PLEASE IGNORE all that follows.. after all, I’m merely a privileged white male cisgendered Canadian elf. As a white male of my species, I’m no doubt a patriarchy racists sexism, and one of the micro-causes of endless micro-aggressions. Stupid fat elf. Boo, me!
Attention-seeking is a complex thing. What happens when you mix toxic ideology with deeply damaged or nasty people?
Serious fireworks ensue.. and perhaps some insights.
Doubting The Doubters
An Anglican philosopher friend of mine once took on the notoriously attention-seeking (but question avoiding) controversialist Bishop and writer John “Look At Meee” Spong. The crowd were mostly Spong-devotees, but my friend took his shot.
My friend said:
(1) You (Spong) assert that much of religion (& Christianity in particular) is actually a Freudian-style projection of father-issues into universal truth claims about God. (My Dad In The Sky).
(2) So your (Spong’s) view of God is essentially a projection of your (Spong’s) own interior father-issues (Spong had a bad relationship with his father, he reports) into universal truth-claims about God.
(3) Therefore: if you’re right, why should anyone believe what you (Spong) claim to be true or not true about God & religion, if it’s all ‘actually’ about your projected personal fatherhood issues, and not truth claims about what is actually real and true? Why should anybody care about that?
Spong’s religion = how he feels about his dead Dad. Right up there with his opinions on knitting, and eggrolls.
Wait for it. Booooooooooooooooooom.
In that flash of simple logic, my friend demolished mitred narcissist Spong’s clever 50-year schtick of ‘trust me’ doubting, deconstruction, and the flawed thinking behind his ‘because Freud’ agnosticism.
Then It Got Really Weird
What happened next? Nothing sensible.
Bp. Spong wiffled, waffled, and then attacked (as usual). My gregarious & thoughtful friend was ‘judgmental’ and ‘narrow-minded’ and unpleasant and ‘fundamentalist’. That is, Spong The Famous Doubter could not– or would not– answer reasonable questions doubting Spong’s own doubt. Question ME? Name-calling, you bigot!
Here’s where it gets.. even weirder.
During a break after question-time, a Spongite woman came up to my friend, asking him to back off, and ‘be nicer’ to Spong, because he was a deeply damaged man, who spoke on behalf of so many other damaged people. Er, what-now?
Or, “Please lay off on the facts & logic and truth stuff, or any holding our hero accountable for his wreckifying via ideas, lectures, words, debates, books, ‘sermons’, TV appearances, and wealth & fame as a very public doubter and agnostic about Christianity, because.. feelings!” Leave Crazy Spong Alo-o-o-one!, cry the other crazy people.
How Very 21st Century
Public personas are just that: a public face-mask presented to the world. Anything can be behind the mask. What about the human toothaches, who enjoy making trouble? The deeply troubled but obnoxious, who are banging around injuring people and screeching about causes? Or the criminal, presenting themselves as heroes, whilst hiding dark secrets?
Even when we present questions, arguments, fact-checking and real data to the debate, we may be just scratching the surface of what’s going on.
Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos wonders just how many troublesome ‘radical’ attention-seeking public figures on the Left are not simply voices for some progressive position, but underneath may be deeply damaged, malignant narcissists, drama-seekers, or hurting/ hurtful people flailing about injuring innocent people and breaking things, under the guise of activism, feminism, social justice, or whatever other excuse for being sad, bad, or bat-spit mad. He says (29:20 and forward):
“Very often you’ll discover deep dysfunction in their private lives, and my supposition, my guess, is that very often the business of engaging in social justice, of bullying of other people, the engaging in the Oppression Olympics is quite often a sort of therapy for people who are suffering. It’s a sort of learned response to trauma.
Because after a while, you realize that so many of the ringleaders in this incredibly.. off-the-wall movement have such checkered, dark, you know, ugly pasts, of lies, drug-taking…. Very often because they are attention-seekers, they are desperate for affirmation, and for “Victimhood Bucks”….”
Strategic Butt Coverings!
Recently, internets feminist saint Anita Sarkeesian told her supporters (US$170K on Kickstarter, another US$700K from various other sources 2014-present) that all her Feminist Frequency work is just too much (3 hours & 40 minutes of video, and related research, plus some articles, including her latest civilization-saving YouTube vid on, um, “Strategic Butt Coverings“). Pixel-bums. Not joking.
Mz. Anita’s easing back because– note this– she now tells us she’s suffered a life-long battle with depression & now burnout, plus some mean critics & anti-feminists on the internets are making her feel bad. But no refunds.
Who said what-now?! Anita: many people have depression, or burnout– such runs in my own family– but we’re not all swanning about with a cool mil, showing up on magazine covers & whinging at UN committees, getting riches & fame by preachily pissing on Men’s Rights, gamer culture, and men in general… all whilst having an undisclosed distorted and distorting mental illness. Publicity and followers and free money is not helping you get better, if you’re actually telling the truth about all this.
