Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Hate Mail - I'm Not Making This Up, You Know

Proving that Duncan Black's readers don't even bother to read him, one accuses me of lying about him openly shilling for Jeff Bezos, wanting a cut from the horrible retail sweatshop that has made him a corrupt, politically corrupting zillionaire in the name of supporting Black's pseudo-leftist blog.  Here, I'll copy out the whole of the last time he did that, eight days ago.


The Best Readers On The Internets
A bunch of people wrote in feeling guilty about their adblocker use and some even made contributions! Very nice. But I didn't mean to make anyone feel guilty about using them. I understand why people use them. Most sites these days have really awful horrible intrusive ads. You have to play 5 rounds of Where's Waldo to read the content and that's only if you can hear yourself think over the auto-on audio/video ads. Little sites like this which are more personal can't get away with running that crap because you'd all send me nasty email - justifiably! - if I did. And I don't want to run that crap. If it annoys me, I don't run it. I've experimented with very slightly annoying things in the past and promptly pulled them.

I was just lamenting the fact that internet bad actors - almost everyone these days - create a huge negative externality for sites like this. Every shitty ad is a nudge for people to start running adblockers. Even though my ads are fairly unobtrusive, people start blocking them too. It wasn't until recently that I started to notice a new trend in people using them.

But, anyway, the easiest way to "give" me money is to click on the amazon ads before you make purchases you were going to make anyway. I take a bit of money from Jeff Bezos, it doesn't cost you anything more, and everybody wins.

One thing that is notable is that this pathetic, pandering for a plutocrat, and himself, is about the longest thing that Black has done on his blog this year and was an answer to some responses to his whining that Ad Block was cutting back on his profits.  Other than things like complaining about the parking in his home town, it's hard to rouse Black to do much more than write a sentence or two about anything as he cuts and pastes stuff from other writers who bother to write.  And for that he's considered a major force on the left, there was such comment up at his blog just last night to that effect.

There was a time I bought the hype about such "new media" just as I'd bought the hype about the old media of the left.  Say what you will, at least the old media on paper delivered by unionized U.S. Postal Workers, sometimes had  reliable content and it tried to live up to some basic level of integrity.  The "new media" is your leftist principles as translated through slacker mentality and the program of liberalish-libertarianism.

I will take your typical Mennonite, United Church of Christ, Quaker, liberal Catholic, etc. blog, podcast or video channel as a place to stumble across actual liberalism now.  They have a real and deep motivation to try to maintain integrity even when their audience doesn't notice because they're too busy buying the image and congratulating themselves for it, their membership in the clique of the kewl kids.  They really believe it is a sin to tell a lie and they believe that knowing the truth will make you free.  It won't, though, be compatible with shilling for the likes of Jeff Bezos.


  1. I prefer to take a lot of money out of Bezos pocket, by not shopping at Amazon at all.

    My boycott will bring both Amazon and Wal-Mart to their knees! Any day now....

    Well, at least I'll spend my money where I'm comfortable spending it.

    1. Integrity doesn't have to work to be integrity, it just has to be morally, or of lesser importance, intellectual self-consistent. To both acknowledge the awfulness of Jeff Bezos (as I recall Duncan Black lamented his buying the WaPo) and in light of his employee policy being a pretty horrible violation of rights of workers and then to ask people to put money in his pocket BY BUYING THE THINGS THAT HIS ABUSED WORKERS HAVE TO HANDLE SO HE CAN ATTRACT CUSTOMERS WITH FREE SHIPPING AND REDUCED PRICES, is symptomatic as to why the materialist "left" is a pseudo-left. As I've said, I was forced to notice how that discrepancy fit in with the total impotence of the left in the period of atheist-materialist accommodation and then control of the "left". In the same period I also saw religious groups in the fair-trade movement, other radical movements for social justice having integrity at a cost to themselves. I think it's sort of like Garrison Keillor's "church of the brunch" or however he put it. Only it's the "left of free shipping and the latest new i-toys".

    2. Yes, it's my personal integrity at stake when I buy from retailers I don't agree with. I buy my books from a local bookstore because the owner is a friend. I buy locally as much as possible because I prefer to give my money to people I know.

      I'm no paragon. I don't like entering Wal-Mart, much less shopping there, so I don't. I don't like ordering from Amazon, because of their employment practices as much as anything, so I don't.

      And the idea that I'm taking money from Bezos by shopping through a website is just kinda pathetic.

      And yes, isn't it interesting that the groups most concerned with being in the world and ministering to the world, are the groups usually understood as being not of the world.

    3. "And the idea that I'm taking money from Bezos by shopping through a website is just kinda pathetic"

      I don't think that's what Atrios is saying- I read it that he gets a (tiny) piece of the action if you use the Amazon link at Eschaton as a stepping stone on your way to buying something from Amazon