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Author Topic: HP Lovecraft on Republicans
Blayne Bradley
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quote:

"As for the Republicans—how can one regard seriously a frightened, greedy, nostalgic huddle of tradesmen and lucky idlers who shut their eyes to history and science, steel their emotions against decent human sympathy, cling to sordid and provincial ideals exalting sheer acquisitiveness and condoning artificial hardship for the non-materially-shrewd, dwell smugly and sentimentally in a distorted dream-cosmos of outmoded phrases and principles and attitudes based on the bygone agricultural-handicraft world, and revel in mendacious assumptions - such as the notion that real liberty is synonymous with the single detail of unrestricted economic license or that a rational planning of resource-distribution would contravene some vague and mystical ‘American heritage’…- utterly contrary to fact and without the slightest foundation in human experience? Intellectually, the Republican idea deserves the tolerance and respect one gives to the dead."

--- H.P. Lovecraft.

Assuming this quotation is true that's just awesome.

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capaxinfiniti
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Considering Lovecraft died in 1937, the republicans he was speaking of aren't the same as republicans today. Apparently HPL was a conservative until the Great Depression when he switched sides to become an FDR New Deal Democrat and alleged socialist.
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Blayne Bradley
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And it the quote practically perfectly applies to todays republicans.

-outmoded phrases.
-nostalgic huddle
-cling to sordid and provincial ideals
-real liberty synonymous with 'unrestricted economic license'

Everything pretty much applies perfectly todays Republicans, it's just left open enough for it to fit like a glove.

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Samprimary
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Lovecraft was a bigoted, racist prick enamored with all the absolute worst forms of virulent ethnographic hatred. If he didn't like republicans, that speaks well of republicans.
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Rakeesh
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http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=1776

This is a funny look at the perils of just looking to someone such as a fiction author and praising their politician opinions, even without the added problem of it being nearly a century later: those people are *frequently* not very praiseworthy, or at least not as praiseworthy as would be desired, outside of their speciality.

No shame in that, usually since it's because they're *really great* in their speciality and it's very difficult to be that good at multiple things, especially very different things. But sometimes, as with Lovecraft, it's a bad thing to do because they're actually pretty high on the asshole ladder outside their speciality in a few areas. This is one of those times.

It's not awesome what Lovecraft had to say about the politics of his time. In fact, his blasting of Republicans would if it's accurate be a boost to them if it *could* be applies today, and that's a stretch.

Just because you don't like them doesn't mean everything anyone says bad about them is cool.

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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Lovecraft was a bigoted, racist prick enamored with all the absolute worst forms of virulent ethnographic hatred. If he didn't like republicans, that speaks well of republicans.

I don't see the relevance.
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Flying Fish
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Lovecraft was a bigoted, racist prick enamored with all the absolute worst forms of virulent ethnographic hatred. If he didn't like republicans, that speaks well of republicans.

I don't see the relevance.
Well, let me explain, and it shouldn't even take very long. Suppose there was someone you knew to be a bad person, whom you also knew to be wrong on just about everything. You probably don't want to hold that person up as an authority, or make that person an example you wish to follow.

In this case, it's well-documented that Lovecraft hated all kinds of people based on skin color, country of origin, and religion. Knowing that, Lovecraft isn't a good person to point to as a judge of other people -- even Republicans!

Get it?

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Destineer
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Lovecraft was a bigoted, racist prick enamored with all the absolute worst forms of virulent ethnographic hatred. If he didn't like republicans, that speaks well of republicans.

Wow, it took me way too long to realize that the article you linked was itself written by a racist. Ha!
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Rakeesh
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Lovecraft was a bigoted, racist prick enamored with all the absolute worst forms of virulent ethnographic hatred. If he didn't like republicans, that speaks well of republicans.

I don't see the relevance.
Yes, you do. Lovecraft was an idiot when it came to politics. Therefore it's not really a zinger on Republicans that he had bad things to say about them-again, idiot.

Unless your original point was to bust on Lovecraft, which clearly it wasn't, I think you get that point pretty clearly.

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Blayne Bradley
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Did you just call me and idiot?

Whistled since its a blatant tos violation? Before my self restraint/sanity meter drops.

I think if you want to keep the high ground of "don't lash out at other people when your wrong." you can hold off on the personal attack hmm?

And maybe apologize? I think an apology is in order, you can argue the point without having to resort to personal attacks and insult throwing or would you rather I resort to your level?

