Notes from New Sodom

... rantings, ravings and ramblings of strange fiction writer, THE.... Sodomite Hal Duncan!!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Door, I Show You It

Dear citizens of New Sodom,

Dear commentariat of this blog,

But most of all, dear clueless cuntfucker,

On the previous post to this you will find a comment wildly misconstruing my crude détournement of the Sochi 2014 Olympics by the (hardly subtle) insertion of swastikas, in (fairly direct) reference to the IOC's stance of collaboration with fascism. This comment, asking how Russia sheltering Snowden classifies as fascist, is surprising and dispiriting--I'd have expected more civic responsibility of any citizen of New Sodom, expected enough savvy of the situation beyond New Sodom to get the significance immediately, or at least enough sense of the core concerns here as to not require a cluebat to send one in the right direction--but it is not in itself an outrageous faux pas. However, the responses to my correction of this incomprehension are... problematic.

A simple correction of incomprehension requires at most acknowledgement; what is neither required nor desired here is clueless nuisancery. In the eight or nine years this blog has been running, I've yet to ban a single commenter or even delete a comment for reasons other than spamming. Instead, even with outright homophobic abuse cut-and-pasted by flyby asshats, I've elected to respond, to let asinine comments stand as self-evidently asinine, preferring to unpack their idiocies for the entertainment of readers and for the exploration of folly's intricacies. I am not however a man of infinite tolerance, and there are particular (ill-)manners of discourse that will try my patience to the point of ire. Faced with persistent recidivism in application of such, having been quite clear at numerous points in the past on the fact I regard such behaviour as boorish, sadly it seems there is no other way to get through to some than to address a particular example directly and draw a line, to say that I will no longer tolerate this particular flavour of asshattery.

When I post something like the mock-up poster below, and you so wholly miss the point that it requires nothing more than a correction to point you in the right direction, this is a simple misunderstanding, and it should not be difficult to respond to that correction appropriately. The responses on the post below are not appropriate. They are so characteristically inappropriate, to be clear, that I have considered the possibility that there is a lack of sincerity at play here--that surely only outright trollery would produce such graceless rot. But trollery is not, I think, the case here, simply the bad faith of a snipewank who remains sincere even as he stretches his argument into petty dishonesty, untruths-to-self that are sustained (unlike those of the troll) but fundamentally insubstantive, expedient rhetorical nonsenses employed more for the gameplay of discourse than anything else. From the words snipe and wank, the meaning of the composite term should be clear. Suffice to say that this, more than crude cretinous bigotry, is what I consider inappropriate.

Even so, I would not be making this post were snipewankery the only problem. Unfortunately, the inflated self-esteem of the snipewank entails a hauteur that's bound up with one's sense of entitlement, a belief in one's authoritative judgement, and when the post in question is that of a queer writer addressing queer concerns, the hauteur of a straight snipewank can cross the line and become cuntfuckery. The arrant presumption of telling someone they're "doing it wrong" takes on a whole new dimension when placed in the context of members of abject social groups having to endure such condescension as a systemic refusal to recognise equality--as women endure mansplaining, so queers endure straightsplaining, and as the personal assumption of superiority automatically renders this snipewankery, the cultural interpersonal capital bolstering that assumption on the part of straight men renders it cuntfuckery.

And cuntfuckery is where I draw the line.

So, with this blog renamed to Notes from New Sodom and its ethos cemented in that conceit, with those responses in the previous post as examples of discourse incompatible with that ethos, in the interests of clarifying just where that line is drawn and why, here is a more appropriate response to the correction of your cluelessness, for future reference:

"Oh, you mean the combination of the swastika with the Sochi 2014 Olympics logo is a caustic comment on the IOC pandering to Russia's resurgent fascism? Doh! My bad. That should really have been blindingly obvious, shouldn't it? Now that I think of it, I'm not sure how I could be so oblivious as to fail utterly to spot the connection between the symbol of fascism and the actions of fascism. I mean, actions like in that photo all over the internets where the blackshirted Occupy Pedofilyaj skinheads have an Uzbek teen stripped and on his knees holding a dildo. Or the video with the kid who gets piss poured over him by another gang in this growing movement. Or the countless incidents over the last few years of LGBT activists getting the shit kicked out of them by organised mobs of street thugs while the Russian police looked on and/or helped the self-identified nazis--back when those LGBT activists were still actually allowed to march, that is. Why I wouldn't make the connection between 20th century fascist street thuggery and 21st century fascist street thuggery, I just don't know.

