Ever since the furor over the Sad Puppies 3 slate kicked up last week, I’ve been getting tagged with comments about the infamous shock jock Vox Day. “When are you going to do something about him?” some ask. Others demand, “You must disavow him, otherwise it looks like you approve of his hate and racism.” Still others claim, “The longer you go without disavowing Vox, the more it makes me think you might actually agree with him.” And so on, and so forth.
Ah, gentle folk, such talk makes me tired. Are we really at that point? Have we really sunk to the place in the dialogue where failure to revile a man, automatically means approval or assent? If I do not hate him, I obviously love him?
It’s clear this isn’t about Vox Day as much as it’s about me signaling to the tribe that I can be bent to the tribe’s will.
Vox Day has been convicted of heinousness and expelled from the tribe. He is banished. While the rest of the Science Fiction village has turned its back, I’ve stood off to the side and observed the whole thing with a sour face, shaking my head. Neither with the tribe, nor against the tribe. Neither with Vox, nor against Vox.
Because I see two wrongs happening here. And like all of us were told by our grandparents, two wrongs don’t make a right.
Vox Day is a shock jock.
People let Vox push all the right buttons.
You keep mentioning his name over and over and over . . . Just like he wants you to.
It reminds me of the scene from the third ALIEN movie:
DILLON: You don’t wanna know me, lady. I’m a murderer and rapist of women.
RIPLEY: Really? . . . Well, I guess I must make you nervous.
See, that’s precisely the reaction you give the shock jock. He says something guaranteed to make you go full retard on him, you cooly reply that his worst invective doesn’t scare you, and you move on. That’s how you beat the shock jock.
You don’t devote years to a never-ending hissy fit of finger-pointing and jumping up and down, crying for his blood. That just makes the shock jock smile, because then he knows he’s won. He knows he is living rent-free in your head. He has outwitted and outgunned you on the psych ops battlefield. He is laughing at your rage.
Did nobody else learn this stuff in school? Did nobody else learn how to deflect and deflate the jerk? The guy who needled you and knew how to push all your buttons, until you were red with fury?
Come on, folks, this is basic stuff.
Yet, my critics persist. They are convinced of the righteousness that they do.
I get it. The easiest thing for me at this point is to join in the discommendation: I RENOUNCE THE BAD MAN, AND HIS UNUTTERABLE BADNESS! HE IS FILTH! HE IS UNTOUCHABLE! THERE ARE BAD THINGS FLYING OUT OF HIS BAD FINGERS AND INTO HIS BAD KEYBOARD! I JOIN WITH ALL THE TRIBE IN POINTING MY FINGER — SUTHERLAND-STYLE — MY MOUTH GAPING, AND AN UNHOLY SHRIEK ISSUING FROM MY THROAT! EEEAAAAAAUGHHHHOOUGHHHHHHHHH . . . .
Still, I resist the temptation. And it is a temptation. All I have to do is admit that there are five lights, and the grilling and insinuation and character assassination will stop. I see four lights, but the commissars tell me there are five. Just say that there are five lights, Brad, like we want you to. Come on. You can do it. Five lights. Is that so hard? Better men than you have admitted it. Five. Lights.
Vox yanks chains, kicks shins, and enjoys being a villain.
Vox has been (and will be again) a shit head.
But like I said, this isn’t about Vox anymore. It’s about the tribe. The tribe is trying to decide if I can be pressured to conform. If I can be pricked, poked, prodded, and cajoled into saying the words.
Say them, Brad. We need to hear you say them!
Hey tribe, guess what?
THERE . . . ARE . . . FOUR . . . LIGHTS!
Maybe Vox is terrible.
But the Marxist politics of unpersoning is much moreso.
It doesn’t matter if you think it’s justified.
Unperson enough people for enough “crimes” and you will eventually find yourself excommunicated from humanity.
I reject this. I reject the whole thing. As much as Vox is a serial dickhead, I reject his unpersoning. Being a dickhead is not a crime. It’s uncool. But it’s not a crime.
And I reject all who demand I partake in the unpersoning of anyone in this field. Even the polar opposites of Vox, who pour churlish and poisonous invective down onto the heads of innocent people; hatred from the so-called progressive side. These are broken souls – Vox, and his arch-enemies — but they are still human beings. They’re still part of the human equation. Criticize what they say. Criticize what they do.
You don’t know the fire you play with. You haven’t studied history enough to understand the pattern you are repeating. You think you mean well. You think you do this for some kind of justice. You think you are on the right side of history.
When it’s your turn to be unpersoned — for mere words; not even actions, words — remember that you were warned.