Yes, this IS snark. And no, I’m not gonna stop it, no matter who hectors me.
And yes, Neil Macdonald, this includes YOU. I mean, what the fuck kind of “advice” is THIS condescension, anyway?
But with all due respect to my earnest friends on the left, a bit of advice: stop being so damned irritating about it.
Oh gee, Neil, thanks for that lovely, timely “advice”. We’re “irritating”, and that’s why we need to stop protesting whenever we see something and feel compelled to SAY something? So that the delicate skins of our right-wing adversaries don’t get a wee bit itchy? Why don’t they grow a thicker hide, then, like they’re always telling us to do? I mean, last time I looked, the symbol of the US Republican party WAS an elephant, and no creature has thicker skin than THEY do. And aren’t they the ones who wore THESE shirts?
Somehow, I don’t think occasionally slapping people like this upside the head (metaphorically OR literally) when they deserve it is such a bad thing. And rubbing their noses in their own shit when it all starts to stink and get flyblown isn’t such a bad thing, either.
But according to Neil the Free Speech Warrior, that’s out of bounds. I mean, just look at this shit:
Particularly on campuses, the left has developed a prissy, hectoring self-righteousness, which is what happens when a bunch of people who think the same way get into the same room and congratulate one another endlessly on being right. (“Herds of independent thinkers,” as columnist and author Nat Hentoff so beautifully puts it).
Not only do they block out any opposing viewpoint, they begin to shout it down and censor it (because, you know, it’s wrong), and ultimately try to regulate it, writing rules and laws prohibiting its expression. Consult a few university speech codes — particularly those drafted by student unions — for elaboration.
To many social activists, free speech (except when it protects their speech) is just another tool of patriarchal suppression. All debate is just false equivalence.
You can tell that Mr. Macdonald hasn’t been near a university campus lately, eh? Because last I looked, suddenly it was politically correct that any old asshole could get in and have a platform to be heard, even if everything they said was outright toxic. And if “debate” was “shut down”, it was because someone dared to stand up and challenge — oh sorry, heckle the likes of Milo Fucking Yiannopoulos, Ann Fucking Coulter, etc. Or they just stood up on their hind legs and challenged the sorry-ass speaker’s “right” to be there in the first place. Which is, like it or not, ALSO a use of freedom of speech. And a commendable one at that, since it draws the line where the bullshitters are doing their damnedest to erase or blur it. And where the authorities are getting increasingly reluctant to set a limit on campus-speaker bullshit, because they mistakenly believe that everyone has to be exposed to the mental equivalent of anthrax spores in order to “toughen them up” for the “real world” (as though university were not a tough enough place already, or as much a part of reality as any other).
Protesting injustice is an absolute right, even if it inconveniences some special snowflake on the fascist wing, and fails to net some professional bullshitter a few thousand dollars in speaking fees.
This form of free speech, however, is increasingly being trampled and forgotten by well-meaning advice-givers like Neil Macdonald, who think that every last opinion, however odious, needs and deserves to be heard equally. Even that of Richard Fucking Spencer, the “dapper” neo-Nazi who recently came right out in badly-pronounced German to literally “heil” Der Drumpf in Washington, DC.
BTW, as a German-Canadian, I really don’t appreciate an Anglo Yank appropriating my ancestral language (and pronouncing it so poorly) in an underhanded attempt to revive the worst chapter of my ancestral country’s history, this time on North American soil. When even my far-from-liberal father, who was born the year Hitler came to power and has living memories of what life was like under Nazism, says that these guys need to be stopped, that ought to tell you something.
But I suppose that to Neil Macdonald, the far worse oppression is me trying to stop them, eh?
And because any other viewpoint is patently valueless, perhaps even dangerous, they almost immediately go ad hominem, rather than engaging on the issue.
Actually, Neil, this is how the right, and especially the far right, operates. We don’t.
But I’ll tell you one thing, I’ve learned that trying to debate those people is definitely valueless, because they don’t engage to listen or demonstrate respect while differing from us, they engage only to drown us out, intimidate us, silence us, and gloat over our hurt. Nobody else’s hurt matters to these people. (Do I need to bring up those fucking shirts again?)
And now that Neil is on a roll with the hay-baler, get a load of all the strawmen he’s churning out:
Anyone who suggests that someone accused of sexual assault deserves due process — because due process is the only thing standing between a falsely accused person and punishment — is immediately accused of being pro-rape, or promoting rape culture, or helping rapists punish their victims.
