Discussion in 'SF Open Government' started by Giambattista, Apr 5, 2011.
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They do harbor a lot of secrets. And those secrets are often sexual ones. Republicans tend to be into kink more...( And dammit, I don't want to get get whipped by a Republican! Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!)
I think there's a danger in spreading anti-gay prejudice when you call them on it. You have to do it carefully.
I wouldn't go there unless they got well and truly busted, a la Senator wide-stance:
Hmm, I don't remember this causing a scandal: apparently Michael Steele dropped nearly $ 2k at a CA strip club wherein fake lesbian bondage occurs:
So I guess if you're a guy looking at the ladies it's all godly?Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! Even if the ladies are tying each other up and making out onstage?
Anyway-I think using racist/homophobic comments, even as a joke, and not meaning it, is something that you really have to be careful with, and I don't encourage it.
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Epitaph: We Tried
As I noted yesterday, I'm going to be asking about your reading comprehension. And, yes, I recognize that was a provocative way to put it, especially since I intended to leave it sit for a while.
But from the outset, your post at #245 is riddled with contextual errors, sleights, or other deviations that lend in no insignificant manner to some of the criticism you received in subsequent posts.
We'll start by quoting your post, including what it chose of mine to respond to:
When you split up a sentence in order to make two separate points, it might be that you're altering the context of the original sentence:
Well, that doesn't help, because the fact that a few people have suddenly decided to decide that the black man doesn't get to be the same as the white man—really, what politician doesn't have an outsize ego?—isn't something people should have to pretend to not notice because some racists are overly sensitive to being identified as racists.
As you suggested, "Because a few people are overly sensitive to a messianic politician does not mean someone should be banned." The functional problems with that statement? Well, you've simplified every aspect of the issue to a cartoonish, two-dimensional parody of themselves. But the point I was making fell under the motif of provocative expression. But it's true: politicians, especially at the presidential level, often have messianic complexes. Reagan did. Bush, Jr., did. But nobody really made that issue out of it. Not like the right-wing myth of "The Obama", or "Obamassiah". Just on the surface, what is acceptable of white men like Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush is somehow not acceptable for a black man named Barack Hussein Obama, and this difference is, indeed, part of a long-running, broad-spectrum campaign by Obama's opponents to attack his legitimacy through xenophobia. In other words, if he wasn't a Kenyan-born commie-Jew-fascist with a funny-sounding name, nobody would be mentioning the messianic aspect. It's a constant indictment from the right wing; it's completely extraneous to your inquiry about avatars.
The alleged attribute in question—messianic—was perfectly acceptable of the white guys, Giambattista. Even Carter tried to save us from ourselves, so he goes on the messianic list, too. The behavior, psychology, and public appeals that critics have denounced as "messianic" in Obama are, in fact, common traits among successful politicians.
Obviously, there are plenty of things to object to about Obama that do not require us to invent special definitions and circumstances just for him. And there are plenty of ways to express those concerns without jumping on a xenophobic bandwagon.
And, quite clearly, if I tailor the expression of facts to reflect my opinion, you find that provocative. So much, so, in fact, that you'll break up a sentence in order to avoid considering it as written; you need to invent a context for it to offend you properly.
The applicable realities here are that you simply sought to distract the image with deliberately provocative phrasing drawn from the rhetoric of a paranoid, racist political bloc in order to dodge the relevant issue while making this into an ego fight.
Making a point is one thing; seeking to deliberately provoke people is another. So, in the first place, it's not just about political avatars; as I said in #239, of your deliberate goading, therein you will find your answer. And, apparently, that was too complicated for you, so I've also phrased it more directly, for your benefit: There would have to be more to it than just the avatar.
But you skipped that, in order to inappropriately split a sentence into two that you might distract the discussion with irrelevance and egotism.
But, just to answer you as directly as possible, so that we might continue with something more useful:
Sure, why not?
I mean, it's up to you. Many before you have played the same game, voicing racist rhetoric and pretending they're just a non-racist trying to make a point to their would-be fellow non-racists who are actually the horrible racists. But, you know, if you roll around in that mud enough, eventually all people are going to notice is that you're filthy.
And there will be plenty after you, and they will be no less convincing.
