Just another day at Club Faggot

We girly-men here at Club Faggot are nothing if not broad-shouldered.   It’s probably all that working out down at the gayboyz gym.   So I thought it was only fair to re-publish Jason Soon’s evaluation of Troppo:

Club Troppo nowadays has such a prissy and precious atmosphere that it might as well be a meeting of the Wahroonga Young Liberals with the cucumber sandwiches, guys named Percival dressed in polo shirts and yachting shoes and people riding ponies in the background.

Percival Parish?   I don’t think so sunshine.   Mind you,  I was quite partial to wearing boat-shoes to work  until Jen black-banned them as too naff even for a styleless nerd like me.   Jason seems to think that commenters might be confused and  alienated by being required to maintain minimal standards of civility on his blog:

There must be a happy medium somewhere between that and a more robust, free for all atmosphere where people don’t feel excluded because they’re not academic or ‘polite’ enough or know how to frame things more delicately. I am erring towards the robust side and I don’t think my strategy has been the wrong one. …

But  “robust” goes nowhere near to describing Graeme Bird’s bizarre diatribes at Catallaxy (start here and read down, and then go to the top of the thread and read the discussion up until Birdie intervened – it’s a classic example of how trolls derail productive discussion).    Nevertheless, just in case anyone is uncertain about the rules of debate here at Troppo, they’re hardly quantum mechanics.   No ad hominem abuse is the bottom line.   You can call  a person’s argument stupid but not the person herself.   In rugby terms the equivalent is “attack the ball not the man” where the ball is the issue under discussion.   That doesn’t prevent you from crash-tackling the man as hard as you like  if he’s actually carrying the ball, as long as you don’t tackle above the shoulders or lift and pile-drive him head first  into the turf.

Speaking of which, I wonder if Patrick has recovered from the trauma of the Wallabies’ useless performance against the ‘Boks (the sort of moronic 10 man rugby I feared Connolly would perpetrate but which we’ve been spared until now)  enough to favour us with a match preview of this week’s  game against the All Blacks?   I also wonder how a  cucumber sandwich tastes with a good bottle of pinot noir? Pretty ordinary,  I suspect.

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
15 years ago

You guys haven’t been Club Faggot since I last posted.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
15 years ago

BtW. Trust Jen on the boat shoes. Believe me.

Chris Lloyd
Chris Lloyd
15 years ago

Does anybody know if Panelbeaterbird at LP is one and the same?

Ken. As a lawyer, would you say that either Rafe or Catallaxy would be in trouble if the Quiggler decided to take then on for defamation? If so, which one?

Patrick
Patrick
15 years ago

He’ll try, but he is currently packing his recently-expanded family’s bags for France – while you might quibble at calling it work, it does take time :)

Since I’ll be in the air (and Amsterdam) for most of the next four days, sans laptop, I can’t promise much.

But whilst I do agree that that game was appalling, and a real indictment of Connolly’s eyes or brain (take your pick) much of the criticism is just way overboard, and I certainly hope Gregan and Smith are not dropped.

Patrick
Patrick
15 years ago

between nappies, coffees and Anne Frank’s house with a three yo stuck on my shoulders?!?

Mark Bahnisch
15 years ago

Does anybody know if Panelbeaterbird at LP is one and the same?

Yep, one and the same. But we only very occasionally allow his comments through.

trackback
15 years ago

Inter blog wars: the masculinity connection?

No idea what to make of this – what is it, big swinging d**k day in the blogosphere?
Tim Blair, linking to LP:
The nancies over at Ladyboy Pantywaist have taken a good hard look at this whole Islamic terrorism thing and decided that they really don’t…

Mark Bahnisch
15 years ago

Are trackbacks turned on at Troppo?

We tried to send one from LP:

http://larvatusprodeo.net/2006/08/14/inter-blog-wars-the-masculinity-connection/

Yes, more meta-blogging.

Jason Soon
Jason Soon
15 years ago

Oh for chrissakes Ken,

you and your lot are just being precious as usual. I believe in my own rational self interest. If I thought anything was potentially defamatory I would have erased it long ago. Calling someone a ‘commie witch-hunter’ or a ‘phoney neoclassical’ or accusing Quiggin of ‘boosting Keynes’ is defamatory how? Birdy has been doing it all over the blogosphere. Everyone knows it’s hyperbole. There is nothing in the thread that would have a strong case. And I recall Chris was distubed about Birdy’s ‘threats’ which are of course just the right wing equivalent of that stock left wing line of ‘When the Revolution comes, the Imperialists will have their backs against the wall facing a firing squad’.

