GrandstandingMASTERED9s56g SUMMARY KEYWORDS book, grandstanding, moral, people, danielle, read, piling, fucking, trumping, point, talk, honestly, timothy, nietzsche, form, outrage, chapter, patrons, ramping, twitter SPEAKERS Danielle, Stephen Bradford Long
00:00 You're listening to a rock candy podcast. Hey, I'm Will and they call me the doctor. And I'm Joe, the maestro, we host a podcast called common creatives where we break apart the art we love to see what makes it tick. Basically, we give you the definitive take on whatever or whoever we're discussing, you don't need to go anywhere else. So check out common creatives wherever you listen to podcasts.
Stephen Bradford Long 00:47 This is sacred tension, the podcast about the discipline of asking questions. My name is Steven Bradford long we are here on the rock candy Podcast Network. For more shows like this one, go to rock candy recordings.com All right, we are back with a book club episode because everyone needs to read more. So this is satanic PBS. And this is me telling you that you need to read more. I am here with the amazing Danielle. Hi,
Danielle 01:18 Why thank you. Hello, everyone. Hey. Yeah, so yep, I love I love your satanic LeVar Burton Schpeel everybody read more?
Stephen Bradford Long 01:29 Yeah. Ah, hi. How are you? How's life? How are you? How's it let's not talk about life. This 2020 Talk about life. It's 2020 Biden Biden one. We're alive. Yeah. We are tenuously employed. We are holding on by a thread. And that is accurate. Yes. Yes, I am. Yeah. Yanjing. So much of the Great British baking show. It's humiliating. Oh my gosh, us too. Yeah.
Danielle 02:06 I gosh. It's so good, though.
Stephen Bradford Long 02:08 And so I'm a horror person. I only watch horror. So how I fell into the clutches of the Great British baking show. I really have no fucking clue. I don't I don't know how this happened. But truly, it has been my consolation over the past few weeks. All right. So all that aside, life is existentially horrifying. So what better way to cure the existential horror than to read a lot of books? So in this episode, we are discussing what what was the name of this book, right? Yes, Dan? Yes, yes. Thank you. My my brain is fucking shattered today. My Oh no, like, Oh, I am I am a broken human being today. And I am like exhausted and overworked and my schedule is all fucked up because of holidays. Holidays just destroy everything. So like I am a delirious broken shadow of my own myself. Okay, so in this episode, we're discussing grandstanding the use and abuse of moral talk by Brandon Brandon, warm key and Justin Tozi. To philosophy guys, there are two philosophers. I also believe they are both professors. But before we get to that, I really have to thank my patrons. They are my personal lords and saviors, especially right now since I am working less to reduce my exposure to the public because there is a plague. So I am enormously grateful to my patrons, every little bit helps. And right now truly, the money that they are giving me goes to basic things like electric bills, and feeding my cats and groceries and so truly to all of my patrons from the bottom of my heart. Thank you so much. And I believe in bringing this content to the world for free, but I need margin in order to do that. And that margin is created by my patrons. So if you enjoy my work, and if you want to see me keep doing it, please consider joining their number by going to patreon.com forward slash Steven Bradford long you get extra content every month, or No Not every month every week, especially my house of heretics podcast where Timothy the pastor and myself the Satanist have sometimes awkward conversations. It's great. It's a lot of fun. All right, so for this week, I have to thank Lavinia Paul Schneider, jackal Troy and st licorice, my latest patrons You are my personal Lord and Savior. Thank you so much. Also, this show is sponsored By the satanic temple.tv It is a streaming platform by the Satanic Temple for not just Satanists, but anyone who is into the dark, the deviant, the weird. And so there's a bunch of ritual. There's a satanic cooking show. There are also live streams, there are lectures, there are movie nights with our founder, Lucien Greaves, all kinds of amazing stuff is going on over there. And you can get one month free by using my promo code, sacred tension, all caps, no space at checkout, please take advantage of that there is some amazing content and they have more on the way every month. All right, I think that's it. I think that is all the housekeeping for this week. So hi, hello, Danielle. Let's talk about this book. It was how to sum up this book. It was it was useful and frustrating. That's that's the best way I can articulate this book. So let's let's just first get into kind of the premise of this book. So grant, it's about grand standing, which they define as moral talk for self inflation or self benefit self promotion for self promotion. There it is. So moral talk for self promotion. And but what is moral talk moral talk is anytime talk about morality, right, that it's pretty, it's talking about just talking about morals, right, so So the point here is that moral talk isn't bad. Moral talk is a necessary cornerstone of, of being human society, of living in a society living in society. Having a civilization we have to talk about morality, we have to talk about right and wrong, we just, you know, the first chapter of this book is, or the introduction to this book is called Moral talk is not magic. And, and the idea here and Danielle, correct me if I'm wrong, because I get the feeling that you read this book way more closely than I did. But moral talk is not in and of itself, good or bad. But it is a tool that can be used in positive or destructive ways. We, we tend to see moral talk, however, as magic as this magical tool, that can make things better, that can make things that that can advance our causes that can win when really it's just a tool. It is a neutral tool that can be used productively or abused. They they give several examples of moral talk going bad, right or right at the very beginning. So this isn't necessarily an example of grandstanding for reasons that we'll get into later. But it is an example of moral talk going awry. So here's a tweet I will not say who the user is. Because I
Danielle 08:13 don't protect the mostly innocent
Stephen Bradford Long 08:17 Yeah, so whatever. Don't remember bad things about good people I'm I'm so this tweet is I'm so finished with white men's entitlement lately that I'm really not sad about a two year old being eaten by a gator because his daddy ignored signs. Yeah, so the point oh, this is so in 2016 So in 20 Oh, yeah. So it's so 2016 A two this is a quote from the book Twitter offers a never ending supply of examples. In 2016 a two year old boy from Nebraska was killed by an alligator at a resort in Orlando Florida tragic Twitter user fill in the blank had another take however, announcing to her 12,000 followers what I just said okay, this is an example of moral talk going awry. And it is it is also true on the other side quote unquote other side abusing moral talk is a feature of humanity it is not a feature of left or right of note of poor or rich of gay or straight of us it is a it is a universal human impulse to abuse moral talk Okay, is that or is Do do you feel like I'm I'm tracking is this is this all? Thanks. So I think there anything you'd add?
