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In furious post, SocialAutopsy’s Candace Owens attacks a WashPo story that isn’t there

Candace Owens: Taking aim at something that isn't there
There’s no there there

The already very strange Candace Owens story just keeps getting stranger.

In the week and half since her ill-conceived “anti-bullying” startup SocialAutopsy was kicked off Kickstarter- after being bluntly criticized by anti-harassment activists/GamerGate nemeses Zoe Quinn and Randi Harper, Owens has launched a veritable crusade against the two women, and against those she sees as their allies and/or co-conspirators.

She’s posted three weird and angry tirades on her degree180.com website (the first of which I wrote about here). On Twitter, meanwhile, she’s spewed forth literally hundreds of surreal tweets (some of which I’ve written about here) painting herself as the pure-hearted victim of some nebulous conspiracy.

Her latest post, which went up late last night, is her strangest and angriest yet — an overwrought attack on Washington Post writer Caitlin Dewey and her editor David Malitz for the imaginary crime of attempting to libel her in an article that the Post never published and that Dewey likely never even wrote. 

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/724436591914176512

Later in Owens’ post there are surprise cameo appearances by Jeff Bezos and two white supremacists who longtime readers of this blog know well. We’ll get to them in a bit.

In the meantime, let’s take a look at Owens’ bizarre “attempted libel” charge, which turns out to be based on such slender evidence and tortured logic that it’s hard to even explain.

Owens relates a phone “interview” she gave to Dewey, in which she pointedly refused to answer questions or “specify which anti-bullying organizations we had dealt with.”

The SocialAutopsy founder’s reluctance to name even a single anti-bullying group seems a tad weird, since Social Autopsy’s now-defunct but still standing Kickstarter page openly proclaims that “we are proud partners and friends of the Tyler Clementi Foundation and their Day1 campaign.”

But Owens says she told Dewey she couldn’t mention any names because “anyone who had been even remotely associated with us had received some form of unwarranted contact.”

Doing some further reporting the story that, again, never actually ran, Dewey apparently called someone at the Tyler Clementi Foundation, or at some other organization that’s been publicly linked to Social Autopsy, in an attempt to confirm that they had indeed been harassed — that they, as Dewey apparently put it, had gotten some “hate mail.”

Here’s how Owens, cranking up the melodrama, reports what happened next:

At 7:23pm that evening Caitlin’s nasty plan was revealed

I was driving, and I received a phone call from an anti-bullying company. The phone call came from an individual very high up in command, and the tone of the discussion was unexpected.

He was angry, that I saw it fit to relay to the Washington Post that his company was acting as “consultants” to us on our app. He was also angry that as a result, I made a statement on their behalf, that their company had been receiving tons of “hate mail”.

It was a blatant lie. A flat out, disgusting, made up from thin air lie, and it was something that was incredibly opposite from what I had actually said.

Well, no, even by Owens’ own account, that’s not “incredibly opposite” from what she told Dewey. It’s more like “incredibly the same.”

Owens, you recall, told Dewey that she didn’t want to name names because “anyone who had been even remotely associated with us had received some form of unwarranted contact.” 

Dewey called one of those someones to ask if that was true. That’s not libel. That’s not even “attempted libel.” That’s reporting.

Owens cranks the melodrama up to 11 as she continues her tale of woe.

What happened next is something that I am loathe to admit, and so uncharacter [sic] of me in general: I cried.

Yes I pulled over my car to the side of the road and I cried to this unknown individual on the phone.

Unknown? Owens just told us he was “an individual very high up in command” at an “anti-bullying company.” We don’t know his name but she did.

Was it out of frustration? maybe. Was it out of genuine heartache and a final goodbye to everything that I had previously held true about journalism? perhaps. Was it a transition from naive Candace to angry Candace? Definitely. These people were willing to ruin my entire professional career and reputation, to protect the slimey images of Randi Lee Harper and Zoey [sic] Quinn.

And so Owens decided she “had to stop the lie before it was published.”

First, she “called Caitlin about 5 times,” then emailed her. No response.

Owens, apparently under the delusion that she’s narrating an action movie, informs us that “[t]his was at 7:35pm.”

Not 7:34. Not 7:36. 7:35.

At this point, unwilling to wait for Dewey to respond, Owens decided to get her thousand-plus Twitter followers to, well, harass the reporter. “I asked them to retweet my plea to Caitlin to have her please contact me, before publishing misinformation,” Owens writes. “There was no way she could ignore me.”

Dewey was apparently out with her aunt to a birthday dinner. When she sent an annoyed note to Owens three hours later, the furious Owens decided that Dewey was a “smug bitch” and that her email was “a pompous, arrogant, little bitch of a statement to make.”

Elsewhere in the post, Owens refers to Dewey as a “corrupt reporter,” a “smug individual,” a “terrible actress,” and “Caity-doll.”

