On Elon Musk and the race to Mars…
It is easier for the Free Speech Grifters to mock microaggressions and trigger warnings than to grapple with serious social-justice concepts. They do not debate New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones’s extensive reporting on policies exacerbating racial segregation in housing and schools. Nor do they question why professor Michelle Alexander’s bestselling book on the criminal-justice system, The New Jim Crow, was banned in some prisons. When Sofie Karasek published a piece on reimagining the model for punishing campus sex crimes, the only murmurs were on the left. They give these voices a wide berth. Trying to work through some of the more complex issues of the day doesn’t get you an invite on The Rubin Report or a two-in-one month on Real Time with Bill Maher. The Free Speech Grifters were silent when Maya Wiley, the Social Justice SVP at the New School, made news for the humanity she showed toward Sam Nunberg during his six-hour media meltdown over an FBI subpoena. It didn’t fit the narrative of social-justice incivility for their canned opinion pieces, which are always good for a retweet.
Mari Uyehara on what gets noticed.
This is a piece on those media personalities and Twitter commentators who always seem to pop out of the woodwork to handwring over “free speech” whenever college students try and no-platform fascists… but are surprisingly quiet on issues of actual free speech violations.
Here’s a fun take to annoy all your hyperconservative prosperity-gospel relatives: for its first few hundred years of existence, before it was adopted by the Romans as their state religion, Christianity was basically the communism of its day.
This is not exactly a Fresh Hot Take if you know anything about, for example, the Bible (which is not at all shy about denouncing the evils of wealth and property) and/or the early Christian church (who were all very sure of Christ’s imminent return, as well as mostly being dispossessed anti-government hippie anarchist types). But, yanno. Always good to have an article to whip out when needs demand…
Both Froese and Stroud found pervasive anti-government sentiments among their study participants. “This is interesting because these men [gun owners] tend to see themselves as devoted patriots, but make a distinction between the federal government and the ‘nation,’ says Froese. “On that point, I expect that many in this group see the ‘nation’ as being white.”
Jeremy Adam Smith on motivations.
Nostalgic-af essay on the late 90s personal internet.
I won’t lie, this—plus all the other Old Web Nostalgia that’s been going around recently—made me go on an archive.org hunt for what I remember of the Web That Was. I found it in fragments. Half-broken museum pieces of the sites I remember (muted.com, impolite.org, taintedweb). Some sites online but frozen in time (#!/usr/bin/girl). Some still online and moved on (Furious Angel, Jemjabella, Loobylu, Ladybot). And then some I can’t find at all (six.nu, what happened to you?).
One of the things that gets to me, though—asides from how young we all were—was how little some things have changed, even when it seems everything has. Like, a lot of Tumblr fandom now seems like a retread of the early-to-mid ’00s personal internet (hell, even some of the the aesthetic is starting to feel creepingly familiar), except nowadays instead of whether or not your site is valid XHTML and rag-right aligned, all the drama and pileons are about whether or not someone’s Steven Universe headcanons pass the purity test. Different content, same tiny font. All it needs is for someone to bring back webrings…1
- Seriously, please. Someone bring back webrings. Webrings were great! ^
I’ve been covering the alt-right and the MRM for a long time now, and you see the reason so many of them are obsessed with virility and vitality in the rare moments they drop their guard. They don’t fear eradication as a culture, no matter what they claim. They feel fear of personal irrelevance.
They see marginalized groups fighting hard, winning accolades, starring in critically-acclaimed docudramas, and none of that is happening for them. […]
The alt-right is largely made up of frustrated white dudes tired of being told they have privilege when their dreams go unfulfilled. Rather than assign any blame on their own views or behavior, they believe that women and minorities are gaining ground through coddling and cheating. This feeds the persecution complex that has dominated conservative politics for two decades.
Jef Rouner on the virility trap.
This isn’t, incidentally, Rouner trying to drum up sympathy for the alt-right—after all, plenty of other dudes1 get the same feelings and don’t decide the answer is to, like, try and create a fascist ethnostate—but rather investigating why so much of the alt-right is so into “male enhancement” fishslapping pseudoscience…
- And not-dudes, for that matter. I mean, “feeling powerless/unappreciated and not liking it” is pretty much as close to a universal human condition as you can get, I think. ^