Home > Critical Thinking, Current Affairs, Dystopia, Musings, Philosophy sans Sophistry, Reason, Secular Religions, Skepticism, Technology > Dystopic Implications of Sam Kriss’s Trial by Social Media: Oct 18, 2017

Dystopic Implications of Sam Kriss’s Trial by Social Media: Oct 18, 2017

The event discussed in this post is a bit obscure, and not well publicized, but it carries highly dystopian implications. While I have mentioned its central character in an older post, it is worthwhile to quickly go over some relevant details. Sam Kriss, is a young but somewhat well-known freelance journalist whose articles have been published by a number of alternative and not-so-alternative online media outlets such as VICE, Jacobin, Slate, Politico, Baffler etc. He is known for his verbose and often personalized style of writing, which includes insulting some of the subjects of his pieces. It is also worthwhile to know that he has strong leftist and marxist leanings (at least in his articles) in spite of being born to wealthy parents. His outspoken support for the “feminist cause” during the Gamergate controversy is relevant to the current controversy.

So did the current kerfuffle, which is the topic of this post, start? Well.. like many controversies nowadays it started with a celebrity driven social media phenomena and a social media post. More specifically, the “#metoo” campaign on twitter in the wake of revelations of prolonged sexual improprieties by Harvey Weinstein has seemingly opened the floodgates of accusations against men of some fame in the entertainment and media industry. While some of the new accusations are likely true and rather disturbing, more than a few of the newly publicized accusations seem to be less about rape than about aggressive and unwelcome sexual comments and advances. In other words, many of the newly surfacing accusations are about stuff that is not illegal under current laws, but could be perceived as unwelcome or insulting by one party to the interaction.

If that was not the case, many of those being accused would have been tried and convicted by the existent legal system a long time ago. Either that, or those making the accusations would have been far richer than they are now.

Why is any of this relevant to the main focus of this post? Well.. it comes to the circumstances of the recent accusations made against Sam Kriss. A day or two ago, a woman journalist published a lengthy denunciation of Sam Kriss on FaceBook. In it, she claimed to have been sexually assaulted by him on at least one occasion. As you might expect, tons of twitter feminists and their “male allies” went on denunciation spree of his alleged actions based solely on her version of the story. Anybody who dared to suggest that the accuser’s version of the events might be incomplete or not completely true was brushed away as ‘mansplaining’ and evidence of patriarchic oppression or complicity with “rapists”. As it turns out there was more than side to this story and one detail which was very relevant to what occurred.

Sam Kriss published his response yesterday. To quickly summarize, he does not deny that the alleged incident took place. He does, however, provide the very relevant detail that he had a pre-existing casual sexual relationship with his accuser when the event in question occurred. Let me rephrase that, he already had sex with her on more than one occasion prior to the events in question. He claims that he was just aggressively flirting with her with the expectation of another sexual encounter. He also claims that she did not at any stage of that encounter, ask him to stop. Moreover, she continued to message him for many months after that encounter suggesting that a future hookup was possible. As it stands today, it is still his word against her- though I am sure that both parties have some electronic evidence of their past conversations.

And as most of you would expect, these accusations have unleashed a storm of “indignation” (for public display) against Sam Kriss based solely on accusations made against him on a social media platform. To be clear, it is hard to know which of two parties is being untruthful since there has been no formal process of (legal) discovery, let alone a formal criminal or civil trial. Personally, I think it is unlikely that the accusations made against him would stand in any half-decent court of law- largely because it is one of those ‘he said-she said’ type situations without physical evidence to decisively support either of their accounts. This has however not stopped some of the media outlets which had previously published his articles from dropping him from their roster. A backbench Labor MP in UK has even called for him to be locked up even before he is formally accused (if that will ever happen) and proven guilty in a court of law.

It is hard to ignore the similarities between witch hunts in previous eras and such cases. In both, the accuser (or accusers) version of the story was usually believed in an uncritical manner while all evidence contrary to the accuser’s version of events was suppressed or deliberately ignored. In both cases, prosecution of the accused was justified as a moral good and backed up by an ideology, irrespective of any evidence that it was neither. In both cases, those who dissented were labelled as enablers of “un-goodness” and agents of the “great deceivers”. In both cases, kangaroo “courts” and mob “justice” were seen as far more desirable than due process and a fair trial. My point is that making significant decisions about the innocence or guilt of any person without due process or a fair trial is a reversion to the pre-enlightenment era rather than an improvement over the current setup.

