Another day, another stumble upon a new educational “field” that most of us don’t want to pay 40,000$ to impress our family with. Today’s discovery is that of an older post concerning that social justice culture blog, Vox Populi and “psychopolitics”. (No not Vox Day’s Vox Popol) It starts off rather innocently and ends in an interesting and unintended rabbit hole
In particular the about me “resume” of one of the co-founders, Nisha Gupta, is probably one of the most ironic I’ve ever seen.
“She explores the use of art and social media as interventions to foster societal empathy and bridge differences.”
I’m almost flabbergasted in this could be mistaken for veiled sarcasm, but assuming she isn’t a usurper troll of vast privilege, this is again some rather real irony.
Since when has social media ever been used as a means to foster social empathy on targeted heretics? Memories Pizza anyone? Donglegate? The call-out culture social justice warriors use doesn’t bridge differences, it exacerbates them. It eliminates the “civilians” and turns everyone into front-line soldiers that are essentially cannon fodder with no training. They never expect the war, but it doesn’t stop their lives from being turned into WW1 no-man land’s shell shocked moonscapes.
Maybe I’m reading into this, but “interventions” on social media are more like inquisition racks. Someone is called out, and everyone shames them for at least a 48 hour period. Perhaps, that is the entire point. Now the interventions she desires are far more devious in nature and not just limited to those on social media. To understand this, you have to enter the underground manifesto like world of “Psychopolitics.”
What In The Hell Is Pyschopolitics?
“Psychopolitics“ is an apt description for “Clinical Psychology” that deals with the impact of social justice in that it’s often rather psycho in the treatment of the supposed bad privileged people perpetuating those worldwide social injustices.
I didn’t exaggerate the psycho nature of “psychopolitics.”
Most of us who live and interact in the non safe-space real world probably have never of this term. I sure as hell hadn’t. A necessary google search turned up a rather nasty and blunt summary of “Psychopolitics.” on the first page.
“Asserting and maintaining dominion over the thoughts and loyalties of individuals, officers, bureaus, and masses…”
Well, at least it’s honest.
Here’s a fun summary from Pyschopolitics on the subject with the same name, of which is some kind of communist manual on conquering populations.
“A psycho politician must work hard to produce the maximum chaos in the fields of “mental healing.” He must recruit and use all the agencies and facilities of “mental healing.” He must labor to increase the personnel and facilities of “mental healing” until at last the entire field of mental science is entirely dominated by Communist principles and desires.”
Substitute “communist” for Social Justice Warrior, even though alot of SJWs would embrace the principles of communism if not the label outright. Mental healing can be substituted for fostering social empathy. Try doing some more substitutions below:
“A psychopolitician must work hard to produce the maximum chaos in the fields of ‘mental healing.’ He must recruit and use all the agencies and facilities of ‘mental healing.’ He must labor to increase the personnel and facilities of ‘mental healing’ until at last the entire field of mental science is entirely dominated by Communist principles and desires.
To achieve these goals the psychopolitician must crush every ‘home-grown’ variety of mental healing in America. Actual teachings of James, Eddy and Pentecostal Bible faith healers amongst your mis-guided people must be swept aside. They must be discredited, defamed, arrested, stamped upon even by their own government until there is no credit in them and only Communist-oriented ‘healing’ remains. You must work until every teacher of psychology unknowingly or knowingly teaches only Communist doctrine under the guise of ‘psychology.’ You must labor until every doctor and psychiatrist is either a psycho-politician or an unwitting assistant to our aims.”
“The interdisciplinary nature of psychopolitical validity lends itself to empowerment studies and social change  and could potentially be a useful construct in other critical disciplines within the academy. Prilleltensky and Fox suggest that psychopolitical validity should be institutionalized as a method of preventing wellness and justice from being discussed in isolation. This type of validity brings the two concepts together and politicizes the concept of wellness promotion.”
Anyone else seeing that mutual connection or should I say synonym-like exchange between “mental healing” and “wellness promotion?” But why focus on the mental wellness fields for interdisciplinary reasons?
The definition which I assume comes from Prilleltensky is rather telling:
“Psychopolitical validity refers to the extent to which studies and interventions in the community integrate (a) knowledge with respect to multidisciplinary and multilevel sources, experiences, and consequences of oppression, and (b) effective strategies for promoting psychological and political liberation in the personal, relational, and collective domains…”
The use of this word and what it means to Social Justice advocates is telling. It’s just yet another example of how important the war over words in our culture and the connotation of who uses them is so important.
That cushy and noble concept of “liberation” in social justice speak is yet another code for the chaos and resulting domination mentioned from the Pyschopolitics website. By liberating the “mental health” and wellness fields, they seek to destroy it and then rebuild it in their own god-like image with their own definitions, experts, and influence . Note, this is the exact same thing that’s happened to much of higher academia since the last 1840s and Horace Mann and John Dewey didn’t even try to hide the social conditioning element to the education they had planned for the country’s malleable youth.
A rise in what psychologists could consider “disorders” these days might be more political in nature then we realize. If you are deemed to have any kind of mental disorder – a list that is expanding exponentially every year – there are alot of fields, jobs, and other lifestyle choices you would be excluded from as well as numerous amounts of medication you would constantly need to swallow.
You of course can’t run for political office because you aren’t mentally “well” in the social justice definition of psychology. For one, you most certainly can’t own a firearm. (In fact, in states where I live like Illinois, just 1 out of 10 doctors declaring you mentally unstable or “mentally retarded” is enough to ensure that you can never legally own a firearm.) You also might be excluded from certain public places, buildings, and jobs because of the “risk” you might present.
Any dissenting opinions could be considered a disorder of some kind and those of course are expensive and MUST be treated. The pills, clinics, therapy, and health services would ensure financial profitability. On the trendy side, at least the new normal will be to not be normal – which would include a large segment of the population.
If you think about about it, this is exactly what social justice advocates are trying to in every sphere of life today. Diversity of opinion isn’t for those who have “privilege” and individuals who step out of line and they would need to be subjected to accepted thoughtspeak and wellness promotion to get them back to mental health.
A New Impending Attack
Look at who controls much of mental health institutions and it probably only a matter of time before the concept of “mental healing” takes on a very ideological underside. Maria Konnikova made the case about how dominant those of liberal persuasion have become in the higher academia departments of Psychology point in her article, “Is Social Psychology Biased Against Republicans?” for TheNewYorker They of course hold that field of “study” with an iron fist. (Again an example that absolute power corrupts absolutely.)
“Explain to students that psychology is not always value free. Modern psychology is often framed as a science that uses empirical methods to advance knowledge about the mind, the brain, and behavior in an objective manner. However, students also should understand that psychologists’ worldviews shape the questions we pose in research, the strategies we use to answer those questions, and how we understand phenomena.
For example, most psychological research uses quantitative methods. Students learn to conduct quantitative studies in research methods courses; instructors most often rely on quantitative findings to inform their lectures. Psychology instructors can teach about qualitative research that models greater power-sharing between researchers and participants through its open-ended questioning and community immersion (Kidder & Fine, 1997). Moreover, qualitative research can advance social justice by amplifying the voices of research participants, particularly people who have been mischaracterized by psychology and broader society, such as women, people of color, and sexual minorities.”
Whenever SJWs talk about “amplifying” marginalized voices, they really mean is that you would give far more emphasis, validity, and credibility to those specific voices and the research they produce – often of very dubious scientific nature. Alot of the early “privilege” theory comes from what is known as “Standpoint Theory” along with “Muted-Group Theory” which is basically the idea that because marginalized minority voices haven’t gotten enough voice in history – a mistaken and false conclusion – researchers, teachers, and society overall must give much more attention to said voices then any other ones. Essentially, those minority marginalized voices must be given 70% or more of the attention and the scraps will be distributed among the rest until society is “balanced” Note, no SJW knows or has even formulated a position as to when that actually will occur so luckily for them, that horse can always be beaten for eternity.
I wrote this article over two years ago and I still make updates. Social media still drives media stories, but in the age of “#RESIST” Trump, coverage is more weaponized than it’s ever been. What’s good for ratings is now the dominant driving force in coverage. After all according to CNN’s producer, they are there to make money and journalistic standards are a naivete for fools just out of journalism school. He went as far as to admit that the Russian influence story was bullshit, but ratings are ratings.
To follow that bombshell up, CNN was so angered by Trumps tweeting of a meme of of him bodyslamming a photoshopped CNN figure in a WWE clip from years ago, that they actually went after a private citizen they thought first spread it. The overt threat to dox him a.k.a. #CnnBlackmail if he did anything else to irk seems to be the biggest low we’ve seen in years from any journalistic outlet, to say nothing of other questionable ethical coverage if Trump is the subject.
So what happened? How did we get here?
In school we taught that an attentive, honest, and responsible media must cover the pressing issues of the day, as well as what is considered news. Trump is apparently ground zero, but what drove headlines before? Often it was the mid level outlets online that pumped out stories ripped from social media feeds, which if big enough would work there way up to the national media.
This mid level media would choose WHAT the newswould be often based on what roused people the most. The latter part of this article will prove that anger is what rouses people the most to share, tweet, and to fuel that firestorm. Fuel for that fire is often sought and driven by “news” plucked from whatever the newest twitter storms, Facebook trends, Reddit’s front page, and whatever other platforms are blowing up what is often the latest tragedy.
Well, should journalists actually cover these kinds of stories? Are they even stories worth covering? Should they be covered? Are they actually newsworthy. I guess that now depends on who is the subject matter.
One of the primary duties of the press has always been to cover the activities of our government and hold them transparent, as well as to focus on ethical issues that directly affect our societies and communities. At one point, we had a slight bit of trust in journalists to show “discretion” in how they went about this – particularly after the early days of yellow journalism. (More on that later.)
The internet though has changed all of this and much of that change has been bad. It can be seen in a series of steps, too often repeated:
Getting the scoop ALWAYS takes precedence. This is the golden rule of today’s internet journalism, because the buzz is always changing throughout the day. If you want to remain relevant and continue to maintain meager ad revenue; publish first, ask questions later.
In the 24 hour news cycle of the digital media age, the media – old and new – are the ones who set the agenda through the stories they choose to cover, what we would call the “narrative.” Because of this cycle and the prominence of digital publications, the concept of a “journalist” and what actually constitutes journalism has been drastically altered. We really still don’t know as to how much or where that alteration will culminate, though we can see who and what is being left behind in its wake – it’s often not pretty.
A significant moral responsibility exists for media publications both in which stories they choose to cover and the kind of coverage they give said stories – in particular the disclosure of private details necessary for a story and the balance at stake of the individual(s) in said story.
Again, the duty of a responsible media in a democracy is to objectively inform the public of issues and decisions that effect their society. This assumption is often applied to public figures, politicians, corruption, and social issues and to generate debate about them.
However because of online media in the last decade it has been applied more and more to people who aren’t public figures or even in the spotlight. The ethical guidelines for protecting the privacy of the public has arguably become much more important in the last 20 years with the rise of digital media. Everyone in the process is now in the crosshairs.
As it’s been said, “If it bleeds, it leads.”
If I am honest, the concept of “ethics” in concern to media journalism is not exactly a black and white issue. In fact, its rather murky, especially when all the factors of privacy, loyalties, principle, values, and perspectives come into play.