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Parsimony
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I think he was calling Lovecraft an idiot, not you, Blayne. I can see how the construction causes confusion, but he originally referred to Lovecraft as an idiot, then called him an idiot again.
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Rakeesh
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No, Blayne. I didn't call you an idiot, I called Lovecraft an idiot when it came to politics and pointed out why it's sometimes risky to point to people outside their specialties-because they're rarely as good outside their specs as in, and sometimes they're idiots.

I then pointed out why it was relevant.

I haven't called you an idiot, I've directly challenged your overall idea in this thread and explained why. You're welcome to 'stoop to that level' as you like.

But maybe you'd like to instead infer that Americans are stupid, lazy racists instead?

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Samprimary
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quote:
you can argue the point without having to resort to personal attacks and insult throwing or would you rather I resort to your level?
Insinuating that personal attacks and insult throwing are his level: a personal attack, insult, etc.

Let's talk some more about whose levels are whose.

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Jeorge
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To be fair, it's pretty tough to read Rakeesh's statement any other way than calling Blayne an idiot; I'm pretty sure he needs a different punctuation mark if he intended something different. So it's hard for me to fault Blayne for reacting strongly...
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Flying Fish
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeorge:
To be fair, it's pretty tough to read Rakeesh's statement any other way than calling Blayne an idiot; I'm pretty sure he needs a different punctuation mark if he intended something different. So it's hard for me to fault Blayne for reacting strongly...

Well, every human being has the right to react strongly when being called an insulting word like "idiot." (Although "idiot" is pretty mild on my epithet meter).

But isn't it a little ironic to see a supposedly grown man adopt an attitude of high dudgeon and indignity when being called "idiot" in the middle of a discussion which he started, which exists for little reason other than to insult a whole class of people? A thread running adjacent to that selfsame person's thread in which he insults the people of an entire country?

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Rakeesh
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I can see why Blayne thought I was calling *him* an idiot, but I disagree that that's the only way that segment could've been interpreted. It never occurred to me as I was writing it that it'd be read some way other than "again, because he's-Lovecraft-an idiot," especially since that's the point I was on, and since I was specifically *not* attacking him before and since that bit.

No, I'm afraid this just goes back to personal history between Blayne and I in particular, especially the 'owes an apology' bit. No insult was given, so no apology was given.

Now we can get back to the not responding to direct challenges to the overall thread topic already in play. OR perhaps we could talk about the way people will seize on any favorable voice, no matter how nasty, if it agrees with them.

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0Megabyte
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I am confused. Where does Rekeesh even insinuate Blayne is an idiot? He was clearly talking about Lovecraft being an idiot in regards to politics. That's how i read it before Blayne went into hysterics- unless! Maybe Blayne IS H.P. Lovecraft! That sounds like a fun short story idea: an author is somehow immortal, and long after his faked death, reacts with loathing about how his personal views have become treated with loathing themselves. Sounds really fun to me.

But I jest. I am cleary nor seeing what other people are seeing. Weird.

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mr_porteiro_head
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Blayne, for every time you publicly ask somebody to apologize to you, how many times would you guess that you publicly apologize to someone else?
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Kwea
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Lovecraft was a bigoted, racist prick enamored with all the absolute worst forms of virulent ethnographic hatred. If he didn't like republicans, that speaks well of republicans.

I don't see the relevance.
I am not surprised.
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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
I can see why Blayne thought I was calling *him* an idiot, but I disagree that that's the only way that segment could've been interpreted. It never occurred to me as I was writing it that it'd be read some way other than "again, because he's-Lovecraft-an idiot," especially since that's the point I was on, and since I was specifically *not* attacking him before and since that bit.

No, I'm afraid this just goes back to personal history between Blayne and I in particular, especially the 'owes an apology' bit. No insult was given, so no apology was given.

Now we can get back to the not responding to direct challenges to the overall thread topic already in play. OR perhaps we could talk about the way people will seize on any favorable voice, no matter how nasty, if it agrees with them.

Well it appears that this time thankfully I was wrong and jumped to the wrong conclusion, but in my defense it IS hard to read it except in that way.
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Flying Fish
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True enough. He wasn't saying that you ARE an idiot; he was saying that you're vibrating foolishly in response to and repeating thoughtlessly the stupid statements made by an idiot.

