…what’s in a name?

the sc[h]ism is silent...

…of all the things that are going on right now…this one…despite some stiff competition…may have the least business being in the frame…but damn it all 2020 strikes again

you may know them by another name…

…ladies & gentlemen…the current president has chosen this moment in his stable genius to announce to the world that his administration considers the concept of being prepared to align yourself on the basis that you are in fact against fascism as being the very same thing as signing up with actual terrorists

…turns out once in a blue moon there actually is a quiet part he can manage not to say loud

…funny thing, though…if one were to, say, go to the New Jersey Homeland Security website & type antifa into the search box something curious happens


…you get one result…which does, to be fair, mention antifa

Additionally, authorities charged [three members of a neo-nazi group] with conspiracy to murder two Antifa members after participating in a paramilitary training camp in Silver Creek, Georgia.


…what the rest of the text is about is yet another permutation of a pattern we’re all more familiar with than anyone could reasonably want to be…this lot call themselves “The Base”

In 2020, the neo-Nazi organization, The Base, will likely attempt to recruit new members in the region, rely on members with military expertise and training, and use intimidation tactics to terrorize its victims and spread its white supremacist ideology. The Base formed in 2018 as an organization that seeks to defend the European race while establishing a network of supporters willing to use violence to overthrow the current social and political order for a perceived impending race war.


…but maybe you don’t trust the ADL (the link in the caption under that malignantly asinine tweet) & the New Jersey thing is too random for you & you could give a fuck that “The Base” seems an awful lot like a reference to a certain oft-deplored electoral demographic…since presumably the reference they’re going for isn’t that the arabic translation of their chosen moniker is (I believe literally) al qaeda…the irony alone would surely be fatal at that level of prolonged exposure

…or that they seem to have a fondness for the sort of quasi-uniform that matches the brand of that misbegotten but oddly & specifically kitted-out asshole from the video in front of that Autozone who won’t talk to the articulate guy in the pink t-shirt & seemed very keen to not be on camera…one might say almost as keen as the authorities were to disclaim any possible inference that might be drawn as a result of his striking resmblance to a police officer…maybe all that just sounds like another asshole talking about a bunch of shit online that misses the point by a distance that makes a moon shot look like a lay up

…but personally, I find the SPLC has a pretty good track record when it comes to keeping track of extreminsts as a rule…so I figured I’d see what they had to say

…there were about 150 or so entries that seemed to mention antifa somewhere but curiously it seemed like they were all a bit like the New Jersey thing…mentions in “Hatewatch” posts that largely seemed (unsuprisingly given the nature of their chosen nemesis) to primarily deal with the more serious issues posed by a variety of far-right extremist organisations of one sort or another

…but the president says they’re an organisation…so let’s say that’s not an oversimplification just for the sake of argument…since he thinks they qualify as a terrorist organisation perhaps something called “extremist files” would be a better place to look than “hatewatch”?


…those results were certainly enlightening…for starters reading all of them wasn’t going to take me all night…there were four of them to be precise

…one merry bunch of pranksters fancies a war on the border…they don’t make the grade to be a “designated hate group” they’re just a regular bunch of hateful morons with delusions of grandeur…as, oddly enough, are the self-styled “tactical defense arm” of the Proud Boys

…I say oddly because obviously the parent group of men so desperate to convice us all of their youth & virility that they infantilize themselves even when they get to pick the name…& whose pride is so difficult to trace to any actual foundation that it’s literally indiscernable & thus also clearly requires inclusion in their branding lest anyone mistakenly think they’re the shameful overgrown babies they so conspicuouly are…they’re a designated hate group

…the fourth lot…like the putatively proud ideologically immature oxygen sinks I just mentioned…are also a designated hate group…one that happens to be fond of chanting some things the SPLC (& I’m guessing quite a lot of other people) similarly find disturbing…like…say…”death to antifa”…just for instance

…meanwhile, antifa themselves…still nothing to see that suggests the ADL were wrong saying “Antifa is not a unified group; it is loose collection of local/regional groups and individuals.”

