Monthly Archives: July 2020

How Dumb Are Liberals?

It’s not an idle question. Back in the Cold War, prudent Kremlinologists had to take the marked decline in the Politburo’s collective intelligence very seriously indeed (the old adage “never attribute to malice what is adequately explained by stupidity” is terrifying when the potentially malicious dumbasses have nuclear missiles).

There were two main reasons for the decline, both structural. The first, of course, is Communism itself. A totally ideologized society is a society totally committed to make-believe. You could fill a good-sized book listing the catastrophes make-believe caused the USSR. Just to take the most obvious: Hitler did everything but send the Goodyear Blimp over Moscow, towing a banner announcing his invasion plans. But since everyone who accurately reported the goings-on in Poland ended up in the Gulag, the Wehrmacht walked right on in.

The second has to do with the nature of totalitarian leadership. Obviously sharing power is out of the question, so every Boss who finally claws his way to the top ruthlessly purges everyone who could conceivably challenge him. The purged are replaced by yes-men and toadies, who immediately enact mini-purges of their own inside their new departments. It doesn’t take more than a few rounds of this for smarter functionaries to learn to dig themselves in very, very deep, disguising themselves in a kind of protective stupidity. A few more rounds, and “protective stupidity” drops the modifier, as anyone with anything on the ball has decamped for the safer — and, not coincidentally, very soon much more profitable — havens of technical management.

It doesn’t take long before your “leadership” is nothing but ideology-addled dimbulbs. Sound familiar?

American politics isn’t that kind of contact sport yet — soon, my Antifa pretties, soon — but one of “capitalism’s” great ironies is that it creates several different breeding grounds for the ideology-addled idiot parasites that eventually destroy it. Politics is the most obvious example, but there are lots of others. The “education” business, for instance, is little more than make-work for idiots. You’ll never get rich as a teacher, of course, but a nice middle-class salary, great bennies, a nuclear-armed union, guaranteed lifetime employment, and fucking summers off is a very sweet gig indeed. The red tape and routines and meetings, endless meetings, are infuriating to anyone with more than two brain cells to rub together, but for a certain type of person — the kind of dull, vapid, lazily malicious person who would volunteer to be a Block Warden in the USSR — it’s heaven.

Indeed, it’s not going too far to say that these types of institutions are designed to chase off anyone brighter, more honest, or more hardworking than the average member. If you haven’t had any experience with teachers or school boards lately (you lucky bastards), think back to your last encounter with Human Resources, or your neighborhood’s Homeowners’ Association. The only person who can stand to work for HR or be part of the HOA is…. well, is the kind of person who works in HR or is part of the HOA — dull, vapid, lazily malicious busybodies. They’re as lazy as they are dumb, as dumb as they are malicious. The key to dealing with them, like the Sovietologist’s key to predicting the Politburo, is figuring out which of their lovely personality traits is likely to come to the fore in a given situation.

And so, the Democrats. They’re fanatical, stupid, and arrogant, in about equal proportions. How are they going to break?

Consider the traditional Presidential “debates.” Any sane person knows that letting Biden anywhere near a hot mic is a disaster. The sane person, knowing that the Democrats can do whatever the fuck they want with the eager cooperation of both the Media and their putative “opponents” in the GOP, assumes they’re just going to cancel the debates — because COVID, or because fuck you, that’s why. It doesn’t matter what their stated rationale is — see “can do whatever the fuck they want, with the eager cooperation of the Media and Republican Party,” above. Yes, Biden is fine. No, you can’t see him. Now shut up and do as we say. Works for COVID and Global Warming, don’t it?

A sane person would do that. But the question is, what would a Democrat do?

It’s quite possible they’re dumb enough to put Grandpa Sneakyfingers, as the wonderful Ace of Spades slur has it, on the stage. No, really: Even being as generous as possible, even ruthlessly excluding, insofar as humanly possible, my own biases, there are way too many examples for me to conclude anything other than: There are lots of profoundly stupid people in high places in the Democratic Party. Over and above what you’d expect in an apparat-type organization, I mean, and — see above — that’s pretty much everybody.

