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April 07, 2015

Comments

The "cultural norm on the internet" is that many people behave badly. That does not mean I have to like it. In my opinion, Doctor Science is behaving badly, and is pursuing a witch-hunt mentality, and seeks to cause the very offense that Mr. Wright sought to avoid.

The gist of the context was merely that Wright was trying to understand why the media prefers to portray female rather than male homosexuality; and he explains this in terms of the greater male aversion or discomfort with male homosexuality, not matched by a female aversion or discomfort for female homosexuality. And such aversion does indeed exist, and is indeed somewhat prevalent among males, regardless of whether one tries to abnormalise such feelings with quasi-clinical terms like "homophobia".

With or without the excised words, that is all he really meant. You can also take them as an indication that Wright shares this aversion to some extent. But I do not think it reasonable to interpret the words as a call to violence against gays, any more than it is reasonable to take his words as an endorsement of lesbianism. The excised words merely avoided unnecessary offense or misunderstanding ... or would have done so, if not for Doctor Science.

In this case, John W, Person #1 posted something offensive. Months went by. Person #2 noticed and mentioned it in a forum Person #1 doesn't normally frequent. Within 24 hours, Person #1 edited the offensive material away -- but the edit was only noticed because Person #3 was checking Person #2's quote.

Has JCW mentioned the editing on his blog? Has he said anything like, "I said some really dumn, offensive shit back in December, and I'm ashamed of it."?

Why should he mention it? The whole point of excising it is to NOT mention it. Because it causes offense.

But yes, I think he has made it pretty clear that he does not advocate criminal behavior against gays. I believe him. I see no reason not to. It seems uncharitable.

Doctor Science, it looks to me like you are trying just a little too hard to hurt Mr. Wright. I do not admire that.

Because it causes offense

Far more likely because it caused embarrassment to himself.

If you're genuinely concerned about causing offense, you probably don't hurl slurs like "fag" in the first place. If you realize your error, you make amends by apologizing, not excising.

No apology is likely to be accepted, as long as Wright's views on homosexuality are consistent with Roman Catholic doctrine.

I thought he was being accused of advocating anti-gay violence. I think he is innocent of that.

If the charge now is that he doesn't approve of homosexual conduct then I suppose he is "guilty" of that, regardless of whether these quotes are genuine.

> If you're genuinely concerned about causing
> offense, you probably don't hurl slurs like
> "fag" in the first place.

That is, of course, precisely what Doctor Science is using the word for. To cause offense. He wants gays to know that Mr. Wright used this word, so that they will be hurt, so that they in turn will try to hurt Mr. Wright in some way.

I just reread the Dinosaur Love story, and it doesn't appear to have involved a gay-bashing at all?

"calling you a fag, a towel-head, a shemale, a sissy, a spic, every epithet they could think of, regardless of whether it had anything to do with you or not"

The narrator is explicitly a woman, who waits beside the bedside of a man.

"He wants gays to know that Mr. Wright used this word, so that they will be hurt, so that they in turn will try to hurt Mr. Wright in some way."

First, I believe you are mistaken as to the Doctor's gender. Not that it matters, particularly.

Second, and more to the point, no-one has said anything about hurting Mr. Wright.

You'really making it up. Please don't.

If you want to discuss what Dr Science actually said, feel free. If you want to put words in her mouth and argue with those, please take it elsewhere.

Thanks.

The fact that the edit only occurred after wider attention was brought to the utterance, and pointedly after the conversation where the utterance occurred had terminated, casts a great deal of doubt on your exceedingly-charitable assumptions. If the point is to avoid causing offense (which as Ufficio notes, is not likely given the utterance in question), then he absolutely should have mentioned his retraction instead of editing it away like a thief in the night. He said it while a conversation was ongoing; that was the moment when its offensiveness would have maximum impact. By silently removing it afterwards, he enjoys the rhetorical impact of such an utterance with those people engaged in that conversation, but cannot be called to count for speaking thusly after the fact.

Mr. Whelan, it looks to me like you are trying just a little too hard to take offense at Dr. Science's post. I do not admire that.

I'm not a sci-first person, I have no idea who John C. Wright is. Never heard of the guy before Dr Science's post. All I know about the guy is that he's hostile to gays and that he thinks Humphrey Bogart is a pretty pretty man.

So, I have no dog.

If you want to *retract* something you said because, upon reflection, you think better of it, the appropriate thing to do is to state that.

If you want to try to *pretend you never said it*, you might remove your comment from public view.

And, good luck with that.

In any case, one response is honest, and one is not.

Russell, there is nothing dishonest about removing the comment from public view. If Wright falsely accuses someone of forging the evidence that it was once present, then that would be dishonest.

You are preoccupied with proving that Wright made a comment which has been withdrawn. I think you are being malicious. Find a better use for your time.

Russell, there is nothing dishonest about removing the comment from public view.

