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no trolls allowed open thread trump

Trumpocalypse Week One: An Open Thread

Trump unintentionally recreates the final scene in Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978 version)

There’s so much going on that it’s hard to keep up. Like, oh, Trump issuing a de facto ban on Muslim immigrants on Holocaust Remembrance Day. So here’s an open thread to discuss all things Trump and Trump-related. No Trolls or Trump fans allowed.

The gif below pretty much captures what it’s like to live in this new weird world.

The one thing missing from this gif, of course, is the massive resistance that is growing  to fight against the source of so much of this bad news.

Sometimes, though, the best thing for us resisters to do is to turn off the news for a day or two to keep ourselves healthy enough to resist, so here’s a non-Trump open thread for all your non-Trump needs.

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Dalillama, Shepherd of Demonic Crocodiles
Dalillama, Shepherd of Demonic Crocodiles
5 years ago

@EJ (MJW)
“Dalillama, would you mind if I asked Axe to marry me?”
I’m willing to share if he is 🙂
“He’s straight-up awesomesauce.”
Damn straight.

@Scildfreja
comment image
Especially your illness.
[Image description: Two ferrets wearing sweaters, captioned “I hope this image helps you with any problems you might be having”]

@MAWG
Wrong answer, old bean. Once again, you were very good to your friends, and once again, when it wasn’t hitting you personally, you ignored it. As brogressives always do. Which is why middle aged (or other) white guys don’t tend to get a lotta respect in progressive circles unless they really work on their shit. So, yeah. Listen to Axe, who is very wise and has your best interests in mind, and also has infinitely more patience than what I have. Scildfreja as well.

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
5 years ago

Thank you, @MAWG. It takes a lot to say what you’ve said there, it’s to your credit. It sounds like you want to actually communicate, and that’s great. I hope you stick around.

EDIT: Aww, thank you, @Dalillama. My patience has been running suuuuper thin lately, though, so that may not hold for much longer. May need to find a new nick.

dlouwe
dlouwe
5 years ago

Cause I’ve been real scared by all the stuff coming down from the Right, and thought I had a thought that might be helpful in combating them.

But in various words, people here have said “THAT DOESN’T WORK!” So I’m thinking “Ok. Got it. That doesn’t work, so I better think about getting myself less Kumbaya and more In Your Face.”

The problem isn’t your motivation; the problem is that there’s ample literature available that could have told you that it doesn’t work, rather than requiring the energy of the people here to actively engage you. I get that you were trying to help, but before you can help someone you need to understand the background of those people and the issues they face.

It’s like telling a person with depression “You should try exercise!” without A) knowing whether or not they have tried it, or B) any solicitation for advice on their part. If you spend some time listening to people with depression, you’ll learn that they already know that exercise can help, and that exercise doesn’t help everyone, and also that they’re likely sick of literally everyone giving them that same advice.

Listen. We all do some bad thinking from time to time. Actually, we likely all do some bad thinking very regularly. It’s not a comfortable thing to confront, but it’s important to do so, because it’s a useful step in doing less bad thinking in the future. We are going to care far less about your justifications – regardless of how real they are – and more about you unequivocally recognizing that you did some bad thinking, and demonstrating that you understand it well enough to avoid in the future. Without that, simply being contrite and vaguely apologetic just isn’t going to feel as sincere.

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
5 years ago

Bad thinking is human default. Real compassion takes literal practice, effort and concentration. It’s a skill. Same goes for being objective – it’s an extremely scarce resource. Relies on a little stripe of fat and meat scarcely thicker than a human hair.

Bad thinking is human default. Anyone who proclaims that they’re objective, not-a-racist, and not-a-sexist, is very definitively all three of those things. Defeating those bugbears requires a scale of work that is humbling.

Middle Aged White Guy
Middle Aged White Guy
5 years ago

It sounds like you want to actually communicate, and that’s great. I hope you stick around.

