Monday, July 25, 2016

Akron, Ohio

I overshot the airport by a good ten miles and found myself at a traffic light somewhere around downtown Akron.

The expected unrest at the Republican National Convention ending the day before never developed. I was frankly disappointed. The streets had been flooded with law enforcement officers. Everywhere troopers--from everywhere--California Highway Patrol, Missouri, Indiana, Florida state troopers--in squads or moving through the crowd in threes and fours, fielding the condescending handshakes and thank-yous of the respectable crowd. And almost as many bike as foot platoons, moving, or staging for their next move, never staying put anywhere before a sergeant barked the command had them moving again in disciplined columns. Mounted police, more bicycle cops, motorcycle cops, dog teams, stray SWAT pairs in full gear, Secret Service directing traffic into and out of the arena.
 In the middle of it all the Cleveland cops in their old school uniforms, black, classic peaked hat with visor, like something out of a seventies cop movie. Buffed-up cops, with tattoos, fat, powerful-looking pot-bellied cops, big, shambling old-school cops, all of them looking just like cops. Spotters on rooftops. Everywhere cops.

Concrete barriers and heavy-duty, black, of course, framed chain-link temporary barriers separated sidewalks from street around the arena, guiding foot traffic away from closed areas that one followed at points like a mouse in a maze; I found at least one of these that simply dead-ended, forcing you to come out the way you came.

What didn't appear were the protesters in number. No procession was better than a hundred, maybe; the vast majority numbering in the dozens. Even the anarchists were determined to keep their hands to themselves, rabid but restrained.
The Black Lives Matter presence wasn't nearly black enough to inspire the intended dread.
A few, presumably, local black activists, old, tired, spoke in the square, some heartfelt but ridiculous, some just ridiculous, the more psychologically unbalanced ones more sympathetic than the stupid or cynical ones. On the final day a few rough-looking hood representatives showed up, perhaps looking for trouble but too few to manage the required quorum for chaos.

Any energy came from the young, predominately white college-age activists or the grim Latino pro-immigrant groups, humorless from message to tone, or the zealous, genuinely insane loners cruising the crowd. The common theme is performance; everyone seems to be, above all, self conscious of making a display, of being seen and heard. And the chanting, the dread, crude chanting, like a child's parody of argument, the same chants over and over, as if a gang of idiots is trying to hypnotize you.

Away from the protests in the tight streets around the arena there are all these earnest Midwestern and Mormon Republicans threading through the crowd; something different about their heavier bond structure. Curiously handsome people. And the women, with a primped and styled Fox News aesthetic, sensible but snug dresses over gym-worked waists, heels everywhere clacking along the hot sidewalks. The occasional natural beauty. Dull-eyed locals and homeless taking it all in.

And more prevalent than any the same group of extreme evangelists (no one could decide if they were Westboro Baptist Church or not), drawing a crowd from behind a cordon of cops that grew thicker by the day, taunting Black Lives Matter and the gays with equal vigor and energy. If Cleveland was one giant scrum for attention, these were the winners. A small, hardy ban armed only with its pickets, its bullhorns and its audacity, dominating attention wherever they went.

As often as not the police contingent following a procession was larger than it, sometimes comically so. A single character might even draw bodyguards; there were plenty to go around. The protesters simply did not show up in force.

The last I saw of the fire and brimstone preachers they were still droning provocations through bullhorns, most of which were doubly offensive for being true, from behind a cordon of police four deep, as the crowd--united in this at least--shouted impotently.

I drove about aimlessly the day after the convention. Into the black ghetto to the east, past dull, mostly empty looking block-style project buildings, old, verging on ruin, here and there little, trapped architectural treasures and, always it seems in these places, you find at least one old, grand church deserving of renovation, fenced off, waiting.

I went back downtown, against the flow of outbound tour buses and trucks; the press is already gone, vendors, depressing, crude, idiotic vendors, mercifully no longer calling like carnival barkers. I abandoned Cleveland and drove, for no particular reason, to Ohio City to the west. Again, through block after block of ghetto or marginal neighborhoods; here and there a gentrifying flare, maybe. I came across a Catholic Church in, I think, high-gothic style. For some reason I felt compelled to leave the camera behind. I went inside. The nave was overwhelming; ornate, high arches contained that Catholic statuary, colorful, detailed virtuosity that issues like a challenge you can't possibly meet from the vaunted arches. Of course this inspires the minimalist reaction of Protestantism, and its inevitable artistic mediocrity.

