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Friday, April 04, 2014

The intolerant society

There's a scene in Truffaut's film version of Fahrenheit 451 in which Julie Christie (playing a bimbo housewife of the dystopian future) sits on her sofa in spaced-out bliss as she watches her jumbo-sized telescreen. On the screen, a fascistic spokeswoman for the state orders her viewers:

"BE. MORE. TOLERANT! TODAY!"

Those times are these times. I am stunned to learn that the recently-appointed head of Mozilla was forced to leave his spot because someone found out that, back in 2008 -- six years ago -- he donated a thousand dollars to the effort to make Proposition 8 law. Prop 8 was California's initiative to ban gay marriage; the initiative passed but was later overturned by the courts.

As long time readers know, I did not favor Prop 8. (At the time, I said that the best way to insure marriage equality would be to make heterosexual marriage illegal. While I wasn't being entirely serious, it's true that I'm not exactly a big fan of the institution.) But I sure as hell would never say that those who disagreed with my position should be hounded out of their jobs.

A man should not lose his job just because he donated to the Prop 8 effort. Neither should anyone lose a job for donating the other way. A man should not lose his job even if he funds organizations I consider hideous. Even if someone tosses money at groups promoting Holocaust revisionism or NAMBLA or the Klan or any other despicable cause, that's no reason to strip a man of his job. This is America.

(Well, I suppose a NAMBLA supporter should not hold any job involving children. But that's a special case.) 

Mozilla was forced into this action by mob pressure. Anyone who joined that mob is a fascist of the most insidious, most self-deceived sort, because the worst fascist is the person who refuses to cop to his or her own domineering instincts.

Among the fascists: Taylor Marsh.
Love took down the homophobe, because it’s more powerful than hate.
Taylor, don't you dare claim yourself to be a an exemplar of love. Your attitude is small and tawdry. You dogmatically insist that everyone believe as you believe -- and if they don't, they must be stripped of their position in society. That, Taylor, IS fascism, whether you care to admit the fact or not.

Andrew Sullivan (with whom I have often disagreed in the past) has issued a response which I consider precisely correct:
Will he now be forced to walk through the streets in shame? Why not the stocks? The whole episode disgusts me – as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society. If this is the gay rights movement today – hounding our opponents with a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else – then count me out. If we are about intimidating the free speech of others, we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us.
This outrage will only give undue credibility to the Fox News propagandists who continually tell their viewers that liberals are totalitarians. That inane proposition seems less inane when we have so public an example of liberals acting in a robustly totalitarian fashion.

In recent days, we saw a similarly infuriating brouhaha over a joke told by Stephen Colbert. Colbert, enmeshed in his usual "Fox News" persona, wanted to make fun of an "original Americans" foundation created by Dan Snyder, the owner of the Washington Redskins. To point out the absurdity of the situation -- a guy who owns a team with that name starting a foundation devoted to racial sensitivity -- Colbert announced:
"But I’m willing to show the Asian community that I care by introducing the Ching Chong Ding Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever... I owe all this sensitivity to Redskins owner Dan Snyder."
A number of liberal bullyboys then sent out tweets that gerrymandered the joke, erasing all reference to Snyder and conveying the impression that Colbert had seriously used the words "Ching Chong Ding Dong" to denigrate Asians. Result: A widespread movement to drive Colbert off the air.

Andrew Sullivan has also written about a gay rights group which -- get this! -- wants to ban all use of the word "homosexual" because the term allegedly denigrates gay people. Sullivan's response:
As a writer, there are few things that piss me off more than being told which words I can and cannot use. Fuck that shit.
I would also add that Gore Vidal hated "gay" and preferred "homosexual," although he tended to like the term "same-sexer" even more.

So that's where we are today. We have become a nation of outrage-junkies. On both the right and the left, in states scarlet red and cobalt blue, our nation teems with faux-victims willing to propagate and believe any piece of codswallop if doing so sends them into those much-beloved paroxysms of rage-gasm. For many people, hallucinations of victimization seem to fulfill some deeply-felt psychological need.

