Some of us are so sharp, we could just cut ourselves.
The vacuous “I am logical, but you are emotional” puts me in mind of wot’shisname… the dude who penned Cerebus.
Dave Sim? There are similarities with the gender determinism and anxiety, the religious fundamentalism infused with them, and the reluctance to debate on terms other than those that favour him.
Yeah, him. I read an interview by him, and he was so wound up in ‘I am a being of pure, virile, throbbing, masculine logic, and your emotions offend,’ that he couldn’t see how abso-fucking-lutely emotionally invested he was in his narrative (and to be clear: we are all invested in our narratives emotionally, not dissing on him for that).
That said: he was a total douche.
I’ve heard this jerk’s name bandied about by people whose stated opinions I find poorly-informed and repugnant, so I’ve avoided him until this post, and I rather wish I’d continued to do so. He’s petulant and seems confused about the difference between being well-spoken and having something worth saying.
He did manage to prove something about the polarization and vitriol in US politics, and the reasons for it, albeit through demonstration rather than argument: American politicos expect to be given a soapbox to harangue passers-by. They have forgotten that the purpose of rhetoric is to persuade the skeptical, or even the hostile. Instead they understand their goal to be impressing those who already agree with them by the use of clever jabs to humiliate those who don’t. Of course I mean “clever” in its most patronizing sense here.
The job of an interviewer, performed admirably by Mr. Neil, and which Shapiro might be too young to have ever seen in the US, is to give the interviewee the opportunity to produce the strongest possible version of his position—the one that will persuade skeptics—if he can. Shapiro appears not to realize the opportunity he threw away to demonstrate himself to be the credible public intellectual he seems to fancy himself. This is in part the fault of the United States’ profit-driven news media with its endless he-said/she-said style of interviews. Figures like Shapiro seek to increase their own fame by demanding interviewers deliver a primed, self-selected, receptive audience to impress, and at most a poorly-constructed straw man to beat. They refuse to deal with American interviewers who ask even the basic, obvious sorts of questions Neil asked, and the American journalists cooperate because their goal is ratings. Someone like Shapiro can go an entire career without ever being asked to defend himself by a skilled interlocutor, and as Shapiro himself demonstrated, will fall to pieces should he ever encounter it.
Thus Shapiro did demonstrate, far better than his book could I’d wager, what’s gone wrong with the American political forum: we have replaced public thinkers addressing the whole public with loudmouths addressing their fans, and the Fourth Estate is all but rotted to the ground.
I couldn’t be that fair, since that’s about the only interview of hers I’ve ever seen more than a snippet of.
The same thing happened when they interviewed Richard Spencer. The interviewer couldn’t find anything of substance to respond to, and just basically just cut the interview short. Do the American Right ever find it embarassing how quickly their darlings fall apart when they step out of the echo chamber? Or are they able to explain it away by muttering about foreigners?
Sperm are alive. Ova are alive. Fertilized eggs are alive from the moment they are formed. But thats not the point. I kill billions of single celled organisms every time I clean my bathroom.
We are all billions of years old because we descend from organisms which became alive billions of years ago.
I don’t agree with those who say satire is dead but watching this mouth breather accuse andrew neil, of all people, being a lefty makes a damn good case for it. You can’t satirise this shit.
Some further reading on andrew neil’s definite right wing bias from a journalist who is on the left…
I’m looking forward to the Onion article on how Ben Shapiro accused Andrew Neil of being a lefty/Laura Ingraham accused Ben Shapiro of being a lefty/Rush Limbaugh accused Laura Ingraham of being a lefty/Ann Coulter accused Rush Limbaugh of being a lefty/David Duke accused Ann Coulter of being a lefty/Richard Spencer accused David Duke of being a lefty…
Oh my God, the first question has him linking to Ben Shapiro’s article that says the middle class is not disappearing by ignoring inflation in his argument…
Shitweasels all the way down.
I think that’s part of the disconnect that Shapiro couldn’t get past–he thinks everything is a college debate with a running score, with a winner and a loser, and every topic being discussed must have diametrically opposing viewpoints where one side is ultimately DESTROYED. He couldn’t comprehend someone who wasn’t a leftist SJW caricature critically discussing the underpinnings of his ideas and rhetoric.
A dissenting position:
I actually like Ben Shapiro now that he’s moved from the hard right to more of a libertarian position. This interview was unfortunate, he did a poor job in preparation and was a lot more defensive than usual.
I honestly think the audio delay was part of the frustration, he likes to keep a quick pace in a debate. I’ve seen it argued here that he uses that quick pace as a tool to fluster his opponents, and while there may be some truth to that, he comes across (to me) as someone who has a lot of thoughts racing through his head and has to make an effort not to get overexcited.
I didn’t like this particular debate because it centered around two areas that I’m in direct conflict with Shapiro on: his hard line pro-life stance and his strict orthodox ideology. I wish he had actually answered some of those questions, but he let his emotions get the best of him. It’s actually strange to see, I’ve seen him field tougher questions than that with measure and tact.
I know that BB is not exactly the place to try and defend someone like Ben Shapiro, but I think he’s one of the most mischaracterized pundits on the right. He’s been called a white supremacist and an alt right troll (among other things) and that’s really not true at all. I don’t agree with everything he says, but I do agree with most of his points. And generally when I see a video claiming to DESTROY Shapiro I watch with great interest, but rarely see any actual destroying, just different points of view stated matter of factly.
Anyway, happy to engage in civil debate if anyone is interested.
Welcome to BoingBoing!
Thank you. Long time lurker, first time contributor.
I’ll hang up and take your thoughts off the air.
I’ve never been a big fan of the “Ben DESTROYS college lefty!” material, but he does sit down and and have what I consider to be interesting conversations with actual thinking adults.
If you’re interested.
On the other hand, he also sometimes has conversations with the likes of Jordan Peterson and Dave Rubin.
What is it you gain from his, um, “debate”? Sorry, I know too much about debate and have spent too much time with actual debaters to call what he does “debate” without scare quotes.