Category: Uncategorized

Imagine a mall. Now, whichever you were imagining, unless it’s Mall of America, make it bigger. Conjure a sprawling megalopolis including every imaginable form of commerce. Home improvement stores, book stores, an inordinate number of pet shops. Now scan over to the second floor, off in a little side wing. Hard to see, unless you look for it. One store out of hundreds, that’s just for Nazis.

By Nazis, I don’t mean people you disagree with, or people who are bad at their jobs. I don’t mean George Bush. I mean people with swastika tattoos, who have at the core of their ideology that members of certain races are something less than human. Real, honest to goodness Nazis.

The store sells flags, and videos, and whatever else Nazis buy. I don’t know – those idiotic Pinochet was Right shirts probably. But it’s just one store. If you don’t go looking for it, you might walk through the mall without ever noticing it at all. Still, if this scenario was real, no one would call this place “the mall with one Nazi store” or “the mall of open exchange of ideas”, nor should they. They’d call it The Nazi Mall. I’d call it the Nazi Mall. Because in any functional sense, that’s what it would be.

It’s ultimately a branding choice. That hypothetical mall has decided that the rent paid by NaziTown each month, and the collateral business it brings in, is worth more than any potential backlash, which (one hopes) would be severe.

Extremism thrives on tolerance. The idea that all ideas have equal right to time, and should be judged equally against each other, is a pretty one in concept, and in practice tends toward genocide. There are some ideologies so far from the range of acceptable human behavior that to tolerate them is to invite them in. To accept its existence on your property is to become complicit.

Twitter is a Nazi mall.

I like Twitter, in concept. Being on the platform has exposed me to so many brilliant, funny, amazing human beings. It’s also shown me some of the worst things and people of my life. Some of that is the nature of online communication – the two sides of the massively multiplayer social media experience. But no network has so explicitly supported extremist right-wing hate like Twitter has. Alex Jones has been dropped by all sorts of networks, but not Twitter. Twitter verifies the Proud Boys and the leaders of anti-immigrant hate groups. And of course, no one with any literacy on 21st century media can look you in the eye and tell you that without Twitter, Donald Trump would still be president. He just wouldn’t.

The far right has weaponized Twitter, incredibly effectively, and with the full knowledge and implied consent of Twitter itself. And on the far right of that far right are those guys with SS tattoos, the ones who murdered Heather Heyer and who shoot up Sikh temples. Real, literal Nazis.

I truly don’t believe that people are defined by the worst thing they’ve ever done, but platforms are not people. Platforms are marked by the worst thing they allow, because allowing hate and embracing it on a private platform is exactly the same thing. You don’t get to platform Nazis, then claim you are anything but a Nazi platform, and for now, Twitter has made itself exactly that.

After over a year of engagement and five years of togetherness, we finally tied the knot this past weekend, and I am a married man. I hear from people all the time that they don’t remember their wedding, or even that they didn’t really enjoy it because of all the stress. I absolutely loved my wedding. We got married at the beautiful Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, OR. If you are planning a wedding in or near Oregon, call them. They do a fantastic job at a surprisingly competitive price, and you get to get married SURROUNDED BY FISH.

The ceremony itself shouldn’t change much in my life. After all, my wife and I already own a home and are part-time raising a child together. Compared to those two, signing a paper and wearing a ring are fairly minor life choices. Still, I can’t help but be affected by it. As I type, one of my fingers feeling the still unfamiliar weight of my ring, I want to choose to do better things and be better at the things that I do. I wasn’t alone before – far from it – and she has always been an absolute rock of support, both practically and creatively, but I still feel like a partner – officially – for the first time. Nothing I do is just for me anymore, not wholly, and that’s fine. In fact, it’s kind of amazing.

Thanks to everyone who was able to make the ceremony, and the many who weren’t but offered their congratulations. I will be writing thank you cards, it seems, until my anniversary at least. It was an amazing week, and now the big challenge is getting back to normal life. Though I happen to have a pretty fantastic life, it’s a hard transition back from that fantasy island week of being constantly surrounded by friends and family. Also, eating out every meal. So much great food. We’re going to have to up our cooking game.

Anyway, that’s my update. Married. Back to work.

Hi there. I’m Ian, and this is my blog. You may THINK you’ve already been to my blog, but that must have been another Ian, or it may be that you were one of the five people who ever visited my previous home on the web, which shall not be spoken of again. There are many Ian Roses in the world. One is a motivational speaker. Another is an -ahem- adult performer. If you’ve come looking for them, I’m sorry to disappoint you. Here, you only get me.

It will take some time to erect and cement the walls of my new e-bower, so stay tuned. I hope it’s something worth visiting, at some point in the future.