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Source: (consider it) Thread: Conversations With People Who Hate Me
mr cheesy
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# 3330

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Dylan Marron is a comic. He makes videos and is active on social media.

He is also a self-described "flaming queen" and often writes and talks about LGBT+ issues.

OK, so what.

In the course of making and publishing these videos Dylan has been subject to a lot of flaming, threats and other unpleasantness.

I'm sure we've all seen or heard about this kind of thing.

But what makes Dylan Marron interesting is that he's made a podcast where he phones up people who have left flames and other derogatory comments and tries to have a reasonable conversation with them.

I couldn't care less about his videos - which seem to me to be fairly generic, not-funny, yabber-yabber. But the podcasts are really interesting. Partly I think because Dylan Marron is a genuine person who is obviously trying to listen and understand the point of view of someone who has a very different outlook on life to him.

But - and this is the thing I'd like to talk about - a big part of it is that those who posted really nasty things online turn out to be puppies when they're being recorded on tape. Many apologise for saying the things they said - they were drunk, or they were venting, or they didn't think Dylan was going to read the comment amongst thousands of others. There has yet to be a podcast where Dylan phoned someone and received the shouting and bile that might have been expected from the commenter who wrote that comment.

Maybe that's because it wouldn't be a very interesting podcast, so they haven't released the audio (ie it is a self-selecting group of people who are willing to talk on tape). I've no idea.

But it strikes me that this is an illustration of the Ring of Gyges - maybe we all act in certain ways when we don't think anyone is watching. Maybe speaking to someone in person on the phone is enough to lift the corner of the "invisibility ring" so that the discussion can be about the disagreement rather than just shouting and returning flames from unknown and essentially anonymous commentators.

OK, now I've written all that down it looks a bit lame. I'd be interested to hear if anyone has been listening and what you make of it.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

Posts: 9829 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
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# 368

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I've not yet, and it isn't lame mr c. Look at us all here, semi-invisible.

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Love wins

Posts: 16592 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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It is a well-known feature of the internet. The anonymity allows people to be far uglier than they might be with the social barriers up. You have read of the women who, when they receive nasty dick photos, research the sender and then forward the shot to their mothers? That must lead to some fraught dinner-table conversations.
Which is why on some blogs/sites/boards the screen name is forbidden. You are there in your real person. Keeps you honest.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

Posts: 5356 | From: Washington DC | Registered: Mar 2014  |  IP: Logged
Tortuf
Ship's fisherman
# 3784

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I think you have hit on an important idea. We behave one way when we feel "safe" from direct interaction and another when we have to face the consequences of what we do.

Think about behavior in traffic. Somebody gets cut off and they tailgate, try to cut that person off, etc. If the same people were walking and someone else wandered into their path I suspect the response would not be the same at all. There would be no metal door and glass window to shield them and no escape route by speeding off.

As suggested, the internet is the same way. People do not face reaction to what they do on a personal level. If they are confronted with what they have done, as in the podcasts, they have a motive and opportunity to experience contrition.

I feel in many ways the same about the nazi demonstrators who got identified and called out and then plead that they weren't really doing what they were seen doing. Marching around in a large group is "protection" and the group brings power and safety to hate speech.

When I see people on the Internet whining about they can't say something anymore I believe the same dynamic is occurring. What they really mean when they say they can't say something anymore is: "I can't say what I want to say about people of that different race because they get mad at me and my friends say I am being a jerk." Or, "I can't say women should stick to their kitchens and stay out of politics because I get called out on it."

The thing is, if you are acting with integrity what other people say about you is a reflection on them and really has nothing material to say about you. If you are not acting with integrity, you might just have earned what you are getting.

Posts: 6836 | From: The Venice of the South | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
quetzalcoatl
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# 16740

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This phenomenon is well known to people dealing with mobs or angry collections of people or people acting out. Start a one to one relationship with one of them, and they will probably act and sound very differently.

Hell, teachers do this all the time with a trouble-maker. Have a one to one chat, and see if you can find common ground.

It doesn't always work, of course!

