Night Life

I am too tired to post anything coherently. With the death threats, it’s been a bit crazy. I can assure all of you that I will not be intimidated. I will also say that I think it’s time to spend some time with Ray Price.

Also, I want to express my sincere appreciation for those of you defending me. I can’t say enough how much I appreciate your support.

111 comments on this post.
  1. MAJeff:

    The only reason for us all to be armed:

    Wayne LaPierre was the first one hit. Ronald Reagan, third.

  2. poco:


    I seldom post–am mostly a lurker. But I really need to write to express my solidarity with your plight. I have thoroughly enjoyed and learnt a huge amount from your posts (esp. on labor history), and everything you wrote expressing your anger and anguish about the Newtown massacre found a willing and supportive echo in my reactions.

    That you are now being subjected to this sort of a bizarre internet form of hazing, because right wing trolls need someplace to direct their frustration, is beyond despicable.

    As others have mentioned, if you want any of us to write letters on your behalf, just say the word.

    I am *so* sorry that you are being subjected to this.

  3. Erik Loomis:

    Much appreciated. I assure you that I will not be intimidated.

  4. max:

    Keep up the good fight, guy. This is a standard orchestrated intimidation campaign, and boy am I not surprised. Give ‘em hell.

    ['I'd tell you to be careful, but the fact of the matter is, is that they're more a threat to your sanity and your job than you life, death threats or no death threats. But do report this stuff please.']

  5. Anonymous:

    Erik’s pretty good about dishing it out, but can he take it…..not so much.

    Mr. Loomis pretty much deserves everything he’s getting.

    Stupid is as stupid does.

  6. Clark:

    You must be doing something right to so hated by Reynolds and the Malkinites. Ray Price sounds good in wax as well.

  7. Curmudgeon:

    Has anyone else noticed that profaning the deities of the right wing is intolerable in the eyes of law enforcement and the broader community while conservatives who utter threats–or even commit violence–against liberals hardly ever face any consequences?

    American liberals are a persecuted minority. They just don’t realize it.

  8. pete:

    Turn off, tune out, drop into your favorite couch.

    Rest up. With any luck the pack will be off after another squirrel in the morning.

    I am playing your favorite album in solidarity; it’s the least I could do, even though I do prefer Willie …

  9. Bill:

    This too shall pass, Erik. In the meantime…

    I’m looking for that lonely street
    I’ve got a sad, sad tale to tell
    I need a place to go and weep
    Where’s this place called lonely street?

  10. Erik Loomis:

    I can dish it but I can’t take it? Am I Edward G. Robinson in Little Caesar?

  11. Thom:

    Erik, I’m sorry you are the current right-wing punching bag. Keep up the good work.

  12. mark f:

    How seriously are they disrupting your work? Would it be helpful to send a word of support to your department head or something?

  13. Linnaeus:

    Keep it up, Erik. Your posts here have improved a blog that was already very good. I’m glad to offer whatever support I can.

  14. Erik Loomis:

    Willie Nelson wrote “Night Life.”

  15. Robert Halford:

    Mostly a lurker here as well, but I have very much appreciated your posts and hope you hang in there. I thought your last post before this one was a model for how to deal with this kind of a situation, and am sorry it was inundated by jerks in the comment section.

  16. Kadzimiel:

    As Jerome expressed it to Augustine of Hippo:

    You are hated by the heretics – a greater glory!

    Keep up the good fight, Erik. We’ve got your back.

  17. Bijan Parsia:

    Here’s hoping your administration is supportive.

  18. Erik Loomis:

    Where’s the place called Lonely Street?

    Good question. I feel that I am beginning to understand the answer.

  19. Grigori, Trained Octopus:

    ¡Viva Loomis!

  20. kc:

    Don’t let the bastards get you down.

  21. John Protevi:

    Erik, you have my email. Tell me if you need any help with the admin. Let’s hope not, but if need be, I’m there for you.