There’s also, like in the Soviet Union, the apparatchik effect. They’re not outright Communists, our Liberals, but their total dominance of Media and “education” functions very much like the apparat did in the Soviet Union. Check it out:

Members of the apparat (apparatchiks or apparatchiki) were frequently transferred between different areas of responsibility, usually with little or no actual training for their new areas of responsibility. Thus, the term apparatchik, or “agent of the apparatus” was usually the best possible description of the person’s profession and occupation.

“Actual training for their new areas of responsibility” is for rubes and poor people. All Liberals are Universal Geniuses, of course, Experts Without Portfolio who instantly and effortlessly master any discipline they choose — see e.g. all the new-minted constitutional law scholars of February, who took less than 24 hours to become PhD-level epidemiologists in March, and who are now experts on urban policing. But the kind of Liberals who work on political campaigns are super-extra-mega Universal Geniuses — just ask ’em!!  Since the Media insists that ol’ Creepy Joe is fine, just fine — never better!! — and since Twitter is the only thing that’s real, ol’ Creepy Joe really is fine. Everyone they know thinks so, and everyone they know is the smartest person in the world (except for them), so….

Thanks to the apparatchik effect, ignorance slides effortlessly into arrogance, and back again. But then there’s just plain ol’ straight-up hubris to consider. Here again, giving them the benefit of all possible doubt, and putting aside, as far as humanly possible, my own biases, I have no choice but to conclude: Lots of Liberals are just fucking with us right now. Fauci and Birx want us to wear fucking goggles when we leave the house, for fuck’s sake. They take obvious, malicious joy in violating their own stupid rules in full public view.

They ban this, cancel that, mandate the other thing, all on a whim — they’re just daring us to punch back. I wouldn’t put it past them, at all, to stick doddering ol’ Sundown Joe up on stage, to slobber and meander and drift off to sleep at the podium, just because they can. Because fuck you, that’s why. It’s no more of an insult, really, then running the senile old bastard in the first place.

Take it out as far as you want. That they’re going to try to steal the election goes without saying, even without the mail-in ballot idiocy. It’s easy enough to do — see every election in Chicago, say, 1833-present. Your normal, sane, reasonable electoral criminal would only falsify enough ballots to tip a close election their way. But again, see every election in Chicago, 1833-present. They have dead people, pets, and dead people’s dead pets voting, every single year. Every single year, districts go 100% for one candidate, often with more votes than there are registered voters. Whether you want to call it stupidity, arrogance, or whatever combination of the two, I would not be at all surprised to see them going for a 50-state sweep. Frogs and scorpions, baby — they can do no other.

The reason this matters is: Forewarned is forearmed. Like Cold War Kremlinologists, our very survival’s at stake in figuring out what they’re likely to do. Pay attention. (Plus, it’ll be fun).



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Excess Labor

Back when historians actually cared about the behavior of real people, they looked at big-picture stuff like “labor mobility.” Ever wonder why all that cool shit Archimedes invented never went anywhere? The Romans had a primitive steam turbine. Why did it remain a clever party trick? Romans were fabulous engineers — these are the guys, you’ll recall, who just built a harbor in a convenient spot when they couldn’t find a good enough natural one. Surely their eminently practical brains could spot some use for these gizmos….?

The thing is — as old-school historians would tell you if any were still alive — technology is all about saving labor. Physical labor, mental labor, same deal. Consider the abacus, for instance. It’s a childishly simple device — it’s literally a child’s toy now — but think about actually doing math with it, when the only alternative is scratch paper. How much time do you save, not having to jot things down (remember where you put the jottings, etc.)?

I’m sure you see where this is going. The Romans did NOT lack for labor. They had, in fact, the exact opposite problem: Far, far too much labor. It’s almost a cliche to say that a particular group in the ancient world didn’t qualify as a “civilization” until they started putting up as ginormous a monument as they could figure out. They raised monuments for lots of reasons, of course, but not least among them was the excess-labor problem. What else are you supposed to do with the tribe you just conquered? Unless you want to wipe them out, to the last old man, woman, and child, slavery is the only humane solution.