No, not all depressed people are unfit or ‘nuts’– but depending on the details, depression-things can make things appear much darker, more dramatic & ‘conspiratorial’, self-centred, scary or overwhelming than they really are. Hidden physical or mental suffering can be a circus-funhouse of unhappy, and not necessarily an accurate place from which to view the world, yourself, or others.
Binks For Rent!
By the way, if anybody offers me a million dollars to regurgitate super-simplistic sophomore summaries of black Commie SJW Feminist Bell Hooks, I will also shave the Binky-pits, wear the Sarkeesian giant hoop-earrings, bright lipstick, plaid shirts and dyed side-locks. I promise to silence and mock anybody who disagrees with me, Bell Hooks, or Zoe Quinn, because Reasons. I will not plead burnout after my choice to spend 18 months in the public eye.
Into The Bedlam?
Other hardcore Social Justice Warriors– like ‘Zoe Quinn‘ (a.k.a. Chelsea Van Valkenburg), or Randi Harper, or Shanley Kane— have more than proven themselves unethical, dishonest, troubled, and unstable people. They conceal their dark and crazy from their audience & opponents, and act out in various ways via ‘justice issues’, almost as a kind of avoidance of looking at themselves, finding treatment, or owning up to serious sins, crimes, or crises behind the public/ internet false mask.
Look over here! And over there!! Injustices!! Run! Hurry! Do what I say!! Self-awareness? Answering critics? Not so much.
The Unusual Suspects
Some ‘social justice’ progressives even turn out to be stalkers, male and female rapists, pedophiles, sociopaths, fraud artists and scammers, petty criminals, or compulsive liars, perhaps punishing others and society because malice, issues, or injuries in their lives. Not good.
Or, are you a well-connected and vengeful feminist bully (name rhymes with ‘Stephanie Guthrie’) who thinks they have a right to silence and lie about lowly non-feminist male scum who dare disagree via Twitter? Why not persecute him online, then drag Gregory Alan Elliott to court for three long years of frivilous misery, where the ‘due process’ is the bankrupting punishment? That’s here in Trudeau’s NeoCanada, but thankfully she lost (until the inevitable weepy legal appeal). This damaged chick should pay all his court costs, and for wasting taxpayer’s time & money. Ms. Guthrie can never give back his lost years. Nope, no issues or ideology there!
Utopian Ideology + deep personal problems = The Patriarchy is out to get me! I was Twitter-raped! They’re trying to kill me! All men are evil! Believe everything I say, or else! I’m being triggered! Intersectional micro-aggressions! Silence my critics! I have internet PTSD!! Kill all men! Help me, love me, cuddle me, give me a blankie and a teddy-bear, cuz I’m scared and sad and bad and lonely!!
It can get awfully ugly, when egotism, disease, disorder, evil, malice, and guilt is running the show.
Physician, Heal Thyself?
OK: Whoa now– first things first. This is not about dogpiling anyone. These people are people, and some of them really need help, or to get offline, and to shut up until they are better.
It’s simple, but not easy. Be healed if you would heal. Turn to God, and be made new.
This is at least part of what Jesus was teaching when he warned about being hastily judgmental (St. Luke 6:41-42). He was not in fact against judging– i.e., assessing something or someone correctly, in order to rebuke and/ or help them.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
Blinded by a huge plank, O sinful bossy hypocrite? Then don’t rush into performing expert eye-surgery on others. Or: got am aster-plan to fix all the things, SJW? How about starting the fix-up with yourself, first?
If we are moved by love and mercy, and a desire to save & heal– and if we have seen, repented of, and confessed our sins & bad attitudes and mistaken ideas– then we have de-planked our own eye, stepped out of hypocrisy and blinding sin and harsh judgement, and become someone able to help others with their specks. We’re not moved by proving how wise and awesome and self-important we are, but by a healing which we humbly wish to share.
The Zombie Way
On the other hand, feeding off our badness and miseries to make others miserable and bad, is a destructive zombie-life. So is choosing to become creepy and more troubled, revelling in our depression, anxiety, sins, and hurts, and living a double life of public righteousness and ranting, and inward evil and sorrow. Why heal up from that broken leg? Keep limping along, and hit it with a hammer once in a while– and hey! Why not break other people’s legs with a hammer, too? Then, find all sorts of people to blame for it, make some videos and get a loyal following, then see if you can raise a hundred thousand bucks on Patreon in sympathy?
Not for this elf. Don’t listen to SJW celebrities– or anyone for that matter– without wondering who they really are, what motivates them, and what kind of fruit they bear in the public square and their personal lives. ~