Actually, it's kind of smelly.

If Wright falsely accuses someone of forging the evidence that it was once present, then that would be dishonest.

Yes, that would certainly be dishonest.

You are preoccupied with proving that Wright made a comment which has been withdrawn.

Apparently, you have mistaken me for someone who cares, at all, in any way, about John C Wright or his statements.

You've come here to take Dr. Science to task for calling out Wright. In my opinion, your case is weak.

That's the sum total of what I have to say about the issue, full stop.

I think you are being malicious.

Don't worry, when I'm being malicious, there won't be any question about it. You will know.

Find a better use for your time.

And this is where I reply with a hearty "piss off". You have nothing to say about what I do or don't do with my time.

It's my time, I'll do with it what I will.

> Second, and more to the point, no-one has
> said anything about hurting Mr. Wright.

There is an expression in law: One is presumed to intend the natural and probably consequences of one's actions.

Mr. Wright is an author, whose livelihood depends on book sales. A public accusation that, in effect, gives the impression that Mr. Wright supports criminal violence against gays, will, if believed, hurt Mr. Wright.

Note again, that I do not believe that Mr. Wright supports criminal violence against gays.

He said something he should have said. Someone complained. He removed it. That should have been the end of it.

From now on, it is malice.

Man, those folks with initials JW sure do stick together, don't they?

> He said something he should have said.

Sorry, the word "not" should be in this sentence.

Or perhaps I'm just trying to cover up what I really meant.

> By silently removing it afterwards, he enjoys
> the rhetorical impact of such an utterance
> with those people engaged in that conversation

Quite possibly so. Similarly, when I talk to my brother or a close friend, I sometimes make jokes or use hyperbole that I would not make publicly for fear of being misunderstood, ... unless I forgot myself.

> Man, those folks with initials JW sure do
> stick together, don't they?

It's a conspiracy! There are thousands and thousands of us.

> Mr. Whelan, it looks to me like you are trying
> just a little too hard to take offense at Dr.
> Science's post. I do not admire that.

Maybe so, but I'm not quite as implacable as Dr. Science. If Dr. Science were to remove this post, I would drop the matter, rather than saving a copy and reposting it all over the internet.

I do not believe that Mr. Wright supports criminal violence against gays.

I don't know the man, I have no opinion about what he supports or does not support.

His statement is that he believes the instinctive response of straight men to homosexual men is to beat them to death with blunt instruments.

Frankly, whether he supports it or not, it's a profoundly offensive thing to say.

Also, false. Mr. Wright needs to speak for himself, and not assume that he can speak for all straight men. Or, anyone else, for that matter.

From now on, it is malice.

Look, that's a really strong statement.

Unless you're a mind-reader, you *do not know* Dr. Science's intent in writing this post. You don't know, because she has not stated what her intention was. You haven't demonstrated from the things she's said what her intentions are.

Wright's statements were not just "something he shouldn't have said". They were profoundly offensive and wrong. If he doesn't want people to have a negative reaction to his comments, he should keep crap like that to himself.

If he wanted to demonstrate that *they did not reflect his actual beliefs*, the appropriate thing to do is publicly retract them. Simply removing them because "somebody complained" does not demonstrate that he does not, in fact, think that straight men instinctively want to beat gay men to death with blunt instruments.

It just demonstrates that he doesn't want that statement in the public eye.

It was a profoundly offensive, and to many many people hurtful, thing to say. *Gay men have actually been beaten to death with blunt instruments*. Dig? It's not a joke, or a hypothetical case, or anything to toss off as a sarcastic aside.

Nobody made Wright say it. If he wants to be clear that it's not what he actually thinks, he should say it's not what he actually thinks. Deleting it because someone found it offensive does not demonstrate that.

As LJ said upthread, if you say it, you gotta own it. If you make a mistake, own that. People make mistakes every day.

But just trying to hide it is not really a credible response.

Well, who would want to post all over the Internet a conversation which makes them look like someone who is both petty and determined to start a fight?

If Dr. Science were to remove this post, I would drop the matter, rather than saving a copy and reposting it all over the internet.

Speaking as someone outside of the science fiction community, I just want to say that sci-fi people are really strange.

No offense intended, hopefully none taken. I thought jazz nerds were intense, you all are a different kettle of fish altogether.

Probably no weirder than others. I like SF, or some of it, but would not want to hang out with writers, editors or publishers and form warring camps over it.

With awards kerfluffle, I've been reading various things and following different paths and I saw this:

http://laurajmixon.com/2014/11/a-report-on-damage-done-by-one-individual-under-several-names/

This person did a lot of really crappy things, but in regard to the current conversation, they apparently

After an attack, she* deletes her most inflammatory posts and accounts and departs, leaving her targets reeling and others who come later scratching their heads, unable to find evidence and wondering what all the fuss was about.

