Within some online communities, the capacity to offend is treated as inherently virtuous
There's been a lot of folx who think the route to self-promotion is to be as edgelordy as possible. I see far too many young genre science fiction writers who go over the top with their outrageous comments in order to get attention (they think) for awards and sales. In other words, the Gamergate mentality has spread to the general public, especially in the world of pundits and opinion influencers.
Now. Was that stuff said in the past around politics? As a former political campaign worker and organizer, my response is "oh absolutely YES." Except that it was said over pizza, joints, and beer, and didn't go beyond those sitting in the room at the time. What has happened with social media is that things which were said in a casual setting with adrenaline fading from a day's activities is now part of the 24/7 connected world.
I'm tired of the edgelord wannabes. Sometimes I feel like my 23-year-old mare pinning her ears at the sparky young ones in the herd who want to push and try themselves against the older ones. But until society as a whole finds a means to draw attention away from outrage bait, we have to figure out how to handle those who offend purely to get a reaction from those who disagree with them.
That Bari quote irritates me to no end. I know professional circles are different but any time I'm with friends or out in public with people etc I say atheist one outrageous thing or witness someone else doing so.
One of my best friends has a Trans daughter. We talk about all the issues around it openly and he's not offended. I really think a lot of this is still confined to really high status professions.
Not all the time (the Palestinian refugee who's life was ruined by of his daughter's tweet comes to mind) but mostly its not something regular people are experiencing. Pushback? Sure! But censoring, losing jobs, etc? Idk anyone in that boat. And none of my friends talk about it either.
I would rather be offended than censored.
People across the spectrum have different ideas about what to say and how to promote themselves. Its a big swirling colorful mess of humanary stew, the best you can do is swim through it with purpose and faith in your convictions. Educate your children to do this and trust that the mistakes they are inevitably going to make are going to result in them becoming greater than you could imagine.
Great point about the "you can't say" silliness.
In an indirect way, your contrast between to appall vs, trying to enlighten reminds n=me of the contrast between campaigning and governing.
I agree that Fleischman’s promo tweet was cringe-inducing. But, I do think these radical centrist types have a reason to be jazzed up about this stuff. Bo Winegard literally was fired from his professor job for statements he made while teaching.