Why I No Longer Debate FOX News Trolls…
There are many reasons why I no longer debate Fox News trolls. Several years ago when Obama was running for his first time I was pretty sure the democrats had blown their chance at winning back the presidency when they nominated Obama. I liked him, he sounded like a man of good and honest character. I knew Republicans were going to hate him for a ton of made up reasons. And to be honest, I just thought there was no way America was going to elect a black man as president. I mean we are talking about the US of A here, a country that re-elected Bush knowing full well, he was a complete idiot. A country where millions in the deep south still praise the Confederate flag. However, to my pleasant surprise, he won the election.
In the time prior to the presidential election I was having daily debates with an old family friend. He had fallen victim to the FOX News cult of stupidity. He was sending me the most racist bullshit and when I called him on it, he said I was overreacting, it was a joke, it wasn’t racist. For months and months I wasted hours daily responding to his emails. He would bombard me with the most ridiculous half-truths and lies. I countered all of them with facts and links to those facts. He almost never would respond to what I said. Instead, he’d just send along another question with a link to another crazy conservative blog or FOX News site. I would again drop what I was doing and take the time to factually respond to him. When he did take the time to reply to the information I sent him, it was always the same. “You’re getting that from the lame-stream media!” It didn’t matter if it was an official government document or not. No source could be trusted according to him unless it was from FOX News or some conservative blog.
At one point he sent something from one of the blogs he follows. I read it and I was stunned at the lies and misleading information it provided. Information that had been taken completely out of context. The shit this blog was saying blew me away. I mean it was bat shit crazy, cult type thinking. I get to the bottom of the blog page and in the footer section, I see the problem. The blog is run by a nutbag Christian that is selling books talking about how man and dinosaur walked the earth together.
The back and forth emailing went on for months and I eventually and I jokingly called him a crack baby. He took it serious and I apologized to him but he refused to accept it as I understand it. And, in some ways, I’m glad he did. I had asked him repeatedly to stop emailing me his ridiculous propaganda. I was getting at least two or three emails a day with his crazy bullshit. Once he got butt-hurt the silence was amazing! It felt so good. His lack of bullshittery in my inbox was like breathing in fresh air.
Over the years since then, I have seen the economy strengthen, and an end to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. My broke ass now has health insurance that has since saved my life. I have seen marriage equality become a reality and I have seen the capture and killing of Osama. And, through all these world changing positive things, I have watched the republican party do nothing but tell their party that it’s all been a bad thing. That the economy isn’t really any better. That the U.S. is worse off now than it was when Bush was in office. It’s insane.
The republican party is deluding it’s followers with lies and half-truths. It has become a party of severe paranoia and hate. The republican party has gotten its members convinced that everything is liberal conspiracy and sadly, these people are just too stupid to see it. And, the reason why? Because hate and fear, sell. When you convince people to only trust certain media sources because all the other have an agenda, you’ve got them. You have got to watch multiple sources of news to even begin to see other points of views and get a “fair and balanced” view of what’s happening in the world.
The republican party is deluding it’s party members with lies and half-truths.
For example, I have seen friends and others on social media talk about the rest of the world laughing at president Obama. I’ve flat out asked these people if they have friends in other countries. The response is always the same, “Nope.” And yet, they think this is the case because that’s what their news tells them to think. I work with people from all over the world. I have not met one of them that is laughing at Obama. Every single one of them agrees that Obama is doing a much better job than Bush had done.
I have spent hours and hours debating these kinds of conservative idiots on Facebook and you can’t win. You just can’t win an argument with these people because they refuse to listen. Their minds are made up. I have seen it over and over again. The delusion is always the same. They have become so stupid and reliant upon what their “news” sources are telling them that they no longer understand the difference between fact and opinion. When fox news throws out it’s right wing opinions under the guise of “News” they take it as fact. When you take the time to provide these people with facts, they refuse to believe it. There response is always, “I don’t believe your facts.” I always say, “They’re not ‘my facts’ and these aren’t my opinions They are simply the facts.” But, they don’t get that. It’s like they just have turned into mindless zombies and it’s really, really frustrating.