*I don't think anyone knows if it is a man or a woman for sure, but I'm not going to dig down to find out.

I'm not saying that this is what Wright did, but since John Whelan didn't specify who he was talking about with his original query, I'd suggest that this is a reason why you want to keep a full record. Perhaps Wright has just gotten on the wrong side of this, but this is why the cultural norm exist.

unrelated sidenote: A lot of these things have taken me to people referring to LiveJournal and I still boggle when I see someone referring to LJ.

Please allow me to apologize for and retract my snotty comment upthread about sci-fi readers. It was rude and intemperate.

Sorry about that, everyone.

and it's not like he doesn't express the same sentiment in other words, in other parts of his blog:

I felt toward homosexuality the emotion describe by G.K. Chesterton in his book, THE EVERLASTING MAN: β€œIt is not true to human nature or to common sense. Let any lad who has had the look to grow up sane and simple in his day-dreams of love hear for the first time of the cult of Ganymede; he will not be merely shocked but sickened.”

the only real difference between this and what he deleted is in the vividness of the imagery.

the guy is a reactionary loon.

> I don't know the man, I have no opinion about
> what he supports or does not support.

Well then, why are you joining a witch-hunt against the man, on the say-so of some anonymous blogger called "Doctor Science" on the basis of evidence that may (for all you or I know) be fabricated?

> His statement is that he believes the
> instinctive response of [straight] men to
> homosexual men is to beat them to death
> with blunt instruments.

Understood reasonably and in context, this is a TRUE statement. This phenomenon does indeed exist among men (he did not say "all men" nor "straight men" either); and no analogous phenomenon appears to exist among women. Such feelings are rarely acted out of course (nor should they be), but that hardly matters in the context of this particular discussion. Wright was trying to understand why some TV shows are more popular with the general public than others, not why the last living gay man in the world was finally murdered last weekend.

I guess you don't like the word "instinctive". Would "non-rational" or perhaps "irrational" or "homophobic" (the latter suggestive of a clinical disorder) be more to your liking?

That's the problem with too much political correctness and the politics of "offense". It impedes speech and thought to an offensive degree. One is impeded from meaningful discussion unless one allows one's vocabulary and precise choice of words to be dictated by others. Speaking extremely carefully, in order to avoid giving offense by any slip-up, takes too much energy, and the end result is that many allow themselves to be silenced.

Cleek, if you want to criticise Mr. Wright (and G.K. Chesterton, and Pope Francis) for believing that homosexual conduct is wrong, you are free to do so. That does not require resort to the tactics here employed by Doctor Science.

On the say-so of Dr. Science, who is well known around these parts (unlike dudes with initials JW), has a good reputation (unlike dues with initials JW), and ACTUALLY POSTED A SCREEN-CAP.

On the internet, that's not "say-so", that's hard evidence.

And, BTW, posting that screen-cap, and telling everyone that JW had posted what he posted, and then "disappeared" what he posted, was actually a TRUE STATEMENT, to use some JW dude's terminology.

But embarrassing to some JW dude, therefore unhinged accusations and poo-flinging by some JW dude to get the embarrassing evidence stuffed down the memory hole.

> On the internet, that's not "say-so", that's
> hard evidence.

It would not be considered sufficiently reliable to be admissible in a court of law, for reasons which are obvious to me, even if they are not obvious to you.

Cleek, if you want to criticise Mr. Wright (and G.K. Chesterton, and Pope Francis) for believing that homosexual conduct is wrong, you are free to do so.

and here i sit, an umble servant boy thinkin i'd nevah have no chance to criti'size me betters, when along comes a gentleman such as you to tell me i can go right ahead an do so! well! i nevah thought such a thing were possible. wait till the boys at the pub hears this! and the misses will just faint right'way.

That does not require resort to the tactics here employed by Doctor Science.

:p

As yet another person who has no idea who John C. Wright, but for what I've read on this post and thread, I'm going to put two quotes together to see how they relate to each other.

First, from russell:

If you know any gay people at all, of either gender, whether in this country or elsewhere, you are probably one or, at most, two degrees of separation from somebody who has been assaulted for the crime of being gay.

Second, from John C. Wright (by way of Dr. Science, whom I trust, short of someone demonstrating to me why I shouldn't - anonymity doesn't mean as much when the same handle is used consistently over lots and lots of posts and comments, does it?):

In any case, I have never heard of a group of women descended on a lesbian couple and beating them to death with axhandles and tire-irons, but that is the instinctive reaction of men towards fags.

John C. Wright may have a track record of advocating violence against gay men. I don't know either way. But going just by the his quote above, is it at all possible that he's not saying anything all that different from what russell's saying in his?

I get that he used the word "fags," but often, people here will use the epithet the bigoted people they are describing would use, for the purpose of better demonstrating the attitudes of their subjects. The use of scare quotes usually helps to make the intent of such usage clearer, and I wonder how, had they been employed, this particular quote would have been interpreted differently.