You can read the rest of Owens’ outraged account of her interactions with Dewey if you’d like; the very thought of trying to summarize all this ado about nothing makes me weary.

Unsatisfied with Dewey’s responses, Owens also pestered her boss, WashPo Deputy Features Editor David Malitz. When he called her the next morning,

I told him that what I was accusing her of (journalistic fraud), was something that she had already been accused of in an article by Matt Forney.

You didn’t see that coming did you?

Yes. that’s right. Owens has apparently decided that MATT FORNEY — the schlumpy, white supremacist, woman hating MATT FORNEY — is going to be her guide to media ethics.

MATT FORNEY, who once wrote that “women should be terrorized by their men; it’s the only thing that makes them behave better than chimps.”

MATT FORNEY, who wrote (in that same post) that

Slapping a girl across the face isn’t just about hurting her, it’s a kind of neg. It says, “I can crush you like an insect, but you aren’t worth the effort.” It’s a tacit acknowledgment that she’s weaker than you, beneath you, and if she crosses you again, you’ll put her in the hospital.

MATT FORNEY, who responded to the San Bernardino shootings by Tweeting that we don’t need gun control but rather ““immigrant control, black control and Muslim control.”

That guy.

Forney’s accusations of “journalistic fraud” against Dewey are based on his tendentious interpretations of her writing — and his blatant and unconvincing attempts to whitewash his own.

At one point, Forney indignantly complains that

Dewey compares Roosh and me to deceased attention-seeking pastor Fred Phelps, Stormfront founder Don Black, Holocaust-denying preacher Michael Crook, among others.

In fact, those comparisons are actually pretty apt.

Both Roosh and Forney are raging homophobes. Last year, on Roosh’s Return of Kings, Forney tried to pin the blame for an Amtrak crash on what he called the “homosexuality and exhibitionism” of the train operator; the deck for the post suggested that “unchecked homosexuality is bad for society.”

Last Fall, Forney and Roosh attended an “identitarian” –that is, white supremacist — conference in Washingtnon DC together, with Forney declaring that the

speakers [were] fantastic, the atmosphere [was] convivial, and the experience of being in a room with close to 200 guys (and gals) who are on the same ideological wavelength like you is an experience you can’t pass up.

Oh, and both Roosh and Forney are good friends with Davis Aurini, who thinks that the the number of deaths in the Holocaust has been exaggerated, and that the Jews were sort of, kind of asking for it. Indeed, Aurini’s comments on the Holocaust inspired the editor of neo-Nazi internet tabloid The Daily Stormer to declare Aurini “a pretty cool guy” in an article titled — wait for it — “Davis Aurini is a Pretty Cool Guy.”

Forney continues, complaining that Dewey made these mean comparisons

despite the fact that neither Roosh nor I engage in illegal activity, encourage others to break the law, or write about anything other than masculine self-improvement.

Masculine self-improvement? Oh, so THAT’S what Forney is writing about in posts with titles like  “The Necessity of Domestic Violence.” “How to Crush a Girl’s Self-Esteem” and “Why Fat Girls Don’t Deserve to be Loved.”

I’m not seeing a lot of “journalistic fraud” going on here — except on Forney’s part.

Speaking of Davis Aurini, guess what? Owens also relies on a blog post by him in making her “case” against Dewey.

Most of Aurini’s unctuous — yet somehow also threatening — “open letter” is a deeply unconvincing defense of Forney and Roosh. His basic complaint about her coverage of Roosh’s Return of Kings isn’t that she misrepresented the site’s backwards gender politics, but that she didn’t recognize that women really

are far less feminine, far less loving, and far less chaste than they were fifty years ago….

You say that “the website ReturnofKings.com… advocates for gender roles even ’50s housewives would balk at,” but in light of our social deterioration, is this truly such a bad thing?

He’s also a bit offended that she didn’t notice his own “recent article on self-development and Leadership,” which I’m sure was quite the masterpiece of rational thought and good sense.

Aurini also complains that Dewey was unfair to poor Mr. Forney:

You criticize his article The Case Against Female Self-Esteem, but did you bother to read it? It’s been widely noted that there’s a huge problem with over-inflated self-esteem, driven by the “Everybody gets a trophy!” culture.

In the article in question, which I’ve read several times, Forney declares, among other terrible things, that

The idea that women should have self-esteem or need it, beyond a low baseline to ensure they don’t commit suicide or become psycho stalkers, is one of the most disastrous social engineering experiments of the modern era. A woman with excessive confidence is like a man with a vagina. It’s an attribute that is at best superfluous and at worst prevents women from fulfilling their natural biological and social functions.

This is the guy that Owens thinks is some sort of expert on ethics.

It’s not clear to me that Owens actually read these two posts. I will assume, charitably, that she did.

