[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Tuesday, 2016-11-22

This guy, on the other hand, is an actual Nazi

Filed under: Journalism,Philosophy,Politics — bblackmoor @ 09:33

I’ve written a bit lately, urging my similarly-aligned friends and acquaintances to refrain from insulting half the country because they voted differently, or didn’t vote. I’ve urged my allies not to call people “Nazis” or “white supremacists” unless those people actually are such.

This is an example where calling someone a “Nazi” or a “white supremacist” is appropriate, because that’s exactly what this guy is: his words make that clear. Now, is everyone in the audience also a white supremacist and/or Nazi? We can’t know that, and we should not assume that. But it’s reasonable to assume that the people cheering and giving the Nazi salute are. Or think they are (I suspect that a lot of these people would be surprised to find themselves taking a train ride in actual Nazi Germany).

So the question is, how do we get people who didn’t vote, or who voted for Trump, to see that this is the result of their actions? If we want a better future, we need them to realize what a terrible mistake they’ve made. The future depends on us working together. We simply can’t afford to hold grudges.

P.S. That was kind of a clever word-play there, comparing “leftists and cucks” to the golem, a figure from Jewish mythology. He’s not explicitly saying that he’s referring to Jewish people when he asks “if these people are people at all, or instead soulless golem”. Not explicitly.

P.P.S. What the heck is a “cuck”? Is he calling non-Nazis chickens?

P.P.P.S. I use the phrase “taking a train ride” in the second paragraph. As far as I know, I came up with that allusion myself — I don’t think I borrowed it from anywhere. However, on proof-reading this, I was reminded of another reference to taking a train… man. That’s dark, Dalton.

P.P.P.P.S. “Cuck“. So, that’s a thing, I guess. Ugh.

Thursday, 2016-11-17

Facebook is not news

Filed under: Family,Friends,Journalism,Society — bblackmoor @ 11:09

I will no longer be getting my news from Facebook. Too much of it is fabricated, and what little isn’t has been slanted and overloaded with emotion until any objective facts have been obfuscated beyond recognition. If you share a meme about this or that protest causing the death of someone, or a story about this or that person being assaulted or beaten by people because of their politics, or even the old-fashioned hoaxes like free cruises from Disney, plots to poison our food, or serial killers leaving diseased needles in vending machines, I am going to hide that post, and if you do it often enough, I will quietly “unfollow” you. (If/when this process can be automated, I will happily install an add-on that does it for me. Perhaps based on a list of fake new sites like this one.)

I have had enough of angry accusations and tragic claims made without even a token effort at verification, and that exist only to sell advertising or elicit an emotional response. I have had enough of political propaganda masquerading as news. Too many of these stories have been completely unsubstantiated, and a claim made without verification cannot be treated as true. Facts matter to me, even if they don’t matter to anyone else.

Share with me how your day went. What sort of things have happened to you today? Not a friend of a neighbour of a colleague — you. How was work? How’s your health? What movies have you seen that you liked? Books that you’ve read that you liked? (Hint: if you haven’t seen it or read it, your opinion about it means nothing. And frankly I would much rather hear about something you liked than something you hated.) Hell, I would even prefer that you share photos of your children — as repulsive as most children are, I would rather see photos of your actual child’s actual accomplishments rather than yet another photo of some anonymous child who may want “likes” for whatever reason — but who probably had nothing to do with their photo being shared.

Facebook is not a source of news. The “news” on Facebook is rumour at the best of times, and malicious lies the rest of the time. No more. Not for me.

The safest assumption on Facebook that any “news” you see is false. In my opinion, it’s no longer even worth doing the few minutes of research it takes to invalidate them: I’m more likely to find gold coins in Vixen’s litter box. If I want news, I will go to a respected mainstream news site that employs actual journalists.

P.S. So what is “real news”? My rule of thumb is that real news has a middle initial “B”: ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, PBS. The exception is CNN, which takes the place of CBN, which is definitely not real news. (There’s always an exception.)

Friday, 2014-10-10

What is “gamergate”?

Filed under: Gaming,Journalism,Society,The Internet — bblackmoor @ 16:36

Generally speaking, I avoid posting anything controversial here on my blog; despite the title, I prefer to focus on the positive. However, I have decided to make an exception, regarding the hate campaign terrorist group known as “gamergate”. Have you seen the term “gamergate” (or “‪#‎gamergate‬”), and wondered what it is? Here it is, in a nutshell:

A handful of unrepentant assholes who get a kick out of stirring up controversy (they may not even believe what they say — that’s not important to them, they just like “stirring the pot”) organized a harassment campaign against a number of women journalists. A larger number of socially maladjusted idiots have joined the campaign, because they are miserable, gullible creatures. The name of this harassment campaign is “gamergate” (although “gamerhate” would be a more accurate name). “Gamergate” comes from the same cretins who brought you “bikini bridge“, “ebola-chan“, and any number of other manufactured controversies that I hope you have been too smart to pay attention to.

