... but I stopped. Now I'm a dad, and may blog again...

Monday, June 06, 2011

314: Unfriended (or 'Is Canada Fascist? The Facebook Fracas')

Pavini Vijay Kaushik, Clothes Line, 2004

At some point I said I didn’t want to use this blog for airing laundry, but with fifty or so years of blogging ahead of me I’ll need to write something about everything to ease the repetition.  So, today a brief facebook discussion resulted in a sudden unfriending and me being told where to go.  Here is the dialogue, unedited except I have removed the names, and the video that prompted the original poster:

Original poster: Watch this! And Then Try and tell me that Canada isn't a Fascist State!

Me: Canada isn't a fascist state.

Second Poster: Damn! I was gonna put that. This is bad but I think fascist state is maybe a little bit too far! Cheer up Original Poster, it's not that bad :)

Me: The world has plenty of actual fascist states where this sort of thing happens as policy. Countries like Canada, the UK and the US are as free and admirable as we currently have, and flippantly denouncing them as 'fascist' helps no one. All this video shows is one police man doing some thing terrible; one isolated incident without context. It teaches us nothing.

Original Poster: Really... It's beginning to show the hallmarks of one. The UK, USA & Canada all are: People arrested for kissing (US), Shotgun attacks to unarmed women (Canada), Police attacking disabled people in a wheelchair (London), Increasing levels of Police Brutality (people arrested for riding a bicycle through a public park - London), ever growing levels of persecution towards Minorities (emergence of the EDL) (which is publicly endorsed by the Government through their permission to exist despite being a group preaching hate), Aggressive Military Policies (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya), Plans to introduce Compulsory ID's (UK, US), The indoctrination of Young People through declining education standards (UK, US) ,Delibrate Miseducation through the main stream media (UK, US), The introduction of toxic psycho-neurotic chemcals in drinking water (US and UK) and the food chain which have the effect of damaging brain cells and making people docile, Manipulation of currencies to ensure the vast amount of people stay poor (ALL THE ABOVE). Shall I go on...........?

Me: You can go on if you like, but I'm not really interested. It's waffle. Sorry mate, but if anyone's indoctrinated I think it's you.

Original Poster: Really, OK? So I'm just making this stuff up? Just look at youtube... put in Police Brutality and you can see that the Police have repeatedly overstepped the mark with attacks on frail elderly women, disabled people, special needs people, ethnic minorities........

Original Poster: Anyways, If a unarmed woman getting shot at pointblank range with a riot shotgun is just WAFFLE to you, Then I suggest you go crawl back under the rock from whence you came from. I no longer consider you a friend. NOW FUCK OFF!

At this point I was ‘unfriended’ and thus denied the right to reply.

Third Poster: How dare you Kevin???? I have a very close elderley friend who will be 90 this year, he was born in bremen in 1921, he has told me repeatedly that they had no idea that nazi germany was a police state from 1933 onwards it did not feel any different to before because of the sophisticated cleverness that was used to introduce it. The same friend has told me in no uncertain terms that that way the USA and UK have been going for the last 10 years is exactly a mirror replica of what happened after 1933 and that he is only able to realise it coz he has the benefit of hindsight..............
I hope you did not have any relatives that died in ww2 coz you just pissed on there grave.

Fourth Poster: Wow guys -Please CALM DOWN (calm down; calm down) LOL

Where do I begin with this; do I defend myself against the disgusting and bizarre accusation of describing an unarmed woman being shot at point blank range as “waffle”, or do I explain the weak fallacies in Original Poster’s arguments?  In an ideal world the answer would be neither for the following reasons:

The only comment I made specifically about the scene shown in the video was that it was “one police man doing some thing terrible”.  The waffle I spoke of was obviously the long paragraph of waffle spewed by Original Poster (from now on to be referred to as OP for sake of brevity), which came less than one minute after my previous comment.  From this quick turnaround I infer that OP had already collated his unattributed, unconnected list of events (“emergence of EDL, deliberate miseducation, etc”) and therefore had a prewritten response to use regardless of what was argued against him.  Typically of this sort of thinker, OP seems to be unable to actually discuss things and can only regurgitate things he doesn't understand as if they are his own thoughts.

That brings me to why I shouldn’t have to explain the irrelevancy of OP’s (and by extension Third Poster’s) arguments.   In discussion is a 15 second youtube video showing an unarmed woman (with a camera around her neck, and who seemed to turn her head away a split second before) being shot from extremely close range with what appears to be a ‘non-lethal’ projectile; and whether or not this means Canada is a fascist state.  I should not have to patronise anyone by pointing out that there is no logical connection to be made there.  (I used inverted commas around ‘non-lethal’ because something like that cannot be guaranteed.)

My argument against OP's assumption is that Canada is not a fascist state, and that the video provides no evidence to contradict me.  I made the statement 'you can go on if you like, but I'm not really interested' because the list OP churned was just unattributed non-evidence which I can provide no specific argument against.  This is not due to an inherent weakness with my position, but due to the argumental stance taken by OP which is more concerned with minor semantic victories than the truth.  The fact is that Canada is not a fascist state, but OP feels that if he can shut me up by blinding me with lists, then he can appear to have proven his point.

When I refused to rise to his list of waffle (the details of which may or may not be true; I make no comment on their veracity because I have no relevant information) OP was incredibly quick to quote me out of context to make me appear to be an unfeeling monster, take the moral high-ground based on what I didn't say, personally insult me, and then deny me the right to reply.  His sudden violent defensiveness speaks to me of the weakness of his argument.

Luckily OP had Third Poster to back him up (I'm being sarcastic now).  The less said about that rant the better, but I want to go on public record as saying I have never pissed on the graves of my ancestors.  In fact I would even be bold enough to claim that I have never knowingly pissed on anyone's grave.

In summation: Call me crazy if you want but I don't believe that the UK, the USA, or Canada are fascist states.  I believe it is puerile and pathetic to claim otherwise.  As nations they are less than perfect but, when judged in perspective against other contemporary countries and world history, they are undeniably Great.  The modern world (you can call it the Western world if you want; proudly or sneeringly, it's up to you) is a wonderful achievement.  Of course it is open to criticism - everything is and should be - but don't pretend it is worse than it is, and don't pretend it is some evil empire of comic books and conspiracy forums.  I believe that in the long run globalism is a force for good, and as such the atrocities committed by genuine extreme-right (or extreme-left) governments or groups across the world are more serious than occasional (relatively-) minor atrocities committed in the otherwise peaceful pool of home.

I plant myself firmly on the left, and the country I see around me is largely liberal, free, and peaceful.  I wish I could say the same about the entire world, but unfortunately there are huge areas not so fortunate.  As a lefty I strongly believe that other lefties should stop this solipsistic inward criticism, concentrate on global human rights abuses, and stop mindlessly siding with anyone or anything which takes an anti-Western stance.

Anyway, I'm tired, and all ranted out.  For anyone still reading and interested in what I am trying to communicate you may like to read Nick Cohen's What's Left? How Liberals Lost Their Way.

Now the question hangs in my mind... "Do I click 'publish post' and commit myself fully..?"  I suppose I do.

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