If Jonathan Swift were alive today, our nation of dimwits and dullards would insist on reading A Modest Proposal as if it were a cookbook. Our teevee screens would feature a parade of Irish-American protesters all screaming that this Swift fellow is the real-life version of Hannibal Lecter.

I suppose my foray into agricultural journalism means that I'll never be allowed to run a company the size of Mozilla.
Comments:
It's not just hounding someone out of their job for what they personally believe. It's hounding someone out of their job for what they believed six years ago. A lot of people have changed their opinions on this since 2008.

Have to say, it's made a great wedge issue though. Kept the socially conservative right all fired up. Cost Kerry the presidency. Keeps people distracted from the real issue of economic justice.

Love happens. And The Banksters don't care who you fall in love with as long as you remain a serf. And they almost have the game wrapped up... just keep everyone preoccupied for a little while longer ...
 
Trust but verify - the only source Google kicks back for "be more tolerant today" is Cannonfire,both today and from the archives.

However, multiple sources cough up "be tolerant today".

Doesn't mean they are right. On the other hand, I can't remember how many things I have misremembered.

Let's go to the videotape!

As to Mozilla, dare we suggest an analogy to the famous "#HasJustineLanded" flap? Of course, that was racism, unless it was a joke gone sour, but the mob reaction was similar.
 
Things like this just give the far right more ammunition and confirm their biases. Which isn't to say that the far left doesn't do the same......they most certainly do. I get sick to death of the constant noise from both sides, trumpeting the fact that the other side does worse things, so the bad things we do aren't really so bad after all. This is what passes for logic and debate these days. It's sickening no matter who is doing it. It's appalling that this guy got fired for a political stance. That should never happen in a free country. Of course, we aren't really a free country anymore and haven't been for quite some time. However this SHOULD be a free country and I despise the "thought police" on both the left and right. It's ridiculous and absurd.......it would even be funny if these people weren't so oblivious to their massive hypocrisy and fascist tendencies.
 
JustOneMinute -- it's true that I haven't seen the Truffaut film in full since the Reagan era.

It's also true that Peter O'Toole never actually says "The guns of Aqaba face the sea" in "Lawrence of Arabia." And I could have sworn that Eric Idle said "Nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more" at some point during that famous Monty Python sketch -- but no, he never does. Not exactly.
 
This precedent cuts both ways. So is it now OK in a red state for me to be fired from my private sector job, because records show I donated to John Kerry's presidential campaign?
 
The LGBT crowd has never had a lot of political sense. That's always been my biggest beef with them. Too many of them are too narcissistic for their own good. They think "their" issues, which are so trivial like same-sex marriage, are more important than anything else in the world, more important than education, more important than foreign policy, more important than the economy, more important than fighting off the neoliberals who are hellbent on turning this country into a third world country. I got tired of the bunch a long time ago because of their political myopia.
 
It's abundantly clear to me, having been a long-time reader of this blog, despite promises to leave it after some very ridiculous posts, this one included, that Joseph pretty much hates (or fatally misunderstands) anyone who is not gender-normative AND hetero-normative. I won't say 'homosexual' or 'gay' because those are not the only alternatives to 'heterosexual/straight'. Perhaps I should just say, anyone non-heterosexual (including asexuals).

Anyway, Brendan Eich voluntarily resigned. He was not fired. He's a terrible person anyway and nobody should shed a tear over him stepping down. He won't have any problem finding another job because most companies/corporations are thoroughly conservative and he will be flooded with job offers. More than that, he didn't even have the job at Mozilla for even a month. Even more than that, nobody (like Joseph) who pretends to now suddenly care about Brendan Eich (and the plight that is his life) gave a shit about him before his resignation. Now suddenly all these Eichian sympathisers are creating an ideological force behind the guy and raising flags.