 The small dark figures of the Mestizo congregation sat silently before a bad recording of a Spanish language hymn, indifferent to me. I found myself inexplicably moved, tearing up. I determined that it would not be epiphany, or a "moment"; and it wasn't, because awareness of the moment instantly destroys the integrity of the moment; something like Heisenberg's uncertainty principle is at work. Never being free of the self-consciousness, of the sense of being watched, of giving a performance...moments of revelation are no longer possible. I think this standing in a brilliant work of art the design of which is to make me aware, I think, not just of the presence of God, but of being seen by God. His absence here, now, is unbearable.

That was Cleveland; the revolution didn't show up. The dread was not realized. Maybe things aren't so bad after all. This, more or less, occurred to me sitting there at a traffic light, sensing without quite thinking, as one is apt to do, the weird life-randomness that finds one, say, sitting among commuters in Akron, Ohio thousands of miles from home.

It took a moment to notice, but the street we were waiting to cross was filled with a procession of cars. They threw up gang signs from behind the wheel or as they hung gleefully out the side of minivans, bobbing their heads, shouting, performing. The black ghetto was putting on an unofficial parade. Our light turned green. And they just kept coming. A few meek honks of the horn. Our light turned red, and they just kept coming. A few more honks. The intersection cycled through several times before they finished passing, cursing, taunting, laughing. Intimidation achieved, power demonstrated, message sent with admirable clarity: we can take over your town.

It was just short of terrifying. I couldn't help thinking: there my niggas at! Someone is answering the call to revolution, at least.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Cleveland, 2016











The Thin Blue Vein




She doesn't have a coherent analysis, she probably doesn't groom, but I'm in love.

Drawing a Crowd

Police tactics at the RNC



Nobody drew more consistent negative attention in Cleveland than the group of Westboro-esque extreme evangelists with their fire-and-brimstone-for-the-homos routine. Utilizing their strength in numbers, police simply cordoned off any two groups that squared off in potential conflict, often with quick-reacting platoons swooping in on bicycles, dismounting and using them as barriers.

I saw at least one spotter (or sniper) on a parking garage rooftop; perhaps they helped coordinate from their vantage, as sometimes harried police hustled from one potential flashpoint to another.

More often than not police outnumbered protesters on both sides, often comically so. Sometimes you'd see a contingent around a lone character surrounded by opponents; for the life of me I couldn't tell why this one in particular was seized upon.

See Emily Play


Emily Williams of Nashville.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Richard Spencer

I was down to my outdated handycam here, and the extreme evangelists weren't cooperating, but here's Richard Spencer interviewed at RNC, for what it's worth. I spoke to the woman and asked if she was press and she said no; I think she might have been part of a delegate contingent; I don't recall.

 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Triggered in Cleveland

I saw a few media and political celebrities this week, but felt none of the excitement of celebrity recognition until this happened. Otherwise disastrous trip redeemed.

Trigglypuff leading the parade. Suck it, Geraldo.

Pro Trump Immigrant Entrepreneur

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Alex v the Anarchists

Thanks to the reader who pointed out to me video can be easily rotated in a video editor. I also found
the first part of the encounter between Alex Jones and some young communists:

 

Seen on the Street

I was walking down the street, trying to decide if the young woman gathering her things from a sidewalk cafe table was Michelle Fields, when a man approached her from the other direction.
"Hey, Michelle Fields!" He says. She sort of acknowledges him as a minor nuisance, and he comes toward her quickly--threateningly so--and starts heckling her about the Corey Lewandowski faux-scandal.
"I won't leave a bruise on your arm! I won't leave a bruise on your arm!"
She starts yelling some version of "get the fuck away from me" and a guy I hadn't noticed before steps in between them and does the same. A few bystanders break it up, and that quickly it's over.