Pretty much every argument you hear in favor of “gamergate” is either a red herring or a bald-faced lie. It’s not a real controversy: it’s simply a hate campaign a terrorist group created by malicious idiots, and anyone who sincerely thinks “gamergate” has any value is a pathetic loser who deserves to be pitied and then ignored.

If you make death or rape threats against someone for expressing an opinion that’s different from yours, or if you concoct ludicrous conspiracy theories about in an attempt to discredit them (instead of saying, you know, “I don’t agree with you. Here’s why…”, or — and here’s a novel idea — simply ignoring them), there is something seriously wrong with you. Seek help.

2014-10-19:: Personally, I think it’s gotten to the point where we need to start treating “gamergate” like any other terrorist group: don’t engage them (it only encourages them), deny them a soapbox for their toxic views, and report their crimes to the police.

2014-10-21: Chris Kluwe doesn’t mince words.

Thursday, 2013-10-24

Russell Brand on voting and revolution

Filed under: Journalism,Politics — bblackmoor @ 08:58

Most of the time, we know Russell Brand as the goofball douche-monster best known for his (former) drug use, promiscuity, and obnoxiousness (oh, and his brief marriage to Katy Perry). But when the guy gets up on his soap box, he can be lethal, as these MSNBC anchors found at in June when he humiliated them on live television. The guy can display moments of pure brilliance, and when he gets a head of steam behind him on social and political issues, he’s one of the most charming, eloquent, and thoughtful guys in the entertainment industry.

Take, for example, this interview with Russell Brand with Newsnight’s Jeremy Paxman on the BBC yesterday. Paxman basically tries to shame Brand for broadcasting his political opinions despite the fact that Brand doesn’t vote, and Brand does a brilliant job of upending his argument, demonstrating why voting in this system doesn’t amount of a hill of goddamn beans given all the injustice of the economic disparities we are facing.

(from Underestimate the Intelligence of Russell Brand at Your Own Peril, Pajiba)

I have been voting since I was old enough to do so, but I confess that I, too, have suffered from “weariness and exhaustion from the lies, treachery and deceit of the political class that has been going on for generations.” I think he’s entirely too optimistic about the possibility of change, though. Power exists to perpetuate itself, and I am not aware of any effort to restructure society in a more egalitarian fashion that has been successful.

To me, voting is like trying to affect the trajectory of a bowling ball by leaning to one side while it rolls down the lane. It accomplishes nothing, but it makes me feel better.

P.S. Here’s a follow-up video shared with me by Roger Carden.

Saturday, 2012-08-18

A criticism of journalistic ignorance

Filed under: Journalism,Politics — bblackmoor @ 10:41

This is not a political blog entry. I don’t care what your politics are, and I’ve no interest in convincing you to adopt mine. The topic today is not politics, but political journalism.

Richi Jennings (who seems like a nice guy, and whose tech-related articles I typically enjoy) posted an article on Forbes, “Paul Ryan stimulus budget: What would Ayn Rand say?”

Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI): Is he a libertarian or just another budget-busting politician? And does he or does he not support government fiscal stimulus?

Um… wait. What? What the..?

First, Paul Ryan is obviously not a libertarian. You may as well ask, “Is he a Klingon?” Uh, no. Clearly not.

Second, Ayn Rand despised libertarians even more than she hated communists. So why would anyone seek Ayn Rand’s opinion on whether someone else is or is not a libertarian? That makes no sense.

Granted, the article is basically a summary of what various pundits are saying about Paul Ryan (and what they say is equally nonsensical), but that doesn’t excuse this bizarrely nonsensical introduction.

I pointed this out to Richi Jennings. He replied,

Lest we forget, the point of OTOH is to sum up what a range of voices are saying on an issue. Whatever your own particular point of view, some of the voices are bound to be ‘wrong’ ;-)

Suggesting Ryan might be a libertarian or that Rand might approve of him if he were is not ‘wrong’, with quotation marks. That implies it’s a matter of opinion. It is flat out blatantly incorrect. “Mars orbits the Moon” kind of incorrect. “Chickens built Stonehenge” kind of incorrect.

People who don’t know the difference between objectivism and libertarianism, and which one Ayn Rand promoted and which one she despised, shouldn’t be using those words in a sentence. You may as well say, “Is Ryan a nihilist? What would Albert Camus say?” (The point being that Ryan is obviously not a nihilist, and that Camus was rather famously not a nihilist, either.)

Here are some other equally nonsensical headlines:

“Is Paul Ryan a dinosaur? What would David Wozney say?”

“Is Paul Ryan a moon of the planet Jupiter? What would Cyrus Reed Teed say?”

“Is Paul Ryan a 19th century geologist and naturalist named Charles Darwin? What would Pat Robertson say?”

Follow-up: Richi Jennings has modified his intro to say, “But is he a libertarian, an objectivist, or just another budget-busting politician?”