Friday, April 27, 2012

I Tried to Figure Out Who Sisterofblackvision Was

A while back someone trivialized a suicide on reddit. I thought that was a terrible thing to do. The troll specifically mentioned me in his post, which made me think he might be willing to talk. I made a second blog to track my actions.

I am left with more questions than answers at this point. I honestly can't keep track of the players, factions, and trolls. I was appointed a moderator on a satire subbreddit by the suicide hoaxster, which I used as an opportunity to gather information. I found out today I was removed. There are a few more messages I have, but I'm pressed for time and honestly just don't care anymore.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Little Tommy Friedman Embarrasses Himself Again

Take downs sprouted up across the great wide interwebs, but as usual, Pareene had the best one:
Because he is a sophist and a fool, Friedman takes mild inconveniences suffered on a trip from one enclave of wealth and power to another to be proof of national decline and his prescription is based primarily on clapping really hard for Tinkerbell.

Get the Popcorn Ready

I've got another one cooking. Let's hope I get some ridiculous libertarian comments as well. Two birds with one stone and all that.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tom Friedman- Wanker of the Decade

Atrios took the opportunity of his 10th blogaverary to name Tom Friedman Wanker of the Decade:

The state of the world is what it is in large part because people in positions of great power think this absurd buffoon of man is a Very Serious Person. This hasn't actually been the Eschaton Decade, it's been the Tom Friedman Decade. And the next one probably will be too.

We're fucked.
His list of this decade's other great wankers highlights the single most defining feature of the last ten years of political discourse. Everyone who was catastrophically wrong never lost any credibility, while the people who were consistently right are still dirty hippies outside the realm of acceptable opinion.

No one paid a price for the last ten years except the innocent.

We're fucked.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Time Will Tell

How long before Republicans blame the Secret Service prostitution scandal on Obama? More interestingly, how will they do it? I imagine it will involve something about Obama's "disrespect" for the military.

Update: Darrell Issa says there will be hearings and that "things like this don’t happen once if they haven’t happened before."

Friday, April 13, 2012

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Another Hate Group Takes Notice

A white supremacist group found my blog. They greeted my comments with predictable hostility. I welcome their hate. Do your worst.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My Latest MRA Troll

I'm on a hot streak. Here is my latest masterpiece.

I decided to approach the MRAs as a sympathetic woman. Surely they wouldn't turn against a potential ally just because she's a woman...right?


I cooked up a crazy story about "reclaiming feminism" and even....said I was going to attend graduate school for sociology. You would think that would tip them off, right?


Enjoy the highlights:

Hilarious. I guess women, who make up half of the world's population don't constitute "much" of the world's population. The MRA's must count women on some 3/5ths formula to make those numbers work out. This is why you should laugh when they claim they are masters of logic and statistics.

The guy above actually has some brains, though these comments below are more representative:

And there you have it. Proof of the hatred that motivates the "men's rights" movement. What must the women in these people's lives feel like? Take a moment and seriously think about that question. If you were a woman and you had to interact with one of these men, what would that be like? Would they show you ANY empathy at all?

My previous post presented a situation that was so far-fetched that only a raging neckbeard could fall for it. This recent post tried to engage the MRAs as an ally. The result was the same. Anger at women.

Their entire worldview is based on completely delusional thinking. The "men's rights" movement is NOT about advancing anything remotely helpful for men. It is about letting prejudice and delusional beliefs create an agenda designed to punish and hurt women.

I will keep going for as long as it takes. I already have accounts that are burrowing into Reddit. They will pop up here from time to time. I will engage in long trolls like this recent one. Once you can trick them to open up and say what's really on their minds, you see why the SPLC designated them a hate site.

Feel the rage neckbeards.

Update: Lets see how much longer I can keep the thread going before I'm banned.

Update: They unbanned me! Also, they compared my trolling to 9/11. Seriously.

 This is offensive. 3000+ people died on 9/11 and hundreds of thousands died in the subsequent wars. It's wrong to use death to make a political point.

Update: I am letting a lot of the vile comments through just so people can see the "men's rights" movement exposed. My muckette account is still active. I'll decide how best to use it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

MRA's Embarrass Themselves Again...And They Need to Stop

I didn't expect to write about the "men's rights" movement again so quickly after last week's post. But they're living up to their "hate site" designation and I have to step in to stop them.

