Ill: «A Portrait of the Artist with Two Smallish Dogs», A4, 2019, Moiret Allegiere
In this era of instant gratification and of taking immediate offence, we as a culture have become unable to think things through before reacting. Our 24 hour news cycle is so broken and dishonest as to be completely discarded. Journalists are more activists than journalists, and have forgotten even the simplest fact-checking and the basics of journalistic integrity and honesty. We are not served a neutral view of the happenings and goings-on. We are served a highly subjective set of opinions on a silver platter, cleverly disguised as the facts, and nothing more. Often with footage so disgustingly taken out of context that it is nothing but lies to manipulate public opinion. This is not the job of the media. They are supposed to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth (so help them God). They are not supposed to tell us what to think and what to believe. Yet, that is what is happening. With frightening regularity.
And we gobble it up with delight. And we shake our heads and our fists at the latest generated outrage, never stopping to think that there might not be a genuine reason for outrage this time around. Better to be part of it, take part of it, show our discontent and our offence and our outrage no matter the actual truth of the matter. Better to be seen as a person of immaculate virtue immediately than postpone judgement until more information may be analysed. Information is coming at us at such incredible speeds that we never take the time to pause and consider the information received, that we never pause and await additional information.
We don’t have the time. It takes but a small photograph, and we are locked in the fuming and steaming outrage-machine of the internet, taking to whatever social media is open in one of our seven-thousand open browser-tabs to immediately showcase our discontent and extreme outrage at this disgusting display of the whatever-or-whichever-or-what-have-yous, lest we lose face in the eyes of our internet-acquaintances and lose touch with our sense of moral superiority. Let us never forget the five sacred words of the grievance-fuelled and perpetually outraged movement: “I’m fucking better than you!”; a perfect picture of our day-and-age, where immediate displays of moral superiority are far more important than well thought out and pondered arguments and values. Where the immediate gratification and satisfaction of being liked, shared and agreed upon with and by our fellows is far more important than thinking and analysing critically the information received. Where it is more important to showcase oneself as a being of immaculate virtue and moral purity than it is to be intellectually consistent, honest and of an open mind. Chained to the walls of the immediate feedback-loop, we act before we think and we think only to act immediately.
We are caught in the throes of ecstasy; the outrage-culture that spawned a thousand imbeciles incapable of seeing what is actually happening and then being incapable of admitting to being in the wrong or doing wrong when presented with clear-as-the-fucking-day evidence to the contrary of their claims.
Step lightly and walk on eggshells all the time, so as not to offend anyone. Never assume that people will actually consider what you are saying. Assume that they will react with immediate emotional knee-jerks, if you stray from the path. Never assume that people will not take offence to your words if you stray but a little from the path. Everything is controversial to someone, and everyone needs to have their feelings considered as holy and untouchable. Except white cis-het men, of course.
We have reached a point where someone having their feelings hurt are more important than facts, more important than the truth. This causes us to not have discussions that are of the utmost importance. We see speeches shut down and conferences protested into oblivion by myriad people who have no idea what is actually being spoken in said speech, or discussed at said conferences. They just want it shut down, because someone told them that it should be and they will be damned if they don’t agree and join the mob and protest the latest incarnation and amalgamation of Adolf Hitler and the Devil himself.
We see protesters taking to the streets in grand unified mobs, merging together and becoming a wild starry-eyed blob of flesh and blood and bones and tears and snot and outrage, with not a single one of the protesters being able to tell interviewers on the streets what they are actually protesting. They just feel the need to be there in solidarity; part of the mob, part of the outrage, part of the social group, the click, the hive, the anthill. The individual dies when faced with the moral outrage of the outrage-machine grinding its way through our morality in perpetual astonished outrage; a mass of worms wearing their emotions on their sleeves and their heads up their collective ass. When questioned about their stance, their actions, their opinions, communication breaks down and discourse is reduced to wild personal insults and applications of the latest and greatest buzzwords of the day; you asshole-nazi-misogynist-white-supremacist-alt-right-sockpuppet-russian-bot-troll-fascist-neckbeard-inbred-basement-dweller-insert-latest-buzzword-and-group-deserving-of-hate-here-please-end-rant.