But it doesn’t appear that she made much of an attempt to find out anything at all about Dewey’s accusers. Indeed, she bases part of her assessment of the credibility of Forney’s and Aurini’s posts on the not-actually-true idea that they don’t know each other and wrote their posts independently of one another.

“I think it is safe to say,” she declares, “that if three individuals who are unknown to one another agree that she is abusing her position and telling lies, then somebody should look into it.”

Yeah no. Forney amd Aurini have known each other for years. They do podcasts together.

Forney is the bald douchebag wearing sunglasses at night. Aurini is the other bald douchebag wearing sunglasses at night.
Forney is the bald, pasty douchebag wearing sunglasses. Aurini is the other bald, pasty douchebag wearing sunglassest.

They go on hikes together.

Uh, yeah, the title. Aurini kind of revels in his racism.
Uh, yeah, the title. Aurini kind of revels in his racism.

Hell, in his post defending Forney and Roosh, Aurini referred to them as “colleagues.”

Ultimately, the WashPo’s Malitz decided to wash his hands of the whole thing, sending Owens this brief note:

sosorryThe declaration that SocialAutopsy wasn’t important enough to merit a story in the Post seems to have infuriated Owens even more than Dewey’s alleged “lies.”

Aside from attempting to ruin my life and career, the Washington Post was now telling me that I wasn’t even important enough, and that if they wanted to— they would indeed use Caitlin’s lie in the future. Yup. They had somehow purchased future rights to a lie.

And this is where Owens’ post starts to get really weird.

Later that day, Owens informs us,

The day was winding down and my head was spinning. I couldn’t process that I had just caught the Washington Post red-handed in a lie, and perhaps worse, thatnobody had felt it necessary to apologize.

So Owens decided that all of the villains in her little tale remind her of the bratty rich kids she’d encountered as a child growing up poor.

I began thinking about the sheer brattiness of everything that had happened to date, with Quinn, Harper, Singal, Dewey, and now, oddly enough David Malitz.

Who was their Daddy?

SPOILER ALERT: It’s Jeff Bezos. Yeah, that Jeff Bezos, the Amazon.com dude. He’s their collective Daddy.

Well, sort of. Owens, who still insists that she’s no conspiracy theorist, explains that Jeff Bezos is their Daddy in the conspiracy theory that she might come up with if she were given to conspiracy theorizing.

Never mind that in her Twitter feed and in all three of her big blog posts she walks like a conspiracy theorist and quacks like a conspiracy theorist, she insists she’s definitely not one

But the totally hypothetical, totally not real, guys,  conspiracy theory that she comes up with is a doozy.

[I]f I were a conspiracy theorist, I would stop focusing on Randi Lee Harper altogether. I would give up any energy spent discussing Zoe Quinn, David Malitz, or [New York Magazine’s] Jesse Singal, [the subject of her last post], and instead devote myself fully to trying to discover who their figurative daddy was.

My sheer street-smarts would clue me in to the fact that none of these journalists are facing any repercussion from their jobs, despite having been accused of the same fraudulent offenses multiple times.

If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would focus on the fact Harper and Quinn have a long list of victims who have accused them, repeatedly, of harassment, and that these victims, like I, do not know one another.

She, personally, doesn’t “know one another?”

I would wonder how a figurative rich kid

A figurative rich kid?

could do all of that and still somehow manage to:

  1. Have the coveted Washington Post manufacturing lies for them.
  2. Work with Twitter to eliminate the very thing they’ve been accused multiple times (corporations usually will not involve themselves with controversial individuals)
  3. Have ties to Google, (in an effort to prevent online abuse, again ironic)
  4. Have a book coming out published by Simon & Schuster

WE’RE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS HERE, PEOPLE!

AGAIN.

I know, I used this in my past post, but seriously, there is nothing in the universe more apt than it. Or at least nothing on YouTube.

So how do the reverse vampires of Simon & Schuster connect to the saucer people at the Washington Post?

DADDY BEZOS.

“If I were a crazy conspiracy theorist,” Owens writes,

I would be intrigued by the fact that Amazon’s founder and owner, Jeff Bezos had, in an unprecedented move, outright purchased the Washington Post and all of it’s subsidiaries in 2014.

I would probably then recall an article I had read years before then which informed me that Jeff Bezos put up the initial investment in Google back in 2008, and so of course, owns a significant piece of that as well.

Which might only be interesting to a crazy conspiracy theorist if they had already considered the fact that he made an early, significant investment into Twitter back in 2008

Plus Amazon closed a multi-year deal with Simon & Schuster. 

THE PUBLISHER OF ZOE QUINN’S UPCOMING BOOK!

I’ve left out some of the details of this totally not real conspiracy theory here, but obviously I’m running out of really dramatic 4-second-long videos.

Yeah if I was a conspiracy theorist, I would be devoting a lot of time to taking a closer look at Jeff Bezos, a billionaire who could potentially produce such arrogant children.