If that’s true, then the opposite should also hold — technological innovation starts with a labor shortage. Survey says… yep. There’s a reason the Scientific Revolution dates to the Renaissance: The massive labor shortage following the Black Death. That this is also the start of the great age of exploration is also no accident. While the labor (over-)supply was fairly constant in the ancient world, once technological innovation really got going, the labor-supply pendulum started swinging wildly. The under-supply after the Black Death led to over-supply once technological work-arounds were discovered; that over-supply was exported to the colonies, which were grossly under-supplied, etc.

In short: If you want to know what kind of society you’re going to have, look at labor mobility.

This is not to say that slavery is the only answer. There are lots of ways to absorb excess labor. Ever gone shopping in the Third World? There’s one guy who greets you at the door. Another guy follows you around the store, helpfully suggesting items to buy. A third guy rings up your purchases, which are packed up by a fourth guy, and a fifth guy carries them out (or arranges delivery by a sixth guy). And none of those guys are actually the shopkeeper. They’re all his cousins and whatnot, fresh from the sticks, and all of them are working four jobs with four other uncles at different places in the city.

Nor is it just a Third World thing. Basic College Girls love that Downton Abbey show, so I’d use that to illustrate the point if BCGs were capable of comprehending metaphors. George Orwell wrote eloquently about growing up on the very ragged edge of “respectability” at the turn of the century. He knew all about servants, he said, and the elaborate codes of conduct in dealing with them, even though his family could afford only one part-time helper. Your real toffs, of course, had battalions of servants to do every conceivable job for them. What else is that, old bean, but an elegant solution to labor oversupply?

Note also, since I’m giving you very basic Marxist history here, that we’ve just discovered the foundations of Feminism. Though Karl Marx was — of course — a total asshole to both his wife and his domestic help (of course he had “help;” the tradition of using and abusing servants while bemoaning the plight of the proletariat comes straight from the Master himself), he realized that his theories had a hard time accounting for the very real economic effects of domestic labor. Hence Engels’s The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the Statewhich proves that even lemon-faced termagants with three degrees and six cats pulling down $100K per year shrieking about Feminism are MOPEs. You can cut the labor supply in half by shackling single gals to the Kinder, Küche, Kirche treadmill.

At this point, old-school historians would point out that since the purpose of history is to connect stuff to other stuff, it’s obvious that Current Year America has a serious labor oversupply problem, and that none of the old-school solutions seem to be on the cards. Wuhan Flu has proven that a great deal of our “jobs” are nothing but make-work. What are we going to do, re-institute slavery? Get back to “the angel in the house” somehow, with our sub-replacement fertility rate? Mass human sacrifice? (Hey, it worked for the Aztecs, and if you told the Karens of the world it’d prevent COVID…). Even bringing back the Downton Abbey model is ludicrous, though I for one would love it if we all started suggesting that to Leftists — “The best thing for you to do to make sure Black Lives Matter is to give Black people the keys to your house and car. I’m sure Supercalufragalisticexpealadocious and he homeboys will make truly excellent butlers and footmen.”

There’s more to life than work, of course, but since all this stuff is just Marxism 101, it’s worth acknowledging that Marx was right about the fundamental problem of our age: Alienation. We’re so alienated from the products of our labor, as Marxists would put it, that “labor” is itself an all-but-meaningless concept. You might keep the masses tranquil, for a time, with bread and circuses… but find me a time when bread and circuses worked as a long-term solution. And by “long term” I mean “didn’t end in massive bloodshed within a few decades, max.” Go ahead, I’ll wait.

There used to be a fundamental dignity to an honest day’s labor, even — make that especially — the “labor” of raising children in your home. Bringing that back would solve a great many of our problems.


