Andrew Shirvell Fired
November 9, 2010 10:13 AM   Subscribe

MeFi Followup: Remember Andrew Shirvell? He got fired yesterday. Via.

Reposted in the Blue at Jessamyn's suggestion
posted by BigLankyBastard (137 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
Reposted in the Blue at Jessamyn's suggestion

Heh. I was just about to ask if this shouldn't be in MeTa. But awesome news!
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:16 AM on November 9, 2010


He was interviewed on The Daily Show.

And U of M has modified his campus-wide ban.
posted by morganannie at 10:16 AM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hey, look kids! The election is over. Time to dump the garbage before we jump to hyperspace.
posted by dw at 10:17 AM on November 9, 2010 [15 favorites]


Hot damn!
posted by schroedinger at 10:20 AM on November 9, 2010


Is he getting picked up by Fox?
posted by Xoebe at 10:20 AM on November 9, 2010 [28 favorites]


That's great news. He was a creepy creepster who was hiding behind his position of power while he engaged on a strange personal vendetta against someone. I'm glad the worm has turned on him.
posted by hippybear at 10:21 AM on November 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


That guy has something seriously wrong with him. I mean, aside from being an asshole.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 10:22 AM on November 9, 2010 [7 favorites]


This feels like great news, but after my initial joy at hearing this earlier, my immediate thought was "Doesn't him getting fired (in an almost impossible to explain to a new employer way) give him more time to stalk Chris Armstrong." And I was a little frightened. seriously
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:23 AM on November 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


Oh, looks like Armstrong's attorney is filing a complaint with the Michigan Grievance Commission, looking towards disbarment.

I'm not even going to try to feel bad for Shirvell in all this. He brought it on himself with his aberrant behavior.
posted by hippybear at 10:24 AM on November 9, 2010 [7 favorites]


This just goes to show that the Trilateral Poolboy Commission has their perfectly trimmed and polished fingers EVERYWHERE!
posted by mrstrotsky at 10:24 AM on November 9, 2010 [11 favorites]


I expect even after disbarment he'll still be able to find work carrying the luggage of rich prominent older homophobes as they travel.
posted by BigLankyBastard at 10:28 AM on November 9, 2010 [21 favorites]


♪ ♫ Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey-ey, goodbye ♬ ♪

Good riddance.
posted by zarq at 10:29 AM on November 9, 2010 [7 favorites]


So am I alone in that, lately, whenever I hear the phrase "radical homosexual agenda" I think of one of Dr. McNinja's antagonists, and a motorcycle with a sparkly rainbow on the side?

RADICAL!
posted by notsnot at 10:30 AM on November 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


"I think they attempted to make a fool out of Andrew on that show."

Nope, they just handed him a length of rope, and hoped for the best.
posted by explosion at 10:30 AM on November 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


I expect even after disbarment he'll still be able to find work carrying the luggage of rich prominent older homophobes as they travel.

Do you foresee airport toe-tapping in his future?
posted by morganannie at 10:31 AM on November 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Wanted to update the previous thread on this, but found it closed... oh well. It was certainly great news to hear/read in A2.

Personally, I am still a bit miffed that it took this long to happen. I guess he and Cox were planning his post firing steps (such as next position).
posted by JoeXIII007 at 10:35 AM on November 9, 2010


Do you foresee airport toe-tapping in his future?

<Magic 8 Ball>ALL SIGNS POINT TO YES</Magic 8 Ball>
posted by octobersurprise at 10:38 AM on November 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Thomas said he would have advised his client to not tape the show, though he said it is the same advice he gives all his clients regarding talking to the media. Thomas said he believes his client thought "it was going to be a fair interview," but it turned out to be a comedy bit, as most "Daily Show" interviews are.

"I think they attempted to make a fool out of Andrew on that show."
He's either delusional or he's never seen the Daily Show.
posted by demiurge at 10:40 AM on November 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Here's how I think normal people should deal with these psychos. We should all just operate under the assumption that they are closeted gays, and emphasize this in every single interaction with them, at all times ...

"So Andrew, how long have you've known that you are gay?"

"I'm NOT gay!!!!"

"Oh, please. It really doesn't matter, no one cares anymore. So ... do you catch, or pitch?"

Etc.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 10:42 AM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Do you foresee airport toe-tapping in his future?

When the homophobia is this vicious, it's past and present, not just future.
posted by kafziel at 10:46 AM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


You know, it is possible to hate gay people and not be gay.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:50 AM on November 9, 2010 [17 favorites]


How do people like this get to be assistant Attorney General in the first place?
posted by JHarris at 10:53 AM on November 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


That guy has something seriously wrong with him. I mean, aside from being an asshole.

You know... as I heard more and more about this story, I started to feel the same way. I'd really like to see him get the help he needs, and maybe -- just maybe, repent for this stupid tirade at some point in the future. As this story has unfolded, his actions have become increasingly distant from those of a mentally-competent individual. Even though I disagree with almost every word that has come out of Mr. Shirvell's mouth, I feel, and fear for him. He's clearly not well.

And, although I shed no tears for Dan White, I wouldn't have wished suicide or death on him. Forgiveness is an awfully steep hill to climb, but it is not an insurmountable one.
posted by schmod at 10:53 AM on November 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


I suspect that the state had to make sure all the letters were crossed and/or dotted to ensure no wrongful dismissal suit. The distanced themselves from him early on in this debacle, but you had to know they were looking for any excuse to jettison him.

No matter what your political or social leanings, a guy like this on your team is a liability. He didn't seem able to form an argument or deliver a prepared statement. This is, to me, a great failing in an assistant attorney general.

The day this became news, his days were numbered. The fact that he gave them the ammunition they needed to get rid of him shows how much of a douchebag he really was.
posted by clvrmnky at 10:53 AM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


You know, it is possible to hate gay people and not be gay.