Because who would apologize for almost ruining someone’s like with a lie if they had Daddy Bezos in their back pocket? Who wouldn’t feel confident enough to talk shit after committing fraud on twitter, with Daddy Bezos to go home to? And why in God’s name wouldn’t two women laugh and take credit for torpedoing a pathetic little Kickstarter campaign, if Daddy Bezos was who they had to fess’ up to?

With that many billions to count…who would ever feel the need to say sorry to the nobody Candace Owens?

Owens then tries another tack, suggesting — this time for realz — that

I do actually believe that Mr. Bezos needs to take a closer look at his acquisition. Seeing the Washington Post lose all credibility at the hands of a few bad reporters, would be a terribly ironic end, to it’s historical reign.

Owens’ post then takes on yet another radically different tone.

Noting that she is African-American, Owens compares her alleged poor treatment at the hands of the Washington Post — which, again, has published absolutely nothing about her — to the horrifying abuse her grandfather suffered at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan, when

he was caught selling oranges on the “wrong” corner. As a resulting punishment, the Ku Klux Klan hunted him down, and branded him in the face (you know, like they do to cattle).

In the “postscript” to her long and fragmented post, aimed directly at the Washington Post’s Mintz, she declares that

I too have dreams. And all I’ve ever wanted was the opportunity to go after them. So you’ll have to excuse my general shock when you insinuated to me that you could take them all away one day, through the simple publication of a lie.

Yup. That snotty little e-mail was more than added insult to an injury– it was an idea that I couldn’t bear to wrap my head around; it was the idea that you and your fraudulent staff are somehow in ownership of every single thing that I have worked for my whole life.

Growing angrier by the word, Owens tells Malitz:

You thought you could instill power over me because you work at the Washington Post? The Washington Post, is now absolute shit in my eyes, and your placement there is little more than a confirmation of it’s dying brand.

Because when I close my eyes:, what you and Caitlin have done to me, feels like a branded warning to my face that I have infringed upon your figurative property.

Yes, that’s right. The fact that the Washington Post would NOT be running a story that Owens had decided would contain some terrible lie about her, and the fact that the editor she pestered about the non-existent story had decided not to “investigate” the non-writer or the non-story based on 1) Owens’ assumptions of what that hypothetical story might contain and 2) the completely unconvincing accusations of two literal white supremacists — these things, in Owens’ mind, are somehow comparable to HER GRANDFATHER BEING BRANDED IN THE FACE BY THE KKK?

Owens ends her post by telling Malitz

F**K YOU.

Leave me and what my family has worked for, the hell alone.

She says this at the end of a 4600-word piece viciously attacking the writer and editor of a Washington Post piece that does not exist.

Leaving people alone is apparently not something Owens is very good at.

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tricyclist
tricyclist
4 years ago

It’s weird though – @socialcoroner was her account (I tweeted at her once) , but the new account seems to have all the old tweets, going back in time.

I don’t know how you can do that.

EDIT – in fact it looks like she has changed the @twitter ID but somehow kept all the tweets. I don’t know how you can do that either.

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
4 years ago

Ah, thanks, BreadandCirce.

RandomPageTrio
RandomPageTrio
4 years ago

Thank you, David! This is the most fun I’ve had all year. I hope the SocAut saga continues for years and years and years.

Orion
Orion
4 years ago

I’m sorry to have contributed to the personal speculation. I was trying, rather ineptly, to do the opposite. I do think the important point is that we don’t know and speculating does any good. I tried to convey that by countering speculation with equal and opposite speculation to demonstrate that we really didn’t know anything. I realize that doesn’t really make sense.

Grace of Spades
Grace of Spades
4 years ago

@PolicyofMadness

FeMRAs exist. Slate wrote up a trans woman who is a TERF. Fox News manages to find black people to talk up the Republican Party. Not sure why it’s so impossible to believe that there is one, ONE, WOC who agrees with the alt-right, and that we must explain that away with DV. People come in all walks.

As a latina and a woman, I always want to believe WOC aren’t going to be racist, misogynist, etc. I should really know better by now; I’ve run into enough who are. Policy of Madness, you have cut to the truth that I logically understand, but am always saddened when I see it.

The odds are in favor of Owens just being a vicious asshat, like “JudgyBitch” and others like her.

LetsBeCrazyTogether
LetsBeCrazyTogether
4 years ago

Can I give a “conspiracy”, too? As this goes on, I’m wondering if it’s crazy performance art. Maybe the person behind SocialAutoposy (@S_Autoposy) and not social autopsy (@socialcoroner) are the same?

Sascha Vykos
Sascha Vykos
4 years ago

RE the speculation- Orion-

If I only think “she’s just an asshole” it makes it easier for me to forget she’s also a person.

If I think about the other ways this might play out, it forces me consider that maybe I was wrong.

I get that speculating can be bad, but it doesn’t have to be. It can also make us think of ways we might have been wrong. It can also make us empathize.

