Free Speech and Creepy Liberalism

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So. You're discussing online pornography somewhere - perhaps irl, but more likely online. You mention a concern about coercion - effect of pornography on the brain - etc. Someone disagrees with you; they wave away your concern, and roll out an eloquent, slightly hackneyed panegyric to Freedom of Expression. Censorship would be worse, they say, although you hadn't suggested censorship.

Scenario two. You're discussing the middle east, and perhaps sharia law. Someone comes along with a praise of 'life's wholesome, natural pleasures', 'wine, women'; they become misty-eyed as they say how sad it is that some people, blinded by fanaticism, would seek to restrict these things. Their descriptions of worldly pleasures seem - slightly stiff? Slightly rote?

Scenario three. Subject is racial abuse. The by now familiar figure I've been portraying rolls up to tell you that 'However unfortunate it may be that some people feel offended by another individual's choice of words', censorship would still be worse, stifling the natural flow of free conversations. Again, you hadn't suggested censorship.

Does this type of person actually exist? I am describing three different people, who I have actually encountered over the last five years or so; but I mean, have I encountered a style, or set of ideas, that is bigger than these three people? If it does exist, is it fair to call it 'Creepy Liberalism'? Is there already a name for it?

I am unsure whether this thread is worth doing, because it being of interest to anyone apart from me depends on the type of person I'm thinking of actually existing. But still.

cardamon, Tuesday, 2 July 2013 03:06 (ten years ago) link

seems like the common thread for this fellow is a conflation of legal permissiveness (along the axis of "freed of expression" vs "censorship") and moral/ethical endorsement of that thing? as in, they dont seem to understand that you can offer full throated opposition to something without at the same time calling for governmental/legal recourse in order to rectify it.

ryan, Tuesday, 2 July 2013 03:10 (ten years ago) link

i'm w/ u man. fuck free speech. xxp

Mordy , Tuesday, 2 July 2013 03:10 (ten years ago) link

But yes, those people/person do exist. Why call it "creepy liberalism"? I haven't encountered any true liberals that have been this way, it has usually always been conservatives/libertarians or just plain ignorants.

Yes, there's a definite misunderstanding of what 'freedom of speech'/First Amendment refers to in the general public, and I even last week had to explain to someone how Kickstarter pulling a fundraiser for its content was not a violation of said amendment, but at this point I think the only way to solve that problem is to follow the example of the ending of Return of the Living Dead

Neanderthal, Tuesday, 2 July 2013 03:11 (ten years ago) link

really the best way to reply to these clowns is just to quote the First Amendment, given how short it is.

Neanderthal, Tuesday, 2 July 2013 03:14 (ten years ago) link

I think a better description of this attitude is "ignorant and/or uneducated"... obv. tho I don't think its cool to curtail free speech just because its not the government doing it. "Free Speech" has larger connotations than merely the purview of the first amendment.

This Is My Design, and I Used Helvetica (Viceroy), Tuesday, 2 July 2013 03:23 (ten years ago) link

viceroy otm

Mordy , Tuesday, 2 July 2013 03:24 (ten years ago) link

but free speech isn't being curtailed if the government isn't preventing it. There's a reason why I can't just walk into my business and shout "EY, SUCK MY OLIVE-OIL SCENTED DICK K THX" and expect to still have my job the next day.

Neanderthal, Tuesday, 2 July 2013 03:30 (ten years ago) link

like if your business removes your posts from the company e-bulletin board, it's lame, but while it's corporate censorship, really isn't a violation of free speech.

Neanderthal, Tuesday, 2 July 2013 03:34 (ten years ago) link

most of these sound like early-20s white libertarian-leaning dude opinions

mh, Tuesday, 2 July 2013 03:34 (ten years ago) link

N.B.

Am aware that my OP there may look as if I'm trying to ridicule people I've disagreed with/make out that people who happened to disagree with me on said issues = weirdo.

I'm not - I do think the idea of free speech is a very important one.

Also: this was in a UK context, which may or may not be important.

cardamon, Tuesday, 2 July 2013 03:41 (ten years ago) link

Ryan:

seems like the common thread for this fellow is a conflation of legal permissiveness (along the axis of "freed of expression" vs "censorship") and moral/ethical endorsement of that thing? as in, they dont seem to understand that you can offer full throated opposition to something without at the same time calling for governmental/legal recourse in order to rectify it.

Yeah, that conflation of the legal and the ethical is definitely part of this style. I've wondered if there's a persecution complex at work here - person always seeing state oppression everywhere, but not in a clear-sighted way. That hunted, haunted psyche might be where the 'creepy' is coming from.

