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Working in the quote mine, going down down

“I’ve found another incredibly dopey statement from JohnTheOther!”

So our blabby friend JohnTheOther has an especially blabby piece up on A Voice for Men at the moment. Its ostensible subject: the pure eeeevil of unnamed anti-MRAs who misrepresent the World’s Greatest 21st Century Human Rights Movement –  the Men’s Rights Movement, that is – through the eeevil practice of “quote mining.”

I didn’t read the whole thing. Mr. TheOther is not what you’d call an efficient writer. Here are a few quotes mined from the article more or less at random that I think will give you a good idea of his, um, style:

Biology, or indeed, evolutionary theory is not really the topic of this discussion, rather it is provided here as example of a rhetorical practice increasingly common among opponents of a small but growing human rights movement. …

 The developing practice in opposition to human rights, of quote-mining goes beyond pathetic, into the realm of craven, futile depravity. …

However, it seems that no matter how many times it is explained that a thing formed from (bad) ideas – an ideology, and a group of people, identifiable by sex, are two distinct things, gender ideologues continue to conflate them. …

I don’t know if any of this makes any more sense in context, as I didn’t read the context. Let’s continue:

A year ago, I wrote an article focusing on the necessary public repudiation of violence, and the responsibility of open opposition to those who advocated or promoted a climate of acceptable violence, including those who openly advocate murder, such as a group of swedish feminists, and eugenics advocates on the squalid radical-hub. Statements from my original piece were quoted by at least one amoral zombie, and reframed to present my view as one which called for violence.

Of course, the author of those yellow pixels might not have realized that the original article, along with it’s unambiguous opposition to violence was posted on a site with substantially higher traffic than his own. The craven and stupid dishonesty of the quote-miner was apparent to all but a few, blinded by their own ideological goggles.

Oh, wait, I think those last two paragraphs were supposed to be about me. And I think they were supposed to refer to this post of mine, which took a look at a post of his that defended A Voice for Men’s “outing” of a group of Swedish feminists that the AVFM crew had decided, on the basis of a brief video promoting a theatrical production, were “murder advocates.” His post contained the following (unedited) paragraphs.

That’s right manboob, identifying a group of self-declared murder advocates to the public is more important than protecting those murder advocates from the consequences of advocating murder.

In the truth-is-fiction world of Futrelle’s mind, the men’s right advocates calling for public identification of a hate organization have been transmogrified into promoters of violence.

And what if they get killed David? What if rather than be arrested – as promoters of hate, and public advocates of murder, what if these depraved and murderous female supremacists come to harm at the hands of a citizen. If that happens, it will mean that a society’s system of law, designed to prevent hate organizations, and to allow redress of grievance through non violent due process is gone, wiped out by your ideology of violence and hate. That’s what you’re defending, David.

In my post, I quoted the final paragraph; here I have included the two preceding grafs to give it a bit more, what’s that word, context.

Of course, a couple of paragraphs by themselves are still kind of “out of context” I guess. Since I am pretty sure no one would like it if I simply pasted in the entire post from JtO here, I will instead direct you to his original post, here. You may make of it what you wish. I rather doubt that you will see it as a clearheaded treatise of nonviolence. Especially with that line: “And what if they get killed David?” (Which you can read in context above, or, again, in his original post. Let me link to it a sixth time here, just to make sure you know how to find his original words in context. Oops, that’s seven times now)

Interesting that a master debater of Mr. TheOther’s caliber somehow forgot to provide even one link to the controversy he was referring to, so people might be able to see for themselves what had happened, and judge his claims accordingly. I wonder why that might be?

I’ll skip the next bit in Mr. TheOther’s latest post, in which Mr.TheOther suggests that an opponent of his might have taken a quote of his out of context in a way that  makes him look racist and homophobic. But since he offers no links to the actual discussion, there’s no way of judging whether this particular quote-mining claim is true. (Perhaps this discussion on the Men’s Rights subreddit could shed some light on it?)

In any case, if we put this particular discussion in a broader, er, context, there is certainly ample evidence of homophobia amongst the A Voice for Men crowd, as I have pointed out here and here. (Protip: If you want to convince people you are not homophobic, you should probably not feature a video mocking “lesbo-bos” in the sidebar of the site you help to run.)

