Jul 9, 2014 Ipso Facto commented on We Just Can't Stand Ourselves.
Why don't they just talk to the voices in their head like a normal person?

That's normal, right? George says it's normal. Thanks George.
Jul 5, 2014 Ipso Facto commented on Not One More.
On a final note, I'm glad my offending comment was pulled from the thread, and I did report the comment and request that it be removed. But without the comment visible, I worry I may have given an impression that is even worse than what I actually wrote.

As perverse as my comment was, I didn't wish harm on anyone, I didn't condone harming anyone, I didn't justify harming anyone. And to be clear, I don't harbor any ill-will toward students in Greek life. My impetus in making these comments was always to try to understand why this violence happens in order to prevent it. Instead, I put my foot in my mouth something fierce and possibly made things worse with my series of clumsily-worded apologies (I'm not a great writer).

Now if you don't mind, I'm going to try to get up out of my own head about this and move on.
Jul 4, 2014 Ipso Facto commented on Not One More.
I don't think my apology was complete. I'd like to correct that now.

I used a very offensive word in my initial comment and I should address that directly. I won't repeat the word, but this blog entry helps explain why it's so offensive (though it uses a definition I wasn't aware of). When I said I was boneheaded, an ass, that I'd said something stupid and hurtful, that particular word and sentence were what I was referring to. That word is a gross example of slut shaming and I was wrong to use it. It's offensive in any context, but to use it in the context of a shooting in which the murderer targeted exactly the people the word is meant to describe is not just offensive, it's appalling. It's heinous.

I honestly did not intend or grasp the victim-blaming implication of my statement as I was writing it. As I've said, the exchange I was replying to was on the topic of cultural factors -- one commenter pointed to masculine culture, another replied that men are also subject to social pressures. I wrong-headedly weighed in to agree with the latter point (it wasn't relevant), and to share insight into the cultural landscape of the setting of this tragedy.

But my phrasing was ugly, it was morbidly cynical, it was repugnant. There was an anger in my words and realizing that has been a jolting wake-up call. Apparently I was holding on to a considerable amount of bitterness and self-pity, and it spilled out in a strange way in my comment.

Believe it or not I'd like to think that I am a feminist. My comment clearly did not reflect that. This episode has been a learning moment for me and a sobering reminder of my own fallibility.

Perhaps no one will see this comment in such an old thread, but if any women do read this and would like to offer feedback, please feel free to reply.
Jul 2, 2014 Ipso Facto commented on Shooting at Seattle Pacific University: Multiple Victims, One Fatality, Two Suspects in Custody.
I just wanna throw an asterisk on my comment @64:

I put quotation marks around the phrase violent misogyny, and in retrospect I think that could be construed in a way I didn't mean. Quotation marks are sometimes used to connote sarcasm, but that isn't what I intended here. I used the quotes to set off a reason I'd heard cited elsewhere, they were not meant to diminish the reality of violent misogyny.

Violence toward women is an all too real problem in our society (not that you need me to tell you). The problem of misogyny should absolutely be front and center in the discussion of these shootings and I wasn't trying to take away from that.

The question I was raising is whether these rampages were an indicator of an even bigger societal problem, perhaps even more fundamental than misogyny -- a societal breakdown that maybe gives rise to misogyny, and to shooting rampages, and to murder and suicide, and other social ills. I think Noam Chomsky calls it an "atomized society".

But what the fuck do I know? I'm not a sociologist. I'm just a guy trying to make some kind of sense of all this madness.
Jun 28, 2014 Ipso Facto commented on Not One More.
It’s been three weeks and I’m still ruing my showing in this thread and trying to figure out what came over me. I was making a reply to a tangential exchange, about cultural factors that could possibly promote the insanity of a massacre. Like Charles Mudede did in his post, I think I initially wanted to offer some kind of insight into the pressures and loneliness that a young man can sometimes experience in college*. But I was in an odd place emotionally in that moment (having recently endured a personal heartbreak and feeling depression tapping on my shoulder again) and as I tried to express my sentiments through that lens I ended up making a very ugly comment -– a hyperbolic, bizarrely cynical, poorly phrased, grammatically questionable comment with language I never use and that didn’t even capture what I was trying to communicate. I made a verbal blunder and I am sorry.

I hope that people will recognize that my offensive comment was an anomaly and completely out of character for me. That’s just not who I am. Who I am is someone who cares deeply about family, community, and society; someone who wants to help improve our world. Tragedies like this hurt my heart and I have never been one to make light of them. But of course this discussion has nothing to do with me and I regret distracting from such important issues with my own melodrama.

This is a story about the senseless loss of our young people in the primes of their lives, about the pain and resilience of the families affected, about our need for stronger gun control and better mental health treatment, and about the heroism of Jon Meis.

