Posts Tagged ‘University of Rhode Island’

Rule of Thumb

December 21, 2012

I notice that at Professor Loomis’s group blog there has been a movement of sorts to defend his right to free speech against those awful conservative wingnuts who have taken note of some of his more offensive statements. Evidently saying bad things about the good professor is tantamount to an insidious campaign of hate and intimidation.

The worst mistake to make with regards to Erik’s battle with accumulated wingnuttery is this: If I’m careful, it won’t happen to me. Erik employed an emotional-but-common metaphor to describe his feelings about a major public figure in the wake of a tragedy; the response has amounted to a Two Minutes Hate. The first purpose of this Hate is to intimidate Erik and people like Erik into never again speaking forthrightly about American politics. The second purpose is to distract from the fact that twenty children were massacred with weapons that no civilian should be allowed to possess.

Let’s be clear: If you are a progressive interested in writing about politics, this will happen to you. The only question is how you deal with it.

No. The intent is to discourage people from fantasizing on the Internet about assassinating public figures. Anyway Loomis reactivated and then deleted his Twitter account. Again, we may be thankful that Twitchy has preserved his words. A quick overview of the tweets he made before deleting his account again indicates that this is not just a matter of one or two badly worded posts but that this is a man with some anger management issues. I apologize for the language.

Dear The Avery in Providence. Fucking forgive me for working on my book while drinking a beer in your empty bar. Laptops banned!!!!!

Quick! Grab screencaps before the mad professor deletes them again:

I was just ordered by ownership to close my laptop in an almost totally empty bar. If you ever wanted to see me in full anger, see me now.—
Erik Loomis (@ErikLoomis) November 14, 2012

Nothing makes me more angry than being ordered what to do. Usuallly good at checking emotions, am now in towering rage at laptop-banning bar—
Erik Loomis (@ErikLoomis) November 14, 2012

@drfarls You have no idea how much I wanted to break my glass over that guy’s head.—
Erik Loomis (@ErikLoomis) November 14, 2012

Erik Loomis, as most Twitchy readers know, is the hypocritical University of Rhode Island professor who retweeted a tweet advocating murder of certain gun rights proponents.

His bio used to note his position as assistant professor at the University of Rhode Island. Not anymore.

Anyway, after deleting his Twitter account on Tuesday, Mr. Angry is back today. We can look forward to many more tweets like these:

I love teaching books on the history of sexuality. I talked about dildos in a completely appropriate way in class today.—
Erik Loomis (@ErikLoomis) November 20, 2012

This I Believe: Corporations are run by greedy, rapacious assholes who deserve long prison sentences. lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2012/11/this-i…
Erik Loomis (@ErikLoomis) November 16, 2012

Dear subtitle people, white subtitles on a white background means I CAN’T FUCKING READ THE SUBTITLES. Seriously, have you heard of yellow?—
Erik Loomis (@ErikLoomis) October 23, 2012

@speechboy71 I would personally like to punch Matt Stafford for single handedly destroying my fantasy team this year.—
Erik Loomis (@ErikLoomis) October 23, 2012

Dear right-wing morons, saying you “want someone’s head on a stick” is a metaphor. I know metaphor is hard for you to understand.—
Erik Loomis (@ErikLoomis) December 18, 2012

Dear rightwingers, to be clear, I don’t want to see Wayne LaPierre dead. I want to see him in prison for the rest of his life. #nraterrorism
Erik Loomis (@ErikLoomis) December 18, 2012

I am bringing all this up because I thought it might be a good way to introduce my rule of thumb regarding blogging, tweeting, writing, or saying anything that is likely to become public. If Professor Loomis and his colleagues happen to be reading this, I hope they will pay attention.

My rule of thumb is this; before hitting the return or send button, take a quick look at what you have written and consider how a complete stranger might take it. If what you have written comes across as angry, hateful, or deranged, you might want to rewrite or delete it. If there is anything in what you have written that could even remotely be construed as a threat of violence, then you should definitely rewrite or delete it. You may feel that this would cramp your style or restrict your free speech rights but I would say that the right of free speech comes with the responsibility to use that right conscientiously. In other words, if you don’t want people to jump all other you, you might try to express yourself with some degree of civility and respect. I think you might find it easier to persuade people to come around to your point of view if you didn’t start off by calling anyone who disagrees with you a moron.

Something similar could be said regarding foul language. If you have a problem expressing yourself without using the f-word, imagine your mother standing in front of your computer. You wouldn’t talk like that in front of her, would you? If you have a limited vocabulary, as so many seem to these days, invest in a thesaurus. You might also try reading the classics. Those writers like Shakespeare and Dickens, etc. really knew how to express themselves. Learn from them.

I think that if we all try to be calmer and more rational and not just write whatever happens to be on the top of our heads at any given moment, we would all be a lot better off and , who knows, we might just be able to find things we agree on.

Oh,and Professor Loomis, if by chance you do happen to be reading this, please get counseling. You’ll find it does a world of good in dealing with your issues.

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Exceptions

December 18, 2012

I am generally opposed to any new gun control laws, and really I am opposed to any legislation enacted in the immediate aftermath of any crisis. The worst time to act is when emotions are high and easily manipulated, while it is better to wait a little while for everyone to cool down and consider the matter rationally. This, of course, is why the gun control proponents are insisting we do something right this minute. The last thing they seem to want is to consider the problem of violence in America rationally. Someone might come up with a solution that doesn’t empower the federal government, after all.