Nick is a nice guy but is overly precious and a bit of a snob who can’t stand a bit of vulgarian language. Troppo used to be as robust as Catallaxy – some polemical grandstanding is hardly defamatory and so what if it’s also playing the man as well as the ball? We do still get good debates going on substance as well as verbal jousting. So we scare off some delicate types like Chris. Big deal.

Chris Lloyd, fyi I know John and I like him. We were firing sallies at each other long before you came along. If he requested that I take something down because it was genuinely bothering him. I would oblige him.

Mark Bahnisch
15 years ago

I tend to agree that Birdy is so over the top it would be difficult to take any aspersions he casts seriously. I don’t find myself much offended when he calls me a “commie witch hunter”.

But I’m interested in your point about defamation, Ken. Presumably the basis that someone like John or Nick might have a case (I say “like” because, as you say, I don’t want to intend to suggest that these gentlemen themselves would be inclined to take action without very good cause) would be on the basis that they have a professional reputation to defend which exists outside the blogosphere. But at what point does criticism blur into a defamatory reflection on someone’s professional competence? It seems to me that the way Birdy carries on is more akin to what used to be called when I was learning defamation law way back when at UQ “vulgar abuse” and thus not actionable. Forgetting about Birdy – what sort of claims made on a blog about someone would be actionable?

I’m asking in part because I’m also increasingly concerned about the legal risk that bloggers face.

Chris Lloyd
Chris Lloyd
15 years ago

Just as a matter of interest Jason, do you think it would be constructive if we started refering Catallaxy as Club Slant-eyes? Oh..sorry man. No offence intended.

Mark Bahnisch
15 years ago

I think offense would and should be taken. And it’s fair to point out that Jason didn’t coin “Club Faggot” but Birdy did.

http://catallaxyfiles.com/index.php?p=1984&cp=1#comment-131618

And the term “Faggot” can be taken as a badge of pride as well, as we can see from Geoff’s evident lack of offense being taken. Though that’s no doubt not how Birdy intended it to be read.

Yobbo
Yobbo
15 years ago

God, all the good insults have already been taken in this thread.

c8to
c8to
15 years ago

me and andrew are aryans…so you can just call it club ueber menschen if you want…although i think some jewish or italian might have snuck into my genotype somewhere along the line so theres a whole other line of insults you could take…

i like gruen, he’s one of the most thoughtful guys around…although sometimes his extreme reasonableness is offensive to people…

Jason Soon
Jason Soon
15 years ago

You’ve embarassed no one but yourself with that comment, Chris. Because I do actively discourage racial, homophobic and scatological epithets (sometimes by replacing them with funnier terms with an Edit by Admin notice) on the comments with periodic interventions. And I certainly didn’t encourage Birdy’s ‘Club Faggot’. Funnily it was Ken who decided to take it up as a title of honour. My Wahroonga Young Liberals joke was about country club mentality, not homosexuality, in case you can’t tell.

But rough polemical language like the stuff that many of the commenters indulge in is perfectly OK. Look if you can’t take it, then piss off and don’t read the blog. No great loss and your comments haven’t exactly been the most piercing no matter how high your own intellectual pretensions, we have better commenters around than you.

Patrick
Patrick
15 years ago

Maybe I’ll just stick to the nappies and three-year-olds….

Chris Lloyd
Chris Lloyd
15 years ago

“Look if you can’t take it, then piss off and don’t read the blog.” Kind of reminiscent of the “if you don’t like it here why don’t you go back where you came from” line. What I and others are saying is that the site would simply be way better without some commenters. Go back and look at the thread again and consider how it might have progressed. It’s your dinner party though.

As I said over there, some of the main posts at Catallaxy are stimulating. You wrote a great one about freedom about a month ago, which I recall Birdy derailed immediately by bringing your race into it. Anyway, I consume Catallaxy the same way some people consume Playboy. I am mainly there for the articles but sometimes I can’t resist looking at something dirty.

derrida derider
derrida derider
15 years ago

Well, I simply won’t join threads where the bird is allowed free reign – given the volume, tone and content of his posts I think he has genuine mental health problems which should not be taken lightly. His paranoia should not be fed.

