By now we’ve all read the memo on cyberbullying…Narcissistic bullies. Impulsive bullies. Physical bullies who may damage or steal a victim’s property or target their livelihood rather than physically confronting their victim. Verbal bullies who start rumors, use sarcastic or demeaning language (monster, psychopath etc) to dominate or humiliate another person while enjoying the advantage of this behavior being difficult to document. Secondary bullies who don’t initiate the bullying but join so they don’t become the victim down the road. Bullies are not interested in working things out. Bullies are not interested in compromise. Bullies are interested in power and domination. They want to feel important and their preferred means is by bringing others down. In case you haven’t read, here’s the link.
With that said, this brief rebuttal to the two most recent entries of the bully hiding anonymously behind the name Anna K, (think Anna Karenina, and don’t picture a femme when you do) using Google’s notorious blogspot platform to conduct a mobbing campaign http://www.shitshockedsays.blogspot.com serves only a small sample of the context that could be offered for the manufactured outrage developed as a work-for-hire to promote NoH8 UK. Before the substance of Anna K’s distortions will ever be addressed, the group aggression that Anna K promotes with these distortions will remain the entire focus and topic of conversation. If the substance of the accusations were ever to be addressed, this is what it would look like:
January 14, 2014
On March 17th, 2013, Michelle Shocked performed at Yoshi’s in San Francisco. Although she was never paid for the performance, it was a priceless, audacious artistic experience for everyone present. She challenged her audience’s most cherished and high-minded conceptions about themselves and since then has provided ample goads on Twitter to remind them that human behavior in groups is decidedly distinct from individual morality. Instincts firing on all cylinders, she presciently identified the existence of a social media lynch mob before the lynching actually occurred. Indelibly preserved by victims of their own self-righteous indignation, here are some examples of the conversation that she invited the audience, at Yoshi’s that evening, and every social media audience since, to join. The monster she truly revealed is the monster within us all.
Michelle Shocked’s self diagnosis
Here are a few posts Michelle puckishly sent a few days before her account was targeted by the lynch mob again. It’s common knowledge she doesn’t regard the opinions of others who are lacking in self-awareness of their own role in group mobbing, and her opinion of someone caught up in the mobbing is only of note to the bully driving this bloodsport. The context for these tweets is, by now, so completely convoluted, that to determine why on earth you would spend your precious time interpreting or caring about this tedious backstory is more a reflection on your own anxieties about being a potential target for this type of social media mobbing. Regardless, try to focus on the substance of the opinion she is expressing and not the context, which will be quite distracting.
It is a good time to review the source for this post, Anna K (not a real name, in fact a reference to Anna Karenina) Operating under cover of anonymity for 10 months, exposed as a liar for claiming another identity and justifying every known behavior identified as bullying, Anna K is delirious with anticipation that ‘Twitter has finally dealt a permanent suspension for @MShocked. Anna K does not indicate that the previous two accounts operating as @AnnaInYourPants and @AlphaWhorePants were permanently suspended for abusive cyberbullying and currently operates a ‘protected’ Twitter account, @NotShockedAtAll that is devoted to directing other accounts to do ‘the dirty work’ of harassment and abuse, including the account above. Proving how ‘whacked out and full of hate” Michelle has become is something of an obsession for Anna K. In fact, it’s a job. One that Anna K is compensated for. Anna K’s concern for “the best thing that could have happened” to Michelle is contradicted by the bloodsport of “opportunities to prove” how justified Anna K’s bullying is. Every time Michelle opens her mouth or posts on Twitter (and since Twitter is her only communication, that’s a redundancy) it adds fuel to the fire that she started for her art project that triumphant night in San Francisco. Anna K’s interest in knowing “what it would take to heal” Michelle’s personal problems need not look any further than Anna K’s interest in targeting Michelle for mobbing on social media. Michelle’s chances of rebuilding a career are beside the point. Anna K has no inside information as to Michelle’s career direction or goals. Encouraging Michelle to “avoid making public statements” smacks less of concern or compassion for Michelle’s healing than simple, good-old-fashioned censorship by intimidation. In the meantime, Anna K has inadvertently created an excellent template for a summary of the premise of Michelle’s Truth Vs Reality art project. Michelle is operating as a true artist at the peak of her prowess, in the intersecting crosshairs of social media and disruption of the social contract.
If Michelle Shocked is right and the entire rest of the world is wrong… what would it mean?
To begin with, it would mean there is a powerful and massive conspiracy among the engineers and founders of Google, ruthless LGBT partisans and mainstream media. This vast conspiracy is, in fact, designed to ‘rule Metropolis’, collapse world economies and kill bonds of trust in our social compact. While it is understandable that powerful interests like Google can and will attempt to dominate using their monopoly power and while recent protests bear witness to the outrage of their abuses, it is less easily perceived that an oppressed minority of organized LGBTs would conspire to dominate and abuse a mostly-tolerant majority. As for the conspiracy to kill bonds of trust in our social compact, Michelle Shocked is neither the first nor the last person, public or otherwise, to be targeted by mobbing actions of cyberbullies. It is an obvious endgame of NSA’s data mining efforts.
For Michelle to be right, the following needed to take place prior to her concert at Yoshi’s:
- Older archives of Michelle’s affirmations of affinity (ie. pro-gay statements) emerged only after the mobbing, such as this interview.