Danielle 09:40 Well, I was gonna say I think in addition to defining moral talk, we need to define grandstanding, which the authors describe as moral talk that includes a recognition desire, there are very specific has to have that recognition desire in order to be grandstanding. In other words, you have to want other people to either see you As, as dominant over someone else or increase your prestige, and dominance is a little bit more about the out group and prestige is a little bit more about the in group. But basically, grandstanding is a public display of moral talk. And you internally have a desire to be recognized for that talk as either more respectable or more more morally sensitive or having the right moral priorities or having really keen moral insight. So yeah, moral talk talking about what's right and wrong. grandstanding. Public moral talk for the purpose, essentially, of making yourself look good.
Stephen Bradford Long 10:37 Yeah, exactly. So moral talk in itself. To recap, moral talk is itself neutral. Yep. Moral talk can be used and abused. One form of abuse of moral talk is grandstanding, which is the use of moral talk for self promotion for and if
Danielle 10:57 you think that we're being a little tedious. In our terms, let me tell you about this book. It was written by philosophy professors, and it shows,
Stephen Bradford Long 11:06 Okay, hi, Lord, have mercy. This book was so tedious, I learned I learned a lot. And there were a few core things that I really appreciated, there were a few core things. And I would actually like to get to those next, like, the most useful things that we learned, especially chapter two, or chapter three, which is the grand standing field guide, the fields guide. So I was very used. So I want to cover that I want to cover the useful aspects of this book first. And then let's, let's get into the challenges of this book, because there were a lot of them and and it's challenging, but the the number of raging text messages that I got from Danielle about as we were working through this book together was impressive. I mean, I got raging texts. I get raging texts from Danielle on a regular basis. Honestly, what I'm good at Yeah, I mean, there's a reason why I call her Danielle with a Y E. LL. E. LL. And I still think we need to start we need to like turn you into a YouTube celebrity as Danielle maybe, I think I think you would be what I talk about like you you there in your in your floral, pretty Victorian dresses, drinking drinking your cup of tea, just screaming obscenities be read about, you know the police and, and and billionaires and this is just my this has been my life for the past. How many years now? Oh, I guess I've been witness to Danielle's righteous rage for so long and it is wonderful and it gives me life and honestly, you have helped you have helped me get in touch with my own rage. You have. You have helped me get in touch with my own white hot vindictive rage at the injustice is in the world. So yeah, you've been a positive influence on me. Okay, yeah. Thank you. Okay, so all of that aside, I wanted to read this book because I have been struggling a lot with the Internet. I have been struggling a lot with online spaces. And anyone who knows me privately, and probably anyone who knows me publicly knows this, but I struggle with basically all of the spaces I'm in online I struggle with leftist spaces. I struggle with neutral quote unquote neutral spaces where you know even like even even a space dedicated to you know, cute cat pictures can can be derailed pretty fucking fast and I'm exhausted honestly the only place where I am not completely exhausted online are a few discord servers. And it's gonna say your cozy little discord my cozy Yeah, the sacred tension Discord is pretty good by the way. If anyone if anyone wants to join my Discord server, there's a link in the show notes. But yeah, I read that I wanted to read this book because I wanted to understand more clearly what was going wrong. What was going wrong in my own mind what was not just not just in others but in my in me because it isn't just others it's all of us. We're all part of this thing and and I am as prone to trolling and nastiness and hyperbole and just all of the all of the dark stuff. I'm prone to that just as much as everyone else. And so I I picked up this book really wanting answers and honestly I found a few as as challenging and annoy you guys this book was I found a few answers so a chapter three is called grandstanding A Field Guide. Yeah, so there are five and if you're okay with this, Danielle I think I'm just going to run through these varieties of grandstanding and we can discuss them do it. Does that sound good? Okay, so, the author's here, discuss five forms of grandstanding grandstanding being moral talk for self promotion, the first is piling on. They say as as the name suggests, it occurs when someone contributes to public moral discourse to do nothing more than proclaim her agreement with something that has already been said. Okay, so this can be done in a more kind of neutral way, like someone posts a tweet and you think that retweeting it will boost your your moral standing. So you retweet it with a little comment that says Fuck yeah, this, I do that all the fucking time. I do it all the time. It's fine. And sometimes it's moral grandstanding. Sometimes, it isn't. So yeah, you know, and, but then there are other more malicious ways that that piling on happens one is is when someone is at the bottom of the pile. When an individual when a person especially an unsuspecting person, is at the bottom of that pile. And in order to boost our own moral capital, our own social capital, we just pile on as well even though we were adding nothing new to the discussion.
Danielle 16:53 I mean, this is essentially canceling I think gov Natalie when and Contra points and how, you know, after she had a perhaps less than desirable person and one of her videos, the internet turned on her and that I think is when piling on can become the most damaging is when someone starts out to shame someone else. And then people are like, oh, yeah, yeah, shame on you. Shame on you. Me too. I'm going to show how morally right I am by joining on in on this dogpile. And, and heaping shame upon this person. And it just it snowballs. it snowballs out of, in my experience, usually out of all proportion to what the person actually did.
