I Wear My Egg In Solidarity: Thoughts on the Perils of Academic Blogging

by on 2013-08-21 in Duck- 35 Comments

egg1Sometime in my first year of blogging, I read on the Internets that President Mugabe’s troops had burned a six-year-old alive in front of
his parents. I was horrified, it was late, I was tired and already pissed off at something completely unrelated, and I foolishly fired off a blog post provocatively entitled “Why Not Assassinate Mugabe?

The point of the post, actually, was that there are a whole bunch of really good reasons why the anti-assassination norm exists and holds in such cases. But naturally no one paid any attention to that, and by the time I woke up I had been called out for inciting violence against a head of state. After watching the comments and blog responses pour in the next morning I checked with my co-bloggers about what to do. Should I remove the post?  Edit the post? Reply to the comments? Ignore them and move on? Resign?

It was a learning moment for me as a blogger, but it was also a small constitutive moment in the (at that time) gradually expanding Duck community’s process of figuring out our collective rules of thumb for dealing with mistakes, hot-button moments, or outright gaffes. We rely on those rules of thumb precisely because like most group blogs, the Duck is not a magazine with an editor making decisions about content and style. We are a collection of academic writers who drink together at conferences and write what we like for free under a general set of pretty free-wheeling informal understandings about what the Duck is about. Despite what readers seem to think when they harangue Dan Nexon with hate mail or call for us be “fired” when we write something controversial, at the Duck no one has control over the content or fate of a blog post besides the individual blogger.

This is also true of this post by the way: while I am speaking here about my Duck colleagues I do not claim to speak for them. That said, I can confidently say that members do share feedback on what we find appropriate or less so (and we don’t always agree). We also share experiential knowledge about how to handle gaffes, errors, omissions or controversial topics. And then members let the author make their own choice, and respect it whether or not we agree with it (as I personally respect though do not agree with Brian’s decision to resign). Sometimes, when we systematically disagree, we have group discussions about what the shared norms ought to be going forward. Some of these were eventually codified these into a written policy. Others are informal guidelines we do our best to follow and sometimes screw up. From time to time things happen that give us a chance to discuss whether we need to change or update our formal or informal guiding principles. (For example the recent discussion over Brian’s now-removed post led to an interesting question about whether offending posts should be removed or left up. We decided that our policy going forward is to leave posts online once the first comment hits and try to deal with them as learning experiences.) Above all, as a community of writers, we try our best to handle disagreements, even severe ones, with respect. And we expect the same of commenters. We also rely on commenters to respectfully communicate when we’ve gone too far.

The discipline as a whole is experimenting with blending serious academic writing with satire. It’s not always pretty. I am personally among those (including Brian) who agree this particular  post crossed a line.  I also empathize with how easy it is to make mistakes when blogging. The Mugabe post wasn’t the last time I wrote something as a blogger that I later wished I hadn’t. There were times when I put both my feet in my fat, wide-open mouth, usually when I was trying to be funny… like when I jokingly referred to the elite team of Foreign Policy bloggers as a “albino sausage-fest” in a passage that was meant to imitate the mocking expressionism of Courtney Messerschmidt while calling attention to race and gender representation in the elite blogosphere. Instead, I simply came off as disrespectful because unlike Messerschmidt – or Brian Rathbun* – funny is not my comparative advantage.

Then there were times when I just got things plain wrong and felt silly afterward. Remember the Fukushima explosion? That blogger urging the far left not to jump to scare-mongering without sufficient facts from nuclear engineers – that was me, during my blogging stint at Lawyers, Guns and Money. Turns out this was a case where a little scare-mongering was well in order worry was certainly justifiable. Even if there was a germ of sense to my argument about critical thinking at the time, my post failed because I didn’t know enough about what I was writing on to weigh in constructively, plus I knew full well I couldn’t competently check my sources since I was blogging on the fly in between conference panels, and so my call for critical thinking itself was a failure in critical thinking.

There are also times when I wrote or said exactly what I meant but communicated poorly.  I once penned a rant about the pronunciation of the word “nuclear” which Duck commenters were the first to claim was “bullshit.” It took a careful, nuanced follow-up post with evidence (instead of a rant) to make my point. Similarly at LGM, my casual and un-elaborated-on refusal to choose a “race” on a census form led to accusations that I was a racist and a faux liberal, prompting me to write a follow-up critical of these reactions.  But as a commenter pointed out in the follow-up thread, it makes a big difference whether you make an argument like that flippantly or with care and nuance – and s/he was right.