Thanks. More than communicate myself, now though, I’ve been trying to listen and understand. But seems I’ve gone as far as I can here, I already said the only thing that I had to say, and seems I disrupt more than add.

So I’ll watch were you all go with the thread, learn what I can, and just sit quietly in the back of the room.

EJ (Marxist Jazz Weasel)
EJ (Marxist Jazz Weasel)
5 years ago

Hugs, Scildfreja. You are one of the most inspiring people I’ve encountered. I know stuff has been rough for you up there, but spring is coming.

Ooglyboggles
Ooglyboggles
5 years ago

@Scild
I hope you get well soon!

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

This is intensely unrelated, but it just occurred to me that Trump’s stupid hotel shares its name with a Resident Evil boss. How appropriate.

Now I kinda want to throw harpoons* at it.

*Note to trolls: I’m making a joke based on that boss fight, not being literal.

(And yes – get well soon, everybody. <3)

Neremanth, 329 year old Contributor to Society
Neremanth, 329 year old Contributor to Society
5 years ago

(@ Scildfreja and Axecalibur: get well soon!)

Went to the Edinburgh anti-Trump, anti-travel-ban march today, and it was great. Massive turnout, creative signs, positive atmosphere, and no police brutality or kettling (that I saw, at least).

Just one thing left a bit of a funny taste for me. As I was walking along this guy called out to me, asking what the protest was about. I thought the signs as well as the context of anti-Trump protests taking place around the world made it rather obvious, but I shouted back “anti-Trump!”. And he asked more specifically what about him, so I shouted “MuslimBan!” (I guess my brain was kind of in chant and hashtag mode rather than full sentence mode.)

So he started walking along next to me, asking me all these questions: didn’t I think it was a bit of an overreaction given the ban was only temporary; did I know that Christians were affected too; did I realise that this was based on a report produced during the Obama presidency; how did I feel about Obama having banned Iraqi refugees at one point; and so on. He asked quite early on if I was happy to talk to him, and several times said he thought it was better to engage in dialogue than confrontation. He wasn’t angry or loud or violent or overtly rude.

At the time I felt kind of odd about it, because I’d readily concede that he totally had the right to do that, and that engaging in dialogue with people with opposing viewpoints is a good thing to do, and yet I felt it was an uncomfortable and unpleasant experience, and there was something I didn’t like about it, and about him. Took me quite a bit of mulling it over after the protest to work out what the problem was, and then reading the splaininess and ensuing discussion in this thread just clarified it that last bit.

It was two things, really. One is just down to me, not his fault at all: I’m not terribly good at discussing my political positions orally, so I’m reluctant to do it except with friends (and even then, I’m a little stressed out and uncomfortable if they don’t share the majority of my views). It’s much easier for me if I can take the time to write down what I want to say (and, if I don’t know something, find out more during the discussion; or if I don’t fully understand something myself, link to someone who does), so I’m much happier discussing things online. (For this reason, I’ll happily leaflet for a party I support, but not canvas.) On top of that, I wasn’t expecting to have a discussion about this stuff and so wasn’t all prepared and in discussion mode.

The other problem was totally his fault, and that was that the whole thing was basically condescending as hell. I vaguely felt it at the time, but couldn’t quite explain to myself why. After more thought, it all seems blindingly obvious:

*He opened the conversation disingenuously, acting as though he didn’t know what the protest was about when he was evidently there to try and change protestors’ views
*He repeatedly said he believed dialogue was better than confrontation, implying his superiority to protestors and failing to recognise that we’ve been engaging in dialogue, that we also need to do things like this or we’ll just be ignored, and that sometimes being a bit confrontational as a group is essential to achieving change (and also failing to realise that peaceful protest is actually somewhere on the middle of the scale between dialogue and confrontation)
*Despite said professions, what we actually had was not a dialogue, but him splaining to me
*and worse, it was done in such a way as to superficially look as though he was trying to learn from me. Basically, although just about everything he said was a question rather than a statement, and he always let me talk until I’d finished in answering them, without interrupting, the questions were all did I know about X, so designed to inform me about X, and for all that he let me talk, I can’t say he actually listened since he’d never properly engage with anything I said, just move on to the next infodump question.
*The whole thing was saturated with the implication that we protestors were silly little people who didn’t know anything about the context and had been riled up by propaganda, and would come to see that of course Trump was acting wisely and justly if only we could be open minded to hear less selective facts, and would then feel ashamed for having made such a fuss over nothing