Of course it is, AZ. Only this guy is not the guy you describe.
posted by BigLankyBastard at 10:56 AM on November 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


Thank you for that stunning insight, Astro Zombie. Where would we be without your incredible grasp of the obvious? In other news, water is wet.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 11:01 AM on November 9, 2010


PareidoliaticBoy: Here's how I think normal people should deal with these psychos. We should all just operate under the assumption that they are closeted gays, and emphasize this in every single interaction with them, at all times ...

I find this parallel between psychosis and homosexuality a little troubling. i somehow don't think it'll be quite as empowering as you seem to think it will be.

That said, I'm very glad Shirvell is starting to reap at least some of the consequences of his batshitinsane actions.
posted by Phire at 11:04 AM on November 9, 2010 [12 favorites]


Blogging about someone else, even to obsessive levels: free speech.

[Showing] up at the home of a private citizen three times, including once at 1:30 a.m. ... not free speech

Seriously, when Encyclopedia Dramatica has an article on your crazy (NSFW), it's a good sign you've gone too far.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:04 AM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is he getting picked up by Fox?

Judging by the he-doth-protest-too-much nature of his homophobia, I'm guessing he's going to get picked up by somebody, in a darkly lit corner of some bar, sometime soon.
posted by MuffinMan at 11:04 AM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Score one for the good guys!

I do think that Shirvell's retreat to his Catholicism really does highlight the contextual permission given for homophobia and hatred within the religious rhetoric on homosexuality.
posted by klangklangston at 11:05 AM on November 9, 2010 [7 favorites]


I will choose to be civil in my response to you, PareidoliaticBoy, although you certainly did not earn it with that little dazzling mot of sarcasm.

The reason I made the comment is that whenever there is somebody who is openly homophobic, especially on MetaFilter, there is a rush to declare that OF COURSE he must be a homosexual. Now, there certainly are many closeted homosexuals who support anti-gay behavior, but a vast majority of the offenses against gay people are done by straight people. I know we don't intend to, but the cumulative effect of this race toward declaring homophobes gay is that it makes it seem like gay people are somehow at fault for their own oppression.

Is this guy gay? I don't know. He's not setting off my gaydar. He is, however, setting off my phsychopathdar. Unless some actual evidence comes out that he's a gay man, I will instead assume he's like most other homophobes, if a little more obsessive -- a straight person defending their privilege.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:08 AM on November 9, 2010 [37 favorites]


Here's how I think normal people should deal with these psychos. We should all just operate under the assumption that they are closeted gays, and emphasize this in every single interaction with them, at all times ...

Followed by:

You know, it is possible to hate gay people and not be gay.

Let's rephrase that first one a little bit:

Here's how I think normal people should deal with these psychos. We should all just operate under the assumption that they are secretly Islamic, and emphasize this in every single interaction with them, at all times ...

Change the "closeted gays" to something else and it becomes sort of icky. I guess my point is that fighting homophobia with homophobia just results in more homophobia.

Not unlike how building Kiss to destroy Kiss will backfire on you.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:10 AM on November 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


"Oh, please. It really doesn't matter, no one cares anymore. So ... do you catch, or pitch?"

Since when is it ok to ask this kind of personal question about someone's sex life? Yes, it was meant to be a joke, but it's so very flawed and presumptive that you know what kind of gay sex folks are having.
posted by mollymayhem at 11:10 AM on November 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Apples and oranges. The most public and vicious islamophobes are very rarely secretly Muslim, but time and again people who've spent decades railing against the evils of homosexuality, in religion and in government and in media, are found with rentboys and restroom methheads and whatnot.
posted by kafziel at 11:13 AM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would imagine the percentage of vicious homophobes who are gay is somewhere in the vicinity of 10 percent, not 100 percent.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:14 AM on November 9, 2010


Anyone know if that statement from the AG's office that was put out is on the internet somewhere?
posted by yeoz at 11:15 AM on November 9, 2010


Such a tactic would not be about empowerment, nor was I conflating homosexuality with psychosis. My sarcastic suggestion ( it could never happen) would disrupt any power that these assholes to ever been taken seriously, and likely would send them into a rage, which would only be fitting.

Once again, Astro Zombie, I'm cognizant of the world around me, and really don't need your tedious grade-school explanations about how it works. Some people like to kid around a bit from time to time. Get over yourself.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 11:15 AM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]



Is he getting picked up by Fox?


...or by the police when he takes this obsession too far...
posted by Webbster at 11:17 AM on November 9, 2010


Astro Zombie, have you read the guy's blog? He's obsessed with this kid. He showed up at his house in the middle of the night. Those are not the actions of someone whose homophobia is abstract. People are not assuming that this guy is a closeted gay man because they think that all homophobes are closeted gay men, despite your efforts to paint them that way. They're assuming it because he's acting like a closeted gay man.
posted by enn at 11:18 AM on November 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I would imagine the percentage of vicious homophobes who are gay is somewhere in the vicinity of 10 percent, not 100 percent.

Studies put it at more like 80%. Or higher, depending on the study.
posted by kafziel at 11:18 AM on November 9, 2010 [8 favorites]


Astro Zombie: "I would imagine the percentage of vicious homophobes who are gay is somewhere in the vicinity of 10 percent, not 100 percent"

Yeah, it's pretty facile and has gotten to be the lazy man's rejoinder to homophobia. Basically just like I don't care or conjecture about gay people's sex lives, I ain't gonna care or conjecture about homophobes' sex lives.
posted by boo_radley at 11:19 AM on November 9, 2010


Declaring somebody to be gay because it allows you to dismiss them is not the mark of somebody who is friendly to the LGBT community.

I would humbly suggest that if you would prefer not to have grade school explanations offered you, you offer something to this thread that approaches middle school.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:20 AM on November 9, 2010 [9 favorites]


How do people like this get to be assistant Attorney General in the first place?