Anyway, this next bit of his definitely has something or other to do with me:

Bottom feeding quote miners indulging in snarky feats of futrelian deceit likely do win rhetorical brownie points, at least when seen through their own ideological goggles. But they are cementing their own a public persona which will wear about as comfortably as klan robes do at a NAACP meeting. The altered landscape this movement is building is not someday, it is now, and it is coming faster all the time.

Uh, dude, my last name has two L’s in it. It should be “Futrellian deceit.” If you’re going to turn my name into a slur, at least spell it correctly.

For individuals in opposition to human rights of men and boys now, whether through lying, repetition of old, false dogmas, or the craven tactic of mis-represented and mis-attributed meaning, the comfort of a formerly one-sided monologue is over. The public squirming we see in attempts to render MRA voices silent or apologetic will escalate before it abates. But that’s okay.

Hey, Mr. TheOther. If you really want to prove my “futrelian” or even my “Futrellian” deceit, how about this: provide specific examples of me taking something you or some other MRA has written out of context in a way that distorts its meaning.

For your convenience, you can find all the Man Boobz posts that reference you here and here.

And for anyone who now has the song “Working In the Coal Mine” stuck in their head, here’s the Lee Dorsey original:

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paul
paul
8 years ago

OK,,, You really have to decide what gender you are.

captainbathrobe
captainbathrobe
8 years ago

Get that man a copy of The Elements Of Style, stat!

Freitag
Freitag
8 years ago

The developing practice in opposition to human rights, of quote-mining goes beyond pathetic, into the realm of craven, futile depravity. …

I think my brain just seized up.WTF does that mean?

Falconer
Falconer
8 years ago

I think my brain just seized up.WTF does that mean?

It means that, like Fox News hates Media Matters, JohnTheOther really hates it when people quote what he says.

Because he likes to be able to pretend he never said it if it becomes an embarrassment to him. Which happens often, I gather.

Hippodameia
Hippodameia
8 years ago

Amoral zombies? How is a zombie supposed to be moral – only eat the brains of bad people?

Futrellian deceit – make people look bad by quoting what they’ve actually said.

Freitag
Freitag
8 years ago

Oh, the hyperbole of it all. Won’t somebody think of the children???

cloudiah
8 years ago

In the comments, Rad says (about the picture at the top of the post — link below goes to stock photo image, not to AVfM):
That picture kinda looks like girlwriteswhat doing WWII cosplay.

But I’m just quote mining. While I included Rad’s entire comment here, I did not include every word he has ever written on the Internet, which is what makes me so futrelian.

Ugh
Ugh
8 years ago

Is it just me or is that writing style super common to pretty much all bigots?

It’s like, they heard there was this thing called postmodernism, and heard it tended to obscure people’s arguments, and then were like, “I’ve got arguments that I wish were more obscure!” And then they tried to learn postmodernism without understanding any of the actual points.

In some ways I kind of wish they would have some courage in their convictions and be direct about it instead of just making everyone debating them run circles for hours trying to get them to actually own their arguments.

Nanasha
Nanasha
8 years ago

So let me get this straight. MRAs can use ONE QUOTE by ONE RADICAL FEMINIST somewhere back in the Seventies to “prove” that “all Feminists are evil monsters who want to enslave/eradicate men,” (despite no political or legal movement of feminists to do such things) yet….when their bloggers reiterate the same, tired old arguments for why women should, say, *not be able to get legal recompense for male spousal abuse*, *not be allowed to vote*, or *lose their right to own property* or even lose their rights to choose who they want to marry……or EVEN (and this is the kicker) kill off all the “non hot” (to them) women and women who like other women (except in porn, where it’s for his pleasure), and in fact any woman who disagrees or has her own opinion about anything that might possibly conflict with his world view (because we all know that one person disagreeing with a man is TEH END OF TEH WORLDZ for his ego).

And this is *mainstream* MRA belief system…not just the fringe weirdos.

Let’s not forget that there are ACTUAL legislative groups in power right now who are trying to take away women’s access to birth control and reproductive choice. Let’s also not forget that there are probably lobbyists who want to take away women’s right to vote. It wasn’t all that long ago that women DIDN’T have that right.

