Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Hurl

A test. I call it "Are You a White Male Progressive?"

In the wake of a prominent liberal blogger's death, a liberal media personality reposts an excerpt from a particularly loathesome "obituary" authored by a wingnut shitstain, without commentary save for a caustic title implying distaste for said excerpt, and by extension, said wingnut shitstain. In response, you, as an esteemed progressive blogger:

(a) Join the ensuing thread to agree that said wingnut shitstain behaved in a subhuman manner.

(b) Join the ensuing thread to argue against giving this shitstain a moment's more attention, which would of course be more attention than he deserves.

(c) Ignore wingnut shitstain. Instead, post on your blog a call to have this media personality held accountable for reposting the words of this wingnut shitstain. Encourage your readers to notify her employer and her local representatives of her reprehensible behavior.

Read, read, read, throw up.

Back on hiatus for me. I hate whitemaleprogressives so much right now, you don't even know. Can you fuckers do ANYTHING right? Fight the real enemy, my sweet fat ass.

Well, no loss. I always did prefer reading Nez at his own joint.

UPDATE: "Brittany screwed up posting that vile crap without comment, but apparently, she did so for it’s ironic value. I, of all people, understand how hard it is to pull that off successfully. She blew it. She should acknowledge that and apologize to everyone who cared about Steve."

Okay, I get it: You wanted things pureed, contextualized, and spoon-fed to you. Under no circumstances were you willing to accept the words of others who kindly stepped in to do this for you (breaking! Smantix is an asshole!); no, only Brittney's special touch would do.

That's nice. Hey, is this you maybe?

It reminds me of sitting in a movie theater in Berkeley with Becky and Ron and Joe watching O Brother Where Art Thou, and having a handful of the audience members applaud when the Cyclops Klan character played by John Goodman got spanked by the burning cross. Because, you know, it’s possible that the rest of the audience in Berkeley might actually have felt support for the Klansmen in the movie, and only by the brave action of booing Klansmen in a dark movie house in Berkeley, California could those folks make sure that their stalwart opposition to cartoon evil was made known in every possible venue. One wonders if those folks hiss “sexist!” at Snidely Whiplash when watching the Cartoon Network.

Some of us took the time to figure out what the fuck was going on. Some of us contextualized the situation our very own grownup selves (but then, some of us grew up in the days before 24-hour news channels and the internet, so perhaps some of us shouldn't take any credit for this ability, seeing as how it developed from necessity rather than choice.).

But you couldn't, or wouldn't, do this. And now you think--still!--that you're the one owed the apology? For what? For your dogged insistence on continuing to behave like a whiny-ass titty baby? For your stubborn refusal to just stop digging?

Tell me something: If you have a job, then as of today . . . do you still have a job? Because Brittney Gilbert doesn't.

So take your desperate, aching need for pre-provided context and fucking cram it. And please, quit being so thin-skinned. There's no need for all this drama.

Asshole.

35 comments:

Meredith said...

Yeah, and now she's resigned. She says it was in the works for a while, but you know this was the last straw. What an asshole. I stopped reading JG a while ago when he stopped being funny. The schtick gets so ooooold.

ilyka said...

Yeah, and now she's resigned.

DAMN IT.

But, you know, she should still apologize. Her, not JG.

[head exploding]

Magniloquence said...

Ayep. Her resignation post is well-crafted, and takes a lot of the same tone Nubian's did; she's not leaving because of this thing in particular, but because the culture of bloglandia isn't a good place for her, her life, and what she wants to do right now.

*sighs*

I really respect that choice, because I think more people (particularly bright, opinionated women) need to feel okay making the choice to prioritize their physical/mental/emotional health over abstract loyalty to the 'cause' or feelings that one ought bang one's head against the wall out of virtue, or whatever else. I think that's ... important. But it makes me sad, because how many times are we going to do this? Doesn't it say something about the progressosphere that we can't keep those that love us best?

And, of course, there are all manner of JG followers in the thread talking about how it's either good riddance or (more annoyingly to my eyes) that she made a mistake and should apologize for it, and is totally overreacting and being a drama queen about something that really isn't that important (and thus is making feminism/progressivism/blogging/Tennessee look bad).

So... she should apologize for being "wrong" and open herself to flaying from all sides, but she shouldn't quit her job (even though people are writing to the company and asking that she be fired) because that's wussy and she definitely shouldn't write a post informing her readership of the fact that she's leaving, because that's just whining and calling attention to herself and playing on their sympathies, and clear evidence of a lack of a sense of humor, a spine, a brain, and any other redeeming qualities.

