Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Other Side of Rush

As I mentioned in the comments - while I think Rush ultimately apologized over nothing, I do think he made a misstep in joking about this girl being a slut or a prostitute. Not that I think it was wrong for him to call her that on any principle (complaining that you need the government's help to force companies to cover your 1k+ annual contraception bill because you simply get bent over that much makes that fair game), but because of the reaction it will get. You can make the same point without going for language that will cause many people, women in particular, to just tune out and switch into "defend the poor girl" mode.

The problem with this move is some people think there's a kind of nobility to being the loudest, most obnoxious asshole on the block, and that being anything less than maximally insulting is some kind of cowardice. Bill Maher would be a fair example of a guy who will just straight up call someone a cunt with minimal provocation or justification. It's no coincidence he's also a fair example of someone who gets tuned out and shunned by many people because of his behavior. He preaches to a particular choir - he doesn't gain new ground.

The point is that communication matters. It is a skill, not a stance, and saying what you think is the truth in the bluntest way possible is not a substitute for figuring out the best way to present your thoughts - at least, if your goal is to actually turn back cultural forces and make gains. And that does mean, to a certain degree, you have to figure out the way some people are going to react emotionally and instinctively to your words and plan accordingly. With Rush, I think he could have simply made a whole lot of play out of the bare facts of "exactly what are you doing if your contraception bill runs 1k annually?" Ask if she realizes a condom isn't necessary for each individual finger on the guy's hand. Ask if guys are double bagging it when they nail her. Have a blast with it, by all means.

And work in the reasoning too. Maybe, just maybe, this isn't a problem for the government. Point out what someone's annual cigarette bill is, then ask - does this high tab add up to an argument for government subsidized cigarettes? No, it doesn't.

Of course, I know I say this as an anonymous schmuck on the internet. Rush is the one making millions with his radio show, he doesn't really need my advice, thank you. But the advice goes far beyond Rush. The fast way of saying it is that if you prioritize being obnoxious and pissing people off (even with "THE TRUTH!!!!") over figuring out the best way to make your point without sacrificing it, you're part of the problem when it comes to lost ground in a culture war.

Wait, maybe I should have said that more subtly.

Anyway, next time I'll point out yet another pitfall with this kind of thinking: the people who are so concerned with being nice and delicate that they shut up when they should speak, and speak when they should shun.

22 comments:

Ilíon said...

It wasn't the word 'slut' that "offended" them; it wasn't the accurate use of the word 'slut' to describe her that "offended" them -- it was the moral disapproval of her sluttery that "offended" them.

As I said in the prior post, if one is not willing to "offend" "liberals", including deliberately so at time, than one is not serious about defeating the murderous grip that leftism has upon our civilization.

Syllabus said...

Tempest in a bloody teacup, is what this is.

Crude said...

It wasn't the word 'slut' that "offended" them; it wasn't the accurate use of the word 'slut' to describe her that "offended" them -- it was the moral disapproval of her sluttery that "offended" them.

We don't even know she's a slut. All we know is she gave a stupid figure for birth control needs. And it's a bad move to say, or even imply, someone is a slut or prostitute, rather than focusing on the acts themselves.

Crude said...

Tempest in a bloody teacup, is what this is.

Absolutely. It's, in the end, a bunch of BS. But the opportunity to make it into a tempest in a teacup was handed over to them.

Ilíon said...

"We don't even know she's a slut. All we know is she gave a stupid figure for birth control needs."

ERGO, by her own word, we know she's a slut; what we don't know is whether she's a whore -- but the smart money says the doen't have the self-respect to upgrade herself from mere slut to whore.

Crude said...

ERGO, by her own word, we know she's a slut; what we don't know is whether she's a whore -- but the smart money says the doen't have the self-respect to upgrade herself from mere slut to whore.

Or she's stupid. Or she's a liar. Most likely she's a liar, but man, a good way to expose the lie in this case is to treat it as truth and go for the logical conclusions.

Either way, it's a bad move to call her that outright. And not necessary in my view to make the point - just ask what she could possibly need 1k in birth control for. Calculate the costs.

Drew said...

Just one more reason to repeal the Nineteenth Amendment.

Crude said...

Haha. I can only imagine that question being asked. Vox goes off on that one a lot, though I've never seen anyone actually engage him over it. I would love to see him argue with a woman, one of those back and forth debates, over whether women should have the right to vote.

Not that I necessarily buy the view. To be dead honest, I never gave it much thought - women have had the right to vote all my life after all. But still, in an age where idiots act as if everything from infanticide to bestiality are open questions, why not treat that one as one too I suppose.

Syllabus said...

Seeing the amount of mass idiocy permeating the country, I'm starting to wonder whether much of the population - never mind women - should be allowed to vote.

Ilíon said...

"Or she's stupid. Or she's a liar. ..."