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If you’ll indulge me for a moment: “Identity,” variously defined, has been one of humanity’s most vexing problems from the get-go.

Is the world we perceive, the world as it actually is? How reliable are our perceptions? For that matter, how reliable is the perceiver? If we can’t trust our senses when it comes to external objects — and we all know how shaky our senses can be — then how can we trust them when they report to “us” (whatever that is) on our internal states? Ever had what the docs call “referred pain“? The pain, at least, is real, though it doesn’t necessarily hurt at the site of the injury. Ever felt mad when what you really are is scared? Nothing, it seems, is reliable. Nothing is stable.

I’m not qualified to take you on a tour of the history of epistemology, but please, bear with me, there’s a point coming. Whatever the world really is, and whatever we really are, human social life is impossible without the consensus that our senses are reliable enough, and our own identities persistent enough, to keep the peace.* The law “comprehends,” as I think the legal term d’art is, the fact that our senses aren’t always reliable. If you kill the knife-wielding maniac in self-defense, it doesn’t matter, legally speaking, that the maniac’s “knife” was really a stage prop. You had every reason to believe he intended you grievous bodily harm, and had the ability to carry it out. In a sane world, no jury would convict you.

Moreover, the law also comprehends the fact that our senses can be completely deranged. Maybe the knife-wielding maniac was trying to kill you because he had a psychotic break, and he really, truly believed you were the Devil, come to steal his soul. In those circumstances, no one would be at fault — the maniac can’t be held legally liable for his assault on you, because he’s insane; you can’t be held legally liable for shooting him, because self-defense. Everyone involved made a series of snap judgments that involve all kinds of tricky epistemological concepts. The jury, of course, is making more considered judgments, but they’re still dealing with the same deep underlying philosophical issues…

…or, you know, not. Not even the sleaziest defense attorney in history would think to call a philosophy professor to the stand, to befuddle the jury with a lecture on “the problem of other minds.” There are two words in the phrase “common sense,” and both of them are crucial. “Common” means “accessible to every normal person.” “Sense” means something like “the assumption that our senses report accurate information about a real physical world in a systematic way.” Whether or not there really are “other minds,” whether or not there’s really a “phenomenal” world out there or just a “noumenal” one, etc., doesn’t matter. We might actually be brains in a jar, a la The Matrix, but we social life is impossible without the common sense that we are real beings in a real world whose minds all function basically the same way most of the time.

The problem is: Modern life calls all that into question. And I don’t mean in some gassy Frog bullshit Postmodern way, either, a la Baudrillard. I mean the stuff of everyday experience.

Consider the Basic College Girl. By the time I finally pulled the plug on my academic career, I was “teaching” “students” who had no real concept of a test. Put simply but not at all unfairly, the infamous No Child Left Behind legislation of 2002 mandated that henceforth, all children in America shall be above average. Seriously. The notion of “adequate yearly progress” means that more children must pass The Test each year, and since The Test supposedly represents minimum competence, the number of “competent” students, like the GDP in a communist economy, must constantly grow.

Commissars being what they are, and parents being what they are, pretty soon ALL “grades” worked like that. It’s pass/fail, all or nothing. If it’s not an A, it’s an F. And, of course, conversely — if it’s not an abject failure, then it’s perfect.

See what I mean? Let’s leave aside, for the moment, the very real problem of professors not knowing how to grade papers. Even if I could give a student a 462 bullet point checklist** for turning that C- into a B+, it wouldn’t matter. From the BCG’s perspective, the checklist is a category error. For her, as we’ve seen, it’s binary — total perfection or abject failure. I might as well try telling her “this is a decent start, but it needs a lot of work” in Tagalog for all the good it’ll do.

She has grown up in a world where the Powers That Be let you re-take “tests” until you get the grade you want, so long as each attempt “shows improvement.” I’m dead serious. It’s so common that I had to put it in my syllabus: Exams in this course are one-shot deals.

