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.

144 replies on “Trumpocalypse Week One: An Open Thread”

Also not letting slide the “Thank you X and Y persons who were not shite like all the others who responded to me. Take this Royal Seal Of Approval and carry it proudly everywhere you go. Let it embiggen your spirits.”

Went too far with snark?

Well actual royal seal disagrees. It’s a perfectly crumulent seal.

But if you want [racists] to listen to you, consider your side, change their ways, vote your way….. they are way less likely to do it when you label them or attack THEM, instead of name and attack the behavior.

And if we don’t want racists on our side?

The whole post (including the ‘????’) was a response to @EJ. He just decided to @ him halfway thru for some reason

… So it was. Huh, not sure how I missed that.

So, not only is he even more of a barely-veiled misogynist than I thought, but he’s too fucking stupid to know how comment sections work. Utterly brilliant. *world’s most sarcastic thumbs up*

It’s not that middle aged, white guys can’t respond to complaints about them, it’s that, every time someone complains about them, they end up doing the exact thing we were complaining about.

Heard. Somewhat understood, challenged to understand more.

See, others pointed out your tone policing in later comments, but it really gets going here.

Heard. Curious to see if I can understand.

he even more of a barely-veiled misogynist

That’s silly. “We’ve never touched on the issue, but if he writes this about X, he must think that about Y.”

And if we don’t want racists on our side?

Not for me to answer what you choose. That’s why I wrote “if”.

I was actually mocking your PRATTs. The entirety of your 1st comment is so old and played out, its structure so identical to many a similar screed, the response has a name. Lewis’ Law.

Heard. Really really heard, and definitely want will investigate more.

The whole post (including the ‘????’) was a response to @EJ.

Mostly, but since not all the quotes where from him, I didn’t seem right to address him directly on those.

a lashing out at anyone who denies you your unexamined privilege

Funny that, though it wasn’t my original post, once challenged, my whole reason for continuing here has been an attempt to examine your claims.

who identified himself as another cishet white dude – a proper full-page answer. As usual.

Correlation is not causation. Didn’t consciously notice or remember that about EJ. Allow for unconsciously doing so…. Just seemed he was interested in helping me understand, and in listening back, so I addressed him.

@Woodtreehugger. Totally agree with just about every word of your post about “Deplorables”. But I never said it was THE cause of Trump. Just offered that I personally saw it be a huge motivator to action for some that I saw on the fence. Same with BLM, “I don’t pay any attention to them, I’m sick of being told I’m a racist” is what people told me when I tried to discuss it. If what I’ve offered is unhelpful or “gone over a million times”, then cool, I said my piece and you find it of no value. OK. Never said I had some magic wisdom, just put out a thought.

So I appreciate being able to read all the comments, sure have learned something and will continue to learn more. @EJ, I ain’t withholding wisdom, cause what I shared is all I got that I thought might be of value.

I’m super sick you guyse :C

Between a weekend cram-packed with toddlers (where this illness came from), work, the recent news, the terror attack in QC, I’m just run flat today.

Had a dream last night, I dreamt that Trump was going to offer a government news service, since the “actual” news is just “fake news”. I dreamt that Bannon was the head of it, and that the Democrats just meekly accepted its creation.

I woke up and was all “Oh thank goodness, it was just a dream.” Then a moment later I realized that that’s pretty much in-line with what I expect to happen anyways. The news companies will fight it like hell, of course, and it won’t convince anyone who isn’t already pro-Trump. But it’ll consolidate his base and make them feel a legitimacy they do not deserve. So, that’s fun.

Pleased that the media and government up here is calling the QC attack for what it is, terrorism. I seems like the past week has started to shock people into awareness of the sleeping evil that’s been lurking in western society. Hopefully it continues to do so.

@MAWG, hi, welcome. I’m gonna be rambly, I apologize.

We’ve been told that we should be more gentle in our language when referring to aforementioned middle-aged-white-guys since the 1800’s. That we should not make enemies when we could be making friends. These are arguments that have been leveled at feminists since feminism was a thing. Turns out that the “be gentle and soft” strategy only works on an individual level, within the context of a relationship of trust. All of the gains feminism has made over the decades have been due to being loud and giving no ground.

Middle-aged-white-guys who are unable to recognize this aren’t progressives and aren’t allies. This applies broadly – people who are offended by the accusation of racism aren’t interested in confronting their own racism, people who are offended by being called sexist aren’t interested in confronting their own sexism.

“You should be nicer” is just a nicer way to say “shut up and stop being so angry.”

“You catch more flies with honey than vinegar” is also wrong. Turns out that flies are attracted to the vinegar in reality.