And oh, it's not misogynist or anything, it's just the completely unmarked and innocent wrath of duly outraged people who are totally on our side and working for the same goals as us, and who would never say or do anything even remotely mean, nosireebob. And calling people misogynist is exactly the same as "crying wolf"... which is like calling someone a racist, and therefore the worst thing a person could do. And saying it is evidence that you're dumb and not a feminist.

Ow. I think I just gave myself a headache typing that.

Anonymous said...

You know, I'm now really happy that I don't read JG, and that I didn't link to him when I had a blogroll.

Sheelzebub

The Unapologetic Mexican said...

man. i picked a bad time to stop reading blogs.

ilyka said...

No, no, the right time. A good time. If I can be so bold as to say it, all's I want is for you and your family to get far, far away from skinhead relatives and the Pacific Northwest in general, and to settle in some place where you're all happy and busy in a good way, not a struggling to keep from going under way, you know? And I don't know where that place is for y'all but my prayers are that you get there in safety and with minimum hassle.

Chris said...

With all due respect to Nez, whom I adore, I never liked JG. I like humor. I like sophisticated and airy humor, and I like really fucking stupid humor. But I like to read more than one joke. I read I think three or four JG posts and got the joke, and there really was no reason to go back after that.

I suppose for the folks who find infinite variety in the Yakety Sax videos at the end of Benny Hill, that kind of thing can work. You know, the kind of place where someone who says:

"It is a low bar really, a low bar to require that if one is going to be biting, satirical, or sarcastic that one actually be able to pull it off."

which to someone who writes humor on a not-infrequent basis, some of it funny on occasion, reads as "if I don't get the joke you failed."

You know what? FUCK that Lowest Common Denominator shit. And JG's whole schtick is LCD: it's a whole blog on the level of Atrios commenters' "Frist!" thing.

I think part of the problem — aside from, you know, endemic sexism and entitlement addiction — is that a whole lot of people who'd be labeled moderate conservatives in any sane society are lumnped into the group "progressives" now. And some of us expect certain knowledge and insight from people calling themselves progressives — perhaps naively — and then they pull this shit.

At least that's what I'm telling myself this afternoon.

Chris said...

I really should either edit my comments all the way or not at all.

Tom said...

That is just horrible.

ilyka said...

And he's decided to keep digging, and go after Aunt B. besides, because Six Meat Buffet is not worth the hassle. The wingnut menz, they cannot help themselves.

But those wimmenz, now! Maybe we can whup them into shape!

And he's offended at being called sexist? Like Aunt B. said, there's an easy solution to that: Quit pulling sexist crap.

And yes, fine, call me an asshole, but I define "punishing women for the words of men," along with "punishing women for your failure to listen to people who have knowledge you don't, when they tell you you've misunderstood," as sexist crap.

But to knock off the sexist crap--this is apparently much more difficult than I could ever have realized.

STILL with "Brittney should have apologized." For what? For you jumping to conclusions like a tantrum-throwing toddler? What the fuck kind of sick mommy complex IS that?

Thin Black Duke said...

You must be fucking kidding me. This woman uses one of the oldest blogging tricks in the book (hello, Atrios) and she's taking this much hell?

And with all respect to Nez, I'm pissed as all hell at JG's "look at all I've suffered for the brown guy" response. Fuck you JG and your white martyrdom. Sorry you lost a few "big blogger" friends.

Oh, NOT!

Magniloquence said...

*winces*

There really is no good in this. JG's comment threads were always hurtful... but his posts generally had at least some worth. I'll grant, that for me, "generally" actually means "the two or three times I dropped by, mostly to look for Nezua"... but still. He, um.. oh! he did that one post humanizing the Rutgers team. That was nice of him.

But ... all of that pales in comparison to the amazing gobs of stupid leaking from my screen right now. I think JG caught a bad case of the Kos cold going around. (That, and I'm pretty sure there's something in the water causing previously reasonable bloggers to suddenly go off the deep end with respect to issues they've historically been .. if not good exactly, then not bad by any stretch.... on. Seriously.)

And I know I promised I'd throw down for her honor... but right now I want to do so from far away, while wielding a really big stick. I don't think much short of a flamethrower is going to be useful, and I'm pretty sure those don't fit well through DSL lines.

ilyka said...

Confidential to the author of the prior and since-deleted comment:

Oh no, Bradley m'boy, no, no, no. I've had to put up with your stupid enough other places today. This ain't gonna be one of 'em. Move along, now. And have a nice day!

ilyka said...

And with all respect to Nez, I'm pissed as all hell at JG's "look at all I've suffered for the brown guy" response. Fuck you JG and your white martyrdom. Sorry you lost a few "big blogger" friends.

