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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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AbsintheDexterous
8 years ago

And he seems to seriously think that the world will be a utopia if only religion didn’t exist, as if it’s religion specifically that causes tribalism and team mentality instead of just being used as a tool to maintain tribalism and team mentality.

I’ve run into a few people who seem to think this. I can’t understand why, though – there are plenty of people who do not believe in a deity/deities who are racist, homo/transphobic, and misogynistic as well as many religious people who aren’t any of those things, and I would think that the existence of said people would be enough to counteract that thinking. Religion is just the window dressing; evo psych believers are a prime example of non-religious based beliefs that are used as a tool for tribalism. (Phrenology, anyone?)

This thinking was annoying when I was more active in my religion and it still annoys me to this day. “BUT YOU BELIEVE IN THE SKY FAIRY” didn’t negate the perfectly valid points I made nor the evidence that people will still believe shitty things in the absence of a deity/deities.

As for “Western civilization”, isn’t a lot of the US Constitution derived from ideas from Native American societies? There were people living on this continent long before the Europeans arrived, with their own systems of government, even.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

Cassandra, I have a co-worker to whom I cannot mention Coldplay, or it will set off an epic rant about their lack of talent and how they should send a thank-you letter to Thom Yorke every fucking day.

ShadetheDruid
ShadetheDruid
8 years ago

AbsintheDexterous: The big difference is religion has power and privilege behind it.

pecunium
8 years ago

Shade: Depends on the religion. I know a lot of Wiccans, and a few Sikhs, and a lot of Quakers. There are religions which have that sort of privilege, but Absinthe is talking about the idea that religion, in any form, = root cause of evil. The advantages religions may have aren’t so much becuase, “religion” but because tribalism. Look at First Joe and his use of, “Muslims”. He didn’t mean actual muslims. He was very careful to explain it was just the “Bad Ones” who come from the Middle East/have dark skin.

Even if “religion” went away the David Dukes, the Geert Wilders, the BNP would have that on their side.

katz
8 years ago

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.

And those damn kids who won’t get off your lawn!

ShadetheDruid
ShadetheDruid
8 years ago

Pecunium: That’s true. I was mostly focusing on the concept of other things that are used as tools for that sort of thinking, because people using evo psych to justify these things isn’t really on the same scale as people using (some) religion to justify it.

I should’ve probably quoted something to clarify that.

I’m also wary of people using the “other people are bad too” argument because while it’s a good way to counter “religion (or whatever other thing) is the only source of bad things”, that’s about the extent of its ability. Maybe i’ve been spoiled by anti-secularists and others using that argument way too much.

RubyHypatia
RubyHypatia
8 years ago

Blue jeans and rock music originated in America.

Other great things in Western culture: theme parks, pizza, Halloween, basketball, and teddy bears.

Shadow
Shadow
8 years ago

CassandraSays

What’s next – pizza?

Ruby

Other great things in Western culture: pizza

My laughter is most definitely of the “out loud” variety

Shadow
Shadow
8 years ago

@CassandraSays

I wouldn’t mind taking Coldplay off your hands. What say we do a straight swap for the Biebs?

Ithiliana
8 years ago

The use of, and belief in “Western Civilization” as an actual *thing* instead of an historically colonialist and oppressive fiction, is a warning signal.

The “Western Civ” requirement in universities has been increasingly replaced by “World History” during the second half of the 20th century.

That change reflects the challenges to the fiction of the inherent superiority of Western Civilization, especially the idea that “we” superior european/aryan/white types “invented” everything.

Not surprising Ruby is trollishly pimping the outdated colonialist and racist concept.

Polliwog
Polliwog
8 years ago

rock music originated in America.

Yes. Because white Westerners dragged the ancestors of the people who created it over here in chains. YAY FOR US.

