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I Hope You Will All Engage In Some Serious Soul-Searching

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Mr. Fredrik deBoer wishes to register a complaint about our commentariat. Well, he does have one serious complaint: if anyone who comments here attempted to intimidate deBoer by emailing him a picture of his office, you are in fact a terrible person and I would appreciate if you never visit this site again. But what are his other issues?

Does it ever occur to you guys that your commenters are objectively despicable people?

Well, now that you mention it, no. But please do go on:

Like, I get that the way you operate is to intentionally chum the waters for other people to do your dirty work

I think what he means by this is that when you post things, people may comment. They may even say mildly unkind things about people whose arguments they find wrong. As an argument for “objectively despicable” behavior, it’s not much yet.

and say the terrible, redbaiting, anti-leftist things

Ah, classic stuff here. Every position that deBoer takes is, objectively, the true leftist position, and hence any disagreement with him on the merits must therefore be “anti-leftist” or “redbaiting,” even if the disagreements are purely tactical or deBoer is taking a position not taken by any other left-winger in the known universe. As djw puts it, “Freddie views everything through the lens of his self-image as the One True Leftist beset on all sides by feckless, unprincipled, liberal-in-name-only centrists. His commitment to this worldview is only loosely connected to the particulars of any specific dispute, which makes it seem particularly jarring in cases like this, where he’s taking a fundamentally conservative position.”  Whether Freddie is arguing that the left should take neoconfederate lunatics seriously or asserting that plutocrats are entitled to whatever sinecure they happen to currently occupy forever whatever they say, any disagreement with him must be red-baiting.

that you actually enjoy (far more than you enjoy fighting with conservatives, clearly)

Wait, what?

that you actually enjoy (far more than you enjoy fighting with conservatives, clearly)

Yes, remarkably enough Freddie deBoer is accusing other people of enjoying picking fights with other people on the left more than they enjoy disagreeing with conservatives. This is like being accused by the Pacific Ocean of containing too much water. I will note again that the post I addressed in the post that elicited this comment accused, wholly without evidence, a broad group of liberals of opposing the very concepts of the due process of law and freedom of speech because of their careerist ambitions. (Don’t forget that liberals all support torture, too.) Noting said lack of evidence, however, is exhuming McCarthy.

Maybe you guys should engage in self-criticism for what would have to literally be the first time in your lives and ask, gee, maybe creating a arena in which people drive themselves to the most vile extremes and utterly personal insults imaginable is not the way we should act.

You can look at the comments thread yourself. Some of the things said about Freddie are certainly less than kind and engage in broad generalizations I don’t endorse, although to this I will also say that if thou doesn’t want to take it thou really shouldn’t dish it out so frequently. But “the most vile extremes and utterly personal insults imaginable?” This claim is tenable is this the only thing you’ve ever read on the internets. It also shows the blindness on gender issues for which Freddie has long been famous; for any woman who’s spent any time online the idea that a few mild insults and some harsh criticism of one’s ideas on the merits represents the vilest extremes of online discourse would be risible and insulting.

In short, I’m not sure that it’s our commenters who need the time to reflect.

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  • Chris

    I’m new here. From the context, I assume that this “Freddie DeBoer” character is a firebagger by profession?

    • I think he is, like “Dilan Esper,” a fictional character Scott invented to screw with us.

      • Manny Kant

        Dilan Esper has to be an anagram for something, right?

        • asmallmoose

          Nader Piles, Nader lips, Peer Island…

          • Captain Blicero

            Lead Sniper. Dean Pliers. Raid Spleen. Plane Rides. Pain Elders.

            My personal favorite: Pearled Sin. What’re you doing in there, Dilan??

            • joe from Lowell

              I don’t know, man, “Nader lips” is pretty awesome.

              • Barry Freed

                Ewwww!

                • Dread Hierarch Scrotum-Piranha

                  Diaper Lens has a certain ring to it. Rather Vitteresque.

        • joe from Lowell

          Anagrams are really funny, until you discover you’re a Jewel Roof Moll.

          I feel so violated.

      • Obsessions aren’t healthy, folks.

        • Malaclypse

          Well, we are Objectively Despicable.

        • joe from Lowell

          I’d accuse you remarkable projection, except for the certainty that you’d be accusing me of remarkable projection by Wednesday.

        • This really is astonishing given your insertion of a pretty nasty and easily falsified charge of homophobia against Dana into a reasonably substantive thread just two days ago.

          • Dana’s attack on Glenn Greenwald for living with his partner in Brazil was both homophobic and xenophobic.

            • And, of course, how that issue justifies Dana dragging me into this thread is unexplained.

              • Dilan Esper says:
                May 6, 2014 at 11:07 am
                And, of course, how that issue justifies Dana dragging me into this thread is unexplained.

                Hmmm…

                Dana Houle says:
                May 6, 2014 at 10:54 am
                It’s why my name got immediately mentioned in a thread that had nothing to do with me

                BZZZT, wrong.

                It was mentioned because usually when Scott wants to pummel a bad argument by someone who’s not a rightwinger he just pulls something from the comments by you. What he’s doing with DeBoer is similar.

                So, ironically, you don’t realize you were mentioned because of your bad arguments.

            • Are you dishonest or are you sincerely that profoundly incapable of reading for content?

              Or is the answer “yes?”

            • No, it clearly was not.

              Dana expressed, “I think people who are prevented from bringing their partner into the US by evil anti gay marriage bullshit are hugely wronged and I know people in that situation. However, it’s not clear that Greenwald was *actually* in the situation (of wanting to live in the US) or that he himself was strongly prevented from doing so and I suspect that he’s just using the issue without really being affected by it which pisses me off a lot.”

              I pushed back against that in that thread.

              Now, whatever else, it’s clearly not xenophobic in any way shape or form.

              You might make a case that Dana wasn’t being charitable enough to how Greenwald’s current circumstances might have arisen from the oppressive immigration laws. I think, as I argued there, that Dana is letting his animosity toward Greenwald drive a lack of charity that I think should be extended, esp. by straight people (as I understand Dana to be).

              I don’t see that a blanket, unmoored accusation of homophobia is helpful or warranted. I don’t see how that served to advance the discussion (and I hope eventual convincing of Dana).

              So how were you doing anything constructive at all in that conversation?

              • Oh, and frankly, that was a back and forth that Dana and I were quite reasonably having and you came in and totally derailed it to score a point against Dana.

                Do better before complaining next time.

              • FWIW, I met the people I knew screwed by immigration laws in 2004 when I acted on my homophobia by managing the campaign in Michigan against the constitutional amendment to prohibit same sex marriage.

                So, yeah, Dilan once again shows his care and skill with evidence…

                • witless chum

                  Thanks for your efforts, Dana. Those kind of campaigns had to have helped in turning public opinion around to the point where the Dems are looking to hang defending that shitty amendment around the attorney general’s neck.

        • joe from Lowell

          OMG, I just saw this.

          HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

          • Dilan is still doing the “If you call it the ACA, you’re an Obot” schtick?

            Sorry Dilan, I conclusively refuted this crap several times already.

            Grow up and do better.

            • Scott Lemieux

              Sadly, yes.

      • colleen

        Oh I don’t think so. It sounds a lot more like a ‘centrist’ Democrat. If anyone knows how to screw with ‘the left’ it’s those assholes.

    • Anonymous Cow Herder

      He’s not Ralph Nader’s alt? Now I really *am* confused…

    • Origami Isopod

      “Firebagger” is … not a sufficiently all-encompassing term to explain the specialness that is Freddie de [BONERS].

      • Halloween Jack

        It’s the first thing that came to my mind, though.

        • I think being a Fire[BONER] explains much. It must hurt a lot.

    • Just Dropping By

      I thought that Freddie DeBoer was a fictional character because he’s talked about on so many different websites.

      • Manny Kant

        Shared universe!

    • Simeon

      I’m surprised to find out he’s a leftist. I had thought, based on those comments of his that I’ve red here (not all of them by any means) that he was a heterodox conservative.

  • I HOPE YOU’RE ALL HAPPY NOW. YOU’VE MADE FREDDIE SAD.

    • Worse, we killed his [BONERS].

      A moment of silence, please! Or giggles, as your religion dictates.

      • Anonymous

        My religion demands ROTFLMAO!

        • DrDick

          That was me. Something eated my cookies.

          • That’s one angry god! Laugh louder!

          • Aimai

            Wait, Dr.Dick in Anonymose? I’m depressed. I thought we had someone new to play with.

          • witless chum

            Was it a monster?

            • DrDick

              I think it was a fat and jolly elf.

    • Elly

      TBH, I am starting to feel a bit sorry for the lad…

      Freddie reminds me of a particular Ph.D. student in my (ex-)lab at UC. The guy was a study in opposites: his passionate desire to be taken seriously as a researcher stood in stark contrast to his bumbling incompetence in the lab. He memorized everything – he was like a walking encyclopedia – but was an absolute disaster when it came to designing and carrying out experiments. Even worse, he was incapable of learning from his mistakes, since he was convinced by his own erudition that he was the smartest person in the room.

      Not surprisingly, he was laughed at. I sometimes felt badly about this too, as he could be a pretty nice guy when he got off his high horse. But it was a reaction to the frustration we felt.

      • Sounds like someone who should have gone for a PhD in the humanities….