To me, this is as messed up at people who go on about the “good old days” when black people were slaves and therefore carefree and could just defer to the White Man’s directions about everything (because we all know that black people can’t achieve anything unless under the watchful eye of some white dude, amirite? /sarcasm), and there was WATERMELON FOR ALL. After all, as the white guy who benefitted off of the free slave labor, *HE* was the actual put-upon individual, doing all the hard work of living in a big house, making money off of selling their children, taking all of the money reaped from the work of his slaves, and the OH SO HORRIBLE TASK of throwing them some scraps or a shack to live in from time to time.

Let’s not forget that many MRAs also exhibit this level of racism (also homophobia, etc). But in my mind, it makes sense. If you are a hate group, you take all kinds of hate.

And people ask why I think that the MRM is a hate group.

Ithiliana
8 years ago

This is my favorite fuckeryflail: But they are cementing their own a public persona which will wear about as comfortably as klan robes do at a NAACP meeting.

Cementing a persona

A persona is like a costume/clothing

This persona is like CONCRETE clothing

And it’s just like a Ku Klux Klan robe (meaning that people who criticize misogyny are like the Klan, and the misogynists are just like the NAACP–that Southern Poverty Law Center article still grinding away at Mr. TheOther apparently).

And wearing a concrete robe would be uncomfortable not because CONCRETE is not comfy to wear, but because Klan at NAACP meeting.

And somehow “they” are cementng “their own” — so it’s not just themselves, but all of us? Maybe?

*blinks*

Wow, he sure has a lead ear for a metaphor………………………

cendare
8 years ago

Damn, I love it when people post incoherent stuff. Then I get to write a precis. One sentence (or so) for each paragraph.

**Note: tl, dr ahead **

1: (more than one paragraph here) Some opponents of evolution take a sentence of Darwin’s out of context. They are liars and are doing so deliberately.
2: But I neither know nor care much about evolution and I don’t want to talk about it (you hear me PZ Myers?)
3: It’s just an example of quote-mining. It’s a popular thing to do, and getting more popular.
4: I used the word “adept” in the last paragraph but actually people who quote-mine are bad and evil, and so are their readers. Also, this is the third paragraph in a row where I mention “human rights” as the opposition to “quote-mining”. [Note from editor: I do not recall anything in the bill of rights about “all quotes must be surrounded by sufficient context, where ‘sufficient’ is well-defined and stuff”. But that’s just me.]
5: “I admit to a dislike of women and the violent ideology of feminism being endlessly portrayed as synonyms for each other.” -> [Note from editor: This is vague enough that I can’t actually be sure what’s intended. Is it: “I admit that I dislike ‘women’ and ‘the violent ideology of feminism’ being portrayed as synonyms? Or is it “I admit that ‘disliking women’ and ‘disliking feminism’ are often portrayed as synonyms”? I’m suspecting the second one, but not sure. Back to non-editor:] Some people don’t seem to get that there is a difference. [Sorry, editor again: I agree with everything in this paragraph, either way you interpret the first sentence.]
6: My post about those swedish feminists was intended to say “violence is bad, and people have to stand up and say so, at all times when anyone is saying that violence is okay, in any tone or attitude”. Then someone quoted me and said that I was advocating violence [note from editor: perhaps because you didn’t denounce it while you were talking about it?]
7: More people read my post than his though, so more people agree with me than with him.
8: I argued recently with someone who said that one of my articles was bigoted. What a weird wrong person!
9: It’s because my article said “Once men get equality, maybe then I’ll become a bigot. Maybe not. But it’s wrong to keep gay men out of men’s rights.”
10: So the person had to be deliberately misreading and quote-mining.
11: [This is a tough one.] MRA’s are less responsive to criticism than they used to be, and that’s probably why quote-mining is becoming more popular in opposing MRA’s. [No, it doesn’t make any sense to this editor either.]
12: People who oppose MRA’s don’t have any real arguments, so they just quote-mine and lie.
13: If I say I don’t like women’s words [“yellow journalism”], quote-miners pretend it means I don’t like women. I add pictures to my articles to deliberately make myself look bad, to make the quote-miner’s job easier.
14: Back when no MRA ideas were popular, these feminist tactics worked. Now, some stuff in MSM sounds like stuff MRA’s might say.
15: Quote-miners look dumb. They are bad.
16: Quote-miners will be remembered as “on the wrong side of what is a human rights movement”.
17: Even though quote-miners (like David Futrelle) aren’t good people like MRA’s, they have some popularity right now. But they will be remembered as bad people.
18: MRA opponents will do more unfair arguing before they stop. That’s okay.
19: The only motivation I can think of for these opponents is that they think men are bad and evil. I suppose lying and bad arguing seems okay to them, in the pursuit of keeping men down. But popular opinion will agree with us, not with them. And even if someone did agree with them, well, someone agreed with Nazis once too. [sorry, this paragraph has like eight different things in it]