If you can’t recognize that middle-aged-white-guys have a racism and sexism problem, and that no amount of nice-being is gonna divest them of it, you need to go back to the literature. Just like no amount of gentle conversation was going to convince the US government to end the Vietnam war. You had to get loud. You had to go to jail.

Same situation. We gotta be loud, we gotta call a spade a spade, and we gotta let them know in no uncertain terms that their shit is unacceptable. Softness here is just an invitation for exploitation.

And if we don’t want racists on our side?

Not for me to answer what you choose. That’s why I wrote “if”.

Right, I know how the word “if” works. In fact, it’s incredibly condescending of you to assume that my responding the way I did was because I don’t understand how that word works. Not only am I a former professional writer and editor, I’m a current software engineer and if I don’t understand how to use the word “if,” well, I’m in a whole world of pain.

return sarcasm;

But I’m asking, since you feel the need to tell us what to do, what you think we should be doing if we don’t want racists on our side. Because I know we’ve already discussed that here, and most of us do not. So you can kindly take your advice elsewhere.


The point just sailed right over your head, didn’t it?

The people who said they voted for Trump because they were sooooo offended at mean name calling Hillary or mean name calling BLM were never actually on the fence. They were always Trump supporters. They were just looking for a way to justify it to others in an attempt to avoid being seen as racist xenophobes who have no problem with men who boast about sexually assaulting women. If those weren’t the excuses, they’d find something else to latch onto. That they voted for Trump at all is evidence enough that the meanie pants non cishet white man progressives were actually correct in labelling them racist or sexist.


Now it’s much worse: green card holders in the air as the executive order was signed were turned back when they landed.

It doesn’t help that, based on what I heard on the radio this morning, there was absolutely no guidance on this, and the TSA was as surprised by it as everybody else, which resulted in enforcement being completely scattershot and at different levels in different places. Some people got turned away, and some didn’t, because the people enforcing the rules had no idea what the actual rules were, and so a lot of it came down to ‘just how racist is that particular TSA officer, anyway?’

(One of my bosses is from Iran, though these days he’s a Canadian citizen and travels on a Canadian passport everywhere except when he’s going to Iran. He’s probably still going to have to think a bit more about travelling to the U.S. now.)

One of the bits mentioned on the radio this morning is that this is already affecting sports as well, as the NBA has a couple players born in Sudan, and there are concerns about what might happen to them after any games in Toronto. This is obviously not the biggest issue, but the complaints of billionaire sports team owners might have more impact on Trump than other complaints.

Same situation. We gotta be loud, we gotta call a spade a spade, and we gotta let them know in no uncertain terms that their shit is unacceptable. Softness here is just an invitation for exploitation.

Yeah. That’s what I’m hearing here, loud and clear.

If those weren’t the excuses, they’d find something else to latch onto.

For example, “BUT HER EMAILS,” which has been a paper-thin cover for “BUT HER COOTIES” since day one.


In fact, it’s incredibly condescending of you to assume that my responding the way I did was because I don’t understand how that word works.

How could you possibly know what I assume? I wrote that “if” specifically to state that I DIDN’T assume to know your objectives or what you thought important…. not to school you on the usage of “if”.

Good grief!


Correlation is not causation. Didn’t consciously notice or remember that about EJ. Allow for unconsciously doing so…. Just seemed he was interested in helping me understand, and in listening back, so I addressed him.

What people do unconsciously is often the most telling thing about that person, especially when contrasted with what they say. For example, I notice that you’re avoiding telling us any stories about the protest movement back in the day, despite my prompting. This is probably unconscious on your part, too.

I hang around with a whole lot of political types, from Black Bloc anarchists to grizzled veteran liberals, and I have never once met anyone who passes up the opportunity to tell stories about protests. Instead, what you’re doing is acting as the emissary for white men and asking people not to be meanypantses. You have told us that you’re a progressive, but your observed actions say otherwise.

Consider this. Consider why I should continue being nice to you. Right now, I’m finding it hard to disagree with weirwoodtreehugger, although that’s often true.


May the penguins of empirically-tested medicine nurse you back to health.

(Image copyright Jen Goode.)

OK, so you failed again, but slightly less so this time. At this rate, you’ll be not shit in a few months. I believe in you! Luckily for you, I’m sick, bored, and off work today. So, fuck it, let’s explain basic social justice/progressive/intersectional premises to internet randos

1st tho, just a request, quit it with the ‘that isn’t what I meant, how could you possibly assume that’s what I meant?’ bullshit. People are assuming what you mean, cos we’ve seen this play before. It doesn’t matter what you meant to do or say, only what you actually do or say. This is maybe the most important lesson I can give. Eat it, breathe it, sleep it, make tender love to it. Got it? Moving on!

