Arguments, I haz dem

Since I have no idea what this blog's about, and I need to post something, I'll put in a discussion from a comment thread on another blog. This dude put:

  • Shocker: TSA agents actually don’t like being forced to look at naked people or pat them down all day.

Below are my comments in Royal Purple, as befits a wise and ancient Goddess. His are in dumb old black and white.


  • Re the T&A,
    the guys in Reserve Police Battalion 101 didn't like being forced to do what they had to either. But they went ahead and did it. 

  • Yeah, well, obtrusive pat-downs are one thing; aiding a genocide is another. I’ll hold off on those comparisons until things have escalated to that point.


  • I haven’t heard of any of those titles (nor do I expect they’d interest me), and I fail to see how my reply was dumb. The TSA are doing ill in groping passengers and looking at their junk; the RPB101 did ill in participating in mass murder of millions. I did not say that they wanted to do what they did, or liked it. If you think those are to be equated in some manner, pray tell. I don’t see the equivalency.

  • Aw, shit. I gotta go to bed but I promise to send a nice snarky answer your way tomorrow.
    ps you really should watch Swing Kids, it's a classic.

Since a Goddess keeps her word, unlike that flaky god of Abraham, here is my snarky but omnisciently perceptive answer. Enjoy my purple prose.

Misquoting EBB, “How is your answer dumb? Let me count the ways.”
#1. you wait till actual genocide is happening before you do anything about it? Your future does not look bright, girlfriend. That's a cliché even, first they came for the airline passengers or something.
#2 you think these two things are different—ROFL. Here are two cases of paramilitary organizations ordering their members to do things they find morally repugnant, typical examples of authoritarian, hierarchical organizations exhibiting the same much-researched, well-understood dynamics and predictable symptoms any such organization will exhibit.

So I pointed and laughed, “U haz a dum”, and gave you references, so you could cure your harrble case of ignernts, and cited the most famous references, ones that anybody should be familiar with if they want to talk politics or any social phenomena, unless, of course, they have shit for brains and write blog posts with no connection to reality, like Vox Day, than whom we have higher standards. Well, I do.

Out of the goodness of my heart (that tiny different-colored part in the back corner) I gave you these references without even asking a finder's fee. Did you take my wise and benevolent advice to heart, and humbly mend your ways? Alas, no, you responded with transparent bluster worthy of a politician (not just any politician, maybe Sarah Palin), to wit:

I haven't heard of any of those titles,” another way of saying “I am a pitiable ignorant dumfuck, oblivious to history” followed, in an amazing display of contortionism, by inserting your other foot in your mouth, “(nor do I expect they’d interest me)”, shorthand of course for “Facts? I don't need no stinkin' facts. I's ignorant and proud, and fixin' to stay that way”. Nailing shut the coffin on your credibility, you prove your brain was having an out-of-body experience by adding that they are both “doing ill” and they both “didn't want to”, followed incoherently by “If you think those are to be equated in some manner, pray tell.” In math symbols, A=X and B=X, therefore A=/=B, WTF?!

Final grade? Whatever's worse than F, which stands for Fail. 
Fpic Fail. 
Flailing Foolish Floundering Faux-pas Fiasco Failure

Here's the thing. Some people, who have shit for brains, such as yourself possibly, (see how I toned down the gratuitous personal insult there? I try to be polite, see) think these situations are unrelated, because they look at the final result and see wildly disproportionate things. Minor sexual assault in one case, and cold blooded, systematic genocide in the other. This is--what's a polite way to put it--fucking stoopid, since you can't interrupt a process once it's already completed. The way to effect change is to recognize a process in its early stages, like Naomi Wolf. I'd link to her Ten Steps article, but you already said you don't got no interest in larnin' yerself no facks, so we'll just let the process continue, the security forces shoot your dog, waterboard your civil rights and bugger your personal dignity, with no lube, and after the US invades Canada (probly for the NorthWest Passage) and you're kneeling on the edge of a trench waiting for your bullet from Vox, you'll remember my profound words of wisdom and say, “Fuck, I should've listened to Uzza”. Lulz.


Joé McKen said...

What is this I don’t even

*ahem* Okay. As usual, I’m unsure whether I should be amused or horribly stung, so I’ll opt for neutrality.

« #1. you wait till actual genocide is happening before you do anything about it? »

I … what … how …? My comment was worded in the hopes of avoiding a slippery slope, which is what you apparently slid down like a 100-MPH toboggan. However wrong federal groping may be (and you won’t hear me trying to defend it), saying it leads to genocide, or even could lead to genocide, or anything remotely similar, is worthy of a Darwin award subcategory for necrotic brains.

« another way of saying “I am a pitiable ignorant dumfuck, oblivious to history »

Fixed: “I’ve never looked into the subject, which interests me only moderately at best, and have never been assigned those titles nor come across them; ergo I am unfamiliar with them.