And for some reason these people are viewed, in the current cultural fever-dream, as the sympathetic group. These people who are responsible for launching a campaign of threats of violence, death and dismemberment at teenagers whose grand crime was smiling in Caucasian and wearing a MAGA-hat when being caught, quite literally, between a rock and a hard place.
I am of course referring to the Covington students. A fitting picture of what I am talking about and a perfect picture of our day-and-age; the outrage generated by this happening so absurd in the face of, you know, the actual facts of the matter, and so immediate and visceral that it proves itself to be nothing but emotions run haywire through minds and bodies absolutely incapable of thinking, waiting, analysing a situation or seeing what new information might crawl out of the ground.
Proof of a grand class of journalists incapable of doing anything but foaming-at-the-mouth, showing no integrity and proving that there is not one speck of reason amongst them. Truth matters not, when the narrative of the wicked white male and his oppressor-nature may be pushed forward. And these people are so used to never facing any consequences for their actions that they just ran with it, just run with, as far as they may take it. And then double down on it, still claiming to be in the right even when proven without a shadow of a doubt to be in the wrong. An inability to admit to being in the wrong brought on by the grand sense of moral superiority, the glory of the dopamine burst, the selfish and egotistical, solipsist, me-me-me-and-only-me social movement parading as altruism, yet proving only selfishness, lack of insight and lack of self-awareness. “It’s not about me, I promise, honest. It’s about the plight of whoever. Honest. Cross my heart and hope to die. Ah shit, is it offensive to say ‘cross my heart’? Ah, shit, is it offensive to say ‘shit’?”
The emperor has no clothes. It has been pointed out, time and again. And it does not matter. Because the latest disease spawned at the hearts of our shared western culture is a moral malaise that will not end. It is a moral panic and a chastity-crusade manufactured in the daydreams of people whose absolute egotistical selfishness is masked as altruism; people who hop on the latest bandwagon of immediate offence to get their own egotistical wishes for group inclusion granted under the pretence that it is for the good of insert-supposedly-disenfranchised-and-marginalized-group-here.
Followed by masses of people jumping on the cause, immediately, never thinking it through and never considering it properly because it is packaged so nicely and so neatly and so beautifully in the wishes to do good for all that one has to be an extreme bigot to even consider saying something contrary. Even at the expense of other people and their right to express their views and opinion, they will hop on the cause. Even at the expense of freedom of speech, they will hop on the cause. Before the cause is forgotten and exchanged for some other nonsensical cause generated by social media. And the extreme speed at which it comes and goes matters not, and it will be forgotten and it will not be forgotten and every cause is important and every single personal grievance is a cause so grand and so extreme that someone needs to be punished for it, someone must be made to carry the weight of it, to carry the cross, and be crucified for it. Even if not true. Even if completely false. Even if it is absolutely nothing but trivial, someone needs to be crucified and die for our sins so that we may feel clean again. Until the next day, the next news-cycle, the next wrench is thrown into the machinery of the outrage-culture and it all starts again, and again, and again, with no repercussions and nothing learned from no one involved but the perceived fact that they are now, and always have been, in the right. Because they are fucking better than us. And you had damned well better be aware of that fact by now, buddy-boy.
People have become so lost in their own self-aggrandizement that they are completely unable to say “Sorry, I fucked up” when they do fuck up. And people are so caught up in the constant bombardment of information – information coming in at super-sonic speeds – that they do not stop and they do not think and they do not consider anything beyond a headline, a picture, a snippet of a video or a sentence, whether in context or not, before they roar and screech and scream enraged and let themselves be engulfed with just and righteous proper rage.