There's a difference.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Well it appears that this time thankfully I was wrong and jumped to the wrong conclusion, but in my defense it IS hard to read it except in that way.
I really wouldn't say it's hard to read it any other way, but I see why you did read it that way.

That said, it would be nifty if the discussion on the original topic picked up again.

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The Rabbit
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Presuming that this quote really was made nearly a century ago, it is rather amazing to me how similar it is to accusations currently leveled at republicans.
quote:

"As for the Republicans—how can one regard seriously a frightened, greedy, nostaligic,, huddle of tradesmen and lucky idlers, who shut their eyes to history,and science, steel their emotions against decent human sympathy, cling to sordid and provincial ideals exalting sheer acquisitiveness and condoning artificial hardship for the non-materially-shrewd, dwell smugly and sentimentally in a distorted dream-cosmos of outmoded phrases and principles and attitudes based on the bygone agricultural-handicraft world, and revel in mendacious assumptions - such as the notion that real liberty is synonymous with the single detail of unrestricted economic license or that a rational planning of resource-distribution would contravene some vague and mystical ‘American heritage’…- utterly contrary to fact and without the slightest foundation in human experience? Intellectually, the Republican idea deserves the tolerance and respect one gives to the dead."

I find the quote interesting, despite the source, because I would not have found it in the least surprising if it had been written yesterday by some left leaning blogger. The only thing it's missing is accusation of racism and sexism.
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Flying Fish
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I think a lot of commentators and bloggers
(on both sides of the aisle) today have far worse things to say than Lovecraft did (although far less elegantly). The greater question is this: when you wake up one day and find that your view of your contemporaries is best stated by channeling the screed of some personally loathsome long-dead bigot, do you sit down and ask yourself what that says about you and your relationship with the world?

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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
Presuming that this quote really was made nearly a century ago, it is rather amazing to me how similar it is to accusations currently leveled at republicans.
quote:

"As for the Republicans—how can one regard seriously a frightened, greedy, nostaligic,, huddle of tradesmen and lucky idlers, who shut their eyes to history,and science, steel their emotions against decent human sympathy, cling to sordid and provincial ideals exalting sheer acquisitiveness and condoning artificial hardship for the non-materially-shrewd, dwell smugly and sentimentally in a distorted dream-cosmos of outmoded phrases and principles and attitudes based on the bygone agricultural-handicraft world, and revel in mendacious assumptions - such as the notion that real liberty is synonymous with the single detail of unrestricted economic license or that a rational planning of resource-distribution would contravene some vague and mystical ‘American heritage’…- utterly contrary to fact and without the slightest foundation in human experience? Intellectually, the Republican idea deserves the tolerance and respect one gives to the dead."

I find the quote interesting, despite the source, because I would not have found it in the least surprising if it had been written yesterday by some left leaning blogger. The only thing it's missing is accusation of racism and sexism.
Exactly.

Just because Lovecraft was probably a bigot doesn't negate how hilariously apt his 100 year old criticism is nowadays.

To use a current example Orson Scott Cards essays aren't discredited because of his stance on SSM but on their own merits or lack thereof.

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Flying Fish
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quote:
Originally posted by Flying Fish:
I think a lot of commentators and bloggers
(on both sides of the aisle) today have far worse things to say than Lovecraft did (although far less elegantly). The greater question is this: when you wake up one day and find that your view of your contemporaries is best stated by channeling the screed of some personally loathsome long-dead bigot, do you sit down and ask yourself what that says about you and your relationship with the world?

Congratulations. Blayne! You have sat down, asked yourself that question, and are entirely comfortable with the answer.

I wager that somewhere someone is reading this and squirming at the possibility that you are now representing his position, and using the words of that paragon of personality, that judge of his fellow man, good ole Howard P. Lovecraft, to do so.....

Now ask real nice and I'll give up the key....

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Flying Fish:
I think a lot of commentators and bloggers
(on both sides of the aisle) today have far worse things to say than Lovecraft did (although far less elegantly). The greater question is this: when you wake up one day and find that your view of your contemporaries is best stated by channeling the screed of some personally loathsome long-dead bigot, do you sit down and ask yourself what that says about you and your relationship with the world?

This is a classical logical fallacy -- the argumentum ad hominem. The character of the speaker is not particularly relevant to the validity of his political opinions. The fact that Lovecraft was a loathsome bigot is not logically relevant. It's possible to admire Mother Teresa for her charitable works and yet think she was way off base when she likened abortion to the Holocaust. Similarly, even loathsome bigots can be right some of the time.

