The Joys of Vinegar Spreading

Almost everyone is familiar with the aphorism, “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” I suspect vinegar manufacturers mutter to themselves at night, “what kind of idiot wants to spend his life catching flies,” but that’s besides the point. Everyone on the interwebz loves validation, so they will flock to those who either say nice things about them or, at minimum, confirm their bias.

And the people who do so, pander to their team, enjoy the love and support of others. It’s all nice, and reflected in their twitter followers, their likes, their supportive engagement.

So what’s my problem?

Not too many people, especially lawyers, want to be that mean, negative person who does what social media hates most of all. Call bullshit. Somebody spews nonsense, but if it’s favorable to your cause, against the person your team is against, for the person your team is for, who cares?

Isn’t it all about winning? Isn’t the goal to show the other team that there are more of you, braver, stronger, bolder? So what if your forces of Truth and Justice are full of shit. It’s the ends, not the means, you idiot. And in the process, you will bask in the support of your fellow travelers, whose chorus will send the tingles of validation down your spine.

In fairness, I’m in a better position to be that mean asshole than most. I’m well past the need to curry favor for the sake of my practice. I can afford to confront the hypocrites, the liars, the panderers, because it won’t hurt my brand. And not to overplay my hand, but my self-worth isn’t calculated by how many twitter followers I have or which important people acknowledge my existence.

But there’s a deeper problem, and it’s one that I’ve watched develop for years. And frankly, it scares the living shit out of me. It first came on my radar years ago, when a lawprof named Ann Bartow figured out that she could be a shit-thrower in the name of feminism and nobody could do a damn thing about it.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I don’t think well of the Ann Bartow brand of hyper-feminism.  She not only finds sexism under every rock, but attacks it with a viciousness that raises an image of a rabid dog, foaming at the mouth, who will rip out the throat of every offender.  And enjoy it.

The problem is that Bartow, wielding the club of sexism in the hallways of the Academy, is the keeper of the feminist orthodoxy.  It would be a crime against scholarship to be branded sexist, so the rest of the law professors put their head down and scurry past Bartow when they pass her in the hall, hoping to avoid her harsh gaze.  A sigh is emitted as they escape unscathed.  This power to evoke deathly fear allows Bartow to be as brazen as she wants.  While the rest of the academics resort to a painful civility, beyond a fault to the point of abject unclarity, Bartow will have none of it.  She can call out anyone.

That was from 2009. It’s far, far worse today. It’s no surprise that anyone who fails to adhere to the social justice, including feminist, orthodoxy is immediately ripped to shreds for their heresy. The irony is that refusing to take the deep dive down the shithole of an ideology doesn’t make one an enemy, but just not sufficiently a friend. Of course, if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Tolerance is just another word for who to beat into submission.

But you’re not conservative, alt-right, an MRA of whatever color pill makes you happy? So you surely don’t want to be cast as a misogynist or racist, as you’re not. This leaves you with limited choices, as the only way to curry favor, gain followers, bask in the support of the crowd, is to be sweet and lovely in response to the embrace of those who support them in return.

And with your enabling, the lies get spread, the fallacious logic becomes truth and gangs of needy people coalesce into choirs of support. You don’t want to be left out, so you self-censor when the silliness appears on your screen and say nothing rather than be cast off the island.

That’s why I’m here.

Do I want to be mean to people? Not at all. Ironically, my real life world reflects nothing of what the butthurt would scream at me in their effort to parry, riposte. Just as a criminal defense lawyer is not a “supporter” of crime, a free speech defender is not a supporter of hate speech, and a due process defender is not a supporter of sexism. And, it’s worth noting, the refusal to support the irrationality of progressivism doesn’t make one a conservative either. Not that anyone who believes could understand that.

So while you spend your time fluctuating from being silent to being sweet and adorable to whatever club will have you, as long as you can claim membership in some support group so you won’t feel lonely and neglected on social media while everyone else is enjoying a fabulous party, somebody has to be the old meanie who calls bullshit so you don’t have to.

