Tag Archives: Wingnuts

Dubious Moral Equivalences

WingnutThe Sad Puppies/Hugo Awards saga is the car crash that keeps crashing. The latest episode revolves around serial bad behaviour and repeated insincere false apologies from writer Lou Antonelli, one of the Puppies’ nominees.

It’s predictably depressing that some Puppies are defending his behaviour, while others are using the episode to suggest Requires Hate was unfairly monstered (click on either of those links at your own risk). And yes, hair splitting arguments over whether or not Antonelli is worse that Requires Hate are at best pointless wasted electrons and at worst attempts by people who are themselves part of the problem to derail justified criticism. It seems, yet again, that “Them and Us” trumps “Right and Wrong”. If you want to call out other people’s bad behaviour, then you can’t keep excusing obvious bad actors in your own camp and still claim the moral high ground.

A pox on both camps, I say. All it achieves is to alienate the ordinary readers of SF.

At this point things have become so polarised and so tribal that I wonder if there’s any possibility of bridge-building. Either the world of SFF will become Balkanised into multiple fandoms all of which view each other with mutual suspicion and loathing, or the whole thing needs to be burned to the ground and rebuilt from scratch.

Posted in Religion and Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Fox News Facts

The radical preacher who controls Birmingham

#FoxNewsFacts was a trending topic on Twitter a few days ago. The hashtag stated that the radical Islamist preacher pictured above controlled Birmingham, there was another dangerous radical cleric called Jaspur Q’rat, and people were being forced to study The Kerrang.

This was British humour’s response to the claim made by a talking head on Fox TV that the city of Birmingham was 100% Muslim, and non-Muslims were forbidden to enter.

I posted a few myself, stating that it was punishable by death to confuse Birmingham with The Black Country, but nobody outside the area knew the boundary, that the soccerball team “Wolves” were made up from werewolves, and that Prince Philip really is an alien lizard. Many of them got retweeted a lot, and a few people claimed the last of those might actually be true.

Liberal England gives some background on the talking head in question.

Steve Emerson, the soi-disant terrorism expert who told Fox News that Birmingham is a “Muslim-only city” where non-Muslims “don’t go”, has apologised for his “terrible error”.

That is to his credit, but Emerson will be a busy man if he is going to apologise for all his terrible errors.

Steve Emerson not an expert on terrorism as such. His mission is not to inform but to spread propaganda. He’s a professional charlatan, a “court prophet”, who has made a successful living telling whatever his sponsors want the gullible to hear.

His “terrible error” was not being wrong about Birmingham, but not stopping to think that such an obvious and easily-disproven lie would escape from the Fox News media bubble. Birmingham should throw his insincere false apology back in his face.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Comments Off

Wingnuts to the right of me, wingnuts to the left of me

A thought brought on by the Requires Hate saga.

Years ago, the most unpleasant and intolerant Internet wingnuts tended to come from the hard right of the political spectrum, typically motivated by Ayn Rand’s Objectivism, reactionary forms of religion, or old-fashioned racism. But in recent years more and more of the worst wingnuts seem to come from the authoritarian left, using the rhetoric of social justice to demand censorship of art and media, and ostracism of people that they don’t like.

Is this is a consequence of positive social change, in that things like gay rights and feminism have become increasingly mainstream, and have attracted the sorts of people who, had they been born a generation earlier, would have gravitated towards cultural conservatism?

Or is it just an illusion, a consequence of social media filter bubbles? Does the shift from subject-specific forums to people-specific social media platforms means that there are just as many conservative wingnuts out there, but they are no longer as visible on an impossible-to-ignore basis? Have the leftist wingnuts always been as common, but just never had much of a presence in online spaces I used to inhabit a decade ago?

Or am I just getting more conservative with age?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

We The People: A game or a Poe?

It is very difficult to tell whether We the People Fight Tyranny Game is intended to be a serious board game, or whether the whole thing is an elaborate parody of the world view of the all-American wingnut.