In truth, the book remains open for most people, including yourself. But if you keep painting yourself that way, especially just to goad people, don't be surprised when people start to recognize the colors you're wearing.
Look, take a functional example: I have a thread in EM&J that is getting no play. And well it shouldn't. In truth, the thread is more of a jab at certain people who, or attitudes that—though I haven't encountered them much lately—would seem to demand that I write the other side's argument for them. So I did. And it sounds absolutely savage and stupid and one would be within their right to wonder if I wasn't out to insult the fuck out of homophobic bigots by pretending they're so damnably stupid. But that's the thing: At some point, yes, I do view the situations as homophobes tacitly endorsing murder. Sure, that comes from twenty years of people dancing around the subject, but between a ballot measure that would have the effect prohibiting a prosecutor from trying the murder of a homosexual (forbidden from countering "gay panic" self-defense argument) to many, many people suggesting that gays should not be allowed to be parents because it would be cruel to subject children to the inevitable bigotry ... well, yeah, after twenty years of this crap, I have my reasons. Doesn't mean they make sense to everyone. Doesn't mean anyone will think I'm being fair. But most people recognize my point, or some semblance thereof, because my reputation here includes fierce advocacy of gay rights.
But how much could I play that fool before some would forget what I've done in the past? How long could I go on supporting killers and advocating bigotry against homosexuals before people start to believe it?
And how many times will you argue on behalf of people who are clearly racist, or echo their arguments, before people start to believe it?
Within the confines of demonstrative anarchy, yes, I agree that it kind of is their problem. But, as I noted, most people don't actually want that kind of anarchy. Rather, they want their own kind of anarchy, that empowers them according to what they find relevant.
Anywhere my colleague has jurisdiction.
It is allegedly untouchable from one direction. Frankly, I have my doubts about whether or not the standard exists, or if he just raises it in order to cover his own ass. I'll give my colleague a formal benefit of doubt, but personally? Frankly, it seems an ad hoc standard applied not so much arbitrarily but more for ego defense.
And yet, the staff are the ones who decide. In the end, your objections are purely egocentric; I'm speaking of general rules and applications, yet you cannot emerge from the context of yourself.
I'm speaking of general rules and applications, yet you cannot emerge from the context of yourself. I have to balance your psychological needs against those of the community and the fact of the rules. You chose to goad people's "emotional frailty", and we have to clean up any mess you make while doing so. Furthermore, the rules are the rules. It doesn't matter what you don't think you ever said; there is the fact of the rules themselves.
Additionally, we continue with questions about your reading comprehension; there are fourteen paragraphs, in sequence, responding to one of your propositions. The last thing it seems you are going to do is read those paragraphs as a collective whole, speak nothing of trying to fit them in with the rest of the post. I sometimes mock people about letters, which are combined to make words, which are put together in sequences called sentences, which are arranged in blocks called paragraphs, which are the components of a larger body. Even if one rejects exacting standards by which you are expected to know what every single word means in its intended context, it is still fair to expect a person to understand how the words, sentences, and paragraphs work together. Yet at Sciforums, the running pretense is that people do not.
You're missing all sorts of context because you're determined to establish your own context for my words. And that's fine, but just remember that it's your context. I can only do so much to communicate with people who refuse to receive the signal.
As I said before: It would have to be more than just the avatar.
Maybe that's too complicated? I don't know, you tell me: What's the problem you're having understanding that sentence?
Yeah, and I know people who will physically accost someone and then claim they were defending themselves.
Of course I don't. But neither will I pretend the question is irrelevant whether or not there was any argument to be made. If one just yells in another's face in hopes of getting the other to take a swing, maybe a punch in the teeth is exactly what is called for.
Are you familiar with the difference between the general and particular?
Most people—so please don't think I'm picking on you as exceptional—will argue general principles in relation to a particular issue. And perhaps the logic seems sound. But what happens when you take that particular application of the general principle and apply it generally?
That's the point. It's not a straight analogy. Of course, as you're trying to make the general consideration particularly about you, I can see how and why you made that mistake. Indeed, part of what you did was simply skip over the fact of words and sentences and paragraphs and so on in order to draw your own boundaries. As it is, I should simply shut up and let you write my part of this discussion for me. To the one, it's what you're doing, anyway. And, to the other, it's much easier for me, and will probably provide some degree of entertainment.