(Now I will don my virtual armor and shield, just in case.)

It would not be considered sufficiently reliable to be admissible in a court of law, for reasons which are obvious to me, even if they are not obvious to you.

Somehow I don't see anyone being sentenced to a prison term based on this blog post, either. If that's the standard, unplug the routers and shut the intertubes down.

not why the last living gay man in the world was finally murdered last weekend.

Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but I'm left wondering if John Whelan thinks that it is somehow possible to eliminate homosexuality by killing all homosexuals or if Wright is suggesting that. Am I missing something about the invocation of 'the last living gay man'?

It seems to me that homosexuality is a part of human existence (and invoking Socrates and Alcibiades points to a 3000+ year history), so the idea of murdering the last living gay man is impossible on its face, so it is not a question of political correctness, it is something that suggests a general denial of reality.

> Am I missing something about the invocation of
> 'the last living gay man'?

Yes, you are missing context and missing the point. Nobody is suggesting that a hypothetical homicidal mob consisting of the entire straight male population of the world could murder gay men that they did not know about.

> and here i sit, an umble servant boy thinkin
> i'd nevah have no chance to criti'size me
> betters

Silly sarcasm. I did not say they were your "betters". I merely said you were free to criticize their position. No screenshots necessary.

The screenshot is not being used to prove that Wright does not like gays, nor is it necessary for that purpose. It is being used (unfairly in my view) to prove that he advocates criminal violence against them.

I merely said you were free to criticize their position.

how blessed am i, an umble servant boy, that a noble gentleman of your authority should stoop so low to give a wretch like me your permission to speak? and not just once, which woulda been story enough for all my years, but twice! this is too much, your majesty.

> His statement is that he believes the
> instinctive response of [straight] men to
> homosexual men is to beat them to death
> with blunt instruments.

Understood reasonably and in context, this is a TRUE statement. This phenomenon does indeed exist among men (he did not say "all men" nor "straight men" either)

Hogwash!

A) Neither did he say SOME men. (I'm willing to accept that he only meant straight men. Because applying his characterization to gay men is an obvious nonsense.) If you omit such qualification, what anyone who is a native speaker of English will take from your comment is that you mean either ALL men or, at the very least, the VAST MAJORITY of men.

B) The statement as written is manifestly untrue. Some straight men obviously do have that reaction. But the vast majority do not. Indeed, at a time when we have the majority of the population supporting gay marriage, and even amoung those opposed there are lots of statements about letting gays live their lives as they wish otherwise, it is hard to believe that any substantial number have that kind of reflexive number.

Oops. Last word should be "reaction" not "number" Duh!

> A) Neither did he say SOME men

I'm sorry, but that's the only reasonable way to read it. Reading it as indicating that ALL men commit gang murder whenever they encounter homosexuals, is not a reasonable interpretation.

> Because applying his characterization to gay
> men is an obvious nonsense.

No it isn't. There is a widespread explanation for "homophobia", that posits that "homophobes" are trying to compensate for and cover up their own gay tendencies. I personally don't think that is true, or at least I would not put it that way in precisely those terms, but it is not self-evident nonsense either.

Even if the all/many/some distinction is hogwash, are we talking about advocacy v. description, or are we talking about the accuracy of the description? Is John C. Wright's real problem his low opinion of (straight) men, because he thinks they are largely (potentially) violently anti-gay bigots? Or is it that he thinks that and "likes" it?

Nobody is suggesting that a hypothetical homicidal mob consisting of the entire straight male population of the world could murder gay men that they did not know about.

It's interesting that each time you try to explain this, you add details that sketch out the outlines of a problematic worldview, first 'last living gay man' and now some sort of 5th column of gay men who exist, hidden from the straight community. As I've heard it said, 'we're here, we're queer, deal with it.'

Your reading is "the only reasonable way to read it" IF you assume that he couldn't possibly mean what he actually says. But that is actually what is in question, isn't it?

I might even agree that a reasonable person wouldn't mean that. But you will notice that there are people in the world who say quite unreasonable things -- and it seems entirely possible, from the rest of what he says, that Mr. Wright is one of those.

Your reading is "the only reasonable way to read it" IF you assume that he couldn't possibly mean what he actually says.

I think the point was that there are several reasonable ways to read it, not that his was the only one - just one of the several.

@hairshirtthehedonist

That's what I'm trying to say. Russell's words and Wright's words mean essentially the same thing, though they no doubt reflect a different underlying attitude. This is an "its okay when I say it but not when you say it" situation, spurred by a general refusal by Wright to jump on board the pro-gay bandwagon.

> John C. Wright may have a track record of
> advocating violence against gay men. I
> don't know either way.

If he did, there would be no need to rely on a screen-capture of a former draft of this particular ambiguous quote, removed from its original context.

