s skippy the bush kangaroo: dear markos: it gives us no pleasure to say "we told you so"

skippy the bush kangaroo



Tuesday, April 17, 2007

dear markos: it gives us no pleasure to say "we told you so"

thankfully, we are not saying "we told you so" about kathy sierra.

but we are sad to use the virginia tech massacre as an example of once again why markos was full of it in his recent dismissal of threats and stalking online.

the chitribe:

the suspected gunman in the virginia tech shooting rampage, cho seung-hui, was a troubled 23-year-old senior from south korea who investigators believe left an invective-filled note in his dorm room, sources say…

cho had shown recent signs of violent, aberrant behavior, according to an investigative source, including setting a fire in a dorm room and allegedly stalking some women...

professor carolyn rude, chairwoman of the university's english department, said she did not personally know the gunman. but she said she spoke with lucinda roy, the department's director of creative writing, who had cho in one of her classes and described him as "troubled."

"there was some concern about him," rude said. "sometimes, in creative writing, people reveal things and you never know if it's creative or if they're describing things, if they're imagining things or just how real it might be. but we're all alert to not ignore things like this."
[emphasis ours]

we have no proof at this time (and we admit we may never) that cho harrassed anybody online.

[update: now we do. the houstonchronicle:

in november and december 2005, two women complained to police that they had received calls and computer messages from cho, but they considered the messages "annoying," not threatening, and neither pressed charges, chief wendell flinchum said.
granted, the women characterized the messages as "annoying" rather than threatening, but they did feel harrassed enough to go to the police about them.]


and granted, "troubled" essays in a creative writing class is not the exact same thing as photoshopped pictures of women with their heads in a noose.

but we maintain that unfortunately for us all, the tragedy of of virginia tech is a terrible example of how unchecked misdirected anger can go horribly awry.

markos, you could be right. the guys harrassing kathy sierra might be too cowardly to actually act upon their anger.

sadly for the students, teachers and parents of those at virginia tech, sometimes somebody crosses the line, and takes out their anger on those around them.

the point we, and everyone else, has been making, markos, is simply this: it does little good to ignore the warning signs. in fact, it may be harmful to dismiss them.

we will never know if the virginia tech shootings could have been avoided. we do know that if there's signs of a troubled personality noticed by someone, it warrants caution, attention and concern.

not dismissal.

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posted by skippy at 12:50 PM |

14 Comments:

This is a really disappointing post. I hope it's merely deluded rather than intentionally disingenuous.

Here's the post by Markos that got him so much flak. Perhaps you can point out to me where he says that no one, anywhere, ever acts on violent threats or fantasies.

What he does "dismiss," perhaps wrongly, is the possibility that someone will be attacked by a stranger because of something he or she wrote on a blog.

If the VA Tech killer had been set off by a stranger's blog post, then you might indeed be in "I told you so" territory. But to my knowledge, he wasn't.

So, what's your point? I hope it's not just to call Markos out by name as a way to troll for links.
commented by Blogger Swopa, 1:45 PM PDT  
What he does "dismiss," perhaps wrongly, is the possibility that someone will be attacked by a stranger because of something he or she wrote on a blog.

'perhaps wrongly'?

Not just he but the whole miserable lot of you dismiss this possibility and you demean and degrade the women and men who keep pointing out the institutionalized, endemic sexism on the big box blogs. Get used to it and remember simple denial and a few pathetic token women hand picked by DHinMI isn't an effective debating technique after several years of evidence to the contrary is garnered. We don't write about this to convince the misogynists on the big box blogs who pretend to speak for us, we write about it to deconstruct the obvious lies because you don't speak for us and keep claiming that you do.
commented by Anonymous colleen, 2:21 PM PDT  
Colleen,

If "simple denial... isn't an effective debating technique," why did you just try using it on me?mmRather than dispute any of the specifics of my comment, you throw out a bunch of invective simply because I didn't buy Skippy's premise.

Incidentally, by "institutionalized, endemic sexism on the big box blogs," I presume you mean like the way Atrios and Markos never link to Digby, or Jane & Christy of Firedoglake? Yeah, it's a shame Digby and FDL are shut out of the conversation like that.

Then again, I suppose maybe Jane, Christy, and Digby are misogynist oppressors as well in your eternally victimized interpretation.
commented by Blogger Swopa, 2:55 PM PDT  
Is This A Symptom of our "Chain Letter Society"?

