the personal is still the political: wanting to fuck martin shkreli is not OK

EDIT:  See correction here.

Racist Instagram Photos Tore a California High School Apart, said the headline at Vice. As I read the article, I realized I was reading white supremacist propaganda. To me, the headline suggested that it was horrible how teenage boys can now give Nazi salutes to impress their friends. What really happened is that a town seems to have strongly rejected racism, and the author is whining about that. Her name is Allie Conti.

This is what happened when they started it:

Anika Mallard was sitting in math class when a friend passed her the phone. It was pulled up to an Instagram account containing pictures of the 16-year-old and several other black students with nooses around their necks and side by side with monkeys.

This was a shocking bit of racism, even by the recent standards of California’s Albany High, where seven of Mallard’s peers had been caught giving one another the Nazi salute in the hallway. “It was really weird, and I wasn’t expecting it,” she told me of the photos. “I thought these people [who were involved with the account] were my friends. I’ve known some of these people since middle school, since elementary school.”

The trauma of being targeted by people she once trusted caused Mallard to miss crucial weeks in her junior year and left her feeling brutalized. And the controversy over the racist Instagram account roiled the school, culminating in a near-riot targeting the teens behind the account…

Whatever dialogue and healing occurred behind closed doors, the hallways those students walked out to after their session was far from safe, according to the April suit. Mallard, who was among a group of students and others who gathered in those halls, remembers waiting for hours for the restorative justice session to end. When the suspended students finally emerged, tensions were high. People were hot and tired, and wanted to make their anger at the perpetrators of the account known. As the kids attempted to get through the crowd and out to their cars, some of them got struck in the head by some of the nearly 100 demonstrators who had gathered. One of the students allegedly had his nose broken.

According to the complaint, a plainclothes Albany cop wouldn’t protect the suspended kids from the crowd. “You caused this,” the officer allegedly said.

Lawyers are arguing that Albany’s administrators were overly harsh in doling out punishment to the students who merely “liked” or commented on the racist photos. They say the majority of their clients still haven’t returned to school out of fear for their safety. (An additional lawsuit filed on behalf of two more students in May says pretty much the same.)

HAHAHA now they understand that lynching isn’t funny! I don’t know anything about the situation except for this article, but it sounds FANTASTIC that people got ostracized for being the ones who sit there and laugh when they could intervene.

Isn’t it amazing that the word “lynching” doesn’t appear in the article whatsoever, because it’s written by a white chick who has no concept? She just loves Wu-Tang Clan, but that comes later.

This is what she calls freedom:

In the adult world, certain corners of the right have embraced the idea that when people are saying and posting hateful things, that exercise of “free speech” shouldn’t lead to them losing their jobs, say, or being protested by outraged liberals. Back in the much more innocent time of 2012, journalist Adrien Chen exposed the real name of a man who moderated a jailbait community on Reddit, causing that man to get fired. The larger Reddit community of moderators fired back by banning links from the site where Chen worked until he atoned by posing in a tutu and posting it online.

This kind of controversy has become increasingly common. Take for example, Million Dollar Extreme show runner Sam Hyde who claims he was ousted from Adult Swim in December over his support of Donald Trump and his show’s alleged overtures to the alt-right. Last week, Breitbart editor Katie McHugh lost her job after tweeting that there would be no terrorist attacks in the UK if Muslims didn’t live there. A campaign to support her that was started on an alt-right crowdfunding platform raised over $7,000. “You tick off the Jew When you write what is true,” one of the contributors wrote.

Nearly no one argues that people like McHugh and Hyde don’t have the legal right to say and think whatever they like—but it’s up to their employers to decide whether they want to be associated with such toxic views.

Recounting the glorious victory of creepy older men. Innocent folks losing their jobs for creating hostile work environments! The real subject of freedom is the corporate person, who enjoys freedom of association.

All of this is clearly sympathetic to the neo-Nazis. It’s presented without comment, leaving it up to the reader to decide if they like Nazism or not. Just be yourself, everybody!