Think about that for a second. For me, the professor, an A paper is one that shows not just mastery of the material, but real thought — a student using the information she’s learned in class to explore new (to her, at least) ideas and draw new (ditto) conclusions. To her, an A paper is just a series of hoops to jump through — how many times do I have to resubmit this, “showing improvement,” before this fucking jerk finally just gives me my fucking A? The one I deserved the first time?

Flip all the way back to that “identity” stuff at the top of the column. See what I mean about everything losing coherence? I, the professor, approach my subject as a body of knowledge: a set of agreed-upon facts; a set of universally-valid methods; the combination of which is, by definition, self-correcting — the agreed-upon facts are agreed upon because they were discovered by the universally valid methods. To the “student,” though, my subject is just marks on a Scantron, or lines in a blue book — what words do I have to write down, in what order, to pass The Test?

I don’t even think I’m joking when I say I could’ve gotten Basic College Girls to turn in “essays” about how Adolf Hitler taught Michael Jackson to moonwalk at Barney the Dinosaur’s bar mitzvah. I stopped making jokes in class the first time I got a midterm essay arguing that Fabius Maximus was on Team Edward, but Hannibal was on Team Jacob. By the end of my run, I was just reading from my own powerpoints like the worst caricature of a burnt-out professor, because I knew everyone was simply recording what I said on their iPhones… after which they’d use the voice-to-text feature to spit it back at me, verbatim, on the “exam.”

For the Basic College Girl, then, what’s real is what gets a reaction. I’ve written many times about how they’d lie straight to your face, for any reason or no reason at all (that I could figure out). I mean, why not? Similarly, why not accuse someone of making “problematic statements,” or sexual assault, or anything else, if it gets you what you want?

Did it really happen? See above: The very idea of something “really happening” out there in some vague “real world” is a category error. There are no “facts,” only statements written in blue books. Statements in blue books aren’t “true,” or “false;” they’re only “effective” or “ineffective.” The effective words in the effective order gets the desired reaction. And if you don’t get the desired reaction the first time, try different words in a different order.  Lather, rinse, repeat, until you get what you want.

Take it out a step further. If that’s their world, then what, ultimately, are they? Most of us have never spent a second noodling over questions of epistemology and ontology, but we — meaning, those of us born before about 1980 — have a “common sense” understanding of the world. We are real entities operating in a real world, interacting with other people who, though often mysterious, are nonetheless as real as we are. And because they’re as real as we are, we understand, at least intuitively, that getting them to do what we want is much easier if we do what they want. We might not have a pat answer to the famous “problem of other minds,” but we’re able to manipulate (in the purely mechanical sense) “other minds” all the time. We exist, and we know we exist, only because they exist.

I’m terrifyingly sure that, in some very real way, we don’t exist to the BCG. She doesn’t see me, the professor, as a person. I’m just a hoop to jump through, no different, really, than filling in the blanks on the college admission form. Put down the effective words in the effective order to get an A, and then, poof! “I,” the professor, vanish in a puff of irrelevance.

The old joke — “old” here meaning “relevant to those born before c.1980” — is that there are certain comely coeds who will do anything to pass the class. It’s not a joke anymore, though not in the way you oldsters are thinking. In all my years of teaching, I never had a student even hint at trading so much as a dollar, let alone anything else, for a certain grade. But here’s the truly terrifying part: I’m certain they would’ve done it. I’m quite sure I could’ve gotten more than one student to do any damn thing I wanted, had I come right out and said it: “Do ___, and I’ll give you an A.” The BCG, of both sexes and all however-many genders, is brutally instrumentalist in all things.

The only reason she never suggested it to me is: It never occurred to her. If I’d said “give me a hundred bucks and I’ll give you an A,” she’d have understood immediately. Would’ve been relieved, in fact — this asshole finally just told me what to write in the blue book! But figuring out that $100 (or whatever) might tempt me would mean regarding me as a real person, with real wants and needs and desires. It doesn’t compute.