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no path

Posts: 9515 | From: UK | Registered: Oct 2011  |  IP: Logged
quetzalcoatl
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# 16740

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I forgot to say that I used to work with quite violent people in therapy, and one thing they find difficult is to sit down and talk, especially about their feelings. They want to act them out, and thus avoid them.

But you can succeed with some people, those who are prepared to actually relate to somebody, instead of acting out.

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no path

Posts: 9515 | From: UK | Registered: Oct 2011  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
It is a well-known feature of the internet. The anonymity allows people to be far uglier than they might be with the social barriers up. You have read of the women who, when they receive nasty dick photos, research the sender and then forward the shot to their mothers? That must lead to some fraught dinner-table conversations.
Which is why on some blogs/sites/boards the screen name is forbidden. You are there in your real person. Keeps you honest.

There is this - but then it is also more than this. The people in this instance can't have been entirely anonymous otherwise Dylan wouldn't have been able to contact them to have a conversation.

I don't know exactly where he found these people to talk to, but it sounds like many left comments below youtube videos - so there must have been some discussion whereby someone with some random handle like streetfighter36 admitted he was actually Jack from Oregon.

I'm interested in that process: why exactly someone who left an apparently hate-filled message behind the mask of a handle - or even if it wasn't (eg via facebook) - responded positively when Dylan, the object of their scorn, contacted replied to them.

In the early episodes, the podcast was still being made - so the interviewees were not aware that it was going to be called Conversations with People Who Hate Me, which in a way makes it even weirder. Why would someone who left a flame comment agree to be interviewed on tape by the person they'd flamed? Why would they agree to be unmasked as someone who leaves horrible messages like that?

Do you think it was that they thought they'd have another opportunity to give Dylan a "piece of their mind" in person and then were wrong-footed when it turned out that he is a bloody good listener and refuses to get angry even when the things others are saying are really disgusting?

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

Posts: 9829 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Boogie

Boogie on down!
# 13538

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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
This phenomenon is well known to people dealing with mobs or angry collections of people or people acting out. Start a one to one relationship with one of them, and they will probably act and sound very differently.

Hell, teachers do this all the time with a trouble-maker. Have a one to one chat, and see if you can find common ground.

It doesn't always work, of course!

And, even more often, with parents. Some really can't deal with someone who is persistently and constantly calm and reasonable.

'If I don't run you can't chase me'

As a young teacher a deputy headteacher used to scream and rant at me (because I stood up to her, on behalf of TAs she bullied) and I got excellent practice at this. I confess, I was young and some passive aggression slipped in. I was dying for her to hit me so that I could sue her! She came within a hair's breadth of doing so.

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Garden. Room. Walk

Posts: 12545 | From: Boogie Wonderland | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
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# 368

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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
I forgot to say that I used to work with quite violent people in therapy, and one thing they find difficult is to sit down and talk, especially about their feelings. They want to act them out, and thus avoid them.

But you can succeed with some people, those who are prepared to actually relate to somebody, instead of acting out.

I'm re-reading Steve Chalke's Radical: Exploring the Rise of Extremism and the Pathway to Peace and it scares me how much we're not listening as a dominant culture to those who then feel compelled to act out their idealistic feelings.

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Love wins

Posts: 16592 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
LutheranChik
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# 9826

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I get very depressed reading online posts by people -- who seem to totally lack empathy or a moral compass of any kind. For instance, there was a recent situation in Florida where two female Navy corpsmen in a military hospital were caught posing African-American newborns in offensive ways while filming themselves and laughing about " little Satans." Of course most people were enraged by this, but under the article I read several young men asked ehat the big deal was, since the infants had no cognition of what was happening. I honestly couldn't tell if these were trolls trying to trigger more outrage, or if these guys truly don't understand why treating babies like puppets while putting on a racist minstrel show -- or indeed posing unconscious or cognitively challenged patients for laughs while someone is filming the shenanigans is a morally reprehensible thing.

While I suppose it's good to one that there's a kernel of humanity in some of these people, I still don't understand the motivation to be an asshole. Are these peoole so needy of attention? I don't understand.

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Simul iustus et peccator
http://www.lutheranchiklworddiary.blogspot.com

Posts: 6258 | From: rural Michigan, USA | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged


 
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