Thursday, May 12, 2016

Black and Brown and Done All Over

About ten years or more ago I read a feature in the New York Times profiling some firm or other's attempt to cash in on Chicano gang aesthetics and culture in the same way black gang culture had been commercialized years before (most brilliantly perhaps in NWA's groundbreaking records, which were frankly sold as marketing innovations--"fuck the crossover, let them cross over to us" they declared). What ever happened to that effort? It fizzled. Seeing as the glorification of gang violence must have a feedback effect increasing gang violence, Chicanos are fortunate, perhaps, to not be as interesting to white people--and to Chicanos--as blacks are.

On the West Coast Hispanic still means Mexicans. "Chicano" may be a politically freighted term, but I like it--it distinguishes the native-born Mestizo from Mexican nationals. And come to think of it, you don't really hear the word that much anymore--they're squabbling over Hispanic v Latino, or Latino/a--and I suspect you don't hear the term as much because it distinguishes Mexican Americans from Mexican nationals and immigrants, and the narrative effort is all toward getting Hispanics to think of themselves as a homogeneous group, like blacks, united with others against American whites--whites globally, to be honest. Not to be too melodramatic about it. But then that's the thing, isn't it? It's getting harder to achieve melodrama.

But the follow-up profile, detailing the failure of this putsch, to that NYT story never showed up--and I do remember at the time a noticeable broader effort to--not normalize, but romanticize and cash in on Chicano culture, and implicitly, just as in the case of blacks before, cash in on the violence that is so much a part of that romance. And it all, as in that profile I can't find, was so blithe, optimistic even. But I suspect people then still expected a resolution to the black problem; we don't expect that anymore. And the cashing in just goes on.

Before that cynical effort, in the late eighties, there was a smaller commercial/cultural bloom for Chicanos with the film La Bamba (Which crossed the border into Mexico: I recall the title song blaring from cars in San Felipe, Baja that boozy summer.) Indeed, you can trace the Chicano cultural/commercial narrative's failing optimism arc across the peaks that are movie releases, rising with La Bamba and Stand and Deliver (1987, 1988)--the latter a sort of companion piece to Morgan Freeman's 1989 black uplift film Lean on Me--; optimistic, ultimately patriotic stories about Mexican Americans making the American Immigrant Journey, with Southern California standing in for New York and Ellis Island; and falling with Machete (2010) which I haven't seen, but will safely assume is neither optimistic or implicitly patriotic. And we won't see optimism again.

Of course in those same late eighties was born gangsta rap and the same hardening of black and brown attitudes that wasn't going unnoticed entirely--1988's Colors about black and Mexican gangs fighting in LA was sufficiently pessimistic, but, like those success-story films document the last, best effort to write a wholesome narrative of upward mobility for black and brown, documents the coming phase that would replace it, as one of the last films to allow a franker, non-self conscious white perspective on the problem of race.

It's hard to imagine such as Dennis Hopper's film, told from the point of view of two white cops, both admirable, being made now without being hobbled by critical race theory chains. My favorite moment from the film wouldn't occur to a filmmaker today--the two white cops are sitting in the back of a black community meeting between an earnest ex-gangbanger/social worker and residents. As the meeting breaks down in the predictable cycle of threats and recriminations (much milder of course than what we would expect today, notably), the scene ends with the two white cops breaking into grins at the predictable black hijinks:

Black and brown attitudes were hardening under cultural happy talk and the oblivious machinations of American commerce as the nineties came along, shocking complacent whites when exploding into our consciousness with the Rodney King riot. People forget that after the initial explosion of the first day, the riot was dominated by Mestizo Angelenos looting the retail stock of south central LA and beyond side-by-side with blacks who had been attacking them on the streets the day before. But the shock, to whites--at least in my experience and forgotten now like our shock at the maliciousness of LA's blacks--was at the mendacity of the Mexicans, so many of whom had to be legal and illegal immigrants. People were showing their true colors; that of blacks, terrifying, of browns, tawdry. Of course we never spoke of it because we'd already been relieved of our point of view; pre civil rights the news reports would have taken for granted their point of view was white American. There was at least some implicit recognition of a valid white American point of view left when the Rodney King riot started (and may have been killed off by it). Now that much isn't possible of course, and is keenly watched for by the narrative police.

But there's a lot of ruin in a degrading right to speak freely. It's taken us a while to get from the enforced politeness of Seventies television, exemplified for me by the Norman Lear sitcom, to the grim self-abasement of the present.
 Of course it isn't that there's no "freedom of speech" regarding race--now non-whites are encouraged to outdo one another speaking their minds, such as they are, about race. It's really a question of point of view--who's allowed their own point of view, who isn't. Another way of saying whites aren't allowed an identity in identity politics is that whites aren't allowed an explicit point of view.

Leftists' struggle with "intersectionality" is largely trying to order the hierarchy of point of view in their growing production. Ideally, the order the Left would will places Whites at the center of a sort of reverse panopticon, surrounding by the interrogating, relentless gaze of immobilizing points of view. But the various mobs they employ just can't help themselves in hating each other.

Anyway, I was surprised at the relatively late date of this video I came upon of Michael Richards apologizing for having called an obnoxious heckler the Dread Word in 2006:

It's as if you can see here the precise moment white people were no longer permitted to laugh about race, as the audience assumes a gag is in play and Seinfeld, worried for his friend, has to chide them to stop laughing. Richards nearly panics (ironically, the comedian panics at the sound of laughter), seeing the hole he's in about to be filled up with dirt, and compensates, perhaps, for it by prostrating himself with the sort of manic effusion so common now, where an artful enough apology draws its own reviews--Jonah Hill's successful abjection (2014, "faggot", paparazzi) got raves, sagging Johnny Depp's offering out of Australia (albeit for dog-smuggling, not hate speech) this year was a mini-flop in the series of flops he's enduring.

Richards might have been trying to lift or even reference the Lenny Bruce routine from Bob Fosse's Lenny:

Imagine trying to pull that off today! If the blacks hadn't torn him to shreds the internets would the next day. And the hopeful "imagine" conclusion: if we just open up (our speech!) our troubles will go away! The "hip" and "controversial" Bruce had no clue! He was trafficking in kitsch the whole time! It's all so, what's the word...?

Losing the right and eventually the ability to laugh is tantamount to losing the right or ability to think clearly about something. Maybe that has something to do with the way that right to speak and ability to think about race, for whites, is being reclaimed on alt right Twitter, with joy and humor.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Bill Monroe, Mule Skinner Blues

Saturday, April 23, 2016

You Never Go Full Retard, and You Never Go Any Part MLK

More from last Saturday's fun in Portland.
Here one of the pro-Trump libertarians, in his infinite naivete--and there was quite a bit of that on the pro-Trump side--tries to talk a Black Lives Matter militant down from the frenzy she's determined to work up by invoking the old "what would MLK think".
Bad move. The young woman, who looks as likely as not to have a white mom back home in Snohomish, doesn't miss a beat, improvising a sound-byte quality lament that could only have been better if she'd broke into tears. I don't doubt she was trying. 