"Fuck, man, the fact that St Petersburg's law against the promotion of homosexuality is now state-wide, Putin happily riding the wave of prejudice in which 74% of Russians, according to a Pew Research Center study, say society should not accept homosexuality... the fact that Russia has confirmed it will apply those laws to visiting athletes and supporters... the fact that the IOC when questioned about the support they'd give LGBT athletes actually warned them of further punitive action should they step out of line... and what with Stephen Fry leading protests that made prime time BBC News, even drawing explicit parallels to 1936 in his open letter to David Cameron and the IOC... really, I'm not sure what I was thinking. What the fuck else would that image be about but the IOC going beyond complicity with Russian fascism and into outright collaboration? Why the fuck I thought it had anything to do with Snowden, I have no idea. The idea that imagery referencing Russia, fascism and the Olympics would be referencing Russia, fascism and the Olympics... it's really a no-brainer, huh?

"The more I think about it, in fact, the more I realise, using my natural human powers of Theory of Mind, that my utter obliviousness must surely have been... well, tedious at best. Sensing the irk in your curt response, I appreciate your forbearance in placing responsibility for my wild misreading of the obvious target--the IOC's appeasement of Russia's burgeoning fascism--not with myself but with the mainstream news which has so wholly failed to appraise someone like me of this dire situation. I can imagine how frustrating and dispiriting it is to run into such blithe ignorance of the resurgence of fascism, how difficult it must be not to lash out with a bitter fury at those of us who have the luxury of ignorance here, those of us who can afford to place homophobic fascism so far down in our list of priorities that we don't even see the blatant significance in that image. It must have been galling, I imagine, to see the resurgence of fascism in Russia--the kidnapping and torture of your fellow queers--so far off my radar. That you'd curb your anger in the face of obliviousness, withhold judgement on the ignorant individual and instead direct blame at the mainstream media... I appreciate that.

"Indeed, when I think of how I missed the point despite your increasing focus on queer politics here--c.f. the recent posts on segregation, or Bert & Ernie, or Da Vinci's Demons, or simply your identification as THE.... Sodomite Hal Duncan!!--I realise now how my errant interpretation of that image wouldn't just be gobsmacking in its obliviousness of the queer political context, the obvious real world referent. I realise how it speaks of a complete disregard of your perspective as a human being with their own agency. Not only was I grinding your face in the fact that the situation on Russia so little impinges upon my consciousness that your image went over my head; I was grinding your face in the fact that despite everything you've been banging on about on this blog for the last few years, it didn't even occur to me that you'd be coming at this from a queer perspective. I fabricated an authorial intent out of whole cloth, imagining that you, a Scottish anarchosocialist sodomite, would for some unknown reason have suddenly become a zealously Americanist critic of a whistleblower on the current surveillance state overreach, and such a fervent one indeed that you'd (bizarrely, incomprehensibly,) compare the regime sheltering said whistleblower to the nazis. Of all things, I projected onto you a random stance of rabid US patriotism. To you, I can only imagine, that must have seemed a flagrant disregard of the very notion that you could have a queer perspective.

"What I mean is, not only did I ram it down your throat how little a straight person could care to know about the homophobic fascism in Russia; I rammed it down your throat how little they could even have that iota of consideration required to anticipate you caring about such fascism. To you it must have seemed that I demonstrated not just a jawdropping ignorance of the situation in Russia but a breathtaking disregard of the very notion that a homosexual employing the swastika in a work of art might be referencing the fascism which strives to exterminate homosexuals. Wow. It's one thing for the kidnapping and torture of gay kids in Russia to have so little impact that, despite the agitation against the Sochi Olympics, a random commenter on such an image sans context wouldn't make the connection. It's another thing for your consistent advocacy on queer issues to have so little impact on a recurrent commenter like myself that I'd fail to make the connection even in the context of your blog.