Stephen Bradford Long 17:35 Now, I was going to wait till later to talk about this but I actually think it's really important to no no, no, you're good. I was actually I actually feel like it's important to bring this up now the author's make it very clear that you can't actually know and other people are grandstanding. Nope. When you only you can know when you are grandstanding. So we can see behaviors that look like everything in this list right? We can see behavior that look like everything in this list. But the simple reality is that we can't No, you can't know it. Okay, so if someone say like what happened to Natalie when of Contra points, if you see a pylon on Twitter, or Facebook or wherever, and you don't you, we can't actually know if that's grandstanding or not. We can't actually know if that is all moral talk for self promotion. All we can know is when we're doing it. And
Danielle 18:30 thank you for clarifying that. That is because that's absolutely true. That is a dangerous they point out
Stephen Bradford Long 18:35 it is one of the dangers and in fact pointing out grandstanding can become another form of grandstanding come
Danielle 18:42 grandstanding to Yeah, because recognition desire as a motivation, is they say crucial to grandstanding. You can't know you can't know someone else's true motivation. You can have suspicions you can suspect, but you can't know.
Stephen Bradford Long 18:56 Yeah, you we you can, you can have some, there are some pointers to it possibly being grandstanding, but we cannot know another person's heart we cannot judge motivations. And just in general, we cannot claim what another peep what other people are thinking or feeling. What I would encourage everyone to do while we are going through these forms of grandstanding is to not so much think about oh, I know when another person did that. No you don't you we don't know when another person did this. Instead think here, here are the ways I have done this. And here or here are the ways in which I have been tempted to do this. I would say piling on for for moral self promotion is probably the way in which I personally grandstand the most, not not so much the piling on to other people. But piling on by adding my voice in a way that doesn't actually add anything meaningful, but it is just a self promotion. I think I am guilty of that quite a bit.
Danielle 20:06 You want to be seen to agree with something? Yeah,
Stephen Bradford Long 20:09 yeah, I want to be seen. I want to be seen to be on the right side. And I want the prestige that comes from that. So okay. Do you hit? Do you have anything else to add for piling on?
Danielle 20:25 No, I think that about covers it for piling on. Yeah.
Stephen Bradford Long 20:28 So the next form of grandstanding is ramping up. And they discovered they they described this as moral talk as a moral arms race. So So, quote, moral talk often devolves into a moral arms race, where people make increasingly strong claims about the matter under discussion, call this ramping up. Okay, so, yep. Like,
Danielle 20:55 and the point is not to arrive at the right moral position. The point is to outdo someone else, the point is to be seen as more disapproving or approving than somebody who's who's already expressed an opinion.
Stephen Bradford Long 21:09 Well, I think that pot should be illegal, because fill in the blank. Well, I think that alcohol should be illegal because illegal, because fill in the blank, well, I think just enough goes from
Danielle 21:26 that cigarette should be illegal, right? Because fill in the Yeah. And so
Stephen Bradford Long 21:29 it's, it's this one upmanship of of like moral prestige. It's the moral Olympics who can be the most morally upright, the most virtuous? And, and it's embarrassing to talk about this, like, Can we all just acknowledge it is embarrassing to talk about these impulses? Because we all fucking have them. And they, it's really easy to try to assign these behaviors to a side that we don't like, right? It's really easy to say, Oh, the Republicans do this, but liberals don't. Or oh, Democrats do this, but leftists don't. Or we all do it. We're all prone to do it. And oh, my God, I was cringing so hard.
Danielle 22:18 So hard for you. I don't think I have posted a status on Facebook since reading this. Oh, my God. I, I understand. i Oh, like I've scrolled through and I've, like, you know, interacted with people that I know. But I really don't think I've posted a status.
Stephen Bradford Long 22:36 Okay, let me let me give you an example of ramping up. Oh, and I mean, for real, this was this book was like, you know, a rectal exam for the for the social media user. I felt so fucking violated by this book. And it was it was definitely like an intervention for my online behavior. Okay, so an example for me in ramping up. So, I had a very public fight with my poor friend, Timothy. Mike, my co host a for House of heretics. Okay, Tim? Timothy, and I had this very public, Timothy wild. No, not Timothy Wilds. Timothy McPherson. Okay. From House of heretics, which is my patrons show, everyone should go join Patreon patreon.com forward slash Steven Bradford long I'm fucking poor. Please help me. Okay, moving on. Actually, I'm not poor, I have a sugar daddy. But every every, every little bit helps. So it was we got into this fight about Hamilton the musical. And how my point was, I mean, it's fine. But I am not a fan of Hamilton, because it erases slavery in a way that's really uncomfortable for me. And there are actually black stories from that time period that can be told, but it doesn't tell those stories, but I was using this as a as a way of dismissing Hamilton altogether. Right. And, and, Timothy, his point was, Well, sure. It's super empowering to black people to be able to re envision history in this way. It's super empowering, and I just wasn't fucking hearing it. And, and honestly, I think I looking back, do I really think that I don't, I don't know. I think I was trying to be more woke. I really do. I think I was trying having a Wolkoff. Yeah, we were having a Wolkoff. And and I mean, I don't know, I think Timothy was just, you know,
Danielle 24:45 was just he was just probably just expressing. Yes, I
Stephen Bradford Long 24:49 think he was I don't think he I don't think he was trying to be more woke. I think. I think I was the one trying to be more woke. And sure there might be way He's in which Hamilton is problematic because of that, but that doesn't make it bad. And it doesn't mean it isn't empowering. And it doesn't mean that it has opened whole new vistas for people of color and media, which it has, right. It's done all of those things. And so I think this for me is a was a form of ramping up. I was in this arms race with my friend Timothy trying to be trying to have the more superior morality. Do you have anything to add to ramping? That makes sense? Yeah, it really does. Yeah. And so the, the next form of grandstanding is trumping up now trumping up is what I found the most fascinating. Yeah, I found this really, really fascinating and see if I can articulate this well trumping up has to do with so they allude to The Princess and the Pea, the fairy tale, where, you know, they they pile on mattress upon mattress upon mattress upon mattress, and there's a little pee behind or beneath all of them, and the she is so sensitive, that she can feel that pee and the irony and a joke through all of the mattresses and the joke being it's impossible. That is, that's impossible, it is not possible for her to feel that trumping up is similar it is having such a degree of performative sensitivity so that you are responding to insignificant, tiny slights in such a way that they might not even exist. They they talk about they they talk about this in terms of oh, how do I want to put this they say that trumping up actually requires some form of dishonesty. Interesting they say that the I if I remember correctly, our tendency to moralize is like kudzu once the stupid a bit a bit. I'm just working from my highlights and I'm realizing that that might not have been sufficient research. Let me let me see it. It requires making something out of nothing or something out of or something much bigger out of something that is that is small. And yeah. So they say and again
Danielle 27:22 you can't tell when other people are doing this. You only know when you are and I know I've done it. Yo same as embarrassing is that is Oh my god. I know I have Yeah,
Stephen Bradford Long 27:33 this feels. Danielle remember when we were going to 12 Step programs together? This feels like that all over again. This? This is what that fucking feels like.