It purports to be both a “fun game” and an educational tool about American history, liberry and tyranny.

This is a sample of one of the cards in the game, which gives a flavour:

Sockal Justice

That one card really does speak volumes.

The website is filled with boilerplate rightwing screeds, but gives very little away about the gameplay.  But it leaves the impression that the game is a cross between Trivial Pursuit and Monopoly, two of the very worst board games in all history.

So combne two games which put people off board games for life, then marinade the whole thing in heavy-handed ideological propaganda.

And you wonder why it looks like an elaborate parody.

Posted in Games | Tagged , | Comments Off


The United States of America is trying to run the applications needed to support a modern nation on a 200 year old legacy O/S with far too many unpatched vulnerabilities.

So it’s not surprising that a group of black hats called “The Tea Party” have taken the whole thing down.

And it’s all because the far-right hates Obama’s healthcare reforms

Their supporters and useful idiots prattle about self-reliance versus dependency, but I suspect one of the big reasons the right hates these reforms so much is that they threaten to weaken the essentially feudal relationship between employers and employees. When healthcare is dependent on continued employment, employers have far more power over their staff, and nobody likes giving up power.

I’ve heard plenty of stories of people trapped unproductively in jobs they hate, because pre-existing conditions make personal health insurance unaffordable. Surely that’s a drain on the economy just like the vastly inflated costs due to the inherent inefficiency of the present system.

Sadly those who profit, directly or indirectly, from the present system can afford a lot of lobbyists and media pundits.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off

UKIP plays Whack-a-Mole with Uncle Jimmys

The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin seems to have anticipated the rise of UKIP way back in the 1970s.

Barely a day goes by without a UKIP candidate somewhere in the country spouting extremist bollocks that makes nonsense of any pretence of their being a grown-up party that isn’t part of the far right. In the past few days we’ve had a sexist troglodyte from Yorkshire claiming that no self-respecting businessman would employ a woman of child-bearing age. Then we had another who appears to be deeply into anti-Semitic tinfoil-hat conspiracy theories. Now we have a 19th century time-traveller claiming that physical exercise prevents you from becoming gay. Who will be the next, and what nonsense will they come up with?

Yes, it’s true that the party keeps sacking these candidates. But as soon as they do, another one pops up, and another, and another. It’s like a game of Whack-a-Mole. It does leave you with the impression that the party is awash with Uncle Jimmy characters, and they’re not even remotely good at screening out these wingnuts as election candidates.

It does leave you with the impression that these racist, sexist numpties represent the party’s base.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Anders Breivik and the Anarcho-Fascists

The way the Norwegian authorities have given terrorist Anders Breivik a very public trial has generated a lot of controversy. I have read a lot of people arguing that it’s giving him a platform for his poisonous ideas. The counter-argument is that showing him for what he is will serve to discredit everything he stands for.

Breivik may or may not be insane, but it would be far too convenient for some people to dismiss his “Crazy Talk” as the ravings of an isolated madman who’s actions took place in a vacuum. But that doesn’t wash. Too much of what he says had been common currency in far-right circles for years. It’s not just from openly fascist or crypto-fascist fringe groups on the internet either, but, as I’ve previously mentioned, from semi-respectable columnists in large-circulation national newspapers too.

And there are a frighteningly large number of people who think like him. Just look at how they’ve overrun the comment sections of many online articles about the trial.

Like it or not, Anders Breivik’s terrorist atrocity was the 9/11 of the Freepi.

The rightwing press are predictably attempting to scapegoat video games to deflect attention from just how extensively Breivik cited their own columnists. Rock, Paper, Shotgun has a comprehensive takedown of their attempt at a distracting moral panic. Meanwhile Breivik’s closer online confederates on both sides of the Atlantic are desperately flailing, citing his copying of Al-Qaeda’s methods in an entirely unconvincing attempt to prove this despicable act of terrorism has nothing to do with them.