Here a few other quotes I've found from Lovecraft.

quote:
I am disillusioned enough to know that no man's opinion on any subject is worth a damn unless backed up with enough genuine information to make him really know what he's talking about.
I'm not going to start valuing the opinions of the uninformed simply because a loathsome person made this observation.

quote:
I couldn't live a week without a private library - indeed, I'd part with all my furniture and squat and sleep on the floor before I'd let go of the 1500 or so books I possess.
Should I be ashamed to love my books because books were also loved by a loathsome bigot?

quote:
To the scientist there is the joy in pursuing truth which nearly counteracts the depressing revelations of truth.
As a scientist, I do find joy in pursuing the truth. Should I sit down an ask myself if I should stop because I agree with a long dead loathsome bigot.

quote:
What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!
I agree with this one too. Should I question that because Lovecraft was a loathsome bigot.

[ May 24, 2011, 04:27 PM: Message edited by: The Rabbit ]

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Just because Lovecraft was probably a bigot doesn't negate how hilariously apt his 100 year old criticism is nowadays.
...no, no, no. You're doing it wrong. What's happened is that you're regarding as awesome and correct (giving a chance to clarify things here) the political opinions of the, when it comes to politics, loathsome racist. While that doesn't automatically mean, "OK, it's automatically nonsense," it should make you wonder, "Huh. Apparently I am of like-minds on politics with the political opinions of this guy."
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Flying Fish
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Rakeesh, Rabbit, that's actually pretty amazing. Two different people, one minute apart, in two different places, each making good cogent points on different sides of a question....

It's almost as if.....

But, no, I should say no more. To say more would be to give away the key. And I'm kind of leaning toward keeping the key, now.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
"OK, it's automatically nonsense," it should make you wonder, "Huh. Apparently I am of like-minds on politics with the political opinions of this guy."
Why? If I have formed an opinion based on a vast amount of experience and research, why should learning that someone despicable shared my opinion make me question it?

I enjoy hiking and playing the recorder. So did Adolf Hitler. Should that concern me in the least?

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Rakeesh
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quote:
This is a classical logical fallacy -- the argumentum ad hominem. The character of the speaker is not particularly relevant to the validity of his political opinions. The fact that Lovecraft was a loathsome bigot is not logically relevant. It's possible to admire Mother Teresa for her charitable works and yet think she was way off base when she likened abortion to the Holocaust. Similarly, even loathsome bigots can be right some of the time.
That's not quite what he's saying. He's saying (if I understand correctly), that perhaps Lovecraft's political opinions shouldn't be held up as, "Hey, quite noteworthy and accurate!" At least as a matter of practicality and certainly not as a matter of crowing about how stupid a given group is.

But when in one area of human work we discover that someone is, well, a great big idiot, it's not unreasonable to at least be initially skeptical of other closely related offerings of theirs in similar fields. To at least ask, "Wait...this is the kind of thing a crazy bigot would say, and I'm laughing about how cool and right it is."

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Blayne Bradley
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I like the Lovecraft Mythos and the Cosmic Horror story, should I put them down and stop reading just because he was a racist? Should I stop playing weekly Arkham Horror games or derivatives?

His bigotry is irrelevant to just how hilarious his words are; there's probably plenty of Founding Fathers who were just or more bigoted than Lovecraft and yet no one has any trouble with liking the Constitution.

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Rakeesh
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Alright, it doesn't sound like you're listening at all. Can you point to somewhere where someone said, "Lovecraft was a racist. You should eschew all his works."

I don't think you can do that.

As for the Founding Fathers...yes, actually, we have to be careful with liking their politics too much, because some of their beliefs were pretty... troubling shall we say by modern standards. One of the single biggest reasons the US Constitution isn't is because it was flexible, adapting to changing times.

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Flying Fish
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Blayne walked right over the key and didn't see it! He almost stepped on it!
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The Rabbit
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quote:
But when in one area of human work we discover that someone is, well, a great big idiot, it's not unreasonable to at least be initially skeptical of other closely related offerings of theirs in similar fields.
Certainly, but I still don't see how this is relevant in this particular case. Blayne doesn't seem (at least to me) to be claiming that Lovecraft's opinion is proof that republicans haven't changed in a century. He was amused by the similarity between Lovecraft's century old opinion of republicans and his own opinion. One can find that similarity interesting and amusing whether or not one agrees with the validity of either opinion.


quote:
To at least ask, "Wait...this is the kind of thing a crazy bigot would say, and I'm laughing about how cool and right it is."
Why? Is there some reason that statements should be judged based on the character of the speaker rather than on their own merits?