It may also be, as neanderthal says

I haven't encountered any true liberals that have been this way, it has usually always been conservatives/libertarians or just plain ignorants.

i.e. the hijacking of 'free speech' as an idea by people who are not really in full sympathy with it, or only want to instrumentalise it. Disjunction between the demeanour and the actual politics thus being the source of creepy.

cardamon, Tuesday, 2 July 2013 03:46 (ten years ago) link

you're harping on the lib vs conservative angle but Caring Way Too Much About False Instances of Censorship is a pleasure enjoyed equally by assholes of both orientations

ty based gay dead computer god (zachlyon), Tuesday, 2 July 2013 08:22 (ten years ago) link

Am aware that my OP there may look as if I'm trying to ridicule people I've disagreed with/make out that people who happened to disagree with me on said issues = weirdo.

Wellll, maybe just a little

dj hollingsworth vs dj perry (darraghmac), Tuesday, 2 July 2013 08:26 (ten years ago) link

I feel that this group maybe intersects with the people who call anyone who criticizes any particular group "racist". Like, recently there was incident here in Finland where a local conservative politician posted some blatantly racist, eugenics-influenced comments on his Facebook profile, which unsurprisingly lead to people calling him a Nazi... And then a totally clueless celebrity radio host decided to chide in, saying that it was wrong to criticize the politician, because that's "racist against the Nazis", and he should be free to post whatever he wants.

But yeah, I think these kind of people generally fall into two groups, neither of which I'd call "liberal" in the political sense of the word:

1) Libertarians, who think that having political/civil rights equals being free to say whatever you want about any person or group with no consequences.

2) Conservatives, who twist liberal concepts to benefit their own goals. Racism debates such as the above, where anti-racism is condemned as a "form of racism too", are a particularly good example of this.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 2 July 2013 08:44 (ten years ago) link

i suspect that an unquestioning defence of free speech without recognizing the complexities of edge cases is something that can only come from a position of privilege, ultimately

hang on i think i mean that "free speech" only really exists as a legal concept and that's okay and an important concept but it has never really been a trump card in any legal system, it feels simple-minded to adhere to it as such

Scenario two. You're discussing the middle east, and perhaps sharia law. Someone comes along with a praise of 'life's wholesome, natural pleasures', 'wine, women'; they become misty-eyed as they say how sad it is that some people, blinded by fanaticism, would seek to restrict these things. Their descriptions of worldly pleasures seem - slightly stiff? Slightly rote?

Certainly though cardamom, even if you don't care about the consumption of alcohol or equal rights for women, you surely must be appalled by sharia's strictures against music, right?

how's life, Tuesday, 2 July 2013 10:08 (ten years ago) link

I mean, this board is called I Love Music.

how's life, Tuesday, 2 July 2013 10:09 (ten years ago) link

fp

dj hollingsworth vs dj perry (darraghmac), Tuesday, 2 July 2013 10:17 (ten years ago) link

This board is called "I Love Everything", though. So I assume we love the pleasures of flesh just as much as music.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 2 July 2013 10:27 (ten years ago) link

Surely the free speech argument works in both directions here? If you have a problem with p0rn or sharia you're covered by the 1st amendment just as much as the other guy, no? I'm not saying you should have to have a debate about free speech in order to raise your concerns, but it might be a way to shut down arguments with idiots.

29 facepalms, Tuesday, 2 July 2013 10:31 (ten years ago) link

Rly we need the details and positions held during these arguments if this thread is to be any more than 'i talked to a bad man and another bad man' response 'oh no u talked to a bad man oh no'

dj hollingsworth vs dj perry (darraghmac), Tuesday, 2 July 2013 10:53 (ten years ago) link

most of these sound like early-20s white libertarian-leaning dude opinions

Mostly this, although I've also heard some of them from ppl who were not young or white or dudes.

Tottenham Heelspur (in orbit), Tuesday, 2 July 2013 11:00 (ten years ago) link

most of these sound like early-20s white libertarian-leaning dude opinions

― mh, Monday, July 1, 2013 10:34 PM (Yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

yah, not sure what exactly is novel about "creepy liberals"

xp

well if it isn't old 11 cameras simon (gbx), Tuesday, 2 July 2013 11:05 (ten years ago) link

@ darraghmac - I know, and my inability to supply more details kind of undercuts my question. I mean I can't even be sure I'm not remembering a strawman.

@ how's life - I wasn't in favour of sharia law at the time. It was more that of all the ways one might criticise it, this person's seemed to have something a bit odd about it.

cardamon, Tuesday, 2 July 2013 11:55 (ten years ago) link

but now you are in favor of sharia law, right?

call all destroyer, Tuesday, 2 July 2013 12:00 (ten years ago) link

Yeah, I knew what you were saying. I was just fucking around. xp

how's life, Tuesday, 2 July 2013 12:01 (ten years ago) link

xp Well, the mu'atizil school of ethics is interesting, but I can only access their ideas in translation

cardamon, Tuesday, 2 July 2013 12:01 (ten years ago) link

Screw my spelling today. It's Mu'tazilah.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mu%27tazila

cardamon, Tuesday, 2 July 2013 12:04 (ten years ago) link

gbx otm. liberals are often creepy.

