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Here’s the video of the Al Jazeera English show featuring Helen Lewis and Rebecca Watson, among others, and me.

It’s  pretty good show. Most of the discussion involves social media researcher and Fordham professor Alice Marwick and Helen Lewis of the New Statesman. Those of us in the Google+ Hangout pop in briefly with comments and questions.

FWIW, I appear only briefly in the show proper, but I have a somewhat longer (and a bit more coherent) comment in the ten minute “online only” portion that immediately follows the show (and which is also on this video).

It was a somewhat strange, if educational, experience, my first appearance on TV. (The next time I get webcammed into a show, I won’t reflexively look down at the laptop while talking.) It all went by really, really quickly. Weirdly frantic behind the scenes as the producer tried to slot us all in.

The comments on the video on YouTube nicely  illustrate the problem we were discussing; that is, they are a rancid pile of misogynistic shitlordery.

My favorite comment is this one from Urhoboman5 about Rebecca Watson:

At 5;30 that chick has a youtube channel. Just type in rebecca feminist and you’ll find it. Interesting how most of her videos are voted down. Sometimes as much as 80% negative because the stuff she says is pure nonsense.

That’s right. He actually thinks that the fact that her videos are targeted by downvote squads proves that she’s wrong to talk about harassment. She’s harassed by dudes who don’t like her talking about harassment so therefore it’s “nonsense” for her to talk about harassment. Brilliant.

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Ugh
Ugh
8 years ago

Well, Joe, if you’re still reading, word of advice:

If you don’t like being part of a movement full of homophobes and rape apologists, save the anger you have for me and go call out MRAs when they get homophobic or start making excuses for rapists. If you’re getting this upset at it being pointed you, you might want to consider getting a little upset at the people actually doing it.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

Katz, you forgot her hatred of the poor.

Dracula
Dracula
8 years ago

Oh, and Western culture is also superior because we make things like automobiles, computers, smart phones, and atom smashers. Heck, we can put people on the moon. We just put a rover on Mars. We’ve got a space station.

Putting every other idiotic aspect of the above quote for just a moment, The Toyota parked in my driveway says that Western civilization is not exactly unique in the ability to make automobiles.

Dracula
Dracula
8 years ago

*aside for

pecunium
8 years ago

Dracula: No. Don’t you see that the Japanese, and Koreans and whomever else will follow learning how to make cars just shows they are adopting all the good part s of “Western” civilisation.

They want to be like us, and buy things; which will, inevitably lead to “The Free Market” and the world will live in peace and splendor, with women marrying up, Evil People being raped in prison for their amusement and poor people getting the lack of healthcare they deserve.

Shadow
Shadow
8 years ago

@Falconer

In case it was unclear, I was just playing and took no offence to your analogy.

Shadow
Shadow
8 years ago

whoops, wrong thread

Dracula
Dracula
8 years ago

And yeah, I’ll start being impressed when the particular Western government I live under starts taking a more interest in investing in things like healthcare, repairing our crumbling infrastructure, and efficient, affordable public transportation. Fuck cars. I’d very much like to see far fewer people actually needing them.

Dracula
Dracula
8 years ago

Shit. *more of an* Proofreading, I fail at it.

Rutee Katreya
8 years ago

Computers and Smart Phones? That’s Taiwan and China. Cars are Eastern Europe (Which is usually not considered part of ‘western civilization’) and Japan. All we got is a single Atom Smasher, and the Large Hadron Collider was literally funded by Europe as a whole as well as the USA. South and East Asia probably could afford it, if their relations were good, but they’re not. Rovers and the Space STation aren’t really that important. I’m pretty sure China is putting too much into, you know, a modernized, non-fossil fuel-based power grid to worry about trifles like that.

Oh, didn’t you know that, Racist Rube? That China is putting more into a modern energy grid than literally any other country, one that isn’t based on oil? For that matter, a lot of middle-eastern oil exporters are making non-oil based energy grids for their countries. Why don’t those count, when discussing the developments of non-White (Let’s be honest here) peoples?

My new icon is the Kirisame Marisa plushy my girlfriend gave me. A simple, ordinary witch who’s only real gift with magic is shooting giant lasers and charming the pants off every girl she meets XD

RubyHypatia
RubyHypatia
8 years ago

Those men who made those great things couldn’t have done so if women hadn’t given them birth, cared for them when they were young, and educated them.

I’m not saying non-Westerners haven’t made some great contributions to humanity, they have. It’s just saying that so much of what makes up our modern world are western inventions: automobiles, airplanes, computers, x-ray machines, medicine, phones, printing press, TVs, etc.

BTW, I’m not in favor of wars in the Middle East, or supporting oppressive regimes.

Rutee Katreya
8 years ago

Oh, not non-oil, but China’s putting out quite a bit on green energy. Some of it’s hydro- power, so not perfect there, but then again, compared to the USA still working on fossil fuels and nuclear happily…

Shadow
Shadow
8 years ago

I’m not saying non-Westerners haven’t made some great contributions to humanity, they have. It’s just saying that so much of what makes up our modern world are western inventions: automobiles, airplanes, computers, x-ray machines, medicine, phones, printing press, TVs, etc.