These are moments I wish I had handled differently, and the moral of the story (for all you graduate students and junior scholars who have asked me about the risks of academic blogging) is that almost anyone who blogs long enough commits these and other kinds of errors sometimes either due to sleep deprivation, carelessness, pressure from readers to have an opinion on something fast, or the sheer odds and that fact that we are all flawed human beings with biases, tunnel vision, and moments of immaturity and poor judgment who attempt to write sensibly usually while multi-tasking on our day jobs. Sometimes we fail.

That said, a certain amount of vitriol on comments threads of academic blogs has less to do with what or how an author writes than with the fact that they are writing something that challenges a particular viewpoint in ways that make people uncomfortable. In that situation, commenters can choose to have a reasonable debate or a debate filled with ad hominem attacks. I have been and always shall be an advocate of the former. Young scholars considering blogging, especially female scholars, should be prepared for the latter.

You want to talk about sexualized name-calling, dismissiveness, and gendered disrespect in our discipline? I have been treated with far more sexism, derision and open disparagement in the academic blogosphere for holding a dissident opinion on this subject or making a mistake on that than I have ever been at an academic conference.  In the space of a few weeks, for example, I was labeled an “anti-American radical feminist” (and not in a nice way) on a right-wing academic blog for questioning the behavior of US troops as evidenced by Wikileaks’ revelations.  I was simultaneously called a “cunt” on a progressive left-wing academic blog comment thread for questioning leftist dogma on the political impact of Wikileaks’ methods. My discussion of international legal terminology in media coverage of the Afghan War Diaries was referred to as “horseshit.” There are far worse examples but I refuse to link to them.

So when I watched commenters on this blog use and justify the use of terms like “ass” to disparage those they disagreed with last week – however legitimately – in the context of a discussion that is supposed to be about respect, it made me worry. My co-blogger and colleague Brian Rathbun made a mistake out of carelessness/cluelessness in a post written late at night, aimed at no specific person, a post actually intended to shift power dynamics in the field in favor of junior scholars, but which also did unquestioningly make light of a sexualized power dynamic harmful to many scholars. He then retracted it and apologized. That well-intentioned atonement is more that I have ever gotten or will ever get from readers, bloggers and commenters across the political spectrum who have deployed a very similar power dynamic to engage in actual, deliberate, blatant, sexist, sexualized, public disparagement of me and other female scholars and public intellectuals over the years as a way of dismissing our ideas when we dare to make a mistake or are simply politically unpopular. In fact if there’s one thing I predict as a result of this post, it is that some people won’t like what I have to say very much and that some will be mean and disrespectful as they communicate those feelings.

Blogging is a risky business. I am glad we are now having a productive open discussion about what that all means and how to change it. I am often asked by junior scholars, especially women, about whether they should blog, whether the benefits outweigh the risks, whether blogging can damage a career. Male or female, one thing to recognize is that if you blog, you’ll probably screw up sometimes just like me, Brian and countless others. If you group blog, people will sometimes try to hold you accountable for the mistakes of your co-bloggers. And even when neither you nor your co-bloggers truly screw up, people will sometimes hate what you write and communicate disrespectfully anyway. So for blogging, you need to be able to think very critically about which is going on in a certain case in order to respond appropriately. You need a group of colleagues who will support you in figuring out how to fix your mistakes and make fewer going forward, just as we’ve tried to create at the Duck. You need a thick skin. You need to be willing to stand up for what you believe, engage with those who argue constructively and ignore vitriol, accept corrections when they’re valid, apologize quickly when necessary and know when to just start ignoring the comment thread and go back to work.

I managed to continue blogging this long despite this sometimes toxic environment partly because I tend to ignore or laugh off most of this stuff (though the comment threads of this week got me thinking about whether by doing so I’m contributing to the problem, which is partly why I’ve written this post and taken some stands against incivility). But I have also kept blogging because I believe that over time respectful engagement (and respectful non-engagement) does work. It is part of what distinguishes the academic blogosphere from the partisan punditry of so much media – the ability to take and defend a position of your own. It is also part of what makes the blogosphere, potentially, a place where we get to practice real deliberative democracy: the act of taking positions from a place of reason, expecting push-back, listening openly to others’ views, changing our minds if the evidence merits, agreeing to disagree when it doesn’t, doing our best to find common ground and avoid offense, and apologizing when we mess up accidentally or through thoughtlessness. And finally, the willingness to accept apologies when offered and move on.

