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TRIGGER WARNING

for extreme transphobia, suicide

I’d never heard of Eilis O’Hanlon before this weekend, when she opportunistically pounced on the media shitstorm around the Swedish House Mafia gig to launch an attack on the Irish underclass.

“Swaggering brutes with raw fists and short fuses are not the victims of society — society is the victim of them”

“Drugs Don’t Stab People, Knackers Do”

Oh but it’s not racist to use an ethnic slur for Travellers cos urbandictionary said so. Urban Dictionary also says that my name is “usually given to a person of extreme sexiness(even if they are ridiculously pale)” but I guess that would be totally a legit thing to write in a national newspaper.

But it turns out that might not be the worst thing she’s written.

Maybe it’s this piece where she laments that the “fact” that most Palestinians “want to destroy Israel and drive all the Jews into the sea” is absent from Irish public discourse.

Or maybe this piece about how Gary Speed was “a selfish person who didn’t give enough thought to how his wife and two sons were supposed to pick up the pieces of a broken life whilst the world tiptoed respectfully around his memory” and there’s not enough good old-fashioned stigma surrounding suicide any more. “The loosening of sexual taboos around unmarried motherhood led to more teenage pregnancy. The loosening of ethical taboos around suicide leads to more suicide.”

It’s probably this piece though, which is all about how hilarious/disgusting/weird trans* people are.

EDIT: Although this piece attacking Dr. Lydia Foy, titled “A scalpel can’t rewrite history, whatever the surgery” might be a close second. “The brain isn’t the most objective judge of its surroundings, after all. The brain sometimes tricks its host into thinking he’s Napoleon; the chromosomes never make him think he’s the Duke of Wellington.”

TRIGGER WARNING

Discusses shaming of women who have had abortions.

Anyone who was ever curious about what kind of conversations the sort of young people who join Youth Defence have when they’re hanging out should check out this piece on their website (trigger warning for this link).

Apparently, they sit around and think about marrying aborted fetuses:

A few weeks ago, some of my friends and I were talking about Baby X. I was telling them that I was thinking we might have been friends with Baby X, or gone to college with him or her, and one girl nearly broke my heart when she said “He might have been my husband.”

Assuming Maryanne, the “student with a dream”, actually exists at all, which is doubtful1, there’s something both hilariously tragic and incredibly fucked up about young women fantasising about the awesome relationship they would have with the aborted fetus of a 14-year-old rape victim.2

1. “Ireland’s largest and most active pro-life organisation, led by young people who believe that life is worth protecting” actually doesn’t have all that many young people involved, and is in fact an astroturf group funded by American ultra-conservatives.

“I’m only single because my husband was aborted.” Yeah sure. *ahem*

The rest of the article is more or less the usual “abortion is mass murder” drivel, but with a curious sci-fi twist:

You know those movies where the main character thinks “What if I’d never been born?” and then wakes up the next day to find that nobody knows who he is and he sees what life would have been like without him? Well, we’re living in that kind of parallel universe every day of our lives… there are people missing!

2. Miss X actually miscarried, in part, as a result of the incredible stress put on her by the likes of Youth Defence.

Instead of talking about how every zygote is actually a fully-formed human because God or angels or something injected a soul into it at some arbitrary point called “conception”, instead, Maryanne relies on parallel universes to explain how statements like “imagine if everyone in China were to die tomorrow… well that’s the destruction we’re facing today” make any sense, a deus ex machina that’s gotten many a bad author out of a plothole.

It’s probably not strictly Biblical though.

What if the person who would have discovered a cure for cancer has been aborted? What if the next great leader of our country has been aborted? What if you’ll never meet your true best friend? What if you’ll never grow old with your soul mate because he or she was violently torn away from this world when they were only a few weeks old?

Ever notice how only good people get aborted? Never rapists or serial killers? Odd that.

Every person has a purpose in life, and over the past half century we’ve wiped out more than one billion people. That’s one billion lives, one billion lifetimes, one billion contributions that the world has been deprived of… Millions of people have lost their husbands and wives to abortion! And now there are millions of family trees that will never happen, generations wiped out for thousands of years to come.

And that’s only counting abortions. If we considered every potential parallel-universe baby, every sperm in every ejaculation throughout the entire of human history, every nine-month window during which a fertile woman wasn’t pregnant… we’re talking about slaughter on an unprecedented scale. The people who have never existed vastly outnumber the people who actually have, which leads to a startling conclusion:

To a first approximation, the entire human species has been wiped out by the combined forces of masturbation and contraception. Almost everyone has been murdered.

Scary stuff.

EDIT: Looks like I was right about those young people not actually existing. Thanks to the cool people at Rabble for bringing this pic to my attention.

You can also check out the cool kids of Youth Defence being cool at last year’s acid house themed Rally for Life.