The family friend I mentioned earlier. He’s actually more of a friend to my parents. They know he’s a dumbass when it comes to politics. They just don’t like confrontation so they don’t say it. My father isn’t really into politics at all, but is very much into science and math. He has been debating with this friend on climate change. My dad who has read several books on the subject from varying points of views has concluded that climate change is real based on the available evidence that he has seen. My dad, when it comes to science and math is one of the smartest people I know. Even my dad has asked this friend to stop emailing him on the subject of climate change.
The reason my dad gave up on trying to explain global warming to him is because he refuses to listen. This family friend is doing the same thing to my dad that he did to me years ago. He’s spamming my dad with crap all day long asking him to explain this or that. My dad has spent hours trying to explain to him the science behind it all. He won’t listen, he ignores every single one of my dad’s responses.
What finally made my dad give up on trying to explain it to him was when this friend sent a link to an article that was saying global warming is a lie. My dad once again, went to the site or friend linked to him to, read the article and then responded with the facts, links to the facts and so on. Later that day the friend sent back another email with something else just as stupid as his last email. My dad asked him two questions. First, “Did you actually read the article that you sent for me to read?” and “Did you read my response and the links that I sent you in response?” Our friends response was, “No.” That was it for my dad.
This is exactly why I have stopped trying to talk to these types of idiots. These are people that have already made up their minds. They are simply too stupid to understand the difference between an opinion and a fact. And, you just can’t argue with or debate people that refuse to even listen to anything that doesn’t agree with the opinions they have already formed.
The problem is that the Republican party learned that you can cherry pick the facts and weave your own version of them to the public. And, once you have their trust, the rest is easy. I am not saying the democrats aren’t guilty of doing the same at times. What I am saying is that right now, the democrats haven’t taken up residency in crazy town, sure some democrats and liberals have moved there but not the hole party. Their overall message is one of equality, peace and truth. The Republican party has stopped in crazy town and taken up residency there. They party has been overrun with these Tea Party idiots. It didn’t used to be that way, I know, I used to be a republican. Not any more. I realized that their overall message was one of fear and hate they wrap up in a cute little bow and sell it to the public as patriotism.
The Problem with Network Executives…
It seems that Network executives have become spineless and clueless over the years. I don’t think they always were but they certainly seem so today. I recall a time back in the 80’s and 90’s when these executives would stand up for good shows, even when their rating weren’t that good and sometimes when the ratings were pretty bad. They would even stand behind a show when the insane religious right would complain about a show. Even when some sponsors pulled their advertising. These executives still stood behind their shows.
I am reminded of a few examples. Going back to the early eighties shows like Night Court and Cheers suffered from poor ratings but they were good shows and given a chance for a second season. These shows became part of the backbone behind NBC’s in the eighties and in part became part of NBC’s domination of Thursday night. That domination later turned into it their “Must see TV!” campaign. NBC ruled supreme for well over a decade and it owes a lot of that domination to these series that suffered from poor ratings in their first season.
There were campaigns by Christian groups to get Married with cancelled.
In the late 80’s and early 90’s on FOX, shows like The Simpson’s and Married with Children dominated! Conservative religious groups hated these shows. There were campaigns by these groups to get Married with Children cancelled. Sponsors pulled advertising but the the executives at FOX had some backbone and didn’t kowtow to these idiot groups. Today, these shows would be cancelled the moment anyone claimed to be offended.
Now, any show that offends the Christian right is cancelled the moment there’s a complaint. Yet, if the show is followed and generally supported by the Christian right it can get away with promoting a life style that is anti-gay, bigoted and racist as long as it does so by hiding behind the Bible. Hell, people in the show can be child molesters who admit to committing incest and the cast can support them and the network behind the show will adopt a let’s wait and see mentality. This happening right now with the show 19 Kids and Counting. Sure it has pulled the current run of the show but hasn’t cancelled it. This is an obvious attempt to literally just wait and see how bad the media attention gets before it finally does the right thing and cancels the bigoted show.
19 Kids and Counting is a cast full of admitted bigots and anti-gay people. The network doesn’t even flinch at the criticism.