Ithiliana
8 years ago

@David: Yep, our ideological goggles blind us.

Their ideological goggles…..don’t exist????????????

One of the things that threw me about the discussion at the GMP was the “you have not proved patriarchy exists, and I don’t believe it does, therefore NO PATRIARCHY so quit talking about it you feminists.”

No ideological goggles over there, dudez!

Cliff Pervocracy
8 years ago

OK,,, You really have to decide what gender you are.

It says a lot about MRAs that you keep going back to the “men we don’t like are women!” well for your insults.

As for the “quote-mining,” all I can say is that literally the only thing that isn’t quote-mining would be copy-pasting entire articles, and that would be very tedious to read.

Plus then they could claim you were “article-mining,” because you didn’t copy-paste every article in the manosphere.

Anyway, I’m not interested in “that quote doesn’t represent us” claims unless you can follow them up with “because that quote is wrong and I disagree with it.” Which JtO doesn’t seem to be doing. Saying “you’re painting us as misogynists!” means nothing unless you’re willing to follow it up with “because misogyny is wrong!” Otherwise, you’re just annoyed that your views were correctly represented in a venue with fewer sycophants.

Brandi
Brandi
8 years ago

I don’t think I EVER get that particular version of “Coal Mine” stuck in my head.

This one, though:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WRjgv62Ayc&w=420&h=315%5D

Fembot
Fembot
8 years ago

“For individuals in opposition to human rights of men and boys…”

WFT? JtO can GTFO.

Leeloo Dallas Multipass

“Ideological goggles,” he gurgles,
“and futile Futrellian fools in retreat!
Craven and klan-robed and machiavellian,
mining your way to a final defeat.”

He continues, “so what if some damage collateral
is heaped on the head of a murderous Swede?
She who on brownie-points bottom-feeds to get fatter’ll
sling more yellow pixels than Namco on speed.”

“So down with your one-sided monologogical!”
he shouts over the amoral zombical din.
“History won’t let your idiot ideologic
Biolog- and eugenical gogicals win!”

Shaenon
8 years ago

Is it just me or is that writing style super common to pretty much all bigots?

It’s a style common to people trying way too hard to sound educated. Or, as the old line goes, it’s “a dumb person’s idea of a smart person.”

Fembot
Fembot
8 years ago

Yeah, JtO’s writing style is all about posturing, using fancy language to conceal the fact that nothing he says has any substance. If he sounds super smart, people will just take what he’s saying for truth, without him having to establish a logical foundation. If he wrote in a straight forward manner, everyone would see that all he has to offer is mysognistic nonsense.

Fembot
Fembot
8 years ago

I think JtO is quickly surpassing WTF Price as BIGGEST SHIT STAIN ON THE INTERNETS!

Hippodameia
Hippodameia
8 years ago

Leeloo, you are marvelous! XD

Sharculese
8 years ago

he really thinks he’s a bold new thinker, doesn’t he?

Ithiliana
8 years ago

@Ugh: I think you’re giving them waaaay too much credit with the postmoderism theory–plus a postmodern argument doesn’t have to be obscure (bad writing can occur in work drawing from any theoretical approach).

