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 ante—the 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.
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.
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!
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.
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 …
“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
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!
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.