meta power analysis.

treeship., Thursday, 13 May 2021 13:31 (two days ago) link

actually it is

Left, Thursday, 13 May 2021 13:34 (two days ago) link

Thank you to ufo for providing the links here; as a Catholic the insistence of atheists (mainly men lbr) shielding EB from criticism because she’s Catholic is deeply odd. Her views aren’t just to the right of me on this matter, they’re to the right of 2/3 of modern Ireland. And far from the views making her unacceptable to the right, the opposite is true. People who criticise her on twitter get harassed endlessly by all her red-brown fans, she is very much in favour with a certain swathe of that audience and her views are the reason why.

Scamp Granada (gyac), Thursday, 13 May 2021 13:34 (two days ago) link

ugh.

I’m not speaking to LB here (I absolutely have no horse in this race, etc) but the entire idea of reproductive rights as a wedge issue in the US was nearly completely defined by cynical strategists and opportunistic religious leaders who thought yoking their church to a political movement would further their goals. Or in the case of more socially-conservative Catholics, a way to peel off voters from a historically democratic party voting block.

We’ve seen social issues get peeled away from the platform of that block, but their strategy worked and as soon as you mention certain reproductive health organizations the revulsion from the majority of non-religious, socially liberal republicans, isn’t a moral one, it’s a distinct reaction to what they see as partisan institutions

I have no idea what the solution is, but it’s not defining social issues as distinctively along party lines

mh, Thursday, 13 May 2021 13:36 (two days ago) link

I agree with mh

treeship., Thursday, 13 May 2021 13:37 (two days ago) link

(that ugh was to prior posts and not gyac most definitely)

mh, Thursday, 13 May 2021 13:37 (two days ago) link

Who is taking EB to symbolically represent the entire Left? One of our general side got snuck into the NYT sure but not even their most pigshit corpo-lib readership would take her to symbolise the entire Left. She doesn't do enough televised debates for a start. (Owen Jones otoh lol)

imago, Thursday, 13 May 2021 13:37 (two days ago) link

fwiw scoping this out a couple decades might be useful because I can’t even begin to pretend to understand the modern democratic catholic base, especially those like LB who converted in 2014 (!)

mh, Thursday, 13 May 2021 13:38 (two days ago) link

Mate, you’ve made it clear you simp for her, it’s ok

Scamp Granada (gyac), Thursday, 13 May 2021 13:38 (two days ago) link

Not everything is a meta power analysis.

― treeship

actually it is

― Left

this explains a lot

intern at pelican brief consulting (Simon H.), Thursday, 13 May 2021 13:38 (two days ago) link

(And that was not at mh either)

Scamp Granada (gyac), Thursday, 13 May 2021 13:38 (two days ago) link

I'm just joining in the fun

imago, Thursday, 13 May 2021 13:41 (two days ago) link

Must be nice for it to be an abstract matter for you.

Scamp Granada (gyac), Thursday, 13 May 2021 13:43 (two days ago) link

xp probably pointlessly xposted by now, sorry

I found the vagueness to be clearly deliberate. I don't think you can read that piece and not conclude that she thinks abortion should be illegal, even if that obviously isn't her area of political concern. To me it read as: pro-life conservatives are right about the immorality and therefore illegality of abortion ("While their arguments are in the right spirit"; "I find the usual right-wing anti-abortion approach underwhelming and incomplete," i.e., not wrong just lopsided), but they're wrong in pursuing penality as the primary social mechanism for reducing demand.

To be clear, I agree with her about all the social programs the US should have to help parents. Where I live, there is universal health care, parental leave is 15 months, and daycare is heavily subsidized. These programs are massively beneficial to everyone and needn't be justified with arguments about restricting reproductive autonomy.

rob, Thursday, 13 May 2021 13:44 (two days ago) link

The matter of abortion is extremely concrete for me: it should be legal and freely available to all at all times. The matter of whether EB is a bad person whom we shouldn't listen to or read the work of is a completely separate matter, and sure, probably quite an abstract one, as I neither particularly stan nor condemn

imago, Thursday, 13 May 2021 13:45 (two days ago) link

She does seem quite nice tho ngl

imago, Thursday, 13 May 2021 13:46 (two days ago) link

xxp i agree with your interpretation, it’s why I don’t consider her a person worth reading. But then my politics are shaped by my life and my upbringing, not abstract notions like “seems nice”.

Scamp Granada (gyac), Thursday, 13 May 2021 13:53 (two days ago) link

thanks for the links, ufo.

as someone who partially credits unapologetic Atheism (pre-IDW assholes) with the initial break from my very conservative, evangelical-adjacent upbringing and spent most of my 30s as a semi-ironic anti-natalist (fuckthemkids.jpg), I’ve long been suspicious of the (mostly) online trad-cath types ive run across. I think I softened somewhat in the last few years, primarily in the interest of coalition-building. my ex was heavily involved in the MidSouth Peace & Justice Center (https://midsouthpeace.org/about-us/), who are some rad folks, and initially started by lefty Catholics in Memphis. and yeah, some—mostly the OGs—were nominally pro-life, but were in touch w reality enough to know that’s simply untenable as a matter of policy.

my unsolicited advice to those who travel in these circles (and I doubt theyre are any here, even lurking) is maybe keep it to yourself until we have a robust, cradle-to-the-grave welfare state, on par with the most luxurious Nordic model available.

and even then, just maybe fuck off and have your 7 kids and enjoy it. abortion free and on demand forever.

Washington Generals D-League affiliate (will), Thursday, 13 May 2021 15:33 (two days ago) link

I'm glad you brought up anti-natalism because that's also fueling this to some extent

intern at pelican brief consulting (Simon H.), Thursday, 13 May 2021 15:42 (two days ago) link

maybe keep it to yourself until we have a robust, cradle-to-the-grave welfare state, on par with the most luxurious Nordic model available

I agree w this

intern at pelican brief consulting (Simon H.), Thursday, 13 May 2021 15:42 (two days ago) link

Skipping back a little, I was curious about this bit:

i am for the margins and the lumpen more than anything

Understandable desires, of course, but do you favor this leaning out of moral or strategic reasons?

Glower, Disruption & Pies (kingfish), Thursday, 13 May 2021 16:33 (two days ago) link

I can try to rationalise it in either of those terms but it's just an emotional impulse

Left, Thursday, 13 May 2021 16:46 (two days ago) link


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