So yesterday I whipped up a storm of self-righteous indignation over on the ‘I’m not gay but I don’t care if you are’ Facebook page. Apparently happy-clappy liberal sentiment can quite quickly turn to anger if you puncture their self-congratulatory bubble of bland platitudes with some actual analysis and experience of how oppression manifests itself.

In the end, me and several of my friends were blocked from the page and all our comments deleted. I’m not entirely sure what I expected to happen – I guess “I see where you’re coming from and will rethink my approach to this” wasn’t realistic. Oh well. The whole drama did raise an important question, though:

Are members of an oppressed class entitled to make demands regarding what kind of support they receive from members of the oppressor class?

Yes.

Moving on, here’s a selection of some of the really dumb shit people said to me, with snarky commentary:

Obviously this fellow doesn’t understand the position of a person who is not homosexual but is not all up in arms and offended by the fact that others are, so maybe he shouldn’t judge those of us in a different position than him just as we don’t judge homosexuals, eh?

I’m sure it’s a tough position. In many ways tougher than actually facing discrimination…

This article shows the same level of maturity as the child learning to ride his bike, who pushes away the hands of the parent attempting to support and protect them with the insistence that they can “Do it themselves”. I do not understand the determination to reject an ally.

Thank God we have straight people to patronise protect us, otherwise we might actually fight our own struggle on our own terms scrape a knee.

If the ally didn’t announce their hetero orientation at the outset, wouldn’t that be to invite a comment like, “Honey, you can’t speak for me! You don’t have the first clue about what it means to be gay in a predudiced society.”

“Honey”

I am an allie. I DON’T have to be an allie the way you say I do. I CAN be an allie on my own terms. If you don’t like it, no one is forcing you to be here.
I put a lot of thought into this name and my intentions behind the name were calculated.

We get tons of hatemail from homophobes and occasionally attacked by those that we fight for.
Some of us are just way to picky…

The phrasing and “Tone” of this page name is intended to provoke thought in homophobic people, or people that are otherwise indifferent to the suffering of others.
I have no (inherent) desire to please gay people with this page…that was just a pleasant by-product. The name inspires other people that aren’t gay to look within themselves and ask, “Do I care if he(or she) is gay? and if I do, then ‘why’.”
It works wonders…you should see the response I get from the sticker on my car. It provokes thought…which, I might add, is easy to see in people’s faces.
If it pisses off a few people in the process, then so be it…at least they’re thinking.

These are all from the page founder “Mike Thought”, who apparently gets to decide what it means to be an “allie” and doesn’t have to listen to what actual queer people think. Although I guess if you make up your own word you do get to define it…

Saying I don’t care if you are gay means just that. I choose people who I want to be friends with based on their charater and morals. Everything else doesn’t matter to me..age, gender, race or sexual orintation.

Yup. It’s totally possible to just declare yourself blind to age, gender, race and sexuality and no longer be responsible for your privilege.

The fact that this guy uses ‘queer’ all throughout the article invalidates his argument. Queer usually implies some kind of departure from normalcy, I couldn’t finish reading, because he used it so often.

How about you not use the term queer when complaining about semantics lmfao!!!!

This would be hilarious if one of the page admins hadn’t taken it upon himself to censor all comments explaining why some of us choose to identify as ‘queer’. Apparently heteros also get to decide how other people describe their sexuality.

Whomever wrote this is a very sad person. I can see the hurt and mistreatment by the way they argue and nitpick the semantics of this Facebook site, especially a site that has dedicated their time to support the who I am assuming is a gay person writing this article. Time to accept your probably sad and scary past and move forward with your life to one that is more welcoming today than it was yesterday.

People like this are probably not worth the time and stress. Just ignore them, it takes someone really unhappy with themselves to attack someone who is trying to spread peace and do good.

I might say I hate being otherised, but what I really mean is I hate myself…

This post: “You can be straight, just don’t assert it or use it for acceptance, because that might offend some people”

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell: “You can be gay, just don’t assert it or use it for acceptance, because that might offend some people”

“You’re oppressing straight people!”

Stop hating and nitpicking. Leave that for the straight homophobes. You’re not doing the gay community any favors by spewing hatred and judgement. Isn’t that exactly what you ask the heterosexual community NOT to do? I think that’s a little bit hypocritical there aren’t you?

I don’t even.

This is a post from my old blog about how liberals suck and make the same bad arguments over and over.

Thought-Terminating Clichés

Arguing with liberals, while often mind-numbingly tedious and frustrating, is an inevitability for most people on the left. In this piece, I’ll be dealing with some of the more trite and clichéd arguments that liberals fall back on when they’re losing the argument, from the point of view of someone who spends more time than most arguing politics with liberals. This is an ongoing project, and I’ll be adding more bad arguments as I come across them. [I’ll probably actually do that at some stage]

Liberal democratic capitalism is the worst system except for all the other one’s we’ve tried.

