Aug 122015
 

John C WrightThe last few days everyone in Hugo-ville has been in a tizzy about Lou Antonelli contacting the police in Spokane. I’ve seen it referred to as a SWATing. Guys… no. Chill the fuck out. A SWATing is when the SWAT team actually breaks into your house. It’s terrible for a number of reasons, but primary among them the fact that American police are notoriously reckless and an innocent person could be killed. This is a SWATing. What Lou did isn’t SWATing. He wrote a letter, asking for extra police protection at a public event.

Yes, he’s crazy, and he used paranoid language that shows how off-the-deep-end he is. But police do occasionally get such letters from crazy people, it’s not a big deal. And let’s be real for a second – wouldn’t we all feel a bit better with extra security around this year? I’ve heard similar worries from the non-Puppies (called Happy Hippogriffs from here on out for brevity) – they’re also scared that the Puppies fans are dangerously emotional and a few lunatics on the fringe might try to start trouble. I’ve had this expressed to me in private, and seen it online as well. We’re all a bit nervous. Lou just had the misfortune of letting his fear show in public, and targeting the Master of Ceremonies with lunatic accusations while doing so. Cut the guy some slack.

Everyone is quoting the Aug 1 episode of the Superlative Livestream. This is a roundtable discussion by a number of Puppies & Sympathizers, and I think very few people have actually listened to it, because there’s some far more interesting stuff in there! I’ve now listened to it, so you don’t have to. ;) Here’s some highlights.

At ~27:40 someone complains about how many people “shelled out forty bucks just to vote a spoiler vote”, which at first I thought showed crazy amounts of obliviousness. The entire Puppy movement is just one big backlash of the aggrieved, uniting to shell out forty bucks for the satisfaction of casting a spoiler vote! That is their raison d’etre! And now they’re trying to take the moral high-ground, saying that’s dirty pool? Then I realized it was John C Wright talking, and I laughed. The man knows exactly what he’s doing, he just has more chutzpah than anyone currently writing. :)

An interesting insight into the Puppies’ view of us: at ~1:17:25 one complains that “the thing with a lot of these people is that they don’t know people of faith”. Which… wow. Is the problem really that the Puppy voters simply don’t know any Hippogriffs? How else could you imagine that the Hippogriffs don’t know any people of faith? A large portion of them are people of faith! Of the remainder, I guarantee close to 100% know people of faith. We live in America, the most religious first-world country on the planet. It’s nigh impossible to NOT know someone of faith. We are all very much acquainted with people of faith, and the fact that you think we aren’t makes me suspect you’ve been being told some very interesting stories about us.

He then goes on to say that this makes having a chaplain protagonist “non-PC.” I don’t understand how this follows, even in the abstract. If any Puppy is reading this, and agrees with his sentiment, can you clarify what he means?

The same Puppy at ~1:20:15 says that he lives in Texas where they “are very different” because “you don’t have to apologize if you mention God or you say “God-bless-you” when someone sneezes”. Again, I want to know where the hell he’s getting his opinions about the outside world. Generally, mentioning God is not something anyone apologizes for. I mean sure,  it may be considered rude to start arguing Religion and/or Politics depending on the situation, but that’s normal social convention. There’s an old saying about it. That’s just not starting shit at the dinner table. Simply mentioning your God is never something I’ve seen anyone have to apologize for – more often than not it meets with approval.

But seriously, the BIG kicker here is his assertion that anywhere in the US someone would have to apologize for saying “God-bless-you.” That’s ludicrous, to the point that I wouldn’t have believed a Puppy had made that claim if I hadn’t heard it with my own ears. It doesn’t even have religious connotations anymore! That he thinks there are places where you’d have to apologize for saying that means his view of people who are outside his group has been so twisted and distorted that we must be little more than baby-eating mutants! He feels that his in-group is so persecuted outside of his enclave, that the outside world would turn on him for a simple wish of health after a sneeze! NO WONDER the Puppies are so happy to part with $40 to spoil the award party of the enemy side! They have a conception of us as truly awful people. This is the thing I was talking about in Defense Against The Dark Arts. What kind of person thinks it’s ok to distort the worldview of those who respect his opinion to turn them on their fellow citizens in this way? Ugh.

