You know it’s a bad fucking day when I have to agree, in part, with fucking WhaleOil.
Point the Zero: I’m actually not going to rehash his situation here, because then I’d feel hypocritical for slagging off Eddie at The Standard for Point One.*
That being said, Point the First: It’s a bit fucking rich playing the “we kept quiet about this because we are Such Noble Creatures” card as a prelude to:
but seeing as the Sunday Star-Times felt differently, a few comments.
It’s a lovely tactic of some of our Parliamentarians to try a variation on this spin, the “well I might call the member a liar, if it weren’t against Standing Orders” line. It’s childish bullshit and, in Eddie’s case, serves as a handy warning that things are going to go rapidly downhill.
Protip: if it weren’t okay to comment on it before, it ain’t okay now that one of the trashiest newsrags in NZ has decided it’s a good time to rake through their Most Unflattering Photos file.
Point the Second: Pretending you’re not actually playing on stereotypes of mental illness when your entire post is about judging someone based on their mental illness is a really shitty thing to do.
People who are afflicted by mental illness are not necessarily ‘nuts’ or ‘crazy’ but I think that when we look at Cameron’s blog it is clearly not the product of a healthy mind – to those for whom that wasn’t clear beforehand, it certainly is now.
See, Eddie is a really enlightened guy because he put scare-quotes around “nuts” and “crazy”, because it’s wrong to make generalizations about people with mental illness, but hey guys, let’s not forget how fucked in the head Slater is! Isn’t he totally batshit? Fuck, no surprises he turned out to be headed for the loony bin, amirite?
Point the Third, as made in a comment at The Standard post: Some people are just dicks. Some people have a mental illness. Some people who are dicks also have a mental illness, and you know what? It’s really fucking bigoted to presume that the mental illness is the cause of their dickishness.
It casts Cameron’s vitriol, his unjustified and unquenchable anger in a new light when we understand that he is not in a healthy state of mind.
I thought WhaleOil was a blog I could not be paid to read before I knew Slater had a mental illness. I still think it’s a blog I could not be paid to read. Shockingly, nothing has actually changed between then and now – but that’s probably because this quote is really an opening for some old-fashioned concern trolling.
Point the Fourth: Yes, Eddie, you are a fucking concern troll.
Commenter RedLogix provides a handy link in an attempt to refute this. Ah, urbandictionary, a website designed to confuse the shit out of historians from the 51st century. And sure, Eddie’s post doesn’t exactly fit any of the [current] three definitions given, but let’s take some excerpts from those three:
The intent is to derail, stifle, control, the dialogue
A person who … expresses concern for policies, comments, attitudes of others on the site. It is viewed as insincere, manipulative, condescending.
Then let’s add in Factcheckme’s Concern Troll Bingo, drawing particular attention to:
This much anger isn’t healthy. Have you considered therapy?
You’re just not thinking RATIONALLY.
And compare it all against this quote from Eddie:
It casts Cameron’s vitriol, his unjustified and unquenchable anger in a new light when we understand that he is not in a healthy state of mind. His ceaseless attacks on gays, ‘bludgers’, ‘pinkos’ etc, which so many in the Right held up as teachings to follow were, in fact, Cameron’s way of battling his own inner demons.
[Or, to jump back a few points, maybe he's a guy with inner demons who is also a conservative, reactionary, bigoted fucktard.]
Sorry, RedLogix, but Eddie’s entire post from here devolves into textbook concern trolling, with a little dig at the media. We just need to understand that Slater is a sick person, he’s not in control, and sure he can run his little blog but he [and all his multitudinous fanboys, don't forget!] need to realise that he doesn’t mean to be a conservative, reactionary, bigoted fucktard, it’s the illness.
Please, someone tell me how this isn’t a political blogosphere variation on Autism Will Steal Your Real Children And Replace Them With Changelings rhetoric? How Eddie isn’t metaphorically patting Slater on the head, telling him “Oh, it’s okay, widdle man, we understands dat it iz just your illness, you are weally a good boy!” – while simultaneously looking smugly around the room and declaring “See, everyone? He’s only a Nationalite because he’s fucked in the head! Look how little weight you can give a person’s opinion when you can slap a Mentally Ill sign on their back! Now surely the tide will turn and the polls will change and a Labour-led coalition can just romp home in 2011!”
This isn’t manipulative? This isn’t condescending? This isn’t diminishing a person’s opinion because he’s angry or irrational? This isn’t controlling the dialogue by making it all about How Cameron Slater Is Crazy, Therefore Wrong?
Point the Fifth: Mmm, delicious strawmen, so tasty with Thousand Island “Nobody Actually Said That” dressing.
It begins in the comments:
Mental illness is no excuse for spouting bile.
