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Postby husbands » Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:04 am

the hosts of CTH are obviously (and explicitly) against harassment and violence against women. They could reaffirm those values anytime someone on twitter criticizes them, but how should that change your opinion of them either way? if you think they are secretly sexist, won't all apologies amount to dissembling? or if you think, as I do, that the chapo hosts do not favor harassment or violence against women, the apology is similarly uninformative, as it does not indicate any change in their underlying beliefs. what it really amounts to is an apology for associating with someone who makes offensive jokes. and buddy, I have a hard time accepting the viability of a political movement where every potential leader is only as good as his or her worst acquaintance.

cumtown has hundreds of sexist, racist, and otherwise prejudiced "bits." it's a show that is experimenting with the limits of obscenity for (a very narrow form of) comedic value. it may be that three white guys should never, even under the guise of irony comedy, broach the topics that they do, but I hope we can agree that it is not a self-serious political podcast, nor an explicitly misogynistic or racist hate organization, and that its hosts' jokes should not be taken at face value.
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Postby husbands » Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:32 am

the performance of contrition is not as important as asking more women to appear on the show
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Postby wendy » Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:36 am

I wasn’t aware that she was harassing trans women. Are you talking about Shane? I didn’t follow the situation closely but as far as I can tell calling out someone who happens to be a trans woman for distributing child porn isn’t exactly the same harassing a trans woman.

A lot her other points hold up for me though. Ironic sexism and racism normalizes actual sexism and racism and it’s cruel to think the joke is worth the trauma it may cause actual victims. These jokes do not combat sexism or racism. The punchline is still not people who are unironically sexist or racist. The punchline is victims of rape, abuse, and racism.

Seeing leftist guys clamor to defend Jesse and other white leftist doofs was really disheartening. I don’t understand why men would rather tell a woman she has no sense of humor than consider that some of the jokes they like (and probably have made before) are problematic.

Idk. I feel like my heart is broken. Lol.
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Postby universe » Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:36 am

husbands wrote:the performance of contrition is not as important as asking more women to appear on the show


Do you think the latter can happen without the former
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Postby husbands » Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:41 am

Yes, since reality is not a TV movie where characters must prove to the audience that they have good hearts
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Postby universe » Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:43 am

What I'm asking is, do you think it will be possible to have more women as guests if there's an impression that the show is hostile (even "ironically" or "by association") to women.
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Postby husbands » Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:48 am

My guess is yes, and it would be great if on future episodes they talk about the rhetorical consequences of even ironic rape jokes
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Postby naturemorte » Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:54 am

husbands wrote:the hosts of CTH are obviously (and explicitly) against harassment and violence against women. They could reaffirm those values anytime someone on twitter criticizes them, but how should that change your opinion of them either way? if you think they are secretly sexist, won't all apologies amount to dissembling? or if you think, as I do, that the chapo hosts do not favor harassment or violence against women, the apology is similarly uninformative, as it does not indicate any change in their underlying beliefs. what it really amounts to is an apology for associating with someone who makes offensive jokes. and buddy, I have a hard time accepting the viability of a political movement where every potential leader is only as good as his or her worst acquaintance.

cumtown has hundreds of sexist, racist, and otherwise prejudiced "bits." it's a show that is experimenting with the limits of obscenity for (a very narrow form of) comedic value. it may be that three white guys should never, even under the guise of irony comedy, broach the topics that they do, but I hope we can agree that it is not a self-serious political podcast, nor an explicitly misogynistic or racist hate organization, and that its hosts' jokes should not be taken at face value.


i don't buy into the assumption that someone can be "secretly" sexist. i don't think about bigotry as a question of interiority, i think about it as a question of actions and the impacts of those actions. so i'm not concerned that CTH members are dissembling one way or the other. i don't challenge CTH on the basis of whether they are living up to what I perceive to be their "beliefs", into which i ultimately have very little insight. i don't ask my political leaders, or anyone for that matter, to be "pure of heart." i do however evaluate these things on the basis of the commitments that i believe they have made--in this case, to the political project of socialism and of egalitarianism more generally.

