Day 6. 50 pages, 22,353 words.
Last week one of my ranty blog posts wound up with a cute little story and sub-thread in the comments, about an activist named Elin Ersson who had interfered with Swedish deportation practices in protest against their lack of humanity. There was a lot of foggy information floating around and a lot of angry, angry idiots. Most of the thread can be found here onwards.
I had a bit of fun with it on Facebook, unaccustomed as I am these days to actually engaging with fucklenuts on the Internet. Some of them were reasonable, and the others … well, I simply do not give a fuck about the others.
One point kept appearing among the more “moderate” opponents in the thread, however, and that was the idea that I shouldn’t call people names or insult them, and that if I expected them to respect my opinion then I should respect theirs.
 By which I mean those who were opposed to Ersson’s activism and in favour of deporting asylum seekers, but stopped short of actually foaming at the mouth and declaring all immigrants to be gang-rapists. That’s what passes for “moderate” on that side of the table, I’m afraid.
I’m sorry, what?
Look. I understand that this is a debate we’ve had on this blog before, and that reasonable discourse and the marketplace of ideas is preferable to just screaming insults. And I am all in favour of exchanging comments with reasonable people who might be swayed by my arguments, even if there is evidence to suggest that mockery and insults do get results when it comes to ingrained attitudes.
 And, to be fair, by whose arguments I might be swayed. There were nuances and considerations in the Ersson case that I would not have thought about, and would not have investigated if it weren’t for the more reasonable critics in those threads. For example, there are only so many refugees a country can take in, and that’s a high-level decision and absolutely should be enshrined in law. Is that law immutable? No. Is the law currently being carried out humanely? Doesn’t seem like it. So – we still ultimately disagreed on the approach, but we did it right and we parted as cordial opposing-opinion-holders.
But then there’s these absolute dipshits.
These miserable, ignorant, stupid, bigoted, shitty excuses for human beings, who are wasting my oxygen – and, a far greater crime in my eyes, the oxygen of my children.
Respect their comments, so they will respect mine? I’m sorry, but no. The price is too damn high.
Their comments are appalling. As Mrs. Hatboy said when she saw the thread, if you’re not offended by these viewpoints, there is something wrong with you. I would rather they not respect my measured and intellectually fair statements (because no matter how hard I bend over for them, they never, never will anyway), than be forced to give their venom a single second of my braintime. They do not deserve my attention, let alone my respect. My respect!
When a self-described “moderate” or “centrist” tells you not to resort to insults, or not to sink to the level of the other side, it’s actually a rhetorical tool attempting to handicap the intelligent side of the issue. Because we need to be rhetorically crippled, in order for the ignorant to have a fighting chance. Requiring us to acknowledge shitty non-points as points in the first place puts our positions on an equal footing which is entirely false. And banning us from mocking the opposition (while they, already conveniently pre-sunk, are free to continue being noxious) forces us to respond to them as though their points were serious and worthy of actual consideration. Which is also false.
 It’s important to point out that this implication – that the other side and their opinions are “low” – is the closest the centrist will ever come to actually criticising them.
If they get to tell us that we’re whiny liberal losers and our ideas and opinions are shit, and we have to respond by addressing their points rationally and respectfully, how is that going to turn out?
I’ll tell you how it’s going to turn out. It’s going to turn out with a whole rising subspecies of uneducated, prejudiced, hate-filled fucksnorts who are empowered and emboldened by the way they’re being coddled by their political allies and by their toothless opponents, and who feel superior to the actual human beings who are trying to live on this planet. And at this point I’m not even sure why I’m writing in the future tense.
No, the ignorant and the intolerant do not get to own the concept of insults. They’ll just ruin it the way they’ve ruined everything else. I get to insult them and I’m perfectly fine with them insulting me. It’s not like their opinion matters to me anyway, and I would far prefer to be insulted by a moron than by an intelligent person. Morons’ insults suck, all they can really do is pull the old “no you”.
Like I said here in the Facebook thread, as long as I am arguing for tolerance and knowledge and humanity, I can’t possibly sink to their level no matter how crudely I speak.
I will always be better than they are.
And they can suck it the fuck up.