Of all the things I ever thought I’d rant about, I didn’t expect potato salad to be on the list. Unless you throw a handful of green shit on the head. I don’t care if it’s spring onion, parsley or coriander – that shit is unnecessary and fucking evil.
What I’m talking about today is the guy who posted a Kickstarter campaign to make potato salad. His target was $10. He raised near enough to $60,000 as I write this, less than a week after launching from around five thousand backers. The campaign still has more than three weeks to run.
A lot of people are angry about this and they expected me to be angry about it. Why? A dude put something up that was obviously a joke and for whatever reason thousands of people were engaged by it. Like some glorious unplanned Dadaist prank, the world is paying some guy to make potato salad. Most people’s objection to the success of this campaign can be summed up as jealousy – even if they won’t admit to it.
“I can’t get support for my thing so this sucks.”
“Why don’t people support a worthy cause instead of this stupid thing?”
Don’t ask these questions of the world. Ask them of yourself. And I mean REALLY ask yourself. This guy engaged thousands of people with a piece of whimsy but you can’t engage people how you’d like. Does the fault lie with other people or with you? Here’s a hint: if you blame other people YOU’RE WRONG! While I regularly bemoan society’s obsession with triviality, if you have failed to engage the people you want then you need to look at yourself, not lay the blame on someone else.
And if you’re saying “Why aren’t people donating to more worthy causes?” the question remains the same. If the cause is important to you, why can’t you make it compelling to other people? It isn’t the job of other people to care about the same things you care about. If you want people to support your cause, get out there and promote it!
And don’t use the cop-out that people won’t get behind meaningful causes. KONY 2012 engaged millions of people worldwide. Then it fell apart because the people behind it were dodgy as hell. But the point is, their campaign worked. Stop complaining about people who succeed where you fail – get out there and make your case.
This idea that you get to dictate how other people spend their money pisses me off. Where does that shit stop? “No, you can’t buy that coffee until you contribute to something meaningful.” Everyone spends money on something that someone else would find frivolous. Passing judgement on people for having a bit of fun makes you look pathetic.
The only thing that would make me angry at this guy is if he didn’t deliver the rewards he promised (and as far as I understand Kickstarter, nobody can really force him to deliver). When you look at the rewards, which he probably expected exactly zero people to claim, things start to get funny.
He has to say the names of thousands of people while making the potato salad (video evidence maybe?) He has to send out thousands of photos, thousands of bites of potato salad (how the hell does that work?) hundreds of t-shirts, hats and books. Oh, and he’s effectively invited hundreds of people into his house to watch him make potato salad.
If I was him, I’d go large with this. Get a local charity involved, do a “world’s biggest potato salad” type of thing. Feed it to the homeless. You could probably get a few celebrities to go along. Make it a huge event. He’d actually be doing some good (which would go some way to silencing the holier-than-thou whiners) and he’d have help with the logistics.
And without help, fulfilling the rewards would be quite expensive. He’d be very lucky if he cleared more than half the amount pledge. Mind you, that’s starting to look like it would be quite a bit of money.
I turned my recent blog post into a video and here it is:
I’ve been very happy with the overwhelmingly positive response the original post received across various social media but the video brought the truly abysmal “men’s rights activists” out of the primordial slime in a way the blog post didn’t. I’m assuming reading isn’t their forte. The wave of hate was like old school YouTube trolls. I haven’t been subjected to it on this scale myself for years. I feel it gave me a tiny insight into the sort of hate women who dare to speak up get every day and it really highlighted how vile these MRA losers are.
It isn’t as though I’m surprised but both the blog post and video were relatively mild – suggesting that it’s actually in men’s best interests to pick up their game in relation to women. What I got in response was a tsunami of butthurt manbabies bleating about how their pathetic worthless lives are someone else’s fault. I was tempted to rip into them via comments like I used to do a few years ago but honestly, the level of stupid was too much to bother with. When someone wants to say statistics reported consistently by law enforcement and health authorities across the western world are not true “just because” then there’s only one response they deserve: SHUT THE FUCK UP!
I went to town with the block and delete on YouTube (and to a much lesser extent here) rather than simply ignoring the neanderthals for a number of reasons:
No matter what their argument, for me (if I was going to waste time engaging with them) it always comes back to what’s your point? You say I’m wrong… and therefore? With all these whiners, their point is obvious: women are bad, there isn’t a problem, I’m the one who’s hard done by. I can see right through you and you’re barely worth the time to say shut the fuck up.