"So I'm guessing that you read my comment and were staggered, aghast at my inability to get where you were coming from, that you could get your head around me being ignorant of the IOC's collaboration with fascism, but really didn't know quite what to make of the fact that after years of reading and commenting on this blog I still somehow managed to obliviate your core concerns. That even with the tub-thumping of the immediately preceding entry, I'd not just disagree with your priorities but lack even sufficient cognizance of their existence/possibility to prompt the realisation that they were in play. I'm guessing you were profoundly saddened by my failure to stop and think for even a second that THE.... Sodomite Hal Duncan!! might be firing off another of his potshots at the cuntfuckers. I'm guessing you wondered how indicative this might be of a wider disregard, how far other straights might be similarly bound into such a straight perspective, so incapable of imagining what goes on in a mouthy queer's head that it wouldn't even occur to them that you were being a mouthy queer again, despite your active presentation of self as a mouthy queer, as THE.... Sodomite Hal Duncan!!

"Yup, thinking this through with my amazing human capacity of Theory of Mind, I see now how that oblivious comment probably played. And now that I know where you're coming from, that poster makes so much more sense. And having been oblivious of the situation in queer politics you were referencing--hell, so oblivious even of your queer perspective that I didn't even consider you might be applying it here--well, I'll simply stand corrected and accept your caustic comment on aforesaid situation for what it is. You see the IOC's collaboration with Russian fascism as collaboration with Russian fascism. Nuff said. I thought you were on about something else entirely. You're not. So I'll shut the fuck up now.

"Far be it from me to compound my cluelessness by blathering on about my own concerns with the US government's attitude to Snowden, spouting some irrelevant opinions about the motivations that will, in my not so humble opinion, underlie a US boycott, as if a Scottish sodomite would and should see Russian fascism and the International Olympic Committee's collaboration with it through a US filter. A Scottish sodomite who may or may not give a shit about that particular surveillance state politicking, but who's certainly made it clear that this is not the issue being addressed. As a regular reader of your blog I understand the concept of derailing, and I imagine you really wouldn't like me trying to draw you into a discussion of my unrelated concerns on a post expressing yours.

"Nor will I end that blather with a reassurance that there's no problem here... as long as your opinion on this entirely unrelated issue is acceptable, as if the onus is on you to renounce the stance I fabricated for you out of whole cloth, as if despite my total misreading of your actual target, what required to be resolved was not my error but the wholly imaginary disagreement I projected on you. For me to do that would, I appreciate, be just absurd. I imagine your gobsmack at the first comment would be veritably dwarfed by such a bizarre turn in the discourse, if I were to actually have the audacity to condescend so, to present myself as letting you off from an argument after I've been so resoundingly obtuse. I'd come across as a complete cock, wouldn't I? Or cuntfucker, to use your term. I can put myself in your head, imagine how it would look to you--as a near comic pompousness in which I actually think it's my station in life to discharge you of the heinous offense of disagreeing with me in my imagination. What an assumption of authority that would be!

"And what I certainly won't do then is condescendingly dismiss that caustic comment with a supercilious admission that it's amusing but... For a start, I can see how your combination of the symbols is hardly meant for my amusement. It might constitute a sort of visual satire, I suppose, but really... it's not exactly meant to be laughed at, is it? To see a comment on such an issue as mere joke would be a trivialisation of your intent, right? I don't imagine you were chortling to yourself merrily as you pasted it together. Now I know what it's referring to, I can quite imagine it comes from a bitter raging disgust at the IOC's collaboration. Given that I don't imagine everyone in the entire world bar me to be ignorant, I'm sure you of all people had no more illusions about the IOC's spineless attitude than I, see it similarly as mere dismal confirmation of an ugly reality, but that's not going to magically dissolve the furious contempt that surely motivated you in slapping that image up on your blog. So I wouldn't think to pat you on the back over how funny it is... but...

"Nor will I follow up that but with a bizarre analysis of an ex-KGB boss's agenda as idealistically anti-Communist--like Hitler's(!)--as if such an analysis somehow negated the situation: neo-nazi gangs kidnapping and torturing gay teens; 74% of the population saying society shouldn't accept homosexuals; anti-gay laws expanding from St Petersburg to the whole country; Putin presiding over all of this; the IOC collaborating. Or as if it negated the purpose of a pointed visual comment on that situation. I mean, I do understand how the word but works, so for me to use it like that would, I understand, be to essentially say that regardless of the value of humour I find in that image, really, there are other factors outweighing that value. Simply to include that but would be an unfathomable signal that I'm about to open an argument aimed at silencing you, at establishing the facticity of something countermanding the justification for the post provided by the humour.