The reaction of those around was interesting. The whites were kind of reverentially amused, somehow, and you can see the black kids have their own typical obliviously smug reaction. But watching the girl work herself up self-consciously (I mean whipping off the glasses is great for the broad middlebrow of your audience, but the more discerning critic finds it a bit much) and the reaction of her mates, what we see is a longtime motif of black-white relations, the tendency of blacks to perform for whites in such situations. Blacks performing for whites goes beyond the stage. Theorists would, probably have, run this through the white privilege shredder as just more oppression but that's a hard sell when you consider Barack Obama essentially performed his way to the presidency in this fashion.

But Mr Libertarian deserved it, indulging that hoary cliche. "But I like Martin Luther King!" he protests at some point. Schmuck. The rhetorical subject of MLK is like the so-named boulevard: avoid it if you can.

Friday, April 22, 2016

This Skagg 3 guy's hilarious analysis of the first Portland State student Trump supporters' meeting shut down by volunteer social justice auxiliaries provides the backstory for the larger confrontation in downtown Portland the following Saturday:


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Diary: "Bernie, Bro!"

The James Cromwell-lookalike with the siren spent a good hour following around and drowning out pro-Trump speakers (for a frail old player he was effective boxing out in the Paint, I mean Hate). I broke away from him here and from across the square I see this guy heckling Trumpenproles and I can't help but mess with him. I didn't even realize the extent to which we were talking past each other there until watching this later.

I don't know that he and his friend there count as true Bernie Bros. They were bystanders, not involved in the counter protests. I think the first kid was trying to describe himself as a nihilist.
I'll lift my response from the Big Lebowski, wherein the Dude, seeing a man passed out in a cuckold's luxurious swimming pool, empty fifth floating alongside, described as a "nihilist": that must be exhausting.

Things were starting to get more hectic at this point, so I turn into a sputtering prick. Re-watching this I have to suspect I start stuttering and making no sense precisely at the point I say "Israel" because I'm chickening out. A few people were gathering around, fixated on what I was saying. I was flattered. I don't even care if they thought I was nuts. But the looks on their faces didn't suggest that. They suggested something else. I mean, we've got people ranting on the street here everyday. This was something different.

So here I am standing in my town's central square raving about the myth of terrorism and Israel. I always knew it would end this way.

I'll manage it better next time.

America, Hate it or Leave it

More footage from the fracas.
I would be willing to match dollar for dollar the Go Fund Me to help the loudly suffering welp at the start there to Go Fuck Off. If Trump wins we could start a sort of manumission society for those weary of America's lash; we could set them up for years in the dirt-cheap socialist paradise of their choice, by the thousands.

At some point elsewhere I actually had a polite conversation with the big Mexican kid and his not unattractive in a Chloe Sevigny-kind-of-way girlfriend you see there at about 1:24. Those sorts of exchanges were happening here and there, but the hardcore activists were dominant on their side and determined to simply drown out anything and only engage to cast invective, as you see in the InfoWars footage below:


Anarchy in the PDX

 This is some footage I took from competing pro-Trump/anti-Trump demonstrations in Portland.
Note the amped-up kid at the beginning reassuring his friend, apparently, that he won't go overboard because "my facemask is off." Puh-leeeze. There's an Alex Jones video of the event out there that features an Iranian immigrant, pro-Trump grandmother, and I'll be damned if I don't recognize his affected voice when a masked "anarchist" responds curtly to her gentle pat on the shoulder: "please don't touch me."

Sorry about the annoying black dude talking over my witty repartee with bystanders about that same kid's hopeless run-on chants at the end there (later I suggested to him maybe a protest chant couldn't pull off a subordinate clause, to no avail).

Better stuff to come as soon as I figure out how to work the Internet.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Notes on the Stumpening

America's future announced its arrival yesterday, shutting down Donald Trump's Chicago rally. It was a heartwarmingly diverse group--Hispanics, Muslims prominent, shrill white college students, and blacks leading the way. Barack Obama's vision, to which Paul Ryan would enthusiastically accede on economic principle, of who should wield political power and how.

Notably, among the ethnic alliance blacks have no particular offense to take with Trump; no "rapists and murderers" or Muslim entry ban controversy. That Trump must hate them because he's leery of Muslims, or thinks Mexican rapists and murders cross the border illegally, is a given (ironically based on "racist" assumptions inherent in the racial hierarchy of grievance: if you dislike Mexicans, or immigrants, the liberal always assumes, you must hate blacks).

As the original (and most durable) cause blacks will always be there, ceremonial Capo of the Multicultural Mafia, to get their taste. And know, ye racist, it is earned: blacks are taking the lead and doing more than their share of the heavy intimidating in preventing white suburbanites from gathering unmolested.
More importantly, the black civil rights model is the original template for the host of identity movements, from feminism to, now, Muslims, whose relatively quick assimilation into the Coalition of the Fringes proves its utility.

Nothing, including the Vietnam War, energized the political movements of the sixties like black civil rights. And fittingly enough, here was Bill Ayers, kicking around in the ashes of Chicago last night, a proud old man fishing for recognition by praising the young revelers blithely ignorant of his presence, name, and considerable contribution to their present joy. It must be bittersweet.
Black rage is where it begins and, now, ends for him and a generation. It's Trump's apparent indifference to "racism", really, that's driving respectable white boomers mad.

 Nothing can replace the romance of black suffering in the collective consciousness of the Left. As one Weatherman said, "we all wanted to be Black Panthers." Their children and grandchildren are still trying to be Panthers, and they call it progress, but it's really the continuity they like--black people have always suffered gloriously and they always will. If nothing else makes sense, the justice of the black cause will, and it will always be there.

It doesn't matter if there's more welcome for non-whites in Trump's campaign than there is for a white who won't accept moral second-class status in a Democrat's campaign. Talk to a young person opposed to Trump and more often than not they can't really articulate why they oppose him. They'll cite something he said, maybe get it right, but you get the impression for them, it is the done thing. It's also of a certain delicacy; inquiring too much is bad form, and pointless.

Another way to look at Chicago and this new level of political intimidation the respectable are quick to approve: the Democrats are taking out their new diverse coalition on an eventful test-run. It's a little wobbly, there are some concerns, but it's a powerful beast that makes an impressive roar on the track. God help us.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

 Randy Newman, Baltimore

Saturday, February 06, 2016

The Yuge and the Jews

Jewish opposition to Donald Trump has been predictable and fierce. With some dissent, such as Mickey Kaus' long-running, heroic immigration criticism, the consensus seems to have been immediate: Donald Trump is bad for the Jews. Opposition would appear to have everything to do with the immigration issue first and, maybe more deeply, unease for Trump's energizing of a white American (formerly, American) reaction. But would he be so bad for the Jews, from their point of view?

Looking at Trump's ties to the Jewish community through Manhattan and marriage; his formerly warm relationship to Netanyahu (before Bibi found it advantageous to throw the Donald under the bus); his hawkish pro-Israel foreign policy; after eight years of Obama's adversarial relationship with Israel (and his progressive leftist sympathy with the Palestinians); his opposition to the nuclear deal with Iran--a Trump administration would seem to represent an immediate improvement from a pro-Israel, pro-Jewish perspective.
Yet no one seems less reconciled to Trump than the Jews. It casts in embarrassing relief just how important immigration and anti-white politics are to influential American Jews--or would, if we were allowed to talk about it.