Danielle 27:45 Yeah, no, this this book was frustrating and uncomfortable. For recommendation, it
Stephen Bradford Long 27:52 really was. Okay, so here's a quote on about trumping up yet some people attempt to establish their moral credentials by displaying a similar degree of sensitivity to moral problems similar in regards to Prince, The Princess and the Pea. Often this results in spurious claims about the presence of a moral problem where in fact there is none. We call this errant use of moral claims trumping up just as a prosecutor might trump up false charges against a suspect participants in moral discourse sometimes make spurious moral complaints. trumping up is a useful tool for grand standards by trumping up grand standards try to look morally impressive by objecting to features of the world that we moral peasants regard as insignificant, innocent or even laudable. As moral princesses. They are simply more sensitive about injustice than the rest of us. Notice that even Oh, here it is, here it is, here it is, here it is. Notice that unlike piling on and ramping up trumping up requires saying something false about morality. Yeah, yeah. Anyway, so go on, go on.
Danielle 29:10 Something that you know, to be false. I mean, part of me wants to say that I used to do this more than I do, you know, now, but it's hard because like, I think of myself when I was, you know, a little baby, teenager, super Christian. Super Christian.
Stephen Bradford Long 29:32 You and I were both so super impressed. Oh, my gosh,
Danielle 29:35 we were we were hardcore. Um, but no, I would. I would. I was I was over scrupulous. You know what I mean? Like, I would find spiritual problems. were legitimately there were none. And I still don't quite know if I was trumping up or if I was just being over scrupulous. You know what I mean? Like, I still can't quite tell
Stephen Bradford Long 29:57 there is a form I was Religious OCD, that that comes about in certain settings. You know, and I was the same way. I think that I, I don't know, there there is sort of a religious and moral OCD that results from certain oppressive religious settings. And I think we both went through that. I don't know, I think the difference would be was was it outward? Was it public? You know, I sometimes Yeah, same. I can think of time
Danielle 30:31 for the most part, people didn't like it like, and I kind of knew that people weren't going to respect me more for it. You know what I mean? Like,
Stephen Bradford Long 30:40 I don't know. Yeah, I get it. I know. I get it. And yeah, that's the thing is, human motivation is complicated. And, and so I can think of times in my life, where I have done a bit of grandstanding, but it was also mingled in with some jazz, with other things with with her,
Danielle 31:01 which is one reason why I think this book is so useful, because you know, you can look for certain patterns in your behavior, and then inquire into your motives. And it can I think it could give somebody a better idea gave me a better idea of how to identify when I'm grandstanding, because those motivations can be so complex, you don't necessarily know it when you're doing it.
Stephen Bradford Long 31:25 Yes. Yeah. I, I found. I'm trying, I'm trying to think of a personal a specific personal example of trumping up of being grieved at at. I'm going to think about that I can think of broad way I
Danielle 31:45 can, I can give you a really embarrassing one. Okay. Well, I find it embarrassing now. So in high school, I was in the choir. And, and our choir director was actually retired military.
Stephen Bradford Long 31:59 And we had the same choir director. We did
Danielle 32:02 Yay.
Stephen Bradford Long 32:04 Yay. He's still there. He's still trolls me on facebook sometimes, but we'll talk about that later. Oh,
Danielle 32:12 man. Anyway, so we were we were going to sing the Star Spangled Banner, and we were going to sing the national anthem at a concert. And my dad is ex military and I had always been brought up to stand for the national anthem. And like, you know, we'd be practicing the stars and stripes, and I would automatically stand up and the teacher was like, It's okay. You can sit down. Oh, wonder, every time we practice the net, rehearse the national anthem, and it bugged me, it bugged me. And I still don't know if I was because obviously it was public. I'm sure it was a reflection of you know, sort of a moral convictions that I had at the time. But yeah, I don't and I kind of knew that everyone was gonna think I was a dork. But did I also think that they were going to I don't know see me as something good. Maybe. Huh?
