One reader's rave

"Thanks for the newspaper with your book review. I can’t tell you how impressed I am with this terrific piece of writing. It is beautiful, complex, scholarly. Only sorry Mr. Freire cannot read it!" -- Ailene

Cassie Jaye, the day before I met her at the _Red Pill_ world premiere

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Taking a Bow

I received this thank-you for having made a donation to the conference. Note: I checked the UNITE HERE! website -- they list Sheraton Suites Chicago O’Hare as a Fair Hotel.

ICMI 2019 was the biggest conference on men's issues ever and it's thanks to you!

Take a bow, you awesome person!

The dust has settled, the fur has flown, the x has y'd. Hopefully you are all safely back from your travels and comfortably ensconced in your regular lives.

By all accounts the 2019 International Conference on Men’s Issues, held in Chicago August 16th, 17th and 18th, was a roaring success!

This year’s conference organizer and underwriter, Honey Badger Brigade, would like to take a moment to thank everyone involved for helping make this the largest and most well attended ICMI to date.

We would like to thank our in-real-life attendees for taking the time and going to the expense of being there in the physical space and helping create the sense of community and support that is one of the primary purposes of these conferences. In many ways, it’s what happens between the speaker and panel content—the shared stories, the one on one conversations, the camaraderie engendered over a meal and a beer—that makes these events something to remember.

We’d like to thank our remote attendees and all others who wanted to be there but couldn’t for their support in the form of speaker sponsorships, remote tickets for the livestream, financial contributions, and your interest.

We’d like to thank our speakers and panelists, not all of whom are as interested in men’s issues as some of us veterans, but who share our ideals of freedom of speech, due process protections, equal justice for all, and basic human rights, and found ways to make their particular areas of interest relevant to our audience. We would particularly like to thank them for having the courage to be part of this event and relate their areas of expertise to men’s issues, even knowing the potential for backlash in their own lives and careers.

We’d like to thank the many, many volunteers who helped make this event successful. Being an usher and a go-fer, or a setter-upper and tearer-downer, is a largely exhausting and thankless task that never gets you the round of applause received by the stars of the show. But the show couldn’t have gone on without you, so thank you so much for your necessary contribution of time, energy and talent.

We’d like to thank Mike Buchanan for taking on the task of Emceeing the Rosemont presentation halls. And Paul Elam for being our toastmaster for catered events.

We’d like to thank Troy and Valerie for managing the public address system and the video stream, and Andrew for taking on the task of General Manager and putter-outer of fires. Even the biggest fire of all, the absence of ICMI 2019's chair due to US-Canada border shenanigans.

We’d like to thank Tom and Good Man Gone for getting video of all the presentations and panels and suggest you all help Good Man Gone cover ICMI 2020! And a shout out to Brian for providing invaluable video assistance to Tom during the event.

We’d like to extend a huge thanks to Fraser for putting together the design of the program book(if anyone needs a designer for a project, we’ll hook you up!) As well as assisting with the design for the stage sets.

Another enormous debt of gratitude for Grace, who put together the stage sets, ran general errands in the local area and filled in where and when she could!

Ed deserves praise and our gratitude for putting together the illustration work for the event. From the paratrooper badger character to the “meme-land” banner to innumerable promotional illustrations, Ed created an astounding visual aesthetic for the event! And if you’re ever in need of an artist, he's your man(ask us to pass you his info)!

We'd also like to thank Tim Goldich for not just speaking but wrangling up some volunteers. And we all would like to thank those volunteers from The Mankind Project who helped out with registration, ushering and general hospitality!

Finally we’d like to thank the Sheraton Suites Chicago O’Hare for hosting our event from start to finish, despite knowing what happened in Detroit in 2014, despite knowing we are unpopular in this political atmosphere, and despite fielding defamatory allegations on social media for having allowed us space lepers to congregate in their hotel.

When these allegations were made by our stalker on Twitter directly addressed to Sheraton Hotels—allegations that they were hosting a group of white and male supremacists and convicted rapists, and demands to know what Sheraton was doing to ensure the safety of women—Sheraton Suites Chicago O’Hare didn’t give in. We’d been there for two days by the time corporate called them to ask what was going on, and they’d had two full days getting to know us.

And as Karen discovered when asking one of the managers his thoughts on our conference the day after it concluded, he said our event was no different than any other conference the hotel had hosted. Our speakers, panelists and guests were nothing out of the ordinary—we respected the rules of the hotel, forgot to tip the servers no more often than anyone else, and were pretty much just normal people.
This is a HUGE endorsement given the current climate. Sheraton was literally fielding complaints on social media, many of them massively upvoted, accusing our movement of raping and murdering women during our events as a matter of course, all happening in a mainstream environment that sees deplatforming as a form of reputational salvation, and they didn’t fall for it.

