Tag Archives: honesty

3 Questions We Need to Ask about FHRITP and Internet Justice

You may have seen the following video circulating on the internet. For those of you who haven’t seen it, I should warn you that it contains coarse language.

I absolutely love how CityNews reporter Shauna Hunt manages to professionally undermine this popular joke. She is bang on in identifying the blatant sexism of the comment, and the way it exudes disrespect for all female news anchors. This phrase, and the trend of harassing female reporters, is particularly frustrating because it falls into “legal no man’s land” and would be very difficult to prosecute. However, shortly after this video aired, one of the men who defends the FHRITP trend was fired from his high-paying engineering job for violating their code of conduct.

While I am frankly quite ecstatic that we no longer live in the era of “boys will be boys”, there are certain aspects of this case that have also raised up questions for me. I’ve shared those questions with you below.

At what point does internet justice become cyber-bullying?

The internet has been a major catalyst for feminist activism. For example, a wide variety of feminist issues that are not usually discussed by mainstream media have been able to gain traction on social media. As a woman, I’m so thankful for that. I’m also a big believer in creating stigma around certain behaviours, since it often seems far more effective than banning them altogether. However, I have noticed some instances where public shaming has become an unnecessary contest between shamers. Evan has touched on this in the past, but I also found some prime examples of this on the “Help Shawn Simoes get his Job Back” Facebook page. It seems that instead of liking it in order to actually support the FHRITP scapegoat, people have been liking it so that they can one up each other with their witty comments.

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3 Things Christians Parents Can Learn From the Death of Leelah Alcorn

On December 28th Leelah (Josh) Alcorn committed suicide. In the Tumblr note she scheduled to upload after her death, Leelah implies that her parents’ strict rejection of her identity was one of the factor that led her to this decision.

I’m not a parent, so I don’t want to ignorantly hand out parenting suggestions. However, I do want to start a dialogue about this story in the Christian community.

Instead of offering my own naive words of advice, I’ve pulled out three quotes from Leelah’s note to focus on. Each of these three points highlight things Leelah seemed to deeply wish that her Christian parents would understand.

1. You can’t force your child to accept your beliefs

They felt like I was attacking their image, and that I was an embarrassment to them. They wanted me to be their perfect little straight christian boy…

– Leelah

I love what Jamie (the very worst missionary) once said on this topic. In her post titled “Not All Pastor’s Kids Are Christian. Sorry.” she talks about her own experience as a pastors wife, parenting a child who now identifies as an atheist. While Jamie expects their children to act respectful towards her and her husband (and their chosen profession), when it comes to their faith she only asks her children to be honest with her in their journey towards truth. She doesn’t ask them to pretend to be something they are not:

“Believing in Jesus? Receiving His redemption? These are not commands to be given by a father and obeyed by a child. They are a loving invitation from God to his people, every last one of His people, and He is patiently awaiting their reply…”

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Fame Day: If I Were You

The first step is admitting you have a problem, so here it is: I’ve become a podcast junkie. I started on Talking Comics, which is exactly what it sounds like, but eventually decided that it was far too much for far too long. Then there was the incomparable War Rocket Ajax, the internet’s most destructive comics and pop-culture podcast. Following that up, from time to time, was How Did This Get Made?, but being about bad movies it meant I could only listen to the ones I had seen.

Then there was If I Were You.

ifiweregoodjob

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Fame Day: Basic Human Decency

I like to rail on our society.

Our blatant disregard for the poor. Our willful ignorance in the information age. Our hypocritical sense of morality. Capitalism. People who have perfect eyesight but wear glasses for “fashion.”

Worst. People. Ever.

But for all of that, I genuinely do think we’re making some (small) progress as a culture. Don’t get me wrong, I fully believe that beneath every person’s thin veneer of civilization lies a seething volcano of barbarism, cannibalism, and baby-punching-ism waiting to be unleashed at any minute. There’s no changing that.

How awesome was this scene?

Nevertheless, we are getting better in some regards. Specifically, I’m thinking about an image I saw not too long ago.

You can’t really argue with that. When something is wrong, it’s wrong. “Injustice anywhere is…”

Well, you get the idea.

Now this guy deserves some applause on his own, but it’s really the bigger picture I want to direct the spotlight to. It’s the simple belief that there’s a basic set of expectations for human behavior. Being morally outraged not simply when the news is covering one story, or during a particularly heinous scandal- but for every act of injustice out there.

Let me break it down a bit.

Chances are, you’ve run into some post on Facebook or any other social networking site in which someone attempts to make a supposedly bold or heroic stand, voicing their support for gay rights or the body positive movement, or something of that nature. While this doesn’t typically happen on any of my feeds, when I do see it, I’m usually pretty underwhelmed. Wow, _____ is coming out in support of gay rights? Brave move, next thing you’ll know he’ll be speaking out against segregation!