        • timb116

          Or who already has started such a career change

      • eventheHUACliberal sharculese

        The difference is that if Freddie is ever a nice guy, he confines that behavior to offline.

        • Malaclypse

          Nonsense. If we learned anything from [BONERS] and his feminist dates, it is that he is, most certainly, a Nice Guy ™.

      • Bruce Baugh

        I was at least some of that guy on and off for a long time, until friends pointed out that I wasn’t actually stuck with the behaviors that made things worse. I could flat-out roleplay being “me but more savvy”. Over time, I took public speaking, and applied the lessons. I worked with folks seriously into current fashion and took tips from them on shopping and dressing. And so on. I’m still not anyone’s next Beau Brummel, but I can function competently and comfortably in a good spread of social situations because I worked at it.

        I grew up with a lot of pernicious crap from the environment about what smart people are entitled to because they’re smart. But I got over it, eventually.

    • cpinva

      yes, I am.

      “I HOPE YOU’RE ALL HAPPY NOW. YOU’VE MADE FREDDIE SAD.”

      I’d be exponentially happier if I won the lottery, but this will do for a start.

  • Aimai

    Now you are just being mean…

    Can I join in?

    • Oh aimai, have you not taken all the trenchant and well intentioned criticism about your terrible terrible meanness offeres to you these past few days to heart?

      No?

      Good.

  • sibusisodan

    objectively despicable

    I get stuck at this part. I get that it needs an adjective. I could have understood, hyperbolically, the use of ‘unarguably’, or similar intensifier.

    But objectively? That’s not even wrong.

    • Malaclypse

      You only say that because you are not a master rhetoritician.

      ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty [BONERS] said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

      ‘The question is,’ said Alice everybody who understands the word “objectively.” ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

      ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty [BONERS], ‘which is to be master — that’s all.’

    • It serves a very important purpose rhetorically: it’s a preemptive shield against being called a cry baby. See, it’s not that his fee fees are hurt, there’s some objective, intrinsic feature of the world in us that is awe duck (I’m keeping the autocorrect because it is objectively supercool).

      It also suggests that your intentions are not a defense.

      It also echos the stalinesque “objectively pro-x” line.

      • ChrisTS

        Right. It shows that the True Truth ™ of the World is that de Bore is good and we are evil.

      • Aaron B.

        I don’t mean to interrupt the Freddie bashing but many commenters here are perfectly happy to offer up the “objectively pro-x” line when discussing any number of issues where one is dissenting from the local consensus. It’s a terrible, mind-closing style of argument and we should always reject it.

        • Absolutely Aaron.

          I don’t think it’s necessarily a wrong move in all cases. It’s alway a tad problematic, I think, because of the Stalin/Horowitz uses.

          I also think that to get to something like, “It’s not just my idiosyncratic reaction but your behavior has these evaluative properties” you need to offer some evidence. In this case, it was extremely cheap to say, but farcical. So it served as *nothing* but a dishonest rhetorical gambit.

          • Let me go a bit further: I find it a very tempting move a lot of the time. I probably indulge in it still.

            That doesn’t make it a good move.

        • Jordan

          Isn’t it usually a joke, though?

          • Here, maybe? I certainly feel the appeal of using it seriously.

            • Jordan

              True enough. Its problematic because of the stupid Horowitz thing.

              But it – or at least a variation – can be legitimately useful when applied to a position (perhaps less so to a person).

              Suppose someone proposes some policy, which formally adheres to some (liberal, even!) principles. Almost certainly, however, that policy will have disastrous consequences that will greatly benefit, say, the rich.

              Saying the policy is “objectively pro-plutocrat” or whatever seems like a useful shorthand way of describing that ostensibly liberal proposal.

              • If it’s backed up, it’s not a hugely bad thing.

                But like “let a thousand flowers bloom”, I find the original context helpful in avoiding what is, after all, a bit of cliche.

                If there’s an implication of a position I hold that’s a goal of an ideology I dislike, does it help to say that I’m “objectively pro-said-ideology” rather than just pointing out the fact?

                Being pro something is attitudinal. Being objectively pro-X means something like “Even given contrary attitudes, you are for this”. That seems a lot worse than just saying, “Your actions contradict your intentions”.

                • Jordan

                  I mean, in general I agree.

                  All I can offer is anecdotes (mostly involving my family).

                  My dad, for example, sometimes takes pretty seriously (what he perceives to be) the intentions behind people who propose a given policy while discounting (what he perceives to be) its unintended consequences.

                  Framing the policy as “objectively pro-X” just seems like it works over and above merely pointing out the “unintended” consequences that he strongly dislikes.

                  Again, though, this is a variation on the normal usage.

    • N__B

      It makes perfect sense, but it is wrong. I am not objectively despicable. I am, however, subjectively despicable. I am far more despicable than Mini__B, and I am far less despicable than my maternal grandmother, who was the stuff of nightmares.

      • Pat

        In short, I’m not sure that it’s our commenters who need the time to reflect.

        Could your maternal grandmother reflect, or was she invisible to mirrors?

        • N__B

          If she was a vampire she might have been less abuse for a period of time shorter than sixty years. She was more like Godzilla, trampling screaming people underfoot.

          • My great-great-grandfather was nicknamed “The Thunderer”, which is the Chinese equivalent of Thor, by the servants(this was in the waning days of the Qing Dynasty) because of his temper.

    • DrDick

      That’s not even wrong.

      Pretty much describes DeBONER’s whole oeuvre.

    • Freddie is the most formal formalist who ever formalized, and thus he has the unique power to be objective about people making fun of him.

    • herr doktor bimler

      I am pedantic and insufferable so I do have concerns about combining “objectively” with a judgement of subjectivity.

      • Jon H

        Freddie used his despicablometer. It’s totally objective.

  • kenjob

    i can’t help but think that this is all a scheme to demonstrate an ability to generate pageviews prior to an extortion attempt.

    “nice place you guys have. it would be a real shame if i became agreeable and your ad revenues decline. a real shame. maybe you kick me forty points, maybe this agreeableness all goes away.”

  • Anonymous

    But “the most vile extremes and utterly personal insults imaginable?” This claim is tenable is this the only thing you’ve ever read on the internets. It also shows the blindness on gender issues for which Freddie has long been famous; for any woman who’s spent any time online the idea that a few mild insults and some harsh criticism of one’s ideas on the merits represents the vilest extremes of online discourse would be risible and insulting.

    I’m not sure I’d want to use the sort of things leveled at women who dare to speak on the interwebs as a benchmark, not even as a benchmark for vileness. Can we just set fire to that level of discourse and take it all one step up as the benchmark for vileness? Say, just the level of vileness spewed at game developers who change the stats on weapons in Call of Duty, not the level spewed at [any woman] doing [thing on internet]?

    • Orpho

      Crap, I forgot to sign in.

    • Karen

      I occasionally use a male nym when commenting on sites where I “hunt for mangoes.” I will then make exactly the same comment a few places down thread using my obviously female name. The difference in responses is always depressing, both for the obvious misogyny but also because they always recycle the same set of anatomy-based insults for the girl name.

      • kenjob

        g-g-g-genderfraud!

      • Aimai

        Yeah, I chose my nym because it meant something to me in Nepali but I wasn’t thinking about how very “feminine” the ending reads in English. People always assume I’m female and, to be fair, I mostly am most of the time. The instinct to talk down to apparent females online, to attack them, and to attempt to assert dominance over them through sexual insult is really pretty strong.

        • rea

          There was a time, back in the early days of blogging, when everyone assumed that I was a woman and Digby was a man . . .

          • ajay

            There was a time, back in the early days of blogging, when everyone assumed that I was a woman and Digby was a man . . .

            Well, understandable; Digby is a male first name.

          • Anonymous Cow Herder

            Back in the early dawn of the Internet era (1990), my college assigned everyone a login ID/email address which was [first 6 letters of first name]+[first letter of last name] – which for me created an ID that, when read aloud, sounded like a female first name.

            I eventually had to figure out how to turn off the primitive “instant message” feature of the school’s mainframe because every single time I would log on, some moron would try to proposition me.

            EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

            • christopher yarborough

              i can so relate to this.

            • FMguru

              A couple of months ago some male nerd created a phony female profile for himself on OK Cupid to troll for responses and disprove all the exaggerated stories about how women were treated online.

              He managed to last a whole two hours before he had to delete his profile because the tidal wave of creepy come-ons and implied (and explicit) threats of violence got to him.

              • Halloween Jack

                there are some terrifying, awful men out there that will in one breath call you the most beautiful creature in the world, and then—when you fail to meet whatever demand or expectation they’ve laid out for you—will say things to you that you’re pretty sure only get said during prison riots.

                • Karen

                  I am impressed with his ability to respond to the evidence presented, and come up with a line like “things that only get said during prison riots.”

                • Origami Isopod

                  That line was written by the Jezebel OP, Rebecca Rose.

                • It reminds me of people who said “Oh waterboarding is no big deal. Look, I’ll even doAHDAHHREHRGHDHARHERSH FUCK THAT WAS SO HORRIBLE I CAN’T SLEEP AT NIGHT!!!!” (cf Chris Hitchens)

                  I’m not sure what makes it difficult to understand other people’s experiences and interpret them reasonably because ideology. Clearly some people have empathy issues and other people have protected blinders on.