Holding the Floor

The most coherent speaker of the day, by my reckoning:

 

Trigglypuff Does Cleveland

Yes, that is the real, live Trigglypuff front and center.

 

Joyeux Noël

Not exactly German and British soldiers calling and unofficial Christmas truce, but I was heartened to find political opponents in Cleveland playing an impromptu game of capture the flag.

 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Open Carry Crew



My exchange with this reporter at the end here:

"I'm a reporter. Look me up."
"Who are you? I read a lot."
"I'm a reporter."

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Rambling

I doubt Barack Obama's a "secret Muslim". If he's a secret-anything it's a secret atheist. He's feigned Christianity in a longtime American tradition--and will likely be one of the last to find that a necessity, to no small part due to his own successful efforts to demographically "transform" America. I wonder if he relishes that thought.

But he's unique in having economically piggybacked a traditional political necessity, feigned Christianity, onto one of his own choice (and becoming its own tradition), feigned blackness; it's as if the Reverend Wright's church was created just for him, a safe space for him to learn to be black.
If Barack Obama is a believer in anything beyond Barack Obama, it's Blackness. And Blackness has been very, very good to Barry.
But this is all old hat.

I was thinking of the oft-quoted, and misquoted, paragraph from Obama's slick second book, The Audacity of Hope (there's the Reverend again, in the kitsch title):

Of course, not all my conversations in immigrant communities follow this easy pattern. In the wake of 9/11, my meetings with Arab and Pakistani Americans, for example, have a more urgent quality, for the stories of detentions and FBI questioning and hard stares from neighbors have shaken their sense of security and belonging. 
They have been reminded that the history of immigration in this country has a dark underbelly; they need specific assurances that their citizenship really means something, that America has learned the right lessons from the Japanese internments during World War II, and that I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.

He means he'll defend them from such as "internments"; fair enough. But reading this I think I see past the ghostwriter, past the notes, to the man on the cover, and I can't help but think the quote kind of reveals how he's he's congenitally incapable of seeing the world through any but the political lens. Barack Obama, ironically, has to be understood as being very narrow-minded.

It's all "political winds" to him, and while he makes as if standing on principle against their "shift" in an "ugly" direction, and even believes it, his political career was built on and is committed to fanning political winds; which he sees as naturally converging, from all directions, on a white core swept up in the ensuing tornado. He knows it isn't the wind at all but entirely about where you stand. As he said.
 If Obama through his signature racial justice effort Black Lives Matter has achieved anything, it's having disabused all but the most naive of us that anything in our democracy will be settled by consensus derived from appeal to objective principle. It will be won by hook and crook. Objectively speaking, I believe it's better if it's won by traditional white America and allies, and not the hip hop faction, but I no longer make appeals to objective principles regarding racial justice. It hasn't worked for my entire lifetime.

Black Lives Matter is not a travesty and crime because they've gone too far, or because they exaggerate a just cause, but because they are wrong, front to back. No one is allowed to say publicly it's not that "racism" is exaggerated, but that it's a bogus concept. Black people have done more than anyone to reveal that. As awful as that sounds to tender ears, it isn't the worst of it.

 It isn't merely that BLM is objectively wrong in its analysis and charges and outrageous in its demand; it's enough that BLM has marked out a line--in blood--identifying themselves as an entity committed to violence against white Americans as such. That's all that's needed. After that, I don't care if they're right; I don't care that they genuinely, and stupidly, believe we are committed to violence against them. We did not mark out this divide but we can't ignore it; but that's multiculturalism: many such divides, none of the majority's choosing, there to bait it into the inevitable conflict, for which it will be blamed.

But that's a peculiarly Western masochistic predilection--to appeal to our fellows on behalf of those who have a historic grievance against us. Any people with a sufficient self-preservative instinct would understand, for instance, that any validity to an historic claim to the American Southwest harbored by Mexicans is all the more reason to keep them out of there. Other groups defend themselves to themselves; whites defend themselves to God.

I honestly believe Obama and his ilk haven't the intelligence or character to see the evil. They are true believers and that explains their white-knuckle grip, somewhat, on the Narrative. Barack didn't find Jesus in that church because he wasn't looking. Did he find blackness?

