These are coming in too fast for me to handle! I wanted to moan and complain about my missing wallet and the scam perpetrated by Reservations Rewards upon our household (and enabled by Husband and fully refunded last night), about the doughnuts we had tonight at an actual functioning bakery that we weren’t looking for, about the laundry pile, about the in-home composter, and about, well, those lines you get on your neck as you age, and whether or not they are worse than crows’ feet around your eyes. There was a mediocre recipe I tried online, some interesting books I got at the library, and a rewatch of the 2003 Battlestar Galactica miniseries, too, but that Tenacious B can’t keep her story out of the media!
But, oh! Felix Gaeta looks so young and whole! And Billy! And Helo! I had forgotten how beautiful Dee is, or how Sol steals every scene he’s in. Between Sol Tigh and Benjamin Linus both coming back on the air the same week, I don’t think my brain can handle it.
So anyway… The latest manifestation of the Freedomain Radio Debacle is at the Times Online (in the UK). It’s from Tom Whipple, a reporter I’m sure I’ve read before, because I look up a lot of newspaper articles for my work. I’ll have to go back through my tables of contents and see where his name appears. It’s kind of eerie, and kind of making feel like I’m part of the in crowd on this one–which I am not–but here’s my little write up before bed:
The article appears in the “Women” section of the newspaper, which is a subcategory of “Life and Style,” so it’s an interest piece and not actually news. The Woman in this case is the Tenacious Barbara Weed, a mother who was torn apart from her son by a Web cult that destroys families. It’s definitely an interesting piece, especially in the context of how Stefan Molyneux and the FDR crowd are reacting to it, and especially after the two radio interviews that sounded like all the other radio interviews. Deviations from the script are always welcome. (Except at FDR itself, but that is a tired rant that has begun to bore even me.)
Purportedly–and you can read Molyneux’s official statement on his website–the now-famous Tom only agreed to be interviewed by Whipple if it was in the presence of Molyneux, so they were both on the phone call. Furthermore, Molyneux purportedly only agreed to do the interview if the full interview was linked to on the page of the article. Well, it wasn’t. I’m not surprised. It’s not likely that a publication would provide it, and I really can’t believe that the journalist–he and I go way back, remember–would just balls-out lie. I like to think there was a mix-up, or wishful thinking, or hearing what you want to hear behind this. Regardless, you can hear the phone call interview in its entirety at the FDR website. I don’t feel like listening to it (I already made that foolish promise to type up transcripts of those radio interviews, after all), but 1) it’s going to be up for a while if you decide later to listen and 2) the FDR members who have listened found it generally favorable. They are talking about that interview in this thread, “Article on Freedomain Radio from The Times,” which was started by Molyneux after it showed up online.
Tom speaks! It’s strange to see subject become object so suddenly. He appears in print as quite firm in his decision, and I’m sure his decision to abandon his entire family was not one he came to lightly. I’m sure, too, that he does not in any way feel like he was led to that decision. I remember being 18. I made all sorts of decisions completely on my own with no taint of peer pressure or pressure to perform or manipulation. All sorts! Whoever thought such a thing! The thing is, teenagers are perfectly clear in their mind who is in charge. Or who seems to be in charge. Teenagers are also worse at interpreting emotional cues than pre-teens and college kids. I’m not saying Tom is stupid, and I’ve already said he sounds like a cad, but I am saying that he made decisions without good data. You have to. The adolescent brain is screwy that way. Time fixes it, but stories also fix in our minds. It is very easy to invent memories. I’ve done that, too.
How is, you may ask, that I know so much about adolescents? Well, I was one. Also, I used to be a high school teacher, so I worked with a good 180 different adolescents a year for three years. Also, I edited a book about how the teenage brain differs from both child brains and adult brains. So of course, I am eminently qualified to comment on Tom, and the adolescent process, too!
Another welcome guest in the article was Tom’s father, The Devil. Turns out The Devil has a name–John. John denies the accusation that he was violent. We also learn that there are two sisters Tom has left behind; before we only knew about his brothers. Tom says at the end of the article that until his entire family enters therapy, he sees no point in talking to him. That’s a moving the goal post fallacy waiting to happen!
Molyneux pulls out his tired line about abused wives, too:
“When feminists first began to speak about abuse within marriage, every abusive husband started screaming ‘feminazi’,” he said. “If I advised a wife to leave an abusive husband, there would not be articles about how I am a cult leader.”
So I don’t know if Godwin’s Law counts as a fallacy, but there’s a Nazi reference! And I don’t know the name of this fallacy–maybe incorrect analogy or something?–but comparing adult wives to underage adolescents is wrong. This is not the same group of people. And Molyneux isn’t telling absued women to leave their husbands anyway. Red herring, right? Am I right? Maybe I’m wrong–but only about naming that fallacy. I’ve already said that I can never remember which ones they all are. I always know where they are.
I’m not sure how long I can pretend to even nominally present both sides of this debacle. Are the FDR people really so clueless? Or are they purposefully being completely nonreflective and uncurious, as they like to say? Because I come across crap like this on their discussion board…
…and have hit my tolerance level for how delusional/stubborn they are. (warning: offensive language)
No, you dipshits! The mainstream media isn’t deliberately supressing FDR’s anarchist and atheist bent to play up the cult stuff! They are leaving the anarchist and atheist stuff out of their articles because they are writing articles about the cult stuff! This hoopla has absolutely nothing to do with your political ideas. None. They don’t care what religion you aren’t. Not in the slightest. Do you have any idea how many anarchist and atheist organizations manage to exist without getting the cult accusation? Many, many atheists and anarchists manage to be friends with people who are neither atheists nor anarchists. It is possible to rally for the abolition of the state and eat dinner at Catholic Grandma’s house. It’s the psychology/family crap that makes you all look crazy. You’re all crazy. That you all profess atheism and anarchy too is utterly irrelevant. Your political talk is irrelevant. That’s why the news isn’t reporting it.
Those are my thoughts, Greg.
My other thoughts are that I did not get an A on my master’s thesis, but that’s because I didn’t write one. I ended up taking an eight-hour exam, in which I used up three blue books writing this kick-ass essay on William Faulkner’s “The Bear,” comparing it to T.S. Eliot’s “The Wasteland” and Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway. The essay, written against a prompt that I did not see until I arrived at the test site, received a “superior” mark, which is a very rare mark to be given at that program. Most people just pass. So I have an MA too, which makes me perfectly qualified to perform close readings and analyses of texts. Tom Whipple might as well hire me right now. My insight, wit, and eloquence would enhance any publication.
I could, of course, just stick with my own blog. I’ll enable my comments section! Hey! This will be a free domain you all can post in! Except you can never, ever forget that I’m Queen Bee.
I don’t have crows’ feet.