One of the journalism classes I had to take was a capstone class called, “Media Ethics” which was taught by a rather smart woman. I would describe this professor of mine as “oldschool”, conservative, from South Africa, rigorous with her writing standards, and a strong distaste for dancing. She is also one of the best professors I’ve ever had.
What she forced me to do was to go through over 60 case studies and to examine how the story was told and whether it was broken the wrong way, who was hurt by it, the necessity of it, and the effects of it later. Oh, and she had a ban list of how we could write about said studies and examples in our papers.
One of the studies dealt with Matt Drudge of the now famous online news giant, The Drudge Report, and how, when, and why he broke the Monica Lewinski story.
Newsweek wouldn’t publish the story. One suspects this is probably because of their more liberal bent, but it wouldn’t stop Drudge from taking what would be his shot to prominence. However, one very important question that still remains is, “Should he have broken the story?”
As a noted conservative, it should be fairly obvious that Matt Drudge and other conservatives stood to gain something in the public eye and political debate by the revelation of President Clinton’s tempestuous actions of infidelity in the oval office. It was after all Clinton’s private life – specifically sexual privacy in general. While he was THE public figure, did that entail the press to coverage about it? Legally yes, but morally, I’m not so sure.
Whether this was a matter of respect for the office, a secretive agreement and support for those president’s policies and actions by the press, or a combination of both is up for debate. I would point out that the “respect for the president” is a myth when you look at the history of newspapers in America.
Not only were publications prone to bias, personal attacks, outright lies, and throughout the 1800s they were powerful and, “purposeful actors in the political process, linking parties, voters, and the government together, and pursuing specific political goals”. In fact, consider how vicious newspapers were as early as the presidential election of 1800 which would involve threats, libel, and actual imprisonment by those involved with the press of the time.
However, Drudge’s disclosure has become child’s play in light of the new players that have bullied their way onto the block and what details of public and semi-public figures can go viral for the world to see. The rise of online media giants like Gakwer, Vox Media, and Buzzfeed have contributed to a noticeable and worrisome change in what both journalists and readers accept – or become desensitized to – in concern to the ethical guidelines for fellow journalists and publications.
These publications in particular have started to attract millennials who go to these publications for their main source of news even though these publications have ethical standards that often resemble those of celebrity tabloids – Gakwer’s Neetzan Zimmerman rise to “viral” power should come to mind – to the chagrin of any real journalists that still exist.
One specific issue that arises with site like Gakwer, Vice, Upworthy, and Buzfeed is that too many people consider them to be a “rough” form of journalism, even though they don’t necessarily flaunt their supposed journalistic integrity and standards. Essentially, they engage in forms of “journalism” without any actual standards or responsibility to go along with it. Does that at all sound familiar on a certain buzzword in today’s culture wars?
In fact, I’ve seen stories from parody sites that aren’t humorous in nature, so they slip right past the Spidey sense that almost no one on my Facebook feed possesses. I point out that its actually from a parody site, and I am rewarded by becoming the bad guy that is “too” serious.
Studies and “statistics”– which have become a buzzword in their own right – have been suggesting people are becoming more apathetic and less aware on issues and when it comes to the media it becomes more apparent. In line of the recent “gate” labels for controversy, “GruberGate” is evidence of politicians and their well paid consultants who literally think that the public is stupid. They might actually be correct, though in all fairness Gruber didn’t just outright mislead people – he lied.
“In 2013, for instance, I asked Gruber if Democrats understood that the ACA would slowly and methodically erode the system under which millions of Americans get health insurance through their jobs. In pitching the ACA, Democrats had been adamant that the law would support and sustain the employer-based system, not erode it. But Gruber knew better and he told me so, likening workers being kicked off job-based health plans to people “falling off a building,”an outcome that architects of the ACA knew was likely and had planned for.”
Consider the ethical standards of Gawker who have actually developed a feature called “Gawker Stalker” which helps people stalk celebrities via GPS on google maps and relay information about their exact whereabouts in real time on twitter which TMZ can then pick up on for their daily news scoop. That is what the ethics standards for a publication like Gawker advocate on concepts like privacy. This is especially ironic considering how much Gawker subsidiary Jezebel has ranted and raved about the atrocities of violating the privacy of female celebrities which they have directly encouraged with the fore-mentioned feature.
Of course, it is very comforting that these kinds of outlets have become the main source of news for millenials, but it gets worse as we get even more “news” from a kind of new quasi-comedic journalists/whistleblowers such as Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and even John Oliver.
They aren’t even actually journalists, but rather mildly amusing opinionated comedians – usually with a left-wing bent – who make fun of particular journalism and stories they disagree with, while putting their own opinionated spin on what Fox News has done wrong this time. This doesn’t stop their target audience from swallowing their “comedic perspective” and going out into the world with faux smug enlightened grins about how stupid everyone else is. I won’t even touch on selection bias.
That alone should be a cause for worry, especially in a rather toxic socio-political environment where people accuse each other of not being informed, rather than the more obvious fact of people being poorly and questionably informed and mislead.
Those who do consider themselves to be properly informed are not in much better shape. Often, they run into problems with data selection concerning statistics – often cherry picked – to form a specific narrative and worldview. This is one reason why no one can tell us how much Obamcare really costs, the financial benefits/disadvantages of raising the minimum wage, what part of Planned Parenthood’s budget goes toward abortions, and what the actual “Rape” stats are.
While these new digital publication challengers such as Buzzfeed and Vice remain supreme in their share of millennial readers, the old guard publication giants like The New York Times and The Wallstreet Journal have recently started to carve into their audience.
While these traditional giants aren’t doing bad with millennials – something that surprises me – they have started to resort to similar questionable journalistic standards the new challengers to lure in those with a limited attention span – my fellow millennials. Even the Washington Post has started to closely resemble celebrity gossip tabloid TMZ with some of the articles they have published and it can’t all be blamed on new owner, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos.
One of Gawker Media’s subsidiary sites, Gizmodo, both defended and ironically examined the growing notice of the questionable lack and confusion in the ethics of modern day journalists in how they attain important information about stories by somewhat nefarious means. In a piece by by Gizomodo’s John Cook ironically titled, “In Defense of Sleazy Journalism”, about one of Rupert Murdoch news publications concerning theNews Of The World scandal a key observation was made,
“Reporting is basically a variant of rudeness. Done right, it amounts to being indiscreet, airing dirty laundry, telling on someone, calling them out, embarrassing them, usually after lying to them to gain their confidence.“
A rather honest observation if you think about how some of the biggest stories of the last 50 years have been broken. It’s also a disturbing one when it comes to the concept of trust between journalists and the public. Any journalist major worth his metal will have undoubtedly had to read, “All The President’s Men” which details the largest “known” American political scandal, “Watergate” which would be the first in the line of “gates”.
“In his book Mightier than the Sword: How the News Media Have Shaped American History, Rodger Streitmatter writes that the Woodward and Bernstein “begged, lied, badgered sources, and, on occasion, broke the law” in order to get the leads and confirmations needed to run their stories”
By today’s standards, what they did is almost child’s play, which should point to a VERY serious and growing problem with journalistic ethics when it comes to getting the information to acquire the “scoop.” Just consider how many “journalists” start digging through someone’s twitter feeds which is technically a public space, but the fact that those tweets weren’t meant to be seen by hundreds of thousands of angry internet protesters doesn’t seem to matter if enough page views will come later.
So where do we actually draw the line as to how journalists should resort to acquiring information in ethical ways? Who sets the standards? No doubt, some of those ways have been questionable and the line is further smudged by those who are willing to go even lower to get what they need. In effect, publications like Gawker are starting to unofficially set that standard. You don’t need me to tell you how that is not good.
With the advent of social media – which I’m starting to think is a curse – the responsibility that journalists have in choosing what stories they will publish and which ones they won’t are incredibly important. Leaked details from journalists have led to outright destruction of the livelihoods of not just public figures, but private people as well. It’s extremely important that we consider the consequences of the disclosure of people’s private lives in light of digital media. Because of the nature of digital media those professing to be journalists should realize the level of tremendous responsibility now on their broad shoulders.
As we shall soon see, even a slight personal detail can destroy someone’s lives once online twitter mobs convince their employers to fire them.
We can only hope that one day (1) employers will realize that twitter mobs are not potential customers nor their target audience (2) will stop paying attention to their ludicrous demands and (3) that PR and controversy generated from them is not worth catering to the mob.
You can’t please the mob, but you can weather the storm which dissipates as fast as our attention spans so often do. Remember, the public has a short memory and a target that varies very VERY quickly.
Rolling Stone’s recent journalistic disaster comes to mind in which will probably be a case study for every media journalism 101 class for decades to come. It is the most recent clear cut example of atrocious journalism ruining the lives of those in an entire frat house and destroying the reputation of UVA. Note, feminists even called for the “rapist” to be revealed a.k.a. doxxed for the general public to hold “accountable.” We all know what that means when it comes to enforcing their narrative.
While the pen may in fact be mightier than the sword, the press should never use it’s power to essentially carry out justice. It should present the facts and inform people and therefore allow readers to make their own conclusions.
Unless covering the personal lives and details of an individual is absolutely necessary to properly inform the public of a pressing and important issue, it should never be coveredby journalists who believe themselves to retain even a slight ethical compass. The key factor here is to never forget in these ethical situations exactly what the overall context may be and who it may effect – something that is often realized in hindsight.
If you aren’t familiar with the “Potter Model” and don’t want to bother learning about it, skip to the next paragraph.
– J.S. Mill’s Utilitarian line of thought and “The Greater Good” can be applied to the above conclusion.
– Mill though is probably trumped by Rawls via the “Veil Of Ignorance”
– Agape principle a.k.a. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” is necessary to the above conclusion.
The Consequences Of Coverage
The importance of the choice of story that journalists and publications should publish comes to light in the infamous Gawker expose on an infamous subreddit called “Jailbait”. It featured scantily clad pictures of underage girls – not exactly illegal – but considered by a fair amount of people to be morally wrong and exploitative.
This however may have changed with the amount of sexualization of the culture and porn exposure, but I digress. “Jailbait” was moderated by then anonymous moderator “violentacrez” who presided over the subreddit.
Well, this of course rubbed many people the wrong way. It appears that it generated enough controversy in some of the social justice and feminist corners of the web to get Gawker to devote some time and effort to figuring out who exactly violentacrez was. A Gawker expose by Adrien Chen would reveal “violentacrez’s true identity” to be that of a man named Michael Brutsch.
Before the story was published Chen had contacted Brutsch making him aware of the fact that he knew who he was and that he was going to publish a story about him. Brutsch in turned begged Chen not to as he was certain it would have a substantial backlash against him in his private life. Essentially, Chen knew that this article would most likely damage the both the financial well-being and reputation of Brutsch, who note was NOT a public individual. Brutsch became an acceptable casualty in a type of public shaming designed to make him pay for wrongdoings – specifically in the public eye.
Before we pass judgement on Gawker – which I really enjoy – and Chen as to whether it was wrong or right, we need to realize the complexity of the situation.