I screwed up by dragging Nez into it, but--yeah. I noticed that too.

Whole reason I closed comments here. I didn't want to risk starting a White Lady Pity Party. I wanted to acknowledge that it happens, sure, but then--move on, move out. It happens, but it ain't the end of the world by any stretch, and in a way it's a relief, because then you know where people really stand. And I don't WANT those kinds of friends, anyway.

But JG struck me as kind of basking in it. Maybe I'm being uncharitable (why, that almost never happens!) but that's how I read it.

nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez said...

ilyka, i really do appreciate your sentiment...i feel the same way. man i need to get gone from this area. and soon. gracias.

nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez said...

um...that comment was to the first comment about me moving from the PNW.

just to clarify.

The Unapologetic Mexican said...

all the rest im still soaking up, thinking on.

shit, that's a lie. i'm just too damn tired to give it enough energy right now. honestly. i'm exhausted. but carry on, my lovelies. i will be back. hopefuly with some energy.

ilyka said...

Understood. And thank YOU.

Donna said...

I could see JG's point at first. If you aren't a regular at NIT you might not get that the title to the post is sarcastic and on something as sad and devastating to the progressive blogosphere as Steve Gilliard's death which is going to get alot of attention and blog searches, I really wish Brittany made the snark clearer, "Teach those libs a lesson *eyeroll*" for an example title.

But you notice something else, almost all these blogwars aren't really about the initial complaint, and neither is this one. The TN bloggers and Brittany herself came in and explained who she is and how she does things. That's when JG started digging. Once he knew that, why didn't he shut down the comments and post an update that NIT is an aggregator of TN blogs, and he found out that the regulars KNOW that Brittany was being sarcastic? That is all that needed to be done.

The weird part is that JG's own humor is just as subtle sometimes, when he writes a letter to a wingnut he is sometimes taken seriously and gets positive responses from those wingnuts. It's only because liberals/progressives are regulars to his site that we get his sarcasm, just like the regulars to NIT got Brittany's sarcasm.

This is just like Kos with the pie fight, the ad was just a tiny blip on people's radar, it was attacking and demeaning progressive women that blew up all over the place. That was some nasty crap written by a conservative asswipe for sure, and that writer should have been condemned by all for it, but it is easier to attack and demean progressive women.

ilyka said...

But you notice something else, almost all these blogwars aren't really about the initial complaint, and neither is this one.

[gives Donna a standing ovation]

Yeah. So true. It's this "But I CAN'T be in error; I'm a progressive!" defensive attitude that keeps it going ad nauseum.

Wait, that isn't right! It's all the whining and complaining from stupid girls who don't understand that we're all on the same side that keeps it going. How forgetful I am getting! Must be time for a new reprogramming session.

But back to being serious: I also agree with you that the title could have indicated more snark in the first place. It's the ensuing reaction that makes me loathe to say that, because it feels like conceding a point to some real dickheads right now--but you are right.

And, really, it is perfectly possible for me to think both that the title was unclear, and that nofuckingway does Mr. Patriotboy get a pass for his subsequent behavior. Those two points are not in conflict with each other, and I shouldn't treat them as though they are.

(Damn, Donna. This is you on pain medication? We should all be so insightful.)

Andrew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew said...

Argh! Wilful stupidity raises its familiar head again. If you fail to understand sarcasm when it's in print, the problem could be you. Especially if you're a JG reader and you still fail.

I wish people would stop claiming that mentioning something equals approving it. It reached its low point when I saw a troll thinking feminists like attempted abortions with coathangers, but it doesn't get any less stupid.

Anonymous said...

But you notice something else, almost all these blogwars aren't really about the initial complaint, and neither is this one. The TN bloggers and Brittany herself came in and explained who she is and how she does things. That's when JG started digging. Once he knew that, why didn't he shut down the comments and post an update that NIT is an aggregator of TN blogs, and he found out that the regulars KNOW that Brittany was being sarcastic? That is all that needed to be done.

I keep clicking on that link and looking at the post, and looking at the comments, and I still feel kicked in the teeth when I read Brittney's post.

See, in an hour and a half, I'm going to be boarding a subway up to Harlem to go to the viewing of Steve's body and pay my respects to his family. And tomorrow, I'll go back for his funeral.

And no matter how much Brittney says she meant the title ironically, or how much Aunt B or Lynnster defend her on the grounds that if you just knew what the relationship between Smantix and Brittney was, if you knew that she really didn't agree with him, you'd know right away that she wasn't approving of his language, she was actually posting this sarcastically to show what an asshole he was --

it still fucking feels like a kick in the teeth.

