Sunday, July 01, 2012

Mockery Is A Coward's Way Of Arguing

... and I should know because I've been doing it the last few days.

Over on Twitter, there's the #fortnight4freedom hashtag to collect tweets related to the Church's self-defense against government aggression*. A couple of people have come in to leave nasty, bigoted comments attacking Catholics. I finally had enough and have spent the last two days pounding on one dork in particular.

Early on, I decided he was intractable and so I made it my goal to neutralize him. I wanted to make his life so painful through ridicule and mockery that he'd go away. He's not been able to put up much of a defense as he's unskilled in logic, ignorant of fact and lacks debating skills in general. He's one of those terribly serious people who is convinced that the LGBT community is under constant attack by the Catholic bishops. Quite literally, the bishops. He's a delusional, paranoid, ignorant bigot who fancies himself some kind of superhero fighting for the rights of cross dressers everywhere.

And so I went to work on him.
Was at a party for a friend's son who graduated from Georgetown. Lots of Catholics. Good thing you stayed home under your bed.
Afraid of the Church much?
Oh shucks. And here I'd planned to burn a bunch of gays at the stake this weekend. Darn.
Stay strong for the LGBT, my friend. For the bishops will come down upon them as wolves among sheep. #dingbat
Keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour of the bishops coming.

I think (bigot) needs professional help. He's afraid bishops are coming to get him.
All in all, it was a lot of vapid fun for me, a chance to beat up on an ignorant, destructive moron. It was also an act of total cowardice and I figured that out pretty quickly.

When you go for mockery, you expose nothing of yourself. You take no serious positions. It's like slathering your cherished beliefs in Crisco before you get into the ring to debate - the other side can't grab hold of anything. About three tweets into the exchange, I decided to deliberately avoid almost anything substantive and just make his life miserable. I found I could make the point that his positions were untenable, but I did nothing constructive. I only contributed to the overall chaos of the general debate.

All in all, it was pretty unimpressive. I guess I supplied suppressive fire for our side, but I didn't exactly cover myself in glory or live my faith.

I've always thought Jon Stewart was a jerk. By becoming one on Twitter, I found out why.
* - A topic for another post.


tim eisele said...

Granted, I don't use Twitter myself, and might be missing some subtlety here, but isn't reasoned, substantial argument kind of too much to expect from a medium that breaks up everything into 140-character snippets? It's difficult to see how any disagreement could *avoid* descending into one-liners and name-calling.

For that matter, I kind of wonder what your statements looked like from the other end. He might have had no idea you were being sarcastic, and may at this very moment be using some of your twitters as proof that his fears of the Bishops are well-founded.

And who *wouldn't" be afraid of The Bishop?

Tots said...

The Bishop might be scary, but no one expects The Spanish Inquisition!

OK, back on topic.

FWIW, I have tried logic and reason with many of the deranged knuckledraggers who occupy twitter with me and unfortunately it rarely works so I understand your frustration and salvo at the bigot.

One extrodinary example I have of this is the time I tried to explain to a guy who flamed me on twitter about how healthcare wasn't available for illegals. I asked him to show me in the bill where verification of citizenship was outlined. I was honest and told him, I knew the bill (now law) said illegals weren't eligible, but my argument was there was no requirement to CHECK for citizenship. I told him I had the bill downloaded (so I had the full text) but I had not READ the ENTIRE thing.

He assured me he would research and let me know. To my surprise he sent me a link to read. I clicked on it to find a newspaper article stating Obamacare was not eliegible to illegals.

My whole point in the exchange was to get the guy to actually read part of the monstrosity and realize no matter where you stood on the bill, it was very flawed and incomplete. I failed. He never wen't beyond passing links to his liberal holdout sites.

Sometimes ridicule is deserved. Sometimes not. From my interactions with you, however, I am pretty sure anything you threw his way was well deserved.

K T Cat said...

Tots - We think alike! The guy finally signed off of our little squabble leading me to fire one last round - "Wait! I didn't get a chance to use my Monty Python "No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!" bit!"

Tim - He was one of those people who was so serious that I think to the end he thought he was standing between the LGBT community and the Torquemada II: The Wrath of the Pope. I was planning on pulling The Bishop out sooner or later.

The whole thing was sad.

K T Cat said...

Tots, one more thing. Like your example, the guy wasn't there to learn at all. He said if the Church doesn't want to live under the regulations, it shouldn't take government money. When I pointed out that government insurance (Medicaid in particular) underpays for services and the Church hospitals take the patients as an act of love and charity, the point was lost on him.