                • DrSubstantiveComment – Processed in a Facility That Also Handles Snark

                  I’m not sure what makes it difficult to understand other people’s experiences and interpret them reasonably because ideology. Clearly some people have empathy issues and other people have protected blinders on.

                  Propaganda is a helluva drug.

              • Anonymous Cow Herder

                He managed to last a whole two hours before he had to delete his profile because the tidal wave of creepy come-ons and implied (and explicit) threats of violence got to him.

                While my experience with the ‘net was colored by my university’s choice of usernames, I find it hard to believe that anyone still doubts that the perception of anonymity on the net ratchets up assholishness and threats of violence to extremely high levels.

                I once got death threats over a post I made on usenet suggesting that a certain TV showrunner*** should stick to moderated newsgroups if he didn’t want to be exposed to possible story ideas for a current TV show.

                A fking TV SHOW, for fk’s sake!

                ***Said death threats were not from the showrunner, of course, but from some of the show’s more rabid fans.

                • Manny Kant

                  Was it J. Michael Straczynski?

                • Pat

                  The Firefly fans are seriously crazy. Or was it some other show?

            • cpinva

              I hate to be the one to break the news to you……….oh hell, no I’m not, but the “early dawn of the internet era” was back in the 70’s, not 90’s. it actually may have been the late 60’s, but I wasn’t aware of it then.

              “Back in the early dawn of the Internet era (1990),”

              I know this is so, because I’ve been on the internet, since 1975. granted, it was much different than its current iteration, but it was nonetheless, the internet.

              • Anonymous Cow Herder

                I know this is so, because I’ve been on the internet, since 1975

                I’m not sure I’d call what existed in 1975 to be “the internet”, but whatever floats yer boat…

                • Why not? It was literally a network of networks (61!) in direct line with what we have today.

                • Jordan

                  Yeah, but would you say 1930 (or whatever) was in the television era?

                • “Early dawn” thereof, maybe? (I’m not up on television history.)

                  TCP was getting out there. That’s pretty late in the early dawn :)

                • Jordan

                  Oh, right. I misread your “61” as referring to 1961, rather than to the number of networks.

                  No, I apparently couldn’t be bothered to even mouse over your link :(.

                • No worries :)

              • Pat

                Old person.

          • I always assumed Digby was a woman. I was later surprised to find how few others did.

            Emptywheel still jokes with me about how often at DKos, when I had a non-gendered moniker, that people assumed I was a woman. It wasn’t happening a lot, but it happened regularly. When i started writing under my own name, it happened even more often.

            • Warren Terra

              On the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog genderless amorphous blob of indeterminate hue.

              • Joseph Slater

                Let’s leave the Therapsis out of it.

              • Bruce Baugh

                I have never assumed that Dana was another of the species who has an individual inhabiting Cheney.

            • 1:2

              people assumed you were a woman and an asshole

              • Eh, at least they didn’t assume I’m a coward.

                I’ll bet you have a lot of friends.

      • N__B

        anatomy-based insults for the girl name.

        “Did you get your hair stuck in the keyboard?”

      • eventheHUACliberal sharculese

        St. Davey of the Constant Principles still thinks I’m a woman, I’m pretty sure.

        • DrS – Processed in a Facility That Also Handles Snark

          St. Davey of the Constant Principles

          Heh.

          He hasn’t been around in a while, has he? Not that I miss the psycho.

          • Origami Isopod

            He poked his snout in the other day. One of the Sterling threads? /too lazy to Google

            • sharculese

              You know Davey’s obsessions better than this.

              It was one of the rape culture threads. I didn’t click, but I saw it pop up in the recent comments.

              • Origami Isopod

                I’m pretty sure I’ve seen him take potshots in threads about race as well. But you’re right, it was a thread about rape culture.

        • N__B

          We all know that you’re a lady.

      • Karen

        This isn’t limited to the Internet. Back in the day I was an appeals judge for unemployment claims. My hearings were mostly over the phone, but I did actually talk to the participants. I have a low-pitched but obviously female voice. (At first I introduced myself using my full name at the beginning of the hearing. Later, after one disgruntled participant looked me up through the bar association and called me at home, I started using “I am Hearing Officer Lastname.”) At least once per month someone would send me a letter, after the hearing, addressed to “Mr. Hearing Officer.” A few creative souls sent letters to “Mr. KEVIN Hearing Officer.” They had to make me male; the idea that I could exercise authority while possession a uterus was completely impossible. Since the state governor at the time was Ann Richards, this was a bit odd to me.

        • Gwen

          How does one become a hearing officer, btw? Seems like a decent jerb for underemployed JDs.

          • Karen

            In my case the principle qualification was begin 28 years old when the guy hiring was having a midlife crisis and hired 20 women, all under 30.

            Seriously, the Department head convinced the Board that baby lawyers and law students would be really good at a job that required the ability to cross examine people and evaluate evidence. He retired shortly after I left and was replaced by a boy who thought lawyers just slowed things down, what with our nasty due process crap.

    • Origami Isopod

      I don’t agree that Scott was making it into any sort of benchmark. It’s more that Freddie was disingenuously making the comments aimed at him into that kind of benchmark, and Scott was bringing a reality check.

      So long as that degree of vileness exists, I think it’s useful to acknowledge it.

      • witless chum

        It’s especially apropos to mention in the case of [BONERS] who earned said nickname with a particularly spectacular bit of clueless noodling at a feminist blog.

        • cpinva

          was that at Pandagon? I seem to recall some guy doing that, some time ago, but didn’t care enough to remember his name.

          • That kid in the corner

            Tigerbeatdown, not pandagon. Someone’s got the link, I’m sure.

    • gocart mozart

      Well, Michelle Obama is asking for it by traveling to foreign countries on our dime while living in government housing . . . I mean, who does she think she is!?

    • But “the most vile extremes and utterly personal insults imaginable?”

      CONTEST!

  • With skin that thin, I hope the boy uses an SPF sun-screen in the 1,000’s!

  • Rob in CT

    terrible, redbaiting, anti-leftist things

    I laughed out loud when he broke this out. Very Humpty Dumpty, as Mal points out.

    In my limited experience with this fellow, his whole schtick seems to be attacking other liberals for doing liberalism wrong.

    • Jonas

      Saying Eich shouldn’t have been named CEO of Mozilla because of his views about LGBT issues is objectively redbaiting.

  • Nobdy

    What’re the chances the threat was actually made? It is not just that the LGM commenters seem unlikely to make such a threat in general, but towards a hapless buffoon like Freddie The Boor ( may his tiny boner rest in peace)? He is worthy of mockery and derision but simply wouldn’t be worth threatening. Meanwhile there are a lot of conservatives out there who don’t know how to mock and might resort to crude threats because that’s all they have, or the prissy little attention seeker could have made it up to curry sympathy and make his dumb whiny complaint a little less obviously worthy of immediate dismissal.

    Or his interior decorator sent him a picture of his newly finished office and Freddie (may his tiny boner rest in peace) jumped to the dumbest possible conclusion, because that’s how he treats every new piece of information, and assumed it was a threat. Regardless, I find it very unlikely that an LGM reader did it, not when there are tiny dead boners to mock and when he’s such a nonentity.

    • Aimai

      I take the notion that someone sent him something pretty seriously. The thing is that people troll–they troll the internet and they troll the newspapers. I have had a couple of letters to the editor published over hte last 15 years. Those letters are published with no more identification than your name and your city but each time I always get a hand addressed angry letter from a crank republican somewhere else rebutting me and trying to bring me to jesus and/or warn me about the jews. Every time. Someone had to go look up my name and city and find my address and find a stamp just to let me know how they felt.

      I daresay there are plenty of people, thousands even, who could and would easily do the same on the internet where it is so much easier and requires less work. I don’t see that kind of person being the kind of person who comments here–though they could be a lurker–because people with established personas and commenting histories that are, you know, sane, don’t need to send anonymous threats to FDB. They are just different kinds of animals.

      • rea

        I take the notion that someone sent him something pretty seriously.

        Well, I guess he has the right to feel threatened if he wants. But to my mind, the incident shows some of his unreasonable expectations about privacy. Recall that he said that Eich’s contributions to Prop. 8 were private, even though they were matters of public record. I’ve felt mildy freaked on the couple of occasions that someone pierced my pseudonym and identified me, in one instance linking to a picture of my house and me (without any malicious intent, I might add). But FDB blogs under his own name, and posts his office address online as part of his contact information. His office is in a large public building on the main campus of a major university. None of this information is in the least bit private. If you send Obama a picture of the White House with a note, “I know where you work,” do you get arrested for threatening the president? Or does everyone think, “so what?”

        It would be different, and far more stalkerish, if someone displayed knowledge of authentically private informtion. But, “I’ve Googled you, and know where your office is” ain’t much of a threat.

        • When I wrote under a pseudonym I never wrote about anything with which i was directly involved. I didn’t write about my campaigns, or reveal information I would be embarrassed to be associated with if someone knew it was me. But I didn’t want to post under my own name (talking about 2003-2006). Through a long string of weirdness, one of the most sociopathic people at DKos got my name, and she passed it on to one of the most insane people there. That woman emailed me and threatened to out me. But she stupidly sent it from her own email, and through some sleuthing I figured out where she lived, that she worked for a UN agency, found out her office number, and the name of her supervisor. I responded to her with something like “Dear Firstname Lastname, who works at [address] for the [UN agency] and whose supervisor is X; please be aware that you have written [gave some examples of things nobody working for a UN agency should ever say], which I’m sure [name of supervisor] would find disturbing. Proceed at exposing my identity with that in mind.