It was kind of like someone had read about mansplaining, and decided that instead of fixing the attitude that it comes from and revising their goals to aim for a genuine dialogue of equals, they would adjust the format of the interaction so they could claim that no, honestly, they came here to listen to us, and so slip all the splaining past without us noticing and kicking up a fuss.

Anyway I just wanted to share that because I knew people here would get it (actually, most of you would probably have figured it out a couple of sentences in; I’m a bit slow with things like that!). I may not comment very often, but I lurk a lot, and you guys are great.

Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
5 years ago

Holy shit. I went to sleep, then played video games, then forgot about this thread and now it’s gone and sploded.

@SFHC

Mark my words : his hair is a B.O.W.

Leah
Leah
5 years ago

@Neremanth sounds like you encountered a wild sealion.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
5 years ago

@Neremanth

That sounds infuriating. Don’t overlook, though, the assumption on your botherer’s part that you were there to engage with people. He took advantage of it by not actually engaging with you, but suppose for a moment that he had. There’s a lot of unexamined entitlement there, in the assumption that one can just walk up to another person and that person will be happy to engage in a conversation or whatever. He meta’ed that by pretending that was what he was doing, adding an extra layer of dickishness onto the encounter.

I had a not-dissimilar exchange on Youtube not long ago, where this guy dropped by and took a massive teal dump about how the wage gap is a myth because of reasons, and who knows what all else because I didn’t read the whole thing. It was superficially polite enough (at least the first post was) but the entitlement of expecting me to spend probably two hours of my day reading, engaging with, and responding to this epic essay by a total stranger was breathtaking.

The person bothering you had a similar sense of entitlement to your time and attention, and I am irritated on your behalf!

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
5 years ago

Thank you for the well wishing, all. I really do appreciate it. Have been thinking of changing my name to Scildfreja Folcwóhbrecr, but will leave it for now.

(Scildfreja, Breaker of Lies (against the people))

Hyperbolic but it sorta suits my mood recently.

@Neremanth, you met a real life troll! My condolences. That’s the sort of asshole deception I’ve come to expect from them at their best, too.

The guy probably thought he was being generous and having a dialogue, to boot. He was just so eager to get you to believe him that he was willing to ignore anything you said. I’m glad you had the discussion, and I hope it was instructive! Thank you for sharing it. You’re my favourite 329 year old contributor.

sunnysombrera
5 years ago

Real life sealions can really take you by surprise sometimes but they exist. Even my dad asked me once, with a stupid grin on his face, that old chestnut “aren’t you liberals being intolerant of intolerance though?” like it was some sort of gotcha. I shut him down quick. Fortunately he’s not hard to deal with if I get firm with him.

Meanwhile I have a colleague who I simply can’t debate with because he’ll interrupt me constantly. When I called him out on it he simply said “yeah well that’s what I do.” So I’ll just let his stupid thoughts and dumbass opinions go unchallenged since trying to argue with him is 1) futile 2) will just stress me out for no reason. Enjoy your ignorance, old man. Until it bites you in the ass one day.

Neremanth, 329 year old Contributor to Society
Neremanth, 329 year old Contributor to Society
5 years ago

Thanks all!

@Leah I think you’re right! Sadly he was disappointingly human-shaped; with the online variety it’s possible to pretend they’re actual marine mammals, which makes them a little cuter and a little less annoying.

