Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Fascism And Stupidity In Ufology

That heading would have brought a smile to a face or two of those who have been following my latest displays of subtlety, tact, and self restraint on Updates. But it does raise some interesting questions.

There are a number of people on Updates who have made a massive contribution towards Ufology over the years. They are respected for their achievements and their knowledge. As most of them are elderly, inevitably a few have become grumpy, mean spirited and often cruel in their impatient replies to some. How should they be dealt with?

Is it only right to recognise their careers and their age and out of respect, make an allowance for their behaviour? Or, should those elements be ignored and should responses to them be in keeping with their own style and way of doing things?

I have a nasty feeling that Rich might have one or two strong views on this but if you do read this Rich, try and be as objective as you can. In other words, try to set aside the memories of how you have been treated by some of these folk. Not easy, I grant you. Mind you, I've answered my own question. I recall your responses, which were polite.

There is a fascism in Ufology and frequently, it is the above mentioned folk who are at the forefront of it. Their desire to decide what is right to accept or believe and what isn't, and the manner in which they try to impose their views on others is, quite frankly, sickening. It's bullying by any other name.

It is almost certainly the reason why there are so many people who are members of Updates who choose never to post a message. There's a part of me that says, "Who can blame them" and yet another part of me that thinks they're a bit wimpy. But, their lack of action is at least understandable.

So what's to be done about it? Well, going off and forming the UFO Forum is one tactic but, unlikely though it probably is, they might go and follow you over there. Membership is open to all and anyway, it is rather running away from the problem.

Fight them on the message board? Battle with them? It's a pretty pointless, futile pursuit that gets no one anywhere and just creates further division. So, back to the status quo.

Step around them somewhat gingerly maybe, but should one really have to do that?

It would appear "yes".

So we wait. We wait no doubt for them to be replaced by yet more grumpy people, and the cycle continues.

Of course, we age as well. And as that process develops, there is a suspicion that I too might turn out to be a grumpy old git. Please take me out and shoot me if I ever get anywhere close to being like that.

I've always had what I regard as a realistic view of my own intellectual gravitas. While I have never sat an intelligence test, I have no reason to believe that my IQ is much above average and I recognise my limitations in terms of speed of thought as well as depth. But I'm beginning to have second thoughts. I just cannot believe the incredibly dumb posts that have been aimed at me recently by people I regarded as bright. And therein lies my mistake probably. I am most likely confusing one form of intelligence with, for example, an ability to articulate. Because one is accomplished in one direction doesn't mean that one is gifted in every direction.

But I still can't get over the sheer recent stupidity of both John Rimmer and James Smith. One intimates that getting rid of all UFO conferences may not be a bad thing, while forgetting that once a month, he stages a small scale version in a pub down in Putney in London. And the other speaks of Ufology and Ufologists in the most derisive of generalised and abusive terms, seemingly also forgetting that he is an active participant in the very same activity he has just abused.

I somewhat suspect that Rimmer will strenerously deny that what he does could in any way be called a conference. On that basis, I would strenerously deny that Rimmer could in anyway be called a Ufologist. Trouble is, he'd probably agree.


Stuart Miller

2 Comments:

Blogger Paul Kimball said...

Stuart:

With respect...

Your response to Eugene Frison at UFO Updates -the one in which you used the term "fascist" and likened him to the Nazis, taking over Austria and then invading Poland - was simply uncalled for, in my opinion. So too, as I've scolded Rich at his own site, is the use of the term "fascist," if, for no other reason (and there ARE other reasons) because it is an inaccurate usage of the term.

What some of these older ufologists are displaying is frustration, I grant you. Their responses, at times, can be rude. Intellectually dishonest, too (David Rudiak, come on down). Slanderous (Wendy Conners & Alfred Lehmberg). I've been on the receiving end. But fascist? Come on.

Personally, I think you owe Eugene a public apology. You two were having a disagreement. I think you've escalated it all out of proportion.

Or, perhaps you think I'm a fascist too - because I generally agree with Eugene on the point that was originally under discussion, namely that exopolitics is crap, damaging to ufology, and a conference that flies the exopolitical flag is one best avoided?

Paul Kimball

Monday, 18 July, 2005  
Blogger Stuart said...

Hello Paul,

No, I do not think you are a "fascist" because of the views you hold about Exopolitics.

It might be worthwhile repeating here that I am not an adherent of Exopolitics myself. I'm not sure that too many people appreciate that distinction or indeed believe me.

And I apologise for the fact that as you obviously know Eugene and perhaps like him, that the exchanges between the two of us have made you feel uncomfortable.

But the benefit of a night's sleep and the chance to further reflect on my views have not changed my opinion. And frankly, I think it's about time that somebody put their foot down.

Ufology is full of bullys and Eugene is one of them. I unquestionably respect people's opinions but when they extend to the point of telling people what to do, what to think, what to go and see and what not to go and see, then I for one have had enough and feel that we have moved on to dangerous territory.

That is the principle Paul that I am arguing here. "Exo" is almost irrelevant. If it wasn't that, it would be something else.

If you would care to explain to me your objections about the use of the word fascist, maybe privately, I would be happy to listen and if you convince me, I would be pleased to substitute another description.


Stuart Miller

Tuesday, 19 July, 2005  

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