Stephen Bradford Long 33:09 No, I Oh, my God. I so get that. I feel that so. So hard. Oh, I understand. Yeah. Is there is there anything else about trumping up that we need to discuss or do you feel like that's that's it? I think we covered Okay, cool we did strong emotions let me make sure this is the next one in line okay, I've been I'm guilty of this all the fucking time
Danielle 33:43 I was gonna say this is this is where I live Oh dear. Yeah. Saying
Stephen Bradford Long 33:47 more more and more lately. I'm strong emotions is using using outrage, performative outrage as a boost to signal your own moral superiority. Now, this is important. This is an important differentiation. strong emotion can be necessary. Right. Went Do you hear the cat in the background? By the way? No, no. Okay. Okay, so So, John started taking Wednesday out on a leash and I know we've broken her. Now all she wants to do is just be outside and she cries and she Yao and, and now and so now, whenever she sends John just left the house to go for a walk. And now she is at the door screaming and she is going to do this until he gets back. She is going to do this for his full two hour walk or whatever. Anyway, it's fine. Everything's fine. Everything's fine. We're fine. Okay, so moral outrage there. There are times when it is important to have heightened emotions right police brutality, we should have heightened emotions, climate change, we should have fucking heightened emotions, the fact that billionaires fucking exist, we should have heightened emotions. This is what's really sinister is are those heightened emotions genuine and slash or are they in this service for personal gain, right. And it can be both and it can be both, it can totally be both and I have totally done this as someone who lives on the interwebs and as a content creator, and where virtue is currency I have 100% done this in a way that may be my my natural response is to just be more subdued in in terms of how I present myself that are in general. Even though I have some dark dark thoughts every night as I'm going to bed. I my the way I generally present myself just naturally is pretty chill and pretty subdued. Yeah, but there are times when I feel like I have to ramp it up a bit. I have to ramp up my display of emotion so that I have that prestige that's just i There are times when I do that. And so the important thing here is not that that emotional that that over the top emotional displays and strong emotions are inherently bad they aren't. No The point is are we engaging in this cynically or not? are we engaging in these in these displays of emotions for self promotion or not? That is the that's the thing. And and what's dangerous about this? I'm trying so hard to focus the cat is yelling so hard right now. Oh my god, it's getting sad. It's like oh very, very sad meows Are you kidding? Yeah. What's sinister about this? Is that grandstanding strong emotions cheapen and having strong emotion. Yeah, well cheapen. They cheapen the, the gin the the the significant the the importance of emotional outrage, right. They can cheap and they can they can make people feel cynical about all displays of emotion. Right They, then that's the that's the thing. That's one of the bad things about grandstanding is how it people can detect it, even if they don't have a clear confirmation that it's happening. And yeah, and that sense of detection really poisons the well and and makes and leaves us all cynical.
Danielle 38:01 Yeah. No, I mean, if you sense that someone is disingenuously expressing moral outrage, you're and that's, that's shitty, that's more that's worse.
Stephen Bradford Long 38:10 Yeah. Or if you do it, yeah, if we do it if I do it and then it could make you more suspicious of someone else. Exactly. And, and so it's okay, so moving on to the final form of grandstanding. Let me see here dismissiveness, hold on. God dammit, my laptop, my laptop is misbehaving. Okay. They write. Grand standards are frequently dismissive. This is one reason why they can be so frustrating and difficult to engage in conversation. It's one thing for someone to think he is better than you. It's quite another to be treated like your moral views and values aren't even worth thinking about. Yet. This is precisely the modus operandi of many grand standards. Often their dismissiveness reveals itself in claims of self evidence. For example, someone might say, quote, if you cannot see that this war is just then your views are beneath contempt. And I refuse to engage you any further. And if you don't understand why I'm not going to waste my time explaining it to you do better. Okay, so basically, your your views are so repugnant, or, or what you are so dumb or so dumb, that I am not going to engage with you. Now, once again, sometimes it's complicated. And once again, it's complicated and sometimes it's necessary to dismiss people right? Or to dismiss arguments, right? Sometimes, sometimes things truly are beneath contempt. Sometimes true. Gangs truly are not worth the time of day. I am not going to have I'm not going to have a white nationalist on my show. that, that that view is beneath contempt, right? That's not going to happen. And then there are I don't know, how do I? How do I want to say this? In other words, it's complicated. There are times when things are beneath contempt. And that's why we can get away with this. Right? That is why we can get away with this kind of grandstanding. And again, we can't know if someone else is, is being dismissive in a as as a form of grandstanding. We can only know when we are Yeah, I will.
Danielle 40:34 I have been guilty of this one. Oh, my Oh, my
Stephen Bradford Long 40:37 same. Oh, my God, I have been guilty of this. I mean, I will. Oh, I'm, again, specific examples.
Danielle 40:49 Oh, I've got one. Okay. All right. Let's do a dive here. This is another. Yeah, this is another reason why I just sort of took a big step back on the Facebook front. Okay. So, storytime, I, my husband and I attend an Episcopal Church, in Asheville, and the clergy people and sort of the denomination itself are fairly liberal and left leaning. However, it's a very high liturgy sort of church. And so there are a lot of older folks who do attend. And they are typically more right leaning and conservative. So one of my fellow parishioners on Facebook, you know, and we're friends on Facebook, and like for Wyatt for a long time, that was fine. She's a grandma, she like, has a business it has she you know, she's she's great. Like, she's sweet. And anyway,
Stephen Bradford Long 41:42 it anyway, it was not fine.
Danielle 41:46 It was, well anyway, so she's, she's a sweet lady. And she's a grandma. And that's, that's who she is. But from my perspective, she has been conned by the right. She has absolutely been taken advantage of. And, you know, sort of sort of caught Yeah, conned by by right leaning and right wing. Politics and, and, and websites and people in New sources. So Stephen, I don't know if you remember this. But a few months ago, there was like a five year old boy who was murdered in his front yard by a black neighbor. Do you remember this? Yeah. And so this lady kept posting that. I'm just gonna call it nonsense, because maybe I'm grandstanding. Or maybe I just think it's nonsense. But she
Stephen Bradford Long 42:31 only said only you can.
Danielle 42:35 Only you can now. But she kept posting a lot of nonsense about where are the demonstrations for this child? And where's the outrage over this child's killing? Why are we so outraged about George Floyd but not about this kid. And here's the thing, Steven, the man who murdered this child was apprehended within 24 hours, he was charged, he was arrested without bail, he will, in all likelihood, serve a sentence that reflects the maximum strength of the law. In other words, and this is a black man was done. Yeah. And it's a black man. And I'm not saying that he doesn't deserve it. He killed a child in cold blood. But the point is not, you know, oh, death is bad. The point is that the killers of George Floyd or Breanna Taylor or Philando Castile will never be held appropriately responsible. Exactly. Because they are police officers. And so yeah, the false equivalency that was being drawn is that this child was murdered, and no one is outraged. Whereas, you know, the police murder someone who is black, and there's all this outrage and why and I'm like, because his killer was arrested, and will face trial and consequences. Yeah. And so I hate to say it, but like, she kept posting stuff about it, and I kept responding. And I knew it was toxic, and I knew I shouldn't, but I essentially accused her of being of lying of being like, Don't lie, don't lie. These are not analogous. And surely you must see that these aren't analogous and it's a totally different situation and how can you not Anyway, hi. And again, I knew it wasn't doing any good.