"I understand that to place a but here is to say that what follows is a counter-argument. I understand that after completely missing your entire point in my first comment, I'd now be slingshotting from irrelevant US-blinkered waffle topped with an absurd acquittal (from the crime of an imaginary opinion) to the outright obnoxiousness of arguing that there are reasons against a caustic comment which, in slapping a few swastikas on the the Sochi Olympics logo, does little more than point to the current situation and say we're dealing with fucking fascism. Knowing how the word but works, I know that I could only be presenting what follows as a delegitimising criticism of that comment, as a challenge to your choice to construct and post it. It does offer me some amusement, I'd be saying. But still. And yet. However. Nevertheless. Regardless of this. For the following reasons, the implication would hang in the air, that amusement is inadequate justification.

"What could I even follow that with? Some nebulous handwaving about Putin being anti-Communist? And the next time you tell that story about not being allowed to debate Section 28 at school because the teacher feared it would breach Section 28, maybe I'd say, That's terribly droll, but Thatcher was actually anti-union. At best surely I could offer a false dilemma between criticising IOC collaboration with Russian fascism and criticising the Fellowship's instigation of Bahati's Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda. I'd probably also betray my ignorance by talking vaguely in terms of US support and Africa, as if the former were mere cheerleading and the latter were an inchoate mass. But the main cuntfuckery would be my use of an either-or fallacy to agitate at you for your inaction on A when I could instead be agitating elsewhere for action on B, thus solving the false dilemma. That's generally how political agitation works, after all. If all of us wasted our time simply agitating for each other to do B instead of A, neither would be dealt with.

"In ranking Russia below Uganda here, I'd also be obliviating the exact same rhetoric being utilised in both, as I'm guessing you could link me to--but don't worry, I'll go look it up myself; I'm sure it's easy to find--of homosexuality being described as foreign to the native culture, unAfrican or unRussian. Why, I'd be obliviating the fact that you have, on this very blog, highlighted not just the Fellowship's influence in the very inception of Bahati's bill, but the supremely dubious links between the Fellowship and Invisible Children, the latter with their whole Kony2012 campaign to send US military advisors into Uganda to train their armed forces. I'd be obliviating the fact that you were agitating about B precisely when the Kony2012 campaign made this a priority. In my overweening assumption I'd be erasing history--albeit on a small personal scale--just to sustain my bogus argument against your present stance against Russian fascism.

"And without even a moment's consideration that you might be attacking homophobia on that other front in ways I don't have a fucking clue about, I'd be a straight man, of all people, telling you, of all people, a queer man, that as far as queer activism goes you're doing it wrong. How could I defend that? If you managed to curb your utter contempt at the sheer hauteur of a straight idiot like me trying to dismiss a single image post with my correctitude, if you refrained from pointing out my arrogance in presuming to enlighten you on what was more important--when I'm so fucking clueless on this matter that I didn't even get the queer significance of that image in the first place--if you made only the simplest acerbic response, pointing out that to highlight one massive festering boil of homophobia is hardly incompatible with action in the face of another... what could I say to justify my swaggering conceit in seeking to rectify your grave error in posting that image?

"Not being an ignorant cuntfucker, I've heard terms like mansplaining and straightsplaining. I know that the latter is what I'd be doing with you, that you'd class this as cuntfuckery, and that given your lack of compunction in dealing with cuntfuckery, I'd be positively begging for the full brunt of your fury. What could I, a cuntfucker, possibly say after telling you, a cocksucker, that you're doing it wrong when you point to the situation in Russia instead of to the situation in Uganda? Were I to impose my bumptious egoism on you in your own virtual home, with neither cognizance nor consideration of the fact you do not need some random cuntfucker to enlighten you on how important Uganda is, what could I possibly say to make this anything less than insufferable boorishness?