Wright's thoughts on homosexuality are not modern. Some of them can be found here. Please see, in particular, what he says following the picture of Donald Sutherland from BODY SNATCHERS:

http://www.scifiwright.com/2015/04/chastity-is-thoughtcrime

Mr. Wright's views are not "modern". I do not blame gays for regarding him as an ideological enemy.

However, I not subscribe to the view that all is fair in ideological warfare. One should not tell untruths about others - not even about one's enemies. Based on the above, particularly the part after the pic of Sutherland, it seems that Mr. Wright does indeed oppose criminal violence against gays. It even suggests he sincerely believes one should not call them "fags"; regardless of whether his own behavior has always been 100% consistent.

why are you joining a witch-hunt against the man, on the say-so of some anonymous blogger called "Doctor Science" on the basis of evidence that may (for all you or I know) be fabricated?

I'm not remotely interested in participating in a witch hunt against Wright. I have zero interest whatsoever in Wright.

I'm challenging your comments toward Dr. Science, because IMO they're lame.

Regarding "anonymous bloggers", Dr. Science is, relative to me and most folks here, a pseudonymous blogger, but not anonymous. We know her a lot better than, for instance, you.

I personally know her a lot better than I do, for example, Wright.

So, in terms of credibility, advantage Dr. Science.

I'm sorry, but that's the only reasonable way to read it

There isn't a reasonable way to read it. It's not a reasonable statement.

is it at all possible that he's not saying anything all that different from what russell's saying in his?

"At all possible" is a large universe. It contains many many many things.

"Likely" is a much smaller world, and I suspect the equivalence of my comment and Wright's will not be found there.

> It's interesting that each time you try to
> explain this, you add details that sketch
> out the outlines of a problematic worldview

Again, you are missing context and missing the point. You are trying to accuse me of saying that it is possible to exterminate homosexuality by forming a mob and getting rid of all [known] homosexuals. Obviously that was not my point at all.

Russell's words and Wright's words mean essentially the same thing, though they no doubt reflect a different underlying attitude.

Yes, they reflect a different underlying attitude.

This is an "its okay when I say it but not when you say it" situation, spurred by a general refusal by Wright to jump on board the pro-gay bandwagon.

No, it's not an OK when I say it but not when you say it situation.

The underlying attitude with which one observes that some people want to beat gays to death with blunt instruments *affects whether it's an OK statement or not*.

Capisce?

> The underlying attitude with which one
> observes that some people want to beat
> gays to death with blunt instruments
> *affects whether it's an OK statement or
> not*.

If by "underlying attitude" you mean approval or advocacy of murdering gays, then I agree that makes it not an okay statement.

But I think Mr. Wright is innocent of that, as I said.

Regarding "anonymous bloggers", Dr. Science is, relative to me and most folks here, a pseudonymous blogger, but not anonymous. We know her a lot better than, for instance, you.

Just to expand on Russell's point a little. We here know quite a bit about Dr. S. From where she lives (New Jersey), to her family (2 daughters), to what her opinions are on a variety of subjects.

About you, what do we know? A name (presumably, but not necessarily, a real one), and your opinions on two subjects: Mr Wright and Dr S. If you, for example, chose to comment on either of the other threads active at the moment, we might have a better feel for your overall views -- which might have an impact on how willing we are to give some credence to them. But as it is?

And of course, if you feel his general opposition to homosexual conduct is not "okay" either, you do not need to resort to screen captures to argue that position.

Just to be really clear about my personal interest in all of this:

I don't really care if Wright hates gays, or is uncomfortable with gays, or endorses the position of the Holy See about gays.

Not my problem.

Whelan joined this discussion to make the following claims about Dr. Science:

Doctor Science is behaving badly, and is pursuing a witch-hunt mentality
Doctor Science, it looks to me like you are trying just a little too hard to hurt Mr. Wright.
That is, of course, precisely what Doctor Science is using the word for. To cause offense.
From now on, it is malice.

And, about me:

You are preoccupied with proving that Wright made a comment which has been withdrawn. I think you are being malicious.

All of this assumes stuff that is not in evidence. It's mind-reading.

If you have an issue with Dr. Science taking Wright to task, feel free to make your case.

You might say, "Dr. Science, you claim in your headline that Wright himself is a would-be gay basher. I don't see that in his statement."

No problem. You're talking about things that *are actually demonstrable*.

Making statements about people's motivations, based on bugger-all, is bad form.

Knock it off, please.

if you feel his general opposition to homosexual conduct is not "okay" either, you do not need to resort to screen captures to argue that position.

I believe no small part of Dr. Science's point is that she believes Wright is trying to hide the fact that he made the statement in the first place.

Given that, screen captures are more than relevant.

Again, I invite you to address things that Dr. Science actually says in her post.