This, more than anything else, explains SJWs. What’s real is what gets a reaction. Getting a reaction is the only way they know they’re real. It’s the endpoint of Postmodernism, the terminal stage of the disease. If they can be fixed, the only way to do it is by bringing back personal identity, which starts by bringing back sincerity.



*This is the fons et origo, as philosophy types say, of the Left’s famous “____ is just a social construction” mantra. A simple statement like “John stole the bread to feed his hungry children” is hellaciously “problematic,” from a philosophical point of view. Pretty much every single word in that sentence can be — and, critically, has been — subjected to withering scrutiny by very powerful intellects. But for human life to exist, we have to have a more-or-less consistent, stable, common-sense notion of what all those terms mean. But… what if we’re wrong?

** A little something for the old-skool Players out there.

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Some thoughts inspired by the rise and fall of Professional Wrestling, via this comment at Z Man’s.

As [smart] fans [who were in on the con, thanks to the then-new Internet] grew in number and expressed their knowledge by bringing signs to shows that referenced backstage events, the creative minds at WCW decided to give great consideration to smart marks when booking their shows. Fooling the marks became a priority. What resulted was a steady stream of swerves and plot twists that defied simple logic. Unfortunately, they greatly overestimated the number of smart fans and they wound up turning off a massive amount of casual fans. In the space of two years they went from a multi-million dollar profit to a multi-million dollar loss and then quickly went out of business.

Now, you could write what I know about rasslin’ on recipe card and still have room for the recipe, so take all this with a grain of salt. But there seems to be a political, and organizational, lesson here for those who want to find it.

When I say “everyone has always known, on some level, that pro wrestling is fake,” I want y’all to bear in mind that I grew up in the South. I know from rednecks. Rasslin’ might have its fans in the Northern states, but it’s a redneck thing through and through. And trust me: Nobody, I mean nobody, thinks “The Undertaker” is really a ” macabre entity who…held links to the supernatural.” Though they’d never be caught dead at anything so faggy as the theater, they know full well that’s what rasslin’ is: Theater, performance art.

Which leaves the brain trust behind pro wrestling with a very tough job. The commenter’s point is, the people who make the loudest noises quite often aren’t the biggest fans. For instance, “Sports Guy” Bill Simmons used to write about Wrestlemania all the time (google “‘bill simmons’ wrestlemania”). Simmons was one of the first and best of the “new new media” people; he was doing the “sperg out and whine and over-share like a jilted 16 year old girl” Twitter thing years before Twitter was a gleam in the CIA’s eye. He had, and has, a huge audience. Yuuuge. I guarantee you the Powers That Be in pro wrestling read his column.

Simmons knows it’s fake. His readers all know it’s fake. They openly declare, all the time, that they love it because it’s fake. Like everyone who went to college in the Clinton Years*, they caught a morbid case of Postmodernism. And that’s Postmodernism’s genius: It relieves you of the aesthetic burdens of your social class. College-educated people shouldn’t enjoy wrestling, or rap music, or chop-socky movies, or what have you. Before Postmodernism, you had to either admit to “guilty pleasures” — you’d buy your Sugar Hill Gang tapes the way your seedy uncle bought Playboy, wrapped in a brown paper bag — or you had to go to grad school for many years to become a PhD level “cultural critic.” Postmodernism, though, lets you enjoy redneck ghetto shit ironically. Hence, Simmons and his six million social media followers spooging over rasslin’, or Eminem, or Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, or pretty much everything else that only existed in the late 1990s – early 2000s because middle-class, middle-aged White people willed it into existence.

The question then becomes: Who actually buys this shit, as opposed to squee-ing over it online?

Again, I don’t know, but I strongly suspect that pretty much all entertainment these days works like the music biz. Nobody buys music anymore. Certainly nobody buys albums anymore. It’s almost a mirror image of the 1970s. Back then, artists went on tour to support their albums, because album sales made most of their money. These days, artists drop an “album” as an excuse to go tour… if they even bother touring (the bigger acts, your Taylor Swifts and whatnot, do Vegas “residencies” like old-time lounge singers). The money is in the show.