"Would I quibble? Would I concede that in principle one might object to both, that in theory one might post a cut-and-paste image attacking IOC collaboration in Russian fascism and yet still, with the 23.5 hours of the rest of the day, and with fuck knows how many hours of the days before or after, manage to also agitate against US activities in Uganda? Would I deign to allow this as a speculative potential, but do so only as a preliminary to the assertion that (in practice) you must choose your priorities or have them chosen for you? As if this were some grand wisdom I were dispensing unto your pitiful folly. As if you needed me to tell you this. As if it didn't occur to me for a second that you might actually be exercising that capacity to prioritise what matters now, that you might have actually been exercising it as regards Uganda during that whole Kony2012 thing--maybe even before! In context, surely that would be of a kind with the infantilisation of women or people of colour, the inveterate tendency of the white cuntfucker to treat the abject as intellectual and emotional inferiors requiring education. It would also be head-deskingly ironic for me to warn you of how, in your feeble inferiority of unfocused aims, you risk having priorities imposed on you... precisely as I myself am seeking to impose my priorities on you.

"No, no, I wouldn't be so patronising. I wouldn't spew out some more blatherous opinionation when I'm pretty sure you couldn't give two smears of a shit on a stick that I think Putin's trying to curry favour with the Russian Orthodox Church--being more concerned, I'd guess with that 74% of the population who'll actually give serious exterminationist power to any opportunistic demagogue who knows how to capitalise on it. I'm pretty sure you don't give a flying felch-crazy flip-fuck what I think about US politicking over Snowden; I mean, having completely gotten the wrong end of the stick over this and met with only irk at my doing so, it's clear you're not remotely interested in arguing about this with me, defending the opinions I imagine you have so I can impose my correctitude on them; so I'll shut the fuck up about that. You probably don't much care about my judgement on the notion of the Olympics in principle either. Or what I think of the wholly irrelevant subject of Zionism. To start throwing such random opinions would just be a smokescreen.

"All of that would be empty prattle, and obviously unwelcome in the face of the brusque sarcasm I'd no doubt have got from you for you're doing it wrong straightsplaining. The idea that you shouldn't make a caustic comment about Russian fascism and the IOC because it's a terrible waste of the time you should have spent making the noise you already made a year ago... clearly that would raise at least a derisory snort from you, and in the face of such it would be clear that I am now, at best, as far as you're concerned, an excruciatingly tedious oaf whose inveterate snipewankery long since left you wondering why the fuck I even read your blog. I think the message would be clear, no? That my seemingly infinitely high valuation of my opinion is in inverse proportion to your own valuation of that same opinion. If I carried on despite the cues indicating you considered this behaviour obnoxious, that heedless discourtesy would surely seem born of the sense of entitlement that leads a guest to to so take their host's hospitality for granted that they think nothing of insulting them even as they hang around long after they've outstayed their welcome.

"So I wouldn't do that. I'd just shut the fuck up. I wouldn't end my pointless self-absorbed wittering about Snowden and Putin and Miranda and corporatism in sport and Zionism(!) with a comment that an author's meaning can sometimes be lost, despite their best intentions. I'd know by then that all you'd hear is the soulsucking nasal whine of an ignorant egoist with too much self-image invested in their smarts not to spin their mistake as an author's meaning being not actively misunderstood but passively lost, spin it indeed as the author's failure to live up to best intentions. I'd know that such a comment, after all the clueless incomprehension and arrogant assumption, all the condescending dismissal and insufferable correctitude, after all the utter guff, would just seem a final cherry on top, an attempt to recast my obtuseness as your opacity. In the face of outright incomprehension that symbols of Russia, Olympics and fascism might refer to Russia, Olympics and fascism, you'd surely be thinking, I still have to make it about you being wrong. I'm not sure you'd call that blaming the victim, but it would certainly be a self-serving attempt to turn responsibility for my cuntfuckery on to you.