Heard. Somewhat understood, challenged to understand more

Middle aged, white men often come into discussions about the oppression levied by (#notall, but generally speaking) middle aged, white men, and dismiss what other people are saying. Usually by belittling the issues as unimportant and/or belittling the people in the convo for their youth. You did both. Of course, you did both. It’s expected you’d do both. We’ve seen this play out way too often not to read “Middle Aged, White Guy” and assume the worst. It’s possible to subvert the expectation, but no such luck in this case

Heard. Curious to see if I can understand

It is common for people (usually middle aged, white guys) to ignore angry or frustrated responses by women as ‘catty hysterics’. Women can’t get fed up with bullshit, cos the culture views that as being overly emotional, whereas an angry man is righteously indignant and determined. And, as this is a feminist blog frequented mostly by women, it’s pretty fucked up to perpetuate that here. And you do so, by singling out ‘respectful’ comments as worthy of praise, without (I assume) examining why respect is even due to you in the 1st place

Heard. Really really heard, and definitely want will investigate more

Nobody’s stopping you…

Funny that, though it wasn’t my original post, once challenged, my whole reason for continuing here has been an attempt to examine your claims

Sure, but
1)you expect our claims to be flawed to begin with
2)you expect that the way you go about examining is a good way to do so
3)you expect us to find your examinations worth welcoming
These are clear signs of… unexamined privilege

Aight, that should do as a primer. Follow @EJ’s advice. Do your homework, shed your defensive attitude, and come back later. Also, change your fuckin nym. If you can’t figure out why, it’s not worth explaining…

Just seemed he was interested in helping me understand, and in listening back, so I addressed him.

And why do you think he seemed more interested to you than the rest of us did? Less “Hysterical”, perhaps? Less “Emotional,” less “B***hy,” more “Logical,” more “Rational”?

Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, every single time for as long as I’ve been posting here is go fuck yourself.

Yo, stopping in mid-house-move to share some dystopian Trump-related links.

Firstly, someone appears to have dug up Steve Bannon’s divorce paperwork, and it paints him as the textbook petty misogynist abuser.

This is the same Steve Bannon who Drumpf has appointed to the National Security Council – and thanks to something called the Disposition Matrix, this might give him the power to effectively black-bag any US citizen he considers an Enemy to the State.

Finally, this Twitter reports that Drumpf has pre-emptively filed for a 2nd term, with terrible implications:

Oh, and Russia’s state oil company has sold a 19.5% stake to an unidentified shareholder… which sounds close to the 19% they promised Drumpf, plus commission.

Edit: Sorry, links didn’t work first time posting. Also, I realise that not all of these sources are necessarily reliable, but like, it’s still worth watching to see if it checks out.

It doesn’t matter what you meant to do or say, only what you actually do or say. This is maybe the most important lesson I can give. Eat it, breathe it, sleep it, make tender love to it. Got it? Moving on!

Dalillama, would you mind if I asked Axe to marry me? He’s straight-up awesomesauce.

…time to crowdfund my spouse’s passport renewal so we can run for the Canadian border, I fear…

Seconding Axe.

We’re not stupid. We can infer meaning in someone’s post. Saying that inference is wrong because it’s not verbatim is just a complete troll move. It ignores how conversation works. We interpret meanings all the time. Non political example: I ask how you like my new haircut. You say “it’s interesting.” Does that mean my haircut is interesting? Most likely not. It means you don’t like but it would be impolite to say that. Just because it’s the internet, does not mean all conversation has to be painfully literal.

People who are trying to cooperate, to learn, to find common ground will have a charitable interpretation of the semantics of someones’ comments, and will ask for clarification when confused.

People who are trying to win an argument, present opposition, demonstrate superiority will have an uncharitable interpretation of the semantics of someones’ comments, and will use the vagaries inherent in semantics in order to discredit or weaken the positions they oppose.

It’s a tragedy that men are taught from a young age that the latter mode of interpretation is superior. I suspect it’s a root of the “white male rage” we’re talking about; it’s a source of frustration that we don’t acquiesce.

I also suspect that it’s a strong reason why a troll, MRA, racist, etc, will claim that progressives/feminists are all hypocritical. They point to these intentional misinterpretations, these points of un-charity, and use them to discredit the actual argument against them. One more tool in the pseudo-rationalists’ tool belt to protect their ego from the pain of being wrong.

Cracking that shell is difficult, and requires a relationship of trust which doesn’t exist in public discourse.

