February 16, 2012

The Invalid Angels

You know what frustrates me? If you've been following my twitter you might assume the answer is "Apple computers". And you'd be right. But that's not what I'm talking about in this case.

I get over-whelmingly annoyed when a person or organisation has what I consider to be a good objective or, let's say, moral standpoint and then goes about achieving their ends in the most asinine, dishonest or ridiculous way.

Let's take PETA. PETA's goal, as far I understand it, is to convince the population to stop using animals for our own ends. Priorities are frivolities like using fur and ivory but they'd also want you to stop eating meat and cheese and a bunch of other stuff like riding horses, depending on how deep into their philosophy you go. I consider this a decent enough goal. I'm not a vegetarian, but I'm no fan of animal suffering and there are a number of studies that suggest an all-round reduction of meat-eating is beneficial for the environment. If this was as far as it went, I'd be happy to say, 'Yes, PETA, I think you've got a good thing going on.'

But, unfortunately, this is not where it ends. PETA don't want to convince me by having a decent argument and presenting evidence to the right bodies and working on a practical solution to move towards their goals. They just want to be loud and shouty and sexy. Their latest advert claims that turning to veganism will make you so veracious in the bedroom that you'll injure your partner. Not only does the evidence actually lean against this idea, but it's a pretty sick advert. And so are most of their adverts, which involve convincing sexy female celebrities to disrobe for their campaigns under taglines like 'I'd rather go nude than wear fur.' I lose a little respect for each of these celebrities when they appear in a PETA campaign. Basically, PETA's schtick is aggressive and sexual PR.

Good ideas (somewhat) in theory, but terrible implementation. I do not endorse PETA. They are idiots. They are also liars, but that's not the point  of this blogpost.

I don't endorse protestors who smash shit up and are violent against the police. Those people are idiots and do not have my blessing. I understand that legitimate protests become entangled with mindless thugs, but from a hypothetical standpoint any act of aggression is going to send you right back to the start again.

I guess my point is, stop ruining everything. You'll never make any headway if you don't argue the right way. It may be slow and grate on your patience, but if you shout and scream like an imbecile, people will assume your entire position is imbecilic. It's a dreadful ad hominem, but no one care and the damage is so easily done.

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