June 13th, 2011

plane

one more Amina post, and I'm done

The reaction to the exposure of Tom McMaster as being "Amina," the putative "Gay Girl in Damascus," is interesting.

I was suckered by him, and I shouldn't have been. I remember my reaction to Amina's post "My father, the hero," in which Amina's dad turned back Syrian thugs by making a brave speech; folks were forwarding that link around, and I was thinking, "Yeah, folks, this only works in movies. Here's what happens in real fucking life: THEY JUST COME BACK TOMORROW." And in subsequent posts, Amina wrote about her and her dad having to lay low and dodge the thugs. And I thought, "Yep, there you go." That was the moment I bought it. Which is interesting. I wasn't suckered by her politics, or by her claiming identity; I was suckered when "Amina" hit my comfort zone, which is to be cynical based on things my experience has trained me to expect.

Belief works that way. Politics works that way. And anger works that way, too. People are comfortable with, or angriest about, things that fit into pre-planned mental channels. And so I shouldn't be surprised, but right now, I am finding it amazing and disappointing that I am seeing far more angry commentary about Tom McMaster pretending to be a gay Syrian woman than I have seen angry commentary about the Syrian government *actually shooting Syrians.*

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