I generally disagree vehemently with OSCs opinions. I find many of them rather loathsome but every now and then, he says something I agree with. For example, in his most recent review he has a bit of a rant on the Reader's Digest list of "Umm . .. Dumb Words", which I agree with fully. Should I reconsider my own opinion because OSC feels the same way?

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AchillesHeel
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I have gone out of my way to not financially support people/businesses/art that I whole-heartedly disagree with, but isnt it a bit late to examine the mental state of a dead man? Hasnt his work already shaped much of American story telling already?

What about Mark Twain's uncensored work, with rather crass passages that were either ruefully racist or meant to boldy question racism. Or Albert Camus' reoccuring depiction of muslims as silent second-class humans?

Fifty years from now some might argue wether Bill O'Reilly really was a blow hard who did more harm to the uncomplicated American masses than good, and they will point out that it was differant times and how he could have been inspired to act in such a manner. And they will mean it. We are here now and have the luxury of judging him with very few caveats.

People suck, especially in past tense as they can not apologize for using bigoted epithets and check into rehab/spa clinics to atone.

P.S. After already being an OSC fan I was surprised to learn that he was mormon and therefore his assumable position on many of my passionate topics would be advesarial. This did not color my opinion of his work, or dissallow me from funding it in the future, it simply answered some question while raising others.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Flying Fish:
Blayne walked right over the key and didn't see it! He almost stepped on it!

Flying Fish, You probably don't realize it but saying that you've recognized this "key" which you won't reveal but you are sure that other people are missing comes across as smug, condescending and frankly irritating. You aren't the teacher here. Perhaps people are "walking over your key" because they think its so obvious it doesn't need to be said, or they are even saying it using different words than you would. If you think you've recognized an important point share it, don't play games making people guess what you think is important.
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Flying Fish
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Shrug, no key for you, then. I didn't know you were the moderator. Take comfort in the fact that Blayne Bradley has examined your logic and found it watertight.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Flying Fish:
Shrug, no key for you, then. I didn't know you were the moderator. Take comfort in the fact that Blayne Bradley has examined your logic and found it watertight.

If I thought you needed moderation, I would have whistled the Janitor. In a written medium, tone is difficult to discern so it's easy to come across as condescending or smug when that was not your intent. I thought you'd want to know how you are perceived. If smug and condescending was what you were aiming for, ignore my point.
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BlackBlade
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You don't have to be the moderator to point out how a post is coming across.
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Rakeesh
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FF, that seems kinda hostile to me. *shrug* That's how I read it anyway. Felt a bit unnecessary for what seems to me to be a (as far as Rabbit is concerned, anyway) disagreement on popular figures and their ideals and when to credit them, etc.

-----

quote:
Certainly, but I still don't see how this is relevant in this particular case. Blayne doesn't seem (at least to me) to be claiming that Lovecraft's opinion is proof that republicans haven't changed in a century. He was amused by the similarity between Lovecraft's century old opinion of republicans and his own opinion. One can find that similarity interesting and amusing whether or not one agrees with the validity of either opinion.
That's one way to read it, yes. And it may be accurate-he may have simply found it amusing, but the 'awesome' doesn't to me anyway suggest only amusement. It also doesn't take into account frequent political talk. I'm not talking about this with him in a vacuum, mind. And the point I'm making is that, if one discovers one agrees with an idiot about something that person is foolish in...shouldn't that be a sign to reconsider, or at least examine?

Suppose, for example, that you liked Lovecraft because he was an outstanding cook-but you discovered he despised reading and regarded those who had lots of books as namby-pamby elitists who shouldn't be considered good Americans. (Just a hypothetical.) If you then discovered that your opinions on what makes a good American citizen or not were closely aligned to his in a different area, and then you discovered, "Wait a second...this guy actually thinks some pretty crazy things about this topic!" Wouldn't that lead to some introspection?

In this case, what's happening is, "Ha-someone agrees with me, awesome! And he's big-time!"