Me and my pool noodle (contenderizer), Tuesday, 2 July 2013 12:08 (ten years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThrZ9-sS6aM

abcfsk, Tuesday, 2 July 2013 12:35 (ten years ago) link

Conservatives, who twist liberal concepts to benefit their own goals.

this sort of bad faith argument is so common on the right i wish it had a name. the general strategy is almost a reductio ad absurdum in which, say, some concept of fairness that leads the left to things like affirmative action is then the same idea that leads conservatives to decry affirmative action as "discriminatory." ("Blacks are the real racists because they talk about race so much," is another favorite one.)

the irony to all this is that it's an absolutely self-defeating gesture because while it's intended to push back against some imagined liberal hegemony, it's instead parasitic on it--there's really no such thing as contemporary conservatism beyond this automatic adolescent rebellion against the left and liberalism. you could almost say it takes place within the assumptions of liberalism in that notions of "social justice" and fairness are equally central but "twisted" into a parody version of themselves. i guess this is what happens when conservatism is unmoored from anything like tradition and replaces it with radical individualism/autonomy (ie, freedom from society).

ryan, Tuesday, 2 July 2013 13:35 (ten years ago) link

there's really no such thing as contemporary conservatism beyond this automatic adolescent rebellion against the left and liberalism

This is v. interesting

cardamon, Tuesday, 2 July 2013 14:15 (ten years ago) link

it's an overstatement, but i think it applies at least in part to the "media" version of conservatism (talk radio, NRO, etc...)

ryan, Tuesday, 2 July 2013 14:15 (ten years ago) link

this is what i'd describe as football fan politics, more akin to cheering for a nebulous team, right or wrong, and it definitely has a leftist equivalent

Definitely. The bad faith characterisation aspect too.

dj hollingsworth vs dj perry (darraghmac), Tuesday, 2 July 2013 14:18 (ten years ago) link

just came across an interesting passage from Aldous Huxley who defines being a partisan as "egotism at one remove"--a mechanism which allows you to indulge in just about any vice and call it virtue.

ryan, Tuesday, 2 July 2013 14:22 (ten years ago) link

there's also a strong element of the coopting of weighted language -- there are phrases that are commonly used, such as "gun control," which are relatively useless when used as intended because they bring up the baggage attached by groups against the concept

mh, Tuesday, 2 July 2013 14:26 (ten years ago) link

or, god help us, what people think "feminism" means

mh, Tuesday, 2 July 2013 14:26 (ten years ago) link

when the right invokes 'free speech' or 'racism' to undermine a common leftist position/belief, is that analogous in any way to the left evoking 'security' as a reason why eg the united states shouldn't use drone strikes. (bc they're undermining their own security by radicalizing more terrorists.) in both cases these aren't ideals that are generally associated w/ the political side and you suspect that maybe they're only being brought up as ideological concern trolling.

Mordy , Tuesday, 2 July 2013 15:12 (ten years ago) link

i think it's fair game to address an opposition position and try to show that it fails on its own terms as long as you're honest in what you're doing

Mordy, doesn't it depend on whether the ideal is inherent in the original critique or just bolted on?

cardamon, Tuesday, 2 July 2013 18:39 (ten years ago) link

Why call it "creepy liberalism"? I haven't encountered any true liberals that have been this way, it has usually always been conservatives/libertarians or just plain ignorants.

― Neanderthal, Tuesday, July 2, 2013 5:11 AM (17 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Really? I see liberals (you know people who read the Guardian or the NYT) making comments like the ones mentioned in the OP very often, especially the third type. like if you followed the recent discussions around the EDL in the UK you'd see self identified "lefties" (ugh @ that term, but I use it specifically to differentiate from leftists) saying "well yeah the EDL are bigots but hey - free speech" or condemning antifash groups for confronting fascists instead of "engaging in reasoned debate" or some bullshit (also see the Tea Defence League thing or a typical Guardian CiF thread). Usually the people invoking free speech in this context aren't the ones who are affected by the bigotry in question, makes it easy.

My god. Pure ideology. (ey), Tuesday, 2 July 2013 21:00 (ten years ago) link

how do lefties vs leftists pls

dj hollingsworth vs dj perry (darraghmac), Tuesday, 2 July 2013 21:01 (ten years ago) link

i mean i suppose people on all sides do it, I did when I was 19, but just didn't get why he picked that side in his description

Neanderthal, Tuesday, 2 July 2013 21:03 (ten years ago) link

i assume "leftie" = kneejerk football fan leftists and "leftist" = anybody who holds left-leaning political views

lol fuckin splitters

dj hollingsworth vs dj perry (darraghmac), Tuesday, 2 July 2013 21:09 (ten years ago) link

nah cos the former is a subsection of the latter? i mean, i am avowedly a leftist but i try hard not to be a leftie on the whole

Was sure it would be about the framing of this shit.

pic.twitter.com/GJb8kCc7oj

— Sally Hines (@sally_hines) November 8, 2021



Also here’s the BBC platforming the framing that reactionaries have helpfully supplied for these issues: https://www.bbc.com/news/education-59148324

recovering internet addict/shitposter (viborg), Monday, 8 November 2021 16:17 (two years ago) link

Kathleen Stock is on faculty at the new university, so it all connects: https://www.uaustin.org/

Trying to imagine what these courses will be like. How many different ways can you be daringly racist?