- Two, perhaps three NO H8 activists had to buy tickets to attend Michelle’s concert and at an opportune time during the encore, instigate and escalate a shouting confrontation, in spite of audience’s efforts to deescalate.
- Twitter’s network of tweeting bloggers would, in real time, contact opportunistic tabloid journalists specializing in sensation, celebrity gossip and whisper campaigns who understand the metrics of both user-generated content and fan-engagement for online advertisers with little regard for fact-checking or libelous smear.
Of course, Michelle is infamous for her consistency in stream-of-consciousness ad hoc commentary on stage. While Jennifer Lawrence may fan the fires with references to ‘armpit vaginas,’ Michelle’s de rigueur social activism will inevitably find her commenting on topics ranging from foreclosure fraud to whistleblower prosecutions. Not once in 25 years has Michelle ever consented to “shut up and sing.” To consider whether this a flaw or great art is obviously in the eye of the beholder. There will always be someone able to take offense at something she says. To suggest that she begin to do so now only provokes a very troubling consideration of a late-stage fascist cancer in the culture. More to the point, not once in 25 years has she ever invited or given permission for anyone in her audience to tape/record/bootleg her performances. Michelle framed the performance at Yoshi’s that evening with a stage presentation of “Truth Vs. Reality.” The banner to the left read “Truth.” The banner in the center, “Vs” included the invitation “@MShocked – Join the Conversation.” The banner on the right read “Reality” The events that followed are nothing less than a masterful demonstration of that artistic concept.
Yes, the success of the conspiracy depended on Michelle Shocked walking on to a stage in a tech friendly (live-streaming, social media promoted) club in a tech friendly city and subversively attacking Google-owned YouTube. Michelle Shocked planned, in advance, a structure for the performance that allowed the audience to ‘get what they asked for.’ When the audience requested ‘Truth’ she gave them songs, short, sweet and simple. When the audience requested ‘Reality’ she gave them a sanitized version of the conversation that is alive and well outside their PC comfort zone. The request from the audience to include ‘gospel’ in that reality was all the invitation she needed. The gospel according to Michelle Shocked is that the audience members who were bootlegging the entire show were the truly offensive ones. There was nothing she could say that would come anywhere near the scale of offense that is the violence of stealing someone else’s property .
The clever part is when the stolen property (ie. bootleg) was published by the media in a further violation (ie. bootlegging the bootleg) and caused outrage by the very people that Michelle had targeted for outrage. NOT lesbians and gays – that was clear and self-evident from her statements – but the culture of content theft and permissionless innovation that is incubated and generated out of Silicon Valley. The Twitter medium that she had set up from the onset (recall the center banner, “@MShocked, join the conversation”) proved to be the pitch perfect medium she had anticipated it would be. Microblogging is an extreme sport best deployed by poets, comedians and those with a penchant for short, sharp shocks.
The demand for ‘explanations’ following the outrage was the laugh riot Michelle had anticipated from the start. A veteran guerilla fighter of the squatting movement and more recently the Occupy movement, she understood all too well that there was no implicit desire to understand her agenda. Her demonstrations, not her words, would be her only opportunity to articulate the point she was making. The banter she engaged in on Twitter was nothing less than epic. Taunt for taunt, gnats at bat would swing and whiff. They were following a time-honored mobbing formula but their target kept laughing at them. Their target kept moving and the mob were driven to more outrageous lies that drifted further from the original ‘hate speech’ and ‘homophobe’ meme until the mob stood glaringly exposed by their own base motivations. Group behavior revises people’s social identities and rewrites their histories, creating ever-more-spectacular accusations as it gains momentum. Group behavior just gets weirder and weirder until no one involved has any idea what really happened, but they just want the problem gone.
When she discovered that the ‘journalist’ who targeted her was deleting his incriminating tweets, she understood that the mobs tactics had escalated to bloodsport. She responded in kind, causing further distortion of the reality which – lest we forget – was her premise to begin with. Social media distortion is the premise behind the meme she created. Truth Vs Reality. Only Lenny Bruce, first tried for obscenity in New York, then in San Francisco – you know, those liberal towns – could truly appreciate the irony of de facto censorship for rubbing people’s noses in their own shitty hypocrisy. The mobbing that he endured in the 50’s is no different from what a target of mobbing endures today. The only change is the degree of pride that people believe they take in their tolerance of dissent.
The conspiracy was instigated by the bootleg video posted on YouTube. It was always the conceptual framework for Michelle’s intended exposé. The video was of the first 15 seconds of Michelle’s Tampa show a few months earlier, in November 2012. (Don’t mind that Anna K tries to manipulate facts by stating it was ‘between songs’ and ‘a few years ago’) What you should focus on is the fact that the bootleg was posted with the description “This is all I got before she asked us not to record”) The impunity! The sheer, unmitigated gall! The blatant content theft model of Google on full blown display! Efforts to have the bootleg taken down – you know there were many – only resulted in the bootleg being renamed “someone i used to like”
And now, what can be said about Anna K’s intellect, that no generous effort to help this person connect the dots between what was said and done has ever been sufficient — because the effort is NOT to understand. It is to justify the mobbing and indemnify that “Michelle asked for it.” Not only did Michelle ask for it, she predicted it and has maintained artistic integrity during ten months of abuse to expose it.