But herein lies one more possibility inherent in Trump. Because of this combination of nationalism, pro-Israel views and Jewish ties, should he just manage to get past the Jews to the White House, Trump could be the one figure who could reconcile them, however much is possible, to policies and a culture that are at least non-hostile to white Americans, by showing to them and everyone else they don't constitute 1933 in America. And that would be yuge.
Trump will go to the Jews like Nixon went to China.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016


Psychological projection doesn't get its sociological due.
I take the liberty of applying "projection" to the broader tendency to project onto others our own motivations and desires that is a natural, unavoidable psychological adaptation to society, not the displacement of Freudian projection. We don't know anyone as we know ourselves and, while vanity may skew our opinion in our favor--no one wants to see himself as too far from normal, particularly in questions of morality--we can't help but take ourselves as our own best model of man. Any assessment of the actions of others always begins with, at the very least subconsciously, asking ourselves why would I do this? 

Projection works, to the extent its assumptions are accurate. Cultural and probably ethnic homogeneity matters. If I'm assuming you're more or less motivated by the same things I am and to the same degree, the closer I am to being right the better for me. The value of projection diminishes in concentric circles outward: self, family, community, ethnicity... Diversity would figure to wreak havoc on and through projection.

In political discourse, meanwhile, we have to pretend that we're all alike (yet somehow made vibrant through ethic diversity) and never motivated by any significant difference--polite opinion is the forcing of everyone to project onto non-whites the relatively enlightened, tolerant and altruistic worldview. There is no platitude more common and more false than the one about how we're all the same, confirmed by President Obama's newspeak assertion Paris terror attacks were an assault on "universal values".

It helps one to be aware of projection, in himself and others, for not all projection is equal. The bias that comes of it, as opposed to the sort of "bias" we're used to hearing about, is indifferent to self interest and can work against one's own self or group interest. I believe it works against whites as a crucial component of the white elite's bizarre embrace of anti-white rhetoric and action.  When two people or groups and project sometimes wildly divergent behavioral assumptions onto one another, the more trustworthy party is disadvantaged; vice becomes its own advantage and virtue a weakness.

I think this explains much of what we're currently seeing in Europe.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Where's Gratitude?

The Left denies the agency of "oppressed" groups, forever acting upon, never acting. This is necessary in direct correlation to the negative effects of a given group's actions.

No one is seen as having less autonomy than black Americans, for instance, as a group or individually. It's practically a source of pride for those who contribute to the Narrative. Blacks have dominated in this category about as long as they've dominated the NBA. But there's a new kid in town, and his name's Abdullah. Or Mohamad. And that really does cover about half of these assholes. These guys, with phones full of aggressive porn and beheading videos, are going to test the patience and faith of entire nations. But so far MSM narrative discipline holds here in America while leaning on open police censorship in Europe.

 Because of the Left's success in obscuring the agency of black Americans, a model which they readily adopt to Muslims now, we're all a little less equipped to understand not only what is happening, but the extent of things. Even the average conservative citizen who's paying as much attention as he can doesn't come to comprehend the degree of depravity and hostility with which he, as a natural born Westerner, is confronted in the form of Europe's new Muslim rape gangs. If that citizen were to truly compare these men to the other men of the world, dispassionately, objectively, without bias, he would be struck by their moral inferiority. By the profound lack of gratitude displayed, a lack that can only mean one of two things: these are either the meanest or the dumbest people on earth. Mostly I think it demonstrates their contempt for us. But that too is lost, when you can't even get past the "white guys are terrorists too" obfuscations or the "widows and orphans" bunting. God help us.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Diary: Yesterday Afternoon

A tall man standing in front of Mary's strip club steps purposely to the curb and leans into an automobile grill. As if he's trying to be heard through a hole in a wall he shouts, no, screams into the car's impassive plastic faux-metalwork.
I head upstairs. The wood steps feel solid but still creak plaintively underfoot, even if you step lightly. All day like this, I think, this desiccated wood pleading for the fire under the plodding feet of junkies, addicts, head cases and those just-in or just-out of homelessness. For them this is home. And I can just make out the man out the street, screaming again.
I come back out and the man has resumed his position against the wall between the club and the motel. He's standing still but somehow you can just see the familiar manic energy--of the long term homeless crazy--coursing through him under the old army jacket he fills out no better than a coat hanger. Maybe he's not that, maybe I'm wrong. Why was he screaming into the car grill after all? To mute the sound, that's all. And it is an ideal sound attenuator! The face of a car's radiator, with it's countless cataracts formed in thin metal, the vibration-absorbing liquid behind it; it's as if it's designed for the purpose, right down to the box of contained air formed between radiator and the narrow slat in the grill through which he--thoughtful, resourceful madman--directed the barely controlled wail of his profound, building misery.
And I'm off down the street.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Dark Prophecy

"And you, systematic Utopians, who make an abstraction of human nature, fomentors of atheism, fed on chimerae and hatreds, emancipators of woman, destroyers of the family, genealogists of the simian race, you whose name was but lately an outrage, be satisfied: you shall have been the prophets, and your disciples will be the high-priests of an abominable future!"

--Alfred de Falloux, De l'Unite Nationale, 1880

Monday, January 11, 2016

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Diary: Fragmentary Life

I passed a man and his young son on the street. I turned to look and caught a glimpse of the boy looking up at his father, having asked him something, with a look that was all trust and expectation. Nothing profound, nothing special; the scene was commonplace. But so much was told on his face, of how much he depended on this man, how much he respected him, loved him; how much a mystery this towering figure--just some guy on the street!--is to him. You can spot a loving father a mile away. I see them all the time. They haven't a chance. Some of them know it. They can't help but be committed, tireless, against all evidence. Some even understand--how can one not, in this day and age?--how ultimately futile their efforts at nurture are. Not that it would matter; you could prove beyond a doubt that every effort of theirs is pointless, that all is for naught, and they'd go on, holding hands, pulling up trousers, patiently answering questions.

You get these glimpses of other people sometimes that are too close for comfort. It's as if you've stumbled into their homes. But they don't know; I try not to look too closely at other people. I can go all day in public without making eye contact. I try to remedy it by looking directly at them sometimes. I can be very charming sometimes; I surprise myself. If it's this easy, why don't I just do it?

I'm interested in people; I'm always looking for something in them that will surprise me. But I'm mortified by the prospect of intruding on them, so I mind my own business. Still, you can't help it sometimes; people intrude on you, wandering into your line of sight. You can't spend your day looking at the ground--it's been a bad habit of mine since childhood, to walk with eyes to the ground. But I instinctively don't look people in the eye. In the city I'm often looking up--over the heads of people. You can do that in the city. I've always had a problem with other people, with relating to them. But I love the idea of people. I only now realize these things are related. It's so much easier to appreciate people in the abstract than to love them in person. I like to walk the city streets to be among the crowd, but I rarely engage anyone. But then, who does?

