John Walker's Electronic House

Rum Doings Episode 244: Can I Still Have A Conker?

by on Nov.03, 2017, under Rum Doings

In our 244th ever Rum Doings, our topic is, now Corbyn’s appearing on Gogglebox, is he finally ready to become Prime Minister?

One of our most argumentative episodes, this was recorded last week and then due to John’s ineptitude, only uploaded now. So pre-Spacey, but post-Weinstein, we loudly argue about where blame lies. There’s also some cruise talk, and a bit about turning 40.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

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5 Comments for this entry

  • Disagreeable Me

    Interesting discussion about Weinstein.

    You both made good points, to the extent that it seems to me you should have been able to come to an agreement.

    John seemed to be interpreting Nick to be saying that Weinstein had no agency of his own and was not responsible for what he did, or that Nick was saying that the abuse was happening not because of Weinstein but because his victims had not come forward.

    But that’s not what Nick was saying. Weinstein has agency, is responsible for his actions, and of course the abuse happened because of him.

    But things can have more than one cause, and more than one person can bear responsibility. The only reason Nick is making the point that the victims who did not come forward bear some responsibility is because this is the point that some people want to deny. Everyone agrees that Weinstein is a monster. Since we all agree, there’s not much to say on that, certainly little to debate. It’s not the interesting question.

    Nick’s emphasis of his point is indeed because this is the more controversial idea, but that’s not (just) because Nick is contrarian — it’s also because it’s a point about which people might be persuaded to change their minds, which in turn might encourage more people to come forward in future. It is certainly not because he thinks these victims hold a greater share of the responsibility than Weinstein.

    However on John’s side, I think Nick overstates his case when he calls victims who do not come forward monstrous or overly selfish. I think a little compassion and understanding is warranted. We can acknowledge a moral obligation to come forward without needing to cast as villains everyone who fails to meet this obligation. It’s far easier said than done, and few of us are morally perfect individuals. Those who did come forward are brave and admirable. It doesn’t follow that those who didn’t are despicably craven and selfish. Rather I would say they are imperfect humans like the rest of us. Their failure is understandable, and I think forgivable.

  • Daniel

    I more or less agree with Nick with regards to it being a sound theoretical strategy to combat sexism claims. If you want to actually change society you have to actually try and change the social mechanisms. But there are three points I have a problem with.

    1. The victims being the only ones in the situation that can be part of an effective strategy to stop it all from happening seems to be making them the most guilty actors when they don’t speak out. In this utilitarian view they are more morally corrupt than the standers by and even the attacker. This seems fundamentally problematic to me since they are not the ones actually committing the assaults.

    2. For the morality to work it requires the victim to understand the utilitarian position. Some may not even realise it exists. In that case they are not consciously making a decision they deem to be harmful to other potential future victims. This seems to be like punishing people for false consciousness. You want to make comparisons to worker unions, so I can make the comparison to communism and how the concept of false consciousnesses can be so ruinous.

    3. Sexual victims sometimes see the assault as being their fault. They question themselves as to whether it was even assault etc.

    Like a lot of social theories it suffers from assuming humans beings are effective rational agents.

    Also from a purely from a strategic point if you want it to catch on it needs to be framed in a way that at least address the above points to soften the impact.

  • Name required

    Thanks for the GoT spoiler, John, you utter dickhead. Remaining spoiler free For years and years has been fairly easy because people realize spoiling something is a fucking horrible thing to do. Not you though. No you.

    And as usual, Nick is right about the other things you discussed, you SJW twat.

  • John Walker

    Hi very angry cowardly person!

    Discussing the events of a television programme that aired years previously is, well, NORMAL. You ridiculous baby.

  • Name required

    Cowardly? Finding you and punching you in the face would be ridiculous so I didn’t opt out of doing that in favor of writing. This is the medium we communicate through. Would you prefer I call you on the phone?

    Right sure, yeah, because dropping into a conversation that a substantial amount of people are hearing some twist in Breaking Bad is just normal. Your approach is: I’ve seen it, why haven’t you?

    Inconsiderate.