I know that sounds needlessly harsh, but more often than not, I feel proclamations and manifestos of that nature are looking for applause more than anything else, and that’s the whole problem. Is it good to be a tolerant, passionate, socially, and environmentally conscious person?

Yes, it is.

What do you want, a cookie?

There’s a 1994 movie by the name of Quiz Show, a drama based off of the true story of a rigged gameshow in the 1950s. While I only ever saw the tail end of the movie (and that was years ago), there’s a scene that stuck in my head. The character who had been cheating at the game is called before congress to testify. Standing up, he offers an eloquent “soul-searching” speech on how he struggled to reclaim his integrity and self-respect after having been a pawn in this entire sordid affair. The congressmen congratulate him on giving such a moving speech- all but one. A congressman by the name of Derounian leans forward and states states that he doesn’t see why the contestant should be commended for simply having told the truth.

And it makes sense, doesn’t it?

We’re patting each other (and more than that, ourselves) on the backs for what? Decrying injustice? Raging against waste and greed? Supporting equality? Should we be praised for this? For briefly rising out of ignorance and selfishness to meet the minimum requirements for human decency?

Seriously, do you think you should feel a sense of pride over not being a racist? Should we applaud ourselves for not clubbing a baby seal to death?

I don’t think so.

And it seems like people are finally starting to get it. Moral outrage for the purposes of fashion are being attacked. Not, perhaps, on a grand and noticeable scale (barring, perhaps, Jon Stewart), but quietly; with caustic jabs like that picture up above. And it’s about time, too.

Best movie of all time.

And yes, I’m fully aware of the hypocrisy of commending basic human decency not being commended. Consider this more of a public service announcement, if you must.

Gun Control and Cartoonists

As most of you should know by now, I am a Canadian. And as a Canadian, I actually know very little about American gun control laws. Yes, I know about the Second Amendment and have been somewhat in the know about the encroaching legislation brought about, more or less, due to the tragedy that befell Sandy Hook Elementary.

I also know about the National Rifle Association, whose job it is, apparently, to make sure that American citizens continue to have the right to bear arms. They also have a lobbying group called the Institute for Legislative Action [ILA]. Wikipedia let me know that members of Congress have ranked the ILA as the most powerful lobbying organization in the US for a few years in a row now.

Now I know what you’re thinking. “Dang, Evan, get to the point already. This doesn’t even have anything to do with comics, which are definitely your forte [and that you probably write about too much].” Well, dear reader, allow me to cut to the chase.

By cartoonist Jimmy Margulies. Also the image that Comics Alliance used, but hey, it’s perfect for the topic.

This morning Comics Alliance released an article titled “14 Editorial Cartoonists Make NRA Blacklist For ‘Endorsing Anti-Gun Positions.’” Its focus was a list that the NRA-ILA had put together of people and organizations who have been known to lend their “name and notoriety to anti-gun causes.” The reason they bring this to attention is that joining the National Black Nurses` Association and actress Catherine Zeta Jones are 14 political cartoonists. Described as being “journalists [who] actively editorialize in favor of gun controls laws” they are as follows:

The links provided for each cartoonist were provided by the article on Comics Alliance, and are super useful. Unfortunately, the link they provided for the NRA-ILA’s blacklist was much less useful. The problem is that the link [which you can check here] does not work, by no means due to the fault of the comics news site. It turns out that whoever runs the site has since taken it down.

But wait, there’s more!

Luckily for me [and, consequently, you], Internet Archive exists. By taking the dead-end link and throwing it into their “Wayback Machine,” I was able to retrieve the list, available for your viewing pleasure:

THE NRA-ILA’S BLACKLIST FOR THOSE WHO HAVE
OFFICIALLY ENDORSED ANTI-GUN POSITIONS

Does anyone else find it disconcerting that a) an organization that is known for promoting the right to tote firearms has a blacklist of any kind, or b) that they’ve since taken down this page due to it receiving media attention?

Since the NRA considers gun ownership to be a civil right they have dubbed themselves the “largest and oldest civil rights organization in the United States.” I’m not at all implying that there’s anything inherently menacing or threatening about their list, I’m questioning their transparency. If there’s nothing wrong with the list, then why take it down? Was it to hide the fact that there could exist a list so ridiculous that it lumps together R&B group Boyz II Men, actor Jerry Seinfeld, Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc.,  and the Washington Post?

I’m not sure why it happened, but I’m letting you know that it did; what you do with this information is entirely up to you. It also has to do with comics on some level, which you know I can’t not write about.