Work for the political campaign of an AG as demonstrably hypocritical and terrible as Mike Cox, that is how. Yes, his boss is named Cox. I fear for the remainder of this thread. Carry on.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:21 AM on November 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


I wouldn't go so far as to say that doofus AAG is gay, but he's definitely acting like a jilted lover.

Also, it is very hilarious to me that there are still people who can say something like The liberal media started this tempest in a teapot or an agenda that is diometrically (sic) opposed to the, uh, natural order of things with a straight face.

Hilarious and sad.
posted by carsonb at 11:21 AM on November 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


They're assuming it because he's acting like a closeted gay man.

I would wager most closeted gay men don't stalk and use the web to bully college students.

He's acting like an obsessed stalker. When did that become conflated with "gay"?
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:21 AM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Let's not go off on a tangent here. It was a little joke, really not worth starting a big fight over and I am off to a meeting. Sorry if this important issue gets side-tracked over my throwaway snark.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 11:22 AM on November 9, 2010


I would imagine the percentage of vicious homophobes who are gay is somewhere in the vicinity of 10 percent, not 100 percent.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:14 PM on November 9


I would honestly bet you $1 versus you-can-chop-off-my-hand that it's on the order of 50% or more. This is not to say that closeted homosexuals or those in denial are all crazy, but a lifetime of repression and self-hatred can, indeed, make them that way. I think scat fetishists are gross and weird, but I'm not going to waste my time showing up at a scat fetishist's house at 1:30 in the damn morning because I am terrified of the scat fetishist agenda.

Shrivell, however, probably isn't gay. He gives me the grade-A creeps and looks instead like a guy who gets off on small things being tortured to death.
posted by Gandhi Knoxville at 11:23 AM on November 9, 2010


I would wager most closeted gay men don't stalk and use the web to bully college students.

Of course they don't. I never said or implied that they did and I resent your implying otherwise.

Most obsessive stalkers have a sexual interest in the subject of their stalking. He's keeping a blog devoted to criticizing Armstrong and, in particular, to criticizing his sex life and choice of partners, as well as showing up at his home uninvited in the middle of the night. I don't think it's an unwarranted assumption that his interest is sexual. If a man were to keep a similar blog about a woman, complete with lurid speculation about her sex life, and show up at her home in the middle of the night, no one would even consider the idea that his interest was anything other than sexual.
posted by enn at 11:25 AM on November 9, 2010 [10 favorites]


As mentioned in the original thread, Shirvell took a "leave of office" back in the end of September or early October. Now it's something more serious, which is good. Even better that it was under Cox, who earlier said "The reality is, I'm out of office in three months. I have a duty to defend the Michigan Constitution. I have a duty to defend the Michigan civil service rules, even at those times when I don't like it."
posted by filthy light thief at 11:28 AM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I never said or implied that they did and I resent your implying otherwise.

You said he was acting like a closeted gay man. I apologize for misinterpreting your intentions, but it's not hard to get the read from that sentence that slaking college students is consistent with the behavior of a closeted gay man.

Anyway, the point is moot at the moment, as we don't actually know the facts of his sexuality one way or the other. I registered my discomfort in outing people as being probably gay because of how profoundly they hate gay people, and I suspect I am not alone in feeling this discomfort. If some evidence of his homosexuality comes to light, it may be worth discussing, but until then it's a sort of conjecture that I actually think does a disservice to the gay community.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:29 AM on November 9, 2010


Slaking? Stalking.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:29 AM on November 9, 2010


I am glad that he was not allowed to keep his job, though I am amazed that he was allowed to keep it for so long.

This kind of treatment, against any person, for any reason, is totally unacceptable. Full stop.
posted by fake at 11:35 AM on November 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


The point people are trying to make is that evidence has already come to light; stalking people is usually evidence of your sexual interest in them. Who ever heard of a platonic stalker?
posted by enn at 11:36 AM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Stalking for romantic purposes is just on of the many reasons people stalk. There is an entire category called "Resentful stalkers" who, according to the technical definition, "pursue a vendetta because of a sense of grievance against the victims – motivated mainly by the desire to frighten and distress the victim."

I have been stalked like this, and I assure you it was not sexual or romantic in nature. It's just bullying.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:41 AM on November 9, 2010


Haha! .... but now he gets to stalk Armstrong full time o.O
posted by Neekee at 11:45 AM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I neither know nor care whether or not he's a gay man. All I know is that after seeing him on TDS and reading about his actions, I can say that his behavior is obsessive and disturbing, particularly coming from a position of power and the the vitriol he had for this one student.

Seriously, the dude is scary. Like, "when they find all the bodies he's stashed no one will really be all that surprised" levels of scary.
posted by quin at 11:46 AM on November 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


LET the door hit you on your way out.
posted by pyrex at 11:48 AM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Seriously, the dude is scary. Like, "when they find all the bodies he's stashed no one will really be all that surprised" levels of scary.

Yep. He's got odd, twitchy mannerisms and an incredible sort of denseness about him, about the way he speaks, as though he's so lost in his own universe that anything that challenges that is bewildering to him.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:48 AM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


You know, it is possible to hate gay people and not be gay.

Not even remotely true.

You know how you can not like a car, but you don't know how much you hate it until you are inside it? Gay people are like that. You don't really know how much you hate them until you are inside them.
posted by flarbuse at 11:48 AM on November 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


Time for an update to this segment of That's Gay!

(Upon rewatching, I noticed the numerous references to tater[tot]s. Bryan Safi, are you on Metafilter??)

Seriously, this is excellent news. Though to be honest, I am astounded it took this long. Shirvell seems to have been emotionally and intellectually stunted at about age nine. How did he ever become a lawyer?

And yeah, I am worried for Chris Armstrong. I hope the authorities manage to keep him safe. Shirvell is clearly unbalanced and dangerous.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:51 AM on November 9, 2010


enn: "stalking people is usually evidence of your sexual interest in them."