You are trying to accuse me of saying that it is possible to exterminate homosexuality by forming a mob and getting rid of all [known] homosexuals. Obviously that was not my point at all.

No, not your point, but your framing of the issue suggests that you think it is possible to somehow contain or suppress homosexuals. Setting aside what Wright wrote or seems to feel, you frame the issue as though it were possible to command the tide. You talk about Wright's general opposition to homosexual conduct and mention nothing of your own beliefs, but it seems you share the same general opposition. If you would like to dissuade us of that, it would probably be a good time, if you do have the same general opposition, you really ought to own it.

As wj pointed out, you've only spoke on these two subjects, so I have no idea what experiences back up your statements and whether you support the right of people to choose who they love regardless of gender, but it seems clear that you don't.

> Just to expand on Russell's point a little.
> We here know quite a bit about Dr. S. From
> where she lives (New Jersey), to her family
> (2 daughters), to what her opinions are on a
> variety of subjects.

You miss my point. I am not calling "Doctor Science" a liar. I do not really know either way, but in all charity, I would prefer to assume she is telling the truth.

My point is she is setting a bad precedent by aggressively presenting this sort of argument on the internet for the whole world to see and asking that it be believed. What is she going to do in the future, when some other anonymous ideological warrior presents a "screen-capture" of something SHE allegedly said, in an attempt to ruin HER life.

And of course, I have assumed for the sake of argument she is telling the truth, and still argued that her conclusions are unjustified.

> About you, what do we know?

It's not relevant. I have made no assertions on the basis of personal knowledge.

on the say-so of some anonymous blogger called "Doctor Science" on the basis of evidence that may (for all you or I know) be fabricated?

And:

I am not calling "Doctor Science" a liar. I do not really know either way, but in all charity, I would prefer to assume she is telling the truth.

My point is she is setting a bad precedent...

Are you saying that you *were not* trying to call Dr. Science's credibility into question in the first comment I cite here?

I've never been the target of bodily harm due to my sexual orientation, though I've had my share of verbal violence, insults, and requests to "pray the gay away" lobbed at me over the years.

I have, however, been the victim of a crime because of my sexual orientation, unless the person who slashed my tires, broke my window, and spray-painted a slur on my car one night didn't really mean it in the way JW apparently doesn't mean those things he said about "fags".

I find it unlikely that Dr. Science woke up in the morning and thought to herself, "Hmmm, let's see how I can go paint somebody as a bigot on the internet today," and cast about to find (or manufacture) evidence that John C. Wright hates "fags".

This isn't a witch hunt. Much as Wright's language was calculated (and as he's a professional writer, I find it hard to believe it wasn't calculated) to both convey his personal views and insult an entire group of people for their sexual orientation, he's got every right to say it, to hold those views, and be as bigoted as he so chooses in his writing, his blogging, and his day-to-day interaction with anyone willing to keep his company.

What his right to free speech does not shield him from is being called on the carpet for saying bigoted, hateful, and insulting things. Free speech doesn't grant you the right to post an opinion, delete that opinion at a later date, and have the conversation dropped because, like Yogi Berra, you "never said those things I said."

Doctor Science chose to call him out for displaying that prejudice, something else which is her right. Nothing she said indicates it was a witch hunt meant to cause Wright bodily harm. I'm certainly not interested in attacking Wright for something he wrote online. But I have no qualms engaging in a discussion about what he wrote and how it is perceived on the off-chance we're all just taking this horribly out of context and his statements were meant to be satire of some kind.

But I think it's safe to say that when someone throws around slurs (be they racial, ethnic, sexual, or whatever) in the informal company of a blog, they're probably reflecting what's inside, and doubly so if they are claiming their beliefs coincide with the beliefs of a significantly large portion of the rest of humanity.

All told, I'm about as offended by Wright's comments as I was about the Nigerian medical student who "disproved" homosexuality by using magnets. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/16/nigerian-student-gay-marriage_n_3934518.html)

Stupidity of that nature deserves nothing but pity. And Wright certainly has mine, because it must be difficult as hell to live in the 21st century while clinging desperately to 19th-century values.

It's not relevant. I have made no assertions on the basis of personal knowledge.

So, if I am understanding you correctly (feel free to correct me if I have missed something), you are saying that your assertions are based on your philosophy (religion?). Because, after all, if you have no personal experience/knowledge, what else is there?

Not that there is anything wrong with that. All of us here have done so at one point or another. But it does influence how much credence your position gets.

> Making statements about people's motivations,
> based on bugger-all, is bad form.
> Knock it off, please.

I am merely trying to criticize conduct, not read her mind or judge her soul for all eternity. I disagree with the suggestion that the word "malice" is never used outside of mind-reading or soul-judging contexts.

However, i will happily agree that I should not have used the word "malice", and that I should not presume to know her soul and read her mind, and that the term is too judgmental to the extent that it may imply otherwise.