A.k.a. If capitalism is so bad, why don’t you move to one of the many successful socialist countries?

This argument is essentially a way of conceding that your critique of capitalism and/or liberal democracy is basically correct without appearing to back down, allowing them to accept that the entire political economy of the world is inherently flawed, without the accompanying responsibility to do something about it. That way lie gulags.

The flaw in this line of thinking is a combination of three faulty premises:

  1. The present system is the best system that there will ever be. The idea that we’ll ever be able to have iPods and Happy Meals and freedom of expression and the like without the requirement for a massive global underclass is hopelessly utopian.
  2. The fact that the Russian Revolution et al ended in butchery and totalitarianism is an inherent flaw in the idea of communism, and not a product of the unique historical circumstances in which the revolution took place, nor of flaws in the form of revolutionary organisation practised by the Bolsheviks. All future revolutions are doomed to repeat this pattern.
  3. The history of communist revolutions that ran up against the restraints of a predominantly capitalist world can be used to predict what would happen in a communist world.

You protested against X, why didn’t you also protest against A, B, C… Y and Z?

Rather than deal with the actual point of a protest, a common tactic is to think of (or usually Google) another analogous thing that the left didn’t mobilise for, in order to imply some kind of hypocrisy or ulterior motive.

Implicitly, this argument assumes that it’s actually really easy to organise a mass protest – that getting thousands of people onto the streets is just matter of sending a text round – and thus the only reason why the left doesn’t protest every injustice equally is because we’re hypocrites, and probably racist, rather than because we have finite time, energy and resources and have to pick our battles.

This argument also misunderstands the purpose of political protest. It’s not supposed to be some kind of box-ticking exercise to demonstrate some kind of intellectual consistency in some future debate. It’s not about being able to say you’ve made your point. It’s about trying to make some kind of concrete difference in the lives of real people, and encouraging people to take action for themselves in resisting the particular oppressions they live under.

Your ideas are great, but I’m a realist.

I’m sure slavery abolitionists heard this one a lot. Since no-one can predict the future, determining what’s realistic is based entirely on certain subjective and utterly unscientific judgements. Given that so much of our picture of reality is generated by media outlets owned and run by the wealthy, one can hardly be surprised that what people tend to perceive as realistic just happens to coincide with the system that keeps those wealthy people at the top.

I want what you want, but through parliamentary reform.

A.k.a. If people agreed with you, they would vote you into power and there would be no need for a revolution.

This argument requires a leap of logic that would be incredible were it not so mundanely widespread: seemingly, the ultra-wealthy capitalists who control the vast majority of the worlds economic power, who are able to determine, through the movement of capital the fate of entire countries, who are able to collapse economies through capital flight etc. have allowed a situation to exist where their power and class privilege could simply be voted out of existence.

Of course, in reality, this is untrue. The capitalist class in fact have a whole range of mechanisms to prevent precisely this from happening. Through their ownership of the organs of popular opinion (the mass media), their funding of pro-business parties and lobby groups, through corruption, and the ability to influence markets through the movement of capital, the wealthy are in practice able to prevent any threat to their power manifesting itself through parliamentary means, all the while maintaining the semblance of democracy.

Yeah, but under your system how would we decide how to distribute almonds in mountainous regions during light hail?

This one is particularly annoying. Under the guise of open-minded ‘hearing out’ of your alternative, the liberal will then proceed to delve deeper and deeper into the minutiae of everyday activity in your imagined post-revolutionary society, until they find something that you haven’t thought about before and suddenly the whole system collapses because you don’t know whether a non-capitalist society would continue to produce tricycles*. This is usually an improvisational process, where every plausible answer you give opens up a thousand new avenues of questioning to be stumbled down randomly like a drunk in a hedge maze until you eventually admit you don’t know.

Of course, from the outset, you’re accepting an unfair burden. The shaping of a post-revolutionary society is the collective action of all of society, and will require the creativity and intelligence of everyone to develop modes of organisation that create the best possible living standards for everyone without recreating the exploitation and hierarchy of capitalism. The fact that you can’t do that after a few pints in the pub no more undermines communism/anarchism than the fact that a twelve-year-old science student doesn’t know Schroedinger’s equation undermines quantum mechanics.

* They probably would.

You can read words and write coherent sentences. You’re obviously some middle-class intellectual in an ivory tower. The working-class will never listen to you.

In other words: it doesn’t matter how right or wrong you are, the working-class are too stupid and ignorant to understand you.

Of course, it’s true that the left has trouble expressing its ideas in forms that are understandable to those less well-versed in left-wing theory, or to those with less education, with simple ideas often obscured by esoteric academic-speak. But the idea that working-class people are incapable of understanding the reality of their own lived-experiences of oppression is ridiculously classist and patronising.