walk backward into hell

I’m writing this because I want people to know that I am not dead (in fact I am fine, I just ate a plain hamburger bun).

Because I am a Robot of Very Little Brain most of my thoughts may be nicely encapsulated by a single tweet, or perhaps an extended thread. In a pleasant coincidence, most things worth discussing can also be so compressed. You may infer from the fact that I am writing this essay that (i) I have an unusually lengthy thought, and (ii) its value is questionable.

While I was trying very hard to ignore recent events, because they were incredibly stupid, to the best of my knowledge something like the following happened in the last few days:

  1. A nice person left a reply in one of my threads about being German

  2. A bunch of glowies running white nationalist honeypot accounts started QTing her reply, mobbing her, and generally being rude in my replies

  3. I threadmogged some of them pour encourager les autres

  4. A miracle occurred and everyone decided that I was at war with 0HP Lovecraft

  5. Having no interest in this, I posted a series of increasingly aggressive messages asking people to leave me out of whatever was going on

  6. This didn’t work and I found it incredibly irritating to be dragged into a Culture War against my will, so I blocked everyone I noticed propagating this

  7. Naturally the people I blocked posted screencaps and Began Discourse

  8. I am now writing about all of this instead of leveling my warlock and listening to podcasts, which makes me want to eat glass

Commentary

(A) I don’t care about ZHP. “I can’t believe you’re endorsing him!” I hear from some. And to you I say: fuck off! I don’t follow him because his content and tone aren’t my thing and I wish he would not talk about me so much. I don’t agree with him about lots of Issues, probably including lots of Issues about which you also don’t agree with him. And I don’t care about this because it’s none of my goddamn business.

Iterating, I might suggest that it is certainly none of anyone’s business what I think of his business.

Further still I suppose it is none of my business what you think about what I think about ZHP’s twitter feed, so if you’re inclined to die mad about my indifference you will hear no objection from these quarters.

This established, let’s further investigate my ethics.

(B) I care about how people behave toward each other in my comments. While I have no ability to force Bad People to think Good Things, I am happy to tell people to stop being rude or tiresome in my replies. I see this as a modern extension of xenia, which is a beautiful tradition of antiquity that I would like to adapt and preserve for a digital age.

(C) I do not care if people believe wrong and bad things contingent on their compliance with (B). It’s not my mission to purge my social network of everyone who disagrees with me in their hearts. So: just imagine how I am inclined toward demands that I purge it of people that someone else disagrees with!

Further, I have neither the time nor inclination to get to know the details of the personal theology of tens of thousands of people. Nor do I want any help in this. You can see the incentives such an invitation would create. Can you imagine what it would be like to have dozens of people eagerly snitching to you every day?

(D) Some questions I anticipate, addressed:

Q: “But won’t your threads will be full of fascists / social justice warriors / people who like The Big Bang Theory?”

A: I don’t care as long as people are abiding by (B) and not starting shit, at which point I will firmly ask them to leave and/or block them. I see reciting one’s own political beliefs in another’s thread as the social equivalent of walking into a party and shitting on the floor, so it’s plausible that you’ll never even know you were rubbing shoulders with your Outgroup and having a good time; and you can sleep assured of your social purity.

Q: “But what if they sneakily convince you of their Wicked views?”

A: How fucking dumb do you think I am?

Q: “What if I want you to purge people I don’t like for strictly political reasons anyway?”

A: Block me and reconsider your entire life.

(E) The Social Ethics of Dr. Iannis

From Corelli’s Mandolin by Bernieres:

‘Paidia, paidia, this is enough. We have this unpleasantness every morning. I have always been a Venizelist; I am not a monarchist, and I am not a Communist. I disagree with both of you, but I cure Stamatis’ deafness and I burn out Kokolios’ warts. This is how we should be. We should care for each other more than we care for ideas, or else we will end up killing each other. Am I not right?’

. . .

‘Now let’s smoke and drink our coffee in peace. If we can’t stop arguing in here, then I am going to start having breakfast at home.’

You can have (A) a nice social circle filled with interesting people enjoying themselves or you can have (B) a pissing match every day or you can (C) start having breakfast at home. My preferences are ordered A≻C≻B.

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