And so we, as a society, forget our history. We forget the satanic panic, we forget the witch-hunts, we forget every previous moral panic and outrage-epidemic of our shared history. We think that this time, we’ve got it right. This time, the panic is proper, this time the outrage is true, this time, the guilty shall be judged. And we do not care what falls as a result of this outrage. We do not care that freedom of speech is being eroded gradually beneath our feet, because that is just the hate-speech, the offensive words, the naughty Nazis losing their right to hate and destroy and wreak havoc on the world.
We do not stop to think that the rules and laws and regulations we are trying to put into place in order to protect any feelings that might be hurt may just as easily be used against ourselves, should we fall out of line. And the reason we do not think this is because we do not stop to pause and to consider that maybe we are not ourselves always in the right; maybe we ourselves may be in the wrong.
We do not take the time to ponder our own convictions. We do not have the time. Because the immediate dopamine burst, the immediate gratification, the impatient natures our cultures have devolved into, requires our attention all the time; a 15-second attention span dedicated to the latest knee-jerk, the latest outrage, the latest so-called Nazi being allowed to speak his or hers so-called hate to an auditorium of willing listener, whom we perceive as just as immediate and easily-led as ourselves.
Shut it down.
Shut down everything contrary to our feelings. Shut it down. Because feelings are facts. How could they not be, when they feel so immediate, so visceral, so gut-wrenchingly real? We feel – “feel” being the dominant word – that these people should not be allowed to speak. Because their words make us feel bad. And we feel like these other people should be allowed to speak, because their words make us feel good. And we don’t even consider that maybe the words that make us feel good makes other people feel bad, because that is absolutely impossible as only we are ever in the right and only they are ever in the wrong. It is impossible to conceive of anyone not evil taking offence to our words, whereas anyone not taking offence to their words are clearly evil. Because that is how it feels and so it must be true, we figured it out in fifteen seconds of high-strung emotions, thank you very much, and so it is true. Because it must be true, because it feels as though it is true.
Outrage culture thrives on othering. It is a wretched hive of scum and villainy, so determined to kill all voices not in alignment with their rapidly shifting and changing virtues, emotions and rage that they stoop to labelling as absolute hatred all voices contrary to their own and othering them to such an extent that it does not matter what happens to them, because they do not view them as human beings but as forces of evil, hell bent on destroying the world and everyone in them.
Labels such as Nazi or White Supremacist or Far-right bigot or Misogynist or Racist or Homophobic or Islamophobic or Sexist is thrown around and placed upon people with whom they might just merely disagree; labels of political extremity placed upon people who do not belong to any extreme, who do not agree with these labels but whose voice on whether or not they deserve this label is ignored by the ones who have decided that this is the correct label/labels for them. Which is absurdly ironic, considering the outrage-machine and their outrage at someone being deemed to be of the wrong gender – that is, the crime of misgendering someone. Referring to someone by the wrong pronoun is a crime so heinous that all other conversation need to be shut down in order to remedy it.
Labelling someone a Nazi who is clearly not a Nazi for merely stating an opinion or presenting evidence to the contrary of the dominant cultural narrative, however, is quite alright. Because clearly he or she is a Nazi. If not now, then later on down the line, they will evolve into a fully fledged Nazi, jackboots and Zyklon-B at the ready. It is insanity. Pure, unbridled, balls-and-ovaries-to-the-walls insanity; egotism and selfishness extreme disguised as altruism. Anything not falling into line with true and proper speech and thought is wrong and offensive. And being offensive is the worst one can be. Because that is how it feels and that is, quite frankly, that.
And as for me; I do not try to be offensive with my writings. I do not try to provoke. I do not even try to be controversial. I am not interested in generating controversy or outrage or offence or provocation. I consider my writings and my opinions to be very tame – neither controversial nor offensive, merely common sense. Even if I do ramble on and on, often with no end in sight.
I do not consider my views or myself aligned with any extreme. Yet I am labelled a foul misogynist, a hater of women and of equality.
I hold as the core of my values the belief that everyone should be allowed to speak their mind. That there should be no limitations placed on peoples right to express their opinion, no matter how banal, stupid, evil, bad, wrong, hateful, bigoted, whatever, they are.