And her explanations still look weak. This isn't just a Nashville issue -- Steve was a New York/national blogger. Brittney wasn't a news aggregator; she made editorial decisions. And after all the complaints, she left the original header on the post rather than tag it clearly as snark.

I'm not looking to be spoon-fed context, and I'm real sorry she got dogpiled. But no matter how many times I read that post, I'm still left wondering why she just threw up Smantix's attack on a man who isn't even in the ground yet (and whose death -- without going into nonpublic details -- had a fuckload more to do with the shitty health-care system in this country than with bacon grease).

Zuzu

nm said...

Zuzu, the reason Brittney just threw smantix's words up there is that she had already, the day before, thrown up there a roundup of clips from other local blogs about Gilliard's death. I'm fairly sure that: 1) she intended to distance herself from smantix's words and to distance smantix's words from all other comments by making separate posts 2) expected regular readers to notice the distinction between the roundup and the smantix-only post 3) expected people who weren't regular readers, but who came across the smantix clip by googling to find both posts, and to make the appropriate distinction.

Obviously, she was wrong. And she's gotten enough negative attention in the past few weeks (last month it was right-wingers demanding that her employer fire her, but I'm sure it feels the same from either side) that she should have been more aware that it's not necessarily just locals who were reading her any more, and that a high proportion of the new readers would be directed to a specific post and not get the context, and to have been more cautious about everything. And even with her complete lack of intention to kick anyone but smantix in the teeth, if you feel kicked then your feelings are real. "Gee, I didn't mean to" isn't what someone wants to hear. But if you really want to know why, and aren't just venting, that (I think) is why.

Grandma Daisy said...

Chris:

I think part of the problem — aside from, you know, endemic sexism and entitlement addiction — is that a whole lot of people who'd be labeled moderate conservatives in any sane society are lumnped into the group "progressives" now.

That may be the most brilliant thing I have read all year.

Nanette said...

Well, me... I agree and disagree with most everyone, I think. Can't get more decisive than that, eh? ;)

I think Brittney was wrong for reposting and linking to the crass post, without comment, in the first place - no matter how well her regular readers might understand what she is doing.

Also, I don't know where her first commenters came from (it wasn't JG because his post was written a day later), but when they brought up objections - in a reasonable manner and in a not so reasonable one - she handled that very, very poorly there (and in typical "bloggish" manner... essentially, "you don't know what you're talking about, go F yourself"), as well as in a followup post.

I didn't read all the comments on either of her posts, though, so I may be missing some point where she acknowledged the pain that seeing that, especially presented without comment, might give to those who were just searching for Gilliard's name, or just surfing through, etc.

I do fault her for those things. "This is for people who are in Nashville and who know me and my writing to read and what the rest of you think doesn't matter" is not a good defense, especially for a blog attached to a news site on the "world wide web".

I also disagree with JG's effort to write to her bosses and such - BUT - I disagree with it a lot less now after reading the initial comments on the initial post. My thinking was that he (or someone) should have just tried talking to her and letting her know what people were feeling at reading that post, but... people did do that, in the comments, so I am not sure that that would have made any difference.

What the rest of this is about I've not quite caught up on yet. I don't read JG as a matter of course (unless Nezua is there), just because his particular brand of humor doesn't appeal to me, and I'll most likely understand the misogynist part once I read all the rest of the posts, but still...

I am very sorry she resigned, especially since it is due to the hate expressed on the internets that she has been dealing with for a couple of years (better to just have taken some time off if she needed to, and if allowed) but I do think she needs to take responsibility (if she has not already... I have to read more!) for her own role in all this, as a professional, and her handling of the situation itself.

belledame222 said...

you know, i didn't know either Brittney or the piece of shit she linked to (good GOD what a foul piece of shit), and so i was a bit confused at first too. cleared up fairly quickly, though, and um yeah, you'd think Jesus' General would recognize irony, of all people? and could have let it the fuck go when it was explained the first six times instead of demanding a pound of flesh from someone who ISN'T the actual shitstain?

yeah, "fight the real enemy" indeed.

"you first."

whatever, derolled. Kitten.

Anonymous said...

Just curious as to how many of you have paypalled Brittany some love to help hey pay her bills this weekend.

Thought so.

ilyka said...

Just curious as to how many of you have paypalled Brittany some love to help hey pay her bills this weekend.

Hmm. I'd delete this, but then you'd only post more to complain about my awful censorship, and then I'd have to delete three tiresome comments for the price of one.