Most people would agree that Brutsch’s subreddit was morally reprehensible- though remember we are talking about Gawker here. However was it appropriate in this case for the media to inform the public of a disturbing ethical situation on Reddit at the cost of the individual’s job, livelihood, and the subsequent death threats by revealing his identity to the public? Did the ends justify the means?
Considering the media does have a duty to inform the public of ethical issues, it could be argued that what Gawker did was acceptable. They had to bring light to Brutsch’s activity and questionable “exploitation” of images of girls online, though they probably knew the public backlash which the article would create would put a stop to the subreddit.
This line of action is “acceptable” if you assume a framework that appeals to “The Greater Good” – namely the sacrifice of Brutsch to address a “wrong” that supposedly affected quite a few people. I however can’t stop wondering if Chen would have refrained from publishing the article if the shoe was on the other foot.
The question we should all ask: “Why would Gawker consider this to be newsworthy and why it was covered so thoroughly compared to their other stories?”
Your guess is probably as accurate or as disgusted as mine.
What Chen did – the disclosure of private details of an individual – has today has become known as unmasking or more popularly described as “doxxing”. Note that in recent years, Gawker and its subsidiaries – specifically Jezebel – has published alot of articles about how terrible doxxing is.
A flurry of those came out during the initial roar of #GamerGate and concerned how misogynistic it was that women were supposedly being doxxed, though Gawker and Jezebel had no problem doing it in the past – essentially “Do as I say, not as I do.”
While “doxxing”was at first the bread and butter of angry angst ridden reddit and 4chan users, it has become disturbingly common in “journalistic” circles and subsequent publications under the guise of “investigative reporting” on whichever groups or individuals have been deemed acceptable targets.
The implications of this practice are troubling as Wired’s Danah Boyd pointed out in her article about Gakwer’s expose on Brutsch and this kind of new vigilantism that was being created by the articles like it on social media,
“Yet, how do we as a society weigh the moral costs of shining a spotlight on someone, however “bad” their actions are? What happens when, as a result of social media, vigilantism takes on a new form? How do we guarantee justice and punishment that fits the crime when we can use visibility as a tool for massive public shaming? “
In the context of essentially using journalism and the ensuing visibility as a tool for publish shaming, it must be emphasized that the revelation of the Brutsch’s identity is the primary reason the subreddit was shut down.
Again, assuming a utilitarian “Greater Good” principle on the matter, the disclosure of that particular detail was necessary to achieve Gawker’s goal to inform the public. Appeal to this principle however, will and has set a precedent that is a potential slippery slope.
If the outing of an anonymous online user for even the most moral reasons becomes common media practice, the media is then engaging in a form of “censorship” of anonymous individuals through the threat of possible revelation of their online identities and the consequences that so often follow. Some may argue that there should be consequences to speech, but would they apply that conclusion to themselves?
What shocks me is the kind of inconsistent and often hypocritical approach toward the concept of revealing people who are anonymous online. Liberal feminist publications in particular, will condemn anonymous individuals for criticism and the fact that they don’t face public backlash for voicing said criticisms behind their anonymous cloak- often labeled harassment by said publications. Even though its not harassment, people still remember the all present, “H” word. Note, that it’s not harassment when they do it.
The inconsistency is revealed when these same liberal publications complain about doxxing of individuals and the disclosure of “private details” that can damage those doxxed. This is often labeled harassment, but not when it came to the disclosure of some KKK members who made threats during the Ferguson controversy.
It is curious, because many feminist publications in particular advocate revealing the identities of anonymous critics to make them “accountable” for said criticism. They often make this argument in regards to trolls whose behavior they consider to be borderline harassment. Lindy West, a noted online feminist writer and fat acceptance activist makes the following observation in an article for The Guardian about online “trolling”,
“Sometimes it’s relatively innocuous (like asking contrarian questions just to start an argument) or juvenile (like making fun of my weight or my intelligence), but – particularly when the subject is a young woman – it frequently crosses the line into bona fide, dangerous stalking and harassment.”
When a “troll” – a very subjective concept considering what some consider to be trolling these days – has their identity revealed to the online populace, the reaction often translates to trying to get them fired from their employment and ensuring that a Google search is enough to permanently destroy their reputation. Tauriq Moosa in an article for the liberal NewStatesman makes the point:
“Again, just because you’re responding to racism or sexism doesn’t make your response right. I’ve seen no good come of publicly shaming someone, when public shaming is the sole response. Sure, someone is also shamed after being rightfully convicted, fired, etc, but there ‘justice’ wasn’t merely a retweet.”
I suggest that journalists should approach stories that may involve revelation of anonymous identities with the two following principles in mind:
– Kant’s principle of The Categorical Imperative in regards to allowing online users to stay always anonymous when covered by the press is a more valid presupposition to make in this and similar situations.
– The Golden Rule. How many of us would want similar treatment in the press even if we were on par with the depravity of Brutsch? It may be helpful to put ourselves in his shoes – something that Chen did not seem to do. In fact, it is surprising that Brutsch did not sue Chen considering he is not a public figure from a legal standpoint.
Mainstream Media And Doxxing
Even reputable publications like Newseek have taken the plunge and engaged in this kind of public unmasking. Newsweek did a famous article in revealing the true identity of the creator of Bitcoin who turned out to be a 64-year-old man and train enthusiast named Satoshi Nakamoto who had essentially created the worlds first working and successful “crypto currency.”
The context of this situation is again extremely important here. The implications of revealing his name, as well as personal details including pictures of his house and car are mind-blowing. One issue itself is the Bitcoin currency and some of the elements that use it – namely some who frequent the infamous “Darknet”
While it’s free from any actual kind of financial regulation or government interference, it is used by criminal networks that are notorious on the darknet who engage in transactions from everything from buying drugs to hiring actual assassins. No, I’m not exaggerating about that.
The Newsweek story had potentially opened up Nakamoto as a target for criminals all in the name of publishing a story and it revealed MANY details about Nakamoto that arguably weren’t necessary to the story as an article from Gigaom points out:
“Newsweek included many personal details about Nakamoto, including his work history and details about his extended family, and even his personal health — and they posted a photo of his home, one in which you could clearly see his address and the licence plate on his car.”
With the information and private details of the creator of Bitcoin now flaunted for the world to see, Nakamoto is exposed to the potential criminal elements who could desire to kidnap him to acquire in-depth information and potential means to exploit Bitcoin and its users. Also consider that just one Bitcoin itself ranges in worth of 75 – 300$.
The Edward Snowden leaks in particular present one of the biggest challenges in the last 20 years for the media in choosing what they would and wouldn’t publish. Arguably the media’s responsibility to the public in a democratic society is to consistently cast the probe of investigation on to the government to make sure that transparency is always there.
An important dynamic came into play that forced the hand of the Guardian in that the British government actually planned to force the publication to destroy the hard-drives that contained the leaks. Usually if someone doesn’t want a story to be covered and resorts to destroying evidence, we should all smell a rat. Luckily, the press this time did not have their noses stuffed in the name of “National Security”. Of course, the U.S. Government would and does continue insist that the Snowden disclosure puts national security at great risk.
However to this day there are still certain pieces of information not published by the press for that reason which notably has attained a rather tight balance on public disclosure of the documents in light of what might hurt the public vs. what they need to know.
Even the most ardent supporters of the actions of Edward Snowden – myself included – will acknowledge that his revelations did expose elements of our government that could potentially undermine it. However many in media from all sides of the spectrum deemed the disclosures to not only be newsworthy, but important enough to keep pressing forward with the stories impact.
In this case it is certain I would endorse the appeal to “The Greater Good,” that was obviously adhered to by the press rather then accepting the government’s time held excuse of “national security. Of course, a story of this magnitude also influenced the media’s decision to publish it.
Currently, the Ferguson controversy brings up a new and significantly more and more important factor in the disclosure of private details by the press; the publication of previously revealed private details by lesser known outlets, bloggers, and even hackers by large mainstream publications.
The New York Times, which might arguably be the publication that sets the bar for journalistic standards, was scolded by fellow journalists and publications for publishing the address of the officer Darren Wilson who is a known name in national headlines after having shot Michael Brown. This revelation occurred through the posting of an image of his marriage certificate by the New York Times.
Considering that it was public knowledge that Wilson had received many death threats, it comes as a shock that the New York Times would justify revealing the address. When the New York Times responded to criticism of the revelation by both Howard Kurtz of Fox News and Erik Wemple of The Washington Post in particular, they justified the revelation under the fact that it was already public knowledge.
While this was in fact true, it sets a disturbing precedent for larger and more mainstream publications that arguably lowers the bar as to what is acceptable disclosure of someone’s details when their lives could be in jeopardy. Officer Wilson’s address might have been public knowledge on Reddit, Gawker, and twitter, but the disclosure of that address in the nations most read publication has a much larger and possibly more deadly impact.
Journalism nowadays is undoubtedly incurring substantial questions about what is appropriate and what is not when it comes to the choice of stories as well as the revelation of details in people’s private lives. All of the blame, however, can’t be specifically laid at the feet of mainstream publications and even the click-bait publications such as Gawker, Buzzfeed, Upworthy, and a series of deteriorating blogs who will actually resort to making things up.(Seriously, read that link. It’s shocking.)
As journalistic mediums adapt to new markets and demands of their audience, they are unfortunately forced to cater to a social media influenced audience who is now not only used to the idea of publicizing daily events of their lives but expect it. The idea of what is ethical and what is not in journalism has been massively impacted by the juggernaut that is online media and the dominance of the constantly updating online news feed.
It is therefore not surprising when the majority of readers don’t so much as bat an eyelash at the disclosure of private details of people by the press. These readers often demand more of these kinds of disclosures and a nasty cycle is therefore created and perpetually maintained.
Now even blogs, YouTubers, and twitter feeds are turning into main sources of news and creating new questions of not only who is a public figure, but also how the standards should be applied to these new growing mediums. For instance, should we hold YouTube to certain journalistic standards? Well, one can certainly try.
Where the line is drawn with even determining who a public figure is has become difficult as new social media applications such as twitter personalities, YouTube channel hosts, Vine, and Instagram users have become pseudo celebrities and therefore have sometimes become potential “stories.”
Take into account that celebrities have long been a curious and vain obsession of the American public. Various tabloids cover their every waking action including what might be in their Starbucks shake. Now that the pool of celebrities has been greatly expanded, the journalistic standards and ethics on the disclosure of the details of people’s lives are all that much more important.
Last but not least, the ethics of choosing stories in light of appearing to promote specific cultural and social issues is a subject that need to be carefully considered. In fact, the line nowadays has grown very murky.|
As mentioned before, seemingly everyone can become a journalist nowadays and engage in the disturbing practice that is narrative bias confirmation – or as I call it, preaching to your choir. If you want to publish a certain kind of story, you will latch on to experiments and stories that fit that per-determined narrative – whether it is there or not. Your readers already want to believe the worst about your mutual opponents, so it just yet another slam dunk in the enfolding story. (Interesting debate on “Narrative Journalism” here.)
One of the most recent viral video that became news involved a young white women who had walked 100 hours around the city of New York and was catcalled by various men. In what can only be described as either journalists failing to do basic homework or trying to push a very specific narrative, they failed to disclose that all of the catcalls occurred on just a few specific streets that were all in Harlem.