You have to get niche and use ethnic slurs not seen since the 18th century.

papal hotwife (milo z), Monday, 8 November 2021 16:31 (two years ago) link

What's Latin for "No Refunds"?

but also fuck you (unperson), Monday, 8 November 2021 16:33 (two years ago) link

Caveat emptor

That time a libertarian I met in China used that as the basis to argue against any regulation or certification of dentists, lmao. (He was ‘Murican of course.)

recovering internet addict/shitposter (viborg), Monday, 8 November 2021 16:57 (two years ago) link

Isn't that why Rand Paul made up his own medical org for accreditation?

papal hotwife (milo z), Monday, 8 November 2021 17:17 (two years ago) link

the only thing that could make dentists worse is doing away with licensing. can you imagine. i always think of this https://abc13.com/thom-tillis-hand-washing-restaurants-comments/503061/

certified juice therapist (harbl), Monday, 8 November 2021 17:37 (two years ago) link

“I said I don't have a problem with Starbucks if they choose to opt out of this policy as long as they post a sign that says we don't require our employees to wash their hands after leaving the restroom," Tillis said to audience laughter. "The market will take care of that."


“And if you can’t afford sufficient primary medical care, the market will take care you too. Lol!”

I was going to say they’re such idiots but this is actually somewhere on the sociopath-psychopath spectrum.

recovering internet addict/shitposter (viborg), Monday, 8 November 2021 17:51 (two years ago) link

I remember those comments, I call him Poop Hand Thom now

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Monday, 8 November 2021 17:56 (two years ago) link

it IS kind of interesting how willing conservatives are to embrace reactive policies like "wait for restaurants to get customers sick/killed, then the market will take care of it", whereas in terms of national security, they are ok with pre-emptively deporting people who just look the wrong way color.

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Monday, 8 November 2021 17:57 (two years ago) link

It’s a one-fork flowchart - “is this a benefit to capital? Y/N”

papal hotwife (milo z), Monday, 8 November 2021 18:06 (two years ago) link

Ah, I wondered if there was talk of the Forbidden Courses University anywhere. Insane grifting from the purportedly cancelled.

emil.y, Monday, 8 November 2021 19:21 (two years ago) link

If they had the courage of their convictions — or if they had convictions — they'd locate in some libertarian paradise like rural South Dakota. Instead they get to make noise about moving to freedom-loving Texas, while settling in a liberal metropolis full of coffee shops and bike lanes.

Who will be the Aaron Rodgers Chair of Doing Your Own Research?

A Pile of Ants (Boring, Maryland), Monday, 8 November 2021 20:18 (two years ago) link

Second major resignation from a key post at Bari Weiss' unaccredited grifter university since it went public this monthhttps://t.co/QT4gJxYDAj

— Andrés Pertierra (@ASPertierra) November 15, 2021

mens rea activist (k3vin k.), Monday, 15 November 2021 18:13 (two years ago) link

Will he have to return his gold-plated skull calipers?

papal hotwife (milo z), Monday, 15 November 2021 18:24 (two years ago) link

Andrew Sullivan was on 60 Minutes this weekend - anybody know if it was a plug for Grifter U., or for Substack "conservatism" more generally?

but also fuck you (unperson), Monday, 15 November 2021 18:48 (two years ago) link

"calipers" is a fabulous word

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 15 November 2021 19:01 (two years ago) link

but CALPERS is just another cryptic acronym

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Monday, 15 November 2021 19:25 (two years ago) link

By mutual & amicable agreement, I'm stepping off the Board of Advisors of U of Austin #UATX, wishing them well. I'm concentrating on Rationality (the book) and Think With Pinker (the BBC radio & podcast series) & won't be speaking on this further. https://t.co/xgo7exT61C

— Steven Pinker (@sapinker) November 15, 2021

Stinker out

papal hotwife (milo z), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 05:39 (two years ago) link

he was revealing himself a bit too openly with that one

adam t. (abanana), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 06:04 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

what is cryptic about CALifornia Public Employees Retirement System? It's not a particularly imaginative acronym

sarahell, Thursday, 16 December 2021 00:53 (two years ago) link

Thanks, sarahell. I never realized it before this moment, but now I see that if you expand CALPERS to show all the words it has abbreviated, suddenly it isn't even remotely cryptic! Anyone can figure it out! I'll try this with other acronyms and see if that trick works with them, too!