Did Simmons ever attend a Wrestlemania event in person? Did his fans?

I strongly doubt it, because see above: Middle-class people shouldn’t enjoy these things, and they know it. One can enjoy them “ironically” in one’s own home (pay-per-view, in Wrestlemania’s case), or among a select group of friends, or as part of one’s online persona. But actually going to the show would involve rubbing elbows with the kind of people who don’t enjoy the show ironically. Bubba from Meth Acres Trailer Park doesn’t really believe The Undertaker is some kind of demonic revenant… but he nonetheless takes The Undertaker’s stage persona very seriously indeed.

[If it helps, think of some Bill Simmons type attending, say, Hamilton on Broadway, making snarky comments the whole time. “Oh yeah, that guy could totally kick Aaron Burr’s ass. Right. He’s 5’2″ in platforms. Eye roll. And I’m sure he’d totally bust out in song right there.” He wouldn’t dare, though it’s all but certain that nobody in the crowd has ever even seen a fistfight. Think he’s going to do it at a WCW show, where lots of the crowd have started fistfights?]

As the original commenter said, the WWF (at the time) badly misjudged their core audience, then, by paying attention to the guys with the biggest microphone. The tiny fraction of so-called “smart marks” (in the original poster’s terminology) would’ve kept watching regardless. They were perfectly willing to be “marks,” so long as — indeed, because — it allowed them to be “smart.” The few who actually attended the shows would’ve kept themselves in check… or the not-so-“smart” marks would’ve done it for them. Instead, the rasslin’ brain trust decided to pander to the “smart marks” and pissed off the not-so-“smart” ones, the ones for whom “wrestling fan” wasn’t an ironic pose, but a deadly serious identity.

Postmodernism, then, has a very steep price. Irony, late 20th century-style, is parasitic on a stable identity. You can only enjoy rasslin’, rap music, chop socky pictures, whatever, ironically if you know deep down you’re not supposed to. By the turn of the century, Postmodern irony had been pushed as far as it would go. The Matrix (1999) had to go all-in on pseudo-philosophy; it only worked because enough people back then had heard of Descartes’ demon, in one form or another, to recognize it. What if we’re all, like, just a brain in a jar, dude? Nudge nudge wink wink. And oh, I know kung fu.

Further examples: Look at all the remakes — not reboots — of Schwarzenegger films since the turn of the century. They have to lard on all kinds of extraneous bullshit to disguise the fact that they’re recycled Arnold movies. There have been upteen Predator movies, for instance… that all focus on the alien (but it’s the humans — specifically, Arnold — who’s the real predator. Dude. Mind….blown). I can’t be the only one who noticed that Liam Neeson’s Taken franchise is just Commando with a different accent.. can I? Or that the Bourne Identity films look an awful lot like Total Recall, minus Mars and the three boobs? Then look at all the actual attempted reboots: Conan the BarbarianTotal Recall itself. And the whatever-you-call-thems that are both remakes and reboots of Schwarzenegger movies, where Schwarzenegger is still in them but isn’t the star: the latest Terminator movies, for instance, not to mention also-rans like The Expendables franchise.

The reason you can’t make an “Arnold movie” without Arnold Schwarzenegger, the man, in a starring role isn’t because he’s such an indispensable thespian. It’s because Schwarzenegger doesn’t have an ironic bone in his body. Even when he’s doing comedy (and I think we can all admit, now that he’s in his 70s and effectively long retired, that he could be quite funny), he’s deadly serious. No matter how ludicrous the situation, he’s always 100% in it. No scriptwriter in the 1980s ever felt it necessary to explain how this enormous Austrian bodybuilder ended up being a colonel in the US Special Forces, or a small-town sheriff in Bumfuck, Idaho, or a New York cop, or a CIA agent, or whatever else.** He just went with it, and because he did, we did.

