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  •  It wasn't obvious to me. (4+ / 0-)

    The scenario here was very clear.  Since it has happened, I've found it potent to ask the question that forces the simulation.

    I've also had some luck with my own life experiences, or one of a peer known to most involved.

    When they vilify that, it generally goes badly for them, because the rest know it's just wrong.

    Look at Fluke.  Limbaugh did that and instantly broadcast his assishness to a ton of people!  She's great, and people know that too.

    Fear of all that inhibits people from sharing their experiences and or doing the advocacy that can have real impact.

    How many times have we been told, "keep your self out of it", or some variation on that?  Just the facts, etc...

    That meme, along with "there are always two sides to the story" do our cause a lot of indirect harm,

    ***Be Excellent To One Another***
    IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

    by potatohead on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 09:26:15 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I wonder if it would be possible (5+ / 0-)

      to have a forum that is a class like setting; you know, where we could meet once a week - or do ongoing posts - using examples like this and garnering appropriate personification pushbacks.

      I love Lakoff in theory, but somehow I have a very hard time putting his concepts into my words. I know that another DK poster, whose moniker is something like jillklausen, has a site called winningwordsproject.com which has more excellent response pointers. Check it out, too.

      I just want to be able to practice and get my arguments together before I get silenced by the nasty folks out there....

      "I can't do it by myself. No president can. Remember: Change doesn't happen from the top. It happens because of you." B Obama, 2008

      by nzanne on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 09:49:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That is a very interesting idea. (5+ / 0-)

        You are right in needing to prepare.  They get really, really ugly and angry when this kind of thing gets into the mix.

        For what it's worth, here are my experiences leading up to a diary like this.  And I'm sharing them because I want to model something for you that will help you get some security in these things.

        That thing is telling stories.  In particular, tell your story so that others can understand who you are, love you, like you, understanding you and empathize with you.  When people do this, they will have your back, because nobody likes seeing that nice person who didn't harm anybody taking so much crap.

        So, my story:

        In 2003, I became politically frustrated.  I had begun to pick up on what I would call the modern progressive movement.  Alphas were taking to the net, blogging, starting to share themselves and their values with others attracting crowds.  Markos himself started exactly this way, telling stories, sharing thoughts, building community.

        Politics was forced on me by how badly Bush was doing things.  I had to know whether or not this rightie crap was actually good for us or not.  I suspected not, but really couldn't put my finger on why.

        So I jumped into a smaller forum where the crowd wasn't too big and there were some people like me in there.

        Decided to just put it out there for real, and I told them that and continue to tell them that.  The idea is to figure out the politics through discussion.  Vigorous discussion, true discussion not just banter, gets at the meat of things and that helps clarify our own politics.

        Over a period of a few years, I knew I was progressive, liberal and really knowing that and having shared a lot about that I got a small following of like minded people.

        This changed everything!  I knew I was not alone and that others would have my back and or resonate.

        Over time that has built up into great friendships, and we will on occasion meetup in real life.  In my blogroll you can see that forum.  I don't use this username there.  It's actually another one that has K S K D in it.

        If you want to, jump into that one, or find another smaller place to build with.

        The key here is to share yourself first, keeping things light, making your friends, bonding some.  Then you can stretch out and start to really say what you feel and challenge the garbage.

        Each challenge may go well or badly.  The most likely scenario by far is they will dodge.

        In my diary set, I've got a few empowerment diaries you may find useful.  They deal with the dodges, as in what Republicans do when pinned.  The most common is to go silent or vilify, but there are actually over 10 regular things you can be aware of.  Call those out and you will find your consensus building working to solidify others against the real asses.

        It takes time.

        Here are the links to the empowerment diaries, all written from my various antics in real life and online:

        http://www.dailykos.com/...

        (That is the list of dodges, know them, and don't do them, and people will pick up on you being the real deal)

        http://www.dailykos.com/...