Well, I would disagree: Domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking: Findings from the British Crime Survey would put non-sexual stalking and "intra-personal violence" at around 12.5% or 1-in-8 cases of stalking, harassment or violence (p. 27).

You could also reference Stalking: psychiatric perspectives and practical approaches or Stalkers and their Victims for other examples of non-sexual stalking.
posted by boo_radley at 11:54 AM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


So sexual stalking is 87.5% of stalking incidents? That sounds like "usually" to me.
posted by kafziel at 11:57 AM on November 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


I think there is a broad assumption in some circles that the most virulent and vocal gaybaiters tend themselves to be sexually active homosexuals. Invoking this assumption (supported as it is by ample anecdotive evidence) is not simply so as to say "He's probly gay too LULZ" in a peurile dismissive manner.

It is in fact to point out and argue that virulent vocal gay-hatred in many cases is inextricably linked to the self-loathing and compulsive hypocrisy that growing up gay in an anti-gay environment can (and obviously does) trigger in some gay people.

In other words, the accusation that a gay-baiter is himself gay is an attempt to show that gay-hatred is not and cannot be a "real" opinion - it is in fact a form of mental dysfunction that forms at the junctions of bigoted religious inculcation, xenophobia, irrational guilt, and hypocrisy.

In that light such an accusation is not reflective in the least on gay people in general- there are countless millions who have managed to come to a place of self acceptance despite whatever childhood/family/societal pressures they endured. It's all about the hatred and those who promulgate it.
posted by BigLankyBastard at 11:58 AM on November 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Listen, I'm not saying they're not going to search Shirvell's house and find a wall of photos of the kid, with candles and unsent love letters.

But psychopathically believing somebody is a representative of the devil and is in a position to influence college students with Satanism, and believing it is your task to use whatever is at hand to try to battle that behavior, including a campaign of online harassment to reveal to the world the "truth" of this young man? Also on the map of possible reasons for stalking, and by the way, the only one we have evidence for.

My mother used to get relentless antisemitic phone calls from a neighbor. It wasn't because the neighbor was a closeted Jew. It was because they were crazy.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:01 PM on November 9, 2010


thought-experiment: what if we substituted "aspergerish" for "gay" in all of these statements about Andrew Shirvell? It would fit just about as well, given the visible symptoms.
posted by lodurr at 12:02 PM on November 9, 2010


But I have stated my case enough. I'll back out now.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:02 PM on November 9, 2010


7/8ths of the time sure sounds like "usually" to me.

But I really don't care at all about this guy or this case; I just wish we would refrain from attacking people for assuming that this guy's stalking behavior is like the overwhelming majority of other stalking behavior. Sure, maybe this is the one time in eight that it's not, but this isn't a courtroom, and people are allowed to assume that somebody is a stalker for the usual reasons unless there is some reason to think otherwise.
posted by enn at 12:03 PM on November 9, 2010


Good. Now let him be disbarred.
posted by ericb at 12:04 PM on November 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


I would imagine the percentage of vicious homophobes who are gay is somewhere in the vicinity of 10 percent, not 100 percent.

Studies put it at more like 80%. Or higher, depending on the study.


I'd like to believe that research like this implies that most straight people have (at worst) a mild disapproval of gay people and that most of the really vicious homophobia is the work of gay people who have been broken by the unanimous disapproval of the majority of society. If that were true, then even a small shift in society's attitude toward gays could result in a drastic reduction of vicious homophobia in a generation or so.

But that story doesn't seem to fit with other examples of human beings scapegoating and hating people who are different. Most vicious racists are not secretly black.
posted by straight at 12:08 PM on November 9, 2010


kafziel: "So sexual stalking is 87.5% of stalking incidents? That sounds like "usually" to me"

And "usually" comprises female victimhood. For men, the rate of stalking is somewhere around 11%, so whatever 87.5% of 11% is and you've got your number.
posted by boo_radley at 12:10 PM on November 9, 2010




He was interviewed on The Daily Show.

That's so painful to watch, I had to stop after 30 seconds of it.

Someone get that man into a psychiatric hospital before he fires a sniper rifle into a gay bar. The guy is very ill.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:12 PM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I am very pleased by this news. Daily Show shined a big ol' spotlight on the bigot, and natural consequences did the rest.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:14 PM on November 9, 2010


As I was reminded yesterday, this dude has a history locally. In 2005, he pitched a public fit about a little pizza joint on William Street where UM students went to buy their slices of pepperoni between classes because the owner had stuck a supportive rainbow flag sticker on his door. The flag then came down, which was sad for many reasons, not the least of which is that Ann Arbor, its liberal image aside, is not a place where it's all that effortless to be openly gay, and it was nice to see even a token symbol of public acceptance somewhere within city limits. I stopped going to the pizza place when the flag went down but their pizza wasn't all that great anyhow.

This firing is yet one more reason to despise Mike Cox, if there weren't so many reasons already. When the flap first happened, Cox was all over CNN and Fox News crowing about how he never would and indeed never could fire the guy because it would set a chilling precedent. I guess Cox likes the refrigerator just fine now.
posted by blucevalo at 12:16 PM on November 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


For men, the rate of stalking is somewhere around 11%, so whatever 87.5% of 11% is and you've got your number.

You're confusing different percentages. If "rate of stalking" means that 11% of stalking victims are men — it's not totally clear — that doesn't mean that you can say that a man who is being stalked has a 7/8ths of 11% chance of it being sexual stalking. He still has a 7/8ths chance, unless you have data indicating that sexual/non-sexual stalking breaks down different for male vs female stalkees.
posted by enn at 12:16 PM on November 9, 2010


No one assumes that anti-semites are secretly Jewish. Yet, I find that many of my gay acquaintances jump to the same conclusions that a few of us are here. Irrational hate doesn't reacquire a rational cause. Would I be willing to place a bet that this guy has jerked off thinking about other guys before? Oh hell yeah! But I find assuming that he is gay offensive.

