The Wrong Stuff
Mankind lands rocket onto a comet, in a brilliant statement of revolutionary 21st century technology. Badass scientist who helped make it possible forced to publicly grovel because of his choice of shirts:
One of the scientists responsible for successfully landing the Rossetta probe on a comet millions of miles away on Friday responded to outrage directed at a shirt he wore earlier this week during the televised landing.
“I made a big mistake and I offended many people and I am very sorry about this,” the scientist, Dr. Matt Taylor, said during a press briefing, choking back tears and struggling to speak.
As news of the probe’s successful landing shot around the world, so did outrage directed at Taylor’s shirt, which featured images of provocatively dressed women with guns.
"No no women are toooootally welcome in our community, just ask the dude in this shirt," The Atlantic’s Rose Eveleth complained in a tweet.
Really, the Atlantic, you say? The home of excitable Andrew Sullivan at the peak of his uterus detective phase, infomercials promoting Scientology and bad Photoshops comparing John Boehner to an IRA terrorist? Not to mention this recent sexist cover?
Could America have won World War II if the Army Air Force had to waste time dealing with a left throwing hissy fits over all of the provocatively dressed women being painted onto B-17s and B-29s as nose art?
ALL you need to know about modern feminism: Scientists land probe on a moving comet, they want us focused on sexist shirts. @instapundit
— Martini Shark (@MartiniShark) November 14, 2014
As Sonny Bunch writes in his chapter on “Forbearance: Opting Out of the Politicized Life,” in the new anthology of conservative writers on The Seven Deadly Virtues, The Two Minutes Hate of George Orwell’s 1984 “is real today. Here’s how it works:”
An enemy is identified, a crime is announced, and vitriol spews forth. The specifics of the crime don’t really matter. It could be someone saying something nasty—or just unpleasant, or even suspiciously nice—about a protected group. It could be a business executive donating to an outré cause. All that matters is that we are presented with a face to hate. But our Two Minutes Hate is actually worse than Orwell’s, because (1) it’s not directed at constructs like “Eurasia” and (2) the government doesn’t orchestrate it. No, the modern Two Minutes Hate is directed at living, breathing people. And its targets are designated by a spontaneously created mob—one that, due to its hive-mind nature, is virtually impossible to call off.
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One of the most unsettling aspects of the politicized life is that those who embrace it are not un-self-aware. They know what they’re doing and they believe it is right, just, and necessary. Impulsivity is no vice for the self-righteous. And for the self-righteous, forbearance is no virtue. After all, these people are trying to fix the social order! And the sooner they can fix it the better. Patience? That’s for the privileged. “Be patient” is what the powerful tell the marginalized to keep them quiet. As the bumper sticker says, “Well-behaved women rarely make history.” And bumper stickers are never wrong. (You might even think of them as the ancient progenitors of Twitter.)
How many of these twitter-based Alinsky-style attacks from leftwing social justice warriors (aka, the John Birch Democrats) will society take before the form wears itself out?
Update: "Just to be clear, Rose Eveleth of The Atlantic is a horrible person, who took what should have been one of the best days of a man’s life, a day of doing something no human beings had ever done before, and ruined it in order to feel important," Glenn Reynolds writes. "She should be apologizing, not taking Twitter victory laps.” Exactly.