I sure hope the next time I write something sloppy or offensive or plain wrong that I will be big enough to apologize as Brian was, and that my audience will be big enough to forgive me. But it is the moving on that is crucial. For if there is one key risk of academic blogging for young scholars, it is not the risk that you will be tarred for life by one gaffe or another, but it is the possibility of your work-days being filled up by the effort it takes to recover, retract, engage, defend, or worry about what the rest of the world thinks about every post. If you blog, you will offend someone eventually. If you blog, you will probably offend a lot of people occasionally. You’ll learn from it. You’ll make amends as well as you can. You’ll move on.


*Make no mistake. Despite the claims of various critics, Brian Rathbun‘s sometimes risque satire of our profession – on conference attendance, fieldwork, primary data, large-N data, rational choice theory, postmodernisms, pedigree - has been perceived as not only funny, despite the claims of various critics, but also as “brilliant,” “tremendous” and “too good a writer to be a political scientist” (read the comment threads on any of these links for more accolades by readers). Even IR feminists have liked his stuff: for example Laura Shepherd heralded him as “awesome and hilarious” in her comments on this post. Brian’s fan following by the Duck commentariat was a big reason he was invited to join as a permanent contributor in the first place. Though I respect his decision I’m very sad that the result of these events is that he feels he must step back. I have hope that he will consider submitting  (and has an open invitation to contribute) guest posts to continue his series “Stuff Political Scientists Like.” He will be deeply missed as a permanent contributor here at the Duck.


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35 CommentsAdd yours

  • Charles Cameron - 2013-08-21

    Hi Charli:

    You write:

    QUOTE: Then there were times when I just got things plain wrong and felt silly afterward. Remember the Fukushima explosion? That blogger urging the far left not to jump to scare-mongering without sufficient facts from nuclear engineers – that was me, during my blogging stint at Lawyers, Guns and Money. Turns out this was a case where more than a little scare-mongering was well in order. :UNQUOTE

    Your link with “well in order” goes to an article on http://www.globalresearch.ca, described on RationalWiki as “a left-wing equivalent to WingNutDaily” — http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Globalresearch.ca — not a site I’d trust in these matters.

    A far better resource would be Cheryl Rofer at Nuclear Diner, who wrote
    about Fukushima this week:


    Cheryl is a nuclear chemist, and you can get a sense of the work she’s done from another post:


    Also useful is the xkcd graphic here, which deserves to be clicked and viewed full size…

    All in all, I hope you feel better about supporting critical thinking and disencouraging scare-mongering… I think you had it right the first time!




  • Charles Cameron - 2013-08-21

    I’m sorry, I left out the xkcd post. It’s at http://blog.xkcd.com/2011/03/19/radiation-chart/

  • Charles Cameron - 2013-08-21



  • kerokan - 2013-08-21

    Being funny is hard and risky, especially when you’re speaking to strangers on the internet as opposed to people who know you personally.

    My favorite bloggers are smart, informed and rarely funny. Examples: Marginal Revolution and Stephen Walt on FP.

  • DonaldDouglas - 2013-08-21

    Oh Charlie. That must have taken an hour to write, and for what? You’re not going to appease the Duck of Minerva lynch mob.

    Either way, “I’ll be back.”

  • Philip - 2013-08-21

    On the blogosphere disagreement is rare. That is, no one ever says ‘I disagree with you and here’s why…’. No, the response usually is more along the lines of ‘you’re an nasty, despicable agent of XYZ. I believe that your offhand, barely thought through blogpost allows me to pass judgement on the very inner core of your character and that core is an empty, rotten husk of slithering, insidious evil. A plague on your house, sir. A PLAGUE!!!11!!’

    Or, you know, something like that. Not so much disagreement as self-righteous damnation.

    If someone on the blogosphere thoughtlessly writes something that’s, for example, a bit sexist then it’s concluded that they are utterly sexist to their very inner being and thus should be strung from the nearest electronic lamppost. And this, so often, in the name of compassion and critical thinking!

    Anyone who claims to have never written or said something that they later regretted deeply is either a fool or a liar. It’s a matter of freedom of speech – we all have a right to say stupid things and then, upon reflection, take them back. That’s debate. That’s dialogue. Neither of these things are possible if our thoughts at T+0 must, on pain of ridicule and banishment, be identical to our thoughts at T+x. We have to be allowed to make mistakes.

