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Posts tagged "debate"

In the latest issue of Environmental Health Perspectives, science writer Wendee Holtcamp highlights the manifold differences between unreasoned denial of scientific evidence and legitimate, rational controversy and debate.

The following is for both liberal and conservative interweb-dwellers alike.

Memes are there to either make you laugh, or to draw attention to an issue in a snarky way. But for the love of christ, PLEASE stop using them in lieu of a real dialogue when you want a reaction out of someone. Spamming newsfeeds with ecards/memegenerator does not count as debate. Write something. Post a discussion-worthy article and have a civil internet sit-down. If you really want a reaction out of people, post something to ENGAGE people from the other side of the aisle, as opposed to just trolling. Maybe one of you will change your mind, or maybe you’ll agree to disagree. Regardless, part of being a grown up on the internet is learning how to do just that instead of making faces at each other from across the room.

That being said, here are a few annoyances regarding recent trends in the above:

1. The “If you’re gonna protest Chick-Fil-A, go ahead and protest Saudi Arabia” meme.

If you absolutely must come up with a meme that you want me to take seriously, at least come up with one that’s analogous to the situation at hand. Chick-Fil-A is a local company that you can protest if you so choose because they don’t have anything that you absolutely need. Gas is a necessity. Second-rate fried chicken is not. Protesting gas acquisition as it exists in this country is next to impossible in an environment where, outside of the major cities, you cannot maintain a job, food security, access to health care, etc. without a car and the gas that goes into it. And as individuals cannot get gas from the vendor of their choosing, as opposed to the fast food joint of their choosing, this attempt at passive-aggressive Facebook pwnage fails. People know this, but still proffer this shitty argument and expect me to go “OH SNAP. I JUST GOT TOLD.”

2. The Mitt Romney “War on Religion” memes being used to besmirch Obama and liberals alike.

If you are really someone who thinks that someone, somewhere, who does something counter to your interpretation of your religion is doing it just to spite you and yours personally, you should probably be a little less self-involved.

Furthermore, the last time I checked, you would piss and moan to no end if someone enforced their religious views on you, as so many who hold the above viewpoint are wont to do. This also tends to stem from the same crowd who defames every Middle Eastern, South Asian and North African country ever for doing the same thing (or for what they mistake as such) to other people.

3. Memes implying that those who complain about the Mars rover all do so from a place of ignorance.

Look, most of us are well-aware of how much goes into NASA and how much we profit from it - that’s not the point. The point is that while Congress is happy to approve billions for NASA, you couldn’t get them to pass legislation to help people in need if you personally threatened them with a syringe containing the STI cocktail from hell. They are more willing to put money into potential microbial life on Mars than they are to help the people they claim they represent and care about.

At the end of the day, the fact remains that we collectively bitch and moan about that few million spent to improve the lives of those living below the poverty line like it will bring about the apocalypse itself. Those affected include a pretty disproportionate number of people of color, and a sizable population of children of all races. In the end, it’s the symbolism present here that makes us angry - not the numbers or a lack of knowledge thereof.

(As a side note:  Please don’t hand me the ‘no one was talking about race here’ argument, when every other ad attacking efforts at reforming welfare/assistance for the poor on TV involves the oft-blatant stoking of racial economic resentment. See also, the following Tea Party 'ice-breaker'. We both know a strong stereotype subtext is regularly employed here, so let’s just be honest about it.)

4. Memes, videos and tweets from every other bored/uninformed liberal with access to social media, trying to disgrace Chick-Fil-A employees…and then posting that shit like it’s something to be proud of.

Working behind a counter at a Chick-Fil-A makes you roughly as involved in corporate decision-making for Chick-Fil-A as owning that MacBook Pro makes you part of Apple’s Board of Trustees. The people behind that counter are working hard to put food on the table, pay bills and otherwise take care of their own in a REMARKABLYshitty economy. They’re not to doing it to piss you off, or to make a statement to self-important assholes worldwide. For all you know, they are a part of the LGBTQIA community themselves. You do not know these people. Back off. You look roughly as smart as this guy.

/rant over.

The issue of whether — or how much — social-media tools such as Facebook and Twitter influenced the “Arab Spring” revolutions in Egypt and elsewhere has been a contentious one since the first rock was thrown in Tunisia earlier this year. But as more experts have studied the events in those countries, it has become increasingly clear that social tools and networks played a fairly critical role in helping turn what had been undercurrents of dissent into open revolt. Although they didn’t cause those revolutions to happen by any means, it’s arguable that they would never have happened — or at least would have happened in very different ways — if it wasn’t for the use of Facebook and other forms of social media.