Demonstrative anarchy. That is the general boundary in which your argument makes sense. It's a purist's argument. It treats the rhetoric as if that's the only element to consider. It ignores the fact that other people really, actually do exist. It ignores the fact that one is participating in a community.
And by insisting on assigning your context to my words, all you've really accomplished is confusing yourself.
Why don't you try that one again? You know, words, sentences, paragraphs ... context?
Of course you're confused. Trying to rewrite my argument into a windmill to tilt is the sort of practice that generally ends in confusion because it's supposed to. Although, in truth, you're supposed to confuse other people, and not yourself.
We come again to context and comprehension:
Words, sentences, paragraphs, context ... &c.
When you split it up in order to make small, particular points, of course you're going to miss the general context.
General and particular, sir.
In order for you to understand how you fit into the larger picture, you must first acknowledge and understand that there is, in fact, a larger picture.
That's one of those arguments that people really do need to develop. Because after hearing variations on the theme for two years and more, one thing that is still not clear is how this and that issue are the same. They're both presidents. That is as much of a similarity as that argument has going for it.
Normally I would just shrug that off as being beside the point, but, really? I thought they were making some noise.
Free speech, Giambattista, does not mean "speech with no value".
Additionally, you're still missing the context.
The Sciforums member Giambattista exists as part of a community. If the obligations of being part of this or any community are too difficult to understand, I'm happy to run through a few theories with you.
I have no idea insofar as I didn't see any formal member complaints. I might have missed one, though. As to my colleagues, there was some disgust toward the deliberately provocative behavior. You do understand, do you not, that there is a difference between an avatar and your behavior?
I'm probably the last person that should be theorizing about James R's motives.
Then stop acting like it. If your concern is more general, as I've tried to consider in the context of the rules and this community, there is plenty to discuss.
I'm actually of the opinion that you're trying to make a bigger deal out of certain aspects of this than necessary. I mean, look at what we're discussing. The present posts result from me trying to make a point about something I perceive in your argument. Otherwise, we were getting along just fine. Indeed, I hope we still are, but there's not much I can do to help you with particular, egocentric considerations. How those relate to general considerations of the community are more what I am trying to address. But in order for that communication to be successful, I need you to at least acknowledge in your own mind that the community and its rules do, in fact, exist.
It's very hard to write an argument demonstrating anything to people who can't read.
No, not just one person. There is a staff, you know.
You're making a very important, and particular, point here: Should the staff give a fuck what you have to say?
I mean, if all you're going to do is pout, fuck up context, and then get pissy every time you don't get your way, we'll be happy to take note and regard you appropriately.
I adore how people get into these spitting, stuttering fits. It's so damn important to you that you have to stop making sense—
—and remind that there really wasn't any point in taking you seriously from the outset.
See, in truth, I don't think the problem is that you're actually illiterate. Rather, I think the illiteracy you demonstrate is a deliberate choice.
We try to take our members seriously, but not everybody wants to be. And that's fine. We'll just remember, in the future, that you're one of those who doesn't want to be taken seriously.
It's easy enough, and we thank you for making that, at least, clear.
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I know that this board was initiated and created by a subject of the British EMPIRE, so, I suppose this must be why I find this entire thread so bewildering.
I had been under the impression however that Tiassa was a real and true American. Hmm. . . baffling. Not the way I would ever raise my child.
When my son reaches adulthood, being an honest to god true blue dyed in the wool freedom loving American, I really don't give a good god damn if he is a radical, reactionary, liberal, conservative, socialist, communist, fascist, what ever the hell you want. Do you think people in the 1850's in the good 'ol U.S. of A would have bought into this crap of "hate speech?"
Here in the U.S. we have freedom of speech and expression. I'll tell you what offended me.
I remember in high school when this work of art was created. When a work of art stirs society to think and to discuss, and becomes world renown, and then, decades later is defaced?
And the irony? The U.S. is FAR more fundamentalist than France, isn't it? But we don't buy into this crap of "hate" speech. We understand that letting people have their own point of view, their own thoughts, is part of what being human is about. Why do people feel the need to FORCE others to believe what they believe. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. There is just to little of it around here. Or why don't we try go through life not being offended by others belief's? Grow some skin. Get a thick hide people. If your belief's are SO damn tenuous that you are insulted by others beliefs? It's about time to rethink your own beliefs.