But I wonder, will similar standards and principles then be applied to Mr. Wright?

on the say-so of some anonymous blogger called "Doctor Science" on the basis of evidence that may (for all you or I know) be fabricated?

if you read the OP, it's obvious that Dr S got the quote from a comment on another blog, which was discussed there. Dr S then copied the quote here. then, she got a screen capture of it from Google's cache. then NV got a bigger screen capture of it from Google's cache. then Google's cache updated with Wright's edited version.

so your little conspiracy is going to have to include at least one commenter at Crooked Timber (though probably many more), Dr S, NV and maybe even Google's cache.

good luck with that.

> No, not your point, but your framing of the
> issue suggests that you think it is possible
> to somehow contain or suppress homosexuals.

This is getting tiresome. It seems to me you want to hold both sides of the conversation, and it does not matter what I say.

This is getting tiresome

Agreed.

> What his right to free speech does not shield
> him from is being called on the carpet for
> saying bigoted, hateful, and insulting
> things.

No. But it ought so shield him from having others saying untrue things about him. Or, to speak more accurately, people should be honest even about their enemies.

If Doctor Science wanted to upbraid Mr. Wright for his unflattering views on homosexuality, then she could have done so without the screenshot.

The whole point of the screenshot is to try to use it as part of an argument that purports prove that Mr. Wright advocates criminal violence against gays.

That charge is, I think, untrue, regardless of whether you think you have a right to be mad at Mr. Wright for other reasons.

The whole point of the screenshot is to try to use it as part of an argument that purports prove that Mr. Wright advocates criminal violence against gays.

Having read Dr. Science's post, I would say that the point of the screenshot is to demonstrate that Wright wants to hide the fact that he made the original statement.

If I read you correctly, your complaint with Dr. Science seems to be that she is accusing Wright of wanting to beat up gay men.

And, you think that is an unfair accusation.

Do I have that right?

If so, perhaps you would like to simply address that point to Dr. Science, rather than engage in the kind of innuendo and tortured explications of Wright's comments that you have treated us to.

If your point is that Dr. Science is unfairly accusing Wright of wanting to beat up gay men, just say that.

> if you read the OP, it's obvious that Dr S got
> the quote from a comment on another blog, which
> was discussed there. Dr S then copied the quote
> here. then, she got a screen capture of it from
> Google's cache. then NV got a bigger screen
> capture of it from Google's cache. then
> Google's cache updated with Wright's edited
> version.

And you want me to assume the above is true because it is posted on the internet?

But again, I am not trying to call Doctor Science a liar. I am merely suggesting that this sort of ideological warfare sets a bad precedent.

Actually, I would say that the point of a screenshot is to demonstrate that the reported wording from the post is not based on (possibly faulty) memory, or even fabrication, of what was said in the post. Which, unfortunately, has been known to occur now and again. What would be gained by not having the screen shot available?

I'm pretty sure the point of the screenshot is to provide evidence that said comments were in fact made and not pulled from this air. I've lurked around here long enough to know that it's not uncommon for commenters to request citations for specific claims being made.

The screenshot, specifically, is what keeps a potential Wright defender from outright dismissing her claim. Outside of that, it serves no other purpose. It's documenting evidence, and Doctor Science posted nothing else alongside it to suggest she's advocating people apply violence to Wright because of his views. If nothing else, it's a testament to her thorough desire to avoid putting words in other peoples' mouths, a process she undertakes whenever she pulls quotes or figures for a blog post.

Grrr...'thin air' not 'this air' above. Sorry. :)

And you want me to assume the above is true because it is posted on the internet?

it's as true as "John Whelan" is: words on blogs.

for all we know, you're John C Wright sock-puppeting in his own defense. prove you're not.

> Having read Dr. Science's post, I would say
> that the point of the screenshot is to
> demonstrate that Wright wants to hide the
> fact that he made the original statement.

If I had made the original statement, I might want to hide it, for several excellent reasons:

(1) leaving it out there means it continues to cause offense, meaning I should remove it (or "hide" it) for the same reason I should not have said it in the first place;

(2) it is in danger of being misunderstood or misconstrued as even worse than it is;

(3) I might be genuinely ashamed of having written it.

(4) I have a family to support and this might a potential to affect my livelihood.

I don't know Wright's reasons for removing the words, and I don't read minds. But he did remove it and he should have removed it; and I am not going to blame him for doing something that, after all, he should indeed have done.

Whether he should also have written a profuse groveling apology is another question. Maybe so, but I begin to lose patience when we reach that point. Let him without sin cast the first stone.

What exactly is your point?

What is that you want Dr. Science or anyone else here to do?

What are you trying to accomplish with this extended series of comments?

I have to confess I am completely unclear on all of the above.

(for the record, i don't actually think you are Wright. that would mean Wright has the ability to turn off his stream-of-pompousness writing style.)

"Let him without sin cast the first stone."