But here was this little guy, an awkward kid, scrawny, sensitive, heartrendingly earnest; it was all there on his face. With no idea what's really in store for him. But no; he has to have some idea what's in store. He can sense what's coming, and that sense is getting clearer along with the progress of aging, crystallizing into realization. Childhood is all premonition and foreboding and, maybe, hope. No one ever remembers the precise moment he learned what death is--do they? I don't. It's as if the understanding was always there, gradually taking form with the same inexorable, unceasing certainty of the physical growth and decline of which it is a part. The precise moment you understood death, that you came to know it, can't be pinpointed because it doesn't exist.

Everything outside the small world of a child is mysterious and grotesque, enticing and terrifying at the same time. You graduate into the once mysterious world of the adult beyond, and realize how vast childhood was after all. For all its greater dimensions, possibilities and dangers, adulthood is small, constrained and contained, its boundaries too early known, too early they become depressingly familiar. Speaking for myself, solace from this can only be found by turning within, and there I rattle around inside my psyche, tinkering like a hobbyist, fashioning rationales, molding denials, tricking out fantastic scenarios. I kid myself that I'm not like everyone else; I kid myself that I'm just like everyone else, as the moment requires.

I confess: I've imagined alternate lives, the life I could have led, should have led. It's always better than this one. But then, just as the madman is always a reincarnated Napoleon, not a reincarnated Nobody, these other lives are better, more fruitful, more pleasing--I'm better. I can imagine these alternate Dennises do exist, right now, in neverending variation, an endless hall of mirrors out there, redeeming this dull life, this squandered potential, these venal sins. That moment, that deja vu moment we all have, when your life suddenly feels unfamiliar and alien and you find yourself tripped up and you think, like the song says, well, how did I get here?--maybe that's the glitch-in-the-Matrix moment when you come too near on some dimensional plane to one of your alternate selves. Your frequency is momentarily lost to the interference.

I should imagine how much worse life could have been, as a sort of therapy. I mean, in my imagination I'm out here in the foggy ether of all possible realities, and the bottom is no more visible than the ceiling. But what would be the point? What I need is what we all need, what we can never have: to escape myself. Intoxication, meditation, medication, various obsessions: all these are means of momentary, simulated escape. I don't disapprove, even if I don't indulge myself in any of these, at least not any more.

When you're a kid you think, hopefully, that you're going to know things. This, I thought, was the true measure of a man. A man knew things. Cruder souls sought to acquire things. "He who dies with the most toys..." At least I thought knowing was my aspiration. He who dies with the most knowledge. But I'm lazy; I'm always content to know just enough. I stop short; "okay I get it" I tell myself with a shrug, and interest evaporates. The moment I pick up a thing is the moment just before I lose all interest in it. But knowing is not everything. Knowledge can only reduce the world--down to formula, predictability, measure ever more precise. Mystery is boundless. But you can't fake mystery. People try. People are driving themselves mad right now, everywhere, trying to conjure up mystery and resuscitate wonder lost to maturity. Should I have sought "enlightenment"? I don't know what that means. I should have been a man of action, I tell myself. Ha! I wish. I envy these men, respect them, but I do not understand them. I am another species entire--but what species am I then, I keep asking myself. I honestly don't know.

So I couldn't help but be moved by the sight of the boy. And I don't think it has anything really to do with my own lack of a relationship to my own father--that was the last thing on my mind. It had everything to do with my relationship to my daughter, now grown; to that relationship lost, that position, as someone else's towering figure, lost. Lost not in a flash but in a bittersweet, gradual dissolve; every parent is fated to diminish in his child's eyes. I envy no one more than the young parents of young children. That I couldn't see the beauty of it when I was young, that parenthood had to happen to me by accident, is less a shame than a mystery.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Monday, November 16, 2015

Because you have to keep repeating yourself, apparently

Originally posted in January, after that month's Muslim atrocity on the streets of France:

 The "No True Scotsman fallacy" goes like this:
Smith: All Scotsmen are loyal and brave. 
Jones: But McDougal over there is a Scotsman, and he was arrested by his commanding officer for running from the enemy. 
Smith: Well, if that's right, it just shows that McDougal wasn't a TRUE Scotsman.
This is idiocy

Just as convention about racism and sexism is supported ultimately by a variation on the fallacious appeal to consequences--if racial or sexual variation in behavior and aptitudes were real it would be bad (or lead to bad things), therefore it (or race itself) does not exist--so too is the "not all Muslims" reflex something that any thinking person, regardless of opinion, should reject.

As one famous Muslim said:

Social justice warriors: all the intellectual depth of a Muhammad Ali, without the humor.

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Brown Inquisition

And why stop at the point fixed by the honorable Member for Oldham rather than at the point which would have been fixed by a Spanish inquisitor of the sixteenth century? When once you enter on a course of persecution, I defy you to find any reason for making a halt till you have reached the extreme point. 
--Lord Macaulay, 1833

Anger is an energy
Anger is an energy
Anger is an energy
--Rise, John Lydon, Public Image Ltd

Ecstatic black power advocates have taken down a university president for, among other vague sins, failure to "acknowledge" his "white privilege". The marginally black retired professor (as Joe Frazier once said deprecatingly of "black power" advocate Muhammad Ali's choice in wives, "light, bright and almost white"; though maybe not so bright--see below) replacing him is himself a career diversicrat who just so happens to have been involved in the campaign to oust his predecessor, and--despite a career as a civil rights trial lawyer and law professor--appears to hold a child's view of how assertions should be tested:

“How can anyone deny there’s a race relations issue on this campus? Are they not listening to the people who are saying there is? Are they calling all these people liars? That’s as bad as calling all of them racist. This is a problem because a huge part of our community agrees that it’s a problem.”

The video from which this is taken (labelled "Response to skeptics" and made before the professor's appointment) is a fine example of the curious combination of delusion and condescension which is the current stuff of black advocacy:


First, activist leader Jonathan Butler confidently contends your doubting the assertion proves the assertion (If you don't think there's a problem you're part of the problem).

Then the argumentum ad populum; the professor comes on to assert that if only enough people say there's a problem, there's a problem. Indeed, doubt is itself wrong; "as bad as calling all [skeptics] racists". The professor seems to have lost the thread: that all whites (not just doubters) are racists is given; indeed, it's the ultimate cause of the problem, as asserted by the "huge" moral faction he cites. Black students are under siege in a sea of white racism.
Even those white collaborators within the movement are tainted with "white privilege" that both makes them complicit and limits their ability to see the reality of white oppression. The irony gets lost in all the irony. It gets hard to keep up, so we should be gentle in our assessment of the sixty-eight year old professor's ability to maintain pace. But he should be a real fire plug in his new role as administrator.

But the professor does have something on which to hang his argument: if enough reasonable (let's be generous now) individuals testify to a problem, it's overwhelming anecdotal evidence thereof. Yet when we get into these individual allegations they all tend to be trivial or strain credulity. Even the core allegations of boorish rednecks and scat-swastikas would be, in a saner world, laughable.
Then there's the further problem of misplaced responsibility, which, as far as I can tell, hasn't even gotten an airing. In all the hysteria, no one dares question just why a university head is responsible for rowdy townies.
Needless to say, that the infamous swastika might be yet another hoax likewise is an idea that no one with anything to risk can raise without the reasonable fear he too would be stripped of livelihood and reputation. Furthermore for what should seem obvious, that even if these things happened they hardly constitute a reign of terror. But this is par for the course now in America. Political convention regarding race is a shrieking fanaticism: it makes no distinction between the trivial and profound. Just as every problem arising from race relations is attributable to white racism; an infinite regress of racist turtles, all the way down.

