Monday, 15 August 2022

Will this be the end of my Youtube channel? Yet more censorship struggles.

If youtube's policy is that images of animal cruelty result in a community guideline strike, my whole channel could be deleted and disappear tomorrow (as I certainly have more than three examples of this on the channel, and their policy is, "three strikes and you're out").

This has never happened before.

Here's the text I typed into their web-form, as an objection / complaint:

(1) I am a vegan activist.  (2) I am an animal rights activist.  (3) I have published books, for example, on this topic, and I have uploaded more than 100 lectures to youtube (arguing that the slaughter of animals is immoral).  (4) The moral and educational purpose of the video is therefore clear to the audience.  (5) "We review educational, documentary, artistic, and scientific content on a case-by-case basis."  The violence against animals shown here is clearly educational and documentary in its purpose.  (6) "Limited exceptions are made for content with sufficient and appropriate context and where the purpose of posting is clear."  The POLITICAL PURPOSE of the video is indeed clear to the audience (and there is a warning at the start of the video) criticizing the meat industry.

Tuesday, 12 July 2022

The Epitome of Advice Nobody Wants to Hear: Writing to "Decline".

This was left as a comment for the perpetually depressed youtuber known as "Decline" (on this video).

You can't have a relationship if you don't relate.  Women will talk to you (and keep on talking to you, for years) because (1) they find you interesting to talk to, (2) they care about you, and (3) they know you care about them: this is true for people at all levels of physical attractiveness (the beautiful and the ugly alike).  You can slightly improve your life through exercise and diet and exercise, but you don't (yet) realize how slight and how shallow that (possible) improvement is.  You can radically and profoundly improve your life through achieving higher levels of intellectual sophistication (generally visible to others as cultural sophistication, or some other specific kind of sophistication, resulting from the particular field in which you apply your intelligence).  Eat a vegan diet and do 200 push-ups per day, sure, it'll slightly improve your life and relationships, but actually being a good person both mentally and morally makes your life better every day with or without a partner (with one partner or with multiple partners, etc.).  On some level you know this is well intentioned advice; on some level you know that it isn't really possible for it to be wrong.

It is a rare thing to say, "it is impossible for me to be wrong in offering you this advice", but we've finally hit that point, ladies and gentlemen: I'm offering my opinion on something so ineluctably obvious that we've passed the threshold of the irrefutable, and have entered into the realm of the indisputable.

And yes, for the record: the repetition of the verb "exercise" was originally an error… but I found it charming, and decided to keep it in.  ;-)

Wednesday, 6 July 2022

This is not a minor footnote in the history of veganism.

The book addresses EXACTLY these misconceptions and misperceptions —many of them "well intended", I know.  I genuinely don't think any book has ever done that before —neither "for" nor "against" veganism.  My work may not be the "enlightenment" (Aufklärung) anyone is hoping for, but it is at least the great "clarification" (Klärung) the movement needs.  ;-)

Sunday, 3 July 2022

The Wonder that Was Cambodia: an email written in 2010.


Last night's mandatory trip to the pub (that people pretend isn't mandatory) reminded me of various problems and shortcomings in/with Whitedom (I dare not say "White Culture", due to the paucity of culture).

It was an Australian-dominated event (though two French and two Americans were there) and when I asked various questions about what time I should arrive, etc., my boss told me to "lower [my] anxiety about the whole event" --as it was supposedly a very casual event, etc., and attendance was optional, etc., as it would be in Australia.

Instead, of course, it was very much the usual thing of respect mattering a great deal, but people wanting to pretend that it didn't.

And, of course, it really isn't a minor imposition: I was at work at 8:00AM sharp on Friday (and nobody else was; I was alone in the office for a fair while) --and now [my employer expects] me to hang out 5PM to past 8PM?  After discussing it with my boss, I showed up closer to 7:45 PM --looked at the menu in the place they had selected, and then immediately left to eat at a place two doors down ("Vego").

So, then I come back, fed, closer to 8:00PM.

[The implicit point being that everything on the menu in the first locale contained meat.]

There was one American guy there, who almost nobody knew at all (i.e., a recent/oblique friend of somebody on staff), who was close to coming to a fist-fight with me from the minute I sat down.  Typical white-ass stuff.  He'd had a few drinks, and has been in Phnom Penh for all of 6 months.  Apparently he teaches "International Relations" (i.e., pol. sci.) at Pannyashastra University --which tells you nothing about his background --and he became offended and defensive whenever questions were asked about his background (even his age).  Ian (my boss) was watching him carefully, as he noticed that the guy responded to almost everything I said with an insult (etc.) --including my remark that I normally (for the sake of simplicity) just describe my employment as "author" because "despite the details, I earn my living with a pen".  This, too, reflects the sadness of the situation: Ian really is the smartest guy in the room, with the longest research experience, but he isn't sitting at the head of the table.  Their white-Australian culture requires us all to mill about like pigs at the same trough --and we're not.  We all come to that trough with very different expectations of ourselves and of each other --and that boils down to respect.  I don't even remember the American guy's name --but I wouldn't be surprised if that did come to a fist fight at some random meeting in future (I assume he arrived unhappy about unrelated things --because I only discussed banal pleasantries in front of the guy).