You’re welcome. And yes, you’re an enabler, a coward and intellectually dishonest, but at least people on social media like you, or at least don’t have to suffer the slings and arrows sent my way.

38 thoughts on “The Joys of Vinegar Spreading

  1. CLS

    One can almost hear you whistling Dwayne Johnson’s song from Disney’s “Moana.”

    “What can I say, except “You’re Welcome?”

  2. James L. Smith

    Ah. My kind of guy. Oozing with the kind of charm I love.

    What is it Dickens said about treacherous endearments and false cajolings?

    Now what I’d like to see is Raphael Golb out of jeopardy… and Cathy Young, Christina Hoff Sommers, Julie Borowski, and Camille Paglia the popular new voices of feminism.

    1. SHG Post author

      Did someone hit you in the head with a big bludgeon right after you wrote “cajolings” and then too a swan dive into the dead sea cave?

  3. Skink

    I’m randomizing–

    “Not too many people, especially lawyers, want to be that mean, negative person who does what social media hates most of all. Call bullshit.”

    Isn’t that the point of being a lawyer? I don’t mind doing it one microscopic bit. Fuck ’em. Fuck their friends. Fuck their pets. The stupid, simple and lazy deserve it all. Just give them what they really want: to be squarely and completely fucked. Tell them out loud and let them bathe in the light of fucked. Fuck them and their feelings about being fucked.

    With that, I’ll take my pole and some rum down to the beach. Thanks for being the prick the world needs.

    1. SHG Post author

      Isn’t that the point of being a lawyer?

      It used to be the point. Spend a little time on social media, and you’ll understand how Rule 8.4(g) not only passed, but is adored by the sad throngs of passionate baby lawyers for social justice. To far too large an extent, we’re a former-profession of shit-for-brains criers and liars.

      1. Skink

        Don’t you know that all professions are doomed? It’s just a matter of time, tech and inertia. It’ll be left to the last five people that can think. Besides my obvious disqualification, I’ll also be dead.

        You send me to a rule, and an ABA rule at that! Did you fall on your head? Model rules are what we eat. We don’t give in to rules. That’s for babies. Fuck ’em. Like the robbers in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, we don’t need them any more than badges. Buck -up, cowboy!

        Besides, the ABA doesn’t run my life any more than the EPA decides whether I take trout or tripletail today.

  4. Mario Machado

    Don’t the club members realize, that no matter how much time/energy/integrity they sacrifice by following the club script to the T, they’ll be ostracized once someone makes an allegation that they went off script for a minute?

    But that’s rhetorical. They’re there primarily for the validation, which exposes a new level of pathetic.

    1. SHG Post author

      But they won’t go off script. No matter what. And if they’re accused, they will proudly emasculate themselves to prove their devotion to the club. It’s not much to give for validation.

  5. James L. Smith

    Ah, beloved, abrasive rogue, taking up the mantles of Darrow, Kunstler, Edward Bennett Williams, Rumpole. Seasoning our daily bread with apple cider vinegar. Thanks and happy holidays, including Hannukkah.

  6. Vinegar

    I’ve heard of subtweeting, but you’ve a
    gone one better and actually subblogged Ken White. Did you link him directly to this post, or was that a little too much vinegar?

    1. SHG Post author

      Not quite sure what you’re talking about, but I’ve been doing this a long time, as has Ken, in our own ways. We’re not in competition, but your comment is clueless yet assholish at the same time.

          1. Miles

            I suspect you’ve misinterpreted the motive here. This isn’t about Ken, but feminist fury about your misogynstic attack on Gillibrand using Popehat as their weapon.

            It seems unlikely that anyone who would be a fan of Ken’s would write anything this stupid, or fail to grasp that big boys can (and do) disagree and then move on. Gillibrand fans will never grasp that idea.

            1. SHG Post author

              Good point. It was such a bizarre comment that I couldn’t imagine why anyone would write it. Your view makes more sense. And it certainly has that passive-aggressive approach that some women favor.

        1. Sgt. Schultz

          Damn, you must be one butthurt bitch to go to all the trouble of searching for SHG’s tweet. Show me on the doll where the mean man’s words hurt you, little girl.

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