But more to the point, and as is always in these cases, the hysteria ignores the running joke and gruesome reality of the American commons, evident to anyone not cloistered or imbecilic: the routine black intimidation of smaller, meeker whites that is a social constant.

Speaking of meek whites, coming on to complete the fallacious trifecta we get the ever-present white quisling, fittingly offering as proof the fallacy of emotion. Fitting because white fascination with black emotionalism is a core component of our dysfunctional relationship to them. If you could only see how glorious these black kids were in their anger, you would be shamed into conviction, says the Nice White Woman, not yet sacrificed to the Maoism of which she desperately partakes.

"I challenge them to really listen to the students. Listen to their cries. Listen to their voices, that are trembling with fear, that are trembling with anger, that are trembling with disgust, that are trembling with questions, if they should even be here at Mizzou."

Tremulous indeed. But she stumbles on to something, despite her best efforts, with that last line. You have to wonder how much black emotion is just resentment of perceived inadequacy. If you're black and attending a university for which you are not prepared, which may very well be the majority of black students, you have a choice: be a mediocre, failing student, or a romantic, winning victim. Extrapolate that beyond the university and black hostility to white culture, chauvinism and extreme territorialism about black culture and its "appropriation", make perfect sense

Black culture is powerful--which is not the same as saying it's good for us. Before civil rights blacks were compelled to emulate white norms but were not expected to excel whites in achievement. To essentially be second-rate white people.
Now, due to the seductive power of black culture and the perception of black superiority in those things a decadent society values, or at least obsesses over--sexuality, physicality, brutality even--blacks have managed to flip the American script. Faced with the same obvious racial differences but with the old restrictions removed, black culture is winning. Instead of a country with a minority black population emulating whites we've become a country with a majority white population emulating blacks. Uncle Tom is out; Uncle Tim is in.

But what this all amounts to is the ongoing persecution of whites for being white, masquerading as a struggle against white persecution of blacks, for being black. No intention, much less conspiracy necessary: just a tragic confluence of things that are always operative: human emotion, ambition, politics, stupidity, cowardice and, always, vanity. How will it end?

Thursday, November 05, 2015

The Brilliant, Stunning, Perfect, Glorious and So Cute Mashably Buzzfed Style You've Got to See!

Respectable media has coalesced around a liberal-progressive consensus that brooks no challenge from the right on "social issues". Social media is dominated by youth and conflict. Maybe this is all we need to explain the trend toward the language of wholly unwarranted hyperbole at lefty sites emphasizing the "viral"--so perfectly, stunningly, adorably satirized in this must-see tweet:

"This 12 year old transgender prostitute gave the PERFECT response to his gift-giving 55 year old lover. So cute!" - Buzzfeed in 5 years.

One familiar trope is the celebration of the PERFECT! retort turned on a "troll", such as George Takei's "epic" comeback here:

With no respectable political opposition to the Left's agenda on social and racial issues the media seems to have lost all sense of proportion. The most trivial Twitter exchange is heroic comedy to Buzzfeed's cub reporters. Their daily posts come like war dispatches from North Korea's official press; every skirmish is total victory over an inept and cowardly enemy. Of course, it's all dependent upon who is smacking down whom, therefore, according to Mashable, "There is Nothing More Glorious than Watching Roxane Gay Shut Down an Internet Troll" who had the nerve to criticize her pot roast that was under consideration for a blog post (no joke):

Along with the tales of epic smackdowns, there is the sentimental "must see" piece that some would give good money to un-see, such as the mother surprising her fourteen-year old son with his first dose of hormones. But that piece didn't feature the hyperbolic style ("Watch this Trans Teenager's Emotional Reaction to Getting Her First Dose of Hormones") so it doesn't really count here.

But it isn't just social media bundling reportage that bemuses with its breathlessness. Buzzfeed's video production shop gave us a downright bizarre feature declaring "People of Color Re-Created Iconic Movie Posters and the Results are Stunning".

Stunning examples of how much better-looking movie stars are than drama students, alas. We've seen the multicultural future, and it's kind of homely:


I suspect the self-absorption, at least, of the young woman on the left is "stunning".

Regression to the Mean Girls.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Bill Keith, 1939 - 2015

Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys, Bluegrass Breakdown

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Saturday, October 24, 2015


At this rate ¿Jeb? will soon become the greatest leader of all time:

Jeb Bush says he's not reducing his presidential campaign, he is simply refocusing it with an eye toward the early caucus and primary states.
"We've made an adjustment in our campaign," Bush said Saturday before conducting a town hall in the pivotal state of South Carolina. "That's what leaders do."

Or he could've gone with this angle:

Interviewer: "The last time [Spinal] Tap toured America, they where, uh, booked into 10,000 seat arenas, and 15,000 seat venues, and it seems that now, on their current tour they're being booked into 1,200 seat arenas, 1,500 seat arenas, and uh I was just wondering, does this mean uh...the popularity of the group is waning?"

Manager: "Oh, no, no, no, no, no,, no, not at all. I, I, I just think that the.. uh.. their appeal is becoming more selective."

This is an act of love, pendejos!

Maybe ¿Jeb? could get himself a cricket bat. I know I wish George HW Bush, patriarch of this disastrous clan, had used the stick a little more often and enthusiastically. Couldn't have hurt.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Quote of the Day

Born-Again Sexuality

"Dreams of self-destruction, and probably many cases of suicide, are desires or attempts on the part of narcissistic individuals to give themselves a new birth by attacking themselves and thus bringing about self-fertilization."
--Theodore Faithfull, The Mystery of the Androgyne: Three Papers on the Theory and Practice of Psychoanalysis1938

We're not allowed to speculate any more on the motivation behind what used to be called "gender bending": transvestism, transsexualism, etc. Indeed, that now quaint phrase seems destined to fall to the Maoist language police, suggesting as it does sexual identity is malleable and subject to human will and desire. Because while it might sound like that is precisely what the trans movement is about, it isn't. That is, it is completely about that and completely against that.

While the theory is that sexual identity is a social construct free of biology that exists on a continuum--infinitely divisible, apparently--including as one such point the "gender fluid" individual whose sexual identity may change over time (but not, damn you, at whim), it also decrees that any suggestion this identity is not a congenital fact of birth ("born this way" in the slogan) is both immoral and unscientific. Thus the foundation of political homosexuality would be undermined. Because the movement is protected from criticism, this contradiction goes unexamined. Sexual identity exists like a particle in quantum physics, here, there, everywhere until pinned to a location by observation (or, in their case, declaration). Perhaps they shouldn't speak of a continuum, but of a
probability distribution.