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Thursday, 16 December 2021 01:01 (two years ago) link

Sometimes I get it confused with CLASPERS, because I'm a shark pervert.

peace, man, Thursday, 16 December 2021 01:07 (two years ago) link

I put calpers on my pizza

Chappies banging dustbin lids together (President Keyes), Thursday, 16 December 2021 03:35 (two years ago) link

Skull CALPERS

papal hotwife (milo z), Thursday, 16 December 2021 03:45 (two years ago) link

all I'm saying is that California is a very populous state with a lot of government employees and one of the main reasons people choose to work for the state government is benefits such as a pension, administered by CALPERS, from which they receive immense volumes of correspondence throughout their careers and retirement. This is not to be confused with CALSTERS -- the California State Teachers Employee Retirement System, which is separate.

sarahell, Friday, 17 December 2021 02:39 (two years ago) link

oh, so that's what you were saying. sorry, that went right over my head. I'll try to pay better attention in the future.

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Friday, 17 December 2021 03:48 (two years ago) link

Or CALPIRG, those bright-eyed kids with the card tables.

peace, man, Friday, 17 December 2021 11:09 (two years ago) link

aiui many exhibits in the Ghislaine trial are shown only to the jury and a lot of stuff is heavily redacted, but I’m just going to wildly speculate that Pinker showed up in one too many photos from Epstein’s private collection

caddy lac brougham? (will), Friday, 17 December 2021 12:49 (two years ago) link

xp - idk to me, a cryptic acronym, is either one where you have no idea how the acronym was derived from the name of the thing, or one where even if you know what the full name is, it is still unclear what the thing actually is or does.

sarahell, Friday, 17 December 2021 16:01 (two years ago) link

Like compare these in terms of "cryptic-ness"

BUTT - Bouncing Undulating Twerking Tool

vs

BUTT - Bettering Understanding Transitional Talismans

sarahell, Friday, 17 December 2021 16:06 (two years ago) link

can a mod add a new ILX autoreplace?

Vangelis fleadh (seandalai), Monday, 20 December 2021 13:21 (two years ago) link

one year passes...

Michael Eisen has been canned from eLife. He’s tenured at Berkley so it’s a stretch to describe it as “being canceled.” Twitter is filled with posts about free speech in defense of Eisen and, in a variety of ways, Eisen is representative of creepy liberalism.

I usually don’t have feelings or opinions about these culture or political issues but I, for whatever reason, can’t stop thinking about this today. Eisen is a great scientist but Eisen was a terrible editor.

Allen (etaeoe), Tuesday, 24 October 2023 20:53 (five months ago) link

There’s also a personal component for me. Because of his following and position he’s the major example of being a bipolar academic on social media. I genuinely feel like I’m a moment from posting something really dumb.

Allen (etaeoe), Tuesday, 24 October 2023 20:55 (five months ago) link

he can be a terrible editor and suck in a variety of ways but if he was removed from a post due to retweeting an onion article that's still worthy of condemnation.

I? not I! He! He! HIM! (akm), Tuesday, 24 October 2023 21:04 (five months ago) link

I agree. Nevertheless, the eLife letter claims it’s because of multiple (unnamed) incidents. I believe this wasn’t entirely about posting The Onion article. Especially when that’s, compared to some of his other posts, relatively innocuous.

Allen (etaeoe), Tuesday, 24 October 2023 21:10 (five months ago) link

My first thought when I see stories like that--and I freely admit I know nothing more about this case than what you have posted here--is that there was probably sexual misconduct at the back of it.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Tuesday, 24 October 2023 21:13 (five months ago) link

I agree. Nevertheless, the eLife letter claims it’s because of multiple (unnamed) incidents. I believe this wasn’t entirely about posting The Onion article. Especially when that’s, compared to some of his other posts, relatively innocuous.

― Allen (etaeoe), Tuesday, October 24, 2023 5:10 PM (yesterday) bookmarkflaglink

could you just…say what’s on your mind here? his canning is facially, incontrovertibly preposterous. what other beef do you have exactly?

k3vin k., Wednesday, 25 October 2023 04:52 (five months ago) link

Posted about this case because it just seemed the weirdest one. But I see tweets like "an academic has been suspended" or "I lost a freelance gig" etc.

Utterly vile. "Free speech" as conducted in liberal democracies is an utter sham.

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 25 October 2023 10:04 (five months ago) link

Unsurprisingly, the craven art world seems to be operating similarly as many universities— Artforum Fires Top Editor After Open Letter on Israel-Hamas War

butt dumb tight my boners got boners (the table is the table), Friday, 27 October 2023 11:29 (five months ago) link

More on that kerfuffle— artworks have been returned and artists told to “stay in line.”

https://theintercept.com/2023/10/26/artforum-artists-gaza-ceasefire-martin-eisenberg/

butt dumb tight my boners got boners (the table is the table), Friday, 27 October 2023 12:15 (five months ago) link

"In the future we'll launder money and dodge taxes with only ethnic cleansing-supportive art."

papal hotwife (milo z), Friday, 27 October 2023 13:40 (five months ago) link

A paragraph from that Intercept link that jumped out

The authors of the response letter — the joint directors of Lévy Gorvy Dayan, which has gallery spaces and offices in New York, London, Paris, and Hong Kong — curate shows with some of the most prolific and highest grossing artists in the world, both living and dead. Their website lists Jean-Michel Basquiat, Gerhard Richter, Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly, Joel Mesler, and Adrian Piper as representative artists and collaborators. Dayan is the granddaughter of Moshe Dayan, the Israeli politician and military commander who is alleged to have ordered the country’s military to attack the American naval ship the USS Liberty during the Six-Day War of 1967

Elvis Telecom, Saturday, 28 October 2023 21:38 (five months ago) link

four months pass...