Seriously, think about it. Duck Dynasty‘s cast supports underage teen sex and bigotry with just a touch of racism thrown in for taste. The show is still on the air. 19 Kids and Counting is a cast full of admitted bigots and anti-gay people. The network doesn’t even flinch at the criticism. It has taken the admission of multiple disgusting acts of sexual perversion of the worst kind to get episodes of the show pulled from the line up. But, even that hasn’t been enough to get the show cancelled, yet. However, in all fairness, I am pretty sure the show is going to get cancelled as the events surrounding Josh Duggars crimes are brought to light. My point however, is that it hasn’t been cancelled yet. The network has been aware of the admitted sex crimes for a full week.
So, here were are in May when the Networks normally start to announce the current seasons cancellations. Two cancellations really stand out to me this season. The new show Backstrom on FOX and ABC’s show Forever have both been cancelled. Both of these shows contain unique main characters, interesting stories and really good writing. Why were they cancelled? Lackluster ratings. Doesn’t matter that they are good shows with loyal fan bases. It seems these idiotic network executives simply have no back bone to stand behind them. Think about it, insanely stupid, shallow and ridiculous shows like the Bachelor and the Bachelorette are still on the air and they cancel Forever? Are you kidding me?
In this day and age when the average TV watching person has access to hundreds of channels and thousands of shows that can be watched online, as well as all the podcasts and internet programming, it’s insane that there isn’t more advertising for these shows. It’s so easy for good shows to fall through the cracks.
Where are the days when networks stood behind shows like this. They knew the shows were good and they gave them every chance to succeed. Now, they get nothing. Almost no promotion at all. They throw up a Facebook and Twitter account and do almost nothing with them magically expecting ratings miracles. In this day and age when the average TV watching person has access to hundreds of channels and thousands of shows that can be watched online, as well as all the podcasts and internet programming, it’s insane that there isn’t more advertising for these shows. It’s so easy for good shows to fall through the cracks.
I will admit that NBC put forth a valiant effort to save The Slap. A show that from the first preview I saw as not only boring but about a decade or two too late. It might have made for an interesting mini-series but as a TV series? It reeked of of Epic Failure. I don’t care if it had a star studded cast. Who wants to sit down on a weekly basis and be forced to contemplate child abuse. Yes it’s an important issue but it makes for horrible TV and it was bad idea from the get go. I don’t know anyone that watched this show. Yet, NBC promoted the hell out of this show. Even after the ratings sucked. They didn’t give up on it. I respect that. Someone believed in the show and they fought for it. It wasn’t until after all that support and the ratings still sucked that they finally pulled the plug on it. That’s how you do it!
On the other hand, taking good shows like Forever and Backstom off the air after only putting in a half-assed promotional campaign is ridiculous. It shows that not only are these network executives clueless as to what is good TV but they seem to have absolutely no idea what good TV is. It seems they wouldn’t know a good show if it “fell out of the sky, landed on their face and started to wiggle.”
Not too long ago I came across a post by a news anchor about a shark attack that happened in Hawaii. Now there are few people who get more excited about Shark Week then myself. In fact, I just found out a couple of weeks ago that Netflix has Shark Week episodes and every night with my Droid Bionic plugged in by my bedside I fall asleep to past episodes I enjoyed or had forgotten all about using my Netflix App. I am not saying I have the knowledge of a marine biologist or an ichthyologist but when it comes to sharks, I know more than anyone I know. So I was all about reading about this terrifying attack in Hawaii.
I read the little article and then I watch the news clip and I can tolerate that the people involved all called this a miracle. But, as I read the comments. It was comment after comment of people praising the miracle. Everyone professing it was a miracle, praise Jesus!
Here’s what happened in the shark attack. A 20 year old German girl in a bikini is swimming alone about 75 yards out from the shore. She is attacked by a shark. A teacher and pastor from southern California is on the shore and hears a scream. He then sees the girl out there and she is surrounded by blood. He puts his swim fins on and goes out to save her. When he gets to the girl she is missing an arm at the shoulder. He takes her good arm and swings it around his shoulder and swims her back to shore where he is met by a friend and they get her on to the beach.