As an amusing side-note to this story, it is worth recounting that Sam Kriss was an outspoken supporter of “social media feminists” who ranted and raved about all those “sexist” male gamers during the Gamergate controversy. While it is hard to say what drove him to make fun of all those “loser” male gamers and their concerns during that period, whatever he did was unable to protect him from the witchunt caused by an accusation of sexual aggression (and maybe assault) on social media. Notably, almost none of the “feminists” he so vocally supported during the Gamergate controversy appears willing to give a fair hearing to his (very plausible) version of the story. Maybe, uncritical support of a bunch of ideologues with no real interest in fairness or due process was not a good idea in the first place. In any case, it will be interesting to see how this story develops in the near future.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. October 18, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    ugh…

    There is no point trying to “play nice” with someone that thinks you are subhuman, be it an obese man hating feminist or an alt reich piece if shit like Dickie Spencer…

    “While some women may not (fair enough), I do want your apology. I do want you to say something now, because now is better than never. I do want you to tell your brother that what he did is unacceptable. I do want you to criticize your 40 year-old friend who preys on drunk 20 year-old girls. I want you to admit that you have participated in all of this, despite the risks to your reputation. I want you to understand that your behaviour (or apathy) hurt women. I want you too apologize for paying for sex in 1999, because it was your birthday and your friends were all doing it.”

    http://www.feministcurrent.com/2017/10/16/yes-you-too/

    I know you like to write about current events so it was no surprise you wrote about that Harvey dude but then you kept at it. After awhile, it seemed like what they call “virtue signalling” in some parts of the internet. “Hey almost 30 year old progressive white woman who voted for hillary and is a little overweight but kind of cute. It is sooooo awful that someone as disgusting as that Harvey dude preyed on high paid actresses. I pay my beautiful ladies fair market value when I fuck them. I also buy fair trade coffee at the farmers market unlike those disgusting working class guys who buy their coffee at 7/11. P…puh..puhleaze go out on a date with me. I am so much better than those sub par white guys “in your league” like Matt Forney and Nathan Damingo. I’ll even buy you dinner.”

    Dude, it feels like you’ve lost the script. Sorry to be blunt, but not sorry…

    Harvey Weinstein is an odd example because there is simply no way of defending what he is known to have done over the years. I mean.. how do you defend a guy who basically walks up to hundreds of women he barely knows and wants them to watch him jerk off or blow him (without any compensation)- especially when he is neither brain damaged or mentally ill. Also, he ticks off all boxes for a caricature popularly referred to as a ‘limousine liberal’.

    Now compare him to somebody like Hugh Hefner, who was pretty open about how he lived and what he liked in women. Weinstein’s biggest “sin”, in my opinion, was not how he behaved with women but rather that he was a massive hypocrite. I can defend many behaviors, but hypocrisy is not one of them. Let me remind you that the public persona of Weinstein was very pro-feminism and “grrl power”- and that is precisely why it is fun to watch him hoisted with his own petard.

    • Libertarians are subhumans
      October 19, 2017 at 1:49 am

      Women use and discard men based on what’s most convenient at the moment,he brought into the fold man hating feminazi assholes and in doing so helped to create an extremely toxic climate for men,but now that these harpies have got what they wanted from him now they’re burning him at the stake over something that was well known for years,because now they have enough power to even be able to trample someone like him.
      It’s good to see that poetic justice does in fact exists in real life.

      On another note,a while ago you’ve mentioned that divorce law in india has been made more fair towards women,i think it was in your ban on beef post.
      Can you explain what that entails in more detail?

      Also,in one of your older posts you’ve mentioned that humanity might discover within your lifetime a method to stop aging or something like that,in the current neoliberal climate won’t something like that be monopolized by the rich?
      Since you work in the pharmaceutic industry you could write an article on how you think the benefits of a discovery such as that could be redistributed within western society.

  2. October 18, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    “I can defend many behaviors, but hypocrisy is not one of them.”

    sounds like he is a straight up predator. “Ideology” is whatever get’s him what he wants…

    “Let me remind you that the public persona of Weinstein was very pro-feminism and “grrl power”- and that is precisely why it is fun to watch him hoisted with his own petard.”