Stephen Bradford Long 44:19 So this for you is an example of dismissiveness. Yeah,
Danielle 44:24 yeah, yeah. Of being like, this is so obvious. Clearly it by posting these things. You're lying and you know, you're lying. And it wasn't it wasn't pretty.
Stephen Bradford Long 44:34 Yeah, it wasn't pretty. I understand. You know, that just reminds me kind of as an aside, oh, my God, my cat. Surely my audience can hear my cat. I can't I have. I have fantastic. I have a fantastic mic if people can't hear that. Hold on. I'm getting discord notifications. I'm going to turn off discord. Cool. By the way, Danielle is So glad you're on my Discord server. It's a it's a fun little community.
Danielle 45:05 It really is. It's pretty great.
Stephen Bradford Long 45:06 No one should join. I just live with kind of this low simmer of rage. And I find that social media just makes it worse. Yeah. 100%. And I think part of the reason is, social media is just humanity's ID. It doesn't give us humanity's best with, like, if I'm going to spend time, if I'm going to spend time reading something, I want it to be humanity's at least most thoughtful, even if it's someone who disagrees with me. So, you know, instead of instead of reading conservative insanity on Twitter, how about if I just read Shelby Steele? How about if I just read a conservative I disagree with who I think is wrong was thoughtful, but but who at least puts forth their best and same with the left? I mean, the god damn Honestly, I was just thinking this today, I was reaching a fever pitch of rage today. And then I was like, Okay, I have to go for a run. So I went for a run and like, burned off some of the steam, I have to clock in, clock out, I have to log out. Because I'm afraid that the behavior that I see from fellow leftists makes me so furious that I'm going to be radicalized. I really am. I really worry about in the opposite direction. Yes, yes. Or out towards any examples, or at least towards the center, at least towards, you know, towards centrism towards bourgeois liberalism. You know, I I'm worried that I'm and it becomes especially pronounced when you take breaks from Twitter, and then you get back on. And then you're like, What the fuck are we doing? It is so disgusting. The way we talk toxic, the way we talk to each other, the way, the way we talk to each other, the way we treat people who aren't like us, the way we the way we demonize the way just all of the things and this is in queer spaces. I mean, these are my people. And, and I am today, I was just so furious that I was like, I know that I know that the right is the biggest threat that I know that the right is the biggest threat. I know that they are gutting institutions and harming lives. And gutting protections for minorities and women, and exacerbating climate change, or at least stripping away protections for the environment. I know that I am. So what I see on the on my leftist online spaces makes me so angry, that I am afraid that it will make me so angry that I will lose sight of the real damage of the real problem. Because I think that's what happens. I think, the spectacle of canceled culture. There's something radicalizing about it. I think that I think specifically canceled culture as well. I don't know canceled culture is too vague a term for me, honestly, you know, and I had Katie Herzog on a few weeks ago, and I pushed, I pushed back a bit like is canceled culture even a useful term and I kind of still feel that way. Like, I don't know if canceled culture is a useful term. It's been weaponized now by the right and pretty toxic ways. But it points to something very real and whatever that real thing is, I think the spectacle of it radicalizes a lot of people and pushes a lot of people away, and it happens on a really deep gut emotional level. And I feel it even it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter like how much I rationally know the but I am afraid that if I stay online, the behavior of my fellow leftist will so disgust me that I will be radicalized away from the left. So I'm like, my values aren't Yeah, I know. Yeah. This is a moment of honesty. This is a this for real? No, like I'm genuinely worried about that. Because I've already been there I was almost I almost fell down the alt right. I'm I'm a cringe Lord. I'm a little edgy, edgy, gay boy. I'm,
Danielle 49:32 I can testify. I don't friends for like 18 years. 18 years.
Stephen Bradford Long 49:35 I don't like being told what to do. I don't like i don't i There are a lot of things I don't like. And if you push those buttons, ooh, it gets me so fucking pissed. And it's happened to me before and I'm afraid that it can happen to me again. And I and I'm like, the best thing for me to do is to just log off Twitter is to just disengage. To just disengage, because at the end of the day, all I have are my values. All I have are my principles, and I don't want my principles to be compromised
Danielle 50:09 to be wilted, I suppose in a sense to be reactionary.
Stephen Bradford Long 50:12 Yes, I don't, I don't want to be a reactionary and I think Twitter makes us reactionaries. I say Twitter, because I'm on Twitter, but any social media, any say you, you with your you with your grandma, you are with your little grandma that was reactionary. That was that really was Yeah, I mean, it does this. It does it to everyone. It just does. Anyway, this isn't an anti social media rant, but had to get that off my chest, except it is. Okay, so I found this the most useful. Okay, so getting back to grandstanding, I found this the most useful chapter in the book. There were other sections that were helpful, but sure, really, the takeaway for me was this chapter. And holy shit, it really was like a rectal exam. As someone who lives on the internet, it really was a, it was an intervention. I was about to say a fucking intervention, but I'm trying to swear less. There you go on the air. Why? Well, I don't know it turns, turns people off. And turn some people turn some people off off, and I'm trying to have broad appeal. But I but I'm, I, I work in retail. I work in a fucking grocery store. This is just how people fucking talk. This is how this I live in an I live in work in an industrial part of western North Carolina. That's just how people do just how people do anyway. Okay, yeah. What was less positive about this book for you, Daniel, what was what was more frustrating about this book?
Danielle 51:52 Well, well, as I say, they are philosophers. They love to define terms. They love to define terms over and over. So that was that was part of it. It was like, it was like, and I appreciate a well structured argument. Absolutely. I really appreciate, you know, something where the point that they're making follows from the point that came before is connected to the point after, that's all great. But I felt like every time they introduced a new concept, they would go back over.