…hmmm…I guess I’m just not good at this…but there’s always the ‘papers

President Trump’s announcement on Twitter brought renewed attention to the anti-fascist protesters he has blamed for inciting violence at protests.

…now the NYT took a solid stab at this…they, like the ADL, mention the early incarnations in Europe but they go on to point out that in Portland they were about 10 years ahead of the Charlottesville association which the ADL reckon really put them in the public eye

…but lest we forget the dictat-by-tweet thing

Trump, Lacking Clear Authority, Says U.S. Will Declare Antifa a Terrorist Group

…now it isn’t the first time that he’s picked a word he likes the sound of & said it a lot with no particular regard for whether it actually meant anything…exoneration, hoax, fake…we all know he has his favorites…this just seems to be a new one…any suggestion that he might have picked them because they often seem to bear a fairly similar appearance to the wannabe-fascists they seek to thwart is, I’m sure, entirely a product of my fevered imaginings & should be entirely discounted in any conclusions you might draw…because they do espouse a fairly aggressive…one might even say militant attitude when it comes to the reich-wing idiots who are – even now – doing their best to co-opt what by rights might come close to the very last situation in all possible worlds in which they deserve to be so much as a historical footnote in a dusty tome nobody ever fucking reads…approximately none of which I’ve heard anything about labelling as a terrorists via the formal twitter spasm of unPresidented approval

…see a nazi, punch a nazi…I feel like I’ve heard that somewhere before

…it’s like the first thing he did…one might even call it a signature move

…now I’m not out here looking to say I know what antifa is, or who it is, or where it is…or even necessarily that antifa the group (whatever that might mean) are a good thing…although obviously I think all sane people can agree that being against fascism is pretty much unequivocally a good thing in principle & practice

…around about here I have to admit I’d be inclined to leave off on the basis that the last thing I feel like we need to be talking about right now is the nuances of skinhead culture…but in fairness there have over the years been skinheads who were not the kinds of people we generally think of as skinheads…& since at least some of that goes back to the olden days when 2 Tone [Records] was a thing in the UK…& I might be a tad more familiar with that side of the pond than some of you…well…the short version involves this lot

True ‘Skinheads’ Are Not the Racist Thugs of Media Fame

…I only mention them because…well…Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice…sounds a whole hell of a lot like antifa, to be perfectly honest…& at the risk of lapsing into anecdotal evidence I will admit that people I trust have offered me first hand accounts of times “back in the day” when they were glad the SHARP contingent was handy when the racist thugs tried to fuck up everybody’s night by fucking somebody up in predictably racist & lamentable fashion instead of just putting in some serious ska time

…but the toddler-in-chief has also been having a strop about the “radical left”…it’s a nice easy swing around the spectrum…you go from the right out to the far-right…& then out beyond that to the anti-far-right…which is bang next door to the radical left, you see…perfectly logical…I’d get Eddie Izzard to explain it but it feels inappropriately amusing when he does it

…& that has me worried for a lot of reasons…too many to go into in fact…there’s zero chance any of you are scrolling all the way through that wall of text so I’ll spare us all the misery & just pick two…the first is that if I start talking about the way the US “standard definition” of the “radical left” is viewed by bits of the world that have a left wing established enough for it to make sense talking about sub-sections of it being radical in that sense of the word…I might offfend some people by mistake…it’s a lot like the Eddie Izzard thing…laughter feels inappropriate

…but the other one is…well…you know that poem?

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me


…well, I hate to break it to you folks…but not so long ago I’m fairly certain Splinter qualified as “radical left” according to some definitions

…cheeto mussolini…nah…no idea where you got that idea

…so…what do we suppose this looks like…bottom line?