Actually, Neil, this never happens. Where did this happen? The Ghomeshi trial? Oh please, don’t make me laugh…because that trial was MORE than fair. He got way more process than was his due, and thanks to his wealth and celebrity status, he also got the best lawyer money could buy. As luck would have it, she even got to play the “feminist” card while whacking the complainants…and the judge allowed it. Which is, by the way, why I say “way more process than was his due”. Complainant-whacking is unethical, and allowing it in court is illegal. Marie Henein and Judge Horkins broke the law. Don’t just take my word for it, take that of actual legal experts. (And you might want to look into their rather unusually close personal relationship, too, as it definitely appears to have had some bearing on this case.)
As for “a falsely accused person”, in the case of rape as with every other crime, that percentage amounts to something in the low single digits. Which is also, incidentally, an order of magnitude greater than that of actually guilty sexual assailants in Canada being found guilty as charged. Remember this chart?
Yeah, kind of inconvenient, that. But it’s also the truth. Sexual assailants don’t get fair trials in Canada, they get favorable ones. Our justice system was written by and for the most privileged class, and that’s well-to-do men. Jian Ghomeshi and Professor Whatsisface in BC have gotten off not because they actually were innocent, but because their relative social privilege carries with it a greater presumption of innocence. Even ironclad evidence cannot stand against it. Yet we’re supposed to believe that giving victims more of a voice, and more of a hearing, somehow robs the accused of “due process”? Don’t make me fucking laugh, Neil, you wouldn’t like me when I get going.
And there is so much here to get me going. Look at all these strawmen:
You can bet they’re listening closely every year at Halloween, when progressives reliably denounce as racist anyone allowing their children to dress up as a member of any other culture. Like, say, sending a little girl out dressed as Mulan.
Or when they’re denounced as Islamophobes for even discussing the question of why so many people who commit mass murder of innocents do it in the name of Allah. Or as transphobes for using the pronouns “he” or “she” without explicit permission. Or as homophobes for obeying their priest or imam. Or as some sort of uninclusive-o-phobe for uttering the phrase “Merry Christmas.”
There are millions of people out there who aren’t terribly interested in a lecture about the difference between “cisnormative” and “heteronormative,” and how both words supposedly describe something shameful.
Hey, Neil? Leave some straw for the cows and the horses, you jackass.
Oh dear, you’re still not done pontificating? Ugh:
Until now, all those people have just rolled their eyes and stuck ever more closely to their own communities, reckoning Canada is actually a pretty decent place, rather than a tyrannical hegemony of various phobes.
Yeah, well…when they’re not the victims of racism, sexism, religious bigotry, or various normative phobias, it’s easy to see where they got that idea, however delusional it is. A world where their own kind is the only kind is very cozy and reassuring, and they don’t take kindly to having that delusion popped. No wonder they circle their wagons and get all defensive when some rude leftnik challenges their shit.
Of course, that sticking-closer-to-their-communities thing is what makes right-wingers the special snowflakes they are, so fragile that you can’t even question their behavior without them falling apart and making scenes like this about it:
That’s right, having to be equal to Those People, and pay up equally, is terribly discriminatory for conservatives. The poor babies! Better get Der Drumpf to make a federal case of it for them, eh?
Just imagine how they’ll melt down when he fails to make those $1 reusable bags free for white people after all their voting for him and making a big tra-ra about it. Oh hell, I’m imagining it, and giggling over it already.
But here comes Neil again, pouring cold water long after the Ice Bucket Challenge has run its course:
Right now, there’s not much of a Trump nation to join in Canada. But there could be. Certainly a couple of rather opportunistic Conservative leadership contenders are trying to create and lead one.
Just watch: their every speech will contain an invitation to those who are “sick of political correctness.” We’re already hearing recycled Trump-tropes about insiders and elites and left-wing media.
So, liberals, tone down the snark. Because while every starchy little condescending shame-tweet might help you feel superior, it really just empowers Trump’s Canadian pretenders.
Hey, Neil? How about you just fuck off with that “advice”? Would you tell Charlie Chaplin, the Marx Brothers, and the Three Stooges to tone down THEIR mockery of fascists because it somehow “empowers” these idiots to get their bubbles repeatedly pricked? No? Then don’t give it to me. Because I’m not going to fucking take it.
No more than I am going to take the fascists and their attempts to silence me.