After my post on NBI group think got a lot of attention from the targets of my arrows and barbs, I knew that there would be a fair bit of discussion, (read general loathing where everyone agrees with everyone else), about my post. However, unless they directly linked to me I didn’t seek them out. Which means that I only intend at this stage to interact with one other blogger on this issue, as he was the only one with the courtesy and courage to link to me.
Tobold. He and I have disagreed in the past on … well, just about everything. And I disagree with points he has made in this post. But at least he has the guts to link to me so I can respond.
Anyway, Tobold’s post starts with a quote from Burke on good men doing nothing. I like that quote myself, and it sums up my attitude to GamerGate. Which means that I believe that those on the side of Gamergate are the good men. In other words, the opposite of Tobold who uses the same quote to say the same thing. Tricky things these quotes. Tobold has linked to a post about my NBI smack-down that did not have the courtesy to link back to me. The post in question in its format says essentially nothing. The writer makes no real claim or argument, and there is no cohesive thought to the small piece except to say that I am bad, (without even referring to me by name causing some commenters to ask who on earth he is talking about), and that this mystery person is on the wrong side of history.
Tobold writes, “… To me that appears to be the worst possible way to respond. You neither engage or even acknowledge the person you disagree with, but you also don’t ignore him and keep silent about the issue …”
I agree, (hey! we agreed on something!) Tobold however, doesn’t address the reason why they did not engage with me. Why it is that they wish to stay in their own echo chamber of stilted thought. The reason is that they are intellectual and moral cowards. At heart they are afraid. They exist in a world of doubt and fear. The more afraid they are, the more they must hold on to their opinions and thought processes as a flag pole in a terrible wind. They do not wish to be challenged. And they seek, not to engage with a dissenter, but to simply label them and dismiss them out of hand. Rowan Blaze originally stated that I was not even worth expending mental energy on, which is weird seeing as he seems to have expended a fair bit.
My favorite comment from Blaze’s post is this one from somebody called Chestnut:
“… I really felt even more attacked reading that post, and I may even tackle the first talkback topic now, whereas I was hesitant before …”
The poor dear feels so attacked. This nicely sums up the appalling cowardice in the SJB crowd. Not only can they not engage with a contrary opinion, they use the excuse of invented violence to substantiate their refusal to do so. I am amused as I consider just how they might go in a debating competition. State their team’s viewpoint and then put their hands over their ears, begin wailing, and demand a safe place when the opposition has their turn?
For I did not personally attack or abuse a single person in my post, contrary to what Tobold claims. I stated that there was group think, quoted from each blogger that I was able to find, and commented on how they did or did not fit in with my group think hypothesis. Of course I used my usual outstanding wry humor, startling wit, and self deprecating sarcasm, ( a lot of which the usual suspects amusingly misinterpreted), but at no point did I abuse, attack, or insult. The closest I came was pointing out that the name of a blog seemed narcissistic.
Responding to Tobold’s post, Rowan Blaze said this:
“… You have every right to link to posts you disagree with; I have done so myself when engaged in a worthy debate. However, I decided not to for the precise reason that I was not going to feed the troll with pagehits coming off my blog …”
His justification for not giving me the opportunity to respond is that I might get page hits. Rowan’s comment betrays what is important to him, not what is of importance to me. I could give not two whits of page hits, but it is obvious that Rowan values them very much indeed. Why is this? I assume because he associates self-worth with how many people click on his own blog. Which means he really really really cares what people think of him. And thus he must have the correct opinions to stay on the good side of this crowd of sheep. There can be no other explanation as I have no advertising on my blog so I can not in any way benefit from page hits. Or maybe he just does not want to run the risk of one of his readers agreeing with me. Better for them to just trust him at his word I suppose than have them make up their own minds.
He also is happy to link to someone when engaged in “worthy debate”. I assume that means debating with someone he more or less agrees with.
In their eyes I am obviously not a worthy person. There are plenty of comments on his post from well known bloggers stating that they had never heard of me. Dismiss the person, not the argument is their preferred technique. If they can dismiss the person, (I have never heard of him therefore obviously he is lesser known and thus not an ‘important’ blogger), then they don’t have to stand up and actually debate whether or not their is any merit to my arguments. This betrays the heart of the problem. The individual is more important than the argument. When a differing viewpoint is discovered they rush to discredit the person saying it. The argument itself? Left untouched. So the person is a homophobe, or is unknown, or is a bigot, or as one of the bloggers I linked to commented on my post and said about me, a sub-human.
I, apparently, am sub-human for having a differing viewpoint. And people say I am the attacker and the insulter in this case? It is all too easy, and all so intellectually fraudulent.
In conclusion, I wish to append one of my own favorite quotes. There has been a lot of talk on freedom of speech, on how freedom of speech does not mean freedom to have a platform. My answer is simply to quote Thomas Paine.
“… He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself …”
Tobold and I may have our differences and disagreements, but I am confident that he would be happy to sit down and discuss them over a glass of red wine or a bottle of Belgium dark beer. And that is one of the highest accolades I can give a blogger on the other side of the fence in this day and age. Sadly, for it is sad, it seems that none of the NBI group think crowd would be similarly inclined.