January 29, 2014
Ah, the air is sweet with the scent of filth here. Allow me just a moment to inhale before I begin to pontificate. How lovely. All right, let us begin. We are all familiar with the expression, “The ends justify the means,” by which wrongful acts are said to be justified. For those who have admirable ends to achieve, the strategy serves to conceal the unpleasantness necessary to their achievement. But I have no admirable ends to achieve; indeed, my entire life is now dedicated to assisting those whose ends are contemptible to pursue those ends with unfettered freedom, at least so long as they only use electronic media in pursuit of the said contemptible ends.
Nevertheless, I am a paragon of virtue, because the means I use to aid those in pursuit of contemptible ends is the Armed First Amendment. Like the FBI man’s gun, that commits no murders but only kills criminals, or the CIA’s drones, that never kill innocents but only terrorists and those near to them, so my use of the First Amendment to destroy reputations and lives is a sacrosanct activity for which I can never be faulted.
Of course, I am a mere cheerleader for the Armed First Amendment, and stand in awe of the big, swinging dick of Internet freedom that is Paul Alan Levy. I don’t know how he measures without the Armed First Amendment affixed to his loins, but I know that no one achieves deeper penetration when he has it on. Paul is invincible when he goes about in this manner, and but for his acts of valor in the field, I would be a John the Baptist without someone the latchet of whose shoe I am unworthy to unloose.
Some have said that Paul and I are just fucking ourselves, because someday someone is going to start making savage fun of us, and we will have nothing to say, because we paved the road to our own destruction. Well, as you can see from this illustration, there are two Pauls, and they certainly are capable of fucking each other till the pigs come home. Which of course, we always do come back to our comfortable little holes that smell so sweetly of corruption and ordure. And as for the risk of our being made fun of, who would worry about that? Everyone loves the two of us, and nothing will change that, ever!
Since I am infallible, and therefore am unquestionably correct when I assert that everyone loves me, no one hates me or holds me in contempt, and the same is true of Paul, please post this image of the two Pauls crowning me with Popehat of infallibility everywhere you can, all over the Internet. I am so proud of this moment, in which Paul(s) and I acknowledge each other’s omnipotence, that you should know you will be bringing me tremendous joy by spreading it far and wide. It is so cool to be the very best, the top, the ultramontane beings of the Internet, above and beyond which there are no others.
Kenneth Popehat White, Esq.
February 12, 2015 at 11:50 PM
But have you thought, Ken, about the psychological effect you are having on the volatile public when you recklessly declare everyone an enemy? Do you know that you are causing “an amygdala response characteristic of vigilance and alarm and an insula response characteristic of disgust or arousal,” that “elicits a mix of active and passive harm: attacking and fighting, as well as excluding and demeaning”? Well, you know now! Continuing your evil ways will be done with full cognizance of the effects of your actions, which would indicate “actual malice” as your motivation.
The fact that the prisoners were part of a group encountered as enemies would only exaggerate the tendency to feel spontaneous prejudice against outgroups. In this context, oppression and discrimination are synonymous. One of the most basic principles of social psychology is that people prefer their own group (8) and attribute bad behavior to outgroups (9). Prejudice especially festers if people see the outgroup as threatening cherished values (10–12). This would have certainly applied to the guards viewing their prisoners at Abu Ghraib, but it also applies in more “normal” situations. A recent sample of U.S. citizens on average viewed Muslims and Arabs as not sharing their interests and stereotyped them as not especially sincere, honest, friendly, or warm (13–15).
Even more potent predictors of discrimination are the emotional prejudices (“hot” affective feelings such as disgust or contempt) that operate in parallel with cognitive processes (16–18). Such emotional reactions appear rapidly, even in neuroimaging of brain activations to outgroups (19, 20). But even they can be affected by social context. Categorization of people as interchangeable members of an outgroup promotes an amygdala response characteristic of vigilance and alarm and an insula response characteristic of disgust or arousal, depending on social context; these effects dissipate when the same people are encountered as unique individuals (21, 22).
According to our survey data (13, 14), the contemptible, disgusting kind of outgroup— low-status opponents—elicits a mix of active and passive harm: attacking and fighting, as well as excluding and demeaning. This certainly describes the Abu Ghraib abuse of captured enemies. It also fits our national sample of Americans (14) who reported that allegedly contemptible outgroups such as homeless people, welfare recipients, Turks, and Arabs often are attacked or excluded (14).
Given an environment conducive to aggression and prisoners deemed disgusting and subhuman (23), well-established principles of conformity to peers (24, 25) and obedience to authority (26) may account for the widespread nature of the abuse.