IDK if this is exactly the right thread for this. I don't really listen to Huberman, but I find this style of "investigative" smear piece to be gross and a trend I really don't like. AFAICT, the allegations are that Huberman is flaky and a shitty boyfriend? Like if he yelled and acted jealous of a woman's past I can see that that's "toxic" but it hardly seems worthy of reporting on, esp when the woman is a full-fledged adult with education and resources and there doesn't appear to have been any coercion, threats, assault, etc. Like why is "moderately famous person isn't a great guy" worthy of reporting?

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/andrew-huberman-podcast-stanford-joe-rogan.html?fbclid=IwAR3RqYspsmm0DL0VodXpthlf6DC3p-vziR-enLDDmbc9wFRHTnLpakC2P30

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Tuesday, 26 March 2024 01:52 (three weeks ago) link

man alive - probably the right thread for it, i don't have much to say about it myself... the problem with a lot of this stuff is that it's so marginal that, like, the people it affects it _really_ affects, but the people it doesn't affect...

i'm particularly starting to find myself less and less online... twitter becoming overtly institutionally evil has kind of reduced my contact with it. people i know are less likely to use twitter, less likely to be engaged with the Discourse. and some of those folks are on bluesky or mastodon and some of those people are too busy getting evicted to do much on social media. i mean honestly the one upside of having a group of friends who are constantly in crisis is that it really cuts down on my exposure to twitter drama.

but i did happen to run across this:

This will be the average congressional hearing in 2055 pic.twitter.com/jbN8kV9ikZ

— Jen Deere 1986 (@oxyjene1986) April 1, 2024

and i can tell i'm getting old because i only really know like half of these. i have no idea what "the captive prince" even is. "hazbin hotel" i haven't really seen but i have a group of friends who are really into it, and i don't really know what's supposed to be "problematic" about it.

but what bothers me is kind of the flattening of "problematic", the way it gets used as code for "untouchable". i've seen this a lot with my BPD - like, i have serious problems and they affect me and the people around me and, like. if people cut ties with me as a result of my behavior i _actively support_ that, i mean it hurts like hell and it's not what i _wanted_ but it's absolutely fair. but that's not how people use "problematic", it's used like it is here, where it's like oh you have friends who have friends with this person who did this bad thing, why are you doing that?

-

ok i'm gonna get deep into early christian history here, fgti if you're reading this maybe you'll appreciate my nerding out here, but what it reminds me of is this early christian heresy called donatism. it's a really interesting heresy to me and one i find really relevant to online culture.

so the big thing to know about christian persecution is that there was really only one big, major, pan-roman persecution, and that was the diocletianic persecution. after the "crisis of the third century" - basically the collapse of the First Roman Empire - after about 50 years or so rome kind of got itself together in a form that was still an "empire" but was different in a lot of ways from what came before, like more of an overt military dictatorship rather than just kind of implicitly a military dictatorship like it was before. one of the more important emperors was diocletian, who did a bunch of things and one of them was saying "ok we need to get serious about the Christian Problem", christians were, like, getting more and more prevalent. like maybe up to 10% of people in the empire were christians at this point.

so diocletian was like, goddamn, these guys are a threat to traditional roman civic religion and was all "repent or die". kind of like the spanish inquisition honestly haha. anyway a lot of christians weren't actually down with the "martyrdom" thing, including some bishops. which was important because bishops, at that time, were basically how you made new priests, you had kind of a lineage, like this person was ordained by this person who was ordained by this person, there wasn't like a Central Bishop Authority or nothing

anyway constantine, in hoc signo vinces, christianity is no longer an anti-imperialist resistance movement but a tool of imperialism, yada yada yada, but christians are mostly like, hey, cool, rome has stopped trying to kill us, that's nice.

the thing is that a lot of christians who renounced christ so as not to get killed, they were all "well, i only did that so i wouldn't get killed, i actually really believe in christ". and some of them were bishops, and since they were bishops, they started ordaining people.

and the donatists were like, hey, wait, that's bullshit, people were out there dying for what they believed in and you actively renounced your faith and now you're saying basically "psych!" and going on ordaining priests like nothing happened here? like you kinda gave up your moral authority to ordain priests when you renounced christ to save your own skin.