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Suppose, for example, that you liked Lovecraft because he was an outstanding cook-but you discovered he despised reading and regarded those who had lots of books as namby-pamby elitists who shouldn't be considered good Americans. (Just a hypothetical.) If you then discovered that your opinions on what makes a good American citizen or not were closely aligned to his in a different area, and then you discovered, "Wait a second...this guy actually thinks some pretty crazy things about this topic!" Wouldn't that lead to some introspection?
No. I haven't reconsidered my opinions on hiking and recorder playing, even though Hitler (a person I consider far more loathsome than Lovecraft) promoted both. Even Hitler wasn't wrong about everything. Do you think this demonstrates some deficiency on my part?


On the other hand, if I were trying to persuade people of the virtues of hiking and recorder playing, I would not use Hitler as a reference.

[ May 24, 2011, 06:45 PM: Message edited by: The Rabbit ]

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Kwea
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
You don't have to be the moderator to point out how a post is coming across.

Once again, QFT.
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Kwea
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I don't think you need to throw the baby out with the bathwater in all cases. But in a political conversation, disregarding his other political views, which without a doubt made him a bigoted, racist person, would be the wrong step to take, IMO.

I take everything Ann Coulter says with a grain of salt to say the least, because she is ignorant, rude, dismissive, and at times downright deceitful......and she profits greatly from all of the lies and misrepresentation she makes. She is a political creature, and her behavior DOES make me question anything she has to say.....and I feel it should.

I love Wagner's music, but am not a racist or Nazi, so I understand your point. I just don't think that taking his other political views into consideration is wrong in this instance, and I feel they do color the conversation poorly.
[Dont Know]

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The Rabbit
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quote:
I just don't think that taking his other political views into consideration is wrong in this instance, and I feel they do color the conversation poorly.
I think that depends on the point of the conversation. If the point was "Isn't it great that Lovecraft agrees with me", then his other political views do seem to be relevant.

If the point was "Isn't the similarity between current anti-republican rants and Lovecraft's century old rant great", then I don't see any relevance at all. I don't think Lovecraft's comments are fair to the many republicans, nonetheless I find it amusing how similar they are to what one reads in the current leftist press. It raises some interesting questions about criticism of conservatives.

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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by Flying Fish:
Blayne walked right over the key and didn't see it! He almost stepped on it!

I'm a mage, allst I need to do is cast "Knock" and all doors in a 30 meter radius open before my might.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
quote:
Suppose, for example, that you liked Lovecraft because he was an outstanding cook-but you discovered he despised reading and regarded those who had lots of books as namby-pamby elitists who shouldn't be considered good Americans. (Just a hypothetical.) If you then discovered that your opinions on what makes a good American citizen or not were closely aligned to his in a different area, and then you discovered, "Wait a second...this guy actually thinks some pretty crazy things about this topic!" Wouldn't that lead to some introspection?
No. I haven't reconsidered my opinions on hiking and recorder playing, even though Hitler (a person I consider far more loathsome than Lovecraft) promoted both. Even Hitler wasn't wrong about everything. Do you think this demonstrates some deficiency on my part?


On the other hand, if I were trying to persuade people of the virtues of hiking and recorder playing, I would not use Hitler as a reference.

That's not quite what I meant. If Hitler had expressed opinions on hiking making someone an awful human being, would you then be initially skeptical of his opinion on a *related* activity, such as jogging?

That's what I'm getting at-if someone is known to be foolish on a given topic, are you likely to be initially skeptical of their opinion on a closely related topic...such as race and politics?

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The Rabbit
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Rakeesh, If I knew little or nothing about jogging except what Hitler had to say about it, I'd certainly be skeptical -- but that isn't the situation I've been addressing. I've been addressing Flying Fishes question

quote:
when you wake up one day and find that your view of your contemporaries is best stated by channeling the screed of some personally loathsome long-dead bigot, do you sit down and ask yourself what that says about you and your relationship with the world?
His question isn't about being skeptical of Lovecraft's opinion, it's about whether discovering that someone loathsome shares my opinion should cause me to doubt my own opinion. That isn't an issue of skepticism.

Imagine for a moment that you have spent a lot of time researching different options of dealing with the US health care crisis and you decide that National Health Insurance is the option you prefer. You then discover that Richard Nixon (who you despise) proposed a National Health Insurance plan. Should that cause you to rethink your position?

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