Monday, 31 August 2015

Calling out the bigotry of Ophelia Benson


Ophelia Benson tweets:
Melby you sick fuck you really need to stop obsessing over me. Yes you really are like the pitters that way.
Benson is saying her target is "sick" and "obsessed". She is using the language of mental health to make her argument, but the aggression of "sick fuck" makes it clear this comment is not made in a compassionate or caring way. Benson is slurring, presumably because she has run out of rational arguments to counter Melby's claims.

Benson has choices. She could ignore Melby, by blocking her. Instead she chooses to vent her anger in a bigotted  and harmful way.

Ophelia Benson is a mental health bigot.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Exciting news!

I'm really pleased to announce that Rebecca Watson has been helping me with a chapter of my forthcoming book about bullying (prov. title: How to be a Bully), the one which will deal with the law and bullying. Rebecca has a unique perspective as a feminist and an atheist who was extensively bullied by her own "allies" following the Elevatorgate scandal.

The book has been delayed somewhat, largely because Prof. Myers insisted on doing more fieldwork. The end result will be worth it, I just have to learn to be as patient and dedicated as my esteemed colleagues.

More news as soon as I can talk about it, Pogsurf.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Discocunts

Today's Guest Post comes from Peter Flanders. I used to be at secondary school with Peter back when I used to live in Luton. When I saw he had posted this a the Slymepit I sought his permission to repost. I hope you enjoy.
______________________________________

Original post: http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=302011#p302011
Refers to post at Butterflies & Wheels: http://www.butterfliesandwheels.org/2015/massive-i-tells-ya/

Discocuntgate continues to rumble on (in my head). I didn't see Benson's post until after she had noticed it was a hoax, so I don't know if I too would have been fooled by it. But I think there were so many clues to its spoofiness any native English speaker should have spotted it was a joke quite easily. This shows a woeful lack of scepticism on her part, and when she did correct the post, her "Never mind" comment demonstrates she pays little heed to her having been shown to be so gullible. She offers no insight into why she was had, so we don't know if she never read the link she posted, taking just the image alone on trust, or whether she read the original article and every single one of the alarm bells contained within it flew over her head, or whether she placed too much trust in the way she was first tipped off that the image existed. I'm going to de-construct it from my England based perspective, others may find even more hidden jokes which I have overlooked.

Oafie titles her post 'Massive, I tell ya'. She finds it funny that a massive sign, including the word massive, has a massive 'cunt' typo in it. Nothing wrong with that, I do too. But then she proceeds to describe it as if it were a real event. Her link to the origin says "Cardiff Store Apologises For Offensive Shop Banner".

First clue. Which store? There's no store name in the image, who was apologising?
Next clue. It just looks a bit photoshoppy.

On to the original article.

http://www.walesoncraic.com/cardiff-store-apologises-for-offensive-shop-banner/

She has clearly never seen the source website before. It's called WalesOnCraic. Craic is an Irish word. It means gossip or vibe. What's the craic? has a close similarity to What's happening? in meaning. It's not a Welsh word, or if it is it is no where near as common as the Irish version. It is pronounced 'crack'. The site name is "Wales On Crack". We can be certain that Benson read the article's headline, because she quoted it in her post. Maybe she found that funny too, that a Cardiff store owner would have to apologise for such a massive typo. As I re-read the article I notice I had overlooked that in paragraph two we learn that the store name is "Massive Discounts". So the central point of WalesOnCraic's joke is that the store did not notice an offensive typo in the sign for their own store. This escaped me as I didn't expect a store to be called "Massive Discounts" in itself. Whether Benson thought that was the store name we will never know.

Paragraph three we find the store owner is called Jim Bellend. For those not familiar with English slang, the bellend is the end part of a penis. It would be extremely unlikely that it would be a Welsh person's surname.