From the perspective of somebody who has taught English for 25 years and worked with a LOT of beginning college writers (during my three years as an adjunct, I had four or five first year composition courses every semester, meaning 100-125 students all turning in stuff regularly for feedback), they’re doing what a lot of writers who are not used to writing for an audience who is not themselves (or people just like them) do: they just write what’s in their heads. They don’t revise. They don’t get feedback (even from people they agree with) to see if there are places where they could improve their work (oh lord, the way they massacre metaphor and analogy).

Good clear simple to understand direct writing is some of the hardest to write–obfuscatory mashes of bullshit are easy! (Humans have had verbal language for a huge long time; reading and writing are sort of johnny late-comers, and are hard.) A lot of people think that if they just write the way they speak, all would be well (hint: it’s not-read transcripts of verbal speech).

Add in all the emotional issues this group of writers have (feeling persecuted, paranoid), plus trying to co-opt social justice language (one of the commenters over at the GMP was on about how there are no safe spaces for men!!!!, ahahahahahahahahahahaha) that they don’t truly understand, and their over-all toothgrinding dislike of women, and of men who are truly interested in more egalitarian structures, and that’s one of the reasons for the mess of mashed up metaphors and invective.

Freitag
Freitag
8 years ago

Leeloo wins today’s internet, with oak leaf clusters.

kitkat
kitkat
8 years ago

This is like a total mindfuck. God, I love MRAs.

nwoslave
8 years ago

Nice video, Dave. Doesn’t the sight of all those men oppressing women by forcing them to stay home and do domestic work just turn your stomach? No matter how many millenia you go back it’s just more of the same. Men living the good life while women suffer. No wonder history is being rewritten as women’s oppression.

Anyway, Happy 4th of July. Let’s all celebrate the constitution, a document designed to limit the size, scope and power the government has over people.

thebewilderness
thebewilderness
8 years ago

Cementing personas? Depravity!

Leeloo ftw! you made excellent sense out of nonsense.

2-D Man
2-D Man
8 years ago

As for the “quote-mining,” all I can say is that literally the only thing that isn’t quote-mining would be copy-pasting entire articles, and that would be very tedious to read

Well, Cliff, there’s an important difference between quoting and quote-mining. Here’s a quote from Fembot:

Yeah, JtO’s writing style is all about posturing, using fancy language to conceal the fact that nothing he says has any substance.

And here’s the quote-mine:

Yeah, JtO’s writing style is all about … substance.

Technically, both are quotes, but one of them expresses the opposite of Fembot’s idea. It’s generally understood that a quote isn’t going to copy the whole article.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

NWO, today celebrates the Declaration of Independence, you idiot.

Cliff Pervocracy
8 years ago

2-D Man – That’s not quote-mining. That’s just rearranging someone’s words. And I’ve never seen David do that.

…Have you? Examples are welcome.

Examples where he’s done this and you actually disagree with the implication are extra-welcome. Otherwise you’re just playing the “how dare you make us sound like misogynists, by the way women still suck” game.

cloudiah
8 years ago

Leeloo is marvelous. Check out the story she wrote in response to some Gor-porn that was posted over on the A Voice for Men-endorsed Artistry Against Misandry site:
http://artistryforfeminismandkittens.wordpress.com/2012/07/02/from-our-e-book-series/

(I am mining the blog & forums, not for out of context quotes, but for some of the silly, creative, and delightful content that gets created here — properly credited of course. There are just too many wonderful limericks, drawings, and stories created here that deserve better than to be lost in the comments pages. If you have anything to nominate, message me over on the forums.)

cloudiah
8 years ago

Correction: _stories_ not _story_. Leeloo wrote 2 stories on the forums, plus one snippet. All are hilarious. All hail Leeloo!!!

Naira
Naira
8 years ago

@ Ithiliana:

But I’m sure there’s men not in those pictures who are doing the real work while the women pose for pictures. Since women are vain.

I’m a little late to the game on this…there’s not really much new sarcasm I can add to the conversation.

I’m patiently awaiting the day, Ithiliana, when I get to have your headaches in grading papers. Starting my doctoral work in the fall, so hopefully that day is not too far off. I will take your wisdom about undergrad papers to heart and invest in red pens. Maybe have some discussions on what constitutes a good analysis paper.

darksidecat
8 years ago

OK,,, You really have to decide what gender you are.