It’s generally distasteful to slash people’s throats on the train. The sheeple are soft, not ready for a Final Solution. Numbnuts got drunk and got too eager, lost his cool after getting shoved by the Aspie. Soldier lacked discipline! Allie Conti tries her best at damage control. She doesn’t waste the opportunity to implant the idea that maybe communists slash people’s throats on trains and we need to do something about them.

Naturally, activists on both the right and left spent Memorial Day weekend trying to claim he belonged to the other side. But the alleged murderer seems like a case study on how people can ping-pong between seemingly contradictory beliefs—the latest example of how extremism in America is often fueled less by a coherent worldview than by a generalized feeling of rage.

Notice that the word “right” has a source, but the word “left” doesn’t. She sets out the disinformation goal: show signs of leftism and fascism in the train stabber guy. The reader will charitably assume that the article does this, but it really doesn’t.

The linked article has the wonderful nugget that the train attacker favored Sanders and Trump, in that order. That’s not the interesting part. This is the interesting part:

By the way, the alt-left also refuses to give any credence whatsoever to the Russian interference in the 2016 election, U.S. intelligence agencies be damned; it’s all a pathetic liberal fantasy. If that sounds like Republican logic, well, that’s because it is. They’ve had more than a little help from the GOP, who wanted Sanders as the nominee because he’d be easier (and less expensive) to crush. The Young Turks, an online progressive “news” network that has essentially turned into The Bernie Channel, is Republican-funded. Our wacko splinter faction is a useful wedge for the GOP, who ought to know better than anyone the dangers of letting your lunatic fringe into the big tent.

To the extent that he was “left,” it was the kind purpose-built by the right to hurt the left.

Judging by his social media posts and previous appearances at local political events, Christian was mad at “‘Multicultural’ Nazis,” even as he sympathized with both fascists and communists. He had a local rep as a white supremacist and was filmed using racial epithets (and doing Nazi salutes) at an April Free Speech protest. On the anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing, he posted in celebration of imprisoned bomber Timothy McVeigh. He also loathed Hillary Clinton and her supporters more than almost anything else; at first, he supported Bernie Sanders during last year’s heated presidential race before coming around to Trump and then ultimately deciding to abstain on Election Day, according to his own posts.

“Just to clarify a few things: ‘I Hereby Solemnly swear to Die trying to kill Hillary (Herself a filthy Murderess) Clinton and Donald Trump should they be elected to the post of President in my faire country on Vinland. This I swear to Odin, Kali, Bastet, and all other Pagan Gods and Goddesses in my Aryan Theosophical Nucleus. This is my duty as a Viking and a Patriot. In Jesus name….I Feel the Bern!!!!'” he apparently wrote in February 2016.

Christian’s latest and most virulent obsession was Antifa—the anti-fascist groups that have been publicly sparring with members of the alt-right since Trump won the White House.

In some ways, this story has echoes the one that came out of Florida earlier this month in which a neo-Nazi converted to Salafism and, according to police, confessed to murdering his roommates.

Notice that this spooks the neo-Nazis with the possibility that even their bros could go Muslim. You can never be too careful!

This is weak stuff, on Conti’s part. He used “multicultural Nazi” as an epithet. This is being deliberately obtuse about why. Because it upsets people they hate to call them that. The fact that it makes no sense is even better. The propaganda is in ascribing a nonexistent hatred of Nazism to the guy.

I mean…honestly, if you’re an anti-anti-fascist, you’re a fascist. It’s a rule of logic that you can remove two consecutive negations. If someone is complicating that, you have to ask why.

A significant fraction of readers don’t make it to the bottom of articles. This is a known fact. By the time someone’s gotten halfway through the article, unless they have above-average literacy, they don’t connect the later paragraphs to the goals expressed in the earlier ones. There’s a structure to the article, and one leg of the argument isn’t standing: she had to show that he really showed both leftist and fascist tendencies, and that wasn’t done convincingly.

On Twitter, she selects the ONE case where Trump didn’t do something racist, and makes a lighthearted jab at his grammar.