EDIT: Feel better soon, Axe! I was gonna try to find a solidarity “sick high five” gif, but it turns out that “sick high five” is a pretty bad imagesearch. Womp womp.

Let’s talk a little about inference and assumptions. We will use this as a case study:

But the first step is in getting the fuck over yourself, and realizing that you are not the most important bloc in the progressive agenda. We’d like to have you if you’re going to be an adult about that, but if you’re more inclined to take your ball and go home if you can’t have the lead role, we can live without you.

That’s the part I’m talking about. What’s with the mindreading, assuming I need to learn X or think Y?

I was going to just let this one go, because I’m not actually here for the purpose of holding some MAWG’s delicate little hand through something as basic as this, but MAWG has decided to pull this one out as his main argument now so here we are.

No mindreading required: I inferred, MAWG, that you need to get over yourself because you came in here and decided that your number 1 job in this comment section was to EXPLAIN TO US how we are doing progressivism wrong. We need to append “in your opinion” onto that, because we’re doing progressivism wrong only in your opinion. It looks pretty successful from my perspective, just FYI.

But your opinion is that we’re doing it wrong, and you decided that your opinion is so super-important and vital for us to know that you didn’t give a shit that our opinions might be different. You didn’t qualify anything that you said with “ymmv” or “IMHO” or “in my experience” or anything even closely related to any of those things. Your entire first post is declarative statements of fact and imperatives for us to follow. Then, with pulling out the age card, you intentionally position yourself as the authority that we are to look up to and obey, without knowing jack shit about the ages or experiences of the rest of us.

So, without mindreading anyone, I inferred that you need to get the fuck over yourself and learn that you are not the most important person on earth and your opinions don’t hold the most sway. Because your own words implied that you believe otherwise. If you didn’t want to come across that way, you could have apologized immediately for choosing your words wrong, but instead you elected to double-down over and over, and only barely are you now starting to not do that.

No assumptions are required on my part, just basic reading skills.

So get over yourself, MAWG, and stop condescending to others by saying they are assuming wrong things about you. You are saying things about yourself, and we are reading them. If you don’t want us to think these things about you, stop saying them. Don’t lecture us about how we are interrogating your text from the wrong perspective. kupo’s reading skills are fine.

So you didn’t mean to school me on the usage of the word “if” in your reply where you exasperatedly explain the reason why you used the word “if” despite no one questioning your meaning.

I get what you said. I get what the “if” is for. I don’t get why you’re acting all exasperated by my asking what if that condition isn’t met? What if we don’t want to win over racists? What if we don’t want or need your advice? What if we already know how to relate and be empathetic to people who don’t share our views and/or struggles? What if we’ve already tried that? What if, when we do that, we’re told it’s still not enough?

Because that’s the situation we’re in right now. We’ve tried all of that. We’ve been trying that thus entire time. All of those “ifs” above evaluate to true. And since we’ve already tried your “solution” and found it lacking and buggy as hell, we’re trying something else. And if you don’t want to be a part of planning something new, something different, something that might actually work for a change, then please get out and leave the conversation to people actually trying to make a difference.

You know, it’s really interesting to me how white men have the most tender and easily-bruised feelings of any demographic. I’ve been called every gendered slur in the book. I don’t care anymore what people call me. I know POC that have been called every racial slur in the book, and similarly no longer care.

But the moment someone says that white male rage is a problem – not white men, but the rage expressed with such damaging power by aggrieved white men – and a white man sees that statement, his feelings are hurt so badly he has to tell everyone how badly hurt he is. As if it’s our responsibility to soothe his boo-boo rather than his own responsibility to self-soothe.

For a group that positions themselves reliably as paragons of objectivity and rationality, white men sure are emotional and delicate.

Yeah, I have that effect on people…

Puppy Hi5s are best Hi5s! Thank you, buddy! *thinks about hugs… but maybe a bad idea… cough cough*


I know POC that have been called every racial slur in the book, and similarly no longer care

Slurs are whatever. How the fuck ever:

What if we’ve already tried that? What if, when we do that, we’re told it’s still not enough?

Because that’s the situation we’re in right now. We’ve tried all of that. We’ve been trying that thus entire time.

Yep. Like I said, heard that real loud, real clear and I’m really glad I heard it.

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.”

I apologize for any disruption, sure as hell wasn’t my intent. And @EJ, I ain’t running from thoughts on how it was before, I’m not qualified to begin to presume to give advice on that. I’ve marched and protested, but I sure as heck didn’t lead them. All my stuff has been one-on-one, small group, individual help…. not heavy, overt political action.

“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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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)

(@ 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.

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


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


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!

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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