  22. DrDick:

    Non bastardum carborundrum! Which my father always insisted was the engineers’ motto and meant “Don’t let the bastards grind you down.” You are doing good work here and we all respect and appreciate it. Have to say this is part of why I use a nym. The rightwing is totally unhinged and vengeful. That said, you have my contact info via Facebook, so let me know if I can be of any help.

  23. Random:

    We’re not a minority so much these days. Some of us are minorities, but collectively we are not a minority.

  24. AchilesPosts:

    I’ve genuinely enjoyed your contributions to LGM – they’re invariably thoughtful and thought-provoking. I’m sorry the storm of stupid has descended on you.

  25. Barry Freed:

    Solidarity. Your contributions to this blog and to progressive discourse have been significant and much appreciated.

  26. Arthur Johnston:

    LGM, Come for the political commentary, stay for music videos.

    Stay strong (and please keep on posting music videos, you’ve introduced me to some great bands)

  27. jeer9:

    What a fucking nightmare! Condolences – and hang in there.

  28. Sherm:

    Keep up the good work, and don’t let the bastards get you down. Just let us know if any letters of support should be sent to the university.

  29. Outlier:

    Keep calm and carry on. Don’t let the psychos keep you down.

  30. joe from Lowell:

    Screw these people. Bunch of cowards.

  31. BATP:

    Gods, I am so sorry this has all been happening to you. It’s hard for me to imagine at times that we live in a world where saying something perfectly legitimate and perfectly legal in a blog post would earn you death threats from the Storm Front crowd. Just disgusting.

    I know you have said you will not be intimidated, and that’s wonderful. Keep it up. You add huge amounts to this blog and have greatly broadened my knowledge of labor and labor history.

  32. Bijan Parsia:

    Oh! Indeed. It goes without saying that if there’s anything that can be done to help out, send an email.

    It would be nice if there were some noise machine workings in your favor. Where are the progressive hordes and media!

  33. mtraven:

    I sure hope your university gives this matter the appropriate amount of attention, which is about zero. And that the crapfest stops soon and you can mine the experience for quality blog posts.

    RS McCain just called you an “amoral monster”. Wear it with pride.

  34. Leeds man:

    You must be doing something right, mate. Shout if you need anything.

    My old school motto: Non sine pulvere palma.

    No wanking until you’ve done the dusting. Or something.

  35. Erik Loomis:

    If McCain calls someone an “amoral monster” doesn’t this actually mean you are a really nice and decent person?

    That’s my interpretation.

  36. Timb:

    Well, it definitely means you’re not a white supremacist

  37. LoriK:

    I am so, so sorry that this is happening to you. The only consolation is that one is known as much by one’s enemies as by one’s friends and if those assholes hate you that’s a very good indication that you’re a good person doing good work.

  38. Orpho:

    Longtime lurker, etc, etc. I’m posting to say that online harassment is hard, creepy, life-changing in some cases, and oh yeah, it really sucks. Here’s to you, Erik, for not letting it shut you up or keep you down. We need you.

  39. DrDick:

    I would say it definitely puts you on the side of the angels.

  40. tt:

    I don’t think Loomis’s reported interactions with the cops supports the position that anything he did is “intolerable in the eyes of law enforcement.” This is just evidence #456738 that the modern American conservative movement is stupid crazy and paranoid.

  41. donna:

    I would say people who post anonymously are those who can’t take it. Coward.

  42. Both Sides Do It:

    These disgusting cowards could have picked anyone, but only a few would have responded with the dignity and fortitude that you have.

    It’s obvious you’ll keep up the excellent work, but please do let us know if there’s anything we can do to help you out. It’d be a privilege.

  43. Larry Lennhoff:

    Madness. The next right winger who talks about ‘political correctness’ to me is getting an earful about this. I rarely post, but I want to express my support for you,

  44. Erik Loomis:

    I’ll tell you this much. If you haven’t received legit death threats, don’t bother. It’s overrated.

    Appreciate everything.

  45. jhe:

    I’m another lurker who very much appreciates what you bring the this site. I also think that the substance of your argument was spot-on.