I mentioned in a thread that I am working on my PhD in sociology (which is true). I wanted to make sure the MRAs could not identify me given the amount of vitriol that showed up in the comments. I said that I attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison (which is not true) to throw them off the trail.

Reddit's rules prohibit members from launching a campaign of harassment against the employers or educational institutions of other members. I assumed the "men's rights" activists would follow these rules,.

I was wrong.

A user posted contact information to the University's sociology department and urged other MRAs to complain about my actions. He said, "I just want vengeance."

The mods deleted some of his comments, and a few MRAs even called out the poster for his behavior.

Many others defended this harassment.

By the time I saw this, it had gone too far. A poster claiming to know someone high up in the University of Wisconsin-Madison's sociology department posted this email from his friend.

Let's be clear about what's happening. The MRAs are harassing the University of Wisconsin (which I do not attend) and in their blind rage, they have targeted someone who is not connected to this incident at all.

Their harassment and rage know no bounds. They advocate hitting women, they harass educational institutions, they try to get people thrown out of school. This is a movement unhinged.

I made the mistake of underestimating the MRAs before. That will not happen again.

Do your worst MRAs. Angry comments, lies, death threats. I'm ready for it all.

This isn't funny any more.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Concluding Thoughts

At the risk of making it look like I should just hand the keys to this place over to Andrew Sullivan, I'm going to conclude my Easter-time exploration of religion and politics by linking to him one more time:

One part of my case against Christianism, against Christians wielding political power to control the lives of others, is that the core of Christianity is power through powerlessness. This is a paradox, of course. But it is [the] paradox of Easter, where a death becomes life, where giving up oneself entirely to power in the world is the only way to transcend it.

H. Richard Niebuhr puts it better than I ever could:
"[T]he thought of deity and the thought of power are inseparable. Deity must be strong if it is to be deity.
We meet the God of Jesus Christ with the expectations of such power. If his power be less than that of the world and he be at the mercy of the world, of nature, fate, and death, how shall we recognize him as God? Yet we do not meet this strangely we must revise in the light of Jesus Christ all our ideas of what is really strong in this powerful world. The power of God is made manifest in the weakness of Jesus, in the meek and dying life which through death is raised to power. We see the power of God over the strong of earth made evident not in the fact that he slays them, but in his making the spirit of the slain Jesus unconquerable.

This gets at the heart of what I meant when I wrote "But once you rise to a certain point in our government [or any position of power really], I think it becomes impossible to stay true to the Gospels." Christ exercised his power through powerlessness. His sacrificial act was an emptying out of himself for others, not the conscious and deliberate appropriation of power for his own ends.

Taking on power is the opposite of sacrificial service. It is why I view overly religious politicians with such skepticism. They are engaged in a process that directly conflicts with what I see as the central tenant of Christianity.

Furthermore, this concept of power through powerlessness highlights why I disagree with the oft-repeated mantra that Christians should be "in the world but not of the world." I see this phrase too often used to justify an avoidance of society at large (especially in the world of Christian pop culture). Sacrificial service is not a call to build parallel social institutions with more "Christian values" than "mainstream society." It is an exhortation to enter the world with radical compassion, knowing full well how much this approach contradicts with the way society is structured.

As Sullivan wrote, the central paradox of Easter and Christianity itself is that following Christ leads to absolute powerlessness by worldly standards, but absolute grace by Christian standards.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Eschatology in Action

A new book gets at a central theme of this blog:
During the first dozen years of the twenty-first century--from Y2K through 2012--apocalyptic anticipation in America has leapt from the margins of society and into the mainstream. Today, nearly 60 percent of Americans believe that the events foretold in the book of Revelation will come true. But it's not just the Christian Right that is obsessed with the end of the world; secular readers hungry for catastrophe have propelled fiction and nonfiction books about peak oil, global warming, and the end of civilization into best-sellers, while Doomsday Preppers has become one of the most talked-about new reality TV shows on television. How did we come to live in a culture obsessed by the belief that the end is nearly here?