Should I open up to the suggestion that people whose views I disagree with, even views I disagree vehemently with and consider pure and utter hatred, should be banned by governmental decree and punished by law, I also open up to the suggestion that people who find my views and opinions to be pure filth may place punishments on me for voicing my opinion. And trust me: there are more than enough people who consider my views to be pure filth and radiant hatred, even though my views are very tame and far from any extreme. They are, quite simply, not able to see beyond their own bias in regards to feminism and the doctrine of feminism. To such an extent that they do not see what I have written or hear what I have said. Blindfolded and limited by ideology.
I do not wish my rights to express myself being infringed upon. And in having the right to express myself, I also have the right to offend. Because somewhere, someone will find something to be offended about, no matter what you say, write or express.
In not wanting my right to express myself infringed upon, I can not possibly wish that anyone else have their right to express themselves infringed upon. That would be holding double standards, instead of holding everyone to the same standard. I would not wish even the most radically misandrist feminist man-hater be denied her right to openly spew her hatred. Opening that door will quickly open another door. And before you know it, nothing is allowed speech. Expecting that people with whom one may disagree should not have the same rights to express themselves as oneself is far from egalitarian and far removed from all being treated equally.
That, my friends, is supremacy.
The notion that one set of ideas should be the only ones allowed to be expressed, at the expense and governmentally sanctioned suppression of other ideas, is not equality, is not treating everyone equally. It is treating one better than the other, at the expense of the other.
Label my speech as hate-speech as much as you want. Somewhere, someone will label your speech as hate-speech. And opening the doors to shut down “hate-speech” will eventually lead to your own speech being shut down. And you can not protest this, because you fought to implement it.
Who in the grandstanding moral intersection of fuckery and dim-wittery gets to decide what is and what is not offensive? How does one even chose who and what and how and where and when?
Rules applied evenly across the board, in the great dystopian Social Justice future where all are equal except the ones who are more equal than others. And the ones who are more equal than others are the ones who currently hold the power. And that may change and that may shift, and so too does the cultural Zeitgeist. Do not for one second believe that laws on allowed speech which are currently in your favour will not turn around and bite you in the ass. Slip. Slide. Welcome to governed speech. Say this. Do not say that. Should you say that, we will bring the full fury of the hate-speech-patrols down on your head, you filthy bigoted hatemonger, you.
Needless to say, I am not in favour of governing speech. There are few exceptions to this rule, of course. No rule without exceptions, as the saying goes. Don’t shout “Fire” in a crowded room is clearly one of them, and a perfect and classic example of expression that may lead someone else to come to severe harm. Ever seen a room full of people caught in panic? It ain’t pretty. Saying “Go kill him, he’s a Muslim.” is not the same as saying “I don’t like Muslims”. Feel free to exchange “Muslim” for whatever group you want, of course, and the sentiment remains. Expressions should not be persecuted, unless there are overwhelming evidence that someone might act violently and as such bring harm upon someone else. “Harmful speech” is a nonsense-term. I wonder if “Kill all men” is considered hateful rhetoric?
The Social Justice Hive-mind call to censor speech is nothing but yet another proof of their eternal quest for power and control and governance. And that is all it fucking is. Claiming altruism when all they want is total control of the discourse. Oooooooh, someone may be hurt, aaaaaaaaaaaah, someone might feel bad. Meaning: “I, personally, don’t like this. And so no-one should, could, would or may or might enjoy it, actually agree with or hold those opinions. Ban it.” For theirs is the power and the might and the outrage, for now until forever. A-fucking-intersect-men.
Besides, bad ideas show themselves for what they are when allowed to be expressed, and they will face the scrutiny of public opinion and be judged on their merit. Even if common sense ain’t common. Even if offence taken is more common than offence given. To offend or not to offend, that is the question. And the answer? Fuck it – I’m good.
- Moiret Allegiere, 09.02.2019
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