    There was approximately a 0% chance that the assclowns on the right were not going to grab something from some comment somewhere and hang an indignation-fest on it. Frankly ‘head on a spike’ is a pretty thin reed – not even rising to the level of General Betrayus in whine-worthiness. Sorry you happened to be the one to draw the short straw.

    I just hit the donate button. Not very imaginative on my part or terrifically useful in dealing with the crap from the Sturmabteilung-wannabees (and that’s if Farley even passes anything on to you), but the best I could come up with as a practical expression.

  46. Graham Shevlin:

    Another bloviating drive-by chickenshit huh? When you can be bothered to use your real name and assemble a useful posting, please feel free to drop by again. Until then, kindly piss over somebody else’s thread.

  47. Graham Shevlin:

    I could have sworn that, on just about every occasion when some authoritarian nitwit made a threat to “terminate” or “eliminate” some progressive with whom they disagreed, their response was always a variant on “can’t you people take a joke? must have touched a nerve huh?”
    I also note that I have yet to see any publicity for entrepreneurs selling “Conservative Hunting Licenses”.
    So, Erik, what I am trying to say is, don’t let the bastards grind you down. I also hope that any threats to your life and the life of your friends and family are passed to law enforcement.

  48. Erik Loomis:

    It’s a great time, let me tell you.

  49. Darkrose:

    For all the wailing they’re doing about a comment by a random professor, you’d think they actually valued education or something.

    Hang in there, Erik. We got your back.

  50. Stephen Frug:

    Eric: what everyone else said. So sorry this is happening. All the best.

  51. Kejia:

    Well, my immediate reaction was to fantasize about having every executive (along with all major doners) summarily shot. So I thought you sounded very mild. Frankly, people who own guns should not walk around with chips on their shoulders.

    Keep up the good work. The pen is stronger than the sword. Ironic that of our our modern versions of pen & sword, the keyboard has an undo button, whereas the product of a gun is more and more irrevocable.

  52. expatchad:


    This mess is a testament to your effectiveness and power in the public debate.

    If you did not hurt them, they wouldn’t be shrieking.

  53. expatchad:

    Non lessi illegitimi te carborundum – Pershing.

  54. Timb:

    Erik, there is an absolutely hysterical and weird review of your thesis over at McCain’s site. That genius had me laughing for several minutes.

    Also, to no ones surprise, the “well-medicated and never prone to angry outbursts on the Internet” The Donalde has commented approvingly at a white supremacist website.

  55. Sadeducator:

    Talk about being lonely and insecure. People are either blind or lying to you ic they don’t realize you are clearly a whiny hypocrite. You are everything you claim to hate in others and obviously desperatw for pats on the back so you will always ignvore your critics because ignorance is bliss. You are a caricature of the pathetic liberal educator and hurt the progressive movement with your ignorant and selfish iways. Your comments scream “look at me…look at me”. You are desperate to be relevent. You dont realize that the average progressive would see you as a joke.

  56. dl:

    you clearly had a “sad educator” teach you how to spell.

  57. Timb:

    From Colonel mustards house of crazy, where one stalkerish fellow did an in depth examination of Erik’s Fcebook pages

  58. Timb:

    Does the Wendy’s where you work know you are posting this on work-time?

  59. JerBL:

    Another lurker who wants to express support for you. As everyone else has already said, your contributions to the site are really appreciated (This Day in Labour History is probably the greatest series on the internet), and it would be a terrible shame if you were to let this shit-storm of stupidity get to you in any way.
    I think it’s obvious to anyone with even an ounce of sense that this outrage is manufactured out of nothing, and yet still your response to it was about as classy as it could have been.
    I don’t know that I have anything in particular to offer, other than my hope that this nonsense blows over soon, and that you can get back to normal ASAP. And of course, if there’s any chance that random internet people writing in support of you to your department as others have suggested could be meaningful, just say the word.

    Best wishes.

  60. Thers:

    Anything you need, Erik, online or off, just ask.

