Friday, August 16, 2013

I Do Not Think This Word Means What You Think It Means

Poor Peter Shih.  His rant about the things he hates about San Francisco (ugly girls, homeless people, and not being able to park his car) generated so much derision that he had to take it down, and clarify that it was "satire".  This is a common defense of bigots and jerks everywhere.  Here's the thing: satire is a tool used by the weak against the powerful.  It's a way that someone with no power can even the odds, through wit and insight.  Here, Shih is the powerful: he's YCombinator backed male with a car and a job making fun of women, the homeless, and bicyclists.  If it were funny, he'd at least be able to claim he was poking fun at himself.  But it's not funny.  There isn't even a hint of self-deprecation.  A vitriolic stream of misogyny and self-entitlement isn't called "satire", it's called being a jerk.  And so ends my catechism. 

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