i mean honestly i can't say they didn't have a point, but the thing was it didn't, like, really work out in practice. because there's this lineage, and there's no central authority, and it devolves into well, was the bishop who ordained you actually ordained by a fake bishop, so for all you know you're a "real priest" but the donatists are like no you're not, and ultimately i guess like the woke donatists wound up eating themselves. or something.

like sometimes yeah it sucks that people who actually denounced christ are out there saying "oh yeah i'm super duper christian" like fuck you where were you in chicago?, but man you just gotta let that shit go

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anyway tho i wanna get back to "problematic" as a euphemism for "untouchable" because of the two of the media properties in that tweet i _do_ know, they're like very different. i mean i haven't seen "attack on titan", it's not really the kind of animne i go for, but my understanding is that there's some questionable fascist subtext in there somewhere, the kind of stuff that makes you go "hmmm i wonder if there's something deeper going on here". like "problematic" in the same way that... like another deep cut, there was this debate for a while over whether "the celestial toymaker" was racist against asians. because it turns out "celestial" was an old obscure derogatory term for chinese folks and if you look at it michael gough's getup in the episode has kind of a chinoiserie thing going on. and i think eventually they figured out that it's not racist against asians and apparently RTD brought back the character in a special last year which i didn't watch because clinical depression, but without the "celestial" part because that bit was maybe a little bit problematic. like the bigger problem with that story is the gratuitous use of the n word for no goddamn reason in the story's second episode, that's not really _problematic_ that's just goddamn racist is what that is.

now i could be wrong here but i feel like attack on titan is "problematic" in the same sense that, like, the celestial toymaker was arguably a racist caricature of a chinese person. (which contrast with "talons of weng-chiang" which _does_ contain severe racist caricatures of chinese folks, again, not "problematic" just racist.)

anyway contrast that with harry potter which, again, i haven't really read... i've heard that there are some problematic depictions in there and i honestly can't speak on that one way or another. of course that's not the problem with harry potter. the problem with harry potter is that its author is, like, probably the most influential person in the british anti-trans movement, which has been _very_ effective and which has been _very bad_ for anybody in the uk who happens to be trans. and it's still very effective, and things keep getting worse for trans people, and rowling is still working really hard to keep making things worse for trans people over there.

like to me that goes a little beyond just "problematic". and if someone says that none of that has anything to do with harry potter, respectfully, i call bullshit on that. i only speak for myself, other trans people can and occasionally do differ from me on that. speaking as a trans person, though, i do think supporting harry potter serves to make rowling powerful and influential, and the effects of that power and influence are directly harmful to trans people in the uk. to me that goes beyond "problematic".

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see when you flatten out all this stuff it becomes this moral equivalency thing. i mean shit i got _problems_, i got shit-tons of problems. i've done some fucked up shit, i've had some supremely bad takes, past and very probably present. i have _problems_ and i deal with them the best i can. i mean my whole BPD thing, i act in certain ways and sometimes people are like "yeah i can't deal with that". fair! more than fair! but then some people are like "oh don't talk to kate she's _problematic_". like i do my best to take responsibility for my problems and deal with them. "ok nobody talk to kate" doesn't, like. doesn't help.

the thing i keep coming back to is when kendrick put out "mr morale" or whatever and the only thing anybody wanted to talk about was "auntie diaries". and within 24 hours of that song coming out some person, who was trans, was tweeting that anybody who had a problem with kendrick saying "faggot" in that song was a "secretly racist tenderqueer".

and i mean i like that song, even though it's probably not the best song on that album, which i admit i've only really listened to once. i agree with that song. i self-identify as a "faggot", though i'm careful about how or when i do because some trans people are uncomfortable with that and i wanna be respectful.

and i keep coming back to it because it says something important about how, like, purity culture or cancel culture or whatever works. like the people who they go after the hardest, it always seems to be marginalized people. i mean i don't believe in all that "punching up/punching down" stuff, like the idea of privilege hierarchies, i don't think that works out too well in practice, but like the person who made hazbin hotel isn't a white man, this is a show that speaks deeply to queer experience, and, like, what... one of the characters is homophobic? like you can't really give an authentic representation without representing homophobia, without representing sexuality sometimes in some pretty blunt terms. and if that's "problematic", it's not the problem of the people depicting them.

none of this is remotely _new_, people were saying shit like this about gangsta rap when i was an ignorant teenager in the early '90s, and it was just as fucking stupid then. it just irritates me that you try to talk about genuinely hateful and bigoted people like rowling and suddenly it turns into dunking on, like, kendrick lamar or w/e. come the fuck on.