She has a Vice live Q&A thing about synthetic cannabinoids. She keeps circling back to the idea that it’s a scary drug used by homeless people. It’s subtle, but it helps the cause to associate poor people with beastly, unpredictable behavior. People use crappier drugs when you ban the good ones. Is this news? It’s all a question of emphasis. The information is presented in a way that’s very Dancesafe, “we understand.” She does a better-than-expected job of talking about the difference between full and partial agonists.

She’s not, like, Hitler. It’s just, like, anything goes, man.

I actually appreciate that her interview with Martin Shkreli is on the internet, speaking of 2-minutes’ hate targets.

He has a very compelling position: if you’re sick, call me and I’ll personally send you the drug for free. If you’re a hospital or insurance company, fuck you. You can afford it and we both know this, because we’re in the same business and down the street from each other.

The problem with Martin Shkreli’s argument is that he ignores where the money comes from. The medical system steals from sick people, and then Shkreli hardball negotiates prices in order to fund his purchases of Wu-Tang Clan albums. “Fuck you, why shouldn’t I take your money” is a legitimate position to take towards a corporation, on average. Doesn’t it make more sense to give the money back to the people the hospitals stole it from? Isn’t it their money?

I robs drug dealers.

I’m specifically impaired at judging sexual interest, but even I could tell about Shkreli and Conti.

Being in awe of his wine and his not-in-a-position-to-judge chess abilities is a gesture of sexual submission. He feeds her alcohol and puts her in a cognitively demanding situation on his home territory where he’s comfortable. He’s adding cognitive load while making novel, interesting arguments. Overloading the interviewer with novelty. Psychological manipulation is sexy!

Arrogance is the trap of being smart. She really lights up and shows interest when he talks about the Wu-Tang Clan instead of poor sick people nobody cares about. Really, he’s just being fascinated with the power of wealth out loud, and she wants to be a part of that. It’s marvelous to feel free. He could do anything! He could break it just to prove he can! He could give it away like a great philanthropist! The narcissistic flight of fantasy is endless!

It’s absolutely true that having power is fascinating. The natural impulse is to experiment, feel out the limits. It’s actually not very interesting at all that the direct experience of power and freedom is exhilarating to Martin Shkreli. Of course it is! Instead of questioning it, she sexualizes it.

Over at The Atlantic, she also wrote an article about New York City’s freelance dominatrices. She concludes by mentioning the reality of what’s going on and then changing the subject:

But Danielle is having some trepidation about her new career. After Steve’s last session with Goddess June, he e-mailed Danielle to say he wanted to end the relationship entirely. “Mentally I am not right and quite depressed which is unusual for me,” the message began. Steve, who signs his e-mails “nitwit,” cited trouble at work, a lack of communication with his family, and the financial strain Danielle has caused as problems he fears will lead to a breakdown. “If I don’t do something soon, I will end up very sick or in a hospital,” he concludes.

“I was pretty upset when I read it,” Danielle says. “As opposed to what I believed, he wasn’t actually enjoying himself and was distraught over what had occurred.” She says she’s thinking of enrolling in college somewhere upstate.

Later, on the J train, she notices a woman with icy-pale skin, lacey clothing, and an indescribable swagger. Danielle’s eyes move from the woman’s black leather boots up to her metallic red lipstick. The black-clad stranger wears fake eyelashes so long that they look cartoonish. They get off at the same stop, and Danielle starts bouncing on her heels and waving her arms.

“That was the most perfect-looking dominatrix woman I’ve ever seen,” Danielle says as she chases after the woman and practices a spiel under her breath. “I really need business cards.”

At first it seems Danielle will catch up, even though she’s not sure what will happen when she does. Moments ago she was talking about quitting the sex industry, about how she’s burnt out already and looking for steadier work. Now, she’s giddy, enchanted, orgasmic, desperate. Suddenly she stops short, as if it’s just occurred to her that she’s shy. A second later, Danielle’s dream domme is gone—headed through the turnstile and out into the night.

The alt-right is sexy because women think “dominance” is sexy. Bullying me actually helps a certain type of dude have sex with women like Allie Conti. She’s fascinated at the sheer audacity. For the racist bullies to sue their victims is, like…perverse and also costs money. More money than she makes at Vice oh gawd.

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