Being gay is about identity. Not about what gets you off. And how this guy identifies or what gets him off is inconsequential. He is being an asshole and assholes need to be called assholes when they are being assholes. That is all.
posted by munchingzombie at 12:22 PM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


GREAT!
as FLT points out Cox is outta here and Schutte would have his desk cleared even if he could have stayed on.


• 'Harassing Armstrong's friends as they were socializing in Ann Arbor'

that was this pricks mistake and it brought him DEOWWNNN.

does walter brennan dance




posted by clavdivs at 12:26 PM on November 9, 2010


Ad Hominem, the point isn't whether "reaction formation" is real, or whether Shirvell is a closeted homosexual (or for that matter whether he's likely to be).

The point is that it's kind of insulting to homosexuals to assume that homophobes are homsexual.
posted by lodurr at 12:26 PM on November 9, 2010


homsexual > homosexual

"I fear I must confess: I become sexually aroused by the sensation of being in my own home..."
posted by lodurr at 12:28 PM on November 9, 2010


... and you guys who actually watched it have stronger stomachs than me. I would really like to see this guy get some help before he hurts somebody.
posted by lodurr at 12:29 PM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


yuck..this story does not have the feel-good "see this asshole get his comeuppance by becoming a national joke, with George Takei putting the cherry on top by forever associating him with the word 'douchebag'" ending that I like from my "unbelievably huge bigot/asshole alert" stories.

That guy seriously does seem just mentally unbalanced. He needs help.
posted by the bricabrac man at 12:32 PM on November 9, 2010


The point is that it's kind of insulting to homosexuals to assume that homophobes are homsexual.

I agree. I know that sometimes people assume that. In this thread, no one has done so. Some people have assumed that this particular person is a closeted gay man. But they have made that assumption on the basis of his stalking behavior — in which context it is a reasonable assumption (although still arguably no one's business) — and not the simple fact of his homophobia.

I don't think it serves the discussion to come into a thread to berate people for a pattern of behavior that is not happening in that thread and it is frustrating to me to see threads derailed when people do so. But since at this point I am derailing the thread as much as anyone I'll shut up now.
posted by enn at 12:33 PM on November 9, 2010


enn: "Unless you have data indicating that sexual/non-sexual stalking breaks down different for male vs female stalkees."

Why do I bother linking to scientific research if you're not going to read it? Is it because it's from England? Is that the problem?

Regardless, I still maintain that your "of course he's gay why else would he do it" line of thinking is pretty lazy. I'm pleased he lost his position of power, and think that conjecturing about his sexuality is just sort of a waste of time.
posted by boo_radley at 12:38 PM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


well, enn, I'll disagree with you about whether it's happening in this thread. I believe it is -- slyly, cleverly, and sometimes less slyly and less cleverly -- but you're right, we shouldn't let it derail.
posted by lodurr at 12:38 PM on November 9, 2010


Being gay is about identity. Not about what gets you off.

Huh?

What does that even mean? Being gay is not self-selecting, it is in fact about desiring and forming romantic/sexual connections with persons of the same sex. Someone is not gay because he "identifies" himself as such, he is gay because he wants sex with those who are of the same gender as himself.

Even if he can't admit that to himself.
posted by BigLankyBastard at 12:41 PM on November 9, 2010


The point is that it's kind of insulting to homosexuals to assume that homophobes are homsexual.

I don't agree. I think both the world and this homophobe would be better off if this homophobe admitted liking cock. Better for everyone involved that he gets therapy and comes out now, than after he goes on a killing spree.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:45 PM on November 9, 2010


In 2005, he pitched a public fit about a little pizza joint...

Yeah, I saw that on Andy Towle's website, too, this morning.

At the time Andy's comment (from the link above):
"Andrew Shirvell, a Catholic patron, made a complaint and issued a boycott request to his Parish asking them to stop frequenting the establishment: 'I find the rainbow flag offensive because it is a symbol of the homosexual movement that, in my opinion, indicates a validation of the homosexual lifestyle, as opposed to a sign that indicates 'openness' to customers who are of the homosexual orientation.'

Those who find a rainbow sticker alarming enough to cause this much of a fuss obviously have other issues to deal with— among them perhaps their own latent homosexuality. The operations director of Shirvell's Parish even thinks he's cracked, adding that, 'of the people he had spoken to about Shirvell’s statements, he could not find many who agreed with him.'"
This guy is clearly obsessed with anything 'gay.' Whether or not he's closeted, we may never know. But, he's definately very, very odd/strange.
posted by ericb at 12:47 PM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm with you, Reaction Formation seems so pat, and it makes for crap plot twists, the arsonist is always a fireman, the killer is always a cop etc.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:48 PM on November 9, 2010


I think both the world and this homophobe would be better off if this homophobe admitted liking cock

If it's that simple, great. The alternatives would be harder to treat and probably more dangerous.
posted by lodurr at 12:54 PM on November 9, 2010


Why do I bother linking to scientific research if you're not going to read it? Is it because it's from England? Is that the problem?

By all means, tell us where in the 146 page PDF you linked it offers the differing statistic. I can't seem to find where in those 146 pages it distinguishes between rates of sexually-motivated stalking and non-sexually-motivated stalking where both offender and victim are male, but then, I'm skimming the tables and looking at the table of contents trying to find something relevant, not reading each of the 146 pages closely to see if it's buried in a paragraph.
posted by kafziel at 12:58 PM on November 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Maybe we should gift him a MeFi membership. I bet he would give us a spectacular flameout.
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 12:58 PM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have to admit that while this is good news and I think Shirvell clearly deserved to lose his job, I'm reminded of the assertion in The Gift of Fear that the humiliation associated with losing one's livelihood (and I'm inclined to think public humiliation is worse) can cause psycho-stalker behavior to escalate. Again, I still think it was entirely appropriate for him to be fired, but if I were the AAPD, I would be keeping an eye on this guy for a while.
posted by en forme de poire at 12:59 PM on November 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


GOD
HATES
FAGS
SHIRVELL
posted by scody at 12:59 PM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Aargh ... *definitely*
posted by ericb at 1:03 PM on November 9, 2010


"I stopped going to the pizza place when the flag went down but their pizza wasn't all that great anyhow."