Jason Soon
Jason Soon
15 years ago

“You wrote a great one about freedom about a month ago, which I recall Birdy derailed immediately by bringing your race into it”
You referring to this?
http://catallaxyfiles.com/index.php?p=1873&cp=1#comments

I don’t recall any such derailment, Chris. He brought it onto the topic of freedom being intrinsically valuable versus freedom as a utilitarian value. This is a perennial philosophical topic and it was actually very astute of him to bring it up – if he didn’t some other libertarian would have eventually – and note that Sukrit eventually did and ended up siding with Bird on that one. There were a few one liners exchanged along the way but eventually it got back on track. You make the mistake of assuming people are easily distracted, Chris. If they don’t like a commenter they can ignore him. I guess I’m used to debating in more anarchic environments given my past experiences proto-blogging.

Birdy has never brought ‘race’ as such into it – you must be referring to the various times he comes up with the line ‘Can Asians think?’ when he tries to challenge me. That’s actually a clever allusion to this book of the same title by a Singaporean

http://dir.salon.com/story/books/int/2002/03/25/asians/index.html

It’s actually a clever barb and I’m not the least bit offended by it. Yours on the other hand, wasn’t clever.

Charles Henderson
Charles Henderson
15 years ago

You want to talk about defamation? Have a look at this Victorian site! Action in the courts have failed to get it taken down or the author sued.

http://makemcveighpay.blogspot.com

Have a look at this one too!

http://andrewlanderyou.blogspot.com

Andrew Landeryou
15 years ago

Comrades and Patriots,

My ears were burning. I have just stumbled on this very interesting and most excellent blog so kudos to all involved, it’s the bomb.

As I love the smell of defamation in the morning I thought I’d comment on this.

Blogs are most certainly not defamation free zones and nor should they be. I remember explaining this on air to supposed lawyer the ABC’s Comrade Jon Faine and he eventually realised that – despite my right wing “bovver boy” (thank you Mister Parish) status – I might be right.

I have been operating an occasionally controversial and certainly frank blog for over a year and have been threatened with legal action a few times with only one clown (a federal MP) instructing lawyers to issue a threat on letterhead. They backed off when it was clear that I actually enjoy litigation and the public discussion of the issues raised. Why? For one good reason essentially. I tell the truth as best I understand it from either my own first-hand knowledge or a network of reliable insider sources that is probably with peer in the known galaxy. (I am also very modest)

Defamation suits are of course double-edged swords, while generally expensive and annoying to defend they also provide the defendant with an opportunity to present and to seek information about the subject matter at issue. I always thought this would be fun but – alas – no one has been willing to join in these festivities. Not one writ and over a thousand posts.

Oh well. I’ll keep trying.

Game on.

Andrew Landeryou
15 years ago

Ken,

Your reference to me as a “bovver boy” is quite outrageous. I made light of it when not knowing really what it meant. I expect your apology very soon given how much you don’t like lawsuits and all that.

Further, Google Inc., a very large and successful media company in fact publishes my site. There is no more deep pocket defendant in the world probably. As most bush lawyers should know, the Gutnick case makes the position very clear. It doesn’t matter whether you publish from California or Botswana, if it can be seen on an Australian PC screen then the publisher can be liable under Australian law.

And my exalted status as a bankrupted victim of Sol Lew started just a couple of months ago, meaning I have been publishing away non-bankruptly (new word for you) for quite some time without a single writ. Again, I say, because if you tell the truth you shouldn’t have too much to worry about on that front.

In your case, implying people are neo-nazi skin-head thugs might give quite a lot to be thinking about. Pot. Kettle. Black.

So I think my original point stands. Bloggers can take on controversial subjects, even call a spade an effin shovel but if they tell the truth as they know it and see it then all should be well.

Andrew

Andrew Landeryou
15 years ago

Of most of the accusations in 27 I am no doubt guilty as charged, but a bovver boy I most certainly am not, as defined by that completely accurate source of information Wikipedia (note sarcasm):

Bovver boy: (primarily UK) Another term for skinhead, specifically one who frequently seeks out enemies to beat down. Enemies are usually members of rival football firms or members of other youth subcultures. Bovver is a Cockney slang word literally meaning “bother”.

The ultra right disturb me just as much as the ultra left. Indeed, they are just different sides of the same coin. We will fight them on the beaches etc., etc. But I take your point about your house style and respect your right to operate your site as you choose. I’ll turn down the volume a bit when I pop in.

Let a thousand flowers bloom as a murderous tyrant once said.

Withdrawal gratefully accepted.

Jacques Chester
Jacques Chester
15 years ago

I just thought I’d say:

It’s just the internet. You guys take this stuff too seriously.