Which brings me to John C Wright. I kinda love this guy. He’s extremely intelligent, and well-spoken, and he has this wonderful, rich voice. He’d make such an amazing Quirrell. And he is *passionate*, which I really admire. I loved it when he was crazy Libertarian, and I still love it now that he’s crazy Catholic. This guy does not give one fuck about what his opposition thinks, because they are wrong. He’s a dyed-in-the-wool Warrior, and he’s amazing to watch. Have I mentioned that I like to watch that kind of thing? I loved reading PZ Myer’s blog for the same reason. Intelligent, passionate, and a warrior. PZ would be what the Puppies call a “Social Justice Warrior” (SJW). John C Wright is the right-wing equivalent. He is absolutely a Conservative Justice Warrior (CJW?), and his fiction screams it. Hell, HE screams it, he doesn’t hide it for a second. He starts off the livestream acknowledging it! But the real fireworks come near the end, and for some reason I haven’t seen it referenced anywhere else.

Starting at ~1:18:00 John Wright says that “they’re an enemy religion to our religion. They know it.” Followed at ~1:18:45 with “They worship Moloch by means of abortion, and they worship Baphomet by means of sodomy.” He’s obviously talking in metaphor, but damn, that is some awesome metaphoring! That’s straight-up biblical. And it’s refreshingly honest. None of this namby-pamby bullshit about “You can say God-bless-you without apologizing for it.” Jesus, that argument is just plain sad, it crumbles as soon as anyone bothers to spend five freakin’ minutes with the opposition. But the claims that we support access to abortion, and we’re cool with sodomy? Entirely true. You think those things are bad, we don’t. That’s something real. That’s something worth engaging. Huzzah to Wright, for cutting past the bullshit and getting right to the beating heart of the divide. You, sir, have my respect. In the odd way that one respects a strong opponent.

  14 Responses to “Manufactured Outrage vs Worthy Opposition”

  1. This is one of the more interesting takes on it I’ve seen, I’ll give you that. You are the first person I’ve seen (who doesn’t actually agree with Wright) who said that they prefer Mr. Wright’s commentary with the more subtle stuff.

    I’ll give you some background. I’m actually a writer for Superversive SF, and was originally going to take part in this discussion until tech issues forced me to bow out. The long and short of it is that I agree with you and I agree with Mr. Wright (I can’t stand PZ Myers, but mostly because I don’t think he knows what he’s talking about – the passion doesn’t much matter to me). I also appreciate the fair minded perspective, so thank you for that.

    An interesting insight into the Puppies’ view of us: at ~1:17:25 one complains that “the thing with a lot of these people is that they don’t know people of faith”.

    I think they mean more a person truly passionate about their religion. Do you know any John C. Wrights in person? I do not.

    But I’ll put it a different way. I was in an Ethics class once, and I didn’t really want to be there, because I KNEW it would drive me nuts. But, it was a requirement, so off I went.

    And then, one day…the dreaded abortion discussion.

    I will tell you what I said: “We all agree cells are alive, right?”

    You will not BELIEVE the reaction this got. It was absolutely amazing. I might as well have told her that I wanted to eat abortionists alive. One woman continued accusing me of wilder and wilder claims I never even attempted to make, then called me an asshole and stopped talking.

    THEN there was the Civil War Class with 8 people where I was the only conservative. I quickly learned not to speak at all. The one time I finally snapped (They were talking about how dumb people who voted for Romney were, you see, as well as NRA nuts), I was immediately told I was overreacting.

    Put simply – I don’t think they really interacted with a conservative who really thought through his views. They would have no idea what to do with a John C. Wright or a Vox Day. I imagine things would go similar to the abortion class.

    I’m against gay marriage. If I DARED to mention this on facebook, I would have lost several friends. I couldn’t just disagree with them about the meaning of the institution. No, I would be a BAD PERSON.

    Whereas, on an issue I consider far more important, I have several people I consider friends who are pro-choice.

    So I get what they mean. I just think some of their examples are bad.

    As a final aside – I’ve worked with John C. Wright, Jason Rennie, and the notorious Vox Day personally. They were consummate professionals, polite and willing to discuss matters related to the stories they had written with no drama whatsoever.

    So, there’s a Puppy’s take on it.

    • >I think they mean more a person truly passionate about their religion. Do you know any John C. Wrights in person? I do not.