Rock music isn’t “Western.” It is, in fact, from a musicological perspective, a fantastic example of where humanity actually excels – a product of multiple cultures intermixing. Rock music borrows from an assortment of African musical traditions, adds in a sprinkle of European musical traditions, and comes up with something entirely new. That’s awesome. It’s not, however, something “the West” can reasonably take credit for, and definitely not something white Westerners can take credit for*, because it was pretty unambiguously African-Americans who created rock and roll.

*Well, okay, they can insofar as they quite definitely did, because the 40s and 50s were a great time for white people who wanted to go, “Oh hey, that black guy just did something brilliant. I think I’ll copy him exactly and get credit for inventing something brilliant!” Reasonable adults in 2012, however, ought to be capable of figuring out that that is racist as fuck. Sadly, I am talking to Ruby, so, you know, “reasonable adult” may be a bit of a stretch.

RubyHypatia
RubyHypatia
8 years ago

Oh, and I also love how Western culture adopts aspects of other cultures, which makes for great diversity. It has given us a varied diet. My daughter is crazy about anime. My aunt used to belly dance.

RubyHypatia
RubyHypatia
8 years ago

No, Western culture is not perfect. It has and probably always will be a work in progress. I look forward to having a one world culture that doesn’t include things like war, racism, misogyny, and homophobia.

Viscaria
Viscaria
8 years ago

No, Western culture is not perfect. It has and probably always will be a work in progress. I look forward to having a one world culture that doesn’t include things like war, racism, misogyny, and homophobia.

Of course you fucking do.

Sharculese
8 years ago

ruby are you just trying to look like a moron at this point

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

I look forward to having a one world culture that doesn’t include things like war, racism, misogyny, and homophobia.

You do realize that someone as dumb and racist as you won’t be a part of this, right?

Anathema
Anathema
8 years ago

Oh, and I also love how Western culture adopts aspects of other cultures, which makes for great diversity. It has given us a varied diet. My daughter is crazy about anime. My aunt used to belly dance.

And non-Western cultures don’t adopt aspects of other cultures? If anything, I’d think that non-Western cultures would have adopted more aspects of Western culture than the other way around, given the dominance of the West on the world stage.

Really, I just love this line of argument. “Western culture is superior. Sure, some of the best aspects of Western culture were stolen from non-Western cultures. But that only goes to show just how superior Western culture is.”

If Western culture comes up with great ideas on it’s own, then that only goes to show that Western culture is superior. If a lot of the great aspects of Western culture were actually taken from other cultures, that still only goes to show how superior the West is.

Geez, Ruby, why not just outright say “Heads I win, tails you lose” and be done with it?

Shadow
Shadow
8 years ago

I look forward to having a one world culture that doesn’t include things like war, racism, misogyny, and homophobia.

Why? I look forward to a just world myself, we don’t need a one world culture for that. There’s nothing wrong with diversity, and I’m always pretty suspicious of people who think the world would be a better place without it. I doubt I’m far off base when I say that your perfect one world culture involves “Western Culture” with just a little more appropriation.

Also, apropos to the rock convo:

Rutee Katreya
8 years ago

If I’m guessing right

Don’t get ahead of yourself, skippy.

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

It’s The Seven Samurai with cowboys. They explicitly say this. You can’t use it as proof of the superiority of western civilization. I didn’t say it was a bad movie, but that’s one of the few non-drek action movies I can think of, and it’s a remake of a non-Western movie.

I can imagine two objections that your sort might have:

Each with as much validity as the rest of your fevered imaginings.

1) Racism, in that white Americans c. 1960 are depicting Mexicans.

Yeah, that is a ding on the movie, but seeing as I don’t think it’s shit…

2) Cultural appropriation, in that it’s a remake of a Japanese movie

Seeing as they’re up front about it, not really an issue.

then I’d hate to see what movies you consider good, since you apparently judge them on their ideological correctness not their artistic merits

‘ideological correctness’, as you define it, is an artistic merit. If the art is horrifically racist, or horrifically sexist, that’s kind of a black mark on the art.

I look forward to having a one world culture that doesn’t include things like war, racism, misogyny, and homophobia.

