Just ignore them.

This is a lesson that people really need to learn. Just ignore them. Sometimes when something annoys you, talking about it, complaining about it, gossiping about it makes you feel better. And that's great for little things like how ugly your friend's new car is or whatever. But for things like this latest scandal on the gay blogs (this kind of gay blog, not this kind) there is only one right answer. Actually, there's two. One of them is "Just ignore them" and the other is related to that.

Okay, so the issue itself is this. A couple of talk radio hosts at some radio station went on an extended anti-transgender tirade a few days ago, saying all these terrible things about transgender kids, explicitly advocating violence toward them, etc. And as I'm reading all this, there are a variety of reactions. The one I've seen the most is "Click here to send a message to the two radio douchebags and ask them to apologize." Well, lots of people did that, and guess what? They refused. Anyone shocked?

Radio people are just people. If you walked past someone on the street, standing on a soapbox, going on and on to all who would listen about how transgender people are subhuman, what would you do? You would not listen. If everyone did that, the guy would disappear. Well okay, not really. But in the case of these radio guys, they really would. It turns out Jeff Atwood recently wrote a post about the same thing. It's a programming blog but the point is the same. People who rely on media to be heard, whether it's the internet, the radio, or whatever, will disappear if people stop listening to them. What those people need is not money, it's attention. Take that away, and they're no one.

My friend Heather was asking last night, is the internet still there if no one is there to use it? Well, in a sense, no, it's not. A blog that no one reads is a lot like a blog that doesn't exist. (Now you're thinking about posting some clever sarcastic comment involving some form the word "irony." But you're reading this, so shut up.) And a radio host that no one listens to is likely to be fired. So rather than contact the idiots and ask them to apologize, how about we contact the station, and let them know that this kind of shit is just not okay. At all. Ever. (In fact GLAAD succeeded in getting some advertisers to stop advertising on the station. For once I think GLAAD is doing the right thing and all the other orgs are wrong...)

Anyway, if you don't like something that a perfect stranger is doing, ignore them. If everyone did that, the world would be a better place overnight.


Chrispy said...

In these cases, like if you don't like what a stranger is SAYING, definitely. For me the line would be crossed when physical violence is incited or if action is occurring; I'd hate for "just ignore them," which is a great policy most of the time, to discourage action when it does need to be taken (extreme, barely relevant case: Kitty Genovese). That's why, when you mention that they actually were calling for violence against transgender folks, I wonder if that line has been crossed or if something is supposed to be done at that point.

...that being said, you're absolutely right regarding who to talk to. There's no way in hell you could enlighten these guys, really. The program manager and producers basically hold their nuts in a vice, so GLAAD got that one right.

Tyler Breisacher said...

You can't incite anything if no one listens to you.

If you're worried about these guys committing violent acts themselves, then have them investigated or imprisoned if the law allows for it. But if you're worried about them inciting others into violence, then all you have to do is shut them up, and they become powerless.

Somehow I'm not worried about these guys actually committing violent acts, but it is a legitimate concern.

I need to just not be in this state anymore.