Monday, February 15, 2016

Lawrence Mooney review spat reveals the shifting sands of social justice

Up until now, social justice warrior (SJW) attacks have followed a pretty clear pattern. A tiny-minded feminist, say, decides to falsely accuse a prominent white male of misogyny. Then all her shrieking frightbat mates join the ambush on social media. Fellow travelling journos report on the issue in an outrageously biased way. The victim is painted as an abuser and he just can't get his side of the story across. His reputation in ruins, he ends up grovelling for forgiveness for a wrong he never committed!

This is of course a bad strategy for him to choose because it just confirms the attackers' narrative. Rather than saying all (or even some) is forgiven, they go in harder and demand his resignation -- if he hasn't been sacked by his spooked organization already, that is. With no support behind him and no other options available, he usually complies. Pumped from their victory, and with another bloody scalp to wave at other potential targets, the odds of his victors' launching another, more brazen attack are greater still...

But this kinda bloodsport has been going on for so long, and rampaging thought police have destroyed so many careers, that people are starting to resist them. Some are actually lefties themselves who have been unfairly targeted, or who have come to the defence of friends who were attacked. So the whole paradigm of social justice war seems to be shifting somewhat...

And here's a current local example involving Aussie comedian Lawrence Mooney that seems to confirm this development. As a prominent white male, he's a potential target. (Though he is a leftie himself, decreasing the odds of an attack.)

Now he's been given a pretty ordinary review of one of his recent comedy shows by an Adelaide journo. While the write-up included a bit of right-on hand-wringing about domestic violence it didn't qualify as an outright accusation of "thought crime" IMO.

In any case it provoked an outraged response from the comic on Twitter. My personal feeling is that he overreacted. But he does have the right to fire back. Critics have got to learn to take criticism too -- even if it's roughly worded.

But because of her gender and his tone he's now upped the ante. Sob sister SJWs have a likely candidate for their next target. There's a chance that the clash will result in a stupid, extended frightbat campaign to severely damage his career. If this does occur, and he does apologize down the track, well, I won't be surprised. But if the Aussie frightbats do declare open season on him I hope he doesn't back down and keeps launching salvos at them.

I think that's what he'll do if that scenario develops because, while the issue trended on Twitter and has received MSM coverage, he hasn't yet apologized as far as I know. Not only that, but some other comics have lent their support. This is quite interesting given the gender and levels of influence of the two protagonists.

And I found this quote significant:

Mooney later told BuzzFeed: “What made me angry was her contention that I’m not a comedian just a funny guy under a spotlight,” he said.

“I’ve had much more brutal reviews. The quaint difference between a comedian and a funny guy. I’ll leave it there.”

It was almost as if he was being the SJW since he was practising a bit of, er, language policing. His accusation wasn't that she was politically incorrect, but professionally incorrect.

Well, whatever occurs subsequently it seems to me that the lines are blurring substantially. This episode, along with others, shows that the nature of the social justice war is changing. People are not just defending themselves against accusations, but launching pre-emptive strikes. If vicious PC bullies in social and mainstream media find this upsetting, it's all good as far as I'm concerned. Great to see them cop some of their own medicine -- particularly from those on their own side!

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