You could speed it along a little bit by not pretending western civilization is superior.

Blue jeans

Who gives a fuck? They’re just tough work clothes.

and rock music originated in America.

Rock music is honkies stealing the music of black people after treating them like shit… If you want to really center your claim on “Western Civilization is superior” on it oppressing non-white people, well, that’s just fine with me I guess.

Monsieur sans Nom
Monsieur sans Nom
8 years ago

Yes, Western culture is superior. Why? Because of our freedoms.

Actually, “our” freedumbs are the major problem with western culture. What I hate the most about western culture is its pervasive anthropomorphism and the belief that human desires and affairs have cosmic significance(not to mention the foolish belief that people are basically good).

The cosmic irrelevance of humanity that is prominent in Lovecraft stories and other writings is the result of him being influenced by Native American beliefs.

valerienorth
valerienorth
8 years ago

Hi David- Just wanted to say that I thought that the discussion was good and I thought your comments were spot on. Great job.

RubyHypatia
RubyHypatia
8 years ago

Yes, I would love to see the world rid of hate and bigatry, religion and superstition. I know it’s a pollyanna vision, but I can dream. It’s one of the reasons I’m a Star Trek fan.

RubyHypatia
RubyHypatia
8 years ago

But anyway, good job David. I hope other news outlets start discussing this issue.

jumbofisch
jumbofisch
8 years ago

Ruby you are one hateful prick. Take that head out of your ass for one damn second and think instead of screaming about how right you are constantly.

jumbofisch
jumbofisch
8 years ago

Why do random stuff america stole from other countries make their country “the best”? Do you even realize how much of an imperialist asshole you sound like?

AMERICA IS THE BEST AND ALMOST PERFECT WORLD BECAUSE WE ONLY HAD TO STEAL THINGS FROM OTHER CULTURES AND MOST OF THE STUFF IN AMERICA IS MADE OFF EXPLOITING OTHER COUNTRIES. AMERICA IS STILL AWESOME THOUGH CAUSE BLUE JEANS ANS ROCK MUSIC. WHATS THAT???? OTHER COUNTRIES HAVE AWESOME STUFF TOO??? FUCK THAT! MERIKA IS THE ONLY COUNTRY THAT COUNTS!!

Rabukurafuto
Rabukurafuto
8 years ago

After furiously reading Man Boobz for a few months, I decided to post for the first time after seeing the Al Jazeera video. It was a pleasure to finally see and hear David Futrelle after so many hours of reading, and I very much appreciated everyone else that appeared. Thank you for making me aware of the men’s right activists (or rather putting a name to them—I had heard of the misogyny on Reddit before I came to Man Boobz and had heard something about “fathers’ rights” years before that).

Falconer
Falconer
8 years ago

I know it’s a pollyanna vision, but I can dream. It’s one of the reasons I’m a Star Trek fan.

Nice try, but I’m never getting out of the fandom, no matter how hateful you get.

I just can’t abandon George Takei like that.

Falconer
Falconer
8 years ago

Or perhaps a better way to put that is: You’re not worth giving up Trek over, Ruby, no matter how far I want to distance myself from you.

ShadetheDruid
ShadetheDruid
8 years ago

Well you don’t even have to agree with Ruby about the awesomeness of it. You just need to ask her who is better, Kirk or Picard, then hopefully you’ll say the opposite and there we go.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

@Shadow

I’m afraid the UK is going to have to decline your offer. As much as I don’t like Coldplay, I’d still take them over Bieber (as long as Chris Martin isn’t allowed to talk, anyway).

Also, Ruby, as people keep pointing out, you keep forgetting how the (ancestors of the) people who invented rock and roll ended up in the US in the first place. As I said earlier, follow the thread back far enough and it points to Africa.

katz
8 years ago

Guys, you are all missing the point here:

RUBY HAS A DAUGHTER OH GOD SHE REPRODUCED THERE WILL BE MORE OF HER

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

Actually, if Ruby has a daughter who loves anime, maybe that’s the first step in rebelling against mom’s rather narrow viewpoint.