The whole notion of "thought crime" is Orwellian. If I want to deny that the holocaust ever happened, and shout it from the roof tops, and tell everyone that thinks otherwise you are victims of Zionist propaganda, as a freethinking human being, THAT IS MY FUCKING RIGHT.
Otherwise, you learned nothing from reading 1984 and A Brave New World. Do I believe these things? No, not necessarily, but people, grow some god damned skin for god's sake. It doesn't matter what ANYONE ELSE BELIEVES BUT YOU!!! You are the one that you have to look at in the mirror every morning. If a little postage stamp size image upsets you, what are you going to do when someone slashes your tires, or breaks into your house and steals your food?
God, this is SO stupid. Unless someone is personally attacking another member, I really think political speech should be protected. But the world socialist order is upon us, isn't it? We have become a bunch of lemmings, with nothing better to do then to dictate to each other what thoughts are all right to think and what thoughts are all right to write. You guys are concerned with a postage stamp sized image? Right? Seriously? :bugeye:
Bravo, this thread has dragged on long enough.
I'm going to forgo replying to most of Tiassa's post for several reasons:
For various reasons, I'll just leave most of it to its peace. Too much work, not enough reason.
We are clearly not seeing eye to eye.
I will assume part of the responsibility for that. I will admit quite plainly that I may read into something what isn't there.
Tiassa's accusations, however, that I am taking things out of context are more of an opinion, at least in some respects.
Despite the best of intentions, two people can derive two different interpretations of a text. Or focus on a particular point to the exclusion of another. This isn't always a matter of "illiteracy" or unwillingness to be cooperative.
Sometimes it is difficult to convey your intent adequately using words, and have others understand clearly.
Sometimes it is more technical, such as a paragraph-long sentence that tries to put down one or more ideas, and does so in a less than comprehensible or coherent manner. This is what happens with a flexible, dynamic, complex syntax and grammar.
I have sometimes had trouble understanding things that I myself wrote, when I go back to an older posting, due the structure and complexity of the sentence.
That is unavoidable, sometimes.
Sometimes there is no reconciliation, due to one's own intellectual bias. One is determined to see only one interpretation. Or there may be two or more ideas, but one is blind to them, seeing only what one feels is important to their own argument.
There may also be dishonesty, putting words into someone's idea that clearly aren't really there. I would like to think that's not the issue here, but I don't know. It is not, on my part, intentional.
I could probably also tack on intentionally complicated and obtuse language.
This issue seems to have outlived its usefulness
I don't know that more can be added or taken from this thread, at this time, though I wouldn't advocate locking it right away. Or at least from where it is now. Maybe someone down the road will have use for it.
To bring it back to the original idea...
Why is that? Does he confuse you with his moderation?
"Enjoy" was a bad word to use there. I meant more that perhaps he himself felt that way, and felt like stating his own opinion as a possible course of action, ie banning, when it was not really likely.
That's what it seems like.
Should I apologize if I appear to be making a big deal of this? Or is it just that you have implied racial motivation several times regarding some of my posts?
This is one example of where we aren't going see eye to eye. That much is evident.
Some people go out of their way to find an inkling of racism, where many or most people would be oblivious to it, in some cases because it is, indeed imagined.
Cokie Roberts recently said that calling Obama a Muslim is code for saying "I don't like him because he's black".
I'm sure that is very true for some people, whether or not they realize it.
But it could easily be that people who love their partisan, monochrome view of politics, would like to associate him with Islam because of the War on Terror. Just the same as the word Marxism is used ad nauseam to malign the current administration by people like Glenn Beck, it strikes me as more of a general diversionary tactic aimed at people's base emotions.
Marxism or socialism or communism is not racist by any reasonable stretch of the imagination. Rather, I consider it a cheap ploy simply to associate someone with memories of the Soviet Union, or Mao, or what have you. Something that is considered anti-American. In place of more coherent dissections of what is wrong with a political leader, many stoop to using negative emotional triggers.