so honestly my response to the bill cosby photo wasn't like, "oops! i was wrong all along, they ARE misogynists", it was more along the lines of "these guys are getting way too comfortable defaulting to irony to the point where it's blinding them to the impacts of their oblivious snarkiness". i expect some fucking judiciousness, and when that sense of judgment slips, I expect there to be some contrition, because there's a lot more at stake to their project than the integrity of irony as a strategy of political communication: there are people who will be hurt, there are organizing projects that will be jeopardized, there will be arguments that are harder to win.

so i don't applaud these guys AT ALL for taking a stand by not apologizing or not to take their twitter followers to task because the premise that they are somehow responsible for their fanbase isn't sound. similarly, i don't criticize them for holding to their line about the "bend the knee" thing. i measure your value to the culture and the cause by your ability to judge each event discretely and to gauge your actions dynamically, not by your assumption of a vague principle that will excuse you from the damage you're causing.

which is why i find the cum town dudes so especially odious–and this comes from someone who has listened to and laughed at the show quite a bit. they way you pose it, they categorically cannot be taken seriously, because their project is a one-dimensional experiment in testing extremes. but that project only is valid if there are in fact certain limits which should be preserved, and the art becomes how close to the line, or how far over the line one can tread. guess what? sometimes you categorically step over the fucking line and then you're not funny anymore, you're just a piece of shit
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Postby universe » Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:00 am

A few years ago we had a discussion wrt humor and the Onion that comedians should have the leeway to take risks without fear of criticism so as to avoid a chilling effect on creativity and humor, the freedom to experiment by saying offensive things. But if you're experimenting, the criticism is how you know the experiment went wrong, and if you don't get that criticism you aren't learning anything from the experiment and if you don't acknowledge that failure, nobody else learns anything either, either about the bounds of comedy and good taste or about the comedian's own perspective on what happened.
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Postby universe » Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:02 am

Basically, are you trying to *find* humor in offensive subjects or do you find offensive subjects humorous? If you balk and get dismissive when someone tells you that what you said isn't funny but just offensive, then it's probably the latter.
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Postby naturemorte » Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:07 am

a lot of what passes as "testing the boundaries" in most discourse, whether political or comedic, is just about constructing in-groups and out-groups anyway. i mean that's just as true on hipinion as it is on 4chan or twitter or anywhere else. it's basically a structural condition of communication on the internet but one that actively does not comport with socialism either as an organizing strategy or as an ideology. especially when you're not actually going to acknowledge that your "edgy" humor has allowed you to cultivate a massive following who will militate on your behalf to maintain the distinctions between who gets the joke and who doesn't
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Postby Hoxha » Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:14 am

wendy wrote:I wasn’t aware that she was harassing trans women. Are you talking about Shane? I didn’t follow the situation closely but as far as I can tell calling out someone who happens to be a trans woman for distributing child porn isn’t exactly the same harassing a trans woman.


I am talking about her, yeah. I don't really think that revealing that someone committed a crime years ago is a call out. From what I gather, this is a person who was actually caught, went through the criminal justice system, etc. There is nothing to call out. It's just bringing up that they committed a crime. Which, sure, we can argue as to the validity of that.

But to do so while referring to her as "the #1 fan of Cum Town" in order to tar CT by association is really gross.

wendy wrote:A lot her other points hold up for me though. Ironic sexism and racism normalizes actual sexism and racism and it’s cruel to think the joke is worth the trauma it may cause actual victims. These jokes do not combat sexism or racism. The punchline is still not people who are unironically sexist or racist. The punchline is victims of rape, abuse, and racism.


I'd think most people here agree with this in general. The issue isn't the broad ideological contours of her arguments, it's that it's guilt by association, and it's an association that is exaggerated beyond reason or good faith.

