A white guy who preaches peace/love/good gender politics but is an abusive asshole to the people he is close to and does not uphold those values in his personal life.
This is a really shitty thing to say about the guy, given that he was completely open about the abuse problems, and worked hard to fix them, and offered unambiguous apologies with no weasel words. The guy had problems, but I’d like to imagine a world in which people who have problems and work on fixing them get any credit at all ever?
people have no obligation to be nice to an abuser just because he felt sorry about it. he was still an abusive piece of shit. from what i’ve heard he never actually stopped being abusive towards any of his later wives/girlfriends, plus he was a heterosexist antisemite. anyway, i don’t see why anyone deserves credit for stopping something most people never start in the first place.
Long story short:
What is the purpose of your behavior with regards to a person? Do you have an outcome in mind?
My goal is for people to stop being abusive. I would like it even better if they never started, but that doesn’t seem to be possible, and in particular, it’s very hard for people not to develop abusive habits when other people might abuse them. Getting abusers to stop is a huge thing.
Think about The Scarlet Letter. If you aren’t doing a bad thing, and people say you are, why not just do it anyway, since you’re already being punished? And that, it turns out, is a factor that shows up when people try to get better. Yes, it’s obviously better if they just decide to be good regardless of how people treat them, but if you want to maximize the number of people who stop being abusive, the tactic that gets you there is “respect and recognize people who apologize and try to improve”.
To put it another way: Calling anyone, anyone whatsoever, a “piece of shit” actually turns out to play into the culture of abuse more strongly than someone who aplogizes and tries to get over his problems. You’re endorsing abuse by agreeing that there exist worthless people. The only way to beat that problem is to get used to the idea that absolutely everyone has inherent worth and deserves basic human respect and compassion. If you make an exception, even one exception, you have agreed that the abusers are right on their most fundamental claim, and are merely disagreeing with them on who goes on the list.
Also, you say “i don’t see why anyone deserves credit for stopping something most people never start in the first place.”
Answer: Because it’s harder.
It’s super easy for me to not be abusive. No problem. I do not face challenges. I don’t have to wrestle with inner demons every minute of the day to avoid being abusive. I don’t have to expend all my cognitive effort to avoid getting drunk and punching people. If someone starts being abusive, the chances are that they started out with violent inclinations I didn’t have.
I mean, you mention heterosexism. You know those smug assholes who gloat about how they’re pure and moral because of all the gay sex they’re not having because it’s repulsive to them? Okay, granted that neither of us accepts their moral premise. But even if you stipulate to the moral premise, they’re still full of shit because they are bragging about something that takes them no effort, and asserting their moral superiority for just happening to be a person who doesn’t have that impulse in the first place. And that’s really annoying, and that’s what you’re doing here. “Most people” don’t have the desire to be abusive in the first place. So when we proudly accomplish the amazing task of not being abusive, that’s actually completely unimpressive.
So, yeah, totally don’t deny or erase the fact that he did this stuff, and it was bad stuff. But don’t deny or erase the fact that he apologized, and that he admitted it was wrong. No excuses, no “lol they’re exaggerating”, he just outright said it was pretty fucked up and not at all okay. And that is behavior which requires him to overcome something most people have a really hard time doing, which is admitting that they are not always good people. And it is behavior which serves as a clear thing to point to when other people act poorly, because it shows them that you’re allowed to apologize and admit you were wrong.
But that only works if people admit that the apology is a real thing and matters.
And it’s true, there’s no obligation to “be nice” to an abuser. But there’s an obligation to “be basically decent” to everyone, and that includes admitting the things they did which don’t fit your model of them.
I’ve said this to my non-techie friends countless times. It’s no secret that being able to code makes you a better job applicant, and a better entrepreneur. Hell, one techie taught a homeless man to code and now that man is making his first mobile application.
(note: yes I realize that 3/5 of those links were Google projects)
But most folks are intimidated by coding. And it does seem intimidating at first. But peel away the obscurity and the difficulty, and you start to learn that coding, at least at its basic level, is a very manageable, learnable skill.
There are a lot of resources out there to teach you. I’ve found a couple to be particularly successful. Here’s my list of resources for learning to code, sorted by difficulty:
Never written a line of code before? No worries. Just visit one of these fine resources and follow their high-level tutorials. You won’t get into the nitty-gritty, but don’t worry about it for now:
If you’re here, you’re capable of building things. You know the primitives. You know the logic control statements. You’re ready to start making real stuff take shape. Here are some different types of resources to turn you from someone who knows how to code, into a full-fledged programmer.
Sometimes, the challenges in programming aren’t how to make a language do a task, but just how to do the task in general. Like how to find an item in a very large, sorted list, without checking each element. Here are some resources for those types of problems
If you learned Python, Django is an amazing platform for creating quick-and-easy web applications. I’d highly suggest the tutorial - it’s one of the best I’ve ever used, and you have a web app up and running in less than an hour.