  61. howard:

    i’ve spent the past day and a half tied up with business, but obviously, these kinds of attacks on you are attacks on all of us, and if we can’t stand with you now, then we will only have left to say “first they came for erik loomis, but i didn’t say anything because i wasn’t erik loomis.”

    i would say this, though: you are a student of social change and mass movements, and you must know they wouldn’t be coming for you if you weren’t scoring real points.

  62. pete:

    My point precisely. And I’m guessing Willie conned Ray because the way I hear it, he wrote it for and about himself. So it goes, so it went. No harm, no foul. Ray also gave Kris one of his first big paydays, and gobblessim for spreading it around.

  63. wjts:

    I thought you were an eviler Erich von Stroheim in La Grande Illusion. Or something.

  64. spencer:

    Or don’t, actually.

  65. spencer:

    Seconded all the way around.

  66. spencer:

    Give him a break. It’s hard to type when you’re wearing a straightjacket.

  67. DrDick:

    I think you may want to look in the mirror when you read your comment, you pathetic fascist troll.

  68. notjonathon:

    Another lurker in support of you, Erik. Vitriolic cowards, all of them.

  69. thebewilderness:

    You’ve got them on maximum meltdown, Erik! Congratulations!

    Sorry about the death threats. Those can be distracting. btdt

  70. bob_is_boring:

    *ding ding ding*

    PS Fuck yes–rock on, Erik.

  71. Anonymous:

    I think I’ve only commented at this blog like twice, but I just wanted to say that this pile-on is bullshit, and Erik Loomis did absolutely nothing wrong. I’m sorry that you’ve had to deal with this right-wing frenzy.

  72. bob_is_boring:

    I hear there’s a great hotel there.

  73. DrDick:

    He is also a truly sad, as in grossly incompetent, educator, if that is what he actually is. My bet is an unemployable high school dropout living in mommy’s basement and molesting all the neighborhood children.

  74. Tehanu:

    Me too. My grandma quit the Triangle Co. three weeks before the fire so I have a personal connection and your labor history stuff is just great. Hang in there.

  75. Atticus Dogsbody:


  76. IM:

    What the others already said.

  77. Riggsveda:

    I don’t comment here, only read, but I have loved reading your work, and I wanted to give you my support in this difficult time. Eugene Debs would be proud.

  78. Doug M.:

    Erik, you’ve been doing great work with this blog. It is very much appreciated. Stay strong.

    best regards,

    Doug M.

  79. bridgett:

    Erik, I’ve followed your work here with great enthusiasm and admiration. I often direct students to your writing as a model of engaged public intellectual work. It’s particularly frustrating to me, therefore, to watch you being pilloried by a circlejerk of uninformed jackwagons whose only claim on the notice of the public sphere is the possession of a keyboard and a free hand. I am more than happy, as a longtime reader and historian, to write a letter of support if there’s any professional blowback from this. Scott L. is a colleague and can put you in touch.

  80. c u n d gulag:

    Yes, Erik, I also stand behind you.

    I’m not sure though, that if I’m near you, that I’ll make a McArdle BONZAI! suicide run to save you – but I’ll keep that in the back of my mind. :-)

    In the meantime, close the curtains, and keep a slightly lower profile in the house and office.

    And in the meantime, if you have marble countertops, for the love of the FSM, take them down until this blows over!

    Stay strong!
    We’re with you. If you’re in Upstate NY, and need a gimpy, but big intimidating looking guy hanging out with you, just let me know.

    The main thing to remember is, while they’re big bullies, they’re also massive cowards.

    And do what pisses them off the most – don’t stop writing, and don’t stop pointing out what gutless bullies these imbecilic people are.

  81. BigHank53:

    Yeah, it sure is–and I only had to deal with a single sore loser who wasn’t serious, not a crowd of unknown lunatics. Not so much scary as just flat-out depressing.

    Thanks for the good work.

  82. Joseph Slater:

    Co-sign (up to the “Scott L. is a colleague part — I wish). Anyway, let us know what we can do.

  83. Cody:

    Genuinely curious – what’s with the marble counter top thing. I don’t get it.

