Posts tagged quasibill

Re: Bartlett’s Quotation


As long as we’re playing “add to the hypo”, I’ll grant your addition, and add this: Those that the woman struck were standing by silently, watching the “pantsing” and doing nothing to assist. In some cases, they actively cheered on the instigator.

Is it now a tougher call as to piling on the woman?

You might think it’s a tougher call, insofar as bystanders have some kind of ethical obligation to intervene when they see someone being physically assaulted in front of them (and when the potential danger involved in intervening is such that not intervening would be cowardice or complicity).

But the problem, then, is that I think you’ve now extended the thought experiment to the point where it has lost contact with the situation it’s supposed to be analogous to. If you believe that everybody reading a comment thread, or writing on it, or whatever level of involvement is supposed to be, has the same sort of ethical obligation to come in to rescue Keith from uncalled-for insults or strawman presentations of his views, then you might find it odd that many people didn’t get involved into Keith started slinging insults based on gender identity or started pulling out the most colorful sorts of schoolyard taunts in order to bash whole groups of people based on their sexuality and suggest, at length, in a stand-alone essay that has nothing directly to do with any kind of personal back-and-forth with Aster, that those groups of people (identified with the crudest sorts of schoolyard taunts) be run out of the anarchist movement.

But what makes you think that there is such an obligation to intervene in such a case?

We are not, after all, talking about a physical assault; we’re talking about people calling each other names over the Internet. Is there some reason why I should feel compelled to put myself in the middle as long as the two parties are only engaged in bagging on each other in an open comment thread?

If you’re going to charge a double-standard, you need a case in which the things being evaluated differently are actually the same. But they’re not the same, and there are obvious reasons why people who do not care to intervene in the purely personal part of the sniping that both Aster and Keith engaged in, and who have no real reason to, might nevertheless have good reasons to get involved once Keith starts slinging the fag-bashing, not to mention the standalone essay-length extended arguments for running large groups of people out of the movement based on their sexuality, gender identity, or racial or sexual politics. (Which was studded with vile insults against all kinds of people, sure, but which was primarily objectionable because of the substantive position taken in it, not because of the tone or diction.)

Re: Bartlett’s Quotation


And yes, I agree Keith overstepped the bounds with his counter. But again, I’ll ask you whether you think you’d be piling onto (and making offhanded jokes and jibes about) a woman who over-reacted to being ‘pantsed’ in public by permanently crippling her attacker.

While we’re playing the analogy game, I wonder what you would say about a woman who overreacted to being “pantsed” in public by grabbing a crowbar and beating the shit out of not only her attacker, but also everyone else in the room, regardless of whether or not they had ever done anything to her?

I ask because that’s actually more like the situation that’s going on when Keith replies to Aster calling him names by going on a tirade about “cock-ringed queers,” “pissed-off, man-hating, dykes with an excess of body hair,” “homosexualists” (?), and “persons of one or another surgically altered ‘gender identity,'” inter alia, and generally a bunch of other people who aren’t Aster.

This is not, actually, a two-person feud in which a bunch of bystanders have just inexplicably (or all-too-explicably, or whatever) picked on one side — the side you consider to have been the instigator — to pile on against. What happened was that Aster repeatedly insulted Keith and has in the past attributed positions to him that he claims not to hold, based on insufficient evidence; Keith in response has not only returned the insults; he has also, in the process, launched the most vicious sorts of broadsides against all sorts of people who have absolutely nothing to do with the purely personal aspects of the feud.

Perhaps this might just help explain why a number of folks who have mostly opted out of trying to intervene in the interpersonal sniping, have had something to say about Keith’s recent sorties of rhetorical saturation-bombing.

I don’t need to investigate or comment on the history of the fight in order to justify getting pissed off at Keith for punching me in the face, even if somebody other than Keith started the fight that got him swinging. If he doesn’t want to get piled on, he should start by fighting in a way that doesn’t involve bashing a lot of people other than his putative target.