“Can’t Shake the Devil’s Hand:” Arguing With Bigots on the Internet

Over the years, I’ve changed some of my personal policies regarding online political arguments. One of the first conscious decisions I made was that I would no longer use personal anecdotes as evidence. They never changed anyone’s mind, and they only made me vulnerable. Another decision was that I would no longer initiate arguments over trivial and mostly harmless posts. I do have to pick my battles, after all. Lately, I’ve come to a much broader conclusion. There are certain ideas, and indeed certain people, with whom it is not worth engaging at all. There are certain fundamental beliefs that I hold as sacrosanct and incontestable, and if someone contests these ideas, I simply will not engage with them. This may sound stubborn and closed-minded, but these beliefs that I hold as sacrosanct are all pretty basic things like “racism is bad” and “trans people deserve rights.” Continue reading

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Slavoj Žižek, Superstar

The academic celebrity of Slavoj Žižek is a fascinating puzzle. Propelled almost entirely by his sweaty, flippant, fidgety persona, Žižek seized the international spotlight, and wedged the phrase “Lacanian psychoanalysis” into the hipster leftist vernacular. Christened “the most dangerous philosopher in the West,” this stuttering Slovenian has built up a massive base of dedicated fans, appeared on talk shows, and starred in several documentaries. Nobody seems to care much, however, about his actual scholarly work. Not many Žižek fans will be all that eager to discuss The Parallax View, but nearly all of them will be happy to repeat verbatim entire monologues from his latest interview with Vice. In his celebrity status, Žižek has rendered scholarship nearly irrelevant.
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Comics Page

jeremysmallThis past May, I posted a couple short comics about Jeremy Mill, a depressed, anthropomorphic rabbit with a dead-end office job. I’ve drawn a few additional comics about Jeremy since then, and I’ve finally gotten around to uploading them here. They’re available on the Comics page, and from this point forward I’m going to make an effort to post new content to that page somewhat regularly. Which probably means I’ll upload new things in spurts every couple months. So check that out, I guess.

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Neo-Nazis and Free Speech

I thought I’d fire off a quick missive about this. Reports have been circulating about Robert Ransdell, the neo-Nazi who is running as a write-in candidate against Mitch McConnell. Ransdell has been setting up lawn signs throughout the northern Kentucky area emblazoned with the pithy slogan “With Jews We Lose.” Though he has stated publicly that he does not expect to win, he still sees the campaign as an opportunity to spread his white nationalist message and put the fear of God into anyone who isn’t of pure white stock. In sum, he seems like an all-around fine gentleman, if by “fine” you mean “vile,” and if by “gentleman” you mean “putrid clump of diseased pus.”
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Gruzinsky’s Numbers Are Terrible

I made a cartoon. It is called “Gruzinsky’s Numbers Are Terrible.” It is about a man who is bad at his job. I wrote it when I was very tired, and I animated it when I was very bored. I have embedded it above. You can watch it, if you’d like.

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Toward a Foucauldian-Deleuzian Genealogical Metaphysic of Polysemous Signifiers in Juridico-Political Discursive Formations

When, in the pursuance of constitutionally mandated juridical “procedures,” one encounters a signifier with varied and numerous signifieds, how does one proceed? If this polysemous aberration presents itself, makes itself known, in the realm of substantiation, attestation, corroboration, and thus the determination of culpability or irreproachability, the repercussions of equivocation could “be” dire. How does one reconcile a linear––or (rather) binarist––proceduralism with a rhizomatic reality, replete with untold (even untellable?) metonymic slippages and acrimonious ambiguities? For that matter, can one safely assume a rhizomatism in “reality,” or even a “reality” of static persistence? Might not one be better off substituting a sort of verisimilitude for “reality” or “truth,” acknowledging the perfomativities and uncertainties inherent to routine and necessary, but all the same bedraggled “procedures?” Continue reading

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Why to Avoid Abusing the Term ‘Fascist’

An impulse exists among radicals to characterize any and all repressive or reactionary state behavior as “fascist.” Police officers assaulting demonstrators are a display of fascism. The United States government’s numerous illegal wars or wiretaps are fascist. The actions of the IDF in the Occupied Territories are fascist. Any conspicuous display of state violence is fascist. Oddly enough, though, most state actions that left-wing activists readily declare fascist are carried out by liberal democratic governments. Radicals are often tempted to boil “fascism,” a term referring to a complex and uniquely offensive ideology, down to a simple synonym for “repression.”

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