          I never heard from her again.

          I felt it was perfectly acceptable to respond as I did, since it was in response to a threat. But to have done that in the absence of a threat would have been outrageously creepy. BUT, I’m thinking of it as a case of someone using a pseudonym. I’m not sure it’s the same thing when it’s someone being aggressive and provocative under their own name. I don’t think there’s the same presumption of privacy, especially since it was supposedly information about his place of work, not about his home and/or family.

        • Home Schooler From OK

          Well, I don’t know. Its a threat but its not a threat, if you see what I mean. Its creepy because why do it if you don’t have an intention behind it thats creepy? Its stalkery even if you’d have to know something about the person who sent it, or they would have to do it alot, before you took it seriously as a threat. Doxxing someone and stalking them online is something that has happened to some women (and doubtless to some men) and it can start small and escalate. I forget the name of the woman who was stalked and photographed in her law school classes. That quickly went from being a single person harrassing her to a group project. I don’t think that publishing under your own name and trying to create an identity for yourself as a writer is, in some sense, “asking for it” or all in the game. I absolutely urge FDB to notify the proper authorities in his college and if he discovers, as many women do, that there is nothing that they can do perhaps he’d like to join in with other people to create laws against cyberstalking and harassment which, ultimately, might get someone fired from their position as CEO or any other job.

          • Aimai

            oops. Sock puppeting and nym fakery can become a habit. If it lasts more than four hours consult your doctor!–aimai

          • witless chum

            This. I don’t think it’s a violation of his privacy, but I don’t think there’s any non-threatening purpose to sending him that. It seems like a penny ante threat, but it’s a threat.

            Why LGM commenters, rather than someone from his own blog or the myriad other places he trolls are supposed to be to blame, I’m not clear. But I’m also not clear on why Freddie thinks he’s too my left.

            • DrS – Processed in a Facility That Also Handles Snark

              But I’m also not clear on why Freddie thinks he’s too my left.

              I think maybe cause he’s not too bright?

        • Ronan

          I agree rea, it’s not exactly Cape fear material.

        • NonyNony

          If you send Obama a picture of the White House with a note, “I know where you work,” do you get arrested for threatening the president? Or does everyone think, “so what?”

          I’m fairly certain that if you sent that you would get a visit from some nice Secret Service men wearing mirrorshades who would want to know exactly what kind of stupid you were.

          I doubt you’d get arrested unless you were the particular kind of stupid that led you to assaulting a Federal agent, but you’d at least get a visit.

        • Scott Lemieux

          Well, I guess he has the right to feel threatened if he wants. But to my mind, the incident shows some of his unreasonable expectations about privacy.

          This is missing the point. It’s not that the location of his office is private, it’s that sending him a picture of it is intimidating. I don’t think it’s particularly complicated.

        • JL

          It’s not a violation of his privacy, but if it were directed at me I would definitely consider it a threat. It’s pretty stalkerish.

      • Halloween Jack

        When I lived in a state without very good privacy protection in their public records laws, I got a threatening hand-delivered anonymous note at my home because I’d cut somebody off in traffic.

      • DrDick

        Once, years ago, one of the more pedantic trolls here (who disappeared shortly after this) emailed me at work. I was a bit freaked out, but just deleted it and ignored the whole thing.

        • herr doktor bimler

          If I ever e-mail you at work it will be with a question about Seminole linguistics.

      • cpinva

        I don’t, absent some actual evidence.

        “I take the notion that someone sent him something pretty seriously.”

        given his publicly displayed massive persecution complex, anything he gets in the mail, he probably takes as a threat.

      • Bruce Baugh

        I’m really willing to believe one or more people sent him crappy stuff. What annoys me is the “imaginable” part, because it strongly suggests that Freddie is yet another case of something I’ve seen too much in recent years: the guy who was willing to feel shocked at the general idea of abuse heaped on women, people of color, LGBT people, etc., but who turns out to have never really believed it was quite real. J. Random Dude wouldn’t have said in so many words that he really thought all the girls, queers, etc., were making it up, and probably not even thought he really thought they were exaggerating it, blowing it out of proportion…but he did think that all along.

        Because when something much milder happens to him, J. Random shows that he has no context of awareness about how much and how harsh abuse is handed out online every day. It wasn’t ever fully real until it hit him…precisely like with the right-wingers who become pro-marriage-equality, pro-treatment-of-a-specific-disorder, pro-some-other-very-focused-cause when, and only when, it actually happens to them or someone they’re prepared to regard as real.

        • Pat

          Well, he regards what happened to him as real. That doesn’t mean that he’s able to extrapolate it to “others”, like queer folk or women. He may think that they are still lying.

      • Mike Timonin

        I’m working on a project involving women protesting against War Department policies at the end of WWII. When newspapers reported on their activities, they invariably included the whole name of the woman as well as her street address, which never ceases to amaze me. I haven’t seen evidence that this information was used to threaten the women, which also surprises me, for exactly the reason you note – making it easy for people to contact other people with whom they disagree (especially women!) seems dangerously wrong-headed.

        • Origami Isopod

          Did they include the names of male protesters as well?

          • Mike Timonin

            Thus far, I’ve only seen one male name associated with the movement – everything suggests that it was a movement of women. But, yes, the one male identified had his address listed as well.

      • Jon H

        “Someone had to go look up my name and city and find my address and find a stamp just to let me know how they felt.”

        The personal touch. It’s a dying art, you know.

    • Origami Isopod

      Eh, despite FdB’s dishonesty and melodrama, I would not want a precedent to be set that we (or anyone else) mock someone for reporting that they’ve been threatened online. Taking him at his word on this matter doesn’t dilute the rest of the arguments against him.

      • Nobdy

        Except that it encourages those who have no arguments to fall back on false victimization. It is possible that someone sent the picture but he gives no evidence it is tied to this blog z(was the subject “Erik Loomis sends his regards?”) and it is just such an easy thing to lie about, I remain skeptical. Part of the price of being a histrionic attention seeker and a liar is not being believed. Of course if it happened it shouldn’t be condoned and the campus police should be informed, but it seems totally out of character for this virtual place.

        • Home Schooler From OK

          Say what you will about the quality of his arguments but FDB has plenty of arguments to fall back on.

          • Jon H

            Takes a loss on every one, but plans to make it up in volume.

        • the boy who cried “wolf!”

          Part of the price of being a histrionic attention seeker and a liar is not being believed.

          Tell me about it.

          • Boy who pointed out the Emperor’s nakedness, now being held at a secret location

            The fairytale genre needs stronger protections for whistleblowers.

            • That kid in the corner of the broom closet in Omelas

              F’reals

        • witless chum

          I think that falls under the same category as thinking that if Obama would just meet conservatives in the middle we could really get things done. Bad actors are going to act bad. You can’t really control their behavior, only your own.

          I tend to believe [BONERS] here because if he were to make something up it would be much more serious, melodramatic and overall clownfraud-y. Something more like a conservative pundit’s cocktail party anecdote.

        • It really does us no harm to take him at his word. We don’t have to agree with his conclusions. Even if someone who reads LGM threatened Freddie, it says absolutely nothing significant about the readership of LGM in general, nor does it say anything about the posters.

          • witless chum

            Yes, exactly.

      • I totally agree.

      • Barry Freed

        This

    • Captain Blicero

      Not that I’m defending the guy, but body shaming is cool at LGM these days?

      • asmallmoose

        It usually isn’t, no.

        • I don’t think FDB’s comolaints are any more meritorious than the rest of you do (and I say this as someone who isn’t very popular here either), but I really think that some of you need to consider whether some of the arguments you deploy against people you disagree with are ones that you would consider fair or persuasive when used against yourselves or people you agree with.

          There’s no reason to assume the threat against FDB didn’t happen and no ground for saying “well, it’s the Internet”. I don’t want to live in a society where people minimize threats to people they disagree with. I associate that behavior with the right.

          And more generally, there’s a Gresham’s Law of comments threads- bad argumentation drives out good. It’s why my name got immediately mentioned in a thread that had nothing to do with me. It’s why a lot times substantive comments get met with snarky putdowns.

          In a sense, that’s the Internet. But if you actually care about public policy, it’s worth striving to do better. But FDB does my perspective no favors with his narcissistic rant.

          • Malaclypse

            There’s no reason to assume the threat against FDB didn’t happen and no ground for saying “well, it’s the Internet”. I don’t want to live in a society where people minimize threats to people they disagree with.

            Agreed.

          • asmallmoose

            I’m not sure why this was a response to me. I was answering Drew’s question about body-shaming. I don’t think we should play-down a threat Freddie received even if it was really incompetent.

          • rea

            I don’t want to live in a society where people minimize threats to people they disagree with.

            I’m not exactly minimizing the threat because I disagree with him; I’m minimizing it because it wasn’t much of a threat, given the public nature of the information at issue.

            there’s a Gresham’s Law of comments threads-bad argumentation drives out good. It’s why my name got immediately mentioned in a thread that had nothing to do with me.

            I’m pleasently surprised at the degree of self-knowledge that comment displays . . .

