Friday slacktivism: Punching Nazis, revisited

Day 24. 69 pages, 31,114 words.

Today it was the turn of my esteemed associate Mr. ThePatriot, Esq., to send me an interesting bit of media that I decided to share. This was a fascinating interview and as far as I’m concerned the headline of the video was really the most minor aside in the whole thing.

I mean I’m all in favour of labelling these guys “useful idiots”. Heh. But anyway, not really the point.

What was most fascinating to me here was the psychology and sociology of why and how people are joining up with these white supremacist groups.

And a lot of it was obvious. Yes, Trump in the US and right-wing populist and isolationist self-servers the world over are empowering this sort of thought and speech, making people forget how not fucking okay it is to spread hate. Yes, forums like Reddit and 4chan are electronic alleys for kids to hang out in and be fed a lot of dangerous shit by opportunistic predators.And yes, it’s (usually? Often? Sometimes?) more about the damaged person signing up than the innocent minorities they decide to target.

My sympathy for hate group members is absolutely minimal, because they’re fucking hate groups. But at the same time, I acknowledge that my place in the world, my position in society and my level of education have allowed me to avoid the sort of spiral these people have descended into. It’s allowed me to look down on them.

It’s not going to stop me, because fuck these dumb genocidal cunts. But I can see it. A better person than I am would certainly feel more kindly towards them – at least, one hopes, with the end game in mind of dismantling their entire ideology and helping improve the world.

What was really eye-opening was the fact that Piccioloni was turned back from one of the darkest places (if you’ll pardon the irony of the expression) human culture can produce, not by being punched in the face, but by compassion shown by the people his ideology required him to hate. Compassion, and understanding, and a daily lesson that the evils he was supposed to see in them did not exist.

I mean, this much seems stupidly obvious: Piccioloni states that he, and many others in the group to which he belonged, was there because of deep-seated self-hate issues and a sense of powerlessness. He was pulled out of it by being shown that the hatred he was pointing at other people had no justification. If a black dude had punched him in the face just once, it seems pretty obvious that it would have confirmed his prejudice, given him all the ammunition he needed to justify his beliefs. Wouldn’t it?

Compassion and patience and the high and peaceful road, was the better course.

Of course, Piccioloni also said he hit rock bottom, lost his wife and family because he didn’t quit the movement fast enough and they had no desire to be a part of it, and so on. He was left without recourse, forced to confront the error of his ways. The empathy probably helped separate him from his phobia of minorities, though.

So look, sure. I’m in favour of the approaches they talk about at the end of this video – the preventative measures and the curative. Heck, they’re far more in line with my own philosophy anyway, as I’ve said – I’m not a puncher by nature. If we can understand these sick people well, I’m on board.

Like I said before, though, I think if that worked on Nazis on a large scale, the Allies would have tried it and declared it a success instead of having a World War. Once you get to that sort of movement, it’s too late. Is it too late now? I hope not.

I think it works on a small and individual scale, and that might be enough right now. Build enough success stories like Piccioloni, and you might find the whole sorry movement disssolving back into the slime from whence it came. But like Piccioloni himself said, he and his associates are few and far between. They had the right starting conditions and the right ending conditions, and the right stimuli in between.

Does that mean the same stimuli won’t work at all on others? No, I’m sure it couldn’t hurt. But when the time comes for the Nazis to show their true colours, their basic cowardice is going to be what breaks them and a good punch in the face is going to do wonders to remind them just how shitty and scared they are to do anything without an army behind them.

Piccioloni is incredibly brave. It takes a lot to admit you’re wrong (I mean look how I’m squirming to avoid even partly admitting it here!), especially in such an intense cult-like surrounding. To break out of that, and then go on the road speaking out against it and trying to save others … amazing. I doff my hat both to Piccioloni and to the people who showed him the compassion that encouraged him to rejoin humanity.

Just … be ready for the punching to be necessary. And don’t expect me to disapprove when a Richard Spencer gets punched.

punch-a-nazi

– Posted from my Huawei mobile phone while sitting in the carpark.

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Australia’s Final Solution

Day 23. 64 pages, 28,839 words.

I received this link from my esteemed associate Mr. dreameling, and thought it was interesting and relevant to the recent political gulf we’re seeing not just in the US, but in a lot of western countries.