Jim Bellend wrote:
“I’ve always hammered home the importance of good spelling to my staff. Unfortunately, this didn’t extend to the twat who made my sign and posted it for all the world to see. It’s a massive embarrassment as I don’t have any discocunts in stock.”
Unlikely a store manager would call a member of staff a 'twat' when giving a quote to a newspaper. The store manager is oblivious to the problem of displaying "DISCOCUNTS" on the High Street, he is concerned that he can't stock them.

Lesley Longarms looks like a made up name, but is just possible.

Lesley Longarms wrote:
“I popped in to get one for my husband as I’d rather he didn’t touch mine. I was vexed when they told me that they didn’t sell any. I left in tears so I went to Burger King and stuffed my face full of dead cow and fat.”
Lesley Longarms wanted to buy a discocunt for her husband because she would rather he didn't touch her discocunt. Hmm, that looks a little problematic to me. She was vexed when they said they didn't sell discocunts. Similar. The 'dead cow and fat' line also seems a bit unlikely when giving a quote to someone.
The shop has since replaced the banner.
Lovely little understated punchline from WalesOnCraic, or as Benson would say, after all that fuss, "Never mind."

So perhaps you have never heard of WalesOnCraic before, and you don't know about Royston Butterscotch's reputation as a fearsome journalist. Why not try the "about us" button?
WalesOnCraic is a spoof website for entertainment purposes only.
They are very open about their mission. One click and Benson could have settled any little niggling doubts. But she didn't have any, and it is even likely she didn't read past the headline of the article.

Benson prides herself in teasing apart every little nuance of other people's comments and statements. But when she gets tucked up like a kipper, reports spoof as fact, we are told to never mind. It is inconsequential that she cannot tell fact from fiction, even when the clues are pressed up against her nose.

The comments are enlightening too:

Rob wrote:
Facepalm. How does that get through even the most cursory system?
Err, if you are talking about how Benson posted this, it is because she is extremely gullible.

Galloise Blonde wrote:
FAKE. I’ve lived in Cardiff for over five years and I’ve never seen any shop resembling this. Plus it totally looks Photoshopped and comes from a stupid ‘satire’ site.
Her first reason is the unlikely "fact" that she knows every shop in Cardiff, at city with a population of over 300,000. Second, it looks photoshopped, which is better, but is not conclusive proof of anything. Finally she gets it, it's a "stupid 'satire' site". Not so stupid that they couldn't fool Benson mark you. If WalesOnCraic is stupid, Benson is even dumber by falling for it. Nice compliment for your blog host there.

Delft wrote:
Are you sure this is real? Just judging by the other post titles I’d say this is a spoof site: 
Helpline Opens To Help Women Addicted To Buying Cushions 
New Series Of Rentaghost To Be Filmed In Bedlinog 
Labour Party To Organise Piss-Up In A Brewery

Delft has his/her suspicions, but doesn't know how to check them.

Delft wrote:
But worth a smile: 
[Shopkeeper: ] …It’s a massive embarrassment as I don’t have any discocunts in stock. 
Shopper Lesley Longarms said: “I popped in to get one for my husband as I’d rather he didn’t touch mine. I was vexed when they told me that they didn’t sell any.”
Delft has now noticed a smutty joke.

Caf wrote:
This is satire, but I’ve worked in banner making and its actually not that implausible that a mistake can creep in. If it gets past the digital stage, people will likely never see the whole banner until its in place, and even then, they aren’t looking for spelling mistakes, so it may be a client that sees it first.
Caf gets it, but doesn't enlighten us as to where his/her opinion comes from.

Benson gets off on being a humourless old crone. Full marks to WalesOnCraic for exposing how she can be dumber than stupid. She could have used this as an opportunity to explain what she found funny and why she failed to spot the wind up. You have to suspect she is embarrassed for finding such a massive cunt joke funny. If she was just able to apply the analytic skills she applies to everyone else to herself we might end up with a much more likeable and insightful person.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

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I have resolved to live by a new doctrine called #Wiesnerism.