Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Hasbara Sealioning

Sealioning is a new verb. It's, like, a thing.

If you're unfamiliar with the concept -- and if you have not yet seen the cartoon that started it all -- go here. Then here. For fun, try here.

But the original Sealioning cartoon does not even begin to cover what I've encountered -- almost daily -- behind the scenes of this very blog. (This site gives you a taste of it, although the trolls who attempt to heist my goat tend to be more brutish.)

Therefore, I have decided to improve upon the original cartoon.

The sea lion is clearly in the right, in the original. Okay, he's a bit persistent, but ultimately he is being polite and using logic to refute the baseless racism directed against his people. Since when do we side with the one peddling racist stereotypes?
He is NOT in the right in the original. You miss the point of sealioning: Just because you disagree with something I said, does not mean that I am obligated to engage with all comers. And if you are among those "comers," do not presume that a polite-but-persistent attitude requires me to acknowledge your existence.

I learned from hard experience that if I allow the 9/11 "controlled demolition" nutjobs to have their say, they will -- LITERALLY -- demand that I spend ten to twelve hours a day engaging with their "conspiracy cliches," forcing me to disengage from writing about any other topic. Sorry, but I won't be suckered -- or sealioned -- into that endless, endless fight. The only way to deal with those people is to think of them as cockroaches. Polite cockroaches and impolite cockroaches deserve the same dose of boric acid.
I don't think you've seen "sealioning" used as an accusation as often as I have. It is used all but exclusively by people who are openly prejudiced and object to anything but uncritical acceptance of their prejudice.

Now you can, if you want to, stand in public making objectionable and prejudiced statements. But if you do, don't expect any sympathy when the people you're insulting object.
Hahaha! Never heard the term 'sealioning' before but can easily relate to the endless, stupid arguments we've all experienced online. In the case of Israel if you dare criticize or disagree, the Nazi flag gets waved and you're automatically labeled anti-Semitic. We saw this same tactic during the 2008 election: anyone who criticized and/or didn't support Barack Obama was called out as a racist. And the attacks were endless, in your face, all to shut down any critical discourse.

I would say that in regards to Israeli action/stances, Americans are beginning to wake up, realizing that criticism is perfectly justified, even between allies. This last incursion into Gaza was the turning point for me. Netanyahu's election speech before the US Congress yesterday was another wake-up exercise, despite the Republican fervor and flag waving.

The beat goes on.

Stephen, I don't expect sympathy. I expect people to understand that nothing stops them from starting their own damned blogs and saying whatever they like. I didn't even have an internet connection when "Cannonfire" got going: I worked in the library.
Working from the library. That I like. You and Ray Bradbury, Joseph. When are you going to write your memoirs?
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