Nope, not at all.

Anyway, Happy 4th of July. Let’s all celebrate the constitution, a document designed to limit the size, scope and power the government has over people.

You’re not good with history, are you? Also, my only ancestors that were here at the time are mentioned in the Constitution as “excluding Indians, not taxed”, it didn’t apply to them.

Freitag
Freitag
8 years ago

Oh, no. Don’t use red pens. It freaks them out to see red ink on their papers. Use pencil. You can make suggestions/corrections and edit them if you need to. Red ink is scary for undergrads who are dealing with freshman writing and rhetoric classes.

Shadow
Shadow
8 years ago

Are we being threatened with cement shoes?

Re: 2D Man

I think he was talking in the abstract of quote vs quote-mining, and didn’t catch Cliff’s sarcasm

Ithiliana
8 years ago

Re; commenting on papers.

I never used red pens, but my students found green and purple comments intimidating as heck. For years, though, I’ve been using Mark up for typing in comments on drafts.

The major thing is revision–which makes for much more work for everybody, but better results in the end (studies have shown that if a teacher writes comments but then puts a grade on the bottom, or top, the comments are never read!)

Naira
Naira
8 years ago

True, true. Maybe I’ll just take it as an excuse to use purple pens. Distinct enough from black ink from a printer AND my favorite color. Though pencil is a good idea, since I occasionally have to go back and edit myself. No one needs purple scratch-outs all over their paper.

If critical analysis is a problem, I’d LIKE to be able to have discussions on what makes good analysis/critique and give them some practice. As Ithiliana said, it isn’t easy to do. One of my professors did that in class and also specifically said that if you didn’t understand what he was asking for in terms of critique to come to his office hours or make an appointment.

I imagine a lot of people were relieved to be able to ask “WTF?” in private, rather than being the deer in the headlights in a class of 50 or 60 people.

Leeloo Dallas Multipass

And not only was the Constitution passed on July 4th, 1776, but it was signed by representatives from all fifty states, too!

Freitag
Freitag
8 years ago

Try putting the actual grade at the bottom of the last page. That way they can check the grade, see how they did, then read the comments. That’s worked well for me and some of my colleagues.

Freitag
Freitag
8 years ago

Leeloo, will you marry me?

Naira
Naira
8 years ago

I had one professor who made the oddest comments on my papers. One consisted of “excellent” on the final page and then circling a particular sentence and writing out why he agreed with it.

Confidence boosting and fun to read…but not exactly the kind of comments to let me know what I’m doing wrong or even what exactly I’m doing right. I think I’m going to try to stick to “You did this well because of X, Y, and Z that you wrote. Q, R, S can be a little stronger.” Also a lot more useful in the long run.

BlueBee
BlueBee
8 years ago

Is it bad I had no idea what JTO said? Or at least, I have very little idea.
Maybe that’s a good thing.

nwoslave
8 years ago

@hellkell
“NWO, today celebrates the Declaration of Independence, you idiot.”

Ya mean from the international bankers? We done lost that battle. Think Woodrow Wilson.

nwoslave
8 years ago

@Ithiliana
“@NWO: images of women miners!”

So few lucky women who weren’t oppressed.

I still say all men should stay at home and do all the cooking, cleaning and childcare for the next 5000 years while women do everything else. We men want to feel the oppression for the next five millenia.

Unimaginative
Unimaginative
8 years ago

I had a teacher who, in response to a student mentioning “Oh, you bled all over my paper” went from using red pen to purple. Purple ink is hard to read, yo! Pick whatever colour is different from the one the student used, is all, but make it easy to read. And whatever you do, DON’T use metallic, rainbow-coloured ink.

Unimaginative
Unimaginative
8 years ago

And note that students can erase pencil, too, which might become problematical. (I’m a little cynical about students.)

Molly Moon
Molly Moon
8 years ago

Naira: I had the same experience in the last English class I took. Every paper I got a perfect score, so every paper I would bullshit a little more than the last to see how much I could get away with, till the final paper which I completely phoned in and still got an A. It was nice because I’d been worried about passing (I have a tendency to just stop going to class a month in), but I would have liked some semblance of guidance.

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