You interpret the TSA’s legislated groping as an “unfinished process”. I agree that it can (and probably, given the idiocy of apathetic Americans, will) lead to more intrusions upon people’s privacy in the future. But I reserve the right to believe and proclaim the notion that equating even this wrongful practice with, ahem, helping a dictatorial government slaughter millions of innocent people, is wrong. Like, really, very, spectacularly, catastrophically wrong. Amongst other things.

When you begin to equate two wrongs of vastly different intensities as though viewing it through a black-and-white filter, I’m afraid it is you who is in error, my dear.

uzza said...

" whether I should be amused or horribly stung" Both, you can be both, but now you've gone and non-anonymoused yourself. Lol, you sure have a lot to say about a subject “which interests me only moderately at best”.
Necrotic brains, that's good, I like it. And I don't see how federal groping could lead to genocide either. Maybe if all the passengers got fed up and went all Old Testament on the TSA agents? That'd be something.

You're mis-stating my argument to say it equates gropes with genocide. The social dynamics at work in any authoritarian, hierarchical organization like the military or law enforcement are well-known. Those dynamics, or processes, can result in any number of things, some good, some bad. The process that led to federal groping is the same process that lead to killing in Poland, and torture in Abu Ghraib, and on through a whole catalog of episodes including this.

The wrong way to treat these episodes is to look at two that are wildly disproportionate and assume they have nothing to do with each other. An analogy is, look at a kink in your leg from driving, and a fiery car crash where everyone dies, and say ...what? They are equivalent? There is no connection? What? They're apples and oranges.

The right way is to examine the process, the chain of events leading up to them, and see how it could be manipulated for a better outcome. To deny, in our analogy, that they don't both result from driving would be ... mmm ... necrotic.

You admit that the increasing authoritarianism of the TSA “probably will lead to more intrusions upon people’s privacy”. OK; where will it stop? What stops it? You have no answers to those questions, but those references, that you aren't interested in, do.

Joé McKen said...

Eh, I don’t care about remaining anonymous, and honestly, when someone addresses something I wrote, I’d rather put a name to my response, no? Frankly, I thought you’d just forgotten to link to my post in yours. *shrugs*

« Necrotic brains, that's good, I like it. »

I briefly prided myself, in the 8th grade (or whatever), for having come up with the term “necrocerebreal” all on my own … only to have any hopes at recognition dashed a few years later when I Googled it and noticed it was already in common usage. Even my originality is unoriginal. Sadness.

No, I dunno why I just shared that. But I did. So there.

Thanks for rephrasing your original point so that I know understand what you were getting at all along. I hadn’t thought about it from your perspective regarding the “process that led to” TSA groping and aiding in genocide; it sounded to me (as is made obvious) like you were saying that groping and genocide ought to be equivocated. They are related, if very loosely, by that process, I agree.

Nonetheless, though, the workings are different in these cases. However similar the workings in the authoritarian US government and the authoritarian Nazi German government may (have) be(en), they’re geared along different paths: The TSA’s brand of authoritarianism is all about giving people the illusion of security when they’re woefully incompetent (perhaps deliberately so, for obvious reasons), whilst the Nazi’s flavor of total control was all about complete and utter dominion over the land and getting rid of anyone not of the ideal race and so on.

I think ideology needs to be taken into account when talking about such processes, as regardless how similar their workings may be, they inarguably lead to greatly different outcomes. I doubt even the most jaded of people would argue that the TSA or the US government fancy a Nazi-like genocidal dictatorship. Therefore, whatever they do would inevitably result in greatly different outcomes.

« OK; where will it stop? What stops it? You have no answers to those questions, […] »

I do have answers, as much as anyone does, based on historical precedence and guesswork that’s more or less reliable. The TSA’s hard-on for maintaining the illusion of security (whilst making assloads of cash from scanner companies and the likes) will just keep escalating in the measures taken until A) people revolt (unlikely), B) one or more competent people arrive to power and set things straight (less unlikely, but probably not for a long time), or C) all smart people leave America for Canada, leaving the blind fools to dawdle in their own government-fed delusions of security until the next brutal wake-up call.

(Hey, a Canuck can dream.)

Also, no, I don’t have much to say, at least not much more than has already been said; I just like to respond to feedback.

Joé McKen said...

Also, I now invite you to play “count the ways in which the fact that I’ve been up way past my bedtime for too many days in a row is made obvious”.

uzza said...

Your answer boils down to "I do have answers ... based on ... guesswork".
The references mentioned have answers based on decades of solid scientific research. They contradict yours.

You can reserve the right to believe and proclaim anything you want, but until you bother to learn the facts, I reserve the right to think up creative ways of calling you a dumfuck, like necrocerebreal, lol(thanks for that one).