      That’s an interesting dichotomy, and I’m not sure if it applies that well. I do indeed know several people who are passionate about their religion. I don’t think that’s a difference in how they feel about their religion, it is a difference in how far they’re willing to go to chastise others. I don’t know any John C Wrights in person, because those sorts of people cause way too much drama to deal with on a day-to-day basis. Warriors are great fun to watch, but I don’t want to live with one. :)

      I’m really sorry to hear about your experience in the Ethics & Civil War classes. :( I generally chalk that sort of thing up to the idiocy of youth, but it’s a travesty that the professor in the class didn’t step in and do something. I thought that was half the point of having an adult in the room. /sigh I admit, I was an idiot in college too, but I hear more and more horror stories like this coming out of universities, and I’m glad I’m long past the age where I have to deal with them.

      >Put simply – I don’t think they really interacted with a conservative who really thought through his views.

      Which is a shame. It means they likely don’t have a very strong understanding of their own views either. Everyone’s opinions are shallow until they meet opposition, and they have to dig deep to really understand themselves and their opponents.

      > So, there’s a Puppy’s take on it.

      Thank you! It was insightful.

  2. (An example of some of my writing: http://superversivesf.com/2015/08/08/why-im-superversive/)

    Typos galore, I’m afraid. I wrote it late at night.

  3. >We live in America, the most religious first-world country on the planet. It’s nigh impossible to NOT know someone of faith.

    To be fair, I have met people whose view of Those Religious People is astoundingly false, in much the same “… wow” way that makes you ask “is the problem really that the Puppy voters simply don’t know any Hippogriffs?”

    I can see someone coming to the opposite conclusion – that “the problem” is that “these people” must surely have somehow contrived to never meet anyone religious, or they’d have immediately had their claims disconfirmed. Surely?

    But in truth, I think it’s mostly the effect Malcolm mentions upthread. I’m very much in favour of gay marriage, but I do know people who aren’t. And I know that, were I to declare that I was against gay marriage in any kind of social setting I regularly participate in, I would be mobbed. Heck, I’m occasionally mobbed just for correcting someone who makes a truly have-you-genuinely-never-met-anyone-who-disagrees-with you-level ridiculous claim about the opposition, because Arguments Are Soldiers, right?

    I can’t help but feel there has to be a connection – yes, we can’t yet segregate ourselves to the point of never interacting with anyone on the “other side”; but we can sure as heck blow up at them if they dare to mention it, so we never see anyone is on the other side.

    • Yeah. I know you disagree with me, but humor me for a second (I’m not interested in arguing the issue at this very moment):

      Imagine a discussion like this: “Finally, love has won! A great victory for equal rights for gay couples!”

      Me: “Actually, I don’t think this is a good thing. For one thing, I don’t think the courts should be unilaterally deciding things that should be left up for a vote. For another, we need to discuss what the purpose of marriage is anyway. I don’t think that gay couples being married really makes sense if we consider that the purpose of marriage is –

      Other Person: “YOU ARE A HATEFUL BIGOT AND AN ASSHOLE, I’M DONE TALKING WITH YOU YOU MORONIC RELIGIOUS NUTCASE.

      Lest you think I’m exaggerating about my tone, I’m not, because if I were to discuss this in public with people, especially on places like facebook, I’d know to be very careful. And I KNOW it wouldn’t matter, not because I’ve done this, but because I’ve seen people who have said something like this get subjected to a virtual mob.

      My rhetoric on my blog is much more pointed, because I’m much more anonymous there. I wouldn’t dare to say I was against gay marriage publicly on facebook. It would not end well.

      • This made me laugh pretty hard and then think for a while.

        Surely if it is fair game for you to publicly announce that you for some reason get to decide what marriage is for and who gets to do it then its totally fair for people to yell at you and call you an asshole. I think its also totally fair that they then decide to stop talking to you.

        Do you think people should be somehow silenced so that you can say your piece without fear of attack (even if your piece is to restrict the rights of others). Madness I say. If you have the right to speak up in public (and lets face it your views aren’t exactly egalitarian) then others have the right to speak up too, even if it is to scream at you.

        Maybe if you want reasonable discussion with people then you have to be reasonable. From where I sit anyone who thinks they define what marriage is and what it is for is a religious nutcase who aint worth talking to. Never ceases to amaze me how people who want to “tell it how they see it” don’t seem to enjoy it when other people do the same.

        • The way I read it, someone started a conversation in a public place, such as Facebook. Malcom was there, and so he is implicitly allowed to be in the conversation as well. When he tried to add his opinion, in what he’s presented as a very reasonable and calm way, people started yelling and attacking him. That isn’t ok. He wasn’t publicly claiming that he can decide what marriage is, he was merely adding to a conversation with his opinion. We can (and likely should) still judge him, but not attack him. There’s a difference.