From out of the crowd, a lone rock flew and struck the woman on the head, rendering her unconscious.

Jesus scanned the crowd angrily before his gaze alighted on the perpetrator, his expression softened, and he sighed, "Please stay out of this, Mother..." ;)

He's perfectly allowed to remove the comment, but without a retraction or follow-up to indicate what he did (especially since it's pretty obvious the removal only occurred after he realized it was time for damage control), it seems less like an apology than a taunting of, "I didn't do it, nobody saw me do it, and you can't prove a thing."

Doctor Science showed that she could, in fact, prove it. He need not apologize or grovel for forgiveness, but if he intended the removal to seem anything but disingenuous then he's going about it the wrong way.

> for the record, i don't actually think you are
> Wright

For the record, you are correct in that conclusion. I have no connection to the man. However, I have no intention of trying to prove it. Nor have I any intention of trying to prove, nor even of asserting, that "John Whelan" is my true name. As far as you are concerned, you may regard it merely as my net handle.

> He need not apologize or grovel for forgiveness

Well then ... what is Doctor Science trying to achieve here?

"Well then ... what is Doctor Science trying to achieve here?"

The creation of a discussion, which has been the purpose of this blog for as long as I've been reading it at any rate.

"What exactly is your point?

What is that you want Dr. Science or anyone else here to do?

What are you trying to accomplish with this extended series of comments?"

Want to answer these, or should we exercise our creativity and come up with some amusing answers FOR you?

> What is that you want Dr. Science or anyone
> else here to do?

To am trying to convince people that attacks like this one should not be emulated, and should be ignored as a matter of policy.

There is enough to do in this world debating the words people stand behind than trying to go after those they have thought better of and retracted. When you do the latter you make it personal.

And speculating that Mr. Wright did the right thing (retract the comment) for the wrong reason rather than the right reason, is another of the things that makes this personal. You're just speculating that everything he does is bad because he is an inherently bad person.

You're just speculating that everything he does is bad because he is an inherently bad person.

ever read Wright's blog?

he's a walkin, talkin fountain of bad faith arguments. he's got a direct line to all gay people, all liberals, and all of his 'SJW' enemies. he knows exactly what they're thinking, all the time, about everything.

> ever read Wright's blog?

Yes. But this was not about criticizing the things Wright is still saying. it is about criticizing something he is no longer saying, and probably never meant.

To am trying to convince people that attacks like this one should not be emulated, and should be ignored as a matter of policy.

Let the ignoring begin with you.

As subject or object, either way works for me.

You're just speculating that everything he does is bad because he is an inherently bad person.

he knows exactly what they're thinking, all the time, about everything.

Maybe Whelan *is* Wright, after all!

Anybody got a nickel? It worked last time...

Dr. Science has been pretty quiet here...probably checking the server logs. Those IP numbers can sure tell a tale.

> Dr. Science has been pretty quiet
> here...probably checking the server logs.
> Those IP numbers can sure tell a tale.

I very much hope she is doing something better with her time.

Want to answer these, or should we exercise our creativity and come up with some amusing answers FOR you?

I say he's trying to use up all of our electrons, so that we have none left with which to abuse the good name of John C Wright.

I say we not let him!!

Do you suppose that we have reached the point where Mr Whelan has said everything he has to say, and we should now ignore him and more on? I haven't seen much except repeats for a while now....

> Nothing she said indicates it was a witch hunt
> meant to cause Wright bodily harm.

I never said anything about "bodily" harm.

Let the ignoring begin.

I guess now's the time to apologize for dragging you into my ill-advised devil's advocacy, russell. I'll also take the opportunity to say that I appreciated what you did there with your retraction of your comment about sci-fi people being weird. I think it may have wizzed right over a head or two.

I guess now's the time to apologize for dragging you into my ill-advised devil's advocacy, russell.

Seriously, de nada.

I'll also take the opportunity to say that I appreciated what you did there with your retraction of your comment about sci-fi people being weird.

Yeah, my bad.

I was having kind of a head-shaking moment, prompted by the terrier-like obstinacy of Whelan in the pursuit of.... I don't know what, exactly.

So, it was just kind of a flippant "WTF?" thing.

Later on I realized that it was really not cool to extend that to the entire SF community. One bad apple, etc.

So, apologies to all.

Readers of Lawyers, Guns, and Money are quite familiar with the "work" of one Mr. John C. Wright.

Exposure to his wisdom (heh) is like appreciating the sound of a fingernail scratching the chalk board.

bobbyp, thanks for that, I knew I had heard that name before, but couldn't figure out where.

"I never said anything about "bodily" harm."

Fair enough, I retract the 'bodily' part. My mistake. :)

Why am I assuming Person #1 deleted something because he thought better of it? What if all indications are that Person #1 believed what he posted but is whitewashing it because he's trying to look less extreme than he is?

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