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Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Meet Nina Paley, culture wars grifter and Kiwi Farms fan

I assumed Alex Byrne was a garden-variety culture wars grifter, writing for racist rag Quillette. I figured he was hoping to advance his career by maybe scoring some wingnut welfare, like Carole Hooven, or maybe getting a Fox News interview, also like Carole Hooven.

But I discovered Byrne has a very interesting collaborator: Nina Paley who did illustrations for Byrne's forthcoming book which is apparently loved by Steven Pinker and Christina Hoff Sommers.

Paley is notable enough to have her own Wikipedia page, although I never heard of her until today.

Paley has created a "Gender Wars" deck of cards. The red cards are the "gender-critical" good guys and the black cards are people she lumps together as "transactivists," including a mass murderer. 

Now I don't have a high opinion of culture war grifters to begin with, but even I was stunned to see that Paley included Kiwi Farms as one of the good guys in her deck of cards.

Kiwi Farms is evil to the point of being psychopathic:

Founded by Joshua Moon, a former 8chan administrator, Kiwi Farms evolved into a popular platform for creating harassment campaigns. Its users often fixated on transgender people, relentlessly stalking and doxing them. At least three of its victims died by suicide.

In the image Paley created, the cow represents "lolcows" - the people selected by Kiwi Farms for torture. Paley apparently thinks this is cute and funny.

Paley did a podcast with Joshua Moon. She and her podcast co-host Corinna Cohn provide a dishonest description of Kiwi Farms:

In 1993 John Gilmore famously said, “The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.” To learn why that’s no longer true, listen to Josh Moon enumerate “the amount of things that have broken that people in the industry assumed could never break,” as activists with personal vendettas and political agendas relentlessly employ every possible strategy to silence his small but notorious gossip site Kiwi Farms. From Cloudflare to Hurricane Electric, ISPs, data centers, and payment processors, literally anything up and down the Border Gateway Protocol has been targeted to shut down the ‘Farms. With ISIS, the KKK, Stormfront, neo-nazis, and child porn all continuing to enjoy online services, who expected “the gossip site that makes fun of troons” to be the straw to break the Internet’s backbone? And why have the individuals and organizations who once stood against censorship lost their own?

Here's what is actually meant by "makes fun of the troons":

Mother Jones:

Kiwi Farms harvests anguish. It thrives on pain and revels in death. Users of the innocuously named forum prey on the vulnerable and marginalized—people who are transgender, neurodivergent, disabled, financially struggling—with persistent and twisted harassment campaigns. Despite its penchant for destroying lives, Kiwi Farms has been mostly overlooked by the media for much of the site’s existence. That is partly because of who it attacks, but also because reporters are wary of becoming targets themselves. The users call their victims “lolcows” because their pain can be milked for laughs. The group made its purpose clear on its Twitter page before it was taken down: “Gossip and exploitation of mentally handicapped for amusement purposes.” 
Kiwi Farms users deploy slightly different tactics for various victims, but the rough beats are the same. First, the group assembles extensive dossiers. Then they use the information (some true, some contorted, some fabricated) to torment their targets. 
When Sagal posted about her suicidal thoughts, Kiwi Farms users sent private messages urging her to kill herself, a friend said. When posters learned that Terryberry, an 18-year-old with learning disabilities, used the internet to make friends, they worked to get her social media accounts shut down while mocking her mental health struggles. They relentlessly tormented Ginder for being nonbinary. One thread went on for more than a dozen pages. 

Lacking a sense of empathy is said to be an indicator of psychopathy

I'm wondering if Alex Byrne and Carole Hooven like Kiwi Farms as much as Nina Paley apparently does. (YES - see below)

And you'll never guess - Paley is also an author at Quillette. Also interviewed by Paley: Razib Khan, Alice Dreger, Alex Byrne and Carole Hooven.

And as you've probably guessed, Joshua Moon is also a huge racist.

UPDATE: Paley conveniently posted fans of her cards on Twitter, and it turns out Carole Hooven is a big fan, promoting them on Twitter.

Stay classy, you poor cancelled martyr!

Also a fan, another Koch employee (besides Hooven) Pamela Paresky. Hooven cited her when she promoted the crackpot sociobiologists' social affinity theory. Apparently Paresky thinks these cards are hysterical! I knew Paresky was a wingnut ass, but I didn't guess what a hate-filled ghoul she is.

Paresky wants to "protect kids" - but presumably NOT the ones selected to be lolcows by Kiwi Farms.

And crackpot Jordan "enforced monogamy" Peterson is a fan.

Imagine hating trans people so much that you condone the glorification of psychopathically evil Kiwi Farms.

It's hard not to laugh at a right-wing wacko like Peterson: This Jordan Peterson Impression Will Absolutely Make Your Day

Oh, and in case you're a wingnut and you think I'm a hypocrite because I detest Kiwi Farms attempting to destroy the lives of nobodies, while condoning a mocking impression of celebrity grifter Jordan Peterson, consider this an illustration of the difference between rightwing humor and leftwing humor.

Rightwing humor punches down - at misfit nobodies and sexual minorities.

Leftwing humor punches up -  at wealthy public grifters.

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