"So I'd inflict none of that obnoxious wordspew on you. If you corrected me without even a sniff of personal criticism, just a roll of eyes at a lack of good reportage, I'd simply acknowledge that correction and move on. It's not like I'd need to save face, after all. It's not like my egoism is so bloated (or so small and desperate and over-compensating) that I can't accept I was wrong even when tacitly absolved of responsibility for it. It's not like I need to wheel out a whole set of rhetorical maneouvres--derailing, assumption of authority, trivialisation, silencing, delegitimising, false dilemma, erasing history, correctitude, straightsplaining, infantilisation, smokescreen, sense of entitlement, blaming the victim, whatever--in some vague hope that something in all that cuntfuckery will... what? Draw you into a spurious debate on my bogus nonsense so that somewhere in the mire of bad faith I can persuade myself that I've re-established my correctitude, that regardless of my complete incomprehension of an image well nigh as simple and obvious as they come, I can be proud in my correctitude and disdainful of your wrongosity? Why the fuck would you put up with that sort of shit?

"No, there's just no need for it. Actually, come to think of it, since I'm not going to lay that sort of shit on you, it's not like I even need to tell you that. You don't need to know what cuntfuckery I'm not going to crap all over your blog. So I could probably boil all of this alternative response down to something much simpler. When it comes down to it, at the end of the day, there's really not much more I need to say than this:

"Oh. Right. My bad."

And there you go. Oh. An expression of surprise. Right. An acknowledgement that the correction is received and understood. My bad. An acknowledgement that as a citizen of New Sodom such a spectacular obliviousness is something of a faux pas, a disregard of the core concerns here, where you are at least expected to exercise the minimum of awareness of what those concerns might be. Hell, even if you don't know shit about Sochi and can't think it through enough to use the arcane mysteries of Google and your amazing human powers of Theory of Mind to ascertain the obvious, that faux pas isn't even a big deal. I find it hard to imagine how you can read this blog, have that misconception cleared up and not face-palm at how obvious the referent is in retrospect, but I'm not one to require a show of apologies for a stumble--or for anything really. What I do ask is that you don't take that stumble as an opportunity to springboard into snipewanking cuntfuckery so tedious it seems designed to irk. Those bolded words throughout, they're not that hard to avoid if you put a bit of effort in, if you have the respect for others required to do so.

If you are incapable of commenting with even the modicum of respect required to construct such a response--of either the long or short variant--then simply do not comment here. You are not welcome. Fuck the fuck off, you cuntfucking cuntfucker, and never darken my fucking door again. Capiche? Do not argue with this, my dear Snipewank. You have the choice of either accepting that, as far as I'm concerned, you're clearly incapable of communicating with me other than as an insufferable boor, or of believing what you will of my antipathy and knowing simply that this virtual abode will no longer offer virtual hospitality. Should you choose the former, the above should, I hope, provide you with an adequate dissection of why and how that effect is engendered in your manners of discourse. Please to learn from it and apply the principles in future.

Should you choose the latter, I have no intention of suffering you being an insufferable boor over whether or not it's reasonable for me to see you as an insufferable boor. I have no interest in a tedious discourse with you on your correctitude and my wrongosity in that respect. There is no way for you to hold to this without judging all of the above to be written in bad faith, in which case you have zero respect and discussion is futile. If you can't get it through your skull how shit like that comes across and adjust your behaviour accordingly, I will in all likelihood simply start deleting your comments. To give no leeway, not to give the benefit of the doubt even when it is thoroughly trying to do so, goes against the grain with me, but I take comfort in the fact that I've no doubt--not an iota--that you'll consider this a proof of your correctitude and my wrongosity, a refusal to engage with the mighty ego intellect before whom none can stand. That is your prerogative, and I'll leave you to it.

I will also however invite you to leave with it. Go with my best wishes--genuinely, sincerely, I find you insufferable, but I wish you all the best, these well-wishes simply including a hope that you might at some point recognise the boorishness I'm rejecting as unacceptable discourse here, that you might realise how you're presenting yourself, interrogate your attitude to others, and become a better person for it. At the moment, I'm simply no longer willing to put up with it--which is my prerogative--so I'll bid you goodbye.

Hugz and kittehz

THE.... Sodomite Hal Duncan!!


UPDATE: Email response to an email received:

I'm genuinely surprised to hear that you're not straight. I'm assuming you've mentioned this before somewhere, so I happily accept that--I can only presume your mention of this at some point has just not stuck in my memory. Bear in mind, you're just a faceless "S. Johnson" to me, somewhere out there in the US, a teacher--science, as I recall? Your comments have been predominantly on science versus religion, sf versus fantasy; I don't know you beyond those opinions, and clearly I've missed or forgotten whatever mention of sexuality you made. I've been reading your comments for as long as I remember as those of some straight US teacher who seemed to have zero interest in me other than as someone to castigate for expressing opinions you disagree with, or for *not* expressing the opinions you consider (unquestionably) correct.