And that has nothing to do with the centuries of oppression and resource theft that has left the Western world with enough resources to funnel into sientific inquiry, ohhh no.

BTW, I’m not in favor of wars in the Middle East, or supporting oppressive regimes.

And yet it’s all USA A-ok, and WESTERN VALUES!!!!eleventy, despite the millions of oppressed citizens living in the Western world?

Rutee Katreya
8 years ago

automobiles, airplanes, computers, x-ray machines, phones, TVs

Invented during the period the west had ground everyone into the dust with colonial power.

medicine,

You h ave no idea how much medical research is conducted either illegally or grossly inethically on non-white people, by white people, do you?

printing press

…India invented printing presses well before Gutenberg, you twit. The West had movable type, but Movable Type isn’t equally useful in character-based scripts (Which not all asian scripts use). Also, China is responsible for a lot of interesting printing techniques due to how their lack of copyright interacted with making sales.

Dracula
Dracula
8 years ago

I’m curious, what exactly do all these innovations have to do with “The West” being awesome because freedom?

katz
8 years ago

China built a fucking hovertrain, your argument is invalid.

Dracula
Dracula
8 years ago

I mean, you seemed to be starting off with some kind of moral or cultural argument (such as it was), and then just immediately shifted to “We make cars.”

Also, I want a fucking hovertrain.

katz
8 years ago

(Ruby’s argument, that is, natch.)

RubyHypatia
RubyHypatia
8 years ago

The computer, smartphone, and automobile were Western inventions. Same with trains. And the Gutenberg press was revolutionary.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

Yeah, Ruby, double down on your ignorance. That’s the spirit.

katz
8 years ago

I was going to say “we wouldn’t have computers or modern engineering without algebra,” but the better question is: How do you get from “we invented computers” to “WIPE OUT ALL DISSENTING OPINIONS!”?

Rutee Katreya
8 years ago

And the Gutenberg press was revolutionary

Movable type isn’t nearly as useful to people with a character-based language, like you know, the Chinese (who invented a shit ton of things the Europeans needed for their colonial bullshit). Compared to non-movable type, movable type is useful, but not revolutionary, if you don’t use an alphabet. Westerners invented the press they needed, not the press everyone needed.

The computer, smartphone, and automobile were Western inventions

So their production is now irrelevant, despite you pretending their production was king until it was pointed out to you that it wasn’t done by white people.

FFS, the Japanese are fucking famous for refining our electronics in ways we never would have fucking thought of, and you’re still pulling this shit.

Anathema
Anathema
8 years ago

Ruby, a lot of the great contributions the West has made to technology and science have been possible only because of even more important discoveries and inventions in the non-Western world.

Mathematics is important to a lot of modern technology. There is an area of mathematics called algebra, you may have heard of it. The word “algebra” comes from Arabic. Do you know why we use an Arabic word to refer to this area of mathematics? It’s because the Arabs were the ones to invent algebra in the first place!

Has it ever occurred to you that there might be a reason so many of the stars have Arabic names? Do you think that the Arab world’s vast contributions to science might have something to do with it? Do you realize that these were key to future scientific discoveries and technological innovations?

Do you realize that there were only two cultures that came up with the concept of the number zero? I think that this might be kind of an important concept. Do you know what those two cultures were? The Mayans and the Indians. Neither of which are Western cultures.

Asians invented gunpowder and paper and (as everyone else has already pointed out) the printing press.

A lot of this stuff is much more fundamental to the modern world than freaking smartphones. Good grief.

pecunium
8 years ago

China invented paper money. They didn’t understand economic cycles, so when they hit a collapse because the economy stopped growing and the presses kept running they gave it up.

But the same problem hit the Spanish, only they had all sorts of silver coming from Potosi (Which they got by working S. American natives they dragged across the continent to the mines, where they died), and their economy stopped growing, the value of silver collapsed and Europe was screwed because people thought silver = money.

So it’s not as if “western” civilisation is all that unique.

thebewilderness
8 years ago

I despair of our educational system when this sort of thing happens.

BlackBloc (@XBlackBlocX)

Don’t tell Ruby that currently many historians consider that the entire Dark Ages up to the Renaissance was basically Europe being a backwater to the actual world economic system that had spawned around the Mediterranean (linking it to China and *incidentally* bringing some Chinese goods into Europe), mostly controlled by the Islamic world, and that this thing that we’ve traditionally said was revolutionary (the Renaissance) was in fact just Europe catching up with the *civilized world* that was basically mostly Muslim.

RubyHypatia
RubyHypatia
8 years ago

Other things that I believe make Western culture superior: rock music, action movies, blue jeans, video games, and cute kitten videos. Just to name a few.

indifferentsky
8 years ago

Why frame is as “superior”.
That’s problematic. If you don’t know why that is, again… problematic.

indifferentsky
8 years ago

Also people gave you very thoughtful and serious answers, and you came back with this pop culture crap and acknowledged nothing.