But it's increasingly obvious to me the blossoming of alternative sexual identities is driven by two things: individual psychology and social influence. Like many or most of us in this atomized age, gender benders are engaged in a desperate, narcissistic quest to satisfy two conflicting desires: to establish their unique individuality, and to find their place in a community of their own. Sexual dysphorics who act on their dysphoria seek to effect their own destruction and rebirth. Whatever there is that's "heroic" about it at this point has less to do with social stigma and more to do with defiance of Mother Nature.

I was struck by this thought when perusing a photo collage of feminists and coming upon the picture of a butch lesbian. Her look was actually an impressive, in its way, mimicry of masculinity: pompadour haircut, practiced smile, perfect flannel shirt. I couldn't help thinking this woman might have been aware of a choice available to her: be an unremarkable looking woman, or an impressive caricature of a lumberjack.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Narrative Inversion, or, Lying Through the Media's Teeth

We're told the migrant wave into Europe is a mass flight from a dangerous war zone. Of course, wrong-thinkers keep pointing out the migration appears to be overwhelmingly male. Young, healthy males at that. National Review is here to reassure us, using the selective sentimental anecdote method, that this isn't a great "invasion" of Europe by "military age men" (neither, presumably, a giant poon-hunt by horny Arabs, the Great Sexile) but merely an advance guard of hardy colonists with women and children waiting at home until they establish themselves in public housing on the European citizen's dime. Then they'll avail themselves of Europe's family reunification policies to bring them along once it's safe:

“They tell us, ‘We do this dangerous trip on our own, we get asylum, and there is a law in the European Union that the family can come,’” says Christof Zellenberg, the chairman of the Europa Institute, who has been heavily involved in volunteer efforts in Vienna. You see few newcomers over 50, he adds, because “this is a grueling trip, and you need to be young and strong.” 

Many patriarchs are well aware of the risks of bringing their families with them. Zellenberg says the migrants he’s worked with have told him stories of violent criminal smugglers who rape women and threaten men with guns during the journey. 

How many degrees of remove (if any) are those "violent criminal smugglers" from those working with NGOs to facilitate the migration and who are described warmly in other reports?

 Powerline dubs these men "anchor daddies". The National Review article seems to think this is supposed to reassure us that, even though there's still no effective screening to weed out terrorists (much less the latent terrorists who'll be radicalized in European mosques after learning it's not all pussy and cars in Berlin after all), it's okay because it's just that Europe hasn't actually considered the real numbers of soon to be welfare-dependent Muslim families crowding into Europe:

But a future influx of families could another problem, as Zellenberg notes. Europe is already struggling to deal with the financial burden caused by today’s newcomers, who are pouring across European borders at levels not seen since World War II. If the majority of these men plan to bring families later, the current numbers are totally off. Multiply it by four or more, he says.

Oh, okay. Now back to photos of cute waifs.

So not only are the migrants not fleeing war zones for safety, they're leaving the women and children behind in relative safety until they can comfortably travel (just waiting to hear about how Europe will be cowed into paying for their transport) into the great fatlands of the North.
A good narrative effort is adaptable and rolls with the punches. A lie refuted isn't acknowledged but countered with another lie. Refute that and here's another. Of course it all works because the referee is in on the fix too, but you still have to admire the skill.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Trump Agonistes

The uppermost idea with Hellenism is to see things as they really are; the uppermost idea with Hebraism is conduct and obedience.
 The governing idea of Hellenism is spontaneity of consciousness; that of Hebraism, strictness of conscience.
  --Culture and Anarchy, Matthew Arnold

The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence.
--John F. Kennedy

And I will stir up your sons, O Zion, against your sons, O Greece...
Zechariah, 9:13

American politics have been upended by the Trump candidacy's success in the face of sustained, coordinated opposition from the powerful. Has there ever been such a wide chasm between popular support and elite opposition? Trump's unlikely popularity comes not merely as a shock but as a revelation, but what precisely has been revealed is debatable. Something is happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear.

His detractors, despite their glib dismissal of his popularity as mere white male anger (the only anger they don't valorize out of hand), don't really want to know. So they'll keep on with a strategy that, after all, should be working. And it may be that despite his remarkable run Trump is still just one gaffe away from the abyss. Or one cringing apology from it. That he hasn't succumbed so far itself constitutes a secondary, collateral quandary for those who hold the commanding heights of the media. He threatens to expose the gaffe-apology cycle in American politics as the kabuki theater it is. Most of the time it isn't the offense but the apology that kills or stalls an individual career. Just as its purpose is not to salve real or manufactured outrage--outrage is a valuable commodity in American politics--but rather to de-legitimize the line of inquiry or dissent threatened by any given sin of exposition.

Trump threatens to expose the reality that any given gaffe-scandal normally has little to it but the sturm und drang of media histrionics which might, or might not (for it need not, really) set off some level of popular anger. By this process the individual citizen is led to believe--now through the amplifier of social media (the force-multiplier of manufactured opinion)--there's a groundswell of popular outrage and expert disagreement with a given assertion. Call it, contra Chomsky, manufactured dissent. As often as not the gaffe is simply a truth routinely suppressed. The gaffe cycle creates the illusion of consensus denying that truth and subverts the individual's own perception of it, however obvious, causing him to doubt his very own eyes and experience.

Of course this can only go so far, and only go on so long before the deliberate nature of the suppression of the truth becomes as obvious as the truth it suppresses. If Trump achieves nothing else, his demonstration that one can not only survive opposition to the process but thrive by opposing it will constitute a significant contribution to the greater good. But he has to survive, or at least not die by gaffe. All the more reason for the elite to focus on this method of attack--to demonstrate it, still, is How Things Work and some things must not be said.

But his opponents will keep at it for another reason. Serious engagement with his immigration argument--the font of his popularity--threatens to legitimize a debate which the political, media and business elites have worked years to de-legitimize. Astounding as it is, immigration restriction hasn't a single true proponent among mainstream national politicians or media outlets, despite the overwhelming popular support for it. That Trump exposes this remarkable anomaly is yet another reason to focus on the messenger. It really is "all about" the immigration, in more ways than one.

So it's absurd to think that without the immigration issue, and the implicitly pro-white agenda of which it's the centerpiece, he'd be getting anywhere. It's hard to imagine Donald Trump's comically boastful roadshow succeeding with the same milquetoast policy prescriptions of a Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio. Far easier to imagine any one of his Republican opponents succeeding with his immigration policy than to imagine him succeeding with theirs. That's leaving aside the lack of trust the public retains in mainstream politicians and the fact their donors would never countenance them taking such positions.

Still it's clear Trump doesn't succeed despite his image. Neither is it a matter of indifference. His style--deliberately offensive defiance--is ideally suited to his message, and that message is ideally timed, if not overdue. Trump's open insulting of the individuals and opinions of the elite is seen, by a long-disrespected middle America and its sympathizers, as returning insult for insult. And it's seen as a longtime in coming. We've long endured a cultural assault that has proceeded by insensible gradations and the concessions of a naive opposition to where we are now: open contempt for the white, heterosexual historical core of the nation is convention. That is what we mean when we write Narrative with a capital N. Donald Trump is the counter-Narrative.