She says "Nick & his podcast crew have been featured on Chapo, a self ID’ed leftist podcast, & often publicly interact as buddies on twitter". This isn't true. Nick Mullen has never been a guest on Chapo Trap House. Neither has Stavros. Only Adam has been a guest, and he didn't say anything offensive. The implication here is that Chapo Trap House is giving a platform to these people, but this isn't actually true. She says that "some of the hosts of chapo trap house encouraged the harassment against me" but her evidence is that Will Menaker liked a tweet that was a reply to her by someone simply saying that Nick Mullen is joking. I mean, I'm sorry, but that's not encouraging harassment. That is just stretching a connection way past its breaking point. She complains about 'shane vader' because she is 'a pedophile' and 'Cum Town's #1 fan'. What... I mean, whatever problems 'shane vader' has, how does that actually reflect poorly on Chapo Trap House?

She says "i honestly think the DSA needs to due something if they don’t because this has gotten out of hand". What... what should the DSA do? I honestly don't get this. What should the DSA do? Put out an official statement criticizing a podcast, Chapo Trap House, that it isn't affiliated to, for the fact that their hosts are friends irl with people who make another, separate podcast (that isn't remotely related to politics) and is offensive? That wouldn't really achieve anything. There's nothing to 'do'.
Last edited by Hoxha on Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby wendy » Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:29 am

I agree that the DSA can’t and shouldn’t do anything. Membership is open, some members are gonna be dicks. But looking through the replies to see guys rushing to defend shitty insensitive jokes made by other men about women and sexual abuse, especially after these last few weeks, made me want to lie down in the street.
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Postby wendy » Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:34 am

I never really listened to cumtown but for personal reasons I recently unfollowed all the chapo guys (actually I unfollowed Felix like 6 months ago) and cancelled my subscription and idk like I’m not happy about it. I liked them, I liked their tweets, I liked their podcast, it bums me the fuck out. I am motherfucking bummed the fuck out. I don’t want chapo bros (meaning fans) to be the best leftist men can offer. I’m lucky enough to know that’s not the case but it really feels like that sometimes because they’re the ones that come out in droves to defend shitty insensitive offhand comments and jokes that can pretty much only be made by people of privilege (ie white men)
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Postby naturemorte » Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:37 am

sorry wendy
if it makes you feel any better i have white male friends who joined DSA more or less because of chapo and are now doing amazing work and are not making insensitive shitty offhand comments and defending abusers
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Postby universe » Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:38 am

Just because the solutions that person is proposing are unrealistic or not feasible doesn't make the problem they are reacting too invalid.
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Postby Hoxha » Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:39 am

universe wrote:Just because the solutions that person is proposing are unrealistic or not feasible doesn't make the problem they are reacting too invalid.

Are you talking about my post?
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Postby mcwop23 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:41 am

it's a shame it's sort of impossible to ignore twitter and fully enjoy chapo since that's a lot of how their content is derived. I mean you still can but you're not going to get half of what they're talking about.

They should make reading series' a whole separate offshoot pod for people that just enjoy idiots getting dunked on
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Postby universe » Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:50 am

Hoxha wrote:
universe wrote:Just because the solutions that person is proposing are unrealistic or not feasible doesn't make the problem they are reacting too invalid.

Are you talking about my post?


Yes
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Postby wendy » Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:52 am

naturemorte wrote:sorry wendy
if it makes you feel any better i have white male friends who joined DSA more or less because of chapo and are now doing amazing work and are not making insensitive shitty offhand comments and defending abusers

Yeah that is consoling me somewhat. I keep thinking that they are probably a net positive for the world/country even if they’re not always for the women who know them. I just wish they and their fans (the ones I mention above) wanted to do better. Idk I feel like I’m not expressing myself well. Thank you tho
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Postby wendy » Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:54 am

I do love the DSA
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Postby G_S » Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:58 am

I was serious when I told you I feel a lot better about DSA now :)

it's a shame these podcasters want to preserve their right to irony or whatever more than take responsibility as public figures and faces of a movement (whether justified or not, it's definitely the case). we just need better faces I guess.
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Postby G_S » Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:00 am

if they wanna be the left wing equivalent of right wing Breitbart hacks then that would be cool too, but I'd prefer they actually reverse that ("kill all men and landlords and you're a loser if you disagree!" idk I'm not good at it) instead of just offering up the same old rape culture.
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Postby wendy » Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:08 am

G_S wrote:I was serious when I told you I feel a lot better about DSA now :)

:]
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Postby Hoxha » Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:39 am

universe wrote:
Hoxha wrote:
universe wrote:Just because the solutions that person is proposing are unrealistic or not feasible doesn't make the problem they are reacting too invalid.