  84. Cody:

    The irony of sending death threats to someone… because you think they made a death threat is probably lost on Conservatives.

  85. Barry Freed:

    Just google Michelle Malkin marble countertops and you’ll be good. It had to do with that 12 year old kid who spoke in favor of the SCHIP program. I remember John Cole of Ballon Juice being all over this back in the day, you might want to search their archives.

  86. Cody:

    Pretty good comment. I literally laughed out loud at my desk.

    Tell me this is a “troll”, not someone typing that as if they actually believe it?

    If not… education. It’s a bitch.

  87. Malaclypse:

    Your comments scream “look at me…look at me”. You are desperate to be relevent.

    Projection is a hell of a drug.

  88. Dr.KennethNoisewater:

    Hang in there, Erik. This, too, shall pass.

    Here’s a beautiful song.

  89. Uncle Kvetch:

    Very sorry that you have to go through this, Erik. Like many other here I’m ready to write letters,* sign petitions, etc. as needed. Just say the word.

    *And I promise I won’t sign them “Uncle Kvetch.”

  90. Brett:

    This is the best comment in LGMB history

  91. OzarkHillbilly:

    Eric, some years back I had to take on a somewhat popular small town big fish in the defense of my sons. I moved to the town, filed for a restraining order between him and my sons (not him and me, I was hoping he would do something really stupid) and tried to make my sons’ lives as normal as possible for them.

    The death threats began within a week. I just stopped answering my phone when I did not recognize the #. Figured they could just leave it via voicemail. Believe it or not some actually did. Made filing complaints with the police so much simpler. Even found a bullet hole in my truck one morning.

    Then, after about 6 mos. it just stopped. I guess they got tired of not scaring me away.

    Anyway, take the threats at least moderately serious, but not too serious. In a few months (weeks? Days?) it will stop and you will be able to return your family’s life to some semblance of normalcy.

  92. Ernie:

    I should be working, but, instead, I’ve spent the last half hour trying to compose a post that truly expresses my respect for your courage, Erik, and my disgust for how the nutters have responded to your initial post. Thanks for having the courage to speak the truth…

  93. Jerry Vinokurov:

    The shit you’re going through is completely inexcusable. These people have no shame whatsoever. I wish you the best and hope that this doesn’t materially impact your life more than it already has. You and the rest of the LGM crew do great work.

  94. Britlaw:

    Don’t let the bastards get you down. The work you do here is commendable and necessary. Like FDR, you should relish their attacks because it means you are doing something right.

  95. Hae park:

    Keep doing what you do best. Your posts are great–the very fact that they’re causing a brouhaha only means you’re reaching a wider audience. It’s more effective to reach those whose minds you can truly enlighten, rather than the already “converted.”

  96. University President Repudiates Professor’s Violent Anti-NRA Messages : The Other McCain:

    [...] Tuesday night, in a blog post that continued this theme, Professor Loomis was still attempting to shift responsibility for the controversy onto his critics: “I am too tired to post anything coherently. With the death threats, it’s been a bit [...]

  97. curiouscliche:

    Just realized that my first comment was anonymous, which sort of undermines the whole solidarity thing, so I’ll just re-state: “I think I’ve only commented at this blog like twice, but I just wanted to say that this pile-on is bullshit, and Erik Loomis did absolutely nothing wrong. I’m sorry that you’ve had to deal with this right-wing frenzy.”

  98. mattH:

    I respect you a lot and this just furthers that. I’m glad you are as resilient as you have been and can stand up to the bullshit.

  99. jimintampa:

    Dear Administrators;

    Please don’t get buffaloed (Western slang for hitting someone with a pistol barrel) over the imagery Professor Loomis used to describe the potential fate of Wayne LaPierre. Prof. Loomis’ audience, being pretty civil, was as outraged as he at the events in Newtown CT and the callous disregard for human life displayed by the NRA in the person of its President, Mr. LaPierre. Every other mass shooting has resulted in the NRA blaming everyone but America’s ridiculous gun laws – it’s the video games, it’s no prayer in schools, it’s secular humanism, it’s, it’s, it’s…

    Well, it’s time to call for action in all areas of endeavor. If we fall into the trap of evenhandedness for the sake of avoiding an argument, then we condone all the gun murders to come.

