Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

You're Always A Winner When You Debate Strawmen

Let's put on our bright yellow plastic gloves, face mask and leather apron and take a look at the inner workings of a glibertarian mind. Megan (of course) McArdle, discussing Greg Gutfeld's desire to open a gay bar near a mosque because "the Muslim faith doesn’t look kindly upon homosexuality":
Gay Bar at Ground Zero
This is kind of a jerk move.

Yes it is. Trying to deliberately insult and hurt Muslims because you're a religious bigot is most definitely a jerk move.
But it's a brilliant jerk move.

In other words, McArdle acknowledges that only jerks would want to be deliberately insulting and provocative to someone because of his religion, and she is one of those jerks.
I am hoping that at least one person will attempt to explain why we should support the mosque near Ground Zero, but not the gay bar next to the mosque near Ground Zero.

Why? Only jerks would support the idea of a club created solely to insult those of a different religion. And who are these imaginary people that believe in free speech for some (Muslims) but not others (anti-Muslim bigots)? Besides Gutfeld, of course, who doesn't like freedom of speech and religion when it applies to people he personally dislikes.
I would find that very entertaining.

Why do you think defending religious persecution is entertaining? It's almost like you've set up an imaginary strawman liberal in your mind who will obediently support free speech for Muslims but not for bigots. And you can't wait to hear his argument because you love to laugh at imaginary liberal hypocrisy. It's either that or the amusing-bigotry defense.
(I support both, with the caveat that I'm not really sure that there's a shortage of deliberate provocations in today's America. And I'm pretty sure that there's not a shortage of deliberate provocations from political broadcast personalities. But he's certainly got a right to do it.)

So you support both in the name of free speech. That still doesn't explain why you find the defense of religious persecution so amusing. Or imaginary strawmen, to be fair.
I'll be surprised, however, if he manages to get a liquor license from Bloomberg's government.

Not a word about the pawns in this little mental morality play--the gay Islamic men and women who would supposedly visit this club despite its provenance, so that Gutfeld can pretend he's fighting the Muslim Caliphate using the mighty weapons of spite and a disco ball. But if Gutfeld's investors want to lose millions running a club with no customers, at least they'll be providing some jobs to unemployed New Yorkers.

ADDED: Roger Ailes also notes the emptiness of McArdle's head argument.


Clever Pseudonym said...

As if there aren't enough homophobic, insular, racist prohibitionists of the Christian faith. Why not insult them and open a gay bar in Topeka? Why target Muslims when we've got enough of our own home-grown a-holes?

Ken Houghton said...

Given the definition of "at Ground Zero" used to attack the mosque, I thought the appropriate reaction to the "news" that someone wants to open a gay bar in the area was, "What? Another one??"

Sell him the licence and watch "the market" run him out of business. Anyone betting whether McMegan would be whining about that?

(As an aside, one of my mother's ex-boy friends who, uh, had connections, financed the first gay bar in Cincinnati. Several decades ago. Anyone betting there isn't at least one--probably several--gay bar(s) in Topeka?)

Clever Pseudonym said...

I'm sure there are. And I bet if someone came along and tried to build one right next to a Baptist church just to annoy its members, the same people who are saying Gutfield's stupid idea is "brilliant" would be decrying the persecution of Christians.

Susan of Texas said...

"Out in Topeka" reports that the oldest gay bar in the US was in Topeka (it just closed for financial reasons).

Anonymous said...

She really doesn't have any empathy in her, does she?

If someone wanted to build a gay bar in that area - not to piss of the Muslims but because that's the spot where they had the property, or the clientele, or whatever - then yeah by all means build the gay bar. I certainly wouldn't be out there protesting with signs about how that was a desecration because of 9/11 or something. And I certainly wouldn't be joining with any Muslims who might protest against it because I'd just roll my eyes and say "see what you just went through - yeah - if you aren't going to be supportive then just shuddup and mind your own business".

But just because you want to piss someone off? That's juvenile. I mean, fine if they want to spend the money to get the property next to the proposed community center to open this bar more power to em - I hope the folks who own that property overcharge them to the maximum amount possible and make a killing off their ignorance.

Downpuppy said...

Shouldn't everything be prefaced with - "Greg Gutfeld is a comic whose schtick is being annoying. There is no reason whatsoever to assume that he has any active intention to open a bar."?

It seems kind of relevant, somehow.

Anonymous said...

but you're forgetting...
Megan is always wrong.

Susan of Texas said...

True, Downpuppy. But having no connection to reality seems to be a selling point on the right.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, why is anyone pretending that this is actually going to happen? Anyway, wouldn't wingnuts be torn about which establishment they hated the most? Would opening a gay bar at ground zero be any less offensive to these idiots than opening a mosque? Or does spite win out in the end?

Anonymous said...

It just doesn't even make sense to me as a "jerk move." Its not a jerk move. Open the damned bar. If your point is to make the point that America is a tolerant, open, society go ahead and make it. If your point is that its a teachable moment for Islam--that you are baiting the muslims into protesting the bar so you can point and laugh and say "see, you guys aren't so tolerant after all" the move is just stupid when, of course, you are primarily aligned in real life with people who spend from 9-11 am protesting Muslims for being muslims, and 11:00 on protesting gay people for being gay and women for having abortions. "Protesting" Muslims for (theoretically) opposing homosexuality is an absurd act for the allies of the forced christianity movement that is the right wing in this country. In the real world if such a bar opened and the muslim community center objected the very first phone call they make will be to the very religious/civil liberties front groups that the christians have been promoting to attack similar things. I'd love to see the various "anti fag "groups refusing to help picket a gay bar if Muslims are going to be funding and staffing the protest. No, no, these are our gays, not their gays! Too funny.


Kathy said...

ArgleBargle thinks starting a business next to a church (mosque) for the sole purpose of offending the churchgoers is BRILLIANT.

Malice & Spite: BRILLIANT.

What's her opinion of leaving a burning sack of dogshit on someone's porch? Einsteinen GENUS?

tigris said...

The righties would have been THRILLED if someone had suggested building a gay bar there before the mosque/community center came up, right?

Kathy said...

According to Pandagon there already are several gay bars in the area. Maybe one is named "Code Eros".