The Great Courses

Alix Jules, SJWs, and the Phenomenon of Manufactured Outrage

May 8, 2016 at 11:02 AM

When you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail. When you're hypersensitive about anything and everything you deem to bear the (hugely subjective) Social Justice Warrior mark, everything looks like the toxic extremes of legitimate ideas and movements. This is why/how the armchair quarterbacks so quickly attempt to reduce an entire channel - and its hundreds of wildly diverse subjects, themes, topics and discussions - to a poorly applied (and subjectively defined) label.

A recent video interview between myself and Alix Jules briefly addresses the SJW pejorative, but it doesn't get hung up on it. I found that refreshing. We also spoke candidly, and with goodwill, about the sensitive issues of race, religion, color, privilege and equality.

alix jules

I'm about equality, I'm about people, and I'm convinced that religion piggybacks upon the shoulders of the disadvantaged and oppressed. As a humanist, I like the idea of working toward human-focused social solutions whenever possible. If someone arbitrarily decides that this aligns me with whichever radioactive activist(s) or cause(s) they despise, and if they're eager to train a poorly-focused eye on a fragment of the larger picture, declaring that the whole channel has become an SJW shill, that says more about them than it does about me, the site or its content.

My recent shows/videos addressed the psychology of belief, homeschool cults, finances and investing, child abuse, atheist youth, science-based medicine, astrophysics and more. This Tuesday, we speak to John de Lancie. In 2 weeks, we showcase an atheist rock band called Monster On Sunday. After that, it's Tracie Harris, a short story (from the Old Testament) by Ed Suominen, the guys from the God Awful Movies podcast, and my recent speech titled, "The God of Cancer," which addresses the effectiveness of healing prayers in our hours of need.

Yet no matter what my channel produces, I have little doubt that the broken-record naysayers in the cheap seats will remain hung up on their own pet cause - real or fabricated - while these other interesting, entertaining, diverse and important discussions are taking place. We could be speaking about bleu cheese salad dressing, and the small-yet-vocal horde would still find an excuse to cry "SJW," "regressive," or (gasp) "feminism," as if they hadn't already become the malfunctioning and long-discounted car alarm.

Alix and I speak about the challenges facing blacks. The knee-jerkers wail that the video is anti-white. We speak about the difference between patriotism and blind nationalism. The knee-jerkers froth that the video is anti-American. We speak about the USA's role in creating conditions for ISIS' rise. The knee-jerkers brand us ISIS apologists. We speak about the toxicity of the n-word. The knee-jerkers decide we're tone police declaring it a trigger word and attempting to censor speech.

It's like they aren't really listening. Go figure.

If these people wish to splash in the internet's shallow end, reducing nuanced discussions to shouts, CAPS and clumsy labels, that's on them. I'm glad to move forward, lengthening the distance between us.

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