Quotes: The War on Straw

"…in science as elsewhere, we fight for and against not men and things as they are, but for and against the caricatures we make of them."
Joseph Schumpeter, History of Economic Analysis, p. 86.

    open/close all folders 


"When first I became one of the New Anarchists I tried all kinds of respectable disguises. I dressed up as a bishop. I read up all about bishops in our anarchist pamphlets, in Superstition the Vampire and Priests of Prey. I certainly understood from them that bishops are strange and terrible old men keeping a cruel secret from mankind. I was misinformed. When on my first appearing in episcopal gaiters in a drawing-room I cried out in a voice of thunder, 'Down! down! presumptuous human reason!' they found out in some way that I was not a bishop at all. I was nabbed at once. Then I made up as a millionaire; but I defended Capital with so much intelligence that a fool could see that I was quite poor. Then I tried being a major. Now I am a humanitarian myself, but I have, I hope, enough intellectual breadth to understand the position of those who, like Nietzsche, admire violence — the proud, mad war of Nature and all that, you know. I threw myself into the major. I drew my sword and waved it constantly. I called out 'Blood!' abstractedly, like a man calling for wine. I often said, 'Let the weak perish; it is the Law.' Well, well, it seems majors don't do this. I was nabbed again."
Gregory, explaining his failed attempts to go undercover, The Man Who Was Thursday.


Granny: I am the humble and reasonable personification of the artist. I am humble and articulate on topics I have a basic grasp of.
Granny: Whoa, you need to relax! I'm obviously right because I am calm in this matter and thusly smarter than you.
Granny: Oh! Those poor SJW LGBTBBQJIDFWXYZ activists are so misguided!
—Ben Garrison parody

    web original 

"I’m honestly curious about what the backstory is on today’s Herb and Jamaal, in which Herb has charged into Rev. Croom’s office to angrily challenge his entire belief system. Is this happening after yet another Sunday service that Herb’s family dragged him to, and something in the sermon finally pushed him over the edge until he couldn’t stay quiet anymore? Or was he just sitting at work, stewing over Croom’s unshakeable faith in the unprovable, until eventually he just barged into the Reverend’s office hours (do clergy have office hours? seems like a thing they’d have) demanding that he make room in his mental universe for doubt? At any rate, the final panel proves that Herb is helpless before the power of wordplay."
The Comics Curmudgeon on Herb and Jamaal

"Oh yeah, keep religion far, far away from wrestling. You’d think it would just be common sense, just like it is common sense to keep church and state separate. While there is often debate on exactly how separate they should be, the fact is that here in America, everyone pretty much has the right to worship whatever god they want, so long as they aren’t hanging up kidnapped victims on homemade crosses or cutting them open and extracting blood. Both of which, we’d like to note, have happened in pro wrestling’s version of religion."

"Essential Viewing: Kurt and Courtney. I like documentaries that are IN NO WAY objective."

"Zucker doesn't stop at Moore/Malone for pointed mockery; Carol also tackles loathsome American poxes such as college educations (the damn hippies are indoctrinating your kids, people!), exercising constitutional rights, and questioning leadership. The horror. The ACLU also gets a spanking (imagined as zombies enabling terrorists)... Carol is created with a specific agenda to support the American armed forces, using the Washington and Patton characters (along with John Kennedy) to remind the audience that diplomacy is second only to a strong military hand. The ghosts show Malone (in full "Christmas Carol" fashion) the results of an America without the sacrifice of war, exploring how slavery still exists and visiting a nuked Detroit. Of course, with Carol being a zany comedy and all, there's even a sobering moment spent at the smoldering ruins of 9/11... Shhh, don't tell Zucker, but I don't think 9/11 is funny anymore.

Besides, of all filmmakers in the world to beat Zucker to the terrorist comedy punch, Uwe Boll danced the same tasteless tango earlier this year with the blindingly awful

"Marvel's 2006 event mini series Civil War was a pretty damn good read from writer Mark Millar and artist Steve McNiven. It created a scenario that had hero vs hero without a definite 'bad guy' to root against, and managed to invoke modern real-world politics and issues regarding what we as a society are willing to do in the name of safety and security...But as cool as the initial mini series was, the fallout and status quo change in the Marvel Universe went on for years, arguably at the very least two years too long. In the post Civil War Universe, Tony Stark, the leader on the side of government registration of known superheroes, was portrayed as kind of a giant prick, as was every hero on the registration side, regardless of whether or not they actually had a point. Meanwhile all the heroes on the side of those against hero registration were painted as cool rebels."

"Euthanasia was a hot-button issue at the time, an example of Voyager trying to put its finger on the cultural pulse. In 1994, Oregon had legalised selected forms of euthanasia, which generated no shortage of controversy...The problem is that 'Emanations' feels downright reactionary in its portrayal of euthanasia. It feels like something of a strawman argument – the Vhnori are a culture fashioned from the most hyperbolic of arguments against the practice. It’s a world where euthanasia has become a cultural norm. It’s something that the entire culture is built around. Neria tells Harry that there are 'thousands' of facilities like this scattered across the planet.