Not that there aren’t plenty of virulently racist anime fans, but hey, I live in hope (and I really don’t want to imagine Ruby Part 2).

Monsieur sans Nom
Monsieur sans Nom
8 years ago

Regarding those three lasses with the “SLUT” paper discs covering their faces….The one the left is a hawt piece of ass! 😛

Dracula
Dracula
8 years ago

Noms, we already know you’re a douche, you don’t need to keep trying to prove it.

ShadetheDruid
ShadetheDruid
8 years ago

We interrupt this Parade of Arseholes to bring you Random Shit I Found on the Internet ™ – taadaa.

ShadetheDruid
ShadetheDruid
8 years ago

Thanks WordPress, how nice of you to ruin my linking.. let’s try that again.

Monsieur sans Nom
Monsieur sans Nom
8 years ago

I wonder if she’s wearing buttfloss under that skirt. *smirks*

Myoo
Myoo
8 years ago

Oh no, MSN, you’re so awful and infuriating, and totally not a boring sub-par troll at all.

AbsintheDexterous
8 years ago

Pecunium has it right, for the point that I was making. Sorry about the confusion, Shade.

I’m also wary of people using the “other people are bad too” argument because while it’s a good way to counter “religion (or whatever other thing) is the only source of bad things”, that’s about the extent of its ability.

My way of thinking about it isn’t so much “other people are bad too” but more of what it takes to dig deep for the motivations behind why some people go the “X is evil” route. With many things – small and big – it always seems like that there are some people who really, really need to establish themselves as higher up in a hierarchy, however small that hierarchy is, sometimes to ridiculous lengths. And while I think that attitudes of tribalism will always be with us, sometimes it’s useful to figure out the motivations behind it because we might be able to make an effort to combat it.

(Apologies if I’m not making sense, I’m a bit tired. Off to bed!)

jumbofish
jumbofish
8 years ago

Stop talking to yourself nomless.

Steele
Steele
8 years ago

I certainly agree that, while the West has some less than “stellar” marks on its cosmic report card, there is much that the rest of the world should – and indeed, does – aspire to. The West, and more specifically Europe, are and pretty much have always been the technological innovators. Democracy sprang primarily out of the West. The West has the highest quality of life by a wide margin – again, collectively.

Dracula
Dracula
8 years ago

So never mind all that oppression and junk we did. And are still doing.

Steele
Steele
8 years ago

Excuse me? Stop putting words in my mouth; you only make yourself the jester’s fool.

ShadetheDruid
ShadetheDruid
8 years ago

I’ve never seen someone use “excuse me” so much except when they have gas.

Dracula
Dracula
8 years ago

You wound me, sirrah.

I wasn’t putting words in your mouth, dumbass. I was mocking your willful ignorance.

Dracula
Dracula
8 years ago

Oh, and marry, nuncle.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

Someone should put words in Steele’s mouth, it would certainly up the quality of what’s exiting his cakehole now.

pecunium
8 years ago

One of the things I was thinking about the other day, as I was listening to some really good pibroch, was the ways in which the repetitions of the chanter, and the subtle plays in minor changes to the theme works.

There is, of course, a lot of that in Irish instrumental music too, and then I was thinking about jazz, and how it does the same, and wondering if it was cross cultural fertilisation.

But what I didn’t do was think it made white folks superior to anyone.

katz
8 years ago

At least Steelpole has learned the use of qualifiers to artfully dodge anyone pointing out counterexamples. Doesn’t help him dodge people calling him a racist fuckhead, though, as I will happily do right now.

Shadow
Shadow
8 years ago

I find it hilarious how enamored Steele gets with words or phrases that he thinks are clever. U’d think a writer, even of the M-feminist dream denied variety, would know better. But, you know, vile, disgusting, vile bigotry!!