I say this as someone who was misdiagnosed as a teenager with having a personality disorder I don’t have, by professionals. I say it as someone who has been on the receiving end of accurately and professionally diagnosed personality disorder behavior that was so bad I feared for my safety.

I am not saying this because I think it’s ok to judge or dismiss someone because they don’t fit in the tidy, labeled box I made for them. Or because I think everyone with a personality disorder is an asshole, but you should be wondering what’s wrong because something is very, very wrong here.

I’m not going to name it, but in four decades on this planet, this isn’t the first time I’ve seen it, either. There are several big red flags, even (maybe especially) if she is a troll.

BreadandCirce
BreadandCirce
4 years ago

I feel like it’s really getting scary now. There must be someone in her life who can talk her down, and this is the time to be doing it. Her tweets sound so urgently desperate, like screaming that Jesse Singal is stalking and harassing her. Even if he does continue to look in on her, it might be because she keeps mentioning him in all her tweets. She’s the one who appears to be stalking him!

Man. This is like watching a really bad horror movie. I want to stop, but I kind of halfway want to make sure she’s OK.

darkstatistic
darkstatistic
4 years ago

Aw. Things are getting nasty. There are too many people involved trying to counter her, and they’re working at cross-purposes and getting mad at each other. I hate that. I hate watching people who really should be on the same ‘side’ (not that anything much is black and white in this world) undermining and sniping at each other. It’s like fighting over the Democrat nomination and vowing not to vote for one candidate or another while Trump merrily makes his way up the polls.

Now I’m depressed.

chl
chl
4 years ago

@tricyclist

It’s weird though – @socialcoroner was her account (I tweeted at her once) , but the new account seems to have all the old tweets, going back in time.

I don’t know how you can do that.

EDIT – in fact it looks like she has changed the @twitter ID but somehow kept all the tweets. I don’t know how you can do that either.

Twitter allows you to change your username (the “@name” people see) through the settings menu; what doesn’t change is the underlying user id number that tweets are actually associated with. At some point, Owens changed her username to “@S_Autopsy”, but since her user number didn’t actually changed, all of her previous tweets just appear with the new username (i.e., she is just renamed her account instead of creating a new one).

BreadandCirce
BreadandCirce
4 years ago

Agreed. Me too. I keep trying to remind myself to leave it alone (I even wrote that supposedly Polish saying, “Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys” on a post-it and stuck it to my monitor), but I can’t seem to turn away. I hate watching so many people be so awful to one another. To me propping up and egging on what is clearly at the very least a misunderstanding, and at the worst is a significant detriment to what may be a somewhat fragile ego/mind, is almost worse than rape threats. This insidious, and it is starting to really threaten to burn people’s lives down — CO’s first.

darkstatistic
darkstatistic
4 years ago

Yeah, I don’t know whether or not CO is a lost cause at this point — all signs point to yes, but you never know when someone might snap out of it. She’s totally out of control, but you never know.

Right now, I’m sadder that a number of people I follow on Twitter, people whom I like and admire, are stepping in it — and getting mad at each other for stepping in it. I just hate this crap.

Oh well! Humans do nothing but let me down. Let’s not act too surprised. 😛

LetsBeOkTogether
LetsBeOkTogether
4 years ago

Ok, I was totally wrong. I apologize.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ breadandcirce

“Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys”

I am so going to try to use that today, even if I have to artificially create the appropriate situation.

bluecat
bluecat
4 years ago

@ Ryash

Commiserations! God that’s awful.

Did yours have a double standard about honesty?

Her versions of reality – who did what, who said what, what it meant – could be quite baffling. I got to an age, about nine, where I started to notice how they evolved over time and according to what she was feeling: within days the same incident might be recounted successively differently until it seemed entirely unrelated to what I’d witnessed or been involved with. When I read 1984 certain things seemed entirely familiar: the endless re-working of the past to serve the needs of the present.

She was also big on confiding secrets which often turned out to be a) not actually secret and b) not actually true. I believed her, until she started berating me as an idiot and asking “Are you really stupid enough to think X?” – X being what she had told me.

I was a pretty furtive child, I’m sure, mainly because I was never quite sure whether anything I did or said (or didn’t do, or didn’t say) would turn out to be wrong.

She was also very imaginative, very articulate, a great talker, and might have made a writer. She claimed she had “always wanted to be” a writer when I started winning prizes for writing.

I came home from university one Christmas and found she had put a box in my wardrobe full of fragments of writing. I had never seen them before, and she never mentioned them to me.

And I never mentioned them to her.

This might have been unforgiveable of me, in retrospect.

What could I have said?

ETA: “Not my circus, not my monkeys” is brilliant. So often applicable in life.

dreemr
dreemr
4 years ago

Wow, she just keeps going and going. Now she’s trying to get dirt on Jesse Singal, the journalist who wrote the first story I read about this situation (on NY Mag).