It’s a long read, but worth throwing onto your open tabs list and scrolling through sometime. If you were ever wondering just why the political debate has broken down and what agendas are at play here, this gives some very good info.

The idea that the left is depraved, corrupt, and ruthless has been an important strain of American conservatism since the movement began. But in the Trump era, it has metastasized. Right-wing policy ideas have been so thoroughly discredited—does anyone even argue anymore that trickle-down economics will ensure mass prosperity?—that the only apparent reason for conservatism’s existence is to fight back against evil liberals. This is, of course, not the sign of a healthy political movement. The right’s support for McCarthy has been a long-standing embarrassment for American conservatism. Its embrace of Trump may be history repeating itself.

So yeah, that explains a lot about why “conservatives” think and act the way they do. The left, liberals and progressives in general, are truly horrifying.

Here’s an amusing thing, speaking of the horrifying progressives and how they’re super-comparable to the conservatives (according to the conservative ideology of necessity).

An Australian senator, formerly of the white supremacist One Nation party and now of the Fucking Psychotic Dipshit Bob Katter Australian Party, just made his first speech in the senate and accidentally by complete coincidence called his proposal for immigration a “final solution” to the question of Muslims In The First World.

A final solution. Because isolationist and anti-immigrant parties – excuse me, anti-non-white­-immigrant parties, they’re perfectly happy to ship in those white South Africans who are being genocided[1] – never slip white supremacist dogwhistles into their speeches. And nobody ever described a policy as a “final solution” and went on to do anything horrifying. Ever.

[1] And because this is the level of discourse that is the new normal now, let me assure everyone that of course if people in other countries are living in a war zone, or at risk of genocide, and are fleeing for their lives, we should absolutely grant them asylum. Oops, that actually already applies to all refugees, of all skin shades.

Fortunately, this giant moronic shitball named Fraser Anning (go and check out his Twitter if you 1) have some spare time and want your faith in humanity eroded a small but statistically significant amount, 2) want to see an Australian-flavoured, way lamer and more clumsily-executed Racist Grandad Clickbait Reel than Donald Trump’s, and I know, that’s really saying something) seems to have unified a lot of Australia’s politicians and other public faces in condemnation of the … just appallingly ghastly shit he just said. What a despicable excuse for a human being this creature is.

On Wednesday, lawmakers across the political divide moved to pass parliamentary motions censuring Mr Anning for his “racist hate speech”, noting in particular his use of the phrase “final solution”, and his “false, misleading and hurtful statements” about Muslim Australians and other immigrant groups.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Mr Anning had made “a shocking insult to the memory” of those murdered in the Holocaust.

Well said, that man.

And Edpool’s own two cents’ worth for Anning’s Twitter feed posterity. In case you were interested in the background, he’s bitching at an Aboriginal activist’s admittedly hyperbolic and understandably angry metaphor about burning Australia(…’s current inhumane and imperialistic policies about native conciliation and inclusiveness) to the ground.

But perhaps the greatest response came from the giant floating turd himself, Bob Katter. Although he absolutely supported this fuckwit’s hate-speech and his dreams of restoring the White Australia policies of the early 20th Century (mmm, let’s restore Australia to its glory years!), he couldn’t help but try – and fail hilariously – to excuse Anning’s use of the “final solution” genocide code.

Mr Katter said he supported Mr Anning’s speech “1000%” but suggested that his colleague did not know much about the Holocaust.

“He’s smart, but he hasn’t read all the history books,” Mr Katter told reporters.

Yeah, nah, he’s not smart. He did, however, know exactly what he was saying to the increasingly emboldened white supremacists who form the backbone (if you’ll excuse the inappropriate term) of his political group.

So he, and you, and all your slimy mouth-breathing adherents, can fuck off.

This is it. This is another toll of the bell, another blast of the horn calling us to do quite literal, possibly physical, certainly ideological war. This is the shape of things to come and the time to stand up to it and make it very, very clear where you stand, is now. Because publicity stunt or not, this is where they stand. And I am not, and will never be, by action or inaction or fear of black-and-white divisiveness, one of them.

– Pre-ranted yesterday on my way through Helsinki on the bus. Posted from my Huawei y’know the rest.

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Who Is America (again)

Day 22. 63 pages, 28,218 words.