There will always be people who think “arguments” put forward by idiots should be countered rather than ignored. These people are either much more patient than me or simply don’t have the experience of dealing with idiots. Whether it’s a climate change denier, a creationist, a conspiracy nutbag, or an MRA neckbeard they do not start with the intention of engaging in a conversation or debate. Their sole intention and only tactic is to shout down or wear down anyone with a different opinion. They don’t listen to counterpoints, weigh the evidence and then proceed. They ignore anything that counters their world view (no matter how self-evident or well-supported it is) and grind on with their agenda.
And they will. Not. Stop. EVER. Their aim is to one way or another shut down their opposition, not to have the most valid evidence recognised. I learned this years ago. So all they get from me is shut the fuck up!
There were a few variants of moron in the comments and I’ll address each of them now.
First, the deniers. The ones who say there isn’t a problem. It’s made up by the feminists. Men have it worse. My blanket response: Shut the fuck up you worthless scum. The fact that you blithely state the opposite of reality and expect to be taken seriously is all I need to know about you. You are the abusers. You are the rapists. You are the ones who grope and assault women in bars and don’t see anything wrong with it. When you see your friends do it, you don’t pull them into line. You laugh because this sort of abuse is all a joke to you.
I want to make this clear. This is not a case of “I disagree with you”. You disgust me. You are worthless scum and utterly beneath contempt. I don’t engage with you because knowing you exist makes me physically sick. Just shut the fuck up and get out of my life.
Second are the ones who want to obsess over one sentence or even one word. Their idea of proving how smart they are is to get into a pointless argument over semantics while ignoring the actual issue. “Hmmmm, well the definition of that word is blah which means that you said this and therefore there isn’t a problem.” Shut the fuck up! What you are is a coward. A worthless sniveling worm twisting and writhing because you don’t have the guts to take any responsibility and face the issue head on. Grow a spine or shut the fuck up.
Third were the martyrs who couldn’t take it on board when I said one simple thing: of course men have problems and seriously problems that are often not given the focus they deserve but let’s make that a different conversation. Derailing a much needed conversation about violence towards women because “you have problems too” is shallow and narcissistic at best but more often is a deliberate and dishonest tactic to shut down any proper discussion.
Why are you so fucking insecure that nobody can make a point without it being about you? If you get the feeling nobody cares about your problems it’s probably because you’re a spoilt little baby who can’t stand it if you’re not the centre of attention. Get it together or shut the fuck up.
Then there’s the darling little keyboard warriors who threaten me. I get that this is your modus operandi for women: making rape threats, making death threats, threatening their privacy and their family. Of course there are cases where this works and outspoken women won’t make public appearances because of the threats made against them. Guess what? I’ve been doing this for 8 years and I spend a lot of time getting in people’s faces. This means I’ve been dealing with threats from pretty much day one.
Over the years I’ve announced exactly where I was going to be and when I was going to be there dozens of times. And you know how many of these tough guys have showed up in person to accost me? Precisely zero. I’m not the one hiding behind a screen you pathetic losers, your threats make me laugh. For fuck’s sake, I’ve had Stormfront, actual Nazis pissed off at me, discussing how they were going to get me on their White Power forums. “Men’s rights activists” are a sad fucking joke.
So that’s what it comes down to. Men’s rights activists can shut the fuck up because everything about them is worthless. There are a lot of people who make very eloquent arguments as to why MRA shit stains are wrong so there’s no point in me re-writing those points. This is about catharsis for me and everyone else who’s sick of your bullshit. You’re pathetic, weak, cowardly losers who go on and on about masculinity but you’ll never be man enough to own up to your own failings. Everyone with a shred of decency is sick of your bullshit, just shut the fuck up up and fuck right off!
I’ve been meaning to write this for a long time and incidents keep happening that show beyond any doubt that a significant number of males need to wake up to themselves. I can’t think of a better way to put it: men have got to be better.
It isn’t as if men don’t have problems. Society forces a lot of messed up ideas on males from a young age in the name of masculinity and many women simply don’t understand the difficulties men face. But that’s a different conversation. And if you think the problems and injustices faced by men are worse than those suffered by women (or even equivalent) then simply put, you ARE the problem.