His message is also seen as restorative honesty after seven years of strained hypocrisy under Barack Obama. From the moment he burst onto the national stage--with a platitudinous, insubstantial speech at the 2004 Democratic convention that was met with the overblown praise for any indication of black ability that is essential to conspicuous white guilt--Obama's career has succeeded less by the man's practical successes than by his acolytes' determination that he be successful and their need to be seen celebrating that success. Obama's success demonstrates the extent to which we've perverted the "Hebraic" strain in Western culture as defined above. That strain, that now would more often be called Christian or Judeo-Christian, compels moral correctness not just in deed but in thought. That compulsion which has been subverted into political correctness and, with horrifying irony, turned upon the heirs of Christendom and Western culture.

Trump, boasting endlessly of his accomplishments and wealth--wealth, to him, being the ultimate measure of accomplishment--represents a return to the Hellenistic view. He, in his vulgar fashion, celebrates the Greek value of arete, of ability and achievement as the ultimate virtues, over that Hebraic compulsion toward inner purification. Which is not to say unrestrained Hellenism would be better; the West has achieved greatness through, however you like, the synthesis or struggle between these two strains. Trump's impolite frankness is a vulgar Hellenism, valuing knowing, opposing a perverted Hebraism, valuing feeling. 

Even in his obsessive branding, putting the Trump name on everything he builds, he exhibits a core element of the Greek value of arete, where the highest goal is to make one's name immortal--as opposed to the Hebrew goal of making the soul immortal, in part by eschewing just this sort of  Hellenistic "vanity". It's easy to see how the two have combined to create the Western mind, and how one--not always the same one--tempers the other. If you want to ascribe Trump's success to angst, I suggest you consider a real and justified angst that the Hebraic impulse has been perverted, co-opted and turned first against the common people and then against the West--against itself, in a sense.

It isn't as if the elite has ever abandoned the Hellenistic value of arete; on the contrary, they jealously keep it for themselves and demand of the common man a perpetual Hebraic contrition. The common man is hectored into a permanent state of moral self-doubt for, among other things, his "racism" and "xenophobia". It just so happens keeping him in this state--particularly regarding immigration and multiculturalism--serves the purposes of a global politico-economic elite. As the Church Lady from Dana Carvey's old SNL routine would say, "how con-veeen-ient."

So, while the individual elites strive to make their names immortal, they offer to the common man the immortality of the soul, even as they scoff at the very idea, bound up in religion as it is, of a soul and its judgment in the hereafter. It's a blustering con, and it's perhaps fitting that it's revealed, intentionally or not, not just by a member of the elite that uses it, but by this bluffing and blustering member of that elite.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Terrorist Fricassee with a Side of F--- You

Memo from Department of  Keep in Mind it's From Russia Times to Department of Hope They're Just F--king With Us.
Unnamed Russian official in RT:

He added that according to Russian intelligence the militants are fleeing the area that was in their control. “There is panic and defection among them. About 600 mercenaries have left their positions and are trying to reach Europe,” he said.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Choices, Choices

Patriotic Dissent

Progressive Rule

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Who's Whom

The callous indifference shown by German Chancellor Angela Merkel (indeed, of the entire German elite, which moves in lock-step) for average Germans in visiting upon them hordes of young Muslim men so she can stake her claim to secular sainthood defies understanding. Does the West, and Germany, now have a new kind of elite, or is what we see merely the same old elite, adapted to the present?

For a long time after World War II we were told how the Nazi terror and the Holocaust were the result of a fatal flaw in the German character, a devotion to order and weakness for authority. A cliche this shop-worn has to be false in large part if not in whole--nothing so complex can have such a pat explanation, and this one in particular seems too ideally suited to the vanity of the victors and too useful for post-WWII cultural Marxism (and just plain Marxism). It reeks of the "authoritarian personality" myth.

Besides, our experience here in America tells us there's a big difference between the behaviors and motivations of the elite and those of the common man. We're told, for instance, that we must take in the refugees of Middle Eastern wars because they're "our" fault. But none of our military meddling in the region has anything like a popular origin; even the Second Gulf War (which the neocons had been long planning before 9/11 and the false specter of "WMD") was only effected by a massive misinformation project launched in the trauma following 9/11, and the people, weary of war, voted Barack Obama in largely to correct that mistake. The people spoke--and were betrayed. The wars continue under the rudderless foreign policy of the Obama Administration. Of course, the great migratory invasion of 2015 looks less and less like the mass outpouring of war refugees than it is one of opportunists, responding to cliear signalling by European elites that the gates are open and they are welcome. In the same breath, the elite lies to the people, and winks suggestively at the invaders.

Yet the people are still guilt-tripped by that same elite to acquiesce to this latest project--taking in a massive influx of "refugees"--as atonement for our acquiescing to their previous, and ongoing, wars and foreign interventions. Do they ever get together, say at Bilderberger, and have a good laugh at the shit they get away with? No wonder they disdain us.
If you should ever have the good fortune to be within arm's reach of a verified member of the political elite and he tells you "we" must take in the refuse of the neocons' wars, I urge you to avail yourself of the unprecedented opportunity to slap him and demand "what do you mean 'we', asshole?"

So the common man can be excused if much of the behavior of the elite seems to him to be motivated at times by indifference, at others disdain, for his concerns. But mostly the common man, still, shows a remarkable passivity in the face of elite mismanagement and bigotry. We keep letting it happen, and their attitude keeps getting more disdainful, more dismissive.

But what of the German elite, which seems farther gone than any in its determined delusion? Is it that the German people are so different or flawed, or is it that the German elite is different, flawed? Germany was after all not fifty years into unification under Bismarck when the First World War broke out, having so recent a history of having been divided into countless principalities, and arguably hasn't returned to anything like a normal development process since.

Now we see an elite there that appears nothing so much as to lack maturity. Look at its confused, irresponsible romanticism, as some openly suggest absorbing the refugee invasion is the means of absolving the nation (not finally, be sure) of the sins of the Holocaust. If Germany's unique history makes its elite even more contemptuous of its people than other Western elites, one shudders to think just how far they might take this madness. But no one seems to be asking.

Goethe famously said of the Germans that they were "so estimable in the individual, so wretched in the generality." (I could say the same for our current American elites, who are no doubt fine and decent people when taken singly.)

From Gordon Craig's (so-so) history of Germany, The Germans:

"In looking at the careers of these three industrial giants, one is hard put to discover any trace of nobility or generosityof spirit. It has been said of [Alfred] Krupp that he never spent a penny on the arts or the sciences or the poor or the community, and this was no less true of [Hugo] Stinnes and [Friederich] Flick. Krupp gave Prussia no prior claim on his weapons and cheerfully sold his most dangerously efficient ones to powers that might use them against his fellow Germans. Stinnes made a reputation as a patriot by this defiant speeches at Spa about what would happen to the French if they tried to exact reparations by force; but, when the French did precisely that, three years later, by marching into the Ruhr, he not only profited from the ensuing inflation, which he sought to prolong by refusing financial assistance to  his hard-pressed government, but also did his best to to conclude mutually profitable deals with French concerns. As for Flick, there is no evidence of national concern in any of his undertakings."