          • My initial reaction was to doubt it because, well, most of what deBoer says is nonsense and the rest of the comment was, in fact, nonsense. I don’t let that initial reaction be my settled reaction because I know that threats can happen to anyone and that, absent compelling, direct evidence, people (such as myself) are very bad at judging the credibility of such claims. So my committed response is to take them seriously. I don’t want anyone threatened, however ineptly. I don’t think people have an obligation to shake off inept threats.

            And more generally, there’s a Gresham’s Law of comments threads- bad argumentation drives out good.

            This just doesn’t seem true. It can happen; it often does happen; but it’s perfectly possible to have mixed discussions as many threads on LGM demonstrate. Of course, if you indulge the “bad” you will end up in the bad. C’est la vie.

            It’s why my name got immediately mentioned in a thread that had nothing to do with me.

            And why you felt compelled to insert your ungrounded accusation of homophobia into a thread with Dana?

            Seriously, you are factually wrong and in the wrong. The mention of you in this thread is not wildly off: *In the prior thread about deBoer* you created an encounter with Dana in which you behaved exceedingly badly. It’s quite natural that in a follow up post Dana might throw a related joke in. You and deBoer act in relevantly similar ways.

            It’s why a lot times substantive comments get met with snarky putdowns.

            Per usual, your causal explanations are just horrible. It’s not because of some mysterious general law or because your interlocutors have some sort of argumentative inferiority complex. These are pure, self-flattering just so stories that you conjure up which, afaict, license you to avoid improving your behavior. Perhaps you sincerely believe them, I don’t know. But ignoring the many reports that people have a problem with you because of your commenting behavior and that those complains are reasonably grounded in that behavior, makes you look very bad indeed. And, in fact, the sort of person who is unreasponsive to reasoned conversation and thus you might as well enjoy making fun of.

            Indulging a persecution schtick is not evidence that you are making serious arguments, but the reverse.

          • It’s why my name got immediately mentioned in a thread that had nothing to do with me

            BZZZT, wrong.

            It was mentioned because usually when Scott wants to pummel a bad argument by someone who’s not a rightwinger he just pulls something from the comments by you. What he’s doing with DeBoer is similar.

            So, ironically, you don’t realize you were mentioned because of your bad arguments.

          • Scott Lemieux

            I don’t think FDB’s comolaints are any more meritorious than the rest of you do (and I say this as someone who isn’t very popular here either), but I really think that some of you need to consider whether some of the arguments you deploy against people you disagree with are ones that you would consider fair or persuasive when used against yourselves or people you agree with.

            There’s no reason to assume the threat against FDB didn’t happen and no ground for saying “well, it’s the Internet”. I don’t want to live in a society where people minimize threats to people they disagree with. I associate that behavior with the right.

            Dilan is 100% right on this.

          • joe from Lowell

            I really think that some of you need to consider whether some of the arguments you deploy against people you disagree with are ones that you would consider fair or persuasive when used against yourselves or people you agree with.

            Physician, heal thyself.

            • Dread Hierarch Scrotum-Piranha

              “FDB does my perspective no favors with his narcissistic rant.”

              I detect a faint flavor of narcissisme du jour. It’s a lovely, floral scent for those under the bridge social events.

          • Ronan

            he wrote a (relatvely)long comment about abosilutely nothing then at the end as an addendum included two lines about someone ‘sending a picture of his office’ to him.
            I would assume its either nonsense or trivial.

            • Why?

              People deflect.

              It occurs to me that the whole first part could be a reaction to the threat.

              That’s worth consideration. It makes even my initial reply not the best considered.

      • Ronan

        where’s the body shaming ? ‘tiny boner’? its a play on words not a literal description

        • DrSubstantiveComment – Processed in a Facility That Also Handles Snark

          Good point.

          I would, however, feel a bit squicked out if an LGM commenter secretly took a picture of FdB’s penis and emailed it to him.

          • Ronan

            i’ll grant you that *might* be a step too far

        • Nobdy

          It’s not just that, it’s a criticism of his “feminism” in which when engaging women in discussions of feminism he sexualizes them and imagines dating them. It’s a criticism of his substance. The “tiny” modifier is just kind of juvenile, I will freely admit, but so is Fredericko’s “leftiest than thou” B.S.

          When you wrestle with a pig in the mud you both get filthy the difference is the pig likes it. Well I don’t mind getting a little mud on my dungarees.

          • Ronan

            i dont mind the mud per se, it’s the lectures and ‘woe is me’ schtik i could do without

            • Ronan

              which isnt to say i have any thing against FDB really, i dont know anything about the man..im just in an agitated mood

        • That kid in the corner of the broom closet in Omelas

          I thought it was the “Humpty Dumpty” thing myself.

  • People, people! Comrade [BONERS] has called attention to our counter-revolutionary errors and it behooves us to engage in vigorous self criticism!

    I’ll begin!

    I confess to finding Freddie to be a total clown with no compensating wit or insight! I find the experience of reading his prose akin to being bored by a really boring person! I confess that I would rather read the phone book than the collected works of our Freddie!

    I confess to thinking that Ser Freddie is a sad self parody of a person who should definitely erase as much of his online presence as is technically possible!

    I confess to thinking that he has the analytical chops of a Matt Stoller only somewhat less coherent!

    I confess!

    • Malaclypse

      Dad, what is a “phone book”?

      • Son, it’s like Facebook, only with more interesting content and less intrusive ads.

        • Anonymous

          +1

  • JustinV

    So…actively contributing to a campaign to strip your employees of their civil rights and using vile racist language are causes which must be treated with the most absolute of free speech standards. But saying that you think Freddie is kind of a crap dude and is wrong about what constitutes strong left arguments must be stopped.

    • Kevin

      I actually asked that. I was told by one of his commenters that it is entirely appropriate for me to support the workers (NBA players) over the owner…but not for something he said in his home.

      Now, how I support the players, say, striking, over these comments, without acknowledging that the comments were in fact made is something I struggle with. In fact, by their logic, I should probably support Sterling if the players did strike, as they are striking over an event that they shouldn’t know about.

      My head hurts.

      • Their counter-arguments don’t even rise to the level of, “Who are you going to believe: Me or your lying eyes?”

  • Dr Ronnie James, DO

    It should be noted that Freddie routinely posts on the message boards at Deadspin and Gawker, which make this place look like the teddy bears picnic.

    Relevant:

    http://youtu.be/BFCb4j0E2p4

    • Gregor Sansa

      It’s lovely out in the woods today, but safer to stay at home.

    • L2P

      He takes the same weird, leftier-than-thou contrarianism at Jezebel. He must just ignore all the comments their, otherwise he’d be a permanent member of the burn ward.

  • Anonymous

    intentionally chum the waters for other people to do your dirty work

    In all fairness, Scott and Erik both don’t actually *do* anything. They are the backbenchers that sit at a keyboard and carp.

    • asmallmoose

      SEK is the real fixer, (other) Scott and Erik just stand around and look pretty

    • Sigmund Freud

      Now that, boys and girls, is some classic projection. A cigar will never be just a cigar for Jennifer.

      • Jenny is less a backbencher than he is a no-bencher.

        Though he is indeed a carp.

        • DrDick

          I would say he is more of a donkey’s backside.

          • witless chum

            I don’t think he does anything so useful as that!

        • Origami Isopod

          Though he is indeed a carp.

          You transposed the “a” and the “r” there.

    • Woodrowfan

      so, they’re kind of like the Air Force?? (I kid, I kid)

    • Pseudonym

      I think the little rolley thing that moves the arrow around is actually named after a rodent rather than a fish.

    • eventheHUACliberal sharculese

      Aww, Jenny’s mad that someone else is a better troll than him.

      • Look, DeBoer’s views that Donald Sterling is the victim appeals to our racist trolls.

      • witless chum

        If he’d work hard and pull himself up by his bootstraps, he could be as successful as [BONERS].

        • Lee Rudolph

          On the other hand, if he tried to pull himself up by his [BONERS]…

  • Brien Jackson

    Remember kiddies: If you think (alleged) rape victims have a due process right to have the police seriously investigate their allegations (to say nothing of not actively stonewalling to protect the alleged rapist) you’re a redbaiting proto-feminist who makes Freddie’s boners sad.

    • Aaron Morrow

      I agree with Brien Jackson.

      Due process being only for the rich and famous is a terrible, redbaiting, anti-leftist thing to say.

    • Scott Lemieux

      It seems worth noting that Comrade [BONERS] has yet to mount any defense of that assertion. Admittedly, I’d rater engage in civility trolling that defend it myself.

  • N__B

    Four [BONERS] good, two [BONERS] bad.

  • Halloween Jack

    I wonder if FdB posted his little hissy-fit here because deep in his heart he knows that it’s really something of a safe place, compared to just about anywhere else on the internet.

    • Gwen

      It’s objectively true that LGM is not as bad as 4chan.

    • eventheHUACliberal sharculese

      I said something similer deep down in the weeds of the first thread. The main thing Freddie learned from his Tiger Beatdown wasn’t that he needed to behave himself better but that he needed to pick targets who were less likely to give him the hell he deserved.

      • Another Holocene Human

        Seconded.

      • Anonymous, a different one

        Leaving aside the threatening emails presumably.

  • BigHank53

    Did you ever wonder what David Horowitz was like when he was a bitter young leftist? Wonder no more…and start counting the months until Freddie takes the Kochs’ shilling.