These objective and truth driven journalists also failed to mention the context of catcalling in African American culture which is not seen as a negative action, but rather an accepted an expected one. The context obviously did not fit their narrative. One also wonders if the same worry would have been extended had all the cat-callers been straight white men.
History holds key lessons – some of them quite bloody – in the repercussions that shook nations, stirred foment, and publicized serial killers. Take for example the numerous papers who stoked the American Civil war and the manipulation from all involved during it.
Or the two newspaper mad-men like giants William R. Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer whose journalism would be coined, “yellow journalism” in regards to the tales they spun and stories that were literally made up. Yes, that Pulitzer who the award is named after.
When Remington told Hearst that the rumors of the atrocities were exaggerated and over-hyped, Heart uttered this infamous phrase, “You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.” Remington would do just that and two of his false pictures would grab headlines and stoke the fervors of war even more:
“For instance, he drew some pictures of an American woman being brutally searched by Spanish male security forces. This apparently never happened, as only female officials searched American females coming into the country. In addition, Remington’s famous painting of the Rough Riders charging up San Juan Hill was based not on the actual charge, but on a reenactment performed by the Rough Riders.”
The truth didn’t sell newspapers, but false stories would and for the price of just a cent! In fact, Hearst was sure that a war between Spain and America would sell him even more papers – which it would. When the USS Maine exploded and sunk in February 15th of 1897, Hearst wrote a galvanizing piece in which he blamed Spain for the accident and attributed it to treachery. Here are two choice paragraphs from it:
“It was an accident, they say. Perhaps it was, but accident or not, it would never have happened if there had been peace in Cuba, as there would have been if we had done our duty. And it was an accident of a remarkably convenient kind for Spain. Two days ago we had five battleships in the Atlantic. Today we have four. A few more such accidents will leave us at the mercy of a Spanish fleet.”
“The Government has set an investigation on foot, and the Journal has independently undertaken another. Between them the truth will soon be known. If it be found that the Spanish authorities have fought about this calamity, so profitable to themselves, no power from the White House to Wall Street will be able to restrain the American people from exacting a terrible retribution. And Spain’s innocence must be clearly proven. All the circumstances of the case fix the burden of proof upon her.”
Catch that? Spain’s innocence must be clearly proven. So essentially, guilty before proven innocent. This tactic worked; it caused a war. Perhaps some of have taken this lesson to heart with changes to “Preponderance of Evidence” that now rests on those accused of a crime who must prove their innocence instead of the accuser proving their guilt. Yes, I’m referring to the rape hysteria and charges being tossed about like used wrappers on college campuses.
Fun fact: William Hearst is the inspiration for Orson Well’s Citizen Kane. Bad and downright journalism apparently had the ultimate price attached to it.
Lessons sometimes, are not as clearcut as that of Hearst. When the Zodiac Killer began his rampage, it is highly probable that the press publication of the rants and demands of the Zodiac killer enabled him to gain even more attention and jeopardize even more members of the public.
However, what alternative did they have? The police did not want the papers to give him any voice or attention. He knew this and threatened that if they didn’t publish his demands, he would kill more people. Then again, he killed more people anyway. Perhaps in hindsight they made the right decision by publishing his demands, but there was no way to tell at the time. Yet again, a moral quandary to wade through.
Sometimes, the disclosure of the someone’s private life is done with “good” intentions – or just a unwilling sacrifice for a certain cause. The first “outing” of an LFBT individual wasn’t done by detractors, haters, homophobes, or whatever “ist” we can throw out there; it was done deliberately by one of the biggest political heroes of the LGBT movement himself – Harvey Milk.
It starts in 1975 with Oliver Sipple, who was a former marine that would have a direct hand in saving President Ford’s life from an assassin by grabbing her arm just as she would squeeze the trigger. Of course, the press would want to know everything about Sipple and his act of heroism and would dig up the fact that he was actually gay – something he had been hiding.
Because he had become a semi-public figure in his act of saving the president, his private life would be divulged for all to see and him and his family would face tremendous backlash. He began to drink heavily. In fact, he would start to ebb away both mentally and physically to the point that he wished he had never intervened to save Ford’s life.
While plenty of blame can be laid at Milk’s callous hands – something most people don’t even know about as we don’t like to talk about the bad things our “heroes” have done – the fact that the newspapers were willing to publish this controversial of a disclosure about Sipple’s private life should make us wonder what the line is when it comes to the well-being of an individual and how specific disclosure’s can effect their lives.
These same mistakes by self-proclaimed journalists and publications should not go unheeded. In the future anyone who considers themselves to be any sort of “journalist” should strive to avoid the scoop and the “developing” story if it’s going to seriously impact someone’s life.
Sometimes, the truth must be told, but how much of it, why, and who it may effect must carefully be considered. In today’s media climate, this is even more important to take to heart. One tweet. One post. That’s all it takes. Perhaps, there really are some details of people’s lives that the media should leave alone. But then again, the new challengers on the block have no such hindrance.
So be skeptical of every last thing you read – regardless of who it is from, because chances are they have probably been duped as well. Triple-check “sources” and go to multiple publications – specifically ones you disagree with – to get the other side of the story. It’s important to get outside of our own internet bubbles and echo chambers because the truth is often either very uncomfortable, deeply buried, or downright shunned.
Apparently country, metal, and hardcore shows can all be lumped into one large group of live shows that perpetuates a “War On Women. We now all know that the people who go to see Stick To Your Guns also go to see Carrie Underwood. Who would have thought?!?!
I strongly doubt our friend Amy Mccarthy has actually been to a hardcore or metal show, but it didn’t stop her from slandering the scene and equating the “dangers” there to something resembling the Congo. She mentioned posers in her article, and if there is one in the room, its not any of us. If her writing is any indication, she’s never been to the Warped Tour, to SXSW, Mayhem, Riot Fest, Chaos, ect.
This still doesn’t stop her from equating metal/hardcore shows with country and others to the point that she never bothers to really distinguish between them. It’s not incidental, its deliberate so that her article appears to encompass as many genres as possible. All shows are lumped into the “evil” category via guilt by association. Obviously, she has been to a country show, but she dishonestly tries to pretend that hardcore/metal shows present similar “dangers” of which will be covered soon in this piece.
Well, the “War On Women” now spreads its grimy manly tentacles into our scene – and Amy Mccarthy is downright appalled. How do we know this? You can read her entire, “Punched, groped, beer thrown in my face: Being a woman at a concert can be terrifying“, at the vestige of powerful, fair, and unbiased journalism that is Salon. Wow, I didn’t know only women could be terrified at shows, but who cares when the other gender gets hurt, right? Also, until Amy Mccarthy told us, I didnt know that girls who attend shows are fragile, scared, helpless, and frightened creatures who can’t think for themselves whatsoever. I’m glad I know this now though.
She talks a big game, but lets look at some of the points she makes about metal and hardcore. She’s one of us – not a poser, groupie, ect – right?
“Most women who frequently attend live shows will tell you that they have been harassed, groped or assaulted as they listen to their favorite bands. A standing-room-only show, when you’re wedged into a massive crowd fueled by beer and testosterone, is particularly scary. There seems to be a spectrum of violence that women experience at live shows, ranging from misogynist verbal harassment to sexual assault.”
Notice her claim about “most women”. Well, if we want to accept her bizarre anecdotal claims, ask girls you know who go to live shows how often they have been harassed, groped, or assaulted. No, having your butt touched when crowd surfing doesn’t count. Neither does it when you are jumping up and down, moshing, that OTEP incident, or trying to get a better spot closer to the front. You will hear some stories, but they are exceedingly rare – you know like false rape claims.
“A standing room-only show.”
How many metal/hardcore shows have you been to where it has not been standing room only? Yea, that’s what I thought. Maybe she is referring to other genres, but she doesn’t bother to make that distinction. Accident or assassination? Our reputation lies in tatters. (Only exception I’ve experienced to this was Summerfest in Milwaukee when August Burns Red and The Devil Wears Prada played in which the stands cut down on much of the area available to stand and mosh.)
“Most important, though, the dangerous and unpredictable nature of concert culture means that it is often entirely unsafe to be a woman in a dark, crowded music venue.”
Anyone else get the idea that she hasn’t been to any metal/hardcore shows in a dark, crowded scary horror movie-like music venue? How many stories has ANYONE heard about someone actually being sexually assaulted – real sexual assault that is – or being raped at a show?
“Even when the violence doesn’t escalate to the level of rape, unsolicited touching and aggressive come-ons from drunk musicians and fans alike is all too common.”
This isn’t at all subjective. Unsolicited touching. Consider when A Day To Remember played The Rave up in Milwaukee and it sold out. It was so damn packed that in no way could you not touch someone. But yea, I suppose there were thousands of incidents of unsolicited touching that happened there.
Drunk musicians and fans? That is very specific to certain festivals and shows. Most smaller shows don’t have that many people drinking, and for some its not even available. I.E, how many people actually drink at the Warped Tour? Consider the price of beer and if they are even of age and its pretty damn slim.
“Venues can implement a number of procedures to make shows safer for women, like adding barricades to mosh pits and increasing security presence in the crowds, but it’s still difficult to control what happens in the middle of a frenzied show.”
“Adding barricades to moshpits.”
How exactly is that even possible – considering how, when, and where moshpits actually break out at show? You would think she’s never even see a pit before. Neither has she considered the fact that putting barricades around a pit would end up hurting people pushed out of the pit… This in particular flabbergasts me. Add “Fun Police” and moshpit killer to Amy Mccarthy’s resume.
Consider what happens when “security” is added to pits. They usually attempt to break them up, fights occur between moshers and security guards, and the show is often then usually stopped. Give it a few weeks, and you fight that yet another venue will no longer hold shows.
“In fact, they should be using their positions to outwardly do everything they can to ensure that these shows are safe for female concertgoers.”
The point of hardcore shows is that they are not safe specifically for anyone – including women. The aggression and danger is part of the reason people go. It’s not a Blake Shelton concert environment, and we shouldn’t pretend that it is. You can’t demand that the shows become made “safe” for a specific group and then get mad when people call them posers, because lets face it then; they wouldn’t actually want the same treatment as the rest of the “group” gets. If you go to a show to see The Acacia Strain and you get near the pit, people aren’t going to stop moshing or suddenly restrain themselves because you have to decided to enter the area – man, woman, or otherkin.
Well, you heard it from her. We need to show special care, treatment, and deference toward women at shows – because they might get hurt. I think Amy has a strong developed sense of female narcissism. Toss out that equality concept. Perhaps she should go to a Terror show and tell them how it needs to be a safer environment. I can’t help thinking, does she actually care about the safety of all concert-goer, or just women?
I’m five foot seven and I have to carefully consider what pits I go into and I have to be very aware of who is moshing to ensure I don’t take a punch to the face. Apparently, my safety doesn’t matter – unless I’m a woman. Then again, if I go to a show, I don’t expect the atmosphere and environment of the show to change just for me. You would think that Amy Mccarthy believes women are these weak creatures to be entirely helpless and completely unable to protect themselves. (Equality right?)
“As for the fans, well, it’s probably unrealistic to ask that they keep their hands to themselves and quietly enjoy the music. Ultimately, it is the artists who have the most responsibility and the greatest ability to ensure that the environment their music cultivates is not inherently aggressive toward women.”
