Ups and Downs

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I’m having a hard week. Winter feels interminable, we’re at the start of the third wave, vaccines are being distributed by a disorganized Flash (from Zootopia, not DC), and people are starting to discuss the possibility that maybe under 10 years of age kids don’t need a vaccine. Thankfully the medical community is pushing for it, but without public and government pushing, how long will it be?

I’m not comfortable exposing my children to Covid. Even though the chances are low that they get any serious side effects, I’m not willing to risk it.

Quarantine has its ups and downs; I’m currently experiencing a down. It’s been a hard week preceded by a hard weekend. Right now I want to curl into a ball and binge-watch Stargate SG1.

With time and patience it’ll get better, but right now I’m angry, frustrated, and just tired. I look forward to watching this thing (gestures around wildly at everything) from the future and being glad it’s over.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go make myself another coffee and hope it wakes me up and de-grumps me.

Enjoy this adorable picture of Pegasus stuck inside a chair.

Picture of the almost 20 month Pegasus stuck in a patio chair and giving me an annoyed look.
The chair is a metaphor…

Be safe and be kind,

Éric

A Letter on Justice and Open Debate – Part 2 of 2

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

A who’s who of Writers, Journalists, Professors, and other people released A Letter on Justice and Open Debate. It’s actually a fascinating read; one of those letters crafted with just the right level of language to seem reasonable and intellectual at the same time.

If you’ve read articles about the letter, you’ll notice they use “Free Speech” and “Cancel Culture” in the titles of those articles… That’s not in the letter. The letter is much too high class to lower itself to using those words.

If you want a logical and well thought out rebuttal and analysis of the letter, I recommend reading: ‘Cancel Culture’ Is How the Powerful Play Victim. It does a great job of explaining the hypocrisy of the letter.

Cancel Culture

The Letter makes reference to “calls for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought.” This is another way of saying Cancel Culture. What does this mean? Cancel Culture is a term used to reference public outcry to stop listening or supporting people who have expressed or done bad things. Tumblr has a term for these people: “Problematic Fave”.

The letter makes it sound like this stifles free expression and hurts people who’ve made mistakes. This argument is pretty weak when you consider that Jordan Peterson, Joss Whedon, James Gunn, and J. K. Rowling are all still gainfully employed in their fields. (Also Trump… arg)

It’s an argument that is stated, often, by people who oppose the Me Too Movement or Black Lives Matter. The term is used as a cudgel against criticism.

Doing hateful things or expressing hateful opinions has consequences, not as many as there should be, but more than there was.

So advocates and us SJWs have been accused of cancelling people and destroying their lives. The signatories on this list remind me of conventions.

There was a convention I went to where someone who creates things that aren’t own voice (art created by those who have lived them) was angered and incensed by an advocate mentioning the harmful content they included in their creations. The creator moaned and complained and made a big fuss. They were not alone; similar creators did the same thing.

The advocate who complained participated in other events at other conventions and were told that they needed to tone it down. They were being too aggressive and making people uncomfortable. The advocate for their own rights was told that they needed to be calmer and not rock the boat. They were then told they wouldn’t be able to participate in those events.

This is the real Cancel Culture and it’s not new. Minorities have been told that they need to baby those in power and if they refuse, they are often shut out. Shut out of events, jobs, activities, etc.

My story is vague to protect those in it and because I have a small platform that is quite fragile, naming names would get me cancelled.

It’s not the rich and powerful being criticized that, “will ultimately harm the most vital causes of our time”; its rich privileged people playing victim while minorities and victims are shut down that is what has been hurting our society for far too long.

Be kind to each other,

Éric

A Letter on Justice and Open Debate – Part 1 of 2

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

A who’s who of Writers, Journalists, Professors, and other people released A Letter on Justice and Open Debate. It’s actually a fascinating read; one of those letters crafted with just the right level of language to seem reasonable and intellectual at the same time.

If you’ve read articles about the letter, you’ll notice they use “Free Speech” and “Cancel Culture” in the titles of those articles… That’s not in the letter. The letter is much too high class to lower itself to using those words.

If you want a logical and well thought out rebuttal and analysis of the letter, I recommend reading: ‘Cancel Culture’ Is How the Powerful Play Victim. It does a great job of explaining the hypocrisy of the letter.

The free exchange of information and ideas

Let’s talk about, “The free exchange of information and ideas” that the letter talks about. It’s a pretty way of saying that everyone should have the right to their opinions and beliefs and be able to say them.

Taken at face value, this concept seems obvious and pretty straight forward right? The problem with this statement is that it makes it seem like all positions are equal. That’s great for pizza toppings or what colour should be used as a logo. It’s not so great for social issues.

Let’s take this to a ridiculous extreme and say there’s an author who is also a Flat-Earther. They truly believe the earth is flat and that all of human science and space exploration is a hoax. Now, should we be teaching this in schools? Should this opinion be mentioned in all NASA reports? Should the opinion be mentioned in every news story that uses the word “globe”? No, of course not.

Great A’Tuin, the Giant Star Turtle who travels through space carrying the four giant elephants (Berilia, Tubul, Great T’Phon, and Jerakeen) who in turn carry the Discworld.
“a geological pizza but without the anchovies”.
Terry Pratchett
Patreon www.patreon.com/jinn

Now take this same outspoken author. Should they be ridiculed and argued with online? Should their position on the shape of the globe affect if they get space on other people’s platforms? Should their opinions affect if they get a job in news, aerospace, or defence? I say yes.

Now replace that with something more harmful, like believing a certain type of person is lesser than another.

Giving equal time and weight to false, harmful, or outright hateful opinions or positions validates and normalizes them.

The earth is round, and allowing Flat-Earthers to debate as if their position is valid is a farce. The same goes for TERFs, Racists, Holocaust Deniers, Anti-vaxxers, Covid-19 hoaxers, and many other positions that are false and harmful.

None of the signatories of this letter have been silenced, they have massive traditional or social media profiles. Are they being criticized and shut out? Yes, but that’s part of a “free exchange of information and ideas”. They are free to put out their ideas and we are free to tell them if it’s hurtful, hateful, or wrong.

None of them have been Cancelled; they’ve been chastised, but that’s a different post.

Be kind to each other,

Éric