Shame on you.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

Rock music – produced in non-Western countries. Also, historically speaking, based on several forms of music that were indeed invented in America, but not by white people. If you follow the musical thread far enough back it leads to Africa.

Blue jeans – people all over the world wear them, and the best denim is currently made in Japan.

Video games – are you under the impression that names like “Sega” and “Nintendo” indicate a Western origin?

It is funny to watch you scrambling to try to find proof of Western cultural superiority, though. What’s next – pizza?

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

* By “produced” I mean “now produced”, ie the West is not the only place that produces rock music any more. Here, have a band that sings mostly about Taiwanese independence.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

Right, Ruby, no other place has the things you mentioned. How the fuck do you get around day to day? Being this stupid should be painful.

katz
8 years ago

The West also produced you, Ruby, so it’s a wash at best.

captainbathrobe
captainbathrobe
8 years ago

Hey, you guys broke Joe! I swear, I can’t leave you kids alone for a minute…

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

I’m particularly curious as to how she could believe that places outside the West don’t have jeans, and action movies. I’m also confused as to how action movies prove that a culture is superior. Ifany other culture would like to claim Michael Bay I’m sure many Americans would be happy to officially disown him.

Rutee Katreya
8 years ago

Rock music, which honkies stole from black people? Fucking honkies. You want a motherfucking accolade for slavery and discrimination? Fuck the hell off.

Video Games – Seeing as I meh FPS and sports, and prefer RPGs with strong plot and characterization the most, and strong gameplay/excuse plots second, the west hasn’t made a lot of value to me.

Blue Jeans: WTF kind of proof of superiority is this supposed to be? They’re just reasonably tough clothes; there’s been shit tons of that. Also, developed for the purpose of mining out land stolen from the Mexicans.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

Also, as a Brit, does any other culture want Coldplay? You’re more than welcome to them.

Rutee Katreya
8 years ago

FTR, I understand why blue jeans were mentioned. “They’re traditionally Meriken, and the Soviets totally wanted them, that must mean they’re magical, right?” It’s not that I don’t understand the fool-logic used in this, it’s that I want it admitted.

As to action movies, I’d probably cry tears of laughter if she tried to mention like, “The Magnificent Seven” or some shit as proof of the West’s contributions t ot he world of art through… action movies.

Seriously, they’re popular and people make money off them, but what’s supposed to be “WORSHIP THE WEST”-worthy about fucking action movies? They’re generally considered drek, critically…

katz
8 years ago

cute kitten videos

Okay, now she’s just taking a piss.

Sharculese
8 years ago

Other things that I believe make Western culture superior: rock music, action movies, blue jeans, video games, and cute kitten videos. Just to name a few.

how fucking stupid are you?

Sharculese
8 years ago

what are the odds that ruby owns multiple volumes of the ‘politically incorrect guide’ series, and can’t tell the difference between them and actual history

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

@ katz

Well, to be fair, Maru is technically no longer a kitten. Also he doesn’t wear jeans, so there you go.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

If Maru was American he’d be wearing tiny little jeans and watching movies about blowing stuff up. Go USA.

katz
8 years ago

And you just inspired me to Google “Japanese kittens wearing jeans.”

Nothing interesting, sadly.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

I googled “Godzilla kitty” and got this.

http://greenpoliceofmaryland.webs.com/kitty-fire-godzilla.jpg

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

There’s this one too – at least it’s warlike? That might make Ruby happy.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/gen/325927418/

katz
8 years ago

Ha! Completely by coincidence, I just finished drawing this.

Tulgey Logger
Tulgey Logger
8 years ago

And you just inspired me to Google “Japanese kittens wearing jeans.”

Nothing interesting, sadly.

Ruby is vindicated!

scrapemind
8 years ago

Dear Ruby, if action movies proved things, then action movies would prove that Hong Kong is culturally superior to the USA. American action movies are drek because they have shaky cam, close-up photography, and rapid cutting in the action scenes, so that you can’t see the action, which is supposed to be the damn point of the movie. The cinematic art has also gone downhill since the golden age of the 1970s because of CGI stunts replacing stunts done in camera, CGI gore replacing practical make-up effects, and the creation of the PG-13 rating and subsequent attempts to neuter action movies into fitting that rating.

Rutee, are you saying that The Magnificent Seven is shit? If so, I can imagine two objections that your sort might have: 1) Racism, in that white Americans c. 1960 are depicting Mexicans. 2) Cultural appropriation, in that it’s a remake of a Japanese movie (by John Ford fan Akira Kurosawa). If I’m guessing right, then I’d hate to see what movies you consider good, since you apparently judge them on their ideological correctness not their artistic merits. If I’m wrong, I’m sorry. In either case, The Magnificent Seven isn’t shit, even if it’s not as good as Battle Beyond the Stars.

BlackBloc (@XBlackBlocX)

>>Rutee, are you saying that The Magnificent Seven is shit?

Reading comprehension much? She’s saying it’s no example of the superiority of the West, since it’s basically a Japanese remake. Says nothing about the quality of the movie itself.