Read the full story here:http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/California-Man-Credited-Rescues-Maui-Shark-Attack-Victim-219962521.html
Now, I guess if you don’t know anything about shark attacks or miracles this might seem like one. I can understand one or two uninformed people claiming a miracle. That’s to be expected. Throw something sparkly in front of a sheep and it must be a miracle. However, as I continued to read all the comments to this story on Facebook I was in complete shock at how many people were talking about what a miracle it was! Everyone praising Jesus as I said. It made me sick to my stomach at the arrogance of these simple minded people.
These people didn’t offend me because I am an atheist and therefore I do not believe in miracles. They offended me because they were stupid. Nothing about this story is miraculous. Nothing! Don’t get me wrong the story is compelling. The pastor showed heroic levels of bravery. But, was what happened a miracle? No, it simply wasn’t. Wasn’t even close.
Here’s the definition of a miracle. “a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency.“
Where in the story do we get miracle? Let’s break it down shall we.
First, shark attack itself. If you look at most shark attacks. Or look at all of them. Or, just look at a few of them. I don’t care because it doesn’t matter. No matter how many you choose to look at, most of them are going to look just like this shark attack we’re talking about. Here’s what happens. Someone usually is swimming where they shouldn’t be or at a time of day when they should not be swimming. They get bit by a shark. At some point they attract the attention of someone else and that person or those people swim out to help. Yes, that’s right, in attack after attack good Samaritans risk their lives to swim over to help their friends or strangers being attacked.
So, we know that there’s nothing unusual about a shark attack. We know now that in most shark attack cases someone will risk their life to swim out and try to save them. So far, nothing miraculous has happened. Everything that happened was completely explainable by science and statistical data. But, what about Judeo-Christian scripture?
Second, scripture. Does this attack fit the definition of a miracle by scripture. I know that expecting a Christian to have actually read the bible is a lot to ask. Oh they may have read some scripture from the New Testament and maybe heard a quote two from the Old. However, to have read the good book cover to cover. It just so rarely happens that I don’t know of a Christian who has actually read the bible cover to cover. There’s a name for those that have read the bible cover to cover, atheists! I know lots of Christians who have claimed to. But, if you’ve actually read the bible you can tell whose lying by just asking a couple of questions.
Keeping that in mind then lets look at some historic miracles of the bible.
- Moses parted the Red Sea. Unexplainable by science and nature. Miracle!
- The Ten Plagues of Egypt. All of those fit the miracle status, specially turning day into night for three days. Miracle!
- Jesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead. Well that’s impressive. Miracle!
- Jesus walks on water! That’s hard to beat.
There are many more miracles in the bible. I just named a few at random. But, what do they all have in common? All of them are unexplained by nature and science. It’s as simple as that. There’s no secret to a miracle here. It’s clearly shown what is a miracle. There’s even a definition to the word to help the slow folk understand what is miracle and what is not. Let me say it once again… Nothing in this story is representative of a miracle. Everything is explainable by either science or nature.
Coincidence is not a criteria for a miracle. It doesn’t matter if the man that saved her was a pastor.
It’s not a miracle that the pastor prayed to god for help while trying to save the girl. He’s a pastor, what do you expect him to do?
It’s not a miracle that just after praying the pastor suddenly felt a burst of strength. This is science and can be explained through the release of adrenaline and dopamine in his system. It’s nothing different than listening to your favorite loud music when you’re trying to stay awake. The boost of energy you get, it’s not a miracle. It’s just chemistry.
So why I am bringing this all up. Well, because I made the mistake of commenting and trying to explain that it wasn’t a miracle. I thought for sure some of the folks with an ounce of common sense would back me up. No one did! I was called names. I was asked to leave the thread. I couldn’t believe it! I am actually defending these morons and they don’t get it. To them I am just being a troll, trying to stir up some shit. It was just pissing me off.
I get mad when people who claim to be Christians no less about the bible than I do. It’s their damn book, learn it! I shouldn’t have to explain it to them. But, that’s the problem. The bible is just a tool to the average religious person. Means nothing to them unless they need to quote it to make a point. It is absolutely silly that same person will quote scripture as law to me and then when I quote another scripture back them? It doesn’t matter, they completely ignore it because they don’t believe in that part of the bible. Are you kidding me?!