Those trigger words appeal to people for whom elementary school political rhetoric and propaganda are effective.
The whole Muslim=black=racism argument is one valid interpretation. But so is Muslim=terrorism=anti-American. Some people would just rather settle on the first association for whatever reason it is that they feel it helps their argument.
The race card is a tried and true political gambit. As the Marxist and Muslim labels work, so does the race card work to appeal to the emotions of a certain crowd.
I recall people painting with a broad brush during the Bush years, particularly about his supposed* born-again-Evangelical Christian beliefs. Dumb Christian rednecks and their religious crusading. Or what have you. And flyover country. That's also a similar example.
If someone can make the claim that Muslim is code for "i hate blacks", or make the bold assertion that "You don't like Obama just because he's black" then of course someone could say I'm tacitly supporting racists. It doesn't take much for some people to reach such conclusions.
I don't support what I consider to be racism. Disliking someone purely from a racial standpoint doesn't compute for me.
That's all for that. Getting too far off topic. This subject is a thread of its own.
* it is my strong belief that his born-again Christian lifestyle is pure theater. He is anything but.
I realize also that my avatar could be considered in the same vein as the Muslim and Marxist labels, but I think it would be more fair to consider it a political caricature, in the same way Bush or any number of politicians have been portrayed.
That's the nature of political cartoons, going overboard with symbolism to make a point. Are political cartoons portraying Republicans as an elephant making the case that Republicans are actually elephants?
I haven't been continuously arguing that Obama is indeed, Hitler, and I only had the avatar for 2 weeks or so.
Just clarifying my intent to counter a possible misunderstanding.
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Pretty strong words. Good words. I concur.
This thread has strayed on and off the path, and stopped at a few places along the way, but the original idea is whether the avatar is "hate speech" or ban-worthy, something that may have been more of a misunderstanding, although our head administrator alluded to strong measures, so it became an issue.
Sorry if you think it was not an important issue. We can talk about Lindsay Lohan if you wish. Or Lindsey Graham's personal life. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
I think I'll try to walk away now, as it is mostly a done topic. Whether any questions were truly put to rest, I'm unsure.
I think it would be premature to lock it away in the dungeon though.
Seemingly Random Notes
The art of fisking, which is pretty much what we do around here, is not intended to respect the entire corpus of a written work. Rather, it is meant to attack the presuppositions inherent in any one statement. And there are certainly occasions in which that approach serves a useful function.
When you take certain writing and remove it from its context in order to assign your own, it's not a matter of opinion that you're changing the context.
Oh, I don't disagree that it is often difficult to convey one's intent. Many factors, including the outlook of the audience, can complicate the communicative relationship. But sometimes it is simply clear that an audience is simply fucking up. No, no, don't get me wrong. It's not that artists or other communicators can't screw up. They do all the time. But sometimes, yes, the audience is completely missing the point.
Like a guy named Bob Larson, a Christian crusader against rock and roll. This is a guy who can't tell what's going on in a song, yet deigns to inform parents what music their kids should not be allowed to listen to. And thousands of young lives have suffered the effects of his work. Anyone who has seen a box of cassette tapes shattered under the hammer, or ribbons of tape melting in the fire, or smelled the toxic smoke curling off the melting vinyl, or watched forlorn pages flutter across the lawn—it's a harrowing sight for anyone to witness. And why would parents be smashing or burning music and books? Because they are protecting their children, and accepting the advice of Bob Larson.
This is important, Giambattista. Please.
Consider a song, "Misery Loves Company", by Anthrax. Anyone who bothers to read the liner notes knows that it's a musical tribute to Stephen King's Misery. Anybody who pays attention to the band at all knows that they frequently do this sort of thing; "Skeletons in the Closet" was about King's "The Apt Pupil"; "I Am the Law" was about the Judge Dredd comics. "Among the Living" was about King's novel The Stand, and featured an adaptation of Rev. Kane, of the Poltergeist movies on the cover as The Walking Dude.
Another fan's appreciation. A do-be, don't-be situation. Drag me down into your hatred.
Misery loves company; I'm your number one fan! Misery loves company—misery! Misery loves company; I'm your number one fan! Misery loves company! Die with me!
