On the Good Men Project blog, “wellokthen” sent in a message that I was very much intrigued by. I was thinking myself along similar lines, because I get very frustrated when people online just get bogged down in their own ad hominem crusades. I don’t think I’m ready to make such an extreme statement. I see his point about getting the attacks over with, but it seems really foolish to lay yourself out there like that. I’m thinking, however, of drafting a similar statement when I have conversations online, like “you say I’m a bad person. See my disclaimer at _____ so we can move past this already.”
I just figured something out about discussing hot-button issues like racism and sexism. I can’t believe it took me so long to see the solution to dysfunctional debate.
Here’s my idea: I should stipulate ad hominem statements about me beforehand, to save everyone a lot of wasted energy. I hereby admit and accept anything anyone says about me as a person. Whatever you guess my motives are, those are my motives. Whatever you say about me as a person is true, no matter what it is.
I am a terrorist, rapist, child-molesting, victim-blaming, racist, misogynistic, homophobic serial killer who clubs baby seals and puts recyclable material in the garbage. I tear the tags off mattresses before I buy them, I immediately go swimming after I eat, I run with scissors, and I have terrible hygiene. I assassinated Archduke Ferdinand, planned the attacks of 9/11, and made the Buffalo Bills lose four Super Bowls. I have a lot of typos because the white hood that I’m wearing obstructs my vision. Whatever horrible truth you have to share with me, I am in denial about it, except for the parts about which I am totally ignorant. If you think I am trying to make fun of terrible things, then yes, that is my motivation.
I will not spend any time denying anything said about me. You can just assume you are right on the money. Whatever you say, guilty as charged. So stipulated. You can quote me on it.
Now, can we talk about ideas and evidence and truth?
(Wow. Defensive much?)
Defensive, but funny as hell. I especially love the line about the white hood over his head blocking his vision.ReplyDelete
I think I may steal that one myself. I also hope there will come a day when no one will get the reference to white hoods. On the Good Men Project site, there's a lot of discussion about racism, so I can't imagine this will go over very well.Delete