Commenter Bill admittedly continues, “Neither is it a reason for dismissing what an individual has to say.” But … mental illness is no excuse? It’s really funny, Bill, because I haven’t seen Slater make excuses for himself in relation to his blogging. In his response post, “Being Hugged by the Left”, there’s not a single fucking hint of “leave me alone, I’m mentally ill, that’s why I write bad things”.
Why, it’s almost like someone thought “Cameron Slater has a mental illness”, and reached into their handy bag of Mentally Ill Stereotypes, pulled out “people with mental illnesses are just whingers who can’t handle the real world and use their illness as an excuse to be slackers”, and just went from there!
No excuse for the stuff that guys spews out or anyone else who uses mental illness as a reason to be so personally rude against some.
Sorry, torydog, could you, um, actually point me to where anyone was making excuses – except for Eddie, in his not-actually-concern-trolling-at-all,-no-sirree post?
Even Scott from Imperator Fish gets in on the trend:
But that won’t excuse the vitriol expressed on his blog towards “bludgers” and “troughers” (to use his words), and his generally abusive manner.
And follows up with an entire post on the topic, also taking the opportunity to point out, in response to Slater’s rebuttal, that OH HEY SOME REALLY BAD PEOPLE HAD MENTAL ILLNESS TOO. In the interests of balance, obviously.
Point the Fifth: Episode Two: Attack of the Hypocrisy, Return of the Smug Bigotry
IrishBill brings in some concern-trolling reserves, stating:
I believe Cameron is ill and I actually feel slightly sorry for him. I don’t believe his blogging/political activities will be doing him any good.
As a warning I will be monitoring this thread and moderating any personal attacks regarding Cameron’s illness.
lprent agrees, but apparently the magical formula for moderation is something really blatant, like “Cameron Slater is bugfuck crazy and should be sterilised for the sake of human evolution”, because apparently there’s no problem with
And there’s certainly nothing wrong with some good ol’ general mental-illness bigotry:
After all, it’s so clear he needs help because his blog is obviously the product of a sick mind.
Because if you can, at any time, maintain a facade of normalcy, or if you ever, at any time, try to engage “normally” with other human beings, well, you can’t be that ill because you don’t look sick.
People with mental illness should never be taken seriously, kids.
Because all mental illness erases a person’s ability to see the world “rationally”. It couldn’t be that Slater is a rabid right-winger with no concepts of his own race/gender/class/wealth privileges. Fuck, if “your view of the world is very different to my perception of it” is grounds for a diagnosis of mental illness, then every individual on Earth must be qualified to diagnose at least 50% of the world’s population as mentally ill.
Point the Sixth: Generic Internet Arguments Get You Nowhere
There’s the “Teacher Teacher He Hit Me First” argument:
Ah, yes, because if someone with a blog like fucking WhaleOil does something, it must be okay.
No one said it was a “right-wing thing” Stan, calm down.
Except that Stan was kind of quoting Eddie directly:
It’s interesting that several other prominent right-wing bloggers
If Eddie’s not drawing a line between mental illness and right-wing bloggers, r0b, then he wouldn’t fucking say it was “interesting“ and continue with an argument about how obviously the rabid right are all nutters using blogging as therapy, and therefore aren’t people to be taken seriously.
Fuck, it’s the fucking Act Party’s “we only said SOME DPB recipients are welfare queen whores” spin all fucking over again.
Point the Seventh: Let’s try to defuse things by jokingly linking mental illness and “crazy” Internet behaviour!
FUCK YOU, LPRENT. And DOUBLE FUCK YOU, IRISHBILL, for going on to explicitly name a blogger who ZOMG, HE’S SUCH A NUTTER ON THE NET WE ARE TOTES JUSTIFIED IN COMMENTING ON AND MAKING ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT HIS MENTAL STATE.
It’s kind of funny, really, how the moderators state “no personal attacks on Slater” but it’s open fucking season to make gigantic, generalized personal attacks on people with mental illness in general. It’s absolutely peachy to make assumptions about people’s blogs and what they say about those people’s brain chemistry. There’s no fucking problem implying that people with mental illness shouldn’t get paid any attention, or shouldn’t be listened to, or that all their arguments are to be taken with a grain of salt because hey, THEY’RE CRAZY PEOPLE!
Point the Last: Some kudos to the people actually fighting the narrative over there:
Thanks, people. And remember,
it’s just a really good excuse to diminish people’s intellects without having to actually challenge their ideas.
PS: The first commenter to imply that I’m “taking this personally” and “getting worked up over nothing” because I’m either PMSing or have a mental illness will get a gold star for efforts in predictability.
Edited to add 19:46: Just so as to establish this as something of a pattern of neurotypical ableism on the part of writers and commenters at The Standard, let’s not forget that referring to something erratic and unpredictable as “schizophrenic” is totally okay because The Herald do it.
*The act of linking to the thread in question is a tricky one, because of course it’s basically a big flashing arrow screaming BUT YOU CAN FIND IT ALL HERE – but at the same time, context is always a good thing.