Sorry to post about this again but just when I think this story has exhausted all surprises for me, it gets me again.

DexX
4 years ago
Reply to  bluecat

Bluecat said:

Her versions of reality – who did what, who said what, what it meant – could be quite baffling. I got to an age, about nine, where I started to notice how they evolved over time and according to what she was feeling: within days the same incident might be recounted successively differently until it seemed entirely unrelated to what I’d witnessed or been involved with.

God, this is way too familiar. The way my dad’s memory worked, events wouls remain fluid in his mind, sometimes for only minutes or hours, but occasionally longer. Once he had massaged the truth into a new shape that was most flattering to him, it would then set like concrete. He had this weird certainty on his side: once the delusion was in place, it was as unchanging as stone, and I would seem like the delusional one if I ever tried to correct him, months or even years down the track.

The classic incident from my childhood was when I was on the cusp of my teenage years, maybe 12 or 13. My dad got worked up over something trivial as he usually did – this occasion it was a game of backgammon – and he did his usual slow build, getting more and more furious, going in circles in his hour-long lecture/harangue session. I knew the pattern, and even at that age I knew where it was going to end: he’d get to the point where he couldn’t contain it any more, he’d smash some inanimate objects, and then he’d hit me.

I don’t know what was different on that night, but I was just tired of it. I said, “Why don’t you just go ahead and hit me. You know you’re going to. Just get it over with.” (Might not be the exact wording, but the sentiment is right.)

Of course, dad acted like I’d just stabbed him in the heart and taken a shit in the hole. Within minutes, his new reality was that I had said, “You take pleasure from beating up little kids. It makes you feel good to beat up defenceless children.” It wasn’t too far from the truth (he lashed out in physical violence because he had no way to express his anger constructively, and I was an easy target) but I hadn’t actually said it. Clearly someone was projecting a little, and he didn’t like the image he saw.

Cue years – literally six or seven years – during which every time he would get worked up to the point where he would normally have lashed out and hurt me physically, he would instead start needling me. “Oh, but I won’t hit you. I won’t be some bully who gets his kicks beating little kids.” The cruel irony was that the unbearable verbal ranting was extended, because he now no longer had that outlet, but I still felt like I’d won a victory against my much more powerful tormentor. Inadvertently, I had changed his behaviour, and that felt like a strange kind of winning.

He lied, of course. He still hit me a handful of times after that – sent my glasses flying ten feet across the room once with a cowardly slap – but then the narrative changed. “Are you happy now? See, I proved you right, didn’t I?” It was still my fault, you see.

So yeah, that freeform rewriting of history is something I am intimately familiar with.

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
4 years ago

Well, as of right now, the @socialcoroner handle seems to have poofed away in a puff of smoke. Any bets as to how long that’ll last?

dreemr
dreemr
4 years ago

She’s still posting as @S_Autopsy, following a large assortment of the Usual Suspects (including Rooshie).

Really hammering on “Mainstream Media”, gamergate, and trying to make #journalgate a thing.

bluecat
bluecat
4 years ago

@ VP – you mean Jeff Bezos, the reverse vampires, the Washington Post and the evil feminazi conspiracy… HAVE WON???

(and three !s, in memory of Terry Pratchett).

@ DexX – dear lordie!

Is there any comfort in the contortions it takes someone like that to make everything “your fault?”

For me, realising that I would be blamed for what I did, for what I didn’t, for what I was, for what I wasn’t – for the Black Death and WWI if that was the way the winds happened to be blowing – was almost kinda liberating.

If I’m wrong whatever happens, I don’t need to try to be right. Just as well, really.

DexX
4 years ago
Reply to  bluecat

bluecat said:

For me, realising that I would be blamed for what I did, for what I didn’t, for what I was, for what I wasn’t – for the Black Death and WWI if that was the way the winds happened to be blowing – was almost kinda liberating.

Not really. To be honest, I kind of turned into a pre-teen nihilist. I felt like I was a piece of meat on a conveyor belt, completely without the agency required to change my circumstance or prevent the violence that regularly homed in on me. The only way I was ever able to survive him was to cut him out of my heart entirely. He was an obstacle to be overcome if I wanted to see my family. The really vicious irony was that after he died, the rest of my family got hung up on my sexuality (bi and poly) and my mum – who had been an imperfect-but-genuinely-trying protector during my childhood – told me outright that she would never accept me for who I am and that she would never acknowledge my same-sex partner of (at that time) eight and a half years as a member of the family. We haven’t spoken since.

Jesus, really exorcising the demons on here today. Happy-esque ending: celebrated my 20th wedding anniversary with my amazing wife in March, and will mark my tenth anniversary with my awesome boyfriend in June. We’ve shared a house that we built together for almost six years now, and all get along famously. So yeah, fuck my narrow-minded blood relatives. The family I built for myself is way better.

