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rightwingnuts do it for free on facebook (hate free zone 2)

RIGHTWINGNUTS DO IT FOR FREE is a follow-up of sorts to an ear­lier ar­ticle where I dis­cussed turning my Face­book page into a “rightwingnut hate free zone.” I did that so there will be NO MORE racist ho­mo­phobic misog­y­nistic Is­lama­phobic etcetera com­ments! Which doesn’t mean those folk aren’t oth­er­wise ubiq­ui­tous on Face­book and across the In­ternet.

Off the Internet—you know, in ‘real’ life—I often tell younger folks how far America has pro­gressed in my life­time, as we no longer have ‘blacks only’ ser­vices or the blas­phemy of lynch­ings.

We are moving in all the right—er, that is, correct—directions with equal rights for other racial mi­nori­ties, women, the phys­i­cally chal­lenged, and the mem­bers of the ever-expanding LGBT ini­tialism groups.

If mod­erate con­ser­v­a­tives have a say on Face­book, it’s drowned out by the rightwingnuts

That the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion of America is in fact a kindler, gen­tler, and far more ‘lib­eral’ so­ciety and cul­ture than it was fifty years ago.

Hell, I re­member when in­ter­ra­cial cou­ples were stared at—even by rea­son­ably non-prejudiced folk (black and white), if only be­cause they were so unique! 2

Un­for­tu­nately, shifts in the cul­tural and po­lit­ical spec­trum to the left have caused an op­po­site re­ac­tion by those mem­bers who iden­tify as ‘con­ser­v­a­tive.’

 

In the de­lightful and wickedly ir­rev­erent movie Dick (1999), Dan He­daya plays Pres­i­dent Richard Nixon caught during the Wa­ter­gate Af­fair. Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams are two bub­ble­headed teenagers who stumble into the op­er­a­tion from the very be­gin­ning and end up being the real Deep Throat! 3

Conservatives and hate free zones

I place the word con­ser­v­a­tive in quo­ta­tion marks above be­cause I be­lieve it mis­used by those people. Here are simple de­f­i­n­i­tions of two forms of con­ser­vatism, com­pli­ments of Wikipedia:

 A ‘so­cial con­ser­v­a­tive’ wants to pre­serve tra­di­tional morality and so­cial mores, often by op­posing what they con­sider rad­ical poli­cies or so­cial en­gi­neering.

 A ‘re­ac­tionary’ is a person who holds po­lit­ical views that favor a re­turn to the status quo antethe pre­vious po­lit­ical state of so­ciety, which they be­lieve pos­sessed char­ac­ter­is­tics that are neg­a­tively ab­sent from the con­tem­po­rary status quo of a so­ciety.

For the latter, that older status quo in the US was based on Eu­ro­pean male ex­cep­tion­alism. That it is a given that white men of Eu­ro­pean de­scent are the Crown of Cre­ation, and en­ti­tled to the biggest and best piece of the pie. 

When these ‘givens’ are erased or dis­si­pated and the pie is shared among others—among ‘lessers’—then neg­a­tive feel­ings emerge. These feel­ings can bol­ster neg­a­tive opin­ions, which can beget neg­a­tive speech and be­havior, which begets hos­tility and even vi­o­lence.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Lex­ington Min­uteman by Henry Hudson Kitson re­sides in Lex­ington, Mass­a­chu­setts, and is often con­fused with The Minute Man by Daniel Chester French in nearby Con­cord. The musket de­picted in the statue fired one round and then had to be re­loaded, which took about sixty sec­onds. These were the “arms” borne by Amer­ican cit­i­zens who were mem­bers of local government-regulated mili­tias men­tioned in the 2nd Amend­ment.

A well regulated militia

With the word vi­o­lence, I do not mean the fake vi­o­lence of movies and video-games. Nor do I mean threats and cyber-bullying, al­though these are prob­lems. I mean ac­tual phys­ical vi­o­lence done by one or more hu­mans to one or more other hu­mans. (Or an­i­mals, re­ally.)

