Treaty Commission. Heis author of two previous books on the topic of integrity in public communication, Climate Cover-up and Do the Right Thing. He lives on Salt Spring Island, Canada. The most pressing problem we face today is not climate change.
It is pollution in the public square, where a toxic smog of adversarial rhetoric, propaganda, and polarization stifles discussion and debate, creating resistance to change and thwarting our ability to solve our collective problems. Featuring a new, radically revised prologue, afterword, and a new chapter addressing the changes in the public discourse since the United States election, his comprehensive analysis explores:. Our species' greatest survival strategy has always been foresight and the ability to leverage intelligence to overcome adversity. For too long now this capacity has been threatened by the sorry state of public discourse.
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I'm Right and You're an Idiot: The Toxic State of Public Discourse and How to Clean it Up
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- Song of the Golden Scorpion.
- The Wanderer?
Let's call your new housemate and see what she has to say about that theory. Realizing I'd called his bluff and that, no, he wasn't getting laid tonight, Rex stood silently. He retorted that he wanted to stay and "talk this out," but I pushed him down the long hallway toward my front door. I thought that if he stayed, for the first time in my life I was actually going to hit someone. I grabbed his jean jacket from the coat rack and thrust it at him, then opened the door and pointed out into the night.
Rex looked at me with forlorn eyes and silently stepped outside. I shut the front door and, through the peephole, watched to make sure he left.
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I didn't fear retribution— I just wanted him away from me. Then I returned to my living room and the detritus of what had begun as a fun evening. Flooded with adrenaline and stunned by how quickly things had gone awry, I stayed awake the rest of the night and fell asleep near dawn, curled in a sad and wounded ball on my tiny couch.
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This would be an apt time to mention I'd been a county domestic-violence-victim advocate years prior and had volunteered for Northwest Women's Law Center and the Crisis Clinic. I'm assiduously against domestic violence, regardless of the perpetrator's gender. As noted, I've never hit anyone in my life. And until that night, I'd never wanted to.
Which is I why I'd made Rex leave. I'd felt vulnerable and awful, in part because of his surprise, but mostly because he'd opted to disclose it with his mouth an inch away from my clitoris, as if it had been miked. Uncharacteristically, I had no desire to discuss the situation and knew the best way to protect both of us was to get him away from me. For the next year, Rex and I didn't interact. Our mutual friend kept relaying that Rex missed me.
Rex began leaving apologetic voicemails that sounded genuinely apologetic. Finally, I returned one of his calls. His screw-up might have been monumental— to this day, I can picture his head popping up from between my legs and emitting those ridiculous words— but up until then, he'd been nothing but smart, kind and loyal. So, we talked. Tentatively at first, but frankly.
Weeks lapsed until he called again, but over time we renewed our friendship. Periodically, though, he'd tease me about "how mad" I got that night.
'I'm Right and You're an Idiot' | The Tyee
My reply was always the same, "What did you expect? Shortly thereafter, I was with some girlfriends at an upscale bar downtown when a group of guys asked if they could join us. An attorney with dark, wavy hair in a plaid oxford shirt sat next to me, and we bantered flirtatiously for an hour. He was ring-free and never mentioned a partner. That is, until he asked for my phone number. My wife and I are in a weird place right now," he said, attempting to elicit sympathy.
If this were checkers, he'd have been king, albeit of the dipshits. What struck me was that both Rex and the attorney had delivered ill-timed, emotionally charged information, and when I'd expressed proportionate anger or irritation, the blame somehow boomeranged back onto me. I'd been expected to remain amiable, though by any objective measurement, that expectation was ludicrous.
I Am an Idiot (and So Are You)
Either guy could have physically pummeled me had he chosen, so it's not as if they were in danger, even for a second. Yet their reaction was still confusion and rancor when I pointed out their inanity. The first time I burped in front of my college boyfriend, he said he didn't know girls could burp. I pointed out that women, in this case, share the same physiology as men, so why wouldn't we burp? He said he didn't know why not, but that his mom and his other girlfriends had never burped.
When I laughed and said they'd never burped in front of him, he dug in his heels. His mom and ex-girlfriends didn't burp, so how was he supposed to know I could? Female burping was an urban legend, apparently, like alligators in toilets or crepes that turn out right the first time.
Was the same principle at work with Rex and the attorney? Had their mothers and the women before me never displayed anger in front of them? Or were these men so conditioned by notions of women as the gentler sex they didn't understand that I wouldn't put up with their crap? I've been a feminist since I was a little kid, but I'm extremely close with my dad and brother, and at every point in my life, at least half my closest friends have been male.
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