    • N__B

      Did you ever wonder what David Horowitz was like when he was a bitter young leftist?

      No. Any other questions?

      • Anna in PDX

        He was like a lot of the dudes i met in college, I bet.

  • UserGoogol

    There’s certain things about this site’s comment section which seem “objectively horrible.” I feel like too often this site allows reasonable discussion to be displaced by making cheap shots at dumb people.

    But for all the complaints I could pose about this site’s comments section, I really don’t think this is in any way targetted at the left. Conservatives get massive amounts of mockery, and if anything many of the more aggressive people on this website are relatively leftier-than-thou themselves. Whatever problems this site may have, saying that we’re just a bunch of redbaiters is extremely myopic.

    • May 6, 2014 at 9:00 am
      There’s certain things about this site’s comment section which seem “objectively horrible.” I feel like too often this site allows reasonable discussion to be displaced by making cheap shots at dumb people.

      I’m not sure what you mean. Just consider the last thread which have a totally reasonable discussion of Mill and Eich and also plenty of cheap shots. Did one displace the other? I don’t see how.

      • Origami Isopod

        Neither do I. People interested in substantive discussion could read the threads with substantive discussion in them. People interested in cheap shots could read those instead. People interested in both (what a concept!) could read both.

        • Lee Rudolph

          And—more shocking yet!—in threads with comments of both sorts, people could read the comments they find congenial and not read the others!!!

          • Cheap Shot Artiste

            I have feelings, too, you know.

        • As I said above, bad comments tend to drive out good ones.

          It’s basically very hard for me to have a substantive discussion in comments threads here sometimes because there are some regular commenters who simply pepper my comments with ad hominem responses.

          Unlike FDB, I don’t view this as a particularly big deal. If certain people like acting like assholes rather than answering arguments on the merits, I tend to think they only make themselves look bad. And there are plenty of people here who are quite nice to me, including the site’s proprietors. But I don’t think it is as easy as you portray to just skip through all the bad comments.

          • Aimai

            But arguments “on the merits” don’t exist in a vacuum. People who are regular posters, who have regular and well known points of view, are going to be engaged with differently than someone who is driving by and differently than someone who thinks that the comment thread is the place to make a long winded argument about principle or theory which has already been rebutted.

            I mean–people here don’t have amnesia between threads–and they are going to respond to people in the comment thread the same way they would to someone who walks up to the water cooler and starts the same argument today that they lost yesterday.

            One of the things that bugs me about FDB and Nieporent isn’t their actual arguments (though I dislike those as well) but the insistence that they can win by arguing first principles divorced from consequences. That’s a very deep seated belief that underlies their almost sociopathic ability to get into the same fights over and over again with lots of people in the comment thread. Its not that lots of people are awful or can only make jokes in reponse to “these arguments which have never before been made with such care and etc….” Its that these arguments are made all the time, fail all the time, or are brought up in bad faith a slice at a time to derail another kind of comment thread.

            In short: if FDB thinks he’s entitled to publish and republish a badly thought out term paper style approach to a political or social question without people teasing it apart, comparing it to previous work, or making fun of him–well, he’s really not ready for prime time as an academic. You have to be responsible to the body of work you are nested in, you have to be responsible to your readers/auditors. You don’t get to post and run.

            • ChrisTS

              he’s really not ready for prime time as an academic

              Bingo. I said the same thing on the other, monster, thread. How the hell does this kid think he will be able to publish without having his stuff torn apart?

            • brad

              This.
              I can’t imagine what it’d be like to be in a class with Freddie.
              Well, actually I can, but I choose not to. I escaped academia, you can’t make me.

              And tone trolling in the context of [BONERS] says more about the endeavor than anything I would need to.

          • eventheHUACliberal sharculese

            I’m just going to say the same thing I say every time you bring this up: not every takes the internet as seriously as you do. Hectoring us for not doing things your way is acting like an asshole.

          • As I said above, bad comments tend to drive out good ones.

            This is just untrue, as I explain above. (At least here. Obviously, there are levels of conversational harassment which make a venue intolerable, but c’mon; this isn’t even close. Esp. that engaging reasonably and substantively *is in fact rewarded* here!)

            It’s basically very hard for me to have a substantive discussion in comments threads here sometimes

            We agree.

            because there are some regular commenters who simply pepper my comments with ad hominem responses.

            We disagree on the explanation.

            Clearly, you’re no deBoer, but you are asking for a kind of treatment that you are persistently unwilling to return and you persistently misperceive the various qualities of your comments.

            For this, you receive easily ignorable mockery.

          • DrS – Processed in a Facility That Also Handles Snark

            As I said above, bad comments tend to drive out good ones.

            Objectively not true. You make bad comments all the time and that doesn’t stop other people from making good comments.

            • Origami Isopod

              Please give your internets 7-10 business days to arrive. Contents may settle in course of shipping.

              • DrSubstantiveComment – Processed in a Facility That Also Handles Snark

                But I paid for Prime!

                • Barry Freed

                  Not to be all maudlin and shit but I love you guys. Fuck DeBoer, LGM commenters are great.

                • Origami Isopod

                  HUGFEST!!

          • sibusisodan

            It’s basically very hard for me to have a substantive discussion in comments threads here sometimes because

            Ahem:

            It’s NOT called the “ACA”. There is no such bill. There is the PPACA, popularly known as Obamacare (and even the President calls it Obamacare). You don’t get to assert by fiat that health care is affordable.

            In other words, Obama gave you shitty health insurance in place of no health insurance. Yes we can, I guess.

            Judging by some of your contributions to substantive discussion only today, the major barrier is not others’ responses to you.

            And no, it’s not easy just to skip through the bad comments. I agree.

            • Lee Rudolph

              And no, it’s not easy just to skip through the bad comments. I agree.

              How “easy” it is must surely differ from person to person (as must, to some extent, the status of a comment as “bad” or not). Some of us for whom it is easy find it hard to understand why it isn’t easy for everyone. But I guess we have to believe it.

              • Yes.

                I find some so-called bad comments very easy to skip or go with or respond to without damaging my ability to respond to good comments. Some snark I find easy to just be relaxed about. But obviously, people differ. So, I moderate some of my prior claims a bit.

                However, it’s one think to say, “I, personally, don’t function at my best in this environment and would appreciate it if people moderated their behavior to help me behave better” and “I’m great, but you guys suck hard because you have no substance and are poopyheads”.

                If the former doesn’t elicit some friendliness (given evidence that you are sincere and reciprocating) then there is a problem with the commentariat. If the latter doesn’t, well, that’s to be expected and appropriate.

                Note that most of the time when commenters call other commenters out in a polite way about, e.g., cissexism, or fat shaming, or…it’s met with well. Not always successfully and not always well, but often. I find that if I’m polite, I’m often met with politeness (from non-trolls and from most people). I also find that people speak up for me even though it is evident that I am no shy pansy.

                • Brandon

                  Eh, there is some amount of having to scroll past the tedious 100+ responses to another crappy JenBob troll comment that’s annoying.

                • Scott Lemieux

                  Eh, there is some amount of having to scroll past the tedious 100+ responses to another crappy JenBob troll comment that’s annoying.

                  Yes, comments threads aren’t derailed by snark, but they can be derailed by interminable threads responding to witless trolls.

                • Brandon, sure, though that only really gets me on my mobile devices. On the laptop, I find it pretty easy.

                  But does that hugely get in the way of substantive discussion? Yes, it makes the reloading and finding the comment harder, but on a normal desktop class computer it doesn’t seem that hard.

                  If you were using a screen reader, however, it would probably be worse than my experience of the iOS devices.

                  Look, I would, any day of the week, prefer that jenny were never replied too. I’m sure similarly there are plenty of people who would prefer that I didn’t post long, quote filled comments in long reply chains!

                  Raising this to more than a taste issue is not helpful. Doing it in service of one’s own awesomeness and persecution even less so.

          • ChrisTS

            Dilan: I think it takes a very substantial amount of ‘bad comments’ to drive out good ones. I don’t see that, here.

            Also, some people want to have fun sometimes. Rather than think of every blog as a debating society, think of some of them as … I dunno … someone’s back yard. There will be some serious conversation and some silliness. It’s not the end of the world.

            • DrSubstantiveComment – Processed in a Facility That Also Handles Snark

              There will be some serious conversation and some silliness.

              I don’t know about all y’all, but the only way I can engage in some ‘serious conversation’ is with some silliness.

              • DrDick

                It does help retain one’s sanity.

              • ChrisTS

                Indeed, we might have both in one conversation.

          • Dread Hierarch Scrotum-Piranha

            “But I don’t think it is as easy as you portray to just skip through all the bad comments.”

            There’s this revolutionary new approach called scrolling down. Alternatively, you can follow the wise words of OUR LORD AND SAVIOR (TM!) and pluck out any and all eyes of yours which offend you.

      • Joseph Slater

        I hope this doesn’t put me on the wrong side of the class divide, but I prefer expensive shots to cheap ones.

        • You can bridge the divide by drinking your expensive shots from a Dixie Cup.

          • ChrisTS

            Oh, hell, just hit the bottle. Sure, you get a few dribbles..

            • DrSubstantiveComment – Processed in a Facility That Also Handles Snark

              So we see where *you* fall on the glass divide

              • ChrisTS

                Look, if you use plastic, you’re a eco-disaster; if you use glass,you’re an eco-blunder (assuming you wash it on occasion).