It’s interesting that none of those seeking suicide are in extreme physical pain. Hatil has a damaged leg and a limp – but he’s healthy enough that running off to the mountains is a viable option. Ptera makes no mention of physical discomfort or loss of dignity (or even debilitation) as a result of the 'tumorous lesion' on her brain. Hatil and Ptera both seem to be relatively healthy individuals with afflictions that aren’t causing immediate agony or serious loss of dignity. Instead, this is a world where social and familial pressure exists to
force people to volunteer for euthanasia."
Darren Mooney on Star Trek: Voyager, "Emanations"

"So much of the base under siege subgenre is based on paranoia about the boundary between the inside and outside. And the Gangers push this boundary interestingly...the tension is not merely 'how are we going to keep the monsters out,' but rather 'wait a moment, what is and isn’t a monster anyway?'

Or, at least, it tries. The problem is that ultimately, it still ends up siding with the humans. The basic fact that the Gangers have to do double duty as 'they’re people the same as us' and they’re monstrous' undermines things. On a fundamental level, there’s a real problem with the fact that the only outright villain the story has is a Ganger. It’s the usual problem that stories of this sort have — on the one hand, The Rebel Flesh/The Almost People wants to sympathize utterly with the Ganger’s cause, and on the other it wants to make sure it shuts down the possibility that their oppression justifies any sort of revolutionary act. And so the entrenched structures of power — the humans — are ultimately given priority. This is implicit even in the structure of the plot — the Doctor defaults to spending his time with the humans, and while he pushes them to save the Gangers as well, the result is still a story in which saving the humans appears to be the primary goal. Even the title is working against the Gangers, relegating them to the status of 'almost' people.

So what we have is a story that’s trying to smartly update the old base under siege story, but that ultimately just reaffirms its underlying paranoia and ethos while muddling about without doing much of anything."
Dr. Phil Sandifer on Doctor Who ("The Almost People").

"Libertarians believe that the one-dimensional scale of the political "left-right" is insufficient to describe the many philosophies held by the general public. They introduced the Nolan Chart, which measures two dimensions of political opinion instead, conveniently placing themselves at the top, opposite Hitler."

"In response to the It Gets Better campaign, Adams wrote a piece about eight heterosexual kids who were hounded into suicide by homosexuals to provide some balance to the claims that homosexual students are bullied. Except that none of the heterosexual kids really committed suicide. In every case described, the kid in question really sued someone instead....That, readers, was Adams’s “thoughtful” response to campaigns to stop the bullying of homosexual students. It surely hit the target like an intelligent bomb."
—''Encyclopedia of American Loons on Prof. Mike S. Adams

"Dr. Oz had as guests on his show antivaccine loon Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and his partner in crime against vaccine science, “functional medicine” expert Dr. Robert Hyman, on his show in a credulous segment about the mercury-containing preservative thimerosal that buys into virtually every trope about mercury in vaccines promulgated by the antivaccine movement. The reason, of course, is because Kennedy and Hyman have a book out...One thing I do believe is the part where Dr. Oz described how he had polled his viewers with the question, “Do you trust that vaccines are safe?” and found that 65% of them said no. Given that this is a Dr. Oz audience, that’s not surprising at all, although it is still very depressing. This result led Dr. Oz to claim that the reason he did this segment on thimerosal is because he’s all about “restoring trust” in vaccines, as did Hyman, who says that he and RFK are all about getting people vaccinated and also restoring trust in vaccines, to which I say: Bullshit! Using such tactics to “restore trust” in the vaccine program is akin to showing flaming car crashes and dead victims in order to “restore trust’ in automobile safety."

"Fox News is not a news channel, nor is it even really a propaganda channel. What it is is terrible professional wrestling. I mean, the black and white framing, with good guys and bad guys who you are telegraphed to cheer or boo depending on what faction they belong to. Moves that are so telegraphed, they can be used to call for mayday. Random taunting and trash talking of enemies. Random repeating of catchphrases and 'hit words of the day'. And let’s not even get started on the random “bikini babes” or the professional fembots. It’s like WWE’s slower, dumber cousin."

"A conservative wiki with articles that always somehow end up either blaming Liberals and non-Christians for some reason or another. It also seems to strongly imply one's religious beliefs has a connection to ones capability of doing certain things (e.g. violence)...some examples of bias/lies/inaccuracies on conservapedia:"
  1. socialism - we see a picture of Hitler on the top of the page.
  2. Friedrich Nietzsche - the first section is calling him crazy. (WTF?! they didn't even explain what his philosophical views are and he's declared crazy right at the beginning?!)
  3. Islam - "the most violent religion"
  4. Bill Clinton - all the credits of economic success should belong to Republicans (really? please explain why public opinion favored him during the government shutdown and impeachment)
  5. Grand Theft Auto - I don't even know where to begin on this

Any anger, no matter how legitimate, I do not personally feel.

Criticism, no matter how legitimate, of anything from which I derive pleasure.

You agreeing with me.

Me shouting. You listening.
Tabatha Southey, "A guide to the ideas and words of Gamergate"

    Web Video 

Janeway sees this creation of hers as "monsters", and rather than take the logical path of showing she's wrong, the story decides to justify it by turning Iden—and by extension, the identities of the rest of the holograms—into a "monster".

It doesn't start this way; when the Hirogen show up, the holograms try to hide, scooting into a nebula...Iden announces that his character assassination—I mean, development has now begun: he's creating a new religion about himself, a transformation that appears out of nowhere... And the episode doesn't even attribute this to some kinda malfunction—which would have been an annoyingly-cowardly way out of the "dilemma", I admit; y'know, to have the problem just wipe itself away. But at least it would've been SOMETHING! Instead, he just decides between scenes that he's Holo-Jesus now; the beginning of his descent into "monster" without clear cause.
SFDebris on Star Trek: Voyager, "Flesh and Blood"