I'll take good care, I'll take great care of you. Listen to me, listen to me you fool. Body and soul, body and soul, you're mine. I want you to—I want you to—I want you to—
Write for me, and only me, a really extra special story. Make it mine, every line; don't make me sorry. It's what I want, it's what I want, and I'll tell you what. You know me, and I'll show you how to keep your filthy mouth shut ....
.... Take, take, take, take, another pound of my flesh; I'm givin' blood. You, you, you, you, should only have the best; I'm givin' blood.
What the hell is, what the hell is happening? I'm the one that made you into the king. Don't turn your back on, turn your back on, my help. I'll kill you, I'll kill you, I will. I'll kill you, I'll kill you, I'll kill—
Write for me, and only me ....
Mr. Larson explained to parents that this song was a heavy metal band trying to turn teenagers into bloodthirsty murderers, glorifying death with lines like "I'll kill you!" And this is someone who alleges to pay attention to what's going on. Except that he knows nothing about the band. And can't be bothered to read liner notes.
Most who side with the musicians figure Mr. Larson and his ilk are doing it on purpose, largely because of the stupidity of the behavior.
But it can be reasonably stated that Mr. Larson is well out of context. It's not a matter of opinion. The question isn't up for grabs.
Perhaps if he had addressed other songs, including "Efilnikufesin" (anti-drug, about Belushi), "Indians" (protesting injustice), or "ADI/The Horror of it All" (Cold War apocalypse), and showed how they really weren't what they claimed to be, and showed how the same applies to the songs nakedly labeled as tributes to comic books and horror novels, and then demonstrated how the lyrical connections to the alleged source were really just components of a complex code intended to brainwash a bunch of kids who were too stupid to be allowed to listen to it in the first place ....
But he didn't. The only reason "Misery Loves Company" is a song telling children to become murderers is because some idiot named Bob Larson says so.
And yet, because of the Bob Larsons, Dave Roevers, and, yes, even the Tipper ("Wife of Al") Gores in the world, thousands among my generation were traumatized, their families ripped apart by parents who just wanted to do what was best, and lusting censors who were just out to protect families.
I know people who haven't forgiven their parents. You do your chores, you spend your "allowance", you enjoy the fruits of the system your parents teach you. And then one day, for no good reason, they come and take all this music, and all these books you spent your money on, and destroy it. I know someone whose father threw punches in order protect the family from the evils of Mötley Crüe and Iron Maiden. Yes, I know someone who lay bleeding on the garage floor while his father took all the music and destroyed it because some alleged Christian wrote that Metallica was evil.
There are still, thirty years later, families torn apart by matters of context. And, no, the mistakes weren't matters of opinion.
So, no. I don't automatically buy the excuse that context is a matter of opinion. Especially when it's a matter of method. Not every general consideration is particularly about you.
Before you can interpret what something says, you actually need to know what it says. And if you don't, the difference in context is not a simple difference of opinion. Rather, it's the simple difference between what is and what one invents to stand in the place of what is.
No. Rather, I have zero respect for him as an administrator.
James has, before, taken action out of spite. I think he intends, on those occasions, to make some sort of point. However, like any endeavor undertaken for impure motives, one runs a high risk of screwing up the demonstration.
I wouldn't ask an apology. Rather, I would point out that this is the danger of refusing to secure your context. All I did was make the point by responding to you with similarly provocative language. And, surely enough, you took a general consideration and made it solely about you.
Some would suggest that transformation is a matter of your conscience at work. That is, you know you're treading the line frequently and demonstratively—enough so that you, too, wonder if it's just an act, or really an excuse.
True, but when you're looking within a racist pattern in order to find a specific manifestation, the odds are it's going to be there.
Look, it's not like I'm going to reach into your sock drawer and pull out a pink ping-pong ball. But if I'm reaching into a box of colored ping-pong balls, yeah, there's actually a pretty good chance I'll pull out a pink one.
And if you're walking around showing everyone your balls, don't be surprised if someone thinks all those balls mean you like ping-pong.
Tiassa don't waste too much time on this matter you're putting in alot of effort for such a minor thing dont burden yourself.
The important question
So, in your version of it, is Sen. Graham a top, or a bottom?
My guess? he gets busted, he's a bottom.
Separate names with a comma.