                Why bother with the middle-containers?

    • It’s the iNternet, over a decade into the third millenium!

      Such dichotomies as the trivial & the awesome, the relevant & the irrelevant, the interesting & the boring, the topical & the the polar7 the continuous, the … & the … have been absolutely collapsed.

      (Paraphrased from R. Meltzer.)

  • Tom Servo

    Sigh. I was going to try to defend him but I just cannot fathom how. Anyway the last thread was thoroughly entertaining. Now I understand why. You guys harangue him instead of just ignoring him.

    • ChrisTS

      It would be nigh impossible to defend him, but I wonder why you even felt tempted to try.

  • asmallmoose

    Wow, really disappointed in everyone here. What a bunch of red-baiting Stalinists you all are, for shame. Freddie just wants you all to know you’re constantly wrong and objectively bringing shame to your families and this is how you respond? Snark and well-reasoned responses? No wonder LGM is known for it’s HUAC like level of discourse.

  • I’m legit surprised Freddie isn’t here already to word-salad us. I had my heart set on getting my own personal denunciation. :(

    • Origami Isopod

      It’s early yet.

  • Shakezula

    Objectively Despicable People needs to go in the banner rotation. And on a tshirt.

    Maybe ODP can be the opening act for the Minotaurs of Oppression.

    • Gwen

      I would buy an LGM “Objectively Despicable Person” shirt.

    • rea

      We already have our own movie . . .

      • Gwen

        whaaaaaa??

      • Trollhattan

        “I said dart gun.”

    • H. Rumbold, Master Barber

      And thus is born an internet tradition for all to be aware of- though I can only hear it with the voice of Sylvester the cat. Perhaps Aqua Buddha and ZEGS can campaign on a platform of Despicable Objectivism.

      • Trollhattan

        “objectively despicable people” sounds positively MrArdlesque. Am wondering if this deBoer person isn’t some on-line alter ego, given that clueless ego seems a key part of their respective schticks. Or, is he really Freddy Dunning-Kruger?

        Suggest “objectively despicable” always be followed with “MUST CREDIT MCMEGAN” unless somebody can prove they’re not the same person.

        • Origami Isopod

          Freddy Dunning-Kruger

          This is a thing of beauty.

  • I personally take responsibility for being objectively terrible and making a crude, red-baiting post accusing Freddie of considering his wang to be the Crusading Sword of the Proletariat.

    To make amends, I want to mention that Freddie is a ridiculous self-obsessed clown, a mendacious twerp, a preening bore, and the intellectual equivalent of the mouse who thought he was a lion, or maybe Galactus. Every comment he makes should be soundtracked by squeeze horns and slide whistles.

    Since the Sady Doyle fiasco, he’s managed to learn that any comment thread where he lingers for too long is the rhetorical equivalent of the Sideshow Bob rake scene. That’s why his only comments in the other thread were context-free drive-bys.

    • Origami Isopod

      accusing Freddie of considering his wang to be the Crusading Sword of the Proletariat.

      Freddie should be encouraged to fight it out with Teddy Beale. The Crusading Sword of the Proletariat vs. the Flaming Sword of the Creepy Stormfrontesque S/F Writer.

    • ChrisTS

      It’s true, isn’t it: we can forgive a bore, but not a preening bore.

  • Blue Neposnet

    I agree with Freddie. This post is a good example of the bullying he is talking about.

    Where is your empathy? How would you feel if someone just threatened you the way Freddie was threatened? They way you chose to respond is disgusting. Grow up!

    • Malaclypse

      How would you feel if someone just threatened you the way Freddie was threatened? They way you chose to respond is disgusting.

      Scott’s actual reponse:

      if anyone who comments here attempted to intimidate deBoer by emailing him a picture of his office, you are in fact a terrible person and I would appreciate if you never visit this site again.

      • Blue Neponset

        It is difficult for me to reconcile that statement with the rest of the post which ridicules the guy.

        I don’t know about you but ridicule isn’t something most decent people heap on those who have just been threatened.

        • Freddie’s interactions with Scott recently have been an unending stream of invective, both before and after the claim of being threatened. That claim does not obligate Scott to unilaterally disarm, especially since Freddie implied that Scott is responsible for the threat due to stirring up this frothy pit of wrongthinkers.

          (wrongthink, n. Any reaction to Freddie’s brilliant insights other than “ooh, Freddie, the only thing more majestic than your Sceptre of Liberation is your big, big brain”)

        • Hunky Jimpjorps

          What should the proper response be, then?

        • Guy doesn’t something worthy of ridicule.

          Guy allegedly gets mean spirited, possibly but most likely not threatening response from someone associating themselves with this site.

          So, you’re arguing that immunizes him from what in the absence would be justified ridicule? How does that follow?

          • “Guy DOES something worthy of ridicule…”

          • Blue Neponset

            The guy is a human being. Maybe we should treat him the way we would want someone to treat us in a similar situation.

            How do you know so much about the motivations of the person who threatened him?

            • Malaclypse

              Exactly. Just because [BONERS] called us all objectively despicable people, and consistently makes bad arguments privileging the viewpoint of, well, really only himself, and has spent years earning the reputation he finds himself currently stuck with, and has never shown the slightest bit of insight or humility, does that give us the right to criticize him in ways that might be less than completely civil?

              • Blue Neponset

                By all means, pay him back in spades when he is vulnerable. That will teach him to disagree with you in a way you don’t like.

                • Malaclypse

                  If he didn’t learn anything from this – and he clearly did not – he won’t learn anything from this week’s little dustup either. And that statement will be true no matter how people here respond or don’t respond, because that is the way weapons-grade narcissism works.

                  But your concern is duly noted.

                • Karate Bearfighter

                  Your empathy does you credit, but have you stopped to consider the logical outcome of what you’re endorsing? Should someone like FdB — who traffics in hostility, trolling, and cheapshots — be able to shut down all criticism of himself by stating that he was harassed? Does that apply to more popular bloggers? Pundits? The news media? Political figures? I’d be shocked if Rush Limbaugh doesn’t get death threats on a weekly basis; does that mean any discussion of him being a racist, classist, sexist POS has to stop as soon as someone mentions one of those threats?

                • “Sure, the guy killed thirteen kids, but you shouldn’t criticize him now that someone cut him off in traffic and then gave him the finger.”

            • rea

              How do you know so much about the motivations of the person who threatened him?

              Well, according to him, that’s us.

        • ChrisTS

          I’m not sure if you are jesting. If not, let’s consider the ‘threat.’

          Quite creepy to have someone send you a photo of your building, even if it is widely available. On the other hand, how much of a ‘threat’ is this?

          • MattT

            Sending someone a photo of their office is pretty deliberately meant to be intimidating. You don’t have to minimize that to point that having that happen doesn’t mean you should have a free pass to post belligerent, long-winded nonsense without being criticized.

            • ChrisTS

              Yeah, I guess I’m not feeling it it. However, if he did really feel threatened, I would say “Sympathy for that but nothing else.”

              • I thought up, above, a scenario wherein the rest of the comment is, if not reasonable, more understandable. If one were seriously shaken by a threat, then lashing out at a group you associate with the thread is not atypical.

                I’m not sure how to balance my, “Take reports of threats credibly” with the “Separate out the threat report from the surrounding nonsense”. If I doubt that scenario, I’m unclear what better grounds I’m on than people who doubt the threat.

                OTOH, I think it’s ok and consistent to take things at face value, for the most part. If Freddie came here and said, “Yes, that’s what happened. I was freaking out and I struck unjustly at you guys. Sorry about that.” I would be all sympathy. But I don’t think I have to prospectively assume that that was the case.

          • Jon H

            It implies that the sender is watching/stalking the recipient.

        • DrDick

          Freddie claims he was threatened and we have no evidence either way. The nature of the “threat” was pretty mild (based entirely on publicly available information anyone could get). That said, we are not ridiculing him for being threatened, which no one here approves of, but for being a sanctimonious asshat with a remarkably thin skin.

          • Karate Bearfighter

            A little pushback: I’ve worked as an attorney and guardian ad litem on quite a few cases that involved domestic abuse and stalking. Sending someone a message that says, “I know where to find you”, is incredibly threatening. The fact that there is no explicit threat doesn’t make it less so, when there is no other legitimate reason for sending such a message. This kind of “threat-free threat” is bog standard for stalkers, because it gives them plausible deniability when they’re called on it.

            • ChrisTS

              Yes, but context is pretty much everything. If Freddy has been getting threats or has a stalker (etc.), we should be extra-sympathetic to his response.

              • Karate Bearfighter

                I’m definitely not arguing Freddy should be treated any differently than he has been in these threads; he’s a horse’s ass, and pretty much all of the comments here have been appropriate and on point.

                But I don’t agree that the message he claims to have received would not be a threat. Sending someone a picture of their workplace, (without having an appropriate reason,) is definitely a threat, even if the information is publicly available. To flip it around, if the anonymous e-mailer didn’t intend for Freddy to infer a threat, why send the picture?

                • ChrisTS

                  Ah. Gotcha.

                  I honestly don’t know why people do those things. Sometimes to intimidate, I have n doubt. But I also think some people do that stuff thinking they are being … what, funny?

                  Some sick puppy used to put very porno photos in my mail box when I was in grad school. It seriously unnerved me, but after a while I concluded that that was not his aim, not in the fully conscious sense, at least.