Yes, its VERY unrealistic to ask fans not to mosh and to “keep their hands to themselves.” Any metal/hardcore artists that ensure an environment that is not aggressive isn’t going to be around very long.
Notice though that the aggression is fine, as long as its not toward women. Earlier, she quotes Lorena Cupcakes complaint, “Our motives are cast as disingenuous; we’re called groupies, posers, and hangers-on. Male dominance is established by questioning our right to be there at all.”
Well, this is why your motives are being questioned. You want to be there, but you don’t want to participate equally in the aggressive nature of the shows? You want the shows to be specifically made safe for you, but your not a “hanger-on?”
Amy mentioned earlier in the article that, “Depending on the genre you enjoy, male fans who share your interests might call you a “poser,” or insinuate that you’re not as punk or metal or hip-hop (or as whatever) as you claim to be.” Labeling an environment like a hardcore show as being aggressive toward women, makes it easier to call women “posers” who participate, because instead of being treated the same as any other guy, you show them special treatment.
The irony is that shows are filled with men who literally white-knight for women all around. Plenty are nice of enough to stand in front of them and shield them from the pit, taking those windmills to the face because equality. Or helping them to safety when the pit really starts to get going during a The Acacia Strain set. Girls will tell you tons of stories like this. Oh wait, I forgot. Women are weak, helpless, can’t think for themselves, or even enjoy a show!
Personally, I’m a bit more of an asshole and a true equality feminist. Unless I know a girl, and she gets near the pit, I’m not shielding her body with mine – cause equality. She’s not a poser, she can take – just like me or any other guy – right. On the flip-side, guys usually care if they hurt a girl in the pit. They don’t however if you are a guy – your size doesn’t matter.
“Other times it involves being forcefully shoved across a raging mosh pit by someone three times your size, or being touched inappropriately as you try to crowd-surf. These may seem like harmless little interactions, something that should just be expected in a rowdy crowd.”
For once, know your pits. This applies to literally everyone at the show, regardless of whatever Tumblr gender identity you have that day. I’m a smaller guy, so I have to pick when and where I go in, especially when the breakdown hits. I doubt she has ever experienced one. For two, “women being pushed into moshpits”. If you are standing near to where a pit suddenly breaks out – that could be anywhere, especially at larger shows – everyone gets either pushed into the new pit or pushed back out of it, something she isn’t aware of. I smell a rat Scoob.
Notice how she talked about crowd surfing. It’s pretty damn near impossible not to have your butt touched as you are getting passed toward the stage – or getting your wallet stolen if its in your back pocket.
Surprisingly, Amy actually talks to an “expert” that gets it:
“Metal expert and weekend editor of VICE’s Noisey, Kim Kelly, is particularly used to being banged up at the end of a show. “If I’m at a death metal show or a DIY thrash show in a basement, I know things are gonna get crazy, bottles are gonna fly, and I’m probably going to come home with a few bruises,” she says. “I’ve always been able to hold my own, but women who are smaller or less brash than I am might absolutely feel intimidated by the testosterone-fueled violence. In my experience, if you don’t want to get hurt, you stand in the back or on the side, and keep your guard up.”
I find it humorous that someone – girls specifically – are going to feel intimidated by testosterone-fueled violence. Consider the amount of places left that you can actually let out your aggression and feel the testosterone coursing through your veins is pretty slim. Metal/hardcore shows are about all that’s left.
Hardcore shows are probably the only place where its part of the show. It should be obvious, but feminists types like Amy want to curb our outbursts of toxic masculinity at our last remaining refuges where they aren’t shunned, but are actually embraced – a sense of community if you will.
When we get upset and speak out about the nonsense, outright lies, falsehoods, and the tripe she spews, we are then of course proving exactly her point – that metal/hardcore aren’t safe spaces and places for women and that we are all terrible misogynists. Yea, well fuck her. Maybe eventually, she will name one of these many survivors who has ever been “raped” in this epidemic at the Warped tour. Or Chaos. Or SXSW. Or Mayhem. Or any of the hundreds of others.
“It doesn’t seem like too much to ask that the women who are just as much a part of these respective scenes — we buy just as many records, concert tickets, and band T-shirts as men, and are equally supportive of our favorite acts – not feel physically intimidated when they’re out at shows. In New York’s hardcore scene, bands like the recently reunited Kill Your Idols make it a point to cultivate “positive mental attitude” at their shows and address inequities in their scene, proving that it is possible for these safe spaces to exist without compromising the rowdy vibe that is expected of hardcore punk.”
At hardcore shows…
In New York’s hardcore scene…
Yea, she just said that. Based on everything she has said in this article, she doesn’t want to just kill off the rowdy vibe, she wants to salt the earth after she’s buried the corpse. She wants to eliminate it and replace it with a safe space that doesn’t wreak of sweaty testosterone misogynistic fueled aggression. Mccarthy believes that women are too fragile to be exposed to anything that involves… testosterone.
You would think she would know this, but the entire point of a hardcore show – especially in Boston, LA, and New York is to let yourself go in the pit and at the show. Don’t expect “special” and “safe” treatment. If you want to roll with the guys, expect to be treated like anyone else in the show – especially if you go into the pit.
“Until we address the systemic issues that drive this violence, though, like rape culture and the nonsensical idea that women have to somehow “earn” their place as legitimate music fans, it is likely that even that wouldn’t be enough to make live music a safe and positive experience for women. Still, hearty encouragement from the acts onstage and the venues that host them would be a really helpful start”
What was that about posers? Groupies? Disingenuous?
Oh, that’s what safe-space demanding Amy Mccarthy thinks women are. In fact, if we created safe spaces and destroyed New York’s Hardcore scene by turning those triggering mosh-pits into seats filled with male zombies gazing unmoving and silent at the stage, it still wouldn’t be enough.
Don’t give into people like Amy Mccarthy. If they are unhappy with their scene, they will go after yours, and attempt to kill it if they can’t be as happy as anyone else. This is the worse form of narcissism – the take-no prisoners kind. You know why people hate feminism? It’s because of women like Amy who demand that everything revolves around them and hell with everyone else.
Oh and just in case you actually like Country and think she might be over blowing things, a commenter on Salon called out at least two of the examples which weren’t exactly true – if not outright lies:
While not attempting to minimize or dismiss any of the legitimate complaints of women who have been assaulted or otherwise abused, at least two of the examples provided are flat out false:
1) Tim McGraw was not grabbed “on the leg” — he was grabbed *on the crotch* and rightfully and justifiably responded by hitting the woman who sexually assaulted him. Had the sexes been reversed, would you offer that up as an example of mistreatment? I doubt it.
2) The “rape” at the Keith Urban gig at Great Woods was not a rape. The charges were dropped because it was a consensual act. The claim of the young woman was not that it was not consensual, but that she didn’t really want to have done it — and that’s a distinction worth making. Its the difference between things happening without your consent, and things happening with your consent that you wish you hadn’t agreed to do. Huge difference, with massive implications for the other person involved, and definitely needs to be paid attention do.
Oh, also Amy Mccarthy: Don’t talk shit about metal and hardcore shows, until you’ve been to plenty of them.
It’s October of last year in the evening. I’ve made it to the train station just in time, half-walking and half-jogging. My mood is somewhat relieved and I’m looking forward to listening to some music in the bliss of the ride home.
Hopping on the train at the Lake Forest stop, I grabbed a seat on the upper deck, put the other two down near me, and proceeded to lay down on them as a kind of makeshift bed.
Laying down, I glance up at my phone as I browsed through reddit and the newest stories of the perpetual outraged, headphones playing loud angry music in my ear. Yes, I find Senses Fail to be quite relaxing.
It looks like the guy across is talking to me. His lips are moving.
Yes, he is.
I take out my headphones and he wants to know if I’m okay, as I was coughing while laying down. He mentions that, “I’ve seen people die on this train.”
His tone of voice and his non-verbals are seeped in “hidden” distaste for me. I ignore it, brush it off, and assure him I’m fine as I go back to Reddit.
15 minutes later I notice he is saying something again.
I take out my headphones to hear him.
By the way his mouth is moving and the look on his face, he doesn’t look happy. This time he seemed VERY agitated about the way I was sitting. Apparently he thought I might be taking pictures of him with my phone, which I wasn’t. I thought this odd considering how I was sitting and the direction I was facing.
He is now quite upset by the way I was laying down.
Again, he tells me that I am being rude. How? My semi-open dangling legs were exposing my crotch to the Indian girl sitting several seats down and that was apparently very rude.
It was then that I realized I had been targeted.
He wasn’t going to let this go. He was looking for a verbal confrontation and his cross-hairs had landed directly on me.
I sat up, took the initiative, and attempted to deflect and diffuse the verbal attacks. I am a communications major after all. Finally, perhaps I can see how well some of theories apply to real-world situations.
He’s in a half-rage mode; a strawman here and an angry passive-aggressive accusation there. The anger and frustration in his voice is starting to build. Conclusions and assumptions about me are landing left and right.
I’m taken back for a second. I was startled – almost confused.
What is this tumblr? Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration.
Apparently I was some punk ass-kid/student from Chicago coming down here to get off at Libertyville station stop and I didn’t give a fuck about the other people on the train. Perhaps it’s my “hipster look” that planted the seeds of wrath. I prefer to think of it instead as well-groomed and well-dressed for my stature.
I pointed out to him that NO ONE has ever objected to the way I’ve laid down before.
In fact, it had NEVER happened before. He was the first damn one. I’m starting get irritated now with him and how this has all started.
He insists its a matter of being respectful. My inner philosopher ignites and I assume that he will have a post-modern framework for his concept on “respect” and as to what constitutes as my previous “rude” behavior. I begin my philosophical adventure.
I proceeded to question him on how he knew what was “Respectful.” He appeals to the way he was raised. Interesting. Apparently us young punks know nothing about respect – I secretly agree with him.
Further in the conversation reveals that he is basing his view of the concept on experience, tradition, and essentially his parents. This actually creates in me some respect for him and it causes me to pause in my planned verbal retaliation.
I started trying to think to myself about why he was giving me such a hard time. It was a serious, “Dude, wtf?” moment of thought. Should I stand up for myself and not put up with this crap? Perhaps I wasn’t giving him a reason to respect me.
We were now at a point where I suspected that other people were going to become involved as his tone of voice kept getting louder.
I wasn’t in the mood for this to escalate and as much as I enjoy uncomfortable situations, this was lacking the humorous and adventurous side to it. Also, I was hoping the conductors weren’t going to get involved, though I was certain they’d side with me.
No, I was going to fight my own battles. That’s what a man does – when he can.
It was here the conversation turned.
I pointed out to him I lived in Fox Lake, I also told him about how I thought his age had nothing to do with whether I respected his opinions or not. Living in Fox Lake meant that I wasn’t some spoiled rich yuppie from Libertyville who thinks that the world is my trash dump.
I ask a few questions meant to flush out what was bugging him – what had caused the initial simmer of suppressed rage inside him. I knew there was more here than meant the eye. No one flies off the handle over something so small…
Conversations like these – maybe not as heated at first as this one was – are something I live for. They break up the routine of my day. I made the most out of this one and I’m glad I did, because I learned something.