I was rapidly trying to defend myself. Responding with huge concise posts as to avoid confusion. Yes I was sarcastic at times because it’s just hard to fight against a barrage of stupidity without it. This is when the reporter who posted the story jumped in. I couldn’t wait to hear her side of the story. Surly this seasoned reporter would at least see my side. She’s a real reporter, objectivity is the most important trait of a reporter. But, to my surprise she belittled me, and suggested that I don’t post to her threads. I was offended on so many levels and I struggled not to slam back. Instead, I took my time and once again tried to explain my position.
It turns out I was getting nowhere fast. But the news anchor did suggest that I call her. I declined at first. I felt like it was started here, it should be finished here. I made my final post in the thread and said that I was going to politely back out of it. I again explained my original attentions and I left the thread. A few days later I read this story…
Basically it’s a story of a man that was pronounced dead by doctors. He had been dead close to an hour while Dr.’s did CPR and could not resuscitate the man. They noted the time of death and let the family in to say goodbye. The man’s 17 year son old just won’t accept it. He says out loud, “Not today, you’re not going to die today dad!” Then suddenly a doctor notices a heartbeat on one of the monitors. Miraculously Anthony Yahle comes back to life!
I think to myself, I am an atheist I don’t believe in miracles. I don’t believe that just because in our limited knowledge that just because we can’t explain something that it has to be God. That is just silly and breeds ignorance. However, had people in this thread being saying it was a miracle, I wouldn’t have said a word about it! Just because I don’t believe something is a miracle doesn’t mean that others can’t. This story for the moment fits the definition of a miracle. It cannot be explained by nature or science. This fits all definitions of miracles. I can’t argue that. Why would I? It literally fits the very definition of the word.
I send the news anchor a private message and a link to this story. I try to explain, this is what I was talking about. This is what a miracle looks like. The shark attack story was at best mundane compared to what miracles are supposed to be. This is the point I was trying to make in your post about the shark attack I said to her. I wasn’t trying to troll, I wasn’t trying to start anything. I just couldn’t help listening to all these people cry miracle when there was obviously no miracle at all. To call what happened in the shark attack a miracle is an insult to real miracles.
The news anchor responds briefly and again asks me to call her. I didn’t respond to her for a few days, my birthday was coming up in a day or two and I had some serious concerns in calling her. I didn’t understand why should would want to actually talk to me? She said that she preferred a phone call because it’s better than a the written word as there is less likely to be a misunderstanding more or less. I am paraphrasing of course. I don’t completely buy it, beautiful TV reporters don’t just ask people who post in their threads to call them and better explain what they mean. I was sure it was going to be set up. Like she was working on some story like, “Trolls and Facebook!”
I already don’t have a great past, my present sucks and I am easy target to for someone with means to attack. And, I just don’t need that kind of attention. But, I have to call. She asked to me and I was just going to have to take her at her word.
After a couple of calls back and fourth we finally speak on the phone. All the headaches and worries. She was so completely friendly. I don’t know how long we talked for? It seemed like hours and at the same time it oddly seemed to go too fast. It was just a refreshing conversation. She opened up about some personal things in her life while we talked about religion. We laughed a bit and really did better understand where each of was coming from.
Now being a good reporter it has got to help to be able to make people feel comfortable and like you’re their best friend in order for them to covertly get the info they want from you. But, it just wasn’t like, she did just as much talking as I did, maybe more? So it wasn’t about trolling, or some other story. It was just about getting things straight. It was just such a refreshing phone call.
The more I thought about the call, the more I thought, I am glad I am not a huge psycho. She was so nice and friendly it just made wonder how she is when talking to other unknown people. I could totally understand a person thinking after that phone call that they are now best friends and thus the stalking would begin. Being the immature, goofy bastard that I am I almost called her up this after noon after she got done with the news just to leave a message for her in a creepy kinda voice like, “I loved the blouse you wore today! Call me later, I miss you!” I couldn’t do it, she doesn’t know me well enough for that kinda joke I decided in the end. Would have been funny though.
Anyways, so I was watching her later on the news and I kept thinking, how cool is that I totally talked to her on the phone with her last night. So that’s my story. Thought it was something different to share.