Stephen Bradford Long 52:24 I don't everything else. I don't need, like,
Danielle 52:27 oh my gosh, it was like, it was like, I don't know, it was like math class where like, the teachers like but you remember this, and you remember this? And you remember this that we went over the you know, the other day? Yeah, it was very review as you go along. And I'm like, to some degree, that's good. But maybe it was more than was necessary
Stephen Bradford Long 52:45 there. They've got their professors they I'm repressors Yeah, probably, that they probably wrote like that, because they teach like that.
Danielle 52:54 What I was gonna say, and that's not a bad teaching technique, but in a written book,
Stephen Bradford Long 52:58 but I am not a college student anymore. And I hope I never go back to school ever again. No, it was so tedious. It was Yeah. So
Danielle 53:12 and there were up their argument was well constructed. And you their terms are really defined.
Stephen Bradford Long 53:17 Yeah, my gosh, but my Lord and honestly, the topic. Here's what frustrates me about that is the topic is so important. I wish Yes, I wish that this readable? Yes, exactly. If I struggle with a book, I I'm not like a super reader. I'm not. But I'm a competent reader. If I struggle with a book than for sure the origin and stressful people are going to struggle and that's what frustrated me the most I think was this topic is so important. And this is just not very accessible. And and it was kind of meant to be a pop book. I think it was.
Danielle 53:58 That's the interesting thing about it is I do think they wrote this book thinking or average layperson should be able to Satis up and read it and but access these ideas,
Stephen Bradford Long 54:07 but that was not the effect at all. It was very inaccessible. It was a very laborious. And I just found it excruciating in places and honestly, I mean, you you had a big thing with neat with them quoting Nietzsche later, but oh my god, honestly, by that point, I was so checked out. Because I'm like, Oh, my God, we are defining terms. Again.
Danielle 54:35 Again, again, we're going over this ground again. Yeah.
Stephen Bradford Long 54:40 To the point where I just I just like block it out. And I'm going to need hypnotic regressive therapy to like recapture those memories of what actually happened during those pages. I was probably abducted and probed by aliens while writing this book. So you had some thoughts about Each. I don't remember I don't chapter six was tough. Okay. romance was difficult. This, this was the point. Yeah, this was this was the point by which I had tuned out. Honestly, I was, I was still grabbing a few helpful things here and there, but I have checked out at this point.
Danielle 55:20 So chapter six would a virtuous person grandstand. And here's where we get kind of into the philosophical weeds, because they try to then go back and form sort of a working definition of virtue from a philosophical perspective. And I'm sorry, but that's a lot more than a chapter. And so I, honestly, this is the point where I'm like, You really didn't have to convince me that a virtuous person would necessarily grandstand. And quite frankly, I'm not sure I care about your definition of what's virtue, what, because really, they go through a different at a different point and break down sort of the social costs of grandstanding. And honestly, I think that's all they needed to do. Right? Like, they go through a whole list of the social costs the negative effects of grandstanding such as polarization, it drives people to be further left and for or further right, beyond you know, what is necessarily even good or useful. And it alienates the people in the middle. It also can lead to as you said, cynicism, it can lead to outrage exhaustion, where you've expressed you've experienced or witnessed outrage so often that you're just fucking over it. It can lead to what overconfidence you're resistant to correction, because the other side driven by grandstanding will see more and more unreasonable. So it leads to all of these, all of these things that are social ills, especially in a democracy, and they and they go through that, and that was actually pretty useful. I was like, Okay, I'm with you. But then they tried to go at it from the other side, and I was like, I just don't care. I just don't care. And they brought up Nietzsche, and they're like, Nietzsche says that the will to power is the best and okay, you're smart, and you know, philosophy. Okay?
Stephen Bradford Long 57:14 So I am so tired of getting yelled at every single time I bring up Nietzsche on the internet, like for real, every, like for real Nietzsche, pedants come out of the fucking woodwork. And they're like, you're completely miss representing Nietzsche. And I'm like, Fine, I'm just going to stop for fine. I'm just gonna stop talking about Nietzsche like, fine. What? And honestly, they might be right, I probably am misunderstanding Nietzsche in some way, and what but whatever I'm, so I'm just like, I'm done with that. I'm done talking about Nietzsche. So would you recommend this book,
Danielle 57:55 recommend it with with caveats? I would say, you know, don't expect the most riveting read of your life. Maybe, maybe skip chapter six. I don't know, do what you want. But I would say it's useful. It's useful. skim it if you need to. And yeah, just don't expect don't expect, you know, a riveting engage, necessarily, always engaging. Read.
Stephen Bradford Long 58:23 Yeah. Don't expect Game of Thrones. No, so yeah, I agree with that. I learned a lot. I found this book helpful. And I'm glad I took the time to work through it. I really, really am. I'm also disappointed because I wish that it were more accessible because it is so important because it's important. It is so important and, and informative. It's important to think about this stuff. And I just know other a lot of other people are not this is not me calling people stupid. It's just the reality of just you and I we are readers that it's what Yes, we are readers, but most people aren't readers and, and for this to reach people who aren't readers. This is not the way to do it. This this book, I really struggled with it. So I would recommend it. It is a struggle to get through, but I would recommend it. Yeah, I won't give it any stars because I think star grading systems are bullshit. But I don't know. Should we go with stars?
Danielle 59:24 The stars with stars? I mean, I'd give it what three out of five?
Stephen Bradford Long 59:29 I will give it three three stars. Yeah. Three. Cool. We are going five Excellent. Yeah, we will post we will post this. This review. We will post this podcast to good reads for this book. There
Danielle 59:41 you go. Yeah. For for edification. We're edaphic though and then how man, I guess I don't know if this is the right time to talk about this. But I remember one of my rage texts that I sent to you. Haha. was about where is it? And it was it was it was in the chapter called Paul Politics as morality pageant Oh, yes. And they were saying that one of the things about sort of the left currently let me find this on the page and I'm just gonna I'm gonna read a little bit from from the novel it's or the novel from the book itself. It's not a novel. So meanwhile, the left has recently discovered Margaret Atwood's 1985 dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale. And so some activists on the left now appear at protests wearing the red habits and white bonnets OF THE HANDMAID'S of a novel representing their fear that the real agenda of the right is to strip them of their human rights.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:00:39 Yeah, I nagged, I snagged on that too, first of all, yeah, I don't know the intent with which that was written. But I hear that in a snide way that everyone should disc. Everyone should discover The Handmaid's Tale, because
Danielle 1:00:57 it is a shirt. Oh, and read that book.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:01:00 It is a brilliant book. Don't just watch. Don't just watch the Hulu series to watch the show actually did to. It's fine. It's great. But the book read that novel A masterpiece and a classic. Everyone should read it. So oh, it's I don't know. Yeah. It's nice.
Danielle 1:01:17 It's good. Well, okay, so basically, what I what I hear when, when these authors say that what I hear is that, of course, the real agenda of the right isn't to strip any one of their human rights. Of course, it's not your beat. You're exaggerating, you're making too much of of this, to which I say, Fuck you. Sorry. No, it's true, but do it. Because I did a little research and I like looked up, Brandon, warm key and Justin Tosi, and obviously, you know, they're both very well educated, they're assistant professors, at at, you know, universities. So you know, they're employed in academia. They're well educated. They're white. They appear to be sis I have no idea if they're gay or straight, but as White says, presumably says men you Yeah, the rights not trying to strip you of your human rights. Yeah, the right wing people, like, you know, and it goes back to a lot of the things I was seeing posted online during the election of, oh, just be calm goddess, God, no matter who wins or, you know, we'll be fine no matter who wins. And I just wanted to be like your, your privileges showing Be quiet. Yeah. To some degree, the current state of the right, absolutely intends to strip people of their human rights. Yes, it absolutely does. Bottom. These are not because these are not your fringe people. This is the President of the United States, you know, calling out you know, generalizing immigrants as rapists and drug addicts. This is the President of the United these are not far fringe people who are sort of spearheading the the, the, the the rollback of human rights and, and dignity. And so yeah, I felt super talked down to by that particular comment. I was like, Yeah, Justin and Brandon, no one is coming for your rights. But they're coming for mine. So yeah,
Stephen Bradford Long 1:03:21 yeah, no, I snagged on that too. And because let's be real, I'm, I'm queer, and you are a lady. And you know, a lady person. That doesn't mean that we have the exact and neither of us are people of color. So you know, things are intersectional I. But they're the right consists of theocrats right now. Oh, and by the way, for people who who want to hear more about this, listen to my previous book club episode about the power worshipers which is all about American theocracy.
Danielle 1:03:55 Just say that gave me flashbacks to my childhood.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:03:58 Oh, yeah, it was traumatizing Oh, so hard. We got so fucking trashed. Oh, during that episode, we got so drunk doing that because it was the only way we can get through. The only way you can do it. No. So yeah, I that felt a bit gas lady to me. Honestly, it I struggled with that. I honestly, I didn't have a very strong emotional reaction to it at the time I snagged on it. I was like, Oh, you and then. Yeah, I was just carried on. Because honestly, by that point, I checked out, but yeah, but you texted me that I was like, oh, yeah, that's Oh, yeah. And again,
Danielle 1:04:35 because here's the thing, like there could come a time, you know, should should sort of government continue down its current trajectory, especially with the Supreme Court. Like there could come a time when I need a certain kind of reproductive health care, and I can't get it and that I get, you know, damages my health or endangers my life. Like as a Woman, there are certain things
Stephen Bradford Long 1:05:02 bodily autonomy barred from human right period bodily autonomy as a human right,
Danielle 1:05:08 or like, or the fact that, you know, this, the right has been trying to push through legislation that would allow doctors to, to just blanket refuse to treat trans people. Because they don't want to. Yeah, yeah.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:05:21 And it's really easy. It's really fucking easy to say, Oh, well, that trans person can just go to another doctor. Not if you live in my little tiny town where there's literally one doctor, and
Danielle 1:05:36 you're in a car accident, and it's an emergency. You don't I mean, exactly, ya know. So, anyway,
Stephen Bradford Long 1:05:42 yeah, I struggled with that, too. And, by the way, Brandon warm key, and I hope I'm saying your last name, right? Please, please forgive me if I'm not. And Justin Tozi you are more than welcome to come on to the show. I would absolutely I would love to talk to you. I would and if you have a response to our conversation, I would love to hear it. I would love to have a conversation with you. So I will be reaching out to both of these authors after the show comes out and maybe we can do a follow up interview. I'm going to be trying to do that with the author of every book club episode I've done. Alright, and I will do so. Anyway. I guess fair, I think that's about it. I think yeah, no, I think we pretty much covered it all right. So three stars we would recommend with caveats and also I will never tell someone not to read a book unless it's like I don't know The Turner Diaries. I would I wouldn't even tell someone to not read that. I would say read it with caution but I I'm generally pro reading books Okay, so Danielle, I have a book on on my I have a book on my heart and mind and it has been I read it several months ago and it has been driving me crazy. Oh mine is by a gay conservative named Douglas Murray and it's called the madness of crowds. And so if you want to read that if you want to read it and we can do another episode just let me know it's kind of short and Jesus Christ white hot rage all the way through that book. And
Danielle 1:07:20 I do love to indulge in some white hot rage don't
Stephen Bradford Long 1:07:23 we go okay. All right. Well, maybe that will be the next book club episode or maybe not Yeah, we don't know. All right. Well that is it for this show. Thank you so much, Danielle. You're always a pleasure. Thank you The music is by eleventy seven and the jelly rocks you can find them on iTunes Spotify or wherever you listen to music The artwork is by Rama Krishna Das this show is written produced and edited by me Steven Bradford long and as a production of rock candy recording as always hail satan. Thanks for listening we ready brown jacked up on coals bury down next to them