Busy again today, so I’m just going to throw out this TYT video once again plugging Sacha Baron Cohen’s new show. It’s … simply sublime.

I could watch this for four hours and twenty minutes.

– Posted from my Huawei mobile phone while on the bus on the way to work.

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Last Leg

Day 21. 60 pages, 27,338 words.

So what’s happened lately? Well, Boris Johnson compared women in burqas to bank robbers and letterboxes. And Rowan Atkinson, just to jump on the bandwagon of cherished British comedians and personalities I’m mildly let down by[1], said it was a perfectly fine joke.

[1] Joining his fellow Blackadder veteran Stephen Fry, who did his very best to play Devil’s Advocate on the subject of political correctness and just wound up coming across extremely stodgy, out of touch, and borderline traitorous to the cause of minorities everywhere. Ugh.

I mean, it wasn’t a joke. It was mean-spirited and pointless antagonism like any bully telling his victim they look like something unpleasant or unflattering. It was a joke in the same way that “he looks like a monkey / she looks like a hippo” is a joke, and if you think those are jokes and you’re not six years old, then there’s something wrong with you. And I don’t want to live in a world where that kind of behaviour is enabled.

The lads on Last Leg said it better than I could. Here is the link, and I apologise that I couldn’t find it properly on YouTube but had to rely on the Facebook video link. It should still work. That show is well worth checking out in any case, there’s a lot of great commentary there.

Follow-up: Found it!

Check it out. If you don’t do it, it’s probably because you look like Boris Johnson.

– Posted from my Huawei mobile phone while sitting in the carpark before work.

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Housekeeping

Day 20. 52 pages, 23,054 words.

After a fun but very busy weekend, it’s almost relaxing to be back at work. The whole gang’s back from summer holidays and starting to ramp up. Not a lot to report though.

The rest of this week, however. Oh boy.

Wump is headed back to school tomorrow. She’s also starting up with the scouts again, and her circus school, and her swimming on weekends. Toop, meanwhile, has to be dropped and picked up from daycare and will also be starting some sort of activity after hours – a prelude to circus school, I think? With both myself and Mrs. Hatboy now happily back at work, we have to rearrange our schedules and share the car so as to make all this happen, which means sitting down with a damn spreadsheet and putting together a timetable.  A timetable!

Oh well.

Add to that, I have a Finnish Scottish Society meeting one day this week and a … well, okay, a quick trip to the pub planned for another day.

And it looks like we’re going to have to buy a new dishwasher sooner rather than later, which is a bummer because arranging delivery and installation is a bitch. But I guess we can wait and see if our eleven-plus-year-old washer actually dies first.

That’s about it for the Monday admin. Carry on.

– Posted from my Huawei mobile phone while sitting in the carpark after work.

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Sunday

Day 19. 49 pages, 22,067 words.

Pre-writing, but I understand we’re going to a cousin-in-law’s and a second-cousin-in-law’s combined birthday party today, so that’ll be nice. Hope it’s not too hot to make eating cake a struggle.

Follow-up: Humid, raining, not super-hot.

Used up all my random topics yesterday. So today I really have nothing. We watched Spider-Man Homecoming last night with the girls. That’s a really good movie.

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List of random weekend things

Day 18. 45 pages, 20,055 words.

I’ve got nothing for this weekend. I’ve got to mow the lawn because it’s severely overdue. I think we’re going to a market of some sort. And my hair is just a disgrace. A disgrace. It’s been a long week.

So anyway, I’m pre-writing this. But I’ve got nothing.

What’s been happening lately? Well, Wump got herself a mobile phone, because she’s going to be commuting to school and we want to keep in touch with her. That’s been exciting.

We went out to dinner last night with my grandmother-in-law and uncle-in-law, to celebrate the former’s 90th birthday.

Oh, and we’re watching GLOW on Netflix. So far it’s equal parts uncomfortable and clever, although I can’t help but think the lazy sexist tropes of the ’80s are pretty low-hanging fruit when it comes to writing strong female characters for TV. Still, it’s interesting and there are some cool concepts in there, so I guess we’ll keep watching it.

Just grabbed a DVD copy of the new Jumanji (and already watched it, Wump still enjoyed it and as I’ve said it was a fun movie), and a blu-ray special edition of Black Panther. Yay!

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