And there is vir­tu­ally no real vi­o­lence as­so­ci­ated with In­ternet ac­tiv­i­ties.

Yet.

Do these guys dress up in white gowns and hoodies on week­ends and cruise dark al­ley­ways looking for others of their ilk?

Re­cently, I com­mented on a clever jaypeg poster (photos with su­per­im­posed text that some refer to as memes, which they’re not) that showed a flint­lock rifle (the one-round-per-minute weapon in the statue above) and de­scribed them as the “arms” ref­er­enced by the founding fa­thers in the 2nd Amend­ment to the Con­sti­tu­tion.

And yes of course there are coarse li­brull ar­se­w­holes here there and every­where in­cluding the In­ternet, but the type of vile­ness dis­cussed here seems to be iso­lated among the troglodytes with the per­son­ality type as­so­ci­ated with rightwinged­nut­ness. (Did I just coin a word?)

This essay is less co­he­sive than the first as it serves mainly as an ap­pendix to of post-post re­flec­tions on that ear­lier essay. Meaning bear with the abrupt segues and lack of tran­si­tions!

 

Horror_troll

This great drawing by fan­tasy artist Britt Martin is simply ti­tled ‘In­ternet Troll’ can be found on the De­viant Art web­site. If you click on over to the site and read the com­ments, you will find a very ar­tic­u­late ar­se­w­hole ‘trolling’ an­other com­menter.

Is somebody paying these creeps?

Then we have the In­ternet, where what ap­pears to be mostly white, mostly middle-aged men (over 30-years of age) spout their vile­ness day after day after day. It gets me to won­dering:

Do these guys dress up in white gowns and hoodies on week­ends and cruise dark al­ley­ways looking to hook up with others of their kind? 4

(Yeah, I know: they’re not all guys, al­though the rightwingnut gals seem to be mostly promi­nent in anti-gay-male vi­tu­per­a­tion. (Which is kinda weird.) Promi­nent re­cent ex­am­ples in­clude Sweet Cakes by Melissa (Oregon), Kim Davis (Ken­tucky), and new headline-maker Sally Kern (Ok­la­homa).

From pon­dering these dudes cruising dark al­ley­ways, I pos­tu­lated them con­gre­gating some­where on the In­ternet and plan­ning their ag­gra­va­tion.

Con­spiring.

I started thinking (as­suming ac­tu­ally), No one does this for nothing—it’s too time con­suming! Too much ef­fort!

That got me to thinking, Is some­body paying these creeps?

Could there be ‘pro­fes­sional’ po­lit­ical trolls?

That led me to re­flecting, Oops! Maybe I’m get­ting para­noid here.

But a quick search of the In­ternet put me at ease con­cerning my mental well-being …

 

Horror_Ike

“Every gun that is made, every war­ship launched, every rocket fired sig­ni­fies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its la­borers, the ge­nius of its sci­en­tists, the hopes of its chil­dren. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threat­ening war, it is hu­manity hanging from a cross of iron.” (Pres­i­dent Dwight D. Eisen­hower, April 16, 1953)

Where have all the moderates gone?

If old-fashioned, level-headed, so-called (or is it ‘once called’?) ‘mod­erate’ con­ser­v­a­tives and Re­pub­li­cans have a pres­ence or a voice on Face­book and other so­cial media on the In­ternet, it’s hard to find.

Or it’s drowned out by the ubiq­ui­tous and rabid rightwingnuts, and those mod­er­ates are found guilty by as­so­ci­a­tion and by not gain­saying them. 5

America is in fact a kindler, gen­tler, more lib­eral place than it was fifty years ago. Click To Tweet 

FEATURED IMAGE: For “Hate Free Zone 2,” I found this great painting by Justin Gerard of a troll lurking be­neath a bridge from the “Three Billy Goats Gruff” chil­dren’s story. It ac­com­pa­nied an ar­ticle ti­tled “The Worst In­ternet Trolls Might Be Men­tally Ill” by Kirk Hamilton on the Ko­taku web­site (Au­gust 29, 2012). Hamilton notes:

“In­ternet trolling—the act of writing de­lib­er­ately provoca­tive or hurtful things on mes­sage boards and so­cial media—seems to be every­where these days. A new ar­ticle at News.com.au talks with a few trolls, as well as a couple of psy­chol­o­gists, the latter of whom float the idea that trolling, par­tic­u­larly ex­treme trolling, is as much about mental ill­ness as it is about so­cial mal­ad­just­ment.” 6

There are so many fine fine su­perfine paint­ings of trolls and bridges on the In­ternet that I could post a gallery of my faves. I opted for this one for what­ever reason one prefers one piece of fine art over an­other. But once I de­cided to chop this essay in half and post two sep­a­rate, com­ple­men­tary pieces, I could then have two dif­ferent troll-bridge header im­ages!

 


FOOTNOTES:

1   My pre­vious post in this line of thought was “My Face­book Page Is Now A Rightwingnut Hate Free Zone” and should be read be­fore you read “Hate Free Zone 2.”

2   Maybe a few souls who in­hab­ited a mortal coil es­caped prej­u­dice and xeno­phobia (such as Jesus and Buddha) but the rest of us have to ac­knowl­edge and over­come those flaws.

3   He­daya is so per­fect as Nixon that he looks like Dick even in other movies: here he is from the fa­ther in Clue­less (1995) and he looks like he was au­di­tioning for the part of Nixon. And why is Nixon in this ar­ticle? Be­cause forty years ago, he per­son­i­fied rightwinged para­noia and ar­ro­gance, yet today he would prob­ably be ousted from the Rep*lican Party for his mod­er­a­tion!

4   While “white, middle-aged men (should we ab­bre­viate them as WMAM?) may seem a rea­son­ably narrow de­f­i­n­i­tion for those among our pop­u­la­tion gen­er­ally con­sid­ered to be suf­fering “white man’s anger” can be nar­rowed and thereby even more ac­cu­rately de­fined. This group con­sis­tently ap­pears to be white, middle-aged men with a non-Catholic Chris­tian back­ground who vote al­most ex­clu­sively for Rep*blican can­di­dates.

So how do I ma­nip­u­late those words to coin a clever acronym for them? Here are the words I have to work with: White Middle-Aged Con­ser­v­a­tive Chris­tian Men. Tough with only one vowel and it tied by a hy­phen to an­other con­so­nant. If I just go with Middle-Aged Con­ser­v­a­tive Chris­tian we can call them MACCs. Ooh, ooh! Howz­about Male Middle-Aged Con­ser­v­a­tive Christian—then I have MMACC, which is both an acronym and a minor palin­drome?!!?

No­tice in that final sen­tence (“so­lic­iting a kind of mer­ce­nary army to ad­vance the po­lit­ical force that’s taken over the right”) that the au­thor dif­fer­en­ti­ates be­tween “the right”—and I am as­suming that he means the tra­di­tional ver­sion of Rep*blican conservatism—and “the po­lit­ical force ” that has usurped that tra­di­tional right since the Reagan era and the Gingrich-led and Limbaugh-fueled Rep*blican Rev­o­lu­tion of the ’90s.

5   The word gainsay is some­what ar­chaic, meaning to deny, con­tra­dict, or speak out against some one or some­thing. 

6   I use the term troll (as I be­lieve many people do) to mean the troller has ma­li­cious in­tent, al­though that was not al­ways so. For a re­cent look on both old-fashioned trolling and the modern ver­sion, give a read to Kali Hol­loway’s ar­ticle “In­ternet Trolls Ex­plain Why They Do What They Do” for Al­terNet.

 

 

 

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