        (this one is very potent because it contains strategies to deflect crap they put on you)

        http://www.dailykos.com/...

        (I used this one HERE to put daylight on trolls trying to derail the health care discussions anyone that does these things in here loses instantly.  This needs setup, and group awareness, meaning you need to use some meta to get it out there.  It is good to just know those and call them out as BS in a pinch though)

        In summary, that is how you grow your self in this way.  You share who you are, others come to know that person, respect and value that person.  From there you educate others about how you are who you are with info like I've put here, finally reaching a point where you can engage in personification in the way I've highlighted here, others being able to see the ugly for what it is because you and others present a great, attractive contrast.

        That's probably a college course in online forum guerrilla tactics, but there you go.  An idle hobby gone mad!

        :)

        Oh... I've not read Lakoff.  I plan to.  The secret here is when you build up like I've written, the concepts come naturally because the discussion ends up robust enough for you to just do that.  

        In real life, this is all compressed and perhaps some additional diaries might be of use.  The complimentary one mentioned in mine is a great start on that.  I plan on attempting some of that in real life where there isn't so much setup possible.  

        ***Be Excellent To One Another***
        IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

        by potatohead on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 10:16:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  FWIW, I think you should definitely (3+ / 0-)

          go forward with writing a series of these diaries. You have a gift for framing and explaining these concepts.

          "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

          by nomandates on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 10:31:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks. Appreciated. I'll consider it. (4+ / 0-)

            Sometimes an event, such as this one provides the context and it makes a lot of sense to do.

            The ones I linked above could probably use a rewrite with current context and some cleanup / refinement as I've learned new things since then.

            One area I really struggle with is, "why?"

            I am a technical person, who will spend time writing code, or building things, etc...  On that level, this shit sucks.

            I am also now a political person, mostly because it's been forced.  Boy, we Gen X'ers really screwed the pooch checking out on this stuff like we did...  Be that as it may, we are here now, and it's important now, and it's escalating now.

            On that level, the mechanics of the advocacy are very important, because those that understand the mechanics build movements.  Those that don't just thrash around, or sometimes get lucky with a meme or something.

            A great many people lump it into "meta" and they write it off.  How to communicate how impotent that makes us?  I don't know.

            There is this too, and I guess I'm riffing a little here to see what you have to say that I might find motivating, or in context:

            We don't want to become them.  You can see it in the other diary I linked where some of us really get bent over the idea of incremental things.  Honestly, there are leftie authoritarians with most of the same issues rightie ones have, but they are aligned with our best interests more than not, which makes things difficult, because we will fire on our own troops, by way of analogy.

            Maddening really, because the other side for all it's flaws, rarely if ever does that.  Either play ball, or STFU, or we will vilify you into wishing you never even asked the question!

            So then, how to build understanding of these things without creating monsters, or being labeled as such?  It's a matter of genuine ambiguity for me.  On one hand, I do participate in a lot of political discussion.  DKos is my home, and I come here for perspective, community, ideas, action, etc...  I don't always participate on a strong level here, simply for other interests, and or because we are mostly in the fold and the real action is out there in other places.

            Getting labeled as that guy who spends way too much time sorting out online forums is a real issue too.  What I actually do is apply the technical acumen to the problem, using the smaller forums as a place to sort out what works, how people work, etc...

            I'll on occasion bring it here, but context is always a problem.  People can't always relate, which is why the better efforts are in response to something already in progress as this was.  When KOSC prodded me into writing, I had context and could go to town.  I can't always just do that.

            So, what do you think?  Have that problem, or some helpful stuff to pass my way?  Criticism?  I'm all ears :) do tell.