And besides, you seem so sure you know the answer to your question already so, hmm . . . what to do . . . oh, I know! Go fuck yourself with a rusty railroad spike. Tenderly. Slowly.

[dusts off hands and smooths apron]

JackGoff said...

whatever, derolled. Kitten.

A-yep. What an ass.

Lesley Plum said...

Having read a lot of this finally, I totally get why some people require context spelled out for them. Because they appear rather incapable of putting their own actions in the broader context of a racist and sexist society. Sometimes, even if an individual isn't personally motivated by racism or sexism, their actions can serve to prop up those who are, albeit unintentionally. But, you know? To get all Ben Parker about this, with great power comes great responsibility. So, yeah, if you are a member of a group that has more societal power than another, you need to be more responsible about your actions and the impact they have on those with less power. Is that unfair? Sure. But is it more unfair than the fact that some people have more power than others for no other reason than the color of their skin or their genitals? Hardly.

Also, I find it a bit precious for people to act as if being consciously anti-racism or anti-sexism somehow makes it impossible, impossible I say!, for anything you've done to be racist or sexist. Maybe the person exists who is so wonderful that they've somehow managed to escape any degree of ingrained prejudice that can underly some of their actions, but I've never met them. I really don't think it's a lot to ask that if someone from a marginalized group tells you that one of your actions has hurt them, you at least consider it rather than just say "NFW. You're just playing the victim." And if someone finds that a lot to ask, maybe they're not as anti-racist or anti-sexist as they'd like to believe.

That all does apply somewhat to Brittney's post as well, in terms of the context of the grief of Steve Gilliard's friends. I think the timing of re-posting was just poor. I don't know whether she felt she had to, because she basically acted as an aggregator of TN blogs. If so, I don't think it's too much that she should have been more clear. Because it's really unlikely that Steve's friends would have ever seen what Smantix wrote without it being re-posted on a liberal/progressive blog. That, in and of itself, is, IMO, enough to warrant extra sensitivity. Still doesn't excuse the continued response by JG and his commenters once her intent was made clear.

R. Mildred said...

I think the timing of re-posting was just poor.

If she'd changed nothing but added say "No Smantix, tell us what you really think" to the bottom of the post this blow up never would have happened.

Anything that requires that little addition to make it "tasteful" isn't in bad taste in the first place - the hysterical reaction of some of Gilliard's friends who's in explicable retarded reading for comprehension skills is not within Brittany's power to control, nor should she try to.

Deoridhe said...

Because it's really unlikely that Steve's friends would have ever seen what Smantix wrote without it being re-posted on a liberal/progressive blog.

So far as I know, her blog wasn't liberal or progressive, it was just linking to TN bloggers. She may have been liberal or progressive, I've no idea, but it doesn't follow that the specific blog we're referring to is.

Lesley Plum said...

the hysterical reaction of some of Gilliard's friends who's in explicable retarded reading for comprehension skills is not within Brittany's power to control, nor should she try to.

I was going to let this drop, but I changed my mind. In large part because I want to clarify exactly the kind of commentary I was referring to on Feministe when I told Zuzu I was sorry she was subjected to a lack of compassion. This is it. For crying out loud, the actions of JG and his commenters in going after Brittney were wrong. No doubt. And a lot of sexism was on display in that whole debacle.

However, it's absolute BS to say that Steve's friends who didn't get Brittney's sarcasm suffer from "inexplicable retarded reading for comprehension skills." In that particular comment, there is no room for the impact of grief. Lucky you if you've never felt so much grief that it affected your ability to interpret tone. Or made you more sensitive than you otherwise were so that something you would have found funny in a different frame of mind no longer seemed funny to you at that moment. But grief can do those things to you, and that is neither inexplicable nor retarded.

And just to make this perfectly fucking clear, the grief of JG and his commenters does not excuse their actions. Period, the end. There are also a whole bunch of Steve's friends who didn't get Brittney's sarcasm but didn't go after her at all. Like Zuzu. Those people have gotten totally lost in a lot of this. So not only are they grieving, but they're also being told what idiots they are for not getting one line that wasn't even as clear as some people think it was. That's my definition of a lack of compassion.

NB: Ilyka, just to be clear to you, I don't believe you have done that. I interpret your comments as being limited to the actions taken by JG and commenters. I also think that those referring to you as a "conservative and provocateur" suffer from the "why aren't you ladies focusing on the important shit!" white man entitlement syndrome.

Chari said...

After reading through all of this, and seeing how infantile JG has continued to act, I'm removing him from my blogroll. It's not going to make any impact on him, but it'll make me feel a lot better.

I'm sick of progressive male entitlement.