For that assumption on your sexuality, I unreservedly apologise, and only hope you'll appreciate that a whole lot of my frustration--not "hurt feelings," not sensitivity, but frustration--was based on a genuine belief that a straight man was lecturing me from a position of cluelessness, and determined to impose their concerns over mine. You can expect an amendment/retraction to that entry shortly. I'd rather not delete it, can't pretend it was never said, but I'll certainly not cover over my mistake. Maybe if nothing else, *that* will convince you that it was written in good faith, that no matter who you are on the other end of the internets, this is how you've been coming across. Perhaps the most open and honest thing I can do is post this letter beneath. If I look like a fool for that assumption, fair enough.

Other than that: I have no idea where you get the idea I'm right wing from. I'm not. I've lionised the Red Clydesiders and the International Brigades in my fiction. The latest novel is an anarcho-socialist atheist humanist détournement of the gospels. Kissing the ass of the US? I'd have thought I'd made it clear on numerous occasions that I find the culture self-deluded to the point of dangerous, its patriotism etc. beyond ethically bankrupt. I'm not fond of the UK either, which is currently having its own fascist resurgence, just with the EDL focusing on immigration rather than sexuality. Not to mention the actions of the UKBA. And so on. The idea that I wouldn't tell bitter jokes about David Miranda, Glenn Greenwald, and Bradley Manning because it "wouldn’t be good business" is risible. Trust me, if I were a stand-up at the Edinburgh Fringe right now, the developing dystopia those stories reveal might well be the bulk of my material. If I refused to be drawn on Snowden, it's not from some support of these surveillance state(s), simply because I've found our exchanges increasingly sour and unproductive.

Why so? You repeatedly seem to decide that if I have not told you my opinion on something--e.g. Snowden, the Russian Orthodox Church, Miranda, Manning, all of which by all indications I basically agree with you on--I must actually hold the diametrically opposite opinion... and must be corrected on it. For fuck's sake, if I so much as say that I'm more concerned with the power of a massive homophobic majority populace, to you that means I "look kindly on the Russian Orthodox Church." It's not a see-saw. If I find X more worrying than Y, that doesn't mean I'm waving the flag for Y. Except to you, it seems, it does. Every single time we debate I find myself being castigated for opinions I *do not hold*.

Even in your email you project that I think "everyone will understand that a Sochi boycott is about fighting hideous oppression of gays." No, I expected people to understand the significance of the image. I see nothing in the US regime to make me disagree with your claim that a boycott, if it did take place, would have a whole other agenda. But I don't actually want a one-off boycott of Russia. If the IOC go ahead with Sochi, I'd rather see every nation with a concern for human rights withdraw forever, putting the bullshit lie of the "Olympic spirit" to the sword. (It's been bankrupt since 1936. Hence the "Timeless" in that title.) I've said so publicly, just on Twitter rather than the blog. I don't consider any such withdrawals remotely likely. Still, I'll happily make the connection between 1936 and 2014, because I think that connection needs to be made, in part to highlight the resurgence of fascism, in part to expose the collaborationist sideshow we're all likely to be having in two years--after which, with or without a boycott, we'll simply hold the next games elsewhere and everyone will spew utter bullshit about how they've been "redeemed."

Anyway, there's no real point in this discussion, is there? I'm glad you've written this as, to be honest, the contempt in your plain-faced insults is what I've been picking up from you since Day One; it's refreshing to see it without the thin veil of pseudo-courteous disrespect. So, as I say, I'll revise that post to make it absolutely clear how wrong I was about your sexuality. You are clearly not the cuntfucker I thought you were. But now that we're both nice and open about the fact we just don't get along, to put it mildly, can you please just find someone else to enlighten? Given your stance that my "tender regard for Zionism is bigotry," I'd suggest you go find that Red Wolf blogger to whom I'm that "Liberal Brit genre writer Hal Duncan who equates Zionism with fascism and Muslim extremism." I'm sure you'd get on like a house on fire.




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