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Cognitive Dissonance and Cowardice

When Lavish "Diamond" Reynolds live broadcast the death of Philando Castile some whites were puzzled by her calm demeanor in the circumstances, narrating events in a stereotypical ghetto monotone normally associated with passive aggressive customer service agents of a certain demographic. When I saw it on Twitter I thought at first it was a hoax; Reynolds comes across as a bad amateur actor. Her behavior is not normal. Anyone can see it's calculated. But no person of consequence dare say that, obviously. It looks suspiciously like Reynolds' calm is callousness and that she was quickly taking advantage of the situation. In the 'hood she would be described as One Cold Bitch. You have to admire the steely nerve it takes. I know: how dare I. Yet still.

The average white American still projects onto blacks as a group and individually his own innate sense of normalcy, produced over centuries of culture and evolution and reflected, for the time being, in the laws and customs of, for instance, the United States.

The average black American projects onto whites a cruder innate sense of value and normalcy, produced by the same processes. That's why blacks presume the worst intentions of whites regardless of good faith efforts. Much political agitation is subsuming the humiliation and frustration of living under restrictive and unnatural white norms, hence black America's continuing obsession with individual authenticity.
Anti-racism, armed with disparate impact theory, hasn't a chance. In the post civil rights environment of moral license, it can only chase black misbehavior downward and drag us to some extent along with it.

The consequences of this are now proving disastrous. Black behavior gets worse the longer it's un-moored from white norms, and one result is the daily urban body count. For those few, such as the president, capable of seeing and making the calculation, the carnage of an unrestrained black America must be an acceptable price of autonomy--perhaps they even understand its value, as a bludgeon by which whites are shamed into granting more autonomy, more accommodation of the black norms it represents.

 I appears few black leaders make this nuanced a calculation; they are either true believers or indifferent hustlers. White leaders like, well most of them, operate at a higher level of moral corruption. For the individual black American, authenticity and group autonomy are justly sources of pride, as they should be for anyone. But something's always got to give. In Obama's and Hillary's America it's--but of course--whites and all their decency, that is, White Privilege.

To accommodate black norms to achieve equality white America has been gradually conditioned to accept that which it once found revolting, collectively and individually. And it's killing us.

The problem is clearly that black America places a much lower value on life and property than white America, combined with a much higher value on group loyalty and honor.

Black Lives Matter is black America, with much help, trying establish a precedent: we can kill as many of ourselves as we want, as many of you as we want, but you can't kill one of us.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Narrative Autopilot in Antebellum America

The Orlando massacre aftermath was like something out of that satirical black comedy about the Left's embrace of Islam. You know, the one that will never be made (because Hollywood may be a whore but she's no bigot!): Isis achieves a stunning success, striking American soil in the worst attack since 9/11, and before the day is out the story is co-opted by the gay left to use against Trump and, um, the homophobia of his "Muslim ban". Or something. Anything. Also, he scurrilously took advantage of this act of Islamic terror by warning of Islamic terror and is now increasing Islamophobia, and the further threat of Islamic terror by having warned of--not that this was an act of Islamic terror; that doesn't really exist because No Real Muslim is a terrorist. And over here we have guns...

It all happened so fast the celebratory gunfire must have had to be interrupted, the poor devils standing there still with AKs raised skyward and stunned looks on their faces when the word came down: the mennuke cocksuckers have hijacked the narrative!

It's hilarious. But something sinister has happened. A frustrated ISIS got the message and let us know. Hell, everyone got the message. For the media to pay attention and direct the terror--the whole point of the violence--they should pick on the straight whites. Normal Americans are fair game now, everyone else jockeys for their place in the grievance hierarchy.

The gays have deliberately pushed the majority in front of the trolley--and not necessarily to save gays from terrorists (the gays who rule the country, more or less, aren't cramming into Latin night at a shitty disco in Miami, anyway) but to advantage themselves generally in their broader war against normality generally and Donald Trump specifically. To the extent their actions make us all less safe, they of course only serve to make gay Americans less safe. To salvage the mess of pottage that is a bad news cycle, the gay Left sold you out.

The common thread running through feminism, gay rights, multiculturalism, all of it, is betrayal.