Was that NYPD? They're OK, I guess, but the reality is that getting good pizza for a reasonable price in Ann Arbor is a mug's game. Anthony's is great, but it's fairly insanely pricey.

Of course, I'm one of those irrelevant grumps who still complains about the Brown Jug getting remade into an anemic, character-free failure some ten years ago, and I still pine for dollar slices at the Backroom served by stoned crust punks.

Pizza Bob's used to be the best option, with the whole wheat crust, but they changed the cheese and now it's always soggy and gross.

Frottage Inn is only worthwhile when you're already drunk and looking to eat sesame cake rather than pizza, and the only time to eat Bells is when it's free.

I know Domino's is no longer run by the anti-choice homophobe, but even the new version still sucks. And the less said about But I'll Pay For Two Pizzas at Little Skeezers the better.
posted by klangklangston at 1:09 PM on November 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


The point is that it's kind of insulting to homosexuals to assume that homophobes are homsexual.

This gay man disagrees.

When I say a homophobe is a closet case, I'm not insulting gay people, be they out or closeted, I'm insulting cowards who take their pain out on people they hate for not being afraid of the same things as they are. It's not the gay, it's not that they are afraid, it's what do with those two pieces of their personality.

There are plenty of people in the closet that manage to deal, even if imperfectly, with being gay but not out, without the vitriol. They post ads to craigslist with the keyword "discrete".
posted by nomisxid at 1:10 PM on November 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


>>The point is that it's kind of insulting to homosexuals to assume that homophobes are homosexual.

>I agree. I know that sometimes people assume that. In this thread, no one has done so. Some people have assumed that this particular person is a closeted gay man. But they have made that assumption on the basis of his stalking behavior — in which context it is a reasonable assumption (although still arguably no one's business) — and not the simple fact of his homophobia.


Quite the contrary, enn; you were the only one to make that distinction. Plenty of others popped in to dump the same lazy homophobe=gay assertion that fills every MeFi thread of this nature.

Assuming that a homophobe is gay is no less offensive than assuming a man is gay because he's an interior decorator or a nurse or he talks with a lisp. The assumption relies on a stereotype. It's offensive.

Furthermore, taking the unwarranted assumption that a person is gay, and casting the subject's presumed homosexuality as the direct cause for that person's being a complete and utter fuckwad (ipso facto, homosexuality is undesirable, Q.E.D.) is pretty much not helping even the slightest bit.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:13 PM on November 9, 2010


Was that NYPD?

Yep. Michigan Daily article from July 2005.
posted by ericb at 1:14 PM on November 9, 2010


If it's that simple, great. The alternatives would be harder to treat and probably more dangerous.

I don't know what this means, but this homosexual is not insulted by noting that most homophobes are found to like the cock, one way or another. This individual sets off my gaydar like an ambulance siren. Hope he finds a way to deal with his issues before he hurts someone.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:24 PM on November 9, 2010


lil porkys or nypd
posted by clavdivs at 1:25 PM on November 9, 2010


They post ads to craigslist with the keyword "discrete".

I always wanted to post an ad starting "Continuous GWM, likes long walks on the beach..."

posted by en forme de poire at 1:27 PM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Was that NYPD? They're OK, I guess, but the reality is that getting good pizza for a reasonable price in Ann Arbor is a mug's game.

Yes, it was NYPD. You're right about good pizza at a decent price. There may have been an upscaley Italian place on Main (Palio?) where I had some better than average pizza once but it was insanely expensive.
posted by blucevalo at 1:27 PM on November 9, 2010


...whenever I hear the phrase "radical homosexual agenda" I think of one ...

The Real Homosexual Agenda.
posted by ericb at 1:28 PM on November 9, 2010


How do people like this get to be assistant Attorney General in the first place?

Usually, as with most things, it's their family, money, or social status. Qualifications and ability are way down the list.

I think there is a broad assumption in some circles that the most virulent and vocal gaybaiters tend themselves to be sexually active homosexuals

No, I think the assumption (based on evidence) is that *many* (not all) of the most virulent and vocal gaybaiters tend themselves to be sexually repressed homosexuals.

These are all the guys who say we can't allow homosexuality because everybody's going to be doing it and we won't have any babies. What the fuck sort of argument is that?

Would I be willing to place a bet that this guy has jerked off thinking about other guys before? Oh hell yeah! But I find assuming that he is gay offensive.

Say what now?!

In my experience, sexual orientation and masturbation material tend to align for men. No?

If a man likes to (primarily) masturbate while thinking about men, he is almost always gay (or bisexual). Isn't that how you find out when you're a teenager (or whenever you "find out")?

Assuming that a homophobe is gay is no less offensive than assuming a man is gay because he's an interior decorator or a nurse or he talks with a lisp. The assumption relies on a stereotype.

Again, the assumption rests on (some) evidence, not only conjecture. If 80% of male nurses were gay, I wouldn't assume a male nurse was gay. I'd assume there's about an 80% chance of it.

casting the subject's presumed homosexuality as the direct cause for that person's being a complete and utter fuckwad (ipso facto, homosexuality is undesirable, Q.E.D.) is pretty much not helping even the slightest bit.

I don't think anyone who assumes homophobe=homosexual would say that homosexuality is the cause of their demented behavior. I figure most of us blame on our culture's disparagement of homosexuals. And, of course, the religious bans.

When you see one person doing what you so, so, so badly want to do, and your church tells you that person is going to hell for what he's doing, and yet he is popular and well-respected ... well, how is that going make a sexually repressed, inherently "sinful" guy feel? Frustrated, confused, and violent.