I’ve never used Rails, but it’s a very popular and powerful framework for creating web applications using Ruby. I’d suggest going through their guide to start getting down-and-dirty with Rails development.
If you know PHP, there’s an ocean of good stuff out there for you to learn how to make a full-fledged web application. Frameworks do a lot of work for you, and provide quick and easy guides to get up and running. I’d suggest the following:
If there’s one point I wanted to get across, it’s that it is easier than ever to learn to code. There are resources on every corner of the internet for potential programmers, and the benefits of learning even just the basics are monumental.
If you know of any additional, great resources that aren’t listed here, please feel free to tweet them to me @boomeyer.
I don’t know why I keep going back and reading posts from [advice blog] when any time there’s a submission from someone acting calm and rational the advice-giver helpfully informs them that they are not having the right emotions (or enough emotions).
“These aren’t violent criminals,” says Thomas Harvey, another of the three co-founders of ArchCity Defenders. “These are people who make the same mistakes you or I do — speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, forgetting to get your car inspected on time. The difference is that they don’t have the money to pay the fines. Or they have kids, or jobs that don’t allow them to take time off for two or three court appearances. When you can’t pay the fines, you get fined for that, too. And when you can’t get to court, you get an arrest warrant.”
It can definitely get better. It is still there. I still woke up at 9am, and stayed in bed until 12pm, and was feeling bad about it today, and guilty, but sometimes I can make that little voice sound like that character you really hate in that one show, and you can flip it the bird.
I got up later and went on to make an important phone call, and I wasn’t nervous as I usually am, or messed up, and it didn’t take me the effort it normally does. I made plans with a friend for lunch tomorrow, and the twinge of anxiety that had become commonplace isn’t there, not telling me that I will look terrible and going “But I am so tired” or telling me that I will mess things up or anything.
I feel healthier. I can look up to the sunlight and I am doing things. I feel generally content and can feel good about something as simple as making my bed.
I needed to reach this stability again. It’s so good to be me.
The knowledge that you can and will get out of it occasionally is really useful, so reblogging this.
today i noticed i was sitting around worrying about whether the laundry i left in the machine was mildewed, rather than going and finding out. and i thought, “wait a sec, that is an old habit from when i couldn’t handle dealing with setbacks. i no longer need to be anxious about that. if it’s mildewed i’ll wash it again with some baking soda, and i won’t feel guilty or like a failure.”
and the mental block broke, and i went and dealt with the laundry, and it was JUST LAUNDRY. one more link of the chains that have bound me as long as i can remember fell away.
it’s amazing to me how long it’s taking to break the habits of a lifetime of depression and anxiety. each former source of worry, guilt, etc needs to be dealt with on an individual basis, multiple times. but every time i confront one of these, i make a little bit of progress, and things get a little bit easier.
“Nothing makes a man see red like a sharp rap over the funny-bone, and it was at this moment that Mr. Death Bredon suddenly and regrettably forgot himself. He forgot his caution and his rôle, and Mr. Miller’s braces, and saw only the green turf and the Oval on a sunny day and the squat majesty of the gas-works. The next ball was another of Simmonds’ murderous short-pitched bumpers, and Lord Peter Wimsey, opening up wrathful shoulders, strode out of his crease like the spirit of vengeance and whacked it to the wide. The next he clouted to leg for three, nearly braining square-leg and so flummoxing deep-field that he flung it back wildly to the wrong end, giving the Pymmites a fourth for an overthrow. Mr. Simmonds’ last ball he treated with the contempt it deserved, snicking it as it whizzed past half a yard wide to leg and running a single.”—Dorothy L. Sayers, Murder Must Advertise (via harrietvane)
It’s been a little while since I’ve seen anyone post *news* about Ferguson - like it just sorta faded into the background, wasn’t the issue of the hour anymore.
This needs to not fade.
So, apparently the Ferguson PD is getting sued, for what I think is, all things considered, a modest sum. (What exactly is the dollar value of one’s basic human rights? “More than could possibly be paid” seems fair, and I think this number hits that, at least for the individuals being sued.)
When I worked at a non-profit that handled suicide prevention, I had access to the donation records. Each month, a specific man donated 15$ to our organization. It was like clockwork.. same day, same man, he had been doing this for over 4 years. It always seemed odd to me but I never questioned it… until I saw a note attached one month. "For Noah- Dad"
his donation was once his child’s allowance.
I can promise you, they would miss you for the rest of their lives.
I just remembered the time I was like thirteen and into roleplaying on a Redwall forum but I wanted to join the discussion forum my mom was a part of because I was old enough to talk with grownups about grownup things like theology, no really! and she finally agreed