Myself, the two French and one of the Australians (Andree) left again, to eat at the Indian place immediately next-door, shortly after I met the other professor (of Economic History, also at Pannyashastra, but British in origin) whom I was there to meet.

Most of these guys seem to be here for the wrong reasons --even if they're making a positive contribution of some kind.

After a long discussion of my research* I asked him (i.e., the British professor of Economic History) casually if he had already been interested in Cambodia before relocating here, and the answer was a flat "no": typically, he vacationed in Cambodia (after a divorce) and ended up with a second marriage (leading to a second divorce) and three half-Khmer kids.  I really don't think that Cambodia is a business you can marry into; but then, I could be shallow, crass, catty, judgmental and wrong.**

* [e.g., actual question he asked me:

  "What do you mean by saying your research is, 'obscure'?",

  My reply, "Have you ever heard of 'Pali' before?"


  "That's obscure."]

** [He did look the picture of a man who was killing himself with food and alcohol, perhaps not even gradually --and, you know, I don't regard the body and the mind as two separate things.  This, too, fills out the stereotype image of the white man who marries into a "career" (or semi-retirement?) on the Mekong --but can't actually walk up a flight of stairs.]

The two French are doing research pursuant to degrees in public health (they're not a couple, BTW, but obviously have a lot in common and hang out together).  We're of approximately the same age, and did "socialize well" together.  They're both specialists... but not specialists in Cambodia (nor the region).  One of them has prior work in West Africa (Nigeria, etc.) --and the other, I suppose, has ambivalent feelings toward Cambodia as she's obviously half-Vietnamese.  It would be interesting to hear her perspective on Phnom Penh --but I think she was already too drunk by that point in the evening.

[On another occasion, when she was entirely sober, this same half-Vietnamese half-French researcher would attempt to seduce me in front of my first wife, an anecdote that ended in a manner that was hilarious to everyone assembled --including my first wife.]

Shortly before leaving, I said to my boss, "Hm, I suppose A____ was too busy to make it.  I invited her, but she probably didn't have time to reply.  Did a nervous looking Swede approach you at any point during the night?"  He replied, "Yes, actually, there was a Swedish girl around here..." --so, I don't know if you tried to cross paths and then left (at one of the moments when I was away from the table) or if this was an unrelated Swede at the same bar.


Thursday, 30 June 2022

Hated by many, admired by few.


This contains an authentic example of an uncorrected typo (way vs. ways, in the image above).  I certainly hope you appreciate the authenticity.  ;-)


[Amanda, writing to me:] CALL TO ACTION (updated) by the Excelsior 4 team:  PLEASE SHARE THIS. Why: because the judge ruled against the jury seeing footage captured from Excelsior Hog Farm. Why this matters: the Excelsior 4 defendants are charged with, among other things, Mischief under the CCC. Mischief includes the prevention of lawful use of property, etc. The footage shows UNLAWFUL animal cruelty. Therefore, the judge has prejudiced the jury against the defendants. Reminder: you can share without viewing!


[My reply:] Henh?

Why are you sending this to my desk?

BTW, now four years later [i.e., four years after the last time she'd written to me], I can say: "read it and weep".


[Amanda:] Aren't you Vegan? I thought that meant we were on the same side: speaking for the animals. This case has three of my friends facing decades in prison for an action about 200 of us did three years ago. It was the largest mass action for animal rights in Canadian history. Since you speak so much about Veganism, I thought you would care. My mistake.

That is amazing you got a book published - congratulations! Why are you saying read it and weep? I think all forms of speaking for the animals is amazing. Great job!

It was suggested we send this action to people and groups with a large following. I assumed you were one of them.


[My reply:] (1) I am vegan.

(2) I am a dissident intellectual within the vegan movement: hated by many, admired by few.

(3) If you send me spam, you're going to be blocked as a spammer.  That is what you've done, so that is what I'll do.

(4) Read the book, and then you can get in touch with me —via Patreon, like everyone else— to let me know if you laughed more or less than you cried.

(5) Re: "I think all forms of speaking for the animals is amazing."  I don't believe you.  As life goes on, you will find there are some ways of speaking that are worse than silence still.


[Amanda:] I wish you find happiness and peace in this lifetime. It would make you a better activist. Yeesh. I sincerely feel sorry for you.


[My reply:] HA HA HA HAH A…

There's hardly a happier man in all the free world!

But I certainly doubt that you (or your friends) will find anyone happier in jail!