…look at ’em spin


  1. If being Antifascist is wrong then I don’t want to be right.

    Also – Jezebel/Splinter/Gawker is an absolute ghost of itself. There are hardly any posts anymore and when there are posts – they’re pretty much crap and bad takes with hardly any comments. Some diehards are still there but it seems like it’s circling the drain.

    • …it pains me to see it…although I suspect I’m not alone in finding that I miss the “verticals” themselves a good deal less than the pool of commenters they allowed me to read

      …the fact that the times we’ve all been living through would have made that a welcome reminder that those sorts of people are out there something akin to a balm for a troubled soul sure does a good job of keeping that particular injury raw…unless that’s just me?

      • Yeah, as much as I miss the writers I know and love, hot damn do I wish there was a Deadspin comment section with people making increasingly shitty puns or *something* to get me through this. This is…this is rough, y’all, I can’t even lie.

    • If there isn’t one already there should be at least one Harvard Case Study about Gawker. These are business bios put together by the Harvard Business School that throw in lots of facts, many of them irrelevant red herrings, and then a final question that’s basically “So what would you do?”

      Your successful group of sites allows commenting but there might be a way that the commenting system could be improved. What would you do? You’ve been sued out of existence by Peter Thiel. What would you do? You’re Univision and invested in it (creating things like Splinter) but you’re drowning in debt and want to sell it off. What would you do? You have a highly engaged readership but a cantankerous, thin-skinned group of bloggers/content aggregators. What would you do? You’re a hedge fund and you picked up its ashes for pennies on the dollar. What would you do?

      I GUARANTEE that if you turned in a paper and you proposed a plan that mirrored what actually happened in any of these scenarios you wouldn’t pass the class.

      I still remember one of the very first comments I ever read on Gawker and I stated reading it very early on, so this is 15+ years ago. It was in a Gawker Stalker feature and a commenter said they had made eye contact with Anna Wintour in a movie theater. “And no, I did not turn to stone.” I was hooked.

      • …I was sort of in the middle of being supposed to be doing something else when I first saw this comment but fwiw I’ve been feeling much the same for a while now…just off the back of my own time reading/lurking/commenting (& maybe briefly ring-leading in a manner of speaking) around that part fo the web over the last lo, several years has left me feeling like I might be able to put together an academic study or two into a number of aspects of the thing but I’d much rather someone else did all that rigorous dilligence & I could just read it

        …either way, if you ever happen across something like that I’d be much obliged if you’d point me in its direction because I fully endorse your guarantee

      • I started pretty early too – with Defamer around 2008ish – I never was witty enough to get a promoted comment – but it’s really sad the way the whole thing has been stripped of what made it a great site in the first place. I really only read it for the comments – unless it was stuff on IO9. I liked those writers and still like most of them now.

        I’m glad we have this space – I wish more of the Jez/Gawk die hards would head on over here. The discord moves to fast and if you’ve been gone a little bit – it’s very hard to catch up. So, thanks everyone who writes and comments!!!

    • As a lifelong resident of the fucking Confederacy I can count on two fingers the times I’ve heard prominent Republicans directly and clearly criticize the use of the Confederate flag: Nikki Haley after the Charleston 9, and this ad.

  2. guess that means im radical left too…… wierd
    im at worst a socialist libertarian…and have been all me life…
    i havent got any leftier…
    its the world thats moving right….not me moving left

    • …if it’s any consolation…it’s entirely possible that all of Europe (with the possible & obvious exception of the UK by virtue more or less entirely of England) would universally qualify as radically left

      …odd though that a man who apparently can’t abide the radical left picked Vlad the Lad to fill the empty G7 seat at the table Merkel turned down an invite to

      …he might come off like he’s better at the other kind but the man is Soviet down to his bones & strikes me as having demonstrated repeatedly a degree of comfort with radical acts entirely at odds with his squeamishness about dissent

      …poisoning a man in another country & leaving – so to speak – a trail of glow-in-the-dark breadcrumbs all the way to your desk is hardly moderate behavior…just by way of an example…there are no shortage of other ones

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