            ***Be Excellent To One Another***
            IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

            by potatohead on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 11:27:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Excellent One named potatohead, (4+ / 0-)
              I am a technical person, who will spend time writing code, or building things, etc...  On that level, this shit sucks.
              as you are a scientist/technician of cyberspace/engineering, you possess the analytical tools necessary to be an astute observer of the human mind/psychology (internal) and the behavioral manifestations that spring from it (external). Combined with the fact that you care about more than yourself, you are compelled to enter the shit-storm of socio-politics. It is the realization that if the world around you is shit, then writing great code or building cool stuff will seem......somewhat meaningless. Go with your instincts, from my standpoint they are pointing you in the best direction.
              •  Thanks BTW. (4+ / 0-)

                I look back in wonder over the last 10 years.  Transitioning to people oriented tasks, thoughts, analysis has been slow, creeping along and then BAM!  One is just there.

                Caring.  Yeah, that gets right to the heart of it doesn't it?  Honestly, I think a lot of people, who would be more caring, are so damn busy just coping they are drained.

                That's by design too, but I am wary of the tin foil hat label.  

                (though I once did actually make a tin foil hat, but it was for role play / kid theater purposes)

                You flipped that around nicely.  Funny how others can do that when we often can't.  Nice!  IMHO, spot on too.

                ***Be Excellent To One Another***
                IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                by potatohead on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 02:14:04 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Okay, here's what I think. (3+ / 0-)

              Begin by converting this comment into a diary that foregrounds this point:

              That thing is telling stories.  In particular, tell your story so that others can understand who you are, love you, like you, understanding you and empathize with you.  When people do this, they will have your back, because nobody likes seeing that nice person who didn't harm anybody taking so much crap.
              There are lots of us here who want to hear about strategies that have worked for others, and I think most of us commenting in this diary are comfortable with the notion that we need to establish common ground as well as our own trustworthiness and credibility. Telling our stories, as you suggest, is one effective way to do that.

              So many of us have found ourselves in similar situations trying to figure out what to do about bullying wingnuts or whatever. A diary that invites folks to tell their stories--what worked as well as what didn't--and explains why can work on so many positive meta levels. Of course, there is never going to be a perfect strategy for changing hearts and minds, but it helps folks like me to have the discussion here.

              As for the critics from the left, I have come to recognize that I'm continually having to engage on two fronts. I am definitely not comfortable fighting with folks who are basically my allies, and so I think your suggestions have merit when dealing with those folks as well. Ultimately, it is possible to pervert any strategy, but the bottom line is that many of us just want to communicate more effectively and would never dream of descending to the level of bullies and fearmongers and such.

              Finally, my story resembles yours in some ways, and you will notice that I haven't posted such a diary. I do understand hesitating because of the "so what?" aspect of this. What I would suggest for now is taking this one diary at a time. I am happy to offer feedback on a draft if you're looking for someone to do that--just send me a kosmail. And I am definitely planning to read the other diaries you listed and will probably have some additional suggestions ;-)

              "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

              by nomandates on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 12:24:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The Workplace as Crucible (3+ / 0-)
                Telling our stories, as you suggest, is one effective way to do that.
                nomandates, I have found that the workplace is a great starting point to hone one's skills. I live and work in N.H. (n/t that), and was, at first, driven to angry response to political taunts (laden with no small measure of racism and bigotry at times) from right-leaning (euphemism) co-workers. After a while, I have found a quiet contentment in showing them, by example, the intrinsic humanity and goodness of progressivism. Over time, the taunts have grown fewer, and the ones that remain are met with calm and quiet "Gandhi-isms" and such. If you think about, the workplace is one of the few scenarios where one MUST, in a somewhat "intimate" way, work with those who have opposing worldviews, or be unemployed. I have chosen not to remain inert, but rather, to be the progressive catalyst in the workplace crucible.
                •  Well, hold on a minute. (4+ / 0-)

                  This is a contact sport.  

                  While I don't disagree in concept with what you wrote, I do question whether or not it makes broader sense for a lot of people.

                  My current workplace is pretty great.  Not much of an issue to discuss things because the people are all sane, and lean left in a lot of ways.

                  I have worked in places in the past where that's not true.

                  Speaking out was expensive!  And I did it when I could, but it's not always possible to do.

                  Expensive?  Well, got my car vandalized, people tried to get me fired and labeled, etc...

                  Ugly stuff.

                  As a 20 something, people can often weather that storm because they have not yet solidified their career, but not always.  Piss off the wrong person with no standing and suddenly it's hard to work.

                  We have to think about that stuff.

                  ***Be Excellent To One Another***
                  IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                  by potatohead on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 01:10:08 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks! (2+ / 0-)

                Great food for thought.  Appreciated.

                ***Be Excellent To One Another***
                IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                by potatohead on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 01:12:53 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I like this idea. (2+ / 0-)

                Here is where I think I might go with it.  Gotta think for a few days, but...

                It's often presumptuous to just step in with a lot of "who I am" stuff.  Some places welcome it.  Dkos does, but other places with less community may not, or it's just passed over, sometimes challenged.

                Besides, that doesn't really establish credence, and credence is very important to being able to realize good, solid, potent advocacy.  

                Credence takes a little time, and it takes that time because people need to see what other people DO not what they SAY, or SAY what they do.

                How I have done it in the past is to relate current events to life experiences, mixed right in with the policy advocacy, the intent being, "I'm a good person, solid enough, how can you really argue with this?"

                And the result is people tend to resonate with it, sometimes riffing with some stuff of their own, or they will challenge it, which is usually a great discussion, particularly if one personifies the problem well enough to vet what all parties say.

                Over time, people get to know who somebody is and that leads to credence, if that person is credible.

                That is the core answer to, "Well, how do I actually DO IT?", which I suspect is the primary question being asked, or that would be asked / implied by an audience who would find such a piece worthy.

                From there, mix in some of the tools.  Not sure how, but I think that makes sense.

                I'll think on it some, but just wanted you to know your advocacy on this point was heard.  Not sure it will actually be productive, but it was heard!

                Have a great week!  

                ***Be Excellent To One Another***
                IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                by potatohead on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 10:20:13 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Oh, and this conversation is welcome. (2+ / 0-)

                  When the comment threads die out we can continue with the message system.

                  Maybe we can chip away at this thing.  I'm actually interested in your story.  

                  ***Be Excellent To One Another***
                  IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                  by potatohead on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 10:25:20 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Glad to hear that you've been thinking (2+ / 0-)

                    about all this. You're still making sense to me, fwiw. I'll try to check back here tomorrow evening and see what else you've come up with. Messages later would be fine as well.

                    And the result is people tend to resonate with it, sometimes riffing with some stuff of their own, or they will challenge it, which is usually a great discussion, particularly if one personifies the problem well enough to vet what all parties say.
                    That's what I was thinking about in terms of a diary that would promote discussion in the comments. We can't force it, but sometimes sharing our own personal anecdotes illustrates a situation so that others can see themselves doing something similar. Of course the trick is to make sure that our stories are clearly relevant so that we don't get dismissed as narcissistic.

                    Going for descriptive rather than prescriptive is probably best. Each situation is going to have its own set of variables, as illustrated in the exchange above between you and Loozerio, and so we have to be prepared to be flexible when trying to put theory into practice.

                    I'm going to try to get some sleep now. Feel free to ignore the above if it's irrelevant and/or not making sense. See you later.

                    "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

                    by nomandates on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 11:11:33 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  I see you're still having fun (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    potatohead

                    in the threads. It has been interesting to watch the various threads unfold :-)

                    Thanks for taking me srsly when I requested that you post more diaries like this one. From what I've been reading in comment threads for a while now onsite, there are quite a few of us who are interested in reading how specific scenarios played out so that we might be able to think a bit more quickly on our feet when confronted with wingnut noise.

                    Way upthread, nils o said this better than I did:

                    I think you've introduces an important and worderfully practical nuance to Lakoff's approach!
                    Without having read them, you've somehow been putting Lakoff's theories into practice :-) And your descriptive approach helps folks to understand the thinking behind what you're discussing so that they can adapt based on the variables they're confronted with.

                    Briefly, my story is like yours in that I wasn't politically active, then after blaming everyone else for not fixing things, it finally occurred to me that I was going to have to step up and figure out how to help Dem candidates get elected and fight the wingnuts. I live in Texas, and I am trying to help take my state back.

                    Anyway, I hope you continue to think about posting another diary in this vein.

                    Have a great holiday!

                    "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

                    by nomandates on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 10:36:38 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  School of hard knocks my friend. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      nomandates

                      Truth is, that little forum is a special place to me.  Many of us have been there for years.

                      Newbies come and go, but a core stays fairly constant.  For the analytical type this is perfect as tests can be done and results correlated over a very long period of time.

                      Really, that's the core of the insight.  I get a target or two and a recurring issue to work on, and so I do.  Post up, they post up, think about it, read the archives and come back at them with what is essentially perfect memory.  I do have access to every single thing they've ever said, and the same goes for me, but they never, ever leverage it.

                      Was my first clue, because I did and wondered why they didn't, seemingly able to let two weeks go by only to spout off again, the SAME SHIT again, as if nothing ever happened.

                      This piqued my interest, generating some of the material I linked earlier, in particular the list of things Republicans do when branded as such.  Those can be seen daily, constant, and when they are called out, break a lot of little toys they play with, others picking up on that, seeing the game for what it is.

                      Professionally, I deal with a lot of people too.  Have become quite adept at framing things and managing issues.  That contributes a lot.

                      Shit, I quite possibly could be the ONE GUY who actually put this stuff down for some thought.  Pathetic in a way...

                      Over time, good strategies evolve by some analysis of the dialog and what happened.  Since I know a fair amount of the people there, I also have the back data to think through, motivations, station in life, etc...

                      Wow, Texas.  Yeah, you and I are similar and came to similar realizations for similar reasons.

                      Congrats!  I think you are good people, because shitty ones just don't do that.  :)

                      Thanks for the nudge.  Just like KOSC, it's motivating.  Got some time over the 4th, so maybe I can write something.

                      ***Be Excellent To One Another***
                      IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                      by potatohead on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 07:48:04 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

        •  It's not just your own stories (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pandoras Box, nomandates, potatohead

          It's how you deal with other people's stories. You reveal a great deal about yourself simply in how you treat others.

          Also, if you know someone's story, it can be a very good way to use personification, by turning their circumstance into a "what if".

          I found myself doing that when I got some obviously thoughtful reaction on the subject of equal rights to marriage. We'd surprisingly gotten pretty readily past the obstacle of gayness as biology rather than life style choice. At that point to focus was on the old "love the sinner, hate the sin"; as long as they don't act on their homosexula urges. One member of the group handed me a gift on a platter, reminding us that as one of the currently single women in the group she knew she spoke for most that they remained celibate. While currently single she had been married, so I asked how important that intimacy with her late husband had been in their marriage (pretty important). I asked if she thought that at some time in the future she might once again find someone that she would want to marry and have that closeness with again. (Yep). So then I asked how she could tell a gay person that they could yearn for such intimacy in a relationship for all their days and never, never have hope of experiencing it. Then we talked about what everybody was having for lunch. Don't know how many seeds got planted or sprouted that day, but I suspect several.

          from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

          by Catte Nappe on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 12:15:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, right on. Seeds indeed. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Catte Nappe, nomandates

            So often the dynamic is subtle.  We might not even get to close the loop on it, because the impacted people go on to their lives, not intersecting with ours.

            Lowering the noise level so that can all happen is a key element in this, IMHO.

            ***Be Excellent To One Another***
            IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

            by potatohead on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 08:16:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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