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
4 years ago

@ bluecat

It is to sigh. And swoon. And scream!!!!

(GNU Sir Terry Pratchett)

More seriously … who knows why that Twitter handle has gone poof. Maybe it was reported to Twitter and their abuse team actually moved quickly for once. Maybe whoever took it over thought better of it and deleted it themselves. Maybe Bloody Stupid Johnson decided to turn it into a teakettle.

Skiriki
Skiriki
4 years ago

Hm, after a fashion this whole thing reminds me of points raised in this article: http://www.cracked.com/personal-experiences-2232-my-son-died-at-sandy-hook-conspiracy-nuts-think-im-lying.html

Scildfreja
Scildfreja
4 years ago

@DexX, good for you, beating those terrible events and making something to be proud of. I hope you have many more happy years!

@Skiriki … ugh. I clicked through to your article. I couldn’t do more than skim halfway through before closing it. Ugh. How could someone do that? What sort of failure of empathy do you need to think that’s appropriate? Makes me want to become a hermit in the woods.

Skiriki
Skiriki
4 years ago

Scildfreja: Yep, it is absolutely disgusting, and I had to read it slowly, one paragraph followed by a short break at a time.

A bright point is that some of the former ‘truthers’ have turned around and are now helping to debunk and get that vile shit off the internet.

Wetherby
Wetherby
4 years ago

(I even wrote that supposedly Polish saying, “Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys” on a post-it and stuck it to my monitor)

It most certainly is Polish – “nie mój cyrk, nie moje małpy” – and I agree that it’s magnificent. I’ve had cause to use it on many occasions since I first heard it.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ wetherby

Would it be possible to put that phonetically. I think it would be even cooler in the original.

BreadandCirce
BreadandCirce
4 years ago

Wetherby, thanks for the confirmation! I’m skeptical of everything that gets meme-ified these days, but I hadn’t had the time to track down and confirm its origin for myself, heh.

Still, it’s super handy to have an offline artifact of it stuck to my monitor, handily reminding me that in the end, for me, CO and all this doesn’t really matter enough for me to be getting as upset about it as I am.
I tend to be kind of an empathic sort, but I’m trying to learn, even at my late age of 39 and after 20 years online, that taking on other people’s weird shit to the degree of being an expert on it is not really in my best interests.

Wetherby
Wetherby
4 years ago

Would it be possible to put that phonetically. I think it would be even cooler in the original.

Hmm – try “Nee-eh moy tsirk, nee-eh moyeh mauwpi”.

Or listen to what I assume is an actual Pole.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ wetherby

Cheers for that. I have left weird messages with some of my Polish friends (they’re used to me by now) but that’ll do in the interim.

space garbage
space garbage
4 years ago

that supposedly Polish saying, “Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys”

Native speaker here, and yup, it’s Polish and well-loved to boot. I’m particularly fond of the ass-backwards variant “nie moje małpy, nie mój cyrk”/”not my monkeys, not my circus” – as it stresses that whoever brought the ‘monkeys’ is ultimately responsible for cleaning up the resulting ‘circus’, which is a very comforting thought when you’re being deafened by feral screeches and ducking the inevitable flying excrement (figurative or otherwise).

Would it be possible to put that phonetically. I think it would be even cooler in the original.

Since Polish pronounciation is unambiguous, it can be well represented by Text-to-Speech engines. For very accurate results, try choosing one of the Polish voices at ivona.com. (The IVONA system is made by a Polish company, btw.)

@everyone who shared mom stories

I strongly recommend that you check out reddit.com/r/raisedbynarcissists.
-For those who find the “raisedbynarcissists” part off-putting: the official description of the subreddit is “This is a support group for people raised by a parent with toxic, self-absorbed or abusive personality traits, which may be exhibited by those who suffer from cluster B personality disorders.” with the addendum “(…) in this space, “narcissist” is a term used loosely to refer to a variety of conditions, and is not used in a clinical sense. We are not professionals and cannot diagnose anybody. (…)”.
-For those who find the “reddit.com” part off-putting: I at least have found the community there remarkably polite and understanding.

space garbage
space garbage
4 years ago

That should’ve been “@everyone who shared parent stories”. Sorry!

ryeash
ryeash
4 years ago

I forgot how to HTML on the new comments section 🙁

@DexX

“Once he had massaged the truth into a new shape that was most flattering to him, it would then set like concrete. He had this weird certainty on his side: once the delusion was in place, it was as unchanging as stone, and I would seem like the delusional one if I ever tried to correct him, months or even years down the track.”