Is Shirvell a religious man?
posted by mrgrimm at 1:29 PM on November 9, 2010


I don't think anyone who assumes homophobe=homosexual would say that homosexuality is the cause of their demented behavior.

No, but people looking for any reason to decry homosexuality (i.e., anyone not on the choir you're preaching to) sure will. That's exactly the message you're perpetuating to that audience.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:37 PM on November 9, 2010


Anderson Cooper follows up. Shirvell's attorney is now claiming Shirvell is a victim and blaming the liberal media, because crazy is contagious.
posted by jamaro at 1:38 PM on November 9, 2010


"Yes, it was NYPD. You're right about good pizza at a decent price. There may have been an upscaley Italian place on Main (Palio?) where I had some better than average pizza once but it was insanely expensive."

Bella Napoli was pretty good too, but I think they moved to the Colonade (or however you spell the ready-for-9th-grade-humor name of that shopping center).

And you're not thinking of Gratzi, are you?
posted by klangklangston at 1:40 PM on November 9, 2010


Is Shirvell a religious man?

He is Catholic.

He used to write for a pro-life website.
posted by morganannie at 1:43 PM on November 9, 2010


I don't know if you can link to a cached website via Google but RightMichigan.com is no longer a working website.
posted by morganannie at 1:47 PM on November 9, 2010


Look, at this point, such a large number of gay-haters and "ex-gays" have been caught either cruising gay bars, cruising rest stops or public toilets, hiring rent boys, etc... that to suggest Shirvell might be gay isn't "insulting to gays" or whatever, it's simply betting the odds. It's more likely to be true than not, that's all.
posted by dnash at 1:49 PM on November 9, 2010


No, but people looking for any reason to decry homosexuality (i.e., anyone not on the choir you're preaching to) sure will.

Those folks are not exactly lacking for a lack of logical thinking skills and general all-around craziness. I doubt any of this hurts any more than any other bullshit they would come up with to justify their hate.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:51 PM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I doubt any of this hurts any more than any other bullshit they would come up with to justify their hate.

True enough. How's it help?
posted by Sys Rq at 1:52 PM on November 9, 2010


How's it help?

Acknowledging the root of people's psychological problems helps society as a whole, I think. A hundred years ago, beating children into obedience was the norm. Today, that gets you in jail, or at least makes you look like a complete shitheel. A hundred years from now, maybe psychologically torturing children (one of whom grows up to be a Shirvell, let's say) with religious hatred of sexual minorities will be just as illegal, if not as worth of the same shame and disgust that beating children inspires today. One hopes.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:57 PM on November 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


Acknowledging the root of people's psychological problems helps society as a whole, I think.

Hey, that's swell. But how does baseless conjecture about the root of supposed psychological problems which you're in no position to diagnose help society as a whole?
posted by Sys Rq at 2:51 PM on November 9, 2010


lodurr: ""I fear I must confess: I become sexually aroused by the sensation of being in my own home...""

No, no, no, it's like this.
posted by Rat Spatula at 2:57 PM on November 9, 2010


Hey, that's swell. But how does baseless conjecture about the root of supposed psychological problems which you're in no position to diagnose help society as a whole?

I'm not going to comment much on the "baseless conjecture" part. Having been in the closet for some years, I'll trust my own instincts and experience.

I would certainly agree I'm not a medical professional, and I suppose there's a small chance that there is nothing wrong mentally with him, but I think his behavior has pretty much put that hypothesis to rest. Happy and stable people do not behave like this.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:17 PM on November 9, 2010


I have to wonder whether the guy was always like this, or if this has been slowly building over the years. This is so completely far-out there for someone in his position that I keep thinking they'll give him a catscan and discover a tumour the size of a man's fist in his brain.
posted by Decimask at 3:27 PM on November 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


I confess. I was stoned crust punk at the Backroom. Serving up you boneheads at 2:30 after Rick's let out was no picnic, so we needed a little something to get us by. These days, I get my pizza fix from Ypsilanti's Mr. Pizza. It's actually pretty similar to the old Backroom, if a bit sweeter in the crust and sauce. And you have to buy a whole pizza of course. I also know the recipe for Mama's Spinach Pie.

Shirvell was bound to go sooner or later, but I'm glad he's gone now. Let's hope he stays out of town and quits stirring up trouble.
posted by Roger Dodger at 3:51 PM on November 9, 2010


Also, it is very hilarious to me that there are still people who can say something like The liberal media started this tempest in a teapot or an agenda that is diometrically (sic) opposed to the, uh, natural order of things with a straight face.

I came here to say this, too. Also, I posted somwhere (here? YouTube?) that the AG's office could simply fire him without getting their hands dirty over the "free speech" issue if they could simply prove he used any government resources or time to work on his nasty campaign. It looks like someone over there finally figured that out.
posted by 1000monkeys at 4:10 PM on November 9, 2010


"I confess. I was stoned crust punk at the Backroom. Serving up you boneheads at 2:30 after Rick's let out was no picnic, so we needed a little something to get us by."

I worked as a delivery driver for about three weeks there when I needed to make some money for a road trip. I still remember Jimmy, coked to the gills, coming up behind folks (me and others) and whispering in our ears about the "Fantastic, absolutely fantastic job" we were doing.

But I bought pot from and dealt pot to some of the guys that worked there for years afterwards.
posted by klangklangston at 4:33 PM on November 9, 2010


Well, I really hope Shirvell isn't gay. We already have the toe-tapping guy, and the needed-a-rent-boy-to-carry-his-luggage guy, meth-head guy, megachurch guy, etc. We don't need any more yucky weirdos.

I'm also happy he got fired.
posted by rtha at 5:22 PM on November 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


I wrote letters to pretty much everyone involved in this case. The asshat, the asshat's boss, the state bar, the U of M president, the poor kid that was targeted, and the governor. Only the bar wrote back.

