12 November 2017

In defense of Louie CK

First off, note that some details of what was written in the original report released by the NYT has been changed in subsequent media accounts.
I am not sure who changed the story, when, or why, but I am taking the initial story as the most likely to be accurate one. It was the NYT reporter that actually talked to the accusers.
It was my post in response to that article that led to me being invited to join this group.

Read the original story here:

In particular, there are reports circulating that he at some point physically blocked an exit, preventing Goodman and Wolov from leaving the room.  The original report says that by their own account, he was sitting in a chair the entire time, and that they made no attempt to leave until after he was finished, at which point he made no attempt to stop them.

With this is mind, comparing that CK did to what Wienstien or Roy Moore did is a slippery slope that leads to significant sexual repression, and that will be bad for everyone. I find it painful to watch this happen.

I want to live in a world where nudity and sexuality are not such a big deal. I also want the standards of consent around sexuality to not be an entire order of magnitude higher than for anything else.
Specific to this case, I would want these examples of behavior that may have made someone briefly uncomfortable to not be lumped together in the media with rapists and child molesters. I think in general conflating rape and assault with harassment is an insult and disservice to rape victims, and CKs actions don't even constitute harassment (which is why its being called "misconduct").

The one big thing that has, rightly, been the defining distinguishing feature of unacceptable behavior has long been lack of consent.

If that is going to be thrown out, then we are taking an enormous step backwards, defaulting back to what used to be religious conservative territory of just being anti-sex for its own sake.

In every "allegation" "against" Louie of actions that occurred in person, he either obtained consent, or he didn't do anything.

31 July 2017

The American Left's strategy for racial equality is self-defeating

The following was written to some close friends and family, after I opted out of a discussion of race issues in America inspired by a book club meeting.


To begin with, let me make clear some things I am in agreement about.
I agree entirely that racial disparities exist, in incarceration, in income, in health and longevity, and many other metrics, and I agree that it is a problem

I agree entirely that the root causes of these disparities,histrionically, are slavery, Jim Crow, racism, etc, which continue to have effects today

I agree also that racism exists, and that some portion of disparities are likely a result of racism.  

While I disagree, I do understand the reasons for the focus on racism and oppression- it really was about 100% of the reason for disparities for 100s of years, and up until very recently.  Most of the people involved in our discussion are actually old enough to have been alive as it was happening in real time (even if not in the actual places it was most prevalent)

But the thing so many of today's Social Justice Warriors and activists and protesters and reporters and authors and commentators haven't seemed to consider is that society actually can, does, and has changed.  Slowly, to be sure, but it does, and like the lobster in the pot, the change may be too gradual to notice in real time, but there is a threshold past where the change is significant.  
Racism is explicitly illegal.  
We have black cops and judges and CEOs.  
And yes, even a president (well, 1/2 is close enough).  

Activists and others who counter the "post-racial" claims, that having a black president does not end the conversation are correct: this fact, these facts, they do not end the conversation on race.  
But they sure as hell should change the conversation!  They should change it a whole heck of a lot. 
Yet the talking points today remain largely the exact same ones heard during a time when a (half) black president was completely inconceivable.
The power structers, the laws, the cultural norms, the dynamics of everything about society have changed.  Its time for the social justice activists to catch up.