This fellow’s name was Jim.
I plied Jim for more about himself and he told me his back-story. He’s a 53 year old micro-biologist who works his ass off to put his two of his three daughters through college. His marriage leaves much to be desired and “support” isn’t something he’s experienced in a while. He’s struggling financially, but fishing with his buddies at least gives him some reprieve. Put blankly, he feels unfulfilled, confused, and somewhat jaded through life – a state of almost mental and emotional exhaustion.
Even though, my situation isn’t even close to his, I felt a kind of kinship for Jim – as man to man. It’s no accident that I feel as I’ve met people just like him before with similar frustrations with life.
I feel a sense of sympathy for him.
During the rest of the ride and our conversation, he would apologize several times to me. Throughout the conversations, he would continue this regarding the initial assumptions he had made about me, but I told him not to worry about it.
“The past is the past,” I told him. For the most part, that is a motto I live by.
Jim you see is a classic example of a guy going on through life who needs a chance to vent every once in a while, but doesn’t. I don’t know if he’s ever really been given the chance, but I suspect he’s had this bottled up in him for a while.
It was the small action of the way I laid that set him off. I had experienced my own WW1 spark in interpersonal conflict.
Jim is a good guy, but he’s been through a lot more than I would have thought. . He tells me stories about how he’s been attacked and beat up in Fox Lake outside of bars. Drinking sometimes has a steeper price than a hangover.
He was starting to see crime, drug deals around the Fox Lake train station and even right outside the Thortons nearby. The realization of the scuminess of my town and that of humanity was getting to him. He emphasized that no one cared about what had happened to him or what was happening around.
That was what got me. No one cared about what he had seen, heard, and experienced so he never bothered to vent about it. No support, he just kept it tightly wrapped and wound up.
What happened to Jim – just one action- that magnifies to a great extent the rest of what he has been feeling and seeing can happen to myself.
I literally told him when we got off the train, “There’s only so much a man can handle before he explodes.” I’ll never forget the look on his face. It was one of gratitude and of shock in that he realized I understood him – despite our difference in age and situations.
In every story and conversation there is a lesson.
All men out there need a time and a chance to vent. This isn’t toxic masculinity; it’s the necessary expression of rage and anger that we are forced to keep a lid on.
This of course doesn’t change the fact that most men keep this rage, frustration, depression, and anger pent up. Some have found ways to manage – the gym, 1st person shooters, sports, ect, but is it enough? I suppose these methods won’t get your a way that won’t get you arrested, hated, and in constant fights with your wife, but there must be more.
We all need friends – real friends – as an outlet and as support to get things off your chest that no one else will understand or be able to hear. Your wife, girlfriend, or effeminate therapist wont’ be able to console you in the same way that other men will. These male friends can provide you with the wisdom that is gained from the experience of life, as well as the understanding of the vast challenges that men face in today’s culture.
They won’t BS you, but they will hear you out, and offer the necessary – if rough – advice that others won’t. Reddit might be one way to do this, but face-to-face with close male friends is the best. This isn’t homosexual, it’s simply men getting close with another and bonding over the challenges and quest that is life.
Get it all off your chest.
We all have pent up rage that builds. It’s a matter of fact of life. The people who explode are some how seen as terrible, immature, ect but the reality of life is that this is just a natural part of humanity.
Let it go.
Don’t be afraid to tell your friends what’s really on your mind. Be yourself and I’m not saying that in a BS “feel good” cultural way. Find and make close male friends who are willing to help you out and offer you solid wise advice.
Before we parted ways at the station, Jim told me he was glad the conversation happened.
I was too.
It was a raw unfiltered and genuine conversation that should happen between men more often.
There are always complicated root causes behind why riots like these occur, but either people disagree about those causes and their reasons, or they simply don’t like admitting what they are. There already have been comparisons to Ferguson, but Baltimore’s burning cityscape is the fault of those much closer to home.
Baltimore is no Ferguson. What they do share in common is arguably the issue with police abuse, harassment, ect that is encouraged and often demanded by local municipal governments that are out of control; raking every last cent out of people through taxes, fees, fines, and tickets.
In fact, let’s call a spade a spade.
Since 1967, Baltimore has been firmly controlled by democrats/liberals from the police to the schools to the ordinances. They’ve been shaping these policies for over 40 years and should bare the responsibility for the situation that has resulted from their (1) heinous leadership, (2), inability to understand basic economics, (3) their quivering and cronyism to “certain” businesses, (4) their insistence on unaffordable city employee salaries and pensions.
The issues run deeper than police violence in Baltimore, because the government has been closing schools and recreation centers while youth have been alienated by law enforcement officers. Police officers used to have closer ties with the young men and women in Baltimore’s neighborhoods, Willingham explained.
“We have one of the highest murder rates in the country. I do not like the black-on-black crime. They act like it is acceptable to have these guns in our neighborhoods and to target each other and kill each other.”
“You look around and see unemployment. Filling out job applications and being turned down because of where you live and your demographic. It’s so much bigger than the police department,” said Robert Stokes, 36, holding a broom and a dustpan on a corner where some of the looting and vandalism took place.
He added: “This place is a powder keg waiting to explode.”
Some have pointed to Gray’s rather extensive criminal record as one of the reasons for his death. Regardless of his criminal record, a trial by jury should occur before execution by those in blue. His criminal record is also all drug related, so he isn’t anymore “dangerous” then a 3rd of all the other citizens of this country who indulge in recreational drug use and sometime distribution.
March 20, 2015: Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance
March 13, 2015: Malicious destruction of property, second-degree assault
January 20, 2015: Fourth-degree burglary, trespassing
January 14, 2015: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute
December 31, 2014: Possession of narcotics with intent to distribute
December 14, 2014: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance
August 31, 2014: Illegal gambling, trespassing
January 25, 2014: Possession of marijuana
September 28, 2013: Distribution of narcotics, unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance, second-degree assault, second-degree escape
April 13, 2012: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance, violation of probation
July 16, 2008: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession with intent to distribute
March 28, 2008: Unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance
March 14, 2008: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to manufacture and distribute
February 11, 2008: Unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance
August 29, 2007: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, violation of probation
August 28, 2007: Possession of marijuana
August 23, 2007: False statement to a peace officer, unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance
July 16, 2007: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance (2 counts)
Well why did he have to sell drugs in the first place to survive? Blame can be leveled at the appropriate party once more – the Baltimore city government which had helped to choke the life out of economic opportunities.
You’ll recognize similar traits in other large cities in the US, often controlled by liberals such as Chicago, Detroit, New York, L.A., ect. (This doesn’t excuse those run by conservatives either.)
– The incredible power of police unions that prevent any accountability to the local people.
– Local governments that are giving incredibly lucrative salaries to government employees which the city has to pay for.
– A vicious pushing of fees, fines, tickets, ect on any possible offenders to rake in money to pay for those government employees to offset the lack of tax dollars being generated from the cities economic plight.
– Plenty of “Got Ya!” offenses to nail people with so that they extract the above out of them. Conside the “zero tolerance policy of Baltimore’s Mayor, O’Malley – a popular democrat who is now trying to run for President in 2016.
Remember why Eric Garner was killed in New York? He was trying to survive and make some money by selling “illegal” cigarettes on the side. Why was that even profitable? Why are the taxes on cigarettes so high in New York? Why was he so poor he had to resort to selling illegal cigarettes?
Additional blame can of course be leveled at the Federal government for it’s continued part in the drug war which will lead to many more Freddie Grays.
The people of Baltimore have continually voted in politicians who perpetuate the terrible economic situations they create an environment so hopeless, that the rage and anger of a riot actually seems like a valid option. Stefan Molyneux gives a very good background and context to past decisions in Baltimore which have led to this firestorm.
1. I’ve worked on actual police misconduct litigation cases for years and am one of few people who understand Section 1983 litigation. If you don’t know what qualified immunity is and don’t get the “Scalia’s new police professionalism” inside joke, you aren’t allowed to have an opinion on my civil rights bona fides. (I’m talking to you, hashtag activists.)
2. I’ve known and spoken out about the problem of police misconduct for almost 20 years. The problem has only gotten worse and will continue to get worse until liberals question some of their deeply-held assumptions about how the world does and should work.
3. Police unions make it nearly impossible for a police force to fire a corrupt or abusive officer. The same hashtag activists posting on Twitter are pro-union. The cognitive dissonance astounds.
Also, under most police union contracts, officers themselves are not held liable for their misconduct. If an officer beats you with a baton, you sue and win, it’s the city who pays up.
4. Affirmative action, another darling of liberals, allows abusive and unqualified officers to be hired for the force, and because of unions, it’s nearly impossible to fire them.
5. Black officers are just as likely to beat a black man as a white officer is. Power is color blind, and weird things happen to people when they put on that blue uniform, pin on a shiny badge, and strap themselves with a Glock.
6. Congress could cut police misconduct in half by eliminating the judge-made doctrine of qualified immunity.
8. Qualified immunity provides police who break the law get a free pass. This NY civil rights lawyer explain the doctrine well:
I often write about qualified immunity. This a legal doctrine that allows public defendants in civil rights cases to win the case if their objectionable actions did not violate clearly established law even if, in hindsight, the court finds that their actions were in fact illegal.
In other words, ignorance of the law is an excuse if you’re a cop. Conduct covered by qualified immunity has included using a tazer to torture a man, sodomizing a man with a police baton, and sexually assaulting a woman.
How can police get a pass for obviously immoral conduct? Simple. Power protects power. Judges view themselves as being on the same team as police and prosecutors.
9. If you want to reduce police abuses, petition Congress to abolish qualified immunity. Ignorance of the law is no excuse for citizens, and it should be no excuse for those who have sworn to uphold the law.
“It’s not amazing that this riot is happening in a major US city. It is amazing that riots like this aren’t happening in every major city as a response to the systematic racism, police brutality, imprisonment and overall disrespect and contempt hurled at minorities in this country”
Ignore the identity politics appeal and his becomes very valid. So get yourself some fire-arms; you may need them to prevent yourself from either becoming another Freddie Gray or a victim of some looter who thinks he can burn down your business.
Regardless of what mortals you follow, adore, admire, and pay homage you will at some point disagree with them. Whether it’s most of the time or almost never, no one will ever hold exactly all the viewpoints that you have come to cherish.
A tweet from Milo Yiannapolous prompted the above line of thought in which he voices disagreement with libertarians on the NSA spying incident – color my libertarian tendencies irked.
Obviously, he is mistaken, as his his later tweet about Snowden being a traitor and not a hero. I’m also above reproach in my conclusion.
Today, the internet echo-chamber or “communities” as we call them is often bereft of any actual substance in discussion when it comes to disagreement over just about anything. Dissenters are labeled “concern trolls” or just “trolls” in general. In fact the word, “troll” has lost it’s meaning because of the abuse of the term.
Throw in “safe-spaces” and this takes on a whole new layer of people who immediately dismiss anything that comes from an opposing side. If you make the mistake of identifying with a label that is considered “bad” or triggering, everything you say is immediately dismissed – regardless of the validity of what you say.