    James E. Shirk


  100. towerclimber37:

    In reading the villianous tweets by Erik Loomis, as well as his whining about how he’s being persecuted after openly calling for the death of another individual, I can only hope that he actually attempts to actuate his words.

    Metaphor my hind foot. You, Erik Loomis are a coward and a LIAR. you run your trap because you can’t control your emotions and then you lie and call it a metaphor so as to escape the consequences of your words.
    you’re a piece of work and an excellent example of why I will NEVER relenquish my right to own a firearm.
    you can’t even be trusted to control your tongue. Why should one expect you to control your actions?

  101. MAJeff:

    Try reading, cracker.

  102. ScholasticaMama:

    You are the Best.Excuse.For.Tenure.Yet

    I’ve had a hard time explaining to people the need for tenure – thanks for handling that for me!

    Obviously, you have my complete support through the skullduggery happening now. My first thought was that you should start using arcane, old 19th century phrases to keep yourself out of trouble, but then I realized that you did! I think perhaps you should start writing these really upsetting posts in Latin – then they’d have to look it up first!

    I also agree with your comment (made earlier) about the lack of decent terms and phrases that don’t fall into the violence trap. Similar talks happening on a feminist page I read. We are products of our environment, good and bad. Thankfully, we have environmental historians like you out there…

  103. Jim Treacher:

    Hang in there, champ.

  104. Phil Lynch:

    Good for you from the very beginning, erik. hang tough. i want that motherfucker’s head on a stick too.

  105. J R in WV:

    Hang in there, Professor Loomis!

    I went to college 4 times before I got stuck into an actual BSCS degree program with actual work at the end of it. In the meantime I irked plenty of high-end scholastic talent.

    So I know that being a teacher, at any level, is no walk in the park.

    Anyway, continue to exercise your first amendment rights, and keep up the good work!

    And remember the old song, “I’m stickin’ to the Union!”

  106. Scared phd:

    Sorry for what you are going through. Personally I keep all my political opinions to myself, because I don’t have tenure. I don’t even have a degree yet. I will depend on faculty members for recommendations for the most crucial part of my career (a tenure-track position – congrats!). I attend religious services, in secret, because most of my department is anti-religious and would think me stupider for attending a religious service. I don’t discuss politics because people who disagree with the “group think” at my university are not debated, but merely silenced, written off as “stupid”, and for me, denied future academic opportunities.

    This shall pass for you, and perhaps you can tweet with a little more humility, if not for the sake of the people attacking you, but for the sake of those who are silenced every day on campus …

  107. purple:

    I appreciate your CV. You’ve lived in a variety of places, not Ivy league. We need more of that.

    I don’t what the right wingers are so upset about. People should be given a wide latitude in their speech, regardless of position. They unfortunately seem to be fostering a political strategy of feigning outrage. Benghazi comes to mind.

  108. purple:

    should read: don’t know…

  109. Joe Regular:

    PA-thetic. What a bunch of losers.

  110. Roger:

    So, the douche who makes death threats is now getting death threats?

    Irony? Cosmic Justice?

    Nah, metaphor.

  111. Steve Boone:

    I sent this to your administration, but I couldn’t find your email so I could copy you:

    “Dear Dean Brownell, Provost DeHays, and President Dooley,

    “I read Erik Loomis’s comment on Wayne LaPierre before the eruption of manufactured outrage on the far-right political fringe, and, as any sane person would, I understood it to be neither a threat nor a call to violence. It was an expression of Mr. Loomis’s opinion that LaPierre is a loathsome, despicable rabble-rouser. Mr. Loomis has a right in this country to express that opinion, which moreover is a statement of actual fact, inasmuch as LaPierre is a loathsome, despicable rabble-rouser. Please respect Mr. Loomis’s right to express his opinion, and in the spirit of academic freedom, please honor his right to state the truth.”

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