                • Lee Rudolph

                  I preemptively put a photo of (the third-floor window of) my own office on my old departmental webpage. Putting a photo of the inside of my office would have been a threat against anyone who happened to view it, and possibly an OSHA violation in its own right.

        • toberdog

          You seem to be mixing two concepts. “Ridicule”, whether justified or not, does not remotely compare with “threat.” SL very clearly said FDB shouldn’t be threatened in any way, and no one has seriously disagreed (the disagreement has been over whether FDB was threatened).

          The ridicule, FDB brought on himself, primarily with the “especially despicable” (I want to say, “ethpethally dethpicable”) comment.

        • Scott Lemieux

          It is difficult for me to reconcile that statement with the rest of the post which ridicules the guy his arguments.

          FIFY.

        • djw

          It is difficult for me to reconcile that statement with the rest of the post which ridicules the guy.

          What’s to reconcile? Some people are, to coin a phrase, objectively ridiculous. They deserve to be as free from intimidation and threat as the rest of us.

          • ChrisTS

            Nicely said.

    • I agree with Freddie Pancakes. This post is a good example of the waffling he is talking about.

      Where is your French toast? How would you feel if someone just pancaked you the way Freddie Pancakes was pancaked? They way you chose to respond is pancakey. Waffle up!

    • Frank Despicable

      Just because I sent him this picture of his office doesn’t mean he should have felt threatened. It was more like a tribute.

    • This is nonsense.

      Scott’s post is rather similar to my response.

      Freddie chose to jumble up a report of something extremely worthy of condemnation and support for him with a hallucinatory set of personal attacks on everyone in the conversation with him.

      Now, some people did not respond in the best way (people, let’s not diminish the claim or the event; it’s unnecessary, counterproductive esp. to bystanders, and wrong), but most of us did. This bad event does not shield him from criticism for the hallucinatory set of personal attacks. So several of us did both: Support him for that which deserved support and critiqued him for that which deserved critique.

      What else would you have us do?

      • ChrisTS

        Everything you have said is good, but I’m not sure that BN was upset about the ‘threat’ as much as our carrying on being mocking post-threat.

        • Sure.

          But…people under threat have some obligations as well. (I’ve been under threat, fwiw. I spent a weekend wondering if a student was going to attack me based on a really incoherent email and some knowledge of their stability and my beloved had a stalker who spread rumours that I was abusing her with some suggestion that there might be a confrontation; oh, and my father showed up at my house (8hrs from where he lived) at 7 in the morning and was outside my bedroom window.)

          A simple example is not to make false accusations. But other bad behaviors, while understandable, are not excuses or immune from push back. When I was freaked out and missed meetings, I apologized and explained. Forgiveness was (correctly) immediate.

          Obviously, each case is its own thing, but I don’t think we’re all outside the boundaries (with the exception of people saying it was made up or mocking the threat; at least for me).

          And, I guess, it partly does depend on the person’s history and subsequent action. I think it’s admirable not to respond to the rest of Freddie’s comment, but I don’t think it’s shameful to have done so (appropriately).

          • ChrisTS

            Ugh, scary students. A thing unto themselves.

            I agree with everything you said.

    • witless chum

      [BONERS] being threatened didn’t stop [BONERS] from behaving just as trollish and unthinking as he always does, so I don’t really see the need to stop making fun of him.

      I just read that Tiger Beatdown thread again. He deserves all the mockery in the world and then some.

    • Scott Lemieux

      This post is a good example of the bullying

      What?

      Where is your empathy? How would you feel if someone just threatened you the way Freddie was threatened?

      You may wish to look at Freddie’s response again.

      • Robbert

        Of all the Internet traditions I’m aware of, describing less than complimentary comments made by people you disagree with as ‘bullying’ annoys me the most.

        • Lee Rudolph

          Intranet tradition, even. During the sad disintegration of a once-promising intrauniversity Faculty Discussion List, at one point I—in support of my claim that the asynchronicity of such “discussions” was a feature, not a bug, and that in any case surely it was better to have some “discussions”, even asynchronously, than to pretend that badly attended once-monthly university-wide Faculty Meetings were “discussions” in any meaningful sense whatever—I observed that one thing all faculty presumably have in common was training and aptitude for writing. Whereupon a young colleague (tenured, much admired including by me, widely published, and well supported by prestigious outside grants) from another department accused me of bullying.

  • Owlbear1

    Sorta the Mos Eisley of the internet?

    Cool

  • Lit3Bolt

    I think I see what Freddie is doing. As a SWCM, he’ll establish the “true leftist” position that agrees with Andrew Sullivan on race and David Brooks on centrism. By being an object of ridicule by “fake liberals,” he’ll slap that on his resume with pride, like an infant proud of a bowel movement. Thus his true blogging cred is established and he can fail upward and be continously wrong about everything because there’s nothing that can’t be solved by some facile thought from a white male perspective.

  • joe from Lowell

    I’m such an objectively despicable person that I spent three years on the board of the local Habitat affiliate.

    People who make no contribution to the well-being of humanity except through politics end up having a skewed perspective in which the measure of someone’s worth as as human being is measured by conformity to their politics.

    And that’s a sad place to be.

    • DrS – Processed in a Facility That Also Handles Snark

      I like this a lot.

    • Bruce Baugh

      I also like this a lot. Very, very important to reaffirm in one’s own lived reality that politics isn’t the only way we do good. It’s a lot easier to believe in the reality and relevance of partial solutions when you get to help make them happen and see the results (at the same time that it can sharpen your awareness of how pressing the general solutions are).

  • Chad

    I’m not a frequent commentator here, although I do drop in from time to time (and read nearly all of your posts). And I haven’t read all of the comments above, so my point very well may already have been made. With that said:

    FUCK FREDDIE DeBOER.

    Seriously. He’s not worth the time.

    • Origami Isopod

      Yes, he is. He brings the lulz.

  • DAS

    Redbaiting? Who’s redbaiting? What decade is this? What century is this?

    Today “redbaiting” would be leaving out pieces of candy, olives, fancy chocolates, high end booze and other things that would serve as bait for me (I am a redhead) and then capturing me with a net when I stop to eat/drink the bait.

  • wjts

    Does it ever occur to you guys that your commenters are objectively despicable people?

    I agree that wjts is an objectively despicable person, but I’m a self-loathing depressive.

  • Dread Hierarch Scrotum-Piranha

    Freddie daBore has an office? Man, they coddle grad students these days! I remember when we had to huddle together under trees and draw lots for who would be the night’s pot-roast.

    I don’t (like) suppose that there’s any chance of (gee) Freddie learning to write in a terse, intelligent, mature way? After all, there’s nothing more pathetic than an ageing wannabe hipster.

    Objectionably despicably yours (in a figurative, but amazingly hot and sexy and all kind of way),

    D H S-P

    • joe from Lowell

      The Birmingham Scrotum-Piranhas or the Westchester Scrotum-Piranhas?

      • Barry Freed

        Are you guys second cousins or something?

        • Dread Hierarch Scrotum-Piranha

          Second cousins twice removed from reality. By the FSM, how the bar staff had to fight to throw us out!

  • Simon

    DeBoer is an insufferable, whiney, narcissist. Was that “vile” enough?

    • ChrisTS

      Apparently, he would think it was the bottom of the barrel of vileness. I suspect he does not get out much.

  • herr doktor bimler

    a[n] arena in which people drive themselves to the most vile extremes and utterly personal insults imaginable

    What saddens me most here is the poverty of Freddie’s imagination.

    • Dread Hierarch Scrotum-Piranha

      You’d think he could have at least mentioned the bestial orgies into which the squamous devotees throw themselves under a gibbous moon.

      • herr doktor bimler (partly rugose)

        What happens at bestial orgies (to the thin, monotonous piping of an unseen flute) stays at bestial orgies (to the thin, monotonous piping of an unseen flute).

        • Dread Hierarch Scrotum-Piranha

          Not if Freddie is playing his unseen flute with a thin monotonous piping (which sometimes objectively seems to be the case on a daily (or do I mean nightly?) basis.

    • ChrisTS

      Yeah. He needs to (a) get out more and (b) read some history books.

  • Did I miss anything?

    • No!

      • Malaclypse

        Saying “no” means that, much like the HUAC-liberals, you are writing Freddie and his BONERS out of history. You fail to realize that this blog, like the internet itself, should be devoted to Freddie’s perspective as the One True Liberal. You, sir, are objectively despicable. At long last, sir, have you no shame?

        • fidelio

          But surely that “writing out of history” bit was also one of Stalin’s practices; does that mean it cancels the HUAC-liberals out?

          Or was Stalin the real rightist? Or has FdB just written Stalin out of history?

          I am confused.

          • Malaclypse

            Or was Stalin the real rightist?

            By abandoning the goal of internationalist socialist revolution in favor of the reactionary policy of socialism in one country, and by instructing the German Socialists to not make a common front against Hitler, Stalin was, in fact, objectively pro-rightist.

        • At long last, sir, have you no shame?

          About this?

          No.

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  • Medicine Man

    Hey look, here’s Freddie spewing the same complaint on Balloon Juice: http://www.balloon-juice.com/2014/05/07/this-needs-to-be-said/#comment-4976839

    It looks like everyone who mocks him is just e-thuggin.

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