In fact, the manager tried to reassure Karen that social media wasn’t anything to worry about. He went out of his way to assure her that the Sheraton was not worried about anything anyone at the conference had done, and that the accusations on social media were exactly that—accusations, unsubstantiated and nothing to be concerned about
So kudos to the Sheraton Suites Chicago O’Hare for standing by their contract with us, and standing by sanity.
If you have to travel for business and stay anywhere, I think the choice is clear. Seriously. Stay at the Sheraton, people!
Thank you everyone who made this event possible! We look forward to seeing you at the next event hosted by the Badgers!
Our deepest gratitude and love,
Alison Tieman
ICMI 2019 Chair and Founder of Honey Badger Radio

Karen Straughan
ICMI 2019 Promotions, GirlWritesWhat

Brian Martinez
ICMI 2019 Local Host and Production Manager of Honey Badger Radio
No really, thank you!
Honey Badger Brigade, 113 First Ave West, Kelvington, Saskatchewan S0A1W0,

Saturday, September 14, 2019

This T-Shirt Isn't Garbage

While selling One Step Away today, I saw a Penn student wearing a T-shirt with this graphic:

I stopped him to ask the specific reason he was wearing it, and he said, "Data mining." I asked if he uses DuckDuckGo and he said yes. I told him I do too.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Focus on What's Important

"In the past, Thunberg has spoken about being diagnosed with Asperger's — and how that has helped her.

"'My diagnosis helps me helps me see things a bit more clearly sometimes,' she says. 'When everyone else seems to just compromise and have this double moral that's, "Yeah. That's very important, but also I can't do that right now and I'm too lazy and so on." — But I can't really do that.'

"Thunberg continues, 'I want to to walk the talk, and to practice as I preach. So that is what I'm trying to do. Because if I am focused on something and if I know something, and if I decide to do something, then I go all in. And it seems like others are not doing that right now. So yeah, it has definitely helped me.'"

There's no focus like autistic focus. 😃

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Keeping Culture Wars Out of the Neurodiversity Movement

The neurodiversity online magazine The Aspergian recently published a lengthy article about the so-called Autistic Dark Web, which consists of people on the spectrum who are hostile to the neurodiversity movement. Unfortunately it fell into the trap of ideological polarization that is probably part of the reason the ADW exists in the first place. I posted this comment below the article:

Since the Guardian piece was closed for comments, I posted mine here:

The article above does a service by exposing the bigotry and vested interests behind opposition to the neurodiversity movement. But it's marred by tangling this issue up with the ideological culture wars between the "Alt-Right" and "SJWs."
Naturally the genuinely alt-right have contempt for those of us who aren't "normal" and refuse to consider ourselves inferior. But their efforts to influence critically thinking people are aided when they're able to portray the ND movement as "infiltrated" by SJWs or the "Ctl-Left" as some have called it. This is not merely a pejorative term for anyone who is progressive or cares about social justice -- although, naturally, the alt-right will use it that way since it's in their interest to conflate all who are opposed to them.

Rather, these terms refer to a specific kind of ideology that is rooted in postmodernism and derogates open inquiry and critical thinking because it's based on a subjectivist epistemology. This is an ideology that is in fact anti-science and objectively constitutes an obstacle to progressive social change, notwithstanding that many of its adherents may consider themselves "radical" or even "anticapitalist." You can read a Marxist critique of it here: "Adolph Reed Jr: Identity Politics Is Neoliberalism" And here's one from a left-liberal or social-democratic perspective: "Identity Politics Does Not Continue the Work of the Civil Rights Movements"

Because it falls into the trap of the Alt-Right/Ctl-Left dichotomy, the article perpetuates a good bit of misinformation. For instance, most of the Intellectual Dark Web is not Alt-Right but, rather, various shades of liberal. And #Gamergate was, in fact, about opposing corruption and political authoritarianism in videogame journalism, which is why it included considerable numbers of women, POCs, LGBTs, and people with disabilities: "Giving Voice to the Voiceless: The #NotYourShield Project" "3 Women of Gamergate Fight Back!" Liberal vlogger PSA Sitch has a good short allegorical explanation of what it was really about here: Oh, and one more thing: it actually won victories for ethics, as with this regulation that came out of the FTC: (Elsewhere, I saw actual acknowledgment from that agency that the #Gamergate-affiliated UV campaign was the reason for this reg, but unfortunately I didn't save the link.)

Half-Baked Thinking About Autism

A recent article in the Guardian claims, without offering any evidence, that the neurodiversity movement is "marginalizing" autistics who can't speak. Since comments have been closed on that page, I used Dissenter to post mine. You can read it here:

Gunning for the First Amendment

This looks like a pretty open-and-shut assault on First Amendment rights. Note in particular the sinister victim-blaming where they equate anticipating violence -- by others -- with advocating it.

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Read Poetry, Help Save a Life

"Cancel culture" has now taken a life in the form of Alec Holowka's suicide prompted by dubious and unproven allegations, made public in spite of the knowledge he was emotionally unstable and had suicidal ideation.

One way to counteract this dangerous trend is to affirmatively support those being mobbed and ostracized. I took a step yesterday by preordering Joseph Massey's book A New Silence. You can read about his cancellation here:

Getting Censored, Documenting It

I've been hearing about YouTube censorship for a while. Now I find it's happening to me.

Here's what you'll see under CCuppy's comment on a video by Shoe0nHead posted several months ago, if you're anyone but me:

And here's what I see, only if I'm logged in:

Note that not all my replies have been disappeared; it appears to be content-based.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Getting Their Education Off to a Good Start

To help get their extracurricular education off to a good start, I posted this flyer (cut in two obviously) on all the big kiosks on the Penn campus for the benefit of the new arrivals. I made it from a screenshot of the movie's home page.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

1 Nazi + 10 People = ?

When one Nazi is in a room with ten people, what do you have?

You have one Nazi and ten people who understand Robert Jay Lifton's concept of milieu control well enough not to do the Nazi cult's work for it.