Is the "fatal flaw" in German character less the peoples' willingness to follow its leaders than its leaders' indifference and disdain for the people? The flip-side of a romantic, sentimental view of a people, such as that Hitler at least pretended to have for Germans, is a pitiless contempt, particularly if one sees that people as weak or inadequate. I recently provided a quote attributed to Hitler near the end of WWII:

"If the war is lost the people will be lost also. It is not necessary to worry about what the German people will need for elementary survival. On the contrary, it is best for us to destroy those things. For the people has proven itself to be the weaker, and the future belongs exclusively to the stronger people of the East. Those who will survive this struggle will in any case be inferiors, for the good are already dead."

Sounds familiar to any American used to the experience of an elite that has gone from speaking in fawning, dishonest platitudes while acting in preening self-interest (how many times have we been told something the elite wants--like open borders--is what "makes America great"?) to occasionally breaking out in ranting contempt when stymied at all by popular will (what makes America great has nothing to do with Americans, it seems now, who only stand in the way of her realizing that greatness through immigrants).

And if Germans are more disposed toward acquiescing to authority, isn't the real tragedy incumbent upon that only realized when authority misleads, betrays or otherwise fails them? If a people are as thrifty, industrious and law-abiding as the Germans are said to be, it follows that all they need to thrive is responsible and capable leadership. It strikes me that the myth of Germans fatally disposed to following elite authority serves, ironically, no one so much as the elite group in authority.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Social Justice Isn't Funny

Forgive me for presuming to know something about humor, despite being neither a professional humorist nor a critic. But I'm going to join the growing ranks of rank amateurs who think they understand comedy, for the purpose of denouncing them. Irony!

Humor's base material is irony and absurdity. It depends on the recognition of these things--sometimes psychologically repressed, sometimes socially and politically suppressed--that is our shared experience. It isn't enough for a gag simply to be ironic or absurd; it has to reveal these things in its subject, whether that subject is conventional wisdom, a common human foible or a specific event of notoriety.

It does that by confounding our habituated expectations. It's in the way a joke leads you along a narrative path to an unexpected but still logical--and above all true--conclusion, similar to the way jazz confounds the resolution of melody in novel, complex ways to the delight of the listener. The resolution--in humor, the punch line or central idea behind a gag--must be unconventional but not discordant. It has to ring true. The greater the gap between the expectation of the set-up and the resolution that is the punch line, the greater the satisfaction. Ideally it's the surprise revelation of an inherent truth. At its very best, it exposes a lie we're all forced to endure.

The more that narrative set-up is cliched, kitsch, or best of all the more false it is, the better raw material it makes for satire or parody. If that narrative is an outright lie, skewering it on the lance of humor transcends comedy and becomes something like enlightenment. If that lie is perpetuated by the powerful for purposes of control, humor becomes something like political dissent.
Humor succeeds when it mockingly reveals dishonesty and fails, as it so often does in our politically correct times, when it obliviously advances dishonesty.

Humor transgresses. A comedy club is akin to a safe place for a religious ritual allowing the temporary indulgence of transgression. Comedy provides catharsis for the emotional tension built up by the commonplace. Conventional wisdom and social mores necessitate a certain amount of hypocrisy (some more than others). Baggage. Baggage we need to relieve ourselves of, if only for a moment. They don't call it comic relief for nothing. Of course now we have an elite and entertainment class that is hostile to the mass, and this beneficial process has been co-opted for the deliberate destruction of the old social mores, of the idea of common mores itself. The process of leveraging comedy to destroy culture is wearing comedy itself down. We laugh a lot now, but our laughter is more shrill, more cynical, more desperate. The joy is slowly being wrung out of it.

This all occurs to me when considering the rash of ill-conceived but well-received attempts at humor inspired--in a same-day flash that was hasty even by Internet standards--by Ahmed's notorious clock. By now any thinking person can see Ahmed wasn't the passive victim of prejudice but the active proponent of a gag. A humorless gag--Ahmed did not deny his suckers the expected resolution; he gave it to them in heavy-handed earnest. The result was not to expose commonplace dishonesty, but to reinforce it. It's the antithesis of the comedic gag that confounds our expectation and reveals the truth; it gives us precisely what we expected, with the purpose of creating a fiction. It's a first-rate con job (I haven't the heart to acknowledge we've been taken in by a second-rate con).

Ahmed provided the morally insecure with something they crave, moral outrage. He played to their vanity--something I'm sure a professional con-man would say is essential. And being the product primarily of vanity this moral outrage is as false as the hoax that prompted it. The very premise supporting Ahmed's con--of a pernicious "Islamophobia" that threatens to consume us--is false. Ahmed bamboozled an entire nation, with its willing, gleeful participation, and that willing participation is the real crime.

The greater guilt lies with these willing marks, who are legion and include the most influential among us. If sanity were to somehow magically reappear, and the nation as a whole was suddenly able not only to see clearly the fraud but to soberly reflect on its effects, we would have to conclude that our president and the titans of industry who opportunistically submitted to the hoax for their own personal and political ends are not just wrong, they're reprehensible.
What they would have you believe obscure authorities did to a fifteen year-old boy--that is falsely accuse and traumatize him out of hasty prejudice--they do to the nation as a whole. A nation that already reels from the unrelenting project to slander its history and dismantle its core, of which Ahmed's hoax is a sort of synecdoche, the part representing the whole. In their enthusiastic participation in Ahmed's hoax, they reveal their determined participation in that broader project.

But the extent of the hysteria, its reach into the upper echelons of culture, media and politics, acts as an oppressive fog. The severest criticism of this high crime seeks only to correct the record, allows itself to be distracted by the "overreaction" of the Texas authorities, when those who use their influence to assist in the hoax should be subjected to censure, ridicule and moral condemnation. Because of that fog, that overwhelming din of a million shrill voices advancing the lie, I think even those elites engaged in the fraud don't understand the extent of evil in their actions. Our elites are moral zombies who unfortunately retain their effectiveness in everything but their ability to recognize moral consequence and evil.

But to return to humor. Most of the reaction was painfully unfunny--Ahmed's most earnest suckers are decidedly not amused; even as their condemnations resembled something like revelry. He who holds the social justice high ground always doth protest too much, and in this case the protestations continue like a week-long, drug-fueled rave.

But a great many took it as an occasion to demonstrate their comedic chops. Twitter (in the word of one true-believer oblivious to the irony) "exploded" with amateur comedians inadvertently demonstrating that pc not only, as Steve Sailer likes to say, makes you stupid, it makes you unfunny. Everywhere they were posing with clocks, as if to demonstrate the stupidity and (more irony) too-quick presumption of Those Awful Texas Rednecks. But the joke's actually on them:

"It's funny because it's so true, you see!"

Of course the joke doesn't work because Ahmed's clock looked nothing like a clock. Everywhere people were missing the joke, posting photos of digital alarm clocks--just like the one Ahmed dismantled and put in a suitcase to resemble a bomb--and even traditional wall clocks, cracking themselves up at how anyone could be so blinded by paranoid bigotry as to mistake...well, there the joke fails, of course, but no one seems to notice. Context is obliterated in the desperate rush to signal virtue. So on it goes, despite the increasingly obvious nature of Ahmed's con. Humor, like logic and empiricism, like decency, will just have to give way to Diversity and Progress.