Are you talking about my post?

Yes


But the issue is not that the solutions are unrealistic or not feasible.

The DSA can't 'do something ' because the DSA is not affiliated with Chapo Trap House. The DSA is a political organization that has a membership of vaguely leftist people who support it by paying dues. Chapo Trap House is a podcast that many people (some, but not all of whom are the vaguely leftist people who join the DSA) listen to for free, or if they want, they pay a subscription to a Patreon and get some extra episodes. There is some overlap between CTH listeners and DSA members, as can be expected from a podcast. But the DSA is not Chapo's boss, manager, or patron, nor does the DSA depend on CTH.

Chapo Trap House and Cum Town are two separate podcasts. They're about different things. They have different guests. They have a different sense of humor. They are independently financed by people who pay into them. There is some overlap between their fanbases, but I'd wager they're largely different (especially in the sense that CTH has more listeners, most of whom probably don't listen to CT). CTH hosts have been on CT a few times. One host of CT has been on CTH twice. Most of CT's other guests (a bunch of no-name comedians) have been on many more times than anyone from CTH. CTH has many guests that have been on as much as anyone from CT (usually journalists).

The real connection is not political, or institutional, or organizational. The real connection is that Nick Mullen lives with Amber A'Lee Frost, and Felix Biederman used to live with them. They're friends and (ex) roommates. There's not a whole lot to do there. You can't boycott strangers' friendships. You probably shouldn't turn them into a political problem either.

The connection between, say, the DNC and Pod Save America is much stronger. Everyone in PSA is a Democrat who used to work for a Dem administration. They've had Tom Perez and Keith Ellison on the show. They invite candidates the DNC wants to promote and encourage people to phone bank and fundraise for them. Jon Lovett, one of the show's hosts, invited Felix Biederman to his show, and was previously a guest on a podcast that Felix hosted, and interacts with Felix on twitter.

Can you imagine someone saying the DNC should 'do something' about Lovett b/c of his association with Felix Biederman?
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Postby universe » Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:10 am

You're still talking about the proposed solutions which are irrelevant for the reasons you note. I'm confused because we agree about that. What I was saying that even though all that is true, it doesn't invalidate the initial criticism.
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Postby universe » Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:12 am

That said, the idea that people can't be held responsible for the actions of people they choose to associate with is simply absurd. Or that people aren't responsible for speaking out when their friends or associates do bad things. It can and does and should happen.
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Postby Hoxha » Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:40 am

universe wrote:That said, the idea that people can't be held responsible for the actions of people they choose to associate with is simply absurd. Or that people aren't responsible for speaking out when their friends or associates do bad things. It can and does and should happen.


That's not a controversial opinion, it's just everyone disagrees on where to draw the line. Some people associate with extremely unsavory characters that go against everything they believe; some people denounce their own family to the Cultural Revolution. There's a lot of room in between.
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Postby gambra » Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:57 am

I've had a blind spot for a while in knowing that Cum Town and the fanbase are complete pieces of shit but this thing with some random woman on Twitter really just shows it. She brought up the pretty valid point of Mullen and CT use rape as a punchline or a gag not funny at all and she was swarmed by CT fans who saw it as a fucking bat signal. Almost instantly they were all going through the exact same defences people were using for PewDiePie and Fantano. "It was just a joke!" "It's just being ironic!". When that didn't stick it just went to outright mockery, someone said to her that she made up her rape claims which is insane. The CT subreddit thread on her is pretty indicative of how bad the fanbase is and the hosts will get to distance themselves from them by saying "it's just irony".
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Postby wendy » Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:05 am

a few days ago i was trying to defend someone against unsavory claims and my own damn points reminded me of this tweet



and i was like ah fuck well that means this person sucks and i should not be defending them
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