We need to start judging statements, comments, and opinions based on what they actually are – the merit and validity of them – instead of who said them. Whether they come from a radical liberal feminist or a neo-con warhawk, it shouldn’t matter; we need to reject guilt by association.
Well, I don’t agree. Okay, I couldn’t resist. Take a look at this specific observation:
“Which one of us agrees on everything with any other single person? No one! Certainly, many of us share similar passions and congregate according to common interests, it’s only human to interact with those who you resonate easily with. But if you dig deeper, or you spend enough time together, it isn’t long before one discovers there are indeed some, if not many points of disagreements with those we are in relationship with.”
As she points out, no one will ever agree on everything, but with today’s identity politics and culture its often either all or nothing. If someone doesn’t share enough “similar” passions, interests, and convictions, chances are that most people won’t give anything they say the time of day. This is more likely if they know about your “opinions” and affiliations before they evaluate what you’ve actually said.
“If we are honest with ourselves, adding the phrase is a form of social insurance. We want to protect ourselves from the risk of being associated with certain things this person represents. “
It certainly is a form of social insurance, but why?
People seem conditioned to pre-judge and make assumptions based on labels and what they “represent”, so what choice is there but to adjust? Unfortunately, this is the reality of where we are at. It rather sucks that these qualifiers are needed, but can anyone point to topics of conversation where they aren’t?
The risk of being associated with someone who is deemed a racist, bigot, homophobe, ect or any other culturally deemed demagogues can be cause for your employment to be revoked. Consider Razib Khan who was initially hired by the New York Times, but then let go because of his “association” with right-wing publications who were deemed to be mired in racism. So much for diversity of opinion right?
Shockingly, the fact that he isn’t even white was enough to save him from the wrath of social justice warriors who usually excuse certain people from terrible actions, deeds, and statements based purely on their genetics. Another mighty journalism giant bows before Gawker and SJWs. Apparently, all you need to do is label someone a racist enough to make them suffer the effects of today’s modern heresy.
For instance, Cindy describes herself as “social justice-y” on the side bar of her site. GASP!
Someone, pull the alarm. Danger is near.
My spidey sense is tingling.
Now a large amount of people will probably dismiss anything she has to say because of the affiliation with social justice. Don’t make that mistake; don’t fall prey to guilt by association. I may fall to this ever constant trap subconsciously, but then force myself to read what is actually state. Some exceptions are made for Tumblr…
I strongly disagree with almost everything modern day social justice folks advocate – what normal sane person wouldn’t – but I won’t necessarily dismiss something because of who is advocating it.
“We can dialogue with people as people, other human beings with different personalities, life experiences, and ideas. We can celebrate common ground without erecting walls or drawing boundary lines. We can connect without disclaimers, embracing the whole of our conversation partner along with her ideas. Let’s base our conversations with one another from a place of shared humanity instead of basing it on fear by association. “
Is this really possible? Can we connect without disclaimers? I don’t think we can.
Tales From The Online Crypt
I recently encountered and “argued” with some conservatives on TheRightScoop about the subject of police abuse. Obviously, they deny this is a real problem. In order to even get them to look at anything I have to say, I had to utter the following disclaimer, “I’m not a democrat…”
This is of course true, but if I didn’t point this out, said conservatives would assume I’m some sort of liberal because I disagree with one of their viewpoints.
Behold, the current state of online discourse.
If you disagree with someone on an issue you are immediately considered to be a follower of the opposing “side”. If you disagree with some of the trash on the Huffington Post, you are a right-wing bigot, ect, ect, ect. If you take issue with something on Breitbart you are left-wing marxist, socialist, ect, ect, ect. Qualifiers are absolutely necessary.
“The power of association, of tribes, of communities, is so strong that we take extra measures to ensure boundaries are clearly marked, compelling us to insert disclaimers even in casual conversation. We are so fearful of being grouped with the “wrong” crowd as perceived by the person we are speaking with.
I do not think this is a healthy way to dialogue. I think it is a sign of disrespect to curate someone’s ideas, extracting it from their whole selves with all of their complexities and personhood.”
She is right; it’s not a healthy way to dialogue. Yes, we must consider the context of a person – if that makes sense – which is necessary to fully understand their ideas and why they have them. However, in today’s charged, “guilt by association” culture, you absolutely have to introduce qualifiers into the conversation or anything you say will be dismissed based on you supposedly are.
One popular “Debate” tactic is Godwin’s law. To sum that up, it means that you equate a certain argument, idea, or even person to Hitler. This of course invalidates anything they have to say. Or does it?
This time-held tactic is “guilt by association/wrong by association” and is employed by disingenuous teenagers, tumblrites, and many adults who want to shout down others based on who they are, rather then what they’ve said on extremely important blogs and websites where their comments clearly make a difference.
Don’t be one of “those” people.
People who engage in daily displays on their Facebook feeds in guilt by association tactics usually have something in common; they are angry, upset, and jaded.
Their life is a never ending stream of un-fulfilled selfies, self-loathing, and vicious attacks on anyone who looks like they wallowed in depression for weeks upon end. All of these bitter people online have one goal in mind; if they can’t be happy – neither can you.
Go outside of your bubble and live.
It’s been said that you can’t argue with certain people, and that is true. Argument however shouldn’t be the goal of every interaction. You don’t need to “win”. All you need to do is engage, discuss, and see if any new seeds are planted in either your mind or your “opponent.” In order to any of that, you must reject guilt by association.
Perhaps, you may just develop a relationship with someone where you don’t need qualifiers, but you must take the initiative to do just that.
I encourage all to go out and have face-to-face conversations with people you know you disagree with. You will be surprised at what happens when both of you or others involved have a conversation that isn’t based on “convincing” anyone of a particular point, but is focused on the exchange of ideas and worldviews.
This is how you grow and become a more rounded individual.
It is one of the first steps in today’s vicious culture in becoming a renaissance man.
A few of us have heard of the mighty Alaric the Goth – more so if you’ve played Age Of Empires or Civilization – a proud proponent of the Christian heresy of the time known as Arianism. No, it has nothing to do with Aryans, Hitler, Nazis, ect. It’s founder, Arius, denied the doctrine of the Trinity as well as some other ideas which today are strangely emanated by Jehovah’s Witnesses. Apparently some ideas can stand the test of time.
Arius would die almost a SouthPark like death. The last bowel movement he passed, resulted in quite a few organs coming out with it – including parts of his liver and organs. His detractors would look upon his death as divine vengeance. (Arius was also known as a rather dangerous schemer in how he acquired power)
Gaul – today known as north and eastern Spain – would be “conquered” and settled by the Goths after the fall of Rome.
Amalaric was the son of of the mighty Alaric II and would be the first Visgothic King to establish his court in Spain in the city of Seville. Arguably, he is the first Gothic Spaniard, though the term “Spaniard” wouldn’t be really utilized for at least a few centuries. He would continue in the Arianism of his forefathers and fellow Goths. Amalaric however, would differ in his rule – apparently acquired through dubious means.
What made Amalaric unique as a ruler was that he revered the Sabbath, so much so that he refused to engage in battle or conduct war. He would insist that his soldiers remain in prayer throughout the day with him. His enemies however would not do the same. He would be defeated in battle by the Franks and flee to Barcelona.
In the recesses of his palace, an assassin would strike him. It would be an act of betrayal, committed by one of his own men. He would die, but not before he gave a startling order – if the story about his death is to be believed.
Amalaric before passing away , he would insist that his murderer go unpunished and remain free and unhindered. Well, so much for the curse with the last breath of the enemy who struck you down.
What would cause him to show this kind of forgiveness?
Amalaric would see it as justice from the hand of heaven. He believed that heaven was in fact chastising him for the same exact crim he himself had apparently committed many years before in order to attain power. I suppose, that’s one way to look at death.
It’s a fascinating way to take responsibility for a death inflicted on you by those who’ve betrayed you, but marks a stark difference in today’s culture – in which nothing is your fault, but everyone elses – where such a thing would be unheard of.
(His legacy would include an early example of religious tolerance by avoiding undue partiality for his own Arianism and treating the Orthodox like he did his fellow Arian brothers. ) This story is partially plagiarized from The Historians Of The World. vol X – Spain and Portugal. Copyright Henry Williams – 1904, 1907
Opinionated Man a.k.a. Jason Cushman over at HarshReality is what one could consider a powerblogger of sorts – whatever that term even means anymore. He actually may be addicted to blogging to the annoyance of his wife. Over time, he has used his site to promote other WordPress bloggers as well as to promote community interaction between all of us.
In particular, his WordPress Meet & Greet threads for bloggers have been fantastic and he has featured a weekly number of “Guest Posts” written by just about anybody who has come across his site – usually commentors and people who frequent the site.
I’ve written a few guest posts and enjoyed how it let me reach a wider audience with thoughts – I’m sure other guest posters have had the same feeling. What I now realize is just how invaluable these guests posts are. Jason isn’t a particularly political, controversial, or culture war type of blogger – though he’s written a few controversial posts.
This has attracted a community that is actually “diverse” and not in the artificial corporate and blogosphere buzzword sense. Your thoughts, posts, and ideas will actually be either critiqued, analyzed, and discussed by a group of people with all sorts of opinions.
Think about how significantand rare that it is.
Most blogging communities are echo-chambers in and of to themselves. Dissenting commentors are labeled trolls and anyone who critiques the groupthink just a bit too much is ousted. Actual dialogue is usually impossible because of the way dissenting opinions and the people who express them handle the internet.
This results in “safe-spaces” that are subconsciously and indirectly created – often through disabling comments all together or moderating them to an extreme fashion that the only people who frequent are the one’s who agree with essentially everything that is said.
These communities then usually rehash the same sort of crap. Once in a while, they say something crazy enough to go viral to get page-clicks, and then go back to the intellectual and conversation deprived vacuum. HarshReality’s community allowed you to actually talk with people outside of the usual echo-chambers and that is becoming harder and harder every day.
Something I noticed a few months back was that most of the conversations that took place – even where there was noticeable disagreements – were very amiable. Jason isn’t big on censorship and comment moderation – so that makes the level of cordial discussion that too place even more surprising.
We may be about to miss that.
Well, Jason’s good deed of promoting and enabling a community was taken advantage of – possibly by a detractor – though we may never know. Someone used his “Guest Post” feature to post “stolen” material. I’m still not sure if it was copyrighted or not, but it did get attention and a warning from WordPress:
As the individual who agreed to the Terms of Service contract when activating WordAds, you are responsible for all content posted on your blog and subsequent Terms of Service violations.
It is far more than just those three. From the notes left by the investigators, I’d say probably the entire Guest Blogger Posts category is suspect.
The investigators re-evaluate rejected applications monthly. If they find absolutely no copied content after a much more thorough re-evaluation, they may re-approve your application. If they find even more copied content, they will likely permanently ban your application.
Now Jason’s guest post system worked pretty well. Bloggers who wanted to create a guest post would email him, he would briefly check it, and then post it later in the day. Pretty simple and effective.
“I talk to everyone via email before they guest blog. I am not sure how what happened, happened… but either way it did. I got played.
My wife wants me to stop blogging. I have considered it. I don’t make a lot of money at my normal 40 hour job and blogging was my release… and possibly a way to chase a dream. Perhaps writing will need to take a rain check for now.