    I almost feel like guys like you and Forney would compliment him on spitting good game. You have a sadistic streak and while wanking infront of an unwilling woman wouldn’t be fun for most guys, it seems like you would enjoy the degradation aspect. So let me ask, is really a twinge of envy I am detecting? He gets to degrade high power, high status women while you pay large sums of money to have sex with attractive women?

    In regards to your contrasting him with Hefner, one guy was about hedonism and another guy was about degradation. Of course one guy could operate overtly where another couldn’t. Only a batshit crazy rad fem can’t tell the difference between a playboy pin up and a bdsm abusive scene.

  3. Libertarians are superhuman
    October 19, 2017 at 2:13 am

    “It is also worthwhile to know that he has strong leftist and marxist leanings (at least in his articles) in spite of being born to wealthy parents. ”

    Let me fix that for you:

    “It is also worthwhile to know that he has strong leftist and marxist leanings (at least in his articles) because of being born to wealthy parents.”

    * * *

    If he is innocent, he should not have admitted his guilt: “My behaviour was absolutely unacceptable, beneath both me and especially the person involved, and there’s no excuse for it. I’ve apologised privately to her, and I’m apologising, publicly, now.”

  4. Libertarians are subhumans
    October 19, 2017 at 5:34 am

    “In both cases, kangaroo “courts” and mob “justice” were seen as far more desirable than due process and a fair trial. My point is that making significant decisions about the innocence or guilt of any person without due process or a fair trial is a reversion to the pre-enlightenment era rather than an improvement over the current setup.”

    It should also be noted that this state of things has been brought about because women have been pushing and agitating for it,in fact our society and it’s legal system are normally much more rational and level headed with the sole exception of the cases where “women’s isses” are involved,when a woman commits much worse crimes against a man or even against a fellow woman you don’t see this kind of outrage on social media and in society at large.

    “As an amusing side-note to this story, it is worth recounting that Sam Kriss was an outspoken supporter of “social media feminists” who ranted and raved about all those “sexist” male gamers during the Gamergate controversy. While it is hard to say what drove him to make fun of all those “loser” male gamers and their concerns during that period, whatever he did was unable to protect him from the witchunt caused by an accusation of sexual aggression (and maybe assault) on social media.”

    No one should help this guy,someone that shits on his fellow human beings and more specifically his fellow men in this case,should be left to rot.

  5. Yusef
    October 20, 2017 at 11:53 am

    I’ve lost my feel for the relevance of your discussions of these issues. Neither Weinstein nor Kriss are public, elected officials and their private life really doesn’t concern me in the slightest, even if they were breaking the law and were being brought to trial, which, if you will notice, has not occurred. You think it may occur for Weinstein, but see, you speculate. I doubt there is a rich and powerful man anywhere in the world, now or ever, who has the kind of private life it would be pleasant and inspirational to hear about if the telling were honest and complete. So what! Weinstein is in the entertainment industry, and did you come out of a cave just now? The entertainment industry is notorious…”They ain’t saints!” So what! You’re worried about the hypocrisy? Give me a break. Tinsel Town be frank about what it really is all about? It can’t be and it won’t be. All that’s really going on is what’s always gone on, and it just isn’t that bad. In Weinstein’s case, he didn’t actually hurt or harm anyone– he disgusted them, maybe, in some cases. If someone did that in front of me, I’d laugh. I’d laugh and then I’d head for the door. If he tried to stop me, then there’d be trouble. Did these women head for the door? Did Weinstein try to stop them? No. See, what we’ve got here is a relatively mild example of weirdness, and then some of the kind of malicious gossip circulating about it, as it always has, forever. That’s all. “Social media” is just high tech malicious gossip. Stupid and malignant, but so what! It can be ignored. Kriss– you even relate the important info he’d had casual sex with the woman, so he couldn’t have anticipated it would suddenly become “unwanted” when he made advance on her. Also, after he made the so-called unwanted advances on her and she informed him they were unwanted, he didn’t make anymore. That means– and this is the law of the land– he is not guilty of any crime. There is the criteria that the unwanted behavior is repeated for it to be a crime. He is guilty of a mistake, not a crime. And aren’t we all? So tell me…Where are you going with this?

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: