Over the last few years I’ve largely adopted a rule of not commenting on articles or social media threads where I’m featured, or are by me. I do break it sometimes, but I try not to.
The reason for that rule of mine is that when I do intervene, even to counter a patent lie about myself, the thread derails and it becomes a focus for personal attacks on myself rather than a discussion of whatever I’ve raised.
I do find though that partisans are intent on generally making everything political, and largely trying to force things into a binary political strait-jacket of PLP or OBA. If I don’t explicitly criticise the PLP in a post (even a post which isn’t political at all, at least not political in the sense of our two political parties) someone tries to paint me as being pro-PLP.
It’s almost as if readers expect any post by me to be encyclopedic and defend against every possible attack – which of course would render any such post completely unreadable.
What particularly gets me is the very selective memories of some partisans who quite blatantly lie about me.
The very first comment on it reads:
“Creamy: And yet Mr Starling won’t hear a bad word said about the mysogynist-led PLP.”
This despite my explicit criticism of Mr Bean’s apparent misogyny in various articles such as:
Same Sex Marriage Right Thing To Do – July 2013
A Question of Leadership – November 2014
The Alleged Bean/Daniels Encounter – November 2014
The OBA Walkout – November 2014
It’s clear that people only read what they want to read, or remember what they want to remember, so as to fit people into their preconceived perceptions.
Due to the binary partisan nature of our society and politics, if you’re not for one party, you must be for the other. When I criticised the PLP (including while a member) various PLPers accused me of being UBP, BDA or OBA (depending on the time). And now with the OBA in power any criticism of the OBA (or any failure to applaud them) results in being accused of being PLP.
‘Creamy’ is blatantly lying – either because they are ignorant (and haven’t checked the validity of the accusation) or deliberately so (either to fit their preconceptions or out of deliberate misrepresentation). The articles I link to above clearly show the lie of their comment.
Does it matter? I doubt it. I could call the sky blue and certain people will maintain with their dying breath that I declared the sky was orange. Even if ‘creamy’ recognises that I have, in fact, criticised mysogynism and the leadership of the PLP, they’ll simply change tack and accuse me of insufficient denunciation. They’ve made up their mind and, I fear, no amount of pointing out their error will convince them otherwise.
Such is the intellectual dishonesty and/or mental damage that our poisonous and divisive two-party system both reflects and compounds.