Category Archives: Anti-Social

The Un-personing of Milo

Or: Twitter, your slip is showing


I discovered Milo Yiannopoulos online last year. He’s an irreverent, unflappable, vibrant contradiction in terms — a British Gay Conservative, who writes for Breitbart news, and speaks out on the stupidity of political correctness and the insanity of third-wave campus feminism. While I am sometimes concerned by his excessive swearing (it doesn’t bother me, but it makes it difficult for me to share his ideas with friends and family who may be easily offended) I enjoy his style of writing and unabashedly self-promoting YouTube videos highly enjoyable. I find his ability to state the blindingly-obvious-but-politically-incorrect quite refreshing, including:

In particular, I love his sense of fun, particularly the way he can poke fun at liberals while taking cover behind what he calls  “gay privilege”. This allows him to get away with many things that straight people would be pilloried for.

He is currently in the middle ot a series of speaking engagement at US universities, which he cheekily dubbed “The Dangerous Faggot Tour“, which clearly showed that too many of America’s Colleges, far from being bastions of free speech had an aversion to it when a Conservative speaker says something that challenged their preconceived beliefs — in particular, one rather obese young woman who had a meltdown at one of his talks, then when it went viral, tried to assert that she had a right to privacy after misbehaving in a public place. I will not link to her, just Google “Trigglypuff” if you want to know what I am talking about.

Naturally, his unique brand of mischief-making did not go unopposed. Twitter, in particular, has made it obvious that they’ve got it in for him. Some months ago, Twitter “unverified” him. Verification is a process by which a Celebrity can protect themselves from impersonators by having their “genuine” account identified by a blue checkmark. Milo’s response was to put a red cross where the blue checkmark used to be.

Twitter’s official story was that he was “harassing” other Twitter users. This was strange, as many far more offensive speakers remained verified; I am sure that the fact that all of these miscreants were liberals and Milo was a conservative had nothing to do with it. Yeah, right.

Any road up, the “unverification” did not hurt Milo; his following and his stock continued to go from strength to strength.

Ghost. Busted.

Things came to a head, however, when he wrote a bad review of the new old movie “Ghostbusters”. Like most, this one panned the movie, which has gone on to become an almighty flop. He did not attack any of the actors personally. However, others did so, and a series of vitriolic tweets aimed at Leslie Jones, resulted in her making a complaint to Twitter. She complained, and Milo was banned from Twitter.

Milo’s account was “permanently suspended”, and all of his tweets, past and present, have been removed. Leslie Jones has said that she is leaving Twitter, but thus far, her tweets are still up. To quote Ariana Rowlands: “Twitter will permanently ban popular conservatives for jokes but will leave up ISIS accounts actively recruiting terrorists, and does not equally apply its rules and their punishments” (Source)

The saddest thing about this whole mess is that Twitter loses, Leslie Jones loses, Sony pictures loses, and the only person who wins is… Milo.

And so I concluded with a couple of open letters: one to Leslie Jones, one to Twitter. Enjoy!

Dear Leslie

As Milo so eloquently put it. You are the star of a Hollywood Blockbuster movie. Act like one. You are now a public persona, and will reap the benefits – and the brickbats- that go with it. Some are warranted, some are not. It doesn’t matter. But getting upset about mean things that people say to and about you reeks of insecurity, not Star Quality. Free Speech requires a Thick Skin; “Mean Tweets” does not equate to Harassment. People have opinions. They will call you ugly. They will tell you that you look like a man.They may or may not be right. *It doesn’t matter*. You have a block and a report button; use them- or even better, you can retweet/repost them publicly for all the world to see. Sunlight, after all, is the best disinfectant.

Finally, I would advise you to observe the golden rule. Your tweets about white people are every bit as racist as the ones aimed at you. You don’t get to launch arrows at others and then go running to Mommy when a hail of arrows comes back at you.

Dear Twitter

One of the reasons that I am on Twitter but not on FakesBook Stalkbook Facebook is because of your transparency. But that transparency is disappearing; lately I have seen more and more left-leaning bias creeping into the platform. Conservatives are censured in a way that liberals are not. Hashtags like #KillAllWhiteMen are considered acceptable, while #KillAllBlackMen would not be. To most well-balanced minds, both are equally racist and should be treated the same way.

The reason for this is simple: A lack of clear bright-line rules that apply to all people, all the time.

  • No Direct Physical Threats. Insults whether warranted or not, are not threats or harassment.
  • A clear reporting, complaints. grievance and sanctioning procedure.
  • Clear definitions for what sanctions will be employed and under what circumstances.
  • Sanctions for those who mis-use the complaints procedure for nuisance and censorship purposes.
  • A mechanism for warning sanctioned users as to exactly what they did wrong, as opposed to the usual woolly statement like “you breached our community guidelines”.
  • A clear explanation as to why someone was sanctioned and a clear and transparent presentation of the evidence.

Clarity and transparency are crucial here; anything less will be rightly perceived as editorial bias. When you removed Milo’s checkmark, others whose transgressions were far more egregious remained unpunished. This kind of bias is becoming obvious; it has already led yo your demise, and if left unchecked, it will lead to your eventual demise as a platform and as a commercial enterprise.

Holding Milo responsible for what others have done is wrong on so many levels. Hold people responsible for what they say, but is is wrong to hold them responsible for the actions of others. We have seen some of the vehemence and death threats that angry people (mostly feminists and liberals) have aimed at him; they remain unpunished while he is banned. Please explain this discrepancy.

Your shabby treatment of Milo has done you no favors and won you no fans, while his following has gone from strength to strength. When you ban someone like him, you deprive us of the diversity that we find most enjoyable about your product. It you want to know the real reason why your stock price is taking a dump, that’s it. Remember, Conservatives are wealthier and more generous than liberals. And when they leave, they take that money with them.

Stand Aside!

I just got back from a local eatery, where I went to get some breakfast. In the line there were two women in front of me. They kept me waiting while they jabbered incessantly on their phones. By the time I got to the front, breakfast was no longer available.

What is it about smartphones that robs women of all courtesy, consideration and manners? Ladies, life is not a movie with you as the star. The world does not revolve around you. If you are holding up the line, please stand aside and let others be served.

Thank you.

The Poor and the Rest of us

I recently read “The rich and the rest of us” by Tavis and Smiley, which was recommended to me by a friend. I have just finished reading it, and while I agree with their findings, I heartily disagree with their conclusions.

Let me explain: The book begins by tracking poverty over time, since records of such things were kept, in the last century. It looks at the rates of poverty, particularly in regards to the political winds of the time.

It goes on to point out that there is more than one type of “poor”. They make the valid distinction between “the homeless poor”, “the old poor” (the classical view of the lazy, work-shy git who does not want to work, and wants to be kept by the state), and “the new poor”, those who have lost jobs, mostly in manufacturing and production. To quote Steve Jobs: “Those jobs have gone overseas, and are not coming back”.

One thread that I see interwoven throughout the book is that for most of us, our lifestyles are not “sustainable”, they are dependent on our continuing to earn a salary without interruption. Most of us do not save enough; financial pundits advise a three- to six-month emergency fund to live on in the event of unemployment or illness. Yes most of us have less than one month’s savings – we are, in effect, one pink slip from a long slow slide into poverty.

There is a Chinese Proverb: “Lazy people have no spare time”, and I have found this to be true. I have personally observed many families who are “gadget-rich/cash-poor” (Big-screen TV, Kitchen full of appliances, all the latest toys, videogames and diversions… but no money). Some are members of my extended family.

Every Christmas, I see good folks running around like idiots after the latest must-have gadget for their children, whether they can afford them or not; they are unable to tell their children “No” — but this is hardly surprising; they are often unable to tell themselves “No”, either. They are ruled by impulse, and easily manipulated by shrewd marketers.

  • They have time to watch TV but not time to look for a job.
  • They watch the news, and believe everything that they see, and as a result are horribly depressed. Not surprisingly, they adopt a “victim” mentality, and expect the Government to fix their problems.

I find it very hard to have sympathy for people who are stupid with their money and stupider with their time.

I remember a story from a few years back when a man lost his job. He went home and shot his wife, his children and himself. He and his wife worked in the same place, and both lost their jobs around the same time. They had no savings; they has a house full of stuff, and no money. And yet that root cause was casually disregarded by a media obsessed with the gory details.

Most of us – myself included – have forgotten the meaning of frugality. The last generation that had to learn that the hard way is almost gone. Today’s grandparents grew up on easy credit and “live-today-pay-later”.

The authors express their disgust at the number of poor living from hand to mouth, and they say “something must be done”. I agree. Where we part company, however, is that they place their faith in the Government – particularly the Federal Government – as the source of all planned political solutions. I have looked through the Constitution, and I cannot find anywhere that empowers the Feds to take responsibility poverty – or drugs, or health, or food, for that matter. Helping the poor is a noble goal, but it is my contention that Governments are incapable of nobility —  it is simply not their job.

So whose job is it?

  • The States? Possibly.
  • The Counties and Cities? Maybe.
  • The towns and villages? You’re getting warmer…
  • The communities and churches? Getting warmer still.
  • You and me? YES.

When we look out for our neighbors, we enrich the community. When we buy American instead of Chinese, we keep jobs in the USA, instead of sending them away to the other side of the world. And yes, it costs more than buying foreign; nothing worth doing is ever easy.

The authors spend much wordage expressing their slack-jawed admiration of the Occupy Wall Street mob, who seem obsessed with the fact that the richest 1% of the population own 90% of the wealth, while conveniently ignoring the fact that this has been the norm through history and the world.

1% equates to three million people. But somehow the protest slogan “three million people control 90% of the wealth!” does not sound quite so impressive. Historically speaking, 1% is actually quite egalitarian.

  • Medieval England, with a population of about 4 million, was controlled by the king and a handful of Earls.
  • The Roman Empire, which at its peak stretched from Northern England to what is Eastern Turkey, was ruled by thirty families who founded Rome, collectively known as the Patricians.
  • As a general rule, nations and empires throughout history have been ruled by roughly 1% of 1% of 1%. Compared to those examples, the modern “1%” is the essence of equity, particularly when you consider that while the wealthy 1% may own most of the stuff, they do not own the populace as was often the case in olden times.
  • A wise man once said that “The haves and the have-nots can often be traced back to the dids and the did-nots.” (D. O. Flynn).

The Federal Government has a rather silly habit of declaring war on things that cannot surrender. We have a war on drugs that has been going on for thirty years, a war on poverty that has been going on for even longer. Neither has worked. You would have thought that after spectacularly losing the “War on Alcohol” eighty years ago, we would have avoided all attempts at social engineering, but the precise opposite has happened.

“Quitters never win and winners never quit… but those who never win and never quit are called idiots.”

The best thing that we can do for the future is to teach our children how not to be poor. Every parent wants their child to have a better lifestyle than they did; we all want our kids not to struggle. And so we try to steer them into safe jobs that pay well; jobs that do not involve sweat of brow or physical labor. But the safest jobs are rarely the most comfortable ones; I know several people who “graduated” from Computer programming to management or marketing, and went on to become unemployed when their employers had a bad quarter. I also know some folks who work in less glamorous jobs, such as plumbing, electrics, construction and HVAC, who have more work than they know what to do with. When our chimney needed to be rebuilt, we waited for several months for “our guy” to become available. This is also why some construction guys are never on time; they are always doing side-jobs.

Perhaps we are giving our kids the wrong advice. Rather than telling them to do what they love (which, for a teenager is usually “watching TV/playing games/chasing girls/chasing boys/hanging out”), perhaps we should advise them to figure out what they enjoy doing that can be used to serve others well. For some that will be healing or building, or helping.

Above all, we should advise them to avoid the mistakes that lead to poverty. Dropping out of school, getting pregnant, getting a criminal record… there are so many ways to make yourself unemployable or impoverished for life.

Where I disagree with the authors is where the solution lies; like classical socialists, they believe that the problem can be solved by central government, using the time-honored tool of redistribution of wealth.

I don’t know about you, but I have not had a problem that Washington D.C. has solved.

A high-tech book-burning

Or: When Feminists attack!

This post is for the grown-ups. It deals with a serious subject, and I exhort the kiddies to stop reading now.

I recently heard of an interesting case regarding one Vincent Vinturi. Mr. V is a blogger and an author, who has written several books that are available on Amazon, on subjects as diverse as Masculinity and Meditation. His latest book, “Overcoming Last-Minute Resistance”, is a treatise on how to persuade a woman to have sex with you.

See, I told you it wasn’t for kiddies… You! Stop reading now! Or it’s off to bed with no supper for you..!

*ahem*. Where were we? Ah, yes… it appears that that some people consider this book to be a “rape manual”. They are, of course, entitled to their opinions, but they are wrong. The premise of this book does not fit into the definition of rape. The book deals with the subject of turning a “No” into a “Yes” – by definition, a rapist would simply proceed without asking the question.

To be clear, like most men, I take a clear and unambiguous stand against rape. It is serious, and should be treated as such. But what I have seen of this book doesn’t advocate rape in any way. But broadening the definition of rape, along with the epidemic of false rape accusations, only serves to trivialize a very serious matter.

From a cursory glance at the table of contents, the book advocates separating those women who are genuinely not interested in sex from those who are as quickly as possible. Far from advocating rape, it is about finding out what a woman actually wants, as opposed to what she says she wants.

Here is an excerpt from Vincent’s Amazon Biography that says it better than I can:

“My work is not about ‘picking up girls’. It’s about *mutual* seduction and becoming an attractive human being without the lying, manipulation and misrepresentation that’s polluted our interactions and taken all the frolicking out of our brief time on this earth.”

In a perfect world, men and women would say exactly what they wanted and proceed from there. But grown-ups know that the world does not work like that, and a good thing too – the mystery and games make it a lot more fun. The elephant in the room that women love to play games; everybody knows this. It’s part of the delightful chase that we call “romance”. Some women talk about sex but are really not interested in doing anything about it. They’re called “teasers”, and that’s OK. Others are interested, but not in you, or not tonight. That’s OK too. But there are others who are interested, but shy, or just playing hard to get. They say “No” when they mean “Yes”, and it takes a wise man to tell the difference between “No, I don’t want to”, and No, I want to be chased and seduced.

The feminist solution these days seems to be to require men to ask for permission at every stage of intimacy. This is ridiculous. Not only does it completely ruin what should be a spontaneous and fun act, but it places even more burdens on men who already have to run the gamut of more than 150 points of rejection. This book claims to address that very subject, and aims to help men understand the difference.

One Sara C Nelson, a British Blogger/journalist disagrees. Had it ended there, there would have been nothing to see here, but for some people it is not enough to merely register one’s disagreement with a dissenting opinion. Ms. Nelson (for some reason the “Ms.” appellation always brings to my mind the image of an overweight woman with short hair, comfortable shoes, several cats and no boyfriend)  works for The Huffington Post. She mobilized her employers, who then accused Vinturi of being a Rape Apologist. Not content with that they then left a bunch of fake one-star reviews on Amazon. But wait! there’s more! They then persuaded the publisher to remove the book from its shelves.

What is surprising to me is how a Blogger/Journalist in one country (the UK) can get a book she has not actually read banned in another (the US). Here in the US, free speech is protected, and a cornerstone of free speech is tolerance for dissenting opinion. I find it troubling that someone can get a book banned simply because they have decided that nobody else should be allowed to read it. I am disappointed with Amazon for allowing this to happen. It may even be libel.

I have no dog in this fight. I have no need for the lessons in this book. Mr. V does not need my help; he is selling the book directly from his website. But this kind of childish politically-charged censorship of dissenting opinion does not sit well with me.  I will get in touch with Mr V, ask for a sample  of his work, and see for myself.

Watch this space.

Google Minus

Or: How I finally dumped Google+

I never really cared much for Google+. When it first appeared, I thought to myself “What’s this? Could be useful, I suppose”, and signed up.

Since then I cannot think of a single instance where Google+ has made a positive difference in my life. Yes, the “Circles” idea is a good way to compartmentalize the sharing of information into groups instead of the all-or-nothing approach taken by FakesBook Stalkbook FaceBook, but it never really proved useful to me. For those of us who don’t actually need a Social Network, Google+ served no real purpose, met no quantifiable need. Personally I suspect that Google created it simply so that they could say that they had some alternative to “FakesBook”.

I was dismayed when Google made a Google+ account a requirement in order to comment on any video in YouTube. YouTube’s co-founder Jawed Karim, famously responded with the comment “Why the **** i need a google+ account to comment on a video?“. In response Google trotted out the usual drivel about improving the service, but most people believe that they did this as an easy way to artificially bump up the number of Google+ users.

But wait! There’s more!

Recently Google rolled out an upgrade to Google+ that allowed anyone to e-mail you through your Google+ profile without knowing your e-mail address. For some of you that might be a boon, but for me it was a bloody liability. It was also the proverbial last straw.

So I started looking around for information about how to dissociate myself from Google+, but keeping my Gmail. It is actually quite easy, as long as you follow the instructions. The only thing to watch for is that you don’t accidentally delete your entire Google account – e-mails, address books, calendar and all. To quote Dr. Egon Spengler: “That would be bad”.

The only downside is that when you delete your Google+ profile you lose all of the comments you ever made on YouTube, including those made before Google+ existed. That is completely ridiculous, and a direct violation of Google’s “do no evil” philosophy. However, since I had not made more than a couple of dozen comments, it was a price I could afford to pay.

delete_your_profile-100056410-origGoogle+, you’re done. Facebook, you’re next.

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