          • His opinion is attacking someone though. His opinion is that others should have less rights than he does. Surely the only correct thing to do is to immediately start yelling at him.

            > I don’t think that gay couples being married really makes sense if we consider that the purpose of marriage is –

            How is this not someone making claims about what marriage is and who can do it ? I realise that it has been cut short sure. The content is clearly attempting to define what marriage is for and who should be able to do it.

            Imagine in real life at a BBQ with your friends and family. Imagine there are some married couples there. One couple comprises of recently wed John and Harry. Now imagine said person, lets go with M decides to “join in” on the discussion about how John and Harry got married and how happy they are.
            M decides to explain that it doesn’t make any sense for John and Harry to get married. They don’t know what marriage is for and they are doing it wrong. It would be better if they werent even allowed to marry explains the ever helpful M.

            In this scenario is it actually wrong for someone to “attack” M by telling him to stfu ? I would argue that the only reasonable thing to do is to forcibly stop M from speaking and to remove him from the premises. I feel the right of John and Harry to be happy outweighs the rights of M and his “free speech” or whatever you choose to call it.

            Why the hell should M get to say hateful things in public which might literally make people sad. How is stopping someone from spreading hate propaganda wrong in any situation.

          • Just to be clear I would agree that in general it is wrong to attack people for voicing an opinion. I just feel that the free pass to voice your opinion should disappear the moment your opinion is about degrading humans for no good reason. Peoples personal belief system is not a sufficient reason either.
            If you are going to argue that one human being is somehow lesser than another human being (or that sentiment is at the heart of your argument) then I don’t see why you shouldn’t be attacked the moment you open your mouth.
            Facebook is a public place so its definitely out of bounds for hate speech. I would prefer it if everywhere was out of bounds for hate speech.

            • >>I just feel that the free pass to voice your opinion should disappear the moment your opinion is about degrading humans for no good reason. Peoples personal belief system is not a sufficient reason either.

              (1) No one is asking for a “free pass.” Those who oppose same-sex “marriage” are asking for a debate that doesn’t resort to name-calling and straw man attacks.
              (2) I can turn around the “personal belief” on people who support same-sex “marriage” and deem it insufficient as well.

              >>If you are going to argue that one human being is somehow lesser than another human being (or that sentiment is at the heart of your argument) then I don’t see why you shouldn’t be attacked the moment you open your mouth.

              (1) You’re projecting that people who oppose same-sex “marriage” is deeming those with same-sex attraction as lesser – your words not mine.
              (2) Attacked as in called bigot and being accused of things without fully understanding the opposition’s side?

              >>Facebook is a public place so its definitely out of bounds for hate speech. I would prefer it if everywhere was out of bounds for hate speech.

              So opposing same-sex “marriage” is ‘hate speech’ because if you oppose it you’re innately saying people who have feelings for their own sex are lesser humans, and that by opposing same-sex “marriage” one is practicing arrogance of deciding what is marriage. Alrighty then. I think you proved Malcolm’s point.

            • GRA is on point, but yeah.

              Let’s go back to this:

              M decides to explain that it doesn’t make any sense for John and Harry to get married. They don’t know what marriage is for and they are doing it wrong. It would be better if they werent even allowed to marry explains the ever helpful M.

              First off, that’s not what I said happened. In my hypothetical scenario somebody expressed an opinion about a subject, I jumped in with my comment, reasonably phrased, and then was attacked for it. In your scenario I joined in a conversation at a party with a recently married homosexual couple then made an out of context comment on my opinion of their relationship. Yeah, okay, I’m being rude, fine.

              But let’s change the party example. Somebody brings up the recent supreme court discussion, and all people there start giving their opinions about it, including me. I am attacked. This is different from your previous scenario because I didn’t suddenly jump in when somebody was talking about their happy marriage and metaphorically punch them in the face. I gave a political response to another person’s political comments on a court issue.

              If real people there are affected by it, well, okay. But if people start giving their opinions on the definition of marriage, it’s wrong to force people to be silent because it makes Adam and Steve sad.

              I just feel that the free pass to voice your opinion should disappear the moment your opinion is about degrading humans for no good reason.

              My question-begging alert meter just broke.

              Why the hell should M get to say hateful things in public which might literally make people sad. How is stopping someone from spreading hate propaganda wrong in any situation.

              That’s right, ladies and gentlemen: People should literally be stopped for saying things if they make people sad.

              Yeah. Point made.

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