As a token of my condolence and respect I’ve made a donation to each of these causes:

Isla Vista Victims Tribute Fund
SPU Rise Above Fund
National Coalition Against Domestic Viol…
Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibili…

*But pressure and loneliness do not cause massacres, mental illness does. As Charles aptly said, most lonely men will not kill, “because they are not nuts”. Whatever point I was trying to make would have been better left for a separate conversation, as this discussion was about deranged killers, not run-of-the-mill lonely collegians. And I think Fnarf sums up what our response should be pretty well: “Mental illness is hard, access to unlimited guns is easy. Too easy”.
Jun 16, 2014 Ipso Facto commented on Department of Defense Spends Millions of Dollars Researching Activists and Other "Social Contagions".
Stories like this make it hard to ignore the analysis of Chris Hedges:

On May 15th, 2013:

Everyone knows -- within the administration, within the national security council -- the effects of climate change, the instability that that will cause, the economic deterioration which is irreversible. And they want the mechanisms by which they can criminalize any form of dissent, and that's finally what this is about.

On November 16th, 2013:

Now, this was quite a significant dump, because it illustrated two or three very chilling things about the security and surveillance state, first of all that there was no division between corporate spying and government spying. It was seamless, including the same people going back and forth. It was from that dump that we realized the extent to which the Occupy movement was being spied upon and infiltrated and monitored and followed. And we also found from those email exchanges that there was a concerted attempt on the part of security officials, both inside the government and within the private security contracting agency, to link, falsely, nonviolent dissident groups with terrorist groups so that they could apply terrorism laws against these groups.

On June 9th, 2014:

Lesson No. 1. A nonviolent movement that disrupts the machinery of state and speaks a truth a state hopes to suppress has the force to terrify authority and create deep fissures within the power structure. The ruling elites in China, we now know from leaked internal documents and the work of a handful of historians, believed the protests had the potential to dislodge them from power. Monolithic power, as we saw in China, is often a mirage. Some of the internal documents that exposed the fears and deep divisions within the ruling elite have been collected by the Princeton University Library.
Jun 12, 2014 Ipso Facto commented on The Onion Launches Clickhole: What Do You Think?.
With this Slog poll about a site satirizing another site that commodifies online detritus, the internet just swallowed its own asshole and shat it out again.

This is 2meta5me.
Jun 9, 2014 Ipso Facto commented on Not One More.
Thank you for that, delirian. And you as well, Lissa.

I love that idea of an "I regret this comment" button. Or at least an edit feature, even if it was limited to say, five minutes after you post your comment. As it is, it just takes a couple of clicks before your thoughts are indelibly etched into the eternal annals of the internet.
Jun 7, 2014 Ipso Facto commented on Not One More.
OK, I'm sorry to hijack this thread with my nonsense and I know I'm just rambling to myself now, but I woke up this morning feeling sick about what a stupid, hurtful thing I said.

By way of explanation I think I was making a kneejerk expression of a fleeting emotion, in extension of another commenter's remarks. The casual, pseudonymous nature of message boards like this one makes it easy to be cavalier and say things you never would in real life. Sometimes I use this is a soundboard, to say something and then gauge the reactions of others to help develop my own beliefs. Sometimes it's fun to be controversial and sensational.

But when I see my comment there in cold black print I realize that I don't feel that way at all, that that comment does not represent my true feelings.

The more I think about it, the more I recall that Isla Vista is a wonderful place full of wonderful, caring people. They are young, vibrant students exploring a new world full of potential and fun. I have so many more fond memories of living IV than negative memories. There are beautiful parks and bluffs and restaurants and shops. There are housing coops and community organizations.

I am horrified to imagine myself or my friends or anyone else there during the moments of that atrocity. Whatever sort of negative or difficult aspects there may be to that culture, there is nothing comes close to resembling a justification for such a monstrous, heinous act of violence and terror. We should try to better understand what motivates these young men to act this way so we can prevent it from happening again or at least as often, but of course and obviously there is no justification.

Most of us have probably experienced some sort of social difficulty and loneliness at what one time or another, but we deal with it the best we can, don't we? We don't wage massacres. Whatever set this monster off, the blame does not lie with the community or the culture.
Jun 6, 2014 Ipso Facto commented on Not One More.
Upon further reflection I want to express an additional apology for my comment about the culture in Isla Vista. It's just an entirely inappropriate thing for me to say in the wake of these tragedies with so many families in mourning.

I'm sure few of you noticed my comment, but I certainly regret making it. What a boneheaded thing for me to say. Sometimes this comment box feels like a free pass to vent, and it's easy to not think through the implications of a statement. But yah, I'm an ass.

Everyone of those victims deserves to still be here today. I feel awful for making such a flippant and callous comment about an event that hurt so many.