Read an analysis of the influences in our "Chain Letter Society" that may be precipitating events like the tragedy at Virginia Tech and how our focus on winning and being number one may be fostering a generation of children with fully inadequate coping skills who have a misguided sense of self-worth...here:

www.thoughttheater.com
commented by Blogger Daniel DiRito, 4:04 PM PDT  
gee, swopa, i thought i addressed the obvious differences between kathy sierra's situation and the va. tech tragedy in these paragraphs:

we have no proof at this time (and we admit we may never) that cho harrassed anybody online.

and granted, "troubled" essays in a creative writing class is not the exact same thing as photoshopped pictures of women with their heads in a noose.


i am not saying the two instances are literally equal.

i am saying that the similarity of unbalanced anger in an individual manifesting itself in dangerous acting out, a la stalking or weird "creative" outpourings, is something not to be dismissed in either case.

i love your work swopa, but geez, you are sounding like the other markos defenders (and i won't mention armando by name) in parsing the line so closely as to enter the republican-literal-defense squad ("bush never actually said there were wmd's in iraq in any of his speeches!!").

cho acted out in dangerous ways before killing. anonymous people are acting out in dangerous ways towards kathy sierra.

i didn't say one is automatically the same as the other.

i said dismissal of such acting out is wrong, and dangerous, and the va. tech tragedy is a terrible, terrible example of this.
commented by Blogger skippy, 5:05 PM PDT  
If asking you to criticize Markos for what he said, rather than a straw-man version of his words, is "parsing the line so closely as to enter the republican-literal-defense squad," then so be it.

I mean, you're the one trying to hang 30 deaths around the guy's neck.

Doesn't seem like a good thing to be playing fast and loose with, but to each their own.
commented by Blogger Swopa, 5:47 PM PDT  
Incidentally, by "institutionalized, endemic sexism on the big box blogs," I presume you mean... (a couple of idiotic, meaningless examples)

No, that's not what I mean at all.

I would like to thank you for your open display of contempt combined with near absolute cluelessness. It confirms my original point that it's not a Big Tent, that y'all don't speak for us, that you're not only not allies but completely unworthy adversaries, not worth the waste of time it takes to have a conversation. Skippy gets it, you do not.
commented by Anonymous colleen, 5:54 PM PDT  
Bye, Colleen. I hope you kicked the ass of the phantom in your head you were arguing with, since you never addressed yourself to anything I said in my comments.
commented by Blogger Swopa, 6:18 PM PDT  
wow, swopa, never did i "hang 30 deaths" around markos' neck.

i can't make my position more clear than i did in my previous comment.

i expressly admitted in the original post that the two situations were not identical, only similar.
commented by Blogger skippy, 7:23 PM PDT  
Well, well, look who's suddenly discovered the value of characterizing others' words accurately. ;)

See how different it feels when you're the one being criticized, rather than the one making the criticisms?
commented by Blogger Swopa, 8:54 PM PDT  
huh?
commented by Blogger skippy, 9:03 PM PDT  
Up above, Skippy, I pointed out that Markos didn't say the things you were criticizing him for. In response, you sneered at the "republican-literal-defense squad" tone of that complaint.

But someone criticizes you, and all of a sudden a "literal defense" is just fine.

I gather, though, that you don't see the similarity between "I said the two situations were not identical, only similar" and "I said the threat was grave and growing, not imminent."

Okay, so I guess bush kangaroos don't have mirrors.
commented by Blogger Swopa, 10:09 PM PDT  
Whoa, Swopa, better change the shirt, your brown one is starting to reek...
commented by Blogger Carl, 9:45 AM PDT  
swopa, markos didn't say that stalking women should be dismissed.

he dismissed a woman's situation where she was being stalked.

granted, his active words are not what i (and other, more erudite writers of the feminine/nist persuasion) attribute to the problem with markos.

but his omission, his active ignoring of ms. sierra's situation, his diminishing of her problem into a "if you can't stand the heat" situation, is what we take issue with.

you are quite right. he literally did not say "i hate women."

but what he did say (plus his pattern of behavior towards women's issues) was pretty indicative that he feels along those lines.

again, i have paraphrase eldrige cleaver in this when writing about markos: if you're not part of the solution here, you're part of the problem.
commented by Blogger skippy, 4:36 PM PDT  

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