This post is a conclusion but because the book itself is so dull I’m forced to borrow a funnier example from Mr Day’s blog.
As I’ve discussed previously, Day takes the term rather silly term “SJW” and proceeds to suck out of it nearly all meaning. While still resting on visual stereotypes of the ‘Social Justice Warrior” as strident, rainbow-haired feminists, his main targets for the accusation of “SJW” are just ordinary everyday people in neutral to right-leaning settings. Because he needs his minions to be paranoid and in a constant struggle with “SJWs” then SJWs need to be everywhere. So as a kind of re-incarnated witchfinder general, Vox proceeds to find not only reds-under-the-beds but SJWs in evangelical churches or rightwing publications or anywhere and everywhere his target audience might engage in human contact.
How absurd can he make this? Well, to my surprise, there are limits and poor Vox actually had a bit of a backlash from his comment section the other day.
Now note, this is a topic around which I have zero (possibly negative) interest – the hiring of a coach for a college football team.
The said post is here (archive version but close to current) https://web.archive.org/web/20171128211816/http://voxday.blogspot.com.au/2017/11/sjw-veto-at-ut.html
Observant readers will spot that the blog post title is “Social Media Veto at UT”, whereas the URL title is “sjw-veto-at-ut”. Use of Google cache reveals the former version:
The “SJWs” were “shrieking” over “Greg Schiano” because:
“Schiano has a controversial reputation, in part due to his time as Penn State’s defensive backs coach in the early ’90s under former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, who is currently serving a lengthy prison sentence for sexually abusing young boys.”
Even Vox concedes that:
“I’m not a particular fan of Schiano, as I wasn’t impressed with his performance in Tampa Bay”
So a lacklustre coach with a tarnished reputation receives an unwelcome reaction from fans of a sports team. Where among that does a rant about “Social Justice Warriors” come into it?
I’m reminded of Dr Ben Goldacre’s description of UK Tabloid the Daily Mail:
“The Daily Mail, as you know, is engaged in a philosophical project of mythic proportions: for many years now it has diligently been sifting through all the inanimate objects in the world, soberly dividing them into the ones which either cause – or cure – cancer.” https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2007/dec/08/cancer.dailymail
Vox is engaged in a similar exercise in extreme ontology to divide each and every fuss about something into either an example of
- whiny SJWs being whiny and destroying civilisation because they are so evil and lefty…or….
- a valiant struggle of brave souls against the forces of SJWs even if it doesn’t seem much to do with them.
Unhappy with how Marvel is directing it’s comic books? Well, the great fascist sorting hat says that is an anti-SJW crusade regardless of what your opinion is or that you are objecting to how a major corporation is acting.
Unhappy with the choice of coach for a college football team because of his past association with a convicted child abuser? Well, the great fascist sorting hat says that is lunacy and you must be one of them evil SJWs.
You can retrospectively sort of work out why one and not the other but it is hard to spot in advance.
As it happens, this particular example finally managed to fall within the margins even for Vox’s comment section – with several of his minions befuddled about the taxonomic status of this particular kerfuffle. Vox eventually changed the first paragraph.
One commenter trying to unravel which is which:
“The thing we need to watch for is that this wasn’t an SJW mob. This was a #GG-style consumer/fan revolt, which the Sports Media is trying to run a narrative that it was a SJW mob. This might be either a strange blip or a watershed moment, but this is something we need to watch closely. Is this a cover tactic to appease the Left? Is this tactic to hide the #GG approach? Is it just Sports Media trying to cover that the UT fans weren’t happy for quite legitimate reasons?”
Or, you know, it could have just been people objecting to something they didn’t like rather than part of some grand scheme.
And thus we end with a moral: Anti-SJWs Always Live in a State of Intellectual Anxiety and Ontological Angst. Hmm could be snappier.