This really ought to serve as a wake-up call on the threat posed by the far-right, who have been gaining strength in recent years, especially now we’re in a deep recession. They have an increasing transatlantic dimension, with the openly racist faction of the “Tea Party” forging closer and closer links with various European neo-Fascist groups. A few right-wingers predictably complain that the left are trying to politicise the tragedy. But when faced with a terrorist atrocity that was a clear and deliberate attack on European social democracy, what is anybody supposed to do?

Freepi – coined by Teresa Nielsen-Hayden of Making Light to describe the post-9/11 wingnut right.

Anarcho-Fascist – A conflation of “Anarcho-Capitalist” and “Crypto-Fascist” I originally used to describe a particularly loopy blogger and troll a few years back. Today it seems an appropriate descriptor for anyone that runs an Islamophobic hate site with a name like “Atlas Shrugs”.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

The Al-Queda of the West?

Apologies to music fans for this political ranting. There will be a review of High Voltage along shortly, a superb weekend, but for me the whole thing took place under the shadow of the terrible events in Norway on Friday.

While on the surface this seems a random and inexplicable event, it’s something many have warned was coming for a long time. The only surprise for me is that it happened in Europe rather than in North America.

Some commentators are still insisting that Anders Brevik was some kind of lone nut who wasn’t part of any wider political movement. They seem to ignore the fact that his rambling “manifesto” isn’t his own words, but is almost entirely cut-and-pasted from a slew of right-wing writers ranging from a number of notorious far-right bloggers to The Daily Mail’s racist columnist Melanie Phillips. This post on the once-infamous Little Green Footballs gives a lot background, and makes it clear why so many people thought Anders Brevik and the anonymous white supremacist blogger “Fjordman” were the same person. Charles Johnson of LGF used to run with that crowd until he realised where it was all heading – so he knows what he’s talking about here.

Since 9/11 we’ve seen a cross-Atlantic alliance of right-libertarians, extreme Christian fundamentalists and white nationalists with an ugly kind of Islamophobia as the ideological glue holding them together. They have become what looks an awful lot like an exact mirror image of Al-Queda, the same abhorrence of the mixing of cultures, and the same violent intolerance to anybody who isn’t exactly like them. And now they have perpetrated something of a 9/11 of their own.

Brevik may be “mad” or “evil”, but his madness has been marinaded for years in a toxic stew of far-right ideas, and at least some of the people whose writings have inspired him now have blood on their hands. Freedom of speech is an essential principle, a cornerstone of a functioning democracy. But those who use their freedom of speech to spread hatred and incite violence need to take responsibility for the consequences when others take their words at face value.

People talk about tolerance, but it has to a two-way street. The vast majority of sects and subcultures are benign and harmless, and deserve tolerance. A small minority are not, and any right to tolerance should instantly stop the moment the bodies start to pile up.

Edit: I had thought of titling this post “The 9/11 of the right”, but thought it too provocative. But I see Charlie Stross has done precisely that:

I’m just horrified by the scale of the event.

This is in Norway, a country of 5 million souls.

92 dead in Norway is … well, multiply by 60 for the equivalent proportion of Americans and you get over 5000 dead. Playing the numbers game with such a horror is distasteful, but it suggests to me that the political impact on Scandinavian and European anti-terror politics in general is going to be non-trivial to say the least.

This is the neo-Nazi 9/11. Breivik had links to the English Defense League and other racist right-wing groups. The folks who police and intel groups all over the west have been treating with kid gloves, compared to the islamicists, due to the explosive and barely-acknowledged fact that there’s wide-scale support for anti-immigrant views all over the west, especially anti-muslim views, and semi-respectable politicians playing these prejudices for personal careerist gain.

It’s a poisoned chalice. And I have no idea what this bodes for the future, other than: nothing good.

And I really can’t disagree with any of that.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 6 Comments