2012-10-29

Opinions are like arseholes; and everyone wears blinders

Now, we all know opinions are like arseholes, every one's got one, and bloggers are not journalists, they're people with a need to express their opinions and no responsibilities to themselves or their readers. Oh right, I am one, but I don't claim any expertise and I don't have any readers anyway. Yes, yes, hypocrisy!! Anyways, on to my opinions about other people's opinions.

I read Popehat, Friendly Atheist, Jezebel, Feministing, FIRE, and I can tell you everyone's just batting for their own team. (Well, actually, most feminist leaning blogs appear to bat for everyone because they tend to view rights, discrimination, etc as universal human issues. But whatever.)

Popehat is a blog which tackles legal issues. It's usually very interesting, because its contributors are actual lawyers, and nothing beats a knowledgable opinion. A favorite topic on Popehat is speech, and since that's something that interests me and since I am a layman in terms of law I eagerly read what Popehat has to say.
Tonight, I read about a different topic on Popehat: some monks were being prevented from selling their handcrafted caskets because their legislature had passed laws forcing anyone who wants to sell caskets to abide by the same legislation as a full funeral home. Local lawmakers in the pocket powerful lobbyists, a worthy cause, if any.

What's annoying about this, and here's where my opinions come in, is that while Popehat covers this it doesn't cover the legal hoops women's health clinics are now being forced to jump through in order to provide reproductive health care for women.

It doesn't have to, of course. Popehat is a private enterprise, a bunch of people with opinions, who choose which ones to express and who may not be interested in health care, abortion, or women's rights. It's just so fucking annoying.

Popehat has also recently written quite extensively of changes in speech policies at colleges in the wake of recent high profile cyber bullying cases. Popehat's been quite critical of those policies, and not without cause, but Popehat offers no alternatives and offers no opinion on whether prevention of bullying is a worthy goal.

Popehat also covered reddit's new speech policies, again being critical of the restrictions intended to protect individuals from harassment.

I'm fine with criticism, but could someone for once come up with an alternative that allows victims of harassment a recourse? Or, at the very least, could someone come up with a reasonable argument why personal attacks need to be protected? And don't give me the slippery slope BS. We all know the law is perfectly capable of making specific exceptions. See all this shit about trying to make gay marriage illegal? People trying to write specific exceptions into law.

I know, I am picking on Popehat. Sniffles all around, and in the interest of fairness: Friendly Atheist is annoying too. Because, it's just not that friendly. It recently posted a guide on how to ridicule ppl who believe in astrology. Like a lot of atheists, it's adopted the attitude that being rude and derisive is OK and even somehow makes one's arguments more persuasive. I only made it half way through one of Richard Dawkins' books because he is so damn smug.

With Christians, and possibly other religions groups, being put down upon just reinforces their righteousness. For fuck's sake, the Bible is of full of stories of strife and sacrifice, Egypt anyone?

You'll find the same smugness on certain feminist sites. "War on women", the kind of rhetorical baloney that is sure to convince no one except the already true believer.

Anyways, fuck you all, asshats.

EDIT: 5 seconds after posting: a really excellent post on Popehat with regards to reddit and free speech.

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