This. This was exactly my mother. In later years, when I tried to confront her about her part in hurting my siblings and me, she would tell me I was making it up, that she’d always protected us from my stepdad (she didn’t. She got mad at us over whatever she felt like being mad about that day, then went and riled him up over it, knowing he beat the hell out of us EVERY. TIME. and then run in to stop the beating, thus making her the hero in her own mind). When I refused to accept her version of events, she started making up stories of horrible things I’d done to her, like smoking in a closet once. I’d tell her none of that happened, and she’d smugly ask how much it hurts to have people tell you that you did something you know you didn’t do. That was the beginning of the end for me.

Your dad sounds like a cross between my mom and step, and you have my deepest sympathy. You won in the end though, your life sounds wonderful 🙂 I’m trying to build my own family too.

@bluecat

My mom’s a really bright lady as well. Her mother raised her the same way she raised me, though, so she believed that she was just garbage. I tried for years to boost her self-esteem, thinking maybe if she thought better about herself, she’d stop taking her own self-hatred out on us. It never worked. She’d lap up the praise, but it was never enough. A day or two later, she was right back to saying things like she wished she’d never had kids, because we never amounted to anything. She was too used to grinding others down to make herself feel better, and I wasn’t up to being a stand-in for therapy.

That in mind, I doubt it would have made a difference if you had mentioned your mother’s writing to her. If she was enough like mine, it would have been a great bonding experience for a short time, then turned into just another thing for her to hold over you or blame on you. Either way, don’t beat yourself up over it. It wasn’t your job to make her better, and there’s only so much anyone can do to convince another person to make themselves better.

ryeash
ryeash
4 years ago

P.S. To anyone wondering what’s been up with the Twitter accounts:

A lady who’d been arguing with Owens and GG took over the original @socialcoroner handle to try to get the real story out there, but it was supposedly renewing harassment against some GG targets, so she deleted it completely. There was some talk of her reopening the account and parking it to keep it out of bad hands. @NoraReed is her handle if you want to check out the whole story.

BreadandCirce
BreadandCirce
4 years ago

I think the thing that’s making me the saddest is that now that the storm has passed and the waters, while still choppy, are leveling, CO’s’s just sitting there still claiming that what they did was “beyond horrific.” And to me, the only “beyond horrific” thing that was done was the anonymous emails with the abuse in them, which she believes that Quinn and Harper orchestrated. But instead, she’s sitting there basking in the tempered adulation of probably some of the very same people who sent her anonymous emails calling her a N—– and various really awful misogynist bullshit, and she either doesn’t know it or she pretends not to, because it means she “wins.”

(I say tempered adulation because they are really starting to step up their verbiage around Social Autopsy as an idea, which has been on the back burner while they’ve been busy handing her Molotov cocktails to throw at GG targets.)

She’s started calling Harper a racist, too, and I sat there and watched these asshats tweet-goad her into it, too. And it blossomed like one of those corpse flowers, and now it’s a pillar of her platform, that these leftist harpies are racist because they wanted to take down an African American woman’s business.

It is so frustrating and sad to watch.

dreemr
dreemr
4 years ago

@ryeash @BreadandCirce – thanks for the updates. I’ve been going onto Twitter now and then and I see that she’s really warmed to her new “mission”.

I no longer feel sorry for her in the least. She’s had ample time to figure things out, and chooses not to, for whatever reasons. She’s getting plenty of attention with each more ridiculous accusation, and I have to at some point believe that this is actually what she was after all along (attention).

I am only disgusted that gg is getting even this much of a renaissance, and that this clown’s antics are only making it even MORE difficult for women online.

BreadandCirce
BreadandCirce
4 years ago

It’s so weird, because I’m not IN this, normally, you know? A friend linked to the hubbub on Facebook on the day of my first comment on this blog and I have just been absolutely sucked in because everything was so wrongity wrongity wrong about what was happening.

This is really the only place that I’ve asserted my opinion on the various articles, mainly because it’s easy to keep track of.

I think I’m finally ready to write her off because she seems to have set all her redeeming qualities on fire and danced on the ashes. But I still can’t help but feel like something really, really bad happened and its effects will only become fully clear some time from now.

dreemr
dreemr
4 years ago

@BreadandCirce

I don’t know what pulled me in, either. I think because it seemed like just an average person, with an average Kickstarter, maybe kind of naive, just got swept up in a big online culture that I usually only read about. It was kind of mesmerizing to watch.

I mean, there but for the grace of whatever, you know? I’ve been online a LONG time and I am very very wary about my identity. It’s possible that I even live in maybe a teensy bit of fear of being “outed” for who I am. Not because I’m ashamed of anything I’ve said or done online, but because I don’t want that kind of attention. I like using Facebook and Twitter, and commenting on articles I find interesting. I don’t want to have to face dozens/scores/hundreds of hateful messages to be able to DO that, you know?

Anyway, whatever happened or didn’t happen, it’s been 2 weeks and Ms. Owens has had plenty of time to reflect, investigate, and explain. But she has simply doubled-down all the way down the weird rabbit-hole instead. I’m going to be keeping an eye on this but I hope it doesn’t go any further.

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