So I signed this letter

Photo by Florian Klauer on Unsplash

And all hell broke loose. Apparently I am a wealthy, privileged, and powerful public intellectual (hah!) who is plotting against BLM and trans people — pretty much proving the point of the letter. (Guilt by association!)

In case you’re interested, the specific reason I signed is a clause that’s included in most book contracts now that allows a publisher to cancel a book contract in cases of public condemnation — i.e. Twitter mobs. Not actual crimes, but social media. Sigh:

5 thoughts on “So I signed this letter

  1. The definition of intolerance depends on where you stand and how you feel about freedom of speech as it relates to the profitability of a product in the Capitalist market place.

    Let’s take the Federalist Society, NewsMax and Facebook which are all a danger to our body politic. All are funded by large Capitalist enterprises.

    It’s one thing to have an opinion and a vision for the future.
    It’s quite another to have an agenda.

    In the first case one follows the facts to their logical conclusion and forms an opinion which then informs their vision.
    In the latter case one has already decided about where the facts will lead them so they twist the facts to fit their narrative and then fill in the blanks with lies and double-talk.

    The Federalist Society, NewsMax and Facebook are reactionary counterrevolutionaries out to destroy the Founding Father’s vision of Enlightened self-government with a strong central government at its core.

    Are Atwood, Marsalis and the others correct about intolerance or should we get rid of the Federalist Society, NewsMax and Facebook for the health of our society?

  2. Susie, I wanted to tell you how glad I was to see your name among the signatories. You go, gurrrl!

    The reflexive tribalism kicked in immediately, of course. None of the people On The Right Side Of History(tm) take one second to pay attention to *how* people are attacked.

    It’s a bit more than a bunch of privileged whatnots trying to shut down criticism or be “above reproach.” Rape and death threats are not a “reproach.” They were criminal when we had to use paper. But for some reason when it’s done digitally, ruining someone’s life for their ideas totes cool.

  3. It would appear to me that the climate of intolerance is a byproduct of elites’ unwillingness to honor the social contract with ordinary working people, who experience that climate of intolerance and can have their jobs, their careers, their lives upended for any reason their employer sees fit, or for no reason at all. Popular electronic culture now allows the proles to bite back when presented with examples of hypocrisy, gross incompetence, or malign intent of people who until now were unaccountable for any reason, and the unaccountables don’t like it. They feel like they’re on a knife’s edge where one mistake, even decades ago, can undo a life’s worth of hard work and accomplishment, and that the current climate accounts for no mercy, no quarter, no excuses. Welcome to the precariat, bitches. Go cry alone like Alan Dershowitz on Cape Cod, where nobody invites him to parties any more, and keep punching down. That list reads like a roll call of people who walked over miles of dead bodies, fired assistants, unpaid interns, associate professors sleeping in their cars. The people not on that list? The people who wouldn’t do whatever it took. The people whose careers didn’t take off because they couldn’t bring themselves to do that one degrading thing, or series of degrading things, or a lifetime of degrading things to get ahead. Heavy is the head that wears the crown, boo hoo, woe is them. I was surprised to see your name on there.

  4. Well Digby didn’t sign, but Margaret Atwood did. Somehow I don’t think Ms Atwood was striding over dead bodies much. Maybe I’m wrong.

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