Friday, August 18, 2017

Don't think we're not keeping score, brother

"Don't think we're not keeping score, brother." So the man said.

Mitch Berg noticed:
The other day, a “progressive” – a onetime prog-blogger, who seems to have gone to intellectual seed just a bit – snarked at me on social media; “I haven’t seen your resounding denunciation of the Nazis”.    (A lesser light who started his political life well in the “To Seed” camp asked me a parallel question – “Did you ever vote for David Duke?”).

You’d think you progs would be more aware of the history of rhetoric like “did you denounce them with satisfactory fervor? Hm? No? What does THAT tell us?” Orwell wrote a book about it. Stalin held show trials over it. Millions disappeared from this earth over it. (Did you ever denounce that? Send the cite, please).
I generally avoid the political threads on Facebook and other social media, especially since FB has a tendency to place any comment you make on someone else's timeline. But increasingly I'm getting the same sense Mitch expresses in his post -- it's not enough to oppose Nazis, or to find some of Le Grand Orange's ruminations irritating. You'd better be denouncing it entirely, or are you a Nazi sympathizer?

The only way I know to express myself on FB without having the Furies unleashed on me is to post songs in a gnomic fashion. For example, this one:

Don't ask me what I think of you/I might not give the answer that you want me to. Fortunately, you can momentarily distract a would-be commissar with some tasty Peter Green guitar work. Oh well.

I'm not sure we have the luxury of silence, of a social media Miranda right, at least at the moment. Free speech does not mean you are compelled to speak just because a pixel-driven commissar demands you do, but the trend lines are disturbing. Lately I've been reminded free speech has consequences. XKCD explains it well enough.

Image result for xkcd free speech

That's true enough. But it doesn't work the other way all that often, and increasingly, silence has consequences. As our pal Crankbait has noted elsewhere, the formulation is "I found your silence disturbing." Don't think they're not keeping score, brother.

The socially maladjusted dorks with the tiki torches and the J.C. Penney polo shirts who were in Charlottesville last weekend are not people I'd want to see running the country, because I think they are sincere in their hateful beliefs and, if they ever were in power, would run roughshod over people. It's difficult to imagine they'd be much worse than the thought police currently running amok.


Gino said...

facebook/google et al is recording our every keystroke for marketing purposes. This we know.
but now, i think shit will start getting real... real soon... the 'Zuckerburgs' now have all the money they want... the only thing left to acquire is power.
This will not go well for many of us...

(Watch the Hunger Games series, it may be more telling of the future than it was intended to be.)

you cant fight them, unless you are really willing to actually fight them. the democratic process no longer means anything. Just ask the media.
nevermind... dont ask them anything... just watch what they do.

Gino said...

and yes, i do know what i just key stroked.
i'm badass like that.

Bike Bubba said...

It almost seems as if violent activists come to town from either fascist or Communist perspectives, people of good faith need to have a peaceful counter-demonstration. If it can still be done. The parallels between Charlottesville and Weimar are getting too uncanny, right down to the police standing down to let the combatants fight it out.

R.A. Crankbait said...

Elsewhere I described our current times as old-time pro wrestling (rasslin') brought to life. You had your designated heels, often a Nazi (go figure) or a sheik. Wild rhetoric to make you care, or at least be entertained. The supposedly neutral announcer/interviewer (media) feeding lines and acting appalled on behalf of the public. Bad guys could become good guys, and vice-versa, to serve the story-line and whip the audience even higher. And everyone hated Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, and today Trump is being fitted for the orange weasel-suit.

And everyone pretending it was all real.

Mr. D said...

Elsewhere I described our current times as old-time pro wrestling (rasslin') brought to life. You had your designated heels, often a Nazi (go figure) or a sheik.

I remember it well. My favorite example from the local Verne Gagne morality play factory was the moment when a heel named Jerry Blackwell, who was dressed up like an emissary from Deliverance, joined forces with the Iron Sheik and dubbed himself Ayatollah Blackwell. It was perfect.