    But, of course, it’s tremendously satisfying to eviscerate another human being from the comfort of your armchair/laptop. I know, I like that too. But it’s not a good habit.

  • Ronan Fitzgerald - 2013-08-21

    Everybody needs to get a grip and some perspective, is my 2 cents. I mean you’re academics, dont you pride yourselves professionally on adopting detached, sophisticated positions? (not to CC but to the commentators)

  • reassuredonblogging - 2013-08-21

    Way to go Charli.

  • Charli Carpenter - 2013-08-21

    (Laughing at self). On a post in which I celebrate the making of stupid mistakes blogging-while-tired, I make one. This was definitely not the link (one of several I glanced at late last night) that I meant to copy to that post. Thanks for the comment – I have taken the liberty of switching it to a Reuters story instead.

    I will add that I still don’t feel that I understand enough about nuclear engineering to be able to say how worried anyone should be so I have updated my post slightly to clarify my statement. Still not generally a fan of scaremongering of course but the point is that there are moments as a blogger when it’s best to wait to weigh in outside your expertise. I appreciate the informative links you added to this thread.

  • Charli Carpenter - 2013-08-21

    Oh, Donalde.

  • Josh Busby - 2013-08-21

    People make mistakes in writing and in speech, sometimes more publicly than others. In the pre-blogging era, I wrote a thankfully unpublished op-ed that said some very positive things about the upcoming effort to upend Saddam Hussein’s regime on the grounds that he was an authoritarian monster. Given the way the occupation turned out (and I should have seen it coming), that was a colossal exercise in bad judgment,. In a sense, I could take that back because it hadn’t really gone anywhere. In the blogging era, we live with those things forever, in cached copies and people’s memories and comments and their references in their blogs.

    In my personal life, I was once asked how I handled a case of unrequited love. I answered with a flippant and tasteless joke, and I couldn’t take it back. It was out there. Every now and then, I think about how my friend’s estimation of me cratered at that moment. I wish for a do-over but you can’t go back. But those were hurtful word, and in the scheme of things, not that big of a deal in the arc of my own experience where I’ve tried to be a good person.

    I’m sure Brian feels the same way about this whole episode. As much as I found the recent post to be extremely problematic for all the reasons people have said, Iike Charli, I also appreciated many of Brian’s other posts that tried to take the piss out of a profession in danger of self-important navel gazing. His posts walked that taste line in a way that was inherently dangerous, as they played with stereotypes in a way that potentially reified rather than challenged them. Still, it’s a shame that he couldn’t pick himself up from the recent kerfuffle and learn from it on the blog.

    We also have to put this in to perspective. We have a platform that allows us to write about the great challenges of the day, from the ongoing events in Egypt and Syria, to climate change, to the very real violence and abuses against women around the world. I am hopeful that people will return to the Duck for these topics in the coming days because I think we all still have a lot to say and a lot to learn.

  • Dan Drezner - 2013-08-21

    I’m afraid I must vigorously disagree with Charli: “albino sausage-fest” is, in fact, pretty funny.

  • Colin wight - 2013-08-21

    Great piece Charli, but my overall reaction to the whole affair is….’Oh groan!” Yes that’ll get me in trouble. Do I care. Guess. Edit: Charlie, to Charli. F******G IPhone….!!!!!!!!!

  • Amanda Murdie - 2013-08-21

    Thanks, Charli. This was an awesome post. Blogging is a great way to get my research and the research of others into the public discourse. I’m very glad to have friends and colleagues that recognize both the dangers and the real payoffs blogging can have for junior scholars.

  • J.-P. Papin - 2013-08-21

    I’m surprised no one has made the connection between the “offending” blog post and the fact that it was attempting to be funny. Comedy is a VERY difficult genre to pull off in written form when there are no non-verbal cues and you cannot judge your audience etc. I think the principal lesson from this sorry episode is that scholars are simply not cut out to be comic writers.

  • Jon Western - 2013-08-21

    Charli, this is well said, but I would add that I don’t think your larger point is limited to blogging in academia. Fifteen years of teaching in the liberal arts has taught me that there is a lot of improvisation in the classroom which means teaching can also be filled with many of the same potential pitfalls — especially when we spontaneously inject humor or satire to shake things up a bit or when we move too quickly through a question or discussion thread in the classroom and make a mistake of fact or judgment. All quite common and I’ve made more than my share of blunders. I’ve also seen very talented teachers make incredibly stupid, head-scratching, what the hell were they thinking, mistakes that nearly ruined their careers and reputations.