Still, in the interests of compromise and holding the conversation, I am willing to make an exception to my principles. There are some people who should never have access to firearms,or any weapon. I would go so far as to suggest that some people, who have made violent threats against others, should perhaps be taken into custody until they are proven to be no threat to themselves or others. One person who should definitely be watched might be University of Rhode Island Professor Erik Loomis. Professor Loomis has made some tweets which could be considered, well, violent if not to say somewhat deranged. Loomis has since deleted his Twitter account, but luckily for us Twitchy has preserved his words for posterity.

erik-loomis-rt

That was a retweet. It is possible that Loomis did not agree with the sentiment, but here are his own words.

@rmccrory I was heartbroken in the first 20 mass murders. Now I want Wayne LaPierre’s head on a stick.—
Erik Loomis (@ErikLoomis) December 15, 2012

Looks like the National Rifle Association has murdered some more children.—
Erik Loomis (@ErikLoomis) December 14, 2012

@fmanjoo There are words. Fuck the National Rifle Association and its policies to put crazy guns in everyone’s hands.—
Erik Loomis (@ErikLoomis) December 14, 2012

You are goddamn right we should politicize this tragedy. Fuck the NRA. Wayne LaPierre should be in prison.—
Erik Loomis (@ErikLoomis) December 14, 2012

Wayne LaPierre is a criminal and should be in prison for complicity with murder. 27 counts.—
Erik Loomis (@ErikLoomis) December 14, 2012

Dear Republicans, Do you know the definition of family values? It’s not having our kids FUCKING SHOT AT SCHOOL!! Fuck the NRA.—
Erik Loomis (@ErikLoomis) December 14, 2012

It’s harder to buy Sudafed in a pharmacy that high-caliber rifle bullets. Fuck the NRA.—
Erik Loomis (@ErikLoomis) December 14, 2012

Can we define NRA membership dues as contributing to a terrorist organization?—
Erik Loomis (@ErikLoomis) December 14, 2012

I bet terrorist NRA head Wayne LaPierre will sleep well tonight.—
Erik Loomis (@ErikLoomis) December 15, 2012

Larry Pratt and the group Gun Owners of America are terrorists and should be dealt with as such. thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/1…
Erik Loomis (@ErikLoomis) December 15, 2012

Idiot of the day: Eugene Volokh, for arguing we should arm school teachers. volokh.com/2012/12/14/a-t…
Erik Loomis (@ErikLoomis) December 15, 2012

The NRA pushes for policies that make it complicit in mass murders in the US and Mexico. Repeal the 2nd Amendment.—
Erik Loomis (@ErikLoomis) December 18, 2012

Another day, another NRA facilitated terrorist attack. This morning at an Alabama hospital. abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/p…
Erik Loomis (@ErikLoomis) December 15, 2012

Your daily NRA-facilitated terrorism. San Antonio this time. thedailybeast.com/cheats/2012/12…
Erik Loomis (@ErikLoomis) December 17, 2012

He calls it an “intimidation campaign” when websites such as Campus Reform, quote what he said about Wayne LaPierre:

The right-wing intimidation campaign against me for saying the NRA was a terrorist organization continues. Will not succeed.—
Erik Loomis (@ErikLoomis) December 18, 2012

@NeilAnAlien Indeed they will not. In fact, I’d like to write up my story of right-wing intimidation for a magazine.—
Erik Loomis (@ErikLoomis) December 18, 2012

The Venn diagram between those who are trying to intimidate me and those who think Obama is the Kenyan usurper is sizable.—
Erik Loomis (@ErikLoomis) December 18, 2012

He backs away from his “head on a stick” comment but doubles down on his view that Wayne LaPierre should be imprisoned:

Dear right-wing morons, saying you “want someone’s head on a stick” is a metaphor. I know metaphor is hard for you to understand.—
Erik Loomis (@ErikLoomis) December 18, 2012

Dear rightwingers, to be clear, I don’t want to see Wayne LaPierre dead. I want to see him in prison for the rest of his life. #nraterrorism
Erik Loomis (@ErikLoomis) December 18, 2012

Even when not addressing guns,  Loomis seems to have significant anger and anxiety issues:

@jacremes Bad TV makes me angry.—
Erik Loomis (@ErikLoomis) December 17, 2012

How do people relax after writing without alcohol? Am trying, failing. A jumble of nerves, determined no one will ever publish the book.—
Erik Loomis (@ErikLoomis) December 17, 2012

Of course Loomis did not really mean he wanted to see anyone murdered. That was just a metaphor as he explained to the police. I will take his word for that, but it is fairly obvious he has some anger issues.

On a larger note, I think that I can honestly say that I have never advocated violence on this blog, or on any other forum, either metaphorical or actual. In general, though I am sure there are exceptions, I have found the most expressions of hatred and threats of violence have come from the Left, the very people who are always accusing those who are opposing them of being of being violent haters. I am not sure of the reason for this. Perhaps it is a sort of projection by some on the Left. They are prone to anger and violent talk, so they assume others are. Perhaps this is a good subject for a psychiatrist to study.

 


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