I also sent a couple bucks to Chris Armstrong and said if I ever meet him I'll buy him a beer in person.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:23 PM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thank you for that stunning insight, Astro Zombie. Where would we be without your incredible grasp of the obvious? In other news, water is wet.

water is not 'wet'

you....sapient revenant rocketeer you
posted by clavdivs at 6:05 PM on November 9, 2010


Silvio's Organic. Their truffle pizza is killer.
posted by Existential Dread at 9:34 PM on November 9, 2010


Daily Show shined a big ol' spotlight on the bigot, and natural consequences did the rest.

TDS was late to this party (and didn't provide the clearest explanation, IMHO, being more interested in the humor). The interview was taped more than a month earlier.

A Detroit TV station started it, Anderson Cooper made it national.
posted by pmurray63 at 9:38 PM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


If his other interviews were like the Jason Jones one, the writing was indeed on the wall. Bugfuck crazy dude.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:01 AM on November 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Detroit Free Press:
"From its inception, Shirvell's bizarre preoccupation with the sexual orientation of Michigan Student Assembly President Chris Armstrong has raised more questions about the assistant prosecutor's own instability than about his target's politics.
Even assuming the sincerity of his conviction that advocates of 'the radical homosexual agenda' were undermining the nation's mores, it's hard to fathom why Shirvell regarded Armstrong, essentially a kid attending college, as the extraordinary menace portrayed in Shirvell's online diatribes.

... his more pressing legal concern may be defending himself against ethics charges leveled by Bloomfield Hills attorney Deborah Gordon, who argues in a complaint filed with the state Attorney Grievance Commission that Shirvell's obsessive pursuit of Armstrong violated the bar's Code of Professional Conduct.

Gordon requests in her complaint that the grievance commission consider suspending or revoking Shirvell's license to practice law 'until such time as he can obtain psychological counseling.' That would appear to be in Shirvell's own interests, as well as the public's."
posted by ericb at 8:49 AM on November 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Late to the party, because I've been having a hard time figuring out how to phrase this.

I know some people have problems with using these people's own homophobia against them; I can see that it can be seen as lowering oneself to their level. But I have to say, I have a lot of empathy for the desire for these people to be gay, because it would be the finest revenge to force them to go through the hell they force upon the gays and lesbians that they target. Sure, in the long run it isn't going to be the best way to create a culture of acceptance, or even tolerance, but if you can accuse the homophobic bully of being fixated on you because he's gay himself and it gets him to stop throwing you into a locker, I really can't fault you for that.
posted by NoraReed at 3:03 PM on November 10, 2010


...but if you can accuse the homophobic bully of being fixated on you because he's gay himself and it gets him to stop throwing you into a locker, I really can't fault you for that.

Last night's Glee episode: Kurt's first kiss (by a closeted bully who repeatedly slams him into his locker).
posted by ericb at 4:56 PM on November 10, 2010


Weirdly, I was watching Glee when I was writing that up but I missed the video for that part-- I thought Kurt was making the whole thing up on first watching. Which was, uh, wrong.

But I really can't say the thing about lockers wasn't inspired by Glee.
posted by NoraReed at 5:36 PM on November 10, 2010


When dealing with bigots and -phobes of all sorts it would be the finest revenge to force them to go through the hell they force upon others.

Walk a mile in another man's shoes.

If white people had to spend a day being black in racist society, how things might change when they got their white back. Or men experiencing sexism. Or Shirvell spending a day as his victim.

Actually, I suspect the Internet rage machine might very well give Shirvell the experience of being stalked and harassed and bullied.

He'll just never be able to understand that he was doing the exact same thing himself. Just like he'll never understand that he should be gay.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:32 PM on November 10, 2010


"Most obsessive stalkers have a sexual interest in the subject of their stalking"

Just wanted to add that um, some stalkers may seem to have a sexual interest to some observers (media/movies like to turn most stories this way because it gives the actions logic that they might not have without that motivation). But then sometimes those stalkers just really want to beat/slash/whatever the object of their stalking to death. Remember that the person being stalked doesn't necessarily equate to "object of affection" - or at least not in ways that most of us understand ordinary affection. Then again, some mentally ill people will indeed tell folk afterwards "well, I was so in love with X that I just had to kill them." We're not exactly talking about the normal, every day definition of love here.

So the whole "he's really too intense about this person so he must be in love with him" - not always the case. I think that's the factor most of us are seeing in the "ah, dude must really be gay" - that sometimes people get obsessed and there's no love/sexual interest involved, closeted or not.

Is Shirvell that kind of crazy stalker? No idea. But I think everyone is REALLY happy that the dude will be watched closely by law enforcement and securityfolk from now on. I feel badly for Chris Armstrong though, because I think I'd always want to keep tabs on where Shirvell is from now on, and that kind of stress must be awful.
posted by batgrlHG at 7:53 PM on November 10, 2010


Should read "I think that's the troubling factor"
posted by batgrlHG at 7:56 PM on November 10, 2010


"Silvio's Organic. Their truffle pizza is killer."

Is Silvio the guy who used to run Bella Napoli?
posted by klangklangston at 9:23 PM on November 10, 2010


The intensity with which a stalker "desires" that which he stalks is equivalent to love, and surely the passion is powerful beyond lust.

It's beyond straight or gay. It's truly twisted; non-consensual is not okay.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:12 PM on November 10, 2010


The intensity with which a stalker "desires" that which he stalks is equivalent to love...

... by some very particular and fraught definitions of "love."

Sometimes we use the same word to describe two very different things, which actually have more or less no relation to one another. As far as I can see, this would be one of those cases, because I can't think of a way that a stalker's "desire/love" is similar in kind to the love that guides one to want the best for one's children, spouse, lovers, etc.
posted by lodurr at 12:50 PM on November 11, 2010


Agreed.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:10 PM on November 11, 2010


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