    In the end, satire and humor often can be very effective in teaching and in blogging — and, in fact, are necessary to some extent (an often highly appreciated when done well re: “stuff political scientists like”) in both enterprises. The challenge is finding the right balance within the appropriate social and communicative norms that are often shifting and expanding. It’s not always easy, but I’m guessing my classes would be a lot more painful to my students if I didn’t try.

  • J.-P. Papin - 2013-08-21

    I agree that humor can be a welcome addition to the classroom. But that underscores my point. Teaching is a performance where the (intersubjective) comic act is easier to accomplish. What backfired for Rathbun was trying to make a serious point using comic writing – his failed comic performance sabotaged his message. That’s unlikely to happen in a classroom situation!

  • Stephen Saideman - 2013-08-21

    I tend to use humor a lot in my classes and have to try to balance things better as too much is too much . But when teaching 600 students, you have to use every tool to keep things lively.

  • Megan H MacKenzie - 2013-08-21

    Great post Charli. As a young/relatively new blogger I sometimes feel like I’m writing around land mines- you never know what might set off a reader and evoke interesting/provocative/angry/personal/indignant comments. I feel like blogs are meant to begin conversations not stifle them. And like ‘real life’ conversations, that means that sometimes we ‘say’ things we wish we could rephrase or take back (or at least we say things that other’s think we should take back).

  • Daniel Levine - 2013-08-21

    I appreciate what this post is trying to do, Charli, and it’s a start. But I think it only does half the work. Blogging has ‘come up in the world’ at the same time that the Duck’s editors have gone from being a collection of junior scholars to junior-senior folk of some note. You folks are — in broad disciplinary terms — my senior colleagues, and the senior colleagues of many others. In that vein, it’s important to acknowledge — as I think you begin to do — that this, being a new literary form, is a work in progress and so the ethics that guide it are as well. Some of that’s inevitable, and the only other choice would be not to write at all. (sometimes that choice is appropriate or morally indicated, but I don’t think it’s the case here)

    But given that the blog and many of its contributors are senior folks, editors of prestigious journals, etc., I don’t think it’s quite enough to say ‘well, I’ve messed up, and so will you; we learn by doing.” That was enough in the 1990s when Duck’s writers outnumbered its readers. For where you all are now — and this should be understood as a good thing, a mark of how the blog has succeeded — some more systematic reflection as to the ethics and obligations of readers and writers should follow. Otherwise, the point about a learning arc to which you allude will be accused of bad faith.

    Think of the now quaint-sounding sorts of editorial messages that were common in the early days of newspapers and certain kinds of enlightenment-era philosophical books: “dear gentle reader…” they often began, “…please understand what we are trying to do, and how we are asking to be read by you…” Those statements tried to set up a bond of trust between some writers and some readers, in part to tame a conversation that will otherwise become as nasty and ad hominem as it appears now to be. One will need a thick skin either way, of course…but all writers need that — from Derrida to Mike Royko.

    Let me press this logic a bit further. The work of blogging is risky, sure, but the real risk is not the egg you’ll wind up with on your face, ie, how it will make you feel; nor even, rather, because of how it will make other, younger scholars feel and whether or not the sense of whether the conversation is open to them. Those questions matter; but what matters even more is that you were trying — in good faith, I think — to speak to a horrific reality, a child being burned alive in front of her/his parents. If that event pushed you out of the detached form of good judgement you’d normally have, I don’t blame you one bit. If a debate over process and inclusion/exclusion over ‘who gets to talk about that event’ eclipses the horror and compassion which that event _itself_ ought rightly to summon us to — then we are reproducing in practice a kind of colonialist exclusion that all of us reject in theory, even if it’s the last thing we meant to do.

    All of this takes me quite far from the event which started these posts. I think Brian is a VERY smart guy; I thought the original post offered some good advice, and I like his scholarship very much. But I also have to admit that he and I fall on the same side of the ‘albino sausage fest’ gender/race divide. How would it read if I did not? Would it even have occurred to me to write more thoughtfully, or wisely, given that I do share that side of those divides with him? Truthfully, I dunno. I will be more careful now, but that’s only by virtue of what this exchange has opened up for me — post hoc ergo propter is the easiest kind of ‘hoc’ — and what that teaches me is that I need to be, as a reader, rather circumspect and generous — as much as I can possibly be. And when I’m writer, to apologize when that proves insufficient, as it sometimes will. Brian, as you note, did that.