Kate (rushomancy), Tuesday, 2 April 2024 14:34 (two weeks ago) link

I feel like many young progressives have unwittingly adopted the strategies of Fundamentalist Christians. my youth group leader back in the day used to warn us our brains were little computers and even exposure to questionable ideas could warp our mind, so we should abstain from anything that contradicted or criticized our beliefs.

like the whole "six degrees of complicity" thing that is Twitter's steez has become exhausting and seems less focused on actually righting any wrongs and more about competing for social manna.

and if you dig deep into the people doing a lot of the finger-wagging, especially on Twitter, often times they aren't who they portray themselves as. such as the person who was publicly and dramatically berating my friend a year ago for being a 'COVID minimizer', and turned out to be someone who was actually an abusive person themselves and had an entire Twitter thread started by someone detailing their abusive behavior.

I often have distrust of anybody who I've known for years and never seen publicly apologize about anything, because everyone has stepped in it before and needed to be humbled, but those that repeatedly seem to avoid said humbling are often taking extra measures behind the scenes to stage-manage how they are perceived, so that they 'wriggle' out of it.

CEO Greedwagon (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 2 April 2024 14:44 (two weeks ago) link

the Isabel Fall story I think highlights your comments about how the people who often get targeted the most in these purity battles are marginalized people themselves. like, granted, the public didn't actually know Isabel was trans herself when the book was published, but the performative scolding of Fall, including accusing her of being a cis-gender person trolling, or being a Neo-Nazi because the biography accompanying the publication said Fall was "born in 1988", wound up resulting in Isabel being outed on terms other than her own.

to their credit, many of the people who yelled the loudest, like Arinn Dembo, publicly apologized and took accountability for it, but it just feels like everybody is in a crouched position, ready to pounce at all times these days.

CEO Greedwagon (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 2 April 2024 14:52 (two weeks ago) link

the Isabel Fall story I think highlights your comments about how the people who often get targeted the most in these purity battles are marginalized people themselves. like, granted, the public didn't actually know Isabel was trans herself when the book was published, but the performative scolding of Fall, including accusing her of being a cis-gender person trolling, or being a Neo-Nazi because the biography accompanying the publication said Fall was "born in 1988", wound up resulting in Isabel being outed on terms other than her own.

to their credit, many of the people who yelled the loudest, like Arinn Dembo, publicly apologized and took accountability for it, but it just feels like everybody is in a crouched position, ready to pounce at all times these days.

― CEO Greedwagon (Neanderthal)

right the isabel fall thing fucked me up for a long time, like she wrote this amazing story and twitter went after her so fucking hard she apparently wound up detransitioning and i'm like shit, well, i better not let anybody read any of _my_ stuff then

yeah, i _am_ in a crouched position ready to pounce at all times. i'm hypervigilant. it's a trauma response. it's not healthy. but trauma responses aren't, like. there for nothing. i'm hypervigilant because i _need_ to be, because there are _legitimate threats_ that marginalized people need to watch out for. and sometimes i do see things as threatening when they're not, really. because they remind me of past things that _were_ threatening. people tell me "assume good intent" sometimes and honestly i don't necessarily have that luxury sometimes. some spaces are, "safe space" for me isn't absolute but relative. twitter was never a particularly "safe space" for me, someone with rejection sensitive dysphoria and a tendency to take things that don't really have anything to do with me very personally, and it's _really_ not safe now. for me it's almost better because being what gets called a "highly sensitive person" things are problems for me that aren't problems for most people, and twitter is now a problem for, like. pretty much everyone? so in an odd way it helps me.

anyway dembo apologized but also as soon as people found out dembo was wrong everybody turned around and dogpiled on _them_ (not sure their pronouns), like, hello, cycle of abuse much? there's this tendency to attribute _malice_ or _ill intent_ in cases where none exists. and you can apologize, but you make a mistake and ever after you're "problematic". it's not like... nobody has to _accept_ dembo's apology, people can be like well that's all well and good but isabel fall's life was kind of ruined by what you did so i'm not sure i wanna like hang out with you, but _they're_ not problematic. the _behavior_ was, i'm not even gonna say "problematic", they did something that seriously negatively affected somebody else's life, they weren't fair to fall, and to me, you know, someone knows that and accepts the consequences, that's the _opposite_ of threatening to me, the opposite of "problematic", because the standard of "don't ever make mistakes" is a shitty standard. my standard is "if you make mistakes can you accept the consequences of those mistakes". which is a pretty fucking high standard on its own, it's asking a lot of people, but at least it's, like, _attainable_.

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also i do wanna clarify with the harry potter thing, even then i'm personally not gonna be like "well you can't be my friend if you like harry potter", particularly because, like, the reality is that most harry potter fans have no fucking clue. they don't. so personally - and this is personal, not everybody is going to do this or has to do this - what i do in those situations is _talk_ about jk rowling, what she's doing, how it's affecting trans people. like again, some of this shit _i_ don't even know why it's "problematic" and i'm more online than i'd like to be.

Kate (rushomancy), Tuesday, 2 April 2024 15:17 (two weeks ago) link

great post Kate....thank you as always for your insight and thanks for redirecting as needed. always learn a lot from your posts.

CEO Greedwagon (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 2 April 2024 15:25 (two weeks ago) link


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