Being a slut -- as with being chaste -- isn't entirely, or even primarily, about what one has done with one's body, but rather is about one's attitude or mind-set.

A person who is physically a virgin may yet be a slut. A person who is the parent of many children may yet be chaste.

Catholocism notwithstanding, chastity isn't simply about "never engaging in sexual activity"; likewise, sluttery isn't simply about engaging in indiscriminate sexual activity -- sluttery is about (mis)using sex as a tool ... or a weapon.

Ilíon said...

"Either way, it's a bad move to call her that outright."

But, you've already stated/admitted: "Not that I think it was wrong for him to call her that on any principle ..."

So, if it was "a bad move", it must be in some other sense of "bad" ... as in "a poor marketing decision" (which is, after all, what you mean).

Or, in other words, because most modern women (and men) *are* sluts, it is "a poor marketing decision" to correctly name what they willingly choose to be.

In that case, why even bother opposing (or pretending to oppose) "liberalism"?

Ilíon said...

Yes, the Nineteenth Amendment will never be repealed ... but it is, nonetheless, one of the roots of the present modern dilemma which is destroying our nation.

On the bright side, once this feminism (and leftism, in general) has detroyed the nation, and once the bloody dust of that settles, whatever society manages to arise will not be feminist or leftist.

Ilíon said...

Look, if you/we let the "liberals" (and their leftist puppet-masters) determine what you/we, as a conservative, as someone opposed to leftism, can and cannot say, then you/we have already given up the fight.

Crude said...

Or, in other words, because most modern women (and men) *are* sluts, it is "a poor marketing decision" to correctly name what they willingly choose to be.

In that case, why even bother opposing (or pretending to oppose) "liberalism"?


Because opposing liberalism isn't about acting like an obnoxious shit who can't grasp the fundamentals of communication. Communication is about effect, understanding, and thought. It's not about some inane priority being placed on a person's personal desire to call people names, no matter what the communication consequences are.

If you aren't paying attention to the effects - the consequences - of your words, whatever they are, you're making a mistake.

Look, if you/we let the "liberals" (and their leftist puppet-masters) determine what you/we, as a conservative, as someone opposed to leftism, can and cannot say, then you/we have already given up the fight.

If by choosing words carefully and making sure the message gets across I or people like me make greater gains than you in what is a cultural war, then I am making the right decision - and you are not.

Westboro Baptist "speaks their mind". They rant, they rave, they scream, they offend. And they are tools of the left, to the degree that I actively wonder if they're a conscious front group. And if you have the same ultimate impact as they do, so are you - willingly or not.

Ilíon said...

"Communication" implies intellectual honesty.

Crude said...

"Communication" implies intellectual honesty.

Believe it or not, it doesn't.

Many people aren't very sharp. Or they're sharp, but they won't understand you if you only use a certain approach. Or, if you say something that triggers them to get defensive and/or irrational, they get distracted or close up and become impossible to get through to. And some people, yes, just aren't intellectually honest.

In a one on one conversation, I have no problem surmising that someone is taking the position they are for intellectually dishonest reasons and cutting them loose explicitly, or telling them off. But when you address a large, mixed audience, you're in a different situation.

The Phantom Blogger said...

Have you seen Vox's new post? He's basically made the same point as you about her calculations and has analysed the numbers.

Crude said...

Yeah. I think he got the numbers wrong (someone pointed out it's 3k over 3 years), but that's the way to do it. Her numbers are insane - let's take them, process them, and see where we end up. A little too late to do that, but nevertheless.

You can get very far without having to drop the slur bomb on anyone.

Crude said...

Incidentally, one thing with Vox's response: he makes the obvious jokes and does it well. Someone pipes up with "Well, if you get this real special kind of contraception, and if you treat all of the doses and the doctor's visits as the most expensive, AND if on top of that you do all these other things, then you can get to 1k/annual and..."

While that's bull on its own, there's this fact: in a PR situation? That person already lost. Few people are going to be interested in following them through the jumps and hoops and logic twists that require them to kinda-sorta technically come up with a 1k/annual contraception bill when not being a frat party favorite. People will follow the easy jokes, the snap responses, the fast arguments. Only the diehards will even listen to the extended argument - even if it's a good argument. (Apologists really have to learn this one.)

But yeah, I think Vox's approach was far better. That should have been the rallying cry against this.

Crude said...

Actually, just to add - Vox himself slipped up a bit, but it hardly matters considering his audience. He should have done a few estimates, including a 'best case scenario' of a girl on the pill + condoms, which would still make the estimate pretty funny.

But the point is once you focus on the numbers, the story writes itself. What's another way of saying "slut"? "Unmarried girl whose contraception needs push a grand annually."

The Phantom Blogger said...

Yeah I noticed the flaws in Vox's post at the time and also seen the comments from those on his site, but he had the right general idea with his post.

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