Be careful out there. HarsH ReaLiTy will be closed for a bit. Enjoy the articles, that were ALL written by me, and the free promotional posts.
Jason C. Cushman
If Jason does leave us, who will pick up his mantle? I don’t have alot of hope, but you never know. One thing is for sure – they can’t be a control freak on a power trip – which limits our options on the internet severely.
Another day, another sensationalist story and headline too good to be true. With headlines like, “Arizona Lawmaker: Church Attendance Should Be Mandatory,” social media feeds burst with anger, vitriol, and waxed lyrically about the necessity of Church and State and the insane and theocratic idea that is mandatory church attendance…
Except that context of this entire faux outrage is crucial, but inconvenient in how it gets in the way of relaying the full picture about mandatory “church attendance”. It is of course very easy to believe the worst about people’s whose politics you don’t like.
During a committee with lawmakers in Arizona about gun control – specifically conceal and carry, state senator Sylvia Allen made some of the following comments that need to be seen for context:
‘“I believe what’s happening to our country is that there’s a moral erosion of the soul of America,” Allen said.’
‘Allen said more people may feel the need to carry weapons if a “moral rebirth” doesn’t occur in America.’
Notice that she is talking about the moral problems that are causing people to feel that they need to carry weapons. She also points out that our erosion of religion is causing the problem – she is trying to go to the root of what she believes to be the problem – the sad state of morality in our nation.
“It’s the soul that is corrupt. How we get back to a moral rebirth I don’t know. Since we are slowly eroding religion at every opportunity that we have. Probably we should be debating a bill requiring every American to attend a church of their choice on Sunday to see if we can get back to having a moral rebirth…”
A vicious statement endorsing the violation of separation of church and state right? Cue the twitter mobs, Facebook notifications, and maybe even the remnants of Atheism Plus to extract judgement. for this backwards Bible thumper.
Well, what does she say next?
“But since that would not be allowed and we would not even be debating that, I’m going to vote yes that people who are responsible who have a CCW permit don’t have to worry about their guns as they’re out and about and doing business in whatever building they’re in except ones that where they aren’t allowed,” Allen went on to say.”
She used hyperbole – or specifically an extreme to make a point, something that we all do in any honest conversation, because its far easier for people to understand extreme on a subject like gun control.
That didn’t stop 5NewsOnline from tossing out this Gawker like headline gem, “Arizona Sen. Files Bill To Make Church Attendance Mandatory.” Except, yet again, there was no bill filed. There wasn’t even a serious suggestion. Or was there?
Skepticism Of The Headlines?
The blogosphere for the most part didn’t get it either. SkepticJourney ironically forgot to be skeptical in his thoughts and/or examination of the entire story and MindfulDigressions wasn’t particularly mindful in a thorough expose of her comments in which he appeared to have noticed the context, but still missed the significance of it.
Neither did Bozosphere or TangoFoxTrot who didn’t bother to give the story a closer look. Let’s not forget Commodore 1864, who just added this as a nother notch to the nutcases a.k.a. people he doesn’t agree with. Nutspov may have understood the hyperbole, but I don’t think that’s because of developed skepticism of sensationalist news, but because it was pounced upon by left-wing outlets.
SeeingRedAz might have been the only guy who actually noticed her point in his justified criticism of Arizona Republic:
“State Sen. Sylvia Allen never called for “mandatory church attendance” though the newspaper wishes she had”
Facts. Those aren’t important. I actually would have thought that people would understand the extreme idea of mandatory and compulsory church attendance. She noted that it wouldn’t even be allowed, which is obviously clear. As one commentor put it:
“She was saying it was not possible to legislate church attendance even though it might help stem the moral erosion in America. The context was — since we can’t turn the tide of moral decay that she would vote yes for people have CCW licenses to carry and protect themselves in public places where it is legal. The headline is deceiving and the Farley was exploiting the comment by taking it out of context. What else is new in politics?
Indeed. Context was deliberately ignored for this video as well, but who cares right? It’s free traffic and is convenient to the narrative that a certain group likes to push.
Dem. Senator Steve Farley however was certainly going to ingeniously seize upon this “opportunity” to score some political points, regardless of the context or the point she was making. This is why we can’t have nice things in politics – like open honest dialogue – because people are more interested in it making a sound byte then tackling issues the nation faces.
She was shocked that her comments would have been considered “controversial”. They aren’t, if we bother to look at the context and her actual point, but social media feeds don’t bother with context.
There will never be conversations about “racism” which so many on the left lament the lack of “honest race dialogue”, when any attempt to actually be real and discuss it will be taken out of context for political gain. If it can happen with something like hyperbole regarding mandatory church attendance, then imagine the backlash on an “out-of-context” statement about race. It could and would be far worse in that companies care about their PR images, not if what was said was actually racist or if the person is a racist. Behold the fate of “truth on the internet.”
Is this an example of Obama simply trying to have an honest open talk that is yet once subjected to the merciless out-of-context machine that is internet journalism?
I’ve discussed the idea myself before, but I haven’t had to worry about someone tweeting it for the world to see. Note, my libertarian views don’t allow for “mandatory voting”, but I’ve used the concept to make a point. Maybe the president was doing the same.
Congratulations, you’ve all been “Fox News’d” and I know that really hurts.
Milo Yiannopoulos over at the extremely biased right wing outlet Breitbart has come up with a very good Lexicon that translates what social justice warriors and a very prominent breed of progressives mean when they throw out concepts like, “harassment”, “safe-space,” ect.
Also included are translations from commentors after many late night secessions spent studying ancient progressive cuneiform and pictographs. Their work is now published for the benefit of your education as you interact with SJWs online in your quest to better understand how you are a terrible privileged person deserving death or at least a stint in a gender studies re-education program.
From A- Z , enjoy you, “phallocentric, dogmatic, misogynistic, homophobic, anti-LBGT bastard(s).”
Ableism – The unfortunate biological reality that some people are bigger and stronger than others.
Abuse – Tweets.
Ageism – The internalised misogyny of Mother Nature.
Ally –White slave.
Capitalism–Something I hate but allows me to live my privileged lifestyle.
Consent – How many times should I have to explain this to you it’s simple here is my latest 9 part essay on consent.
Criminal – Straight white male.
Critical theory –Horseshit
Death threats – Mean tweets.
Debunked – “We will not accept this as an argument and will not cite any sources to any sort of debunking. This is the word we use to hand-wave your claims away”
Dogpiling – More than one person disagreeing with me on Twitter.
Dominant culture –The stuff people actually like. Not to be confused with taxpayer-funded lesbian performance art, which would surely break all Box Office records if only more people got to see it
Equality – Used to mean giving everyone a fair chance; now means enforcing 50-50 quotas in jobs women don’t want to do in order to punish men for being good at maths and physics
Evidence–Is considered harassment and you are therefore blocked.
Feminism –Misandry masquerading as a fight against oppression and prejudice on the basis of sex; what unattractive men and women do to get attention
Freedom/Liberty – The freedom for me not to have to pay for my own birth control.
Gender – A word the general public doesn’t really understand. Used to defend feminists who prefer shot-putting to ballroom dancing and to pretend that this is normal and that they have every chance of some day finding a boyfriend
Genital mutilation – Disgusting crime, they should be sent to prison chad was circumcised and it looked nice so why aren’t you, don’t you love me?
Glass ceiling – My career isn’t doing as well as I think it should be, because I’m an insufferable, hateful, jealous bore, and I am looking for someone to blame
Harmful–“Might cause people to disagree with The Narrative”
Intersectionality – A debate strategy: when you’re losing an argument about feminism, call your opponent racist or, even more damningly, capitalist.
Heterosexism –The awkward reality that most people aren’t gay. Can be remedied with the proper social conditioning.
Known –Has been repeated in SJW circles enough for us to recognize it as fact, lack of evidence be damned.
LGBT – Gays and lezzers
LGBTIQQAA – Ugh, even we have no idea.
Male Gaze–Men not being blind makes me angry.
Male Power Fantasy–Way to disprove arguments that disprove my arguments.
Manslamming – I launched myself at an unsuspecting member of the public while yelling “SEE, PATRIARCHY!” and sadly he didn’t have time to dodge out of the way so we both went down
Mansplaining –See ‘misogyny’
Manspreading –What about my fucking handbag?
Marginalized – A writer insufficiently talented to attract attention on his or her own merits, forced to resort to identity politics
Microaggressions – Imaginary slights, to be conjured in the absence of genuine grievance
Misogyny – I am woman who got beaten by a man in an argument and I’m pissed
MRA –Man who is beating me in an argument and who I don’t like.
Oppression – I failed the interview
Patriarchy – A word to use when you don’t get your own way, however unreasonable your statements or demands. See also: “Waaaaaaaaaah!”, “IT’S NOT FAIR!”, “Dad, I hate you!”
Patreon – A monthly donation website; the internet equivalent of a begging bowl in the subway. Best utilised after an extensive press tour in which you complain about “threats” and “abuse” (q.v.) following your vital work (blog posts whining about structural heteropatriarchal capitalist oppression), whether or not you are able to provide evidence of said threats. (Journalists won’t care either way.) Gullible halfwits and men desperate for sex will donate money to you to prove they’re “not all like that” and in the hope of a hand job
Persecution – Someone commented on my blog post
Police report – What to say when you’re losing an argument to scare an interlocutor into silence
Positive discrimination – A form of discrimination only acceptable to be practiced by non white male people in order to enable privileges for mediocre, uninteresting and unsuccessful people.
Prejudice – Some people have opinions that aren’t ours. These can be stamped out or silenced with enough grievance-mongering and intimidation on Twitter
Privilege – What white middle-class feminists have and their victims don’t
Problematic – I can probably spin a blog post out of this
Rape culture – Does not exist
Rape – Sexual intercourse without prior written permission or things I don’t really like.
Rape threats –Very mean tweets
Safe space – A blog with the comments turned off
Sealioning – Someone asking me a question I don’t have an answer for or when someone dares to ask a question and fails to “Listen And Believe”
Sex – Best avoided
Sexual Assault – Eye contact without consent.
Silenced – A feminist who has been disagreed with who is currently arranging television and radio interviews
Social justice – Bullying
State Education – Government sponsored social Marxist brainwashing to generate compliant and passive taxpayers.
System of oppression – More than one person disagreed with me on the internet.
Transgender – A psychiatric disorder reimagined as a “civil rights issue” because we’ve literally run out of things to complain about.
Transphobia – When men refuse to castrate themselves and when one is disagreeing on anything with a trans person.
Triggered – How college students avoid homework
Victim – Apparently a helpless woman who enjoys being shagged while she is drunk and can’t think for herself.
Victim Blaming – When shitlords ask me to cover up my tits when I’m trying to protest in a cathedral.
Violence –Things I don’t like.
Wage gap – A useful bit of mythology, to be repeated at all times so no one notices that actually women under 30 earn more than men for the same work
“____-shaming” – Used to deflect any sort of criticism over taking responsibility for one’s actions.
Concerning Milo, he is worthy of high praise for this list.
“He’s the Alexander the Great of the anti-sjw movement and I salute him as a fine leader indeed.”
P.S. – Comments? Questions? Suggestions? Deaththreats?
Anything to add to this and/or change?