Someone is WRONG on the Internet

Posted on 23 September 2010

Wow, I am being postalicious lately. Anyway, first some backstory. Couple days ago, a fellow tor.com blogger posted this, which was intended as a puff piece/diatribe on the James Cameron movies Avatar as well as a slam on “furries”. The response was hardly “oh lol, Bob, you are a funny man.” No, instead it was (and still is ongoingly) a rant of “furries are people too” and “they’re sexual deviants, good riddance.” The blogger has not responded (that I have seen) in the thread, but instead posted a response here, on his personal website. Right now, my thoughts are more or less summed up by this xkcd comic. But, allow me to elaborate.

So, let me first caveat that I am not going to actually address the “furries bash” directly. In all truth, my personal opinion about them is extremely complex. But there are some thoughts that come to mind about this whole argument of “lol, look at that social group!” and the “Boo-hoo, I’m in that social group and it hurts” and the “Hey, I’m not in that social group, but lol’ing at them isn’t nice!” It all gives me indigestion, mainly because it is more or less the “politically correct” argument, which comes down to tolerance.

Oh wait, tolerance, that is a good thing. Really? Whatever happened to “your rights stop where my nose starts, and mine stop where yours starts.” I agree that irrational and blind hatred is a bad thing (history has proven lots of people die because of that), but honestly, complete acceptance is as much a dream as communism. Good in theory, but it just doesn’t work. There will always be people who aren’t tolerant, so what then? Are you supposed to be intolerant of intolerance? Go down the slippery slope of mild censorship? Or should we just post whatever we like on the Internet and spew ad hominem arguments and invoke Godwin’s Law until we are blue in the face (fingers?) Is there a line anywhere that we can cleave to?

It is a complicated question, and I don’t know the answer. I think that some ideas are truly destructive and idiotic. Some lifestyles as well. But if it isn’t hurting me, and it is all between consenting adults, do I have a right to interfere? What if I’m worried about where it will lead? Ever heard of the frog-in-cold-water thing? So, what am I getting at? Well, let me address a particular comment that was made, which was that Bob treated Furries as a safe target, and that there should ever be anything that is a safe target is bad.

My thoughts: we are all safe targets. If you cannot acknowledge why some people would be squicked out about what you do or like, or think that it is moronic, then you have some major introflection to do. Furries are creepy to some people, but you know what, reading 1000 page books about wizards and knights is pretty dumb to some people, too. Do I get all defensive when someone calls my recreational preferences moronic? Hell no! I shrug it off, and I honestly can see some level of what they are saying. I try to be polite enough to not geek all over people who aren’t interested, but I am not ashamed of being a geek.

And honestly, Dragon*Con does this wonderfully. Go to Dragon*ConTV’s website and watch some of the skits and bumpers. They ridicule everyone, even when they preach tolerance towards all types of geekdom. Because a geek of any kind is not a safe target. No, a geek should just have some thick skin and the ability to laugh at themselves. Example given: I’m a Wheel of Time and Song of Ice and Fire fan, and Dragon*Con TV advises not trying to eat me in the event of a need to turn to cannibalism, because if you tried to cook me, I’d never be done. That is hilarious! And if I offended either tolerance-seekers or avoiders-of-slippery-slopes, meh. There is no right answer except to try and not take any of it too seriously and keep an eye out for something that is more than just a bag of hot air.


1 comment to Someone is WRONG on the Internet

  • Neon Sequitur says:

    I agree, censorship is not the answer to offensive speech/writing. But intolerance is completely unacceptable, and trying to excuse it with “I was only kidding!” is beyond pathetic.

    How’s this:

    Since I despise both intolerance AND censorship, I’ll respect Mr. Fingerman’s right to be a dick and make fun of furries while bashing a movie he’s never seen.

    And I’ll exercise my own right to point out that he’s being an ignorant, intolerant dick — and that his lame excuses are making him look even more clueless, if that’s possible.

    There, now everyone’s rights have been addressed. He’s still a dick.

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