The Last Myth explains why apocalyptic beliefs are surging within the American mainstream today. Tracing the development of our expectation of the end of the world from the beginnings of history through the modern era, and examining the global challenges facing America today, authors Mathew Barrett Gross and Mel Gilles combine history, current events, and psychological and cultural analysis to reveal the profound influence of apocalyptic thinking on America's past, present, and future.

As I wrote in this blog's mission statement, I don't believe in a literal reading of Revelation. The Roman Empire exiled John to Patmos where he wrote his account of the apocalypse. The fantastical imagery of the Book of Revelation allowed John to slip his message past the Roman censors so it could reach the early Church. Christians understood Revelation was an account of how the unjust worldly power of Empire would eventually collapse in the face of the Kingdom of Heaven. It was a message of hope to persecuted Christians. Modern audiences miss the underlying meaning of John's message when they interpret it literally.

As trust in societal institutions fail, it's not surprising people begin to adopt a more apocalyptic outlook. But a fundamentalist approach is inevitably one of despair and confusion. The Kingdom of Heaven is not hidden in the midst of whimsical prophecies. Looking for dragons and anti-Christs and marks of the beast distract from the injustices that are right in front of our faces every day. John of Patmos's vision was one of hope and encouragement for the marginalized. It is strange that the more "apocalyptic" society gets, the more it focuses on paranoia, small mindedness and cultural angst. In other words, the more "apocalyptic" we become as a society, the further we drift from John's central message in Revelation: God will triumph over injustice.

This book is another fantastic read on the subject.

Happy Easter

Friday, April 6, 2012

Thoughts on Religion and Politics at Easter

Andrew Sullivan spent the week expanding on his recent Newsweek article about the conflict between Christianity and politics (more properly labeled as worldly power). On Wednesday he quoted at length from the Pope:
The choice of Jesus versus Barabbas is not accidental; two messiah figures, two forms of messianic belief stand in opposition. This becomes even clearer when we consider that the name Bar-Abbas means "son of the father". This is a typically messianic appellation, the cultic name of a prominent leader of the messianic movement... So the choice is between a messiah who leads an armed struggle, promises freedom and a kingdom of one's own, and this mysterious Jesus who proclaims that losing oneself is the way to life. Is it any wonder that the crowds prefer Barabbas?

The Lord... declares that the concept of the Messiah has to be understood in terms of the entirety of the message of the Prophets - it means not worldly power, but the Cross, and the radically different community that comes into being through the Cross.

This issue has occupied my thoughts and my heart for several years. It's a question that deserves a lifetime of contemplation.

Worldly power is fundamentally incompatible with Christianity. Nevertheless, our charge is to toil for justice without rest in a fallen world. This requires political engagement on some level. But once you rise to a certain point in our government, I think it becomes impossible to stay true to the Gospels. Our country rests on certain premises that cannot be reconciled with Christianity: an all powerful market that violates the human dignity of the poor, a military that occupies countries much like the Romans of Christ's time occupied Israel, the list goes on.

The contradiction between staying true to Christianity and doing what is necessary to lead our country as it is currently structured seems too great to reconcile. It is why I am especially critical of politicians like Rick Santorum who push an overtly religious agenda. I'm less concerned with religion's influence on politics than I am with the way politics corrupts religion.

Then again, we all must live with the fact that we are sinners. We create broken systems because we are broken people. Christ's redemption allows us to overcome our own fallen nature just as much as it allows for the creation of an otherworldly kingdom.

I worry that this logic allows for complacency. If sin is inescapable, then why should we as a society try to change? Of course this thought process perpetuates injustice.

The best solution I can find at this point is that we need to be more penitent as individuals and as a society. In both realms we will fall short. Sometimes wildly so. But if we keep a spirit of contrition alive and at the forefront, perhaps we can humbly strive our best to carry out the Gospels without letting power's worldly effects corrupt.

As Easter approaches, with its message of redemption, reconciliation and resurrection, I will be praying for and doing my part to create a more penitent world.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

"Men's Right's" Activists: It's Ok To Hit Women

I've written about the "Men's Rights" movement before, but I'm returning to the topic because I want to discredit them as much as possible.

The Southern Poverty Law Center recently classified the "Men's Rights" section of as a hate site, saying in part:
While it presents itself as a home for men seeking equality, it is notable for the anger it shows toward any program designed to help women. It also trafficks in various conspiracy theories. “Kloo2yoo,” identified as a site moderator, writes that there is “undeniable proof” of an international feminist conspiracy involving the United Nations, the Obama Administration and others, aimed at demonizing men.