  • Ralph Hitchens - 2013-08-21

    He’s got talent & is irrepressible; not likely he’ll hide his light under a bushel for long.

  • Dan Drezner - 2013-08-21

    Duck of Minerva was around in the 1990s?

  • Dan Nexon - 2013-08-21

    I’ve been trying to think of something clever to say about that all morning.

  • Dan Drezner - 2013-08-21

    I KNEW you guys were on VH1′s “I Love the 90s!!”

  • Charli Carpenter - 2013-08-21

    Dan L,

    Thank you for your extremely thoughtful comment on my post. Dates aside, I think it’s a very interesting question. In my view, what has changed most about the blog is not the seniority of its authors but the diversity of its audience. I think that means we need to be more cognizant of who we’re writing for if our goal is to communicate in a way that on balance resonates rather than offends; it also means that we need to develop a certain level of tolerance for offending because as the readership diversifies any given post will bother someone and that is not always going to mean anyone needs to apologize for anything. For the same reason, we should be able to expect comment threads to become more heated as more diverse voices weigh in, which is another reason why I wanted to flag the importance of civility at Duck comment threads.

    All that said I do have a thought about the seniority issue as well which I think I might leave on Dan’s thread instead.

  • Daniel Levine - 2013-08-21

    Yeah, fair enough on the dates. I saw it right after I posted it, but then felt — given the subject matter — that oversights like that ought to stand. Sorry all. Reply on the meat of Charli C.’s reply after I’ve had time to think about it. (Drezner, if it helps, I was listening to “mmm mmm” at the time of writing…)

  • Kiera Z - 2013-08-21

    “Brian… retracted it and apologized. That well-intentioned atonement is more that I have ever gotten or will ever get from readers, bloggers and commenters across the political spectrum who have deployed a very similar power dynamic to engage in actual, deliberate, blatant, sexist, sexualized, public disparagement over the years as a way of dismissing ideas…”

    No shit, Sherlock. It astounds me that IR types could get so bent out of shape about an unintentional gaffe aimed at no one by Brian, a writer known to http://www.whiteoliphaunt.com/duckofminerva/2011/06/stuff-political-scientists-like-5-large.html chide trolls on his threads for making racist or sexist remarks, when IR professors like Donalde Douglas are out there openly demeaning specific women with impunity as a rhetorical tactic and using sexualized tone and imagery to demonize individual IR scholars in our community. If the APSA Women’s Caucus wants to fry a fish… I’m just saying.

  • Mhysa - 2013-08-21

    I wouldn’t say “with impunity.” I think he’s faced some lawsuits. Plus Laura has taken him to the woodshed a few times, and aside from generally “ignoring” and “laughing off” Charli also once wrote this post at LGM as a satirical response to Donald’s behavior toward her. It’s pretty damning, as are the links to the stuff he writes.


  • Kiera Z - 2013-08-21

    I didn’t know he’s had legal trouble. No wonder he’s so eager to associate himself with Brian, for whom people have some respect and empathy, and who has weathered this incident – far more benign than most of what’s on Donald’s blog – with actual grace.

    I’ve seen the Dreame post – he actually posted it on the other thread as an example of why he’s a victim. Whenever people call him on his bullshit, like this guy did when he tried to take credit for Charli’s bloggig hiatus, he curls up in a little self-righteous ball. It never occurs to him to apologize for being an… er… behaving disrespectfully.


  • Mhysa - 2013-08-21

    Wow. Dracarys.


  • DonaldDouglas - 2013-08-21


  • Mhysa - 2013-08-21

    Wow. Dracarys.


  • Anon - 2013-08-22

    Regarding the perils and pitfalls of blogging, this is a great post. Regarding the controversy at the Duck, I find this contains a disappointing set of analogies . The strangest one to me is the analogy between Brian’s post and your post on Mugabe. The latter was a post written in a moral panic, trying to figure out how to address a real problem. The assassination references were topical and germane to the issue. The former was a crass and tasteless reference to child rape that was not germane to the issue. Both may mistakes, but there are a lot of apples and eggs comparisons in this post.

    I agree about moving on and accepting the apology, but the constant need to defend the post frankly has bothered me more than the original post itself. The use of analogies to belittle opposition to oppression, after all, is a normal strategy that is used to hide political domination.

  • anon - 2013-08-22

    Should read ‘may be mistakes’

  • Daniel Levine - 2013-08-22

    my reply to your reply’s posted there too.

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