@Policy of Madness Your Youtube exchange sounds very annoying too! That’s an interesting point that you raise. In general, I’m very aware of certain men’s tendency to believe women owe them their time if they should happen to want to interact conversationally and to act accordingly, and realising that actually I owe them nothing and I’m not a bad or rude person if I decline was an important revelation. Unfortunately this does not always mean being able to act on it in practice: I have an unfortunate tendency to convince myself temporarily, for the duration of an interaction, that my views are whatever would be most polite – in this case, that I really do want to have a rather detached conversation with Joe RandomStranger (and that happened tonight, when he asked if I was happy to talk to him); in other situations that I’m enjoying whatever I’m doing with acquaintances when actually I’m not, for example. I put this down to a combination of simultaneously being very keen to be polite and a poor, so reluctant, liar. (Fortunately, being British, the whole strangers wanting to strike up conversations thing doesn’t happen too often, #notallmale entitlement notwithstanding. So it’s not a big problem.)

But in this case the thought that I don’t owe anyone a conversation did briefly flash through my mind, and I actually decided that this was a situation out of the ordinary, and the fact that I had come to speak out about an issue meant that I really ought to engage in communication about it with anyone there who wanted to (and wasn’t being violent or abusive). In addition, I thought about the whole echo chamber thing, and it seemed to me I had the responsibility to take this opportunity to reach through the bubble wall. What you say makes me wonder whether, even if he had been interested in a genuine, good faith dialogue, I didn’t after all owe it to him. Maybe protests are for expressing things as part of a big voice, and feeling the support of all the people who think the same way against the scariness of whatever it is you’re protesting, and the time and place for engaging with other points of view is elsewhere and elsewhen.

@Scildfreja Aw, thanks! You’re my favourite Anglo Saxon (or Old English?) Canadian AI researcher! I always know when I scroll down and see your name that I’m about to read something thought provoking, clearly expressed, and very often novel.

I guess I did! Well, that’s quite a distinction; not many people can say they’ve met a real life troll (or sealion, of the metaphorical variety).

It’s kind of infuriating, but he probably did. As for instructiveness, I guess I learnt a little more about some varieties of Trump supporter; and I did discover that Obama apparently temporarily banned Iraqi refugees, which sounds like something to find out more about (it wasn’t something I’d heard about at all before). As it happens, I came across an article after I was back home that mentioned that very thing, and dang me, turns out Obama apparently didn’t ban Iraqi refugees, he just introduced stricter vetting; I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise to find a Trump supporter working with a set of alternative facts, but I’ll still read up a bit more about it at some point, so I guess he at least had that effect.

PaganReader
PaganReader
5 years ago

MAWG reminds me of one of those (self-proclaimed) allies who, as soon as any member of the groups they are supposedly wanting to help says something (even just mildly) rude/doesn’t give ass-pats/doesn’t bake them cookies/whatever, declares that they totally were allies, you guyz but they aren’t anymore! Why, if they aren’t going to be coddled, and catered to, then you can just fight for your rights/basic survival on your own!

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

I just found out I lost my health insurance via an extra 75$ for my adderall.

Two weeks ago I was moved into the “PRN pool” (scheduled as needed) from the full time position I was in for reasons that I have yet to hear specifically. I fear it amounts to “you have been with us for 9 months and have been out for 3.5 months for medical reasons”. The first two weeks was because a patient broke my toe. I just got back from my scooter accident and was out for one month.

I get that it’s tough figuring me out with two gaps in that short period of time. No one told me that I would be losing my health insurance. You’d think someone would explicitly do that.

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
5 years ago

Oh god, Brony. I’m so sorry :C That’s so awful. I hope that you will be able to find coverage soon, and that you will be scheduled for the hours you need.

http://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/94/7e/75/947e75a0ca317a1c7fc850b81deb342b.jpg

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

@Scildfreja
Thank you. I’ll deal, I’m still processing it. Too many sources of social tension.

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