I wanted to reveal just how twisted these men can be in the pursuit of their agenda so I came up with a story they could not resist. On April Fools day, I posted a thread titled "My girlfriend just tried to steal a used condom to impregnate herself and is now threatening to call the police on me. PLEASE Help." It told the tale of a college student and the girlfriend who tried to steal his sperm.

The spermjacker trope is irresistible to "men's rights" activists because they believe they are perfect Darwinian examples of masculinity and as a result are irresistible to the hormonally irrational schemers that make up womankind. Narcissism and misogyny collide to make a toxic brew.

Oh, and I added the twist that this man punched his girlfriend so hard in the stomach that she bruised. Surely such fierce proponents of "gender equality" would not support violence against women. Right?

Like little hate-filled moths before a flame, the MRAs could not resist themselves.

This site has a good run down of what happened. I was told repeatedly that I did nothing wrong. Another MRA said men should put hot sauce in their used condoms to prevent women from trying to impregnate themselves.

Several commenters called me out as a troll, but it's interesting no one in that thread or my subsequent follow up said unequivocally that it is not ok to hit women.

The "men's rights" movement is morally bankrupt. It is made up of people who support hitting women. It is made up of people who refuse to say it is wrong to hit women. It is made up of people who are so paranoid of women that they think people actually talk like this:
You fucking bastard, how dare you punch me for what I'm entitled to! Call me the minute you get this god damn message or I'll call the fucking police and end your future. CALL MEEEE.
Attention MRA's: You have all exposed yourselves as rotten human beings and you have discredited your movement (again).

My original goal was just to generate a handy link to keep on file any time I needed some ammo to point out how morally bankrupt this movement is. I also would have been happy if my tale convinced some MRAs to get vasectomies.

But then this thing started to take off. Erin Gloria Ryan of Jezebel wrote about it in a hilarious post that over 16,000 people have seen. In that post she also mentions something I had not considered. Mainly, the possibility that my story was "destined to be urban legend fodder for men's rights activists for years even though it smells to high heaven like bullshit"

I don't want my post to lead anyone into thinking that women behave this way. I certainly do not want anyone to come across my post and use it as an excuse for hitting someone. So I'm coming clean.

I wrote this story by stitching together nearly every cliche I have ever come across in the "men's rights" movement. I tried to see if the MRAs had any line they would not cross. Apparently they do not. Looks like the SPLC made a good call.

It looks like the menly men of the "men's rights" movement had their feelings hurt by Jezebel's send up. The original poster laments "So this is what feminists think about one of our most pressing issues."

Message to MRAs: Sperm jacking is NOT an actual issue, let alone the most pressing issue facing your made up movement. I would say the most pressing issue you have is that many of your members openly condone violence against women.

When you cite sperm jacking as one of the most pressing issues, it makes it readily apparent that you have no agenda other than thinly veiled sexism and misogyny. "Mens rights" issues have NO bearing on the quality of life for men. They are ALL an excuse to bash women. Please get vasectomies, all of you.

Update II:
The "men's rights" activists think I've unfairly distorted them. Take Reddit user Pooballs for example:, who had his "skin crawling" over my post:

This sums up the "men's rights" movement pretty succinctly. Shoddy "logic" about how much harder men are treated followed by an affirmation of violence against women:
Plus this rabid attacking of punching a woman.. omg. We're not all delicate perfect little flowers who will die if somebody hits us. Honestly I think if I'd witnessed, or if this type of thing happened to me, I probably would've punched her too.

You lose MRAs. Your movement's intellectual underpinnings are just a veneer to cover up your seething hatred of women. Check mate.

Update III:
The MRAs are busy trying to rationalize this event away. Let's keep a little focus:

1. While the post is now flooded with comments calling me out as a troll, it started with unquestioning acceptance of the basic premise that women are crazy enough to steal condoms in a bid to impregnate themselves and "enslave" men into paying child support against their will. MRA's are fundamentally paranoid of women. They think each women is a threat just waiting to trap them.

2. They think hitting women is justified.
MRA Charlie Tango's response shows just how dangerous this movement is: