Derrick Jensen

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DekuScrub3's picture
DekuScrub3
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Jul 5 2015 14:51
Derrick Jensen

So I'm working my way through the Derrick Jensen Reader, and I had a couple unrelated thoughts.

First, he's a fantastic writer. So, leaving aside the content, I can really see why he's so popular.

Second, and I'm sure I'm going to get slammed for this, but does anyone find the portrait of his father as so unredeemably evil a little hard to believe? I mean in Jensen's description, his father raped and beat him, his sister and his mother. I know these kinds of things happen. It just set off alarm bells in my head the way I think the UVA story did for many people...as in like this is just too perfectly awful and most abuse is much more mundane. But no doubt that's just my naivety and prejudice.

Third, he really seems to have a catastrophic vision of the future. I mean if I'm understanding him right, he believed circa 2004 that human civilization would collapse within 100 years. I'm no environmental expert, and I know the situation is dire, but that prediction sounds kind of hysterical to me.

Fourth, and maybe this will be cleared up for me later in the book, I don't entirely understand what his vision of an ideal society would be....it sounds like he's in favor of bringing down electrical grids, etc. I don't know, I'd just like a clearer picture of what he's advocating.

An Affirming Flame
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Jul 5 2015 16:10

He's a primitivist. His vision of an ideal society is one of mass death for at least 90% of the human population and miserable, disease-ridden, short lives of hunting and gathering for the survivors.

You'll be hard pressed to find people around here who don't think he's a douchebag.

Fleur
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Jul 5 2015 16:27

Fuck Deep Green Resistance and Derrick Jensen and all the other head up their asses primmos BUT -

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I'm sure I'm going to get slammed for this

Too fucking right.

Quote:
but does anyone find the portrait of his father as so unredeemably evil a little hard to believe? I mean in Jensen's description, his father raped and beat him, his sister and his mother. I know these kinds of things happen. It just set off alarm bells in my head the way I think the UVA story did for many people...as in like this is just too perfectly awful and most abuse is much more mundane. But no doubt that's just my naivety and prejudice.

Where the hell do you get off deciding whether someone else's abuse is authentic enough for you? What makes you an authority on whether or not someone was abused? How do you get to decide whether someone's response to abuse is appropriate or not, as you have done in other threads? What put you in a high and mighty position to make a judgement about whether or not someone is lying? It set off alarm bells, did it? On what grounds? It is clearly too much to ask that you might give someone the benefit of the doubt when they disclose abuse. Not mundane enough? Sexual and physical abuse is never mundane, not to the person who has experienced it. What does it need to take before you'll listen to accounts of abuse with an open mind? Do you have to witness it or experience it yourself?

Honestly, if the Rolling Stone story is the thing you dwell on amongst all the discussion and events of the last few years and your boneheaded refusal to listen to accounts by people who have been abused with an open mind, then you are very much a part of this problem.

edit: Jesus, you start a thread asking about Jenson/DGR but you can't resist putting in a little bit just to throw shade on someone's account of being abused. What the fuck is wrong with you?

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Jul 5 2015 16:38

Memoirists are exposed all the time for misrepresenting their past. I'm not sure why you have to go ballistic at me. People lie and exaggerate. It's a fact of life. I'm not saying Jensen was, in fact I was saying he probably wasn't and my suspicion was based on naivety and prejudice. I was just saying that his portrait of his father was so black and white it reminded me of some mad scientist cackling about his evil plans for world domination. The father was portrayed with no recognizably human characteristics. Surely those sorts of people exist, but I think they're few and far between.

Fleur
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Jul 5 2015 16:39

Asshole.

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Jul 5 2015 16:43

I'm Fleur, the righteous rage machine. Fuckity fuck fuck fuck.

Edit: and for what it's worth, his relationship with his father plays a major role in the book's narrative. It's not some tangential thing. He uses his father's abuse of his family as a recurring metaphor for humanity's abuse of the earth.

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Jul 5 2015 17:08

Fleur, I’m far from disagreeing with you, though I suspect that your feeding Deku’s need to appear naive, droll and misunderstood.

Deku, you are right people’s memories are notoriously unreliable, so why do you choose to read something you consider to be crap? The world is full of seriously good books, look at lib-com’s lists – not by any mean exhaustive. So why bathe your brain in this stuff?

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Jul 5 2015 17:10

Because I run into people singing Zerzan and Jensen's praises a lot, so I wanted some kind of reference point for what they were talking about, whether I agree with them or not.

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Jul 5 2015 17:22
DekuScrub3 wrote:
I'm Fleur, the righteous rage machine. Fuckity fuck fuck fuck.

Actually Fleur is a person. She's angry because you are repeatedly being really horrible about abuse/rape. You might want to think about the possibility that you are in the wrong and being really nasty about a serious issue.

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Jul 5 2015 17:38

I don't think it's out of line to wonder whether a memoirist has applied creative license in telling their own story. I mean that happens in relation to serious topics all the time in the writing world....the Holocaust, addiction, you name it. Is anyone denying that's the case?

But whatever. I think the left has gotten into this mode where it's like "believe people claiming sexual abuse unconditionally," so we're not really going to get anywhere with this conversation, just as we haven't gotten anywhere in the past. So maybe we can just ignore the second point in my original post, agree that I'm some ignorant asshole, and continue with the other questions I had.

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Jul 5 2015 17:54
DekuScrub3 wrote:
But whatever. I think the left has gotten into this mode where it's like "believe people claiming sexual abuse unconditionally," so we're not really going to get anywhere with this conversation, just as we haven't gotten anywhere in the past.

Why is it that whenever someone on libcom--filled with people who I doubt identify as part of the left--criticizes something you write, it immediately becomes representative of some unsavory left groupthink in apparent contrast to your own independent thinking? Why do you write stupid bullshit like that someone's account of sexual abuse is suspect (whereas their accounting of the rest of their life experiences doesn't warrant any such suspicion, apparently; what a surprise) and then refuse to actually back up anything you ever claim about sexual assault, feminism, etc. other then the occasional screenshot of a tweet as evidence of sinister feminist oppression and instead pull this "above it all" act?

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Jul 5 2015 18:07

It's not an 'above it all' act. Again, I think it's perfectly reasonable to wonder about the accuracy of portrayals in memoirs of people and events. But I shouldn't have mentioned it because I know how these sorts of things have played out in the past. And in that sense it's my bad.

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Jul 5 2015 18:18

DekuScrub3 has been temporarily banned, pending admin discussion.

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Jul 5 2015 18:52
Deku wrote:
But whatever. I think the left has gotten into this mode where it's like "believe people claiming sexual abuse unconditionally," so we're not really going to get anywhere with this conversation, just as we haven't gotten anywhere in the past

No it fucking hasn't, but it should.

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Jul 5 2015 19:48
DekuScrub3 wrote:
"believe people claiming sexual abuse unconditionally"

I've been reading your posts on libcom for 2 months, and it looks to me like you consistently doubt claims of sexual abuse. You don't have this obsessive skepticism about anything else. Just sexual abuse. Why?

I was personally the target of false allegations of abuse by a man who I worked for 3 years ago. We went to court and the truth eventually came out that he was lying. So I know false allegations are a real possibility. But I also know it's just the decent thing to do to give the benefit of the doubt to the survivor's story. Not default to "what if they're lying?" The reason that's the default reaction for so many men is related to rape culture and male sexual entitlement. That's why your behavior pisses people off.

Fleur
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Jul 5 2015 20:46

Auld-bod

I suspect you're a far nicer person than I am and I know I shouldn't rise to some of the bullshit Deku says. However I'm not buying his faux naif act, no-one can be quite as willfully ignorant as he seems to be. Trolls and the feeding of etc.

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Jul 5 2015 21:00
Quote:
Auld-bod

I suspect you're a far nicer person than I am and I know I shouldn't rise to some of the bullshit Deku says. However I'm not buying his faux naif act, no-one can be quite as willfully ignorant as he seems to be. Trolls and the feeding of etc.

And he has no excuse to profess either ignorance or naiveté. It's been pointed out many times to him why and also how his views on sexual violence and feminism are hugely problematic. Moreover, his consistent refusal to even try to challenge hi views, preferring to retreat into his own worldview, show that he has no desire to even entertain changing them. For him it's just "difference of opinion", not something that should be inherent to any anarchist politics.

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Jul 5 2015 21:14

Wild shit.

Among other things, he is basically suspect of Jensen's life-story because Jensen didn't give the person who had abused him for years proper three-dimensionality in his book. (?)

Quote:
I was just saying that his portrait of his father was so black and white it reminded me of some mad scientist cackling about his evil plans for world domination. The father was portrayed with no recognizably human characteristics. Surely those sorts of people exist, but I think they're few and far between.

Its just way the fuck out there. That said, a fair bit better effort than most of our trolls lately.

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Jul 6 2015 00:09
DekuScrub3 wrote:
Memoirists are exposed all the time for misrepresenting their past. I'm not sure why you have to go ballistic at me. People lie and exaggerate. It's a fact of life. I'm not saying Jensen was, in fact I was saying he probably wasn't and my suspicion was based on naivety and prejudice. I was just saying that his portrait of his father was so black and white it reminded me of some mad scientist cackling about his evil plans for world domination. The father was portrayed with no recognizably human characteristics. Surely those sorts of people exist, but I think they're few and far between.

Jensen describes his father's abuse, which DekuScrub3 refutes. Ignorance, naivety, or prejudice is no excuse. The ban should be made permanent.

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