Exterminate homosexuals and all non-heterosexuals, go ahead. It's the only way you will shut the fuck up about folks you know nothing about.

 
That's actually legal in many states. But it's not right, unless the person being fired is the head of the company and is misrepresenting its values.

Count me among those in full support of the campaign against Eich. This bastard supported a campaign that took away people's rights, that HURT people. He has no business leading a company that stands for human rights and progressive values. People calling those opposed to intolerance and oppression "fascist" are just proving their idiocy.
 
So is it now OK in a red state for me to be fired from my private sector job, because records show I donated to John Kerry's presidential campaign?

Or Obama? HAHAHAHA!!! What a hoot. What a motherfucking hoot this world has become.

Here's another word to look out for: RESILIENCE.

Aren't we all just so fucking resilient?

I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony...

BULLSHIT.

P.S. I am not afraid. Bring it on, assholes.
 
Susan, I could kiss you. And heterosexuality has nothing to do with it.
 
Jay, never post here again. Idiots like you are infuriating. "Exterminate"...? Are you fucking KIDDING me?

Sure. Right. And anyone who dares to criticize Israel must be an anti-Semite who wants to kill all Jews. And anyone who voted against Barack Obama in 2008 must be a racist who wants to kill all blacks.

Folks, the time for that kind of manipulative horseshit is PAST. We just ain't gonna fall for it any more.
 
"... nobody (like Joseph) who pretends to now suddenly care about Brendan Eich (and the plight that is his life) gave a shit about him before his resignation."

That's because the focus here isn't on the person, but on a practice that is seen as unjust.

Joseph, I remember reading about the "Farm Report", but not the comments. They're hilarious. What you were getting at was obvious with the seventh paragraph with funerals and fence posts. I like parables. And this line is priceless; "If I had a kid, I'd be perfectly fine with my offspring's decision to seed the fields that I myself preferred not to plow."
 
The entire Gay Marriage issue was a joke in my opinion. Instead of demanding that Gay marrieds be treated identically to a heterosexual couple that can produce offspring, all the gay movement had to do was demand an explanation as to what the difference is between a heterosexual marriage between two people that cannot pro-create, and a gay marriage.

The answer is, there is no difference, and whatever is given to either group should also be granted to the other.
 
Methinks the Prop 8 angle is receiving undue attention; when Brendan Eich was named CEO, three board members resigned. That was HALF of the board of directors!

A Mozilla spokesperson said two of them were planning to resign anyway, but that's very, very, difficult to believe; if half of the room walks out during the coronation, that's pretty clear that the dissidents intend to send a strong signal of "no confidence."

And as reported in the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere, that's exactly what happened. A faction wanted to hire an outsider with a strong background in mobile. Instead, Mr. Desktop Eich got the nod. The Prop 8 flapdoodle was (almost) incidental to that life-or-death boardroom fight.

 
I think the real reason Eich was fired can be found here http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2014/03/28/three-mozilla-board-members-resign-over-choice-of-new-ceo/ cited in the previous post Of Kings and (Fire)Foxes.
 
Now that you explain that, je, I have reason to like Eich. Before that, he was just a nonentity to me.

As noted in an earlier post, I'm pissed off that Mozilla has been ignoring desktop users like me and refusing to fix the glitchy code in their flagship product. The current version of Firefox is nearly unusable, due to high CPU issues.

My advice to everyone: Do as I did and give up on Firefox. Pale Moon is basically the same browser, using the same add-ons and themes, but with the glitches fixed.

http://www.palemoon.org/
 
Hm, after reading giantslor's and je's posts, it seems to be this was an internal company war. Mobile generation vs desktop generation. I'm thinking someone dredged up that old Prop 8 issue as a distraction.

But once it was brought up publicly, having someone like that be the *head* of a declared progressive company makes no sense....which they should've vetted before he was selected.

Sounds like the kids who lost on the technology front resorted to mob justice to get their way, instead of keeping him on to shore up the desktop product while they appointed someone else as their head.
 
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