Women are murdered every week in Australia by their partners or ex-partners. That’s reality. One in three women you know has been sexually assaulted. One in six has been raped. And more often than not, when these cases are reported there’s a focus on what the woman should have done.
Why didn’t she leave him? Why was she walking there? Why was she alone? Why was she drinking? Why didn’t she know better?
A simple look at the reality faced by women shows that in practical terms there’s very little a woman can do to stop violence happening because it can happen at any time in any circumstance. Their own home is the most dangerous environment. They are in the most danger from men they know. There is only one person who can stop it from happening and that’s the attacker. Telling women how to avoid being attacked can’t possibly work as a primary message – it (at best) implicitly tells the attacker that it’s the woman’s fault. Until the primary message it to men, saying don’t attack women, nothing will change.
If you even started to equivocate then, YOU are the problem. “But she could have…” Yes, maybe she could have. But she shouldn’t have to. And glib statements made after the fact can’t possibly take into account what it was like when the attack happened. And make no mistake, every single time you comment on what a woman should or should not have done, you embolden attackers.
And now we come to the most sensitive part of the conversation. The derailing of discussions about violence against women by saying “not all men” do it. That approach is at best meaningless and self-serving. At worst, it’s pure evil. Deliberately designed to sabotage the conversation and shut down women who dare to speak out. The concept that as a man your feelings are hurt at the suggestion you might bear some responsibility for the plague of violence against women is utterly pathetic.
If you feel compelled to shut down women talking about the everyday reality they deal with because “not all men” do it, you are actively supporting the rapists. If you need to negate someone’s actual experiences because of your feelings you are utterly reprehensible and need to shut the fuck up.
And for those worthless losers who can’t stop with their obsession of saying not all men do it and think that is in any way a meaningful contribution, here are some home truths:
And quite honestly, the more you protest, the more I suspect that you are the sort of scumbag that does these things on a regular basis.
If you can’t let women talk about what their lives are like without trying to shout them down and tell them why they’re wrong then I really don’t trust you when you protest you’re not guilty of treating women badly. On top of everything else, I can’t understand why so many men are threatened by the idea of women feeling safer. How could you possibly lose out if women feel safe? Imagine a world where a woman doesn’t fear that when you try to open a conversation with her, that means she’s in danger from you. Because it’s a world where women aren’t constantly threatened and assaulted by men.
I’ve seen some guys take exception to the term “Schrodinger’s Rapist”. This surprises me because I think it’s an excellent definition of why women have to be cautious of men who are NOT rapists. Like Schrodinger’s Cat who is both alive and dead until the box is open, women are confronted with so many situations where she should be safe but can be attacked without warning. She only knows for sure if a man is a rapist when she makes herself vulnerable and so up until that point, the man both is and is not a rapist. The worst thing is, in far too many cases, “vulnerable” means nothing more than existing as a woman.
If you say this reflects badly on women and not men, that it’s women and not men who have to change, then I think you’ve answered the Schrodinger’s Rapist question. You’re just waiting for the right opportunity to show who you really are.
And even at the (arguably) more innocuous end of the spectrum, being jerks to women – I don’t get this. To take an example that really bugs me – geek/nerd culture. Whether it happens online or at conventions/meetups there are always self-proclaimed “real” nerds who go out of their way to make women feel unwelcome and/or threatened. They call them fake geeks, they say they’re too fat to cosplay, they say they’re too hot to be a real nerd and they’re exploiting this for attention. In fact there’s no end of flaws these types can find with women when ultimately their only transgression is being female.
I don’t get it. Do you want sausage fests? Because this is how you get sausage fests!
I’m making a blatant appeal to self interest here. So long as women feel threatened and unsafe men are also going to lose (although in a far less awful way). Some purists don’t like the idea of using self-interest as a motivator, the simple fact women should deserve to go through life without living in fear of assault should be enough. Yes, it should be. But it isn’t. I’m a pragmatist. I’m looking for anything that works. And I truly believe men are hurting themselves with this “not all men” MRA bullshit.
Try listening. Try being supportive. Don’t make it about you. Because it isn’t about you. And if you can’t see why all men accepting responsibility for reducing violence against women is something that will benefit men, I think we’ve learned all we need to know about you.