In other words, buying a ticket to a Schwarzenegger flick was — like attending a rasslin’ show — an agreement to step outside of ourselves for two hours. We know The Undertaker isn’t a vampire (or whatever), just like we know there’s no possible sequence of events that ever could’ve happened in the real world that would end with an Austrian bodybuilder as a mattress salesman in Minneapolis. So why bother trying to “explain” it? We all agreed, when we bought the ticket, to put “the real world” aside and enter another. In this world, the spectacle’s world, there are vampires who can body slam and bodybuilders who save the world from Satan.

Those are the givens. It doesn’t matter how ludicrous they are, so long as you don’t break your own rules.

Note that the rules can be broken from either side, the spectacle’s or the audience’s. Movies these days are most often guilty of the former, while rasslin’ bankrupted itself doing the latter. The last Star Wars movie I saw, for instance, was the first one with Girl Luke. It broke its own in-universe rules by having Girl Luke do everything Luke did, minus the training and effort and self doubt. She was just instantly awesome at everything, because grrrl power, and now that franchise is in the process of bankrupting (oh God, let it be so, and soon!) the entire Disney empire. Rasslin’ first tried to fool the “smart marks,” then went the nudge-nudge wink-wink route — both fatal to the suspension of disbelief for the majority of fans, who were still operating under the old contract.

Under the old contract, “wrestling fan,” like “Star Wars fan” or “Schwarzenegger movie fan” or what have you was a temporary identity. You went to the spectacle to put your real self aside for a few hours. You buy the ticket, and cease being Joe Schmoe the mechanic or the plumber or the customer service rep or the shmuck who still lives at home because he just can’t catch a break. Instead you’re transported to a galaxy far, far away, where bodybuilders are time-traveling robots and men in spandex come back from the dead to body slam their rivals.

For that kind of person, breaking the fourth wall, as the lit-crit types call it, is a slap in the face. Ha ha, fuck you, you loser! You don’t get to enjoy a few hours in a galaxy far, far away from your normal life, because we’ll be constantly reminding you that all of this is fake fake fake fake fake! You can watch the body slams and light saber fights, but every time you’re just starting to get into it and forgetting yourself, we’re gonna pop back up with an in-your-face aside! You’re a loser, and the very fact that you’re here watching this proves you’re a waste of oxygen! Take that!

In other words, loser is the fixed identity on which Postmodern entertainment is parasitic. This is just aces for the dorks-with-big-microphones who write the Tweets, since nudge-nudge wink-winking each other about what losers those other fans are is what keeps them, the Postmodern ironists, from feeling like losers themselves. But see above, with wrestling. Or Star Wars, or now sportsball, or pretty much anything else. The Postmodern ironists don’t buy tickets. They don’t go to the show in person, because they know that bringing their Postmodern ironic act into the theater would likely end with them getting their asses kicked.

Because they themselves are losers who live on Twitter, the Powers That Be have been convinced by the Postmodern irony crowd that the entertainments they’re ruining will continue to exist — indeed, will be better — by pandering exclusively to the Postmodern Irony crowd. Everything’s overtly fake and getting worse. NBA goons are wearing “social justice” shit on the backs of their jerseys. The Houston Astros won a World Series by stealing their opponents’ signs, and nothing happened to them — and, more tellingly, nothing happened to the other clubs also credibly accused of stealing signs (but the Astros went to batting practice in “Black Lives Matter” t-shirts, so all is forgiven). College football is going to conference-only play, if indeed they end up playing in the fall at all, so whatever cachet the various “bowl games” had is now gone — they’ll simply anoint whichever teams have the biggest tv revenue streams the “conference champs” and have them play. The NFL, of course, is a cesspit. How many times have the Patriots been caught stealing signs now?

At this point, I truly would not be surprised if someone goes full Kim Jong Un for Colin Kaepernick whenever some team finally signs him — whenever he’s on the field, the defense will simply shuffle their feet in place while he scores at will, because social justice. Might as well. Any illusion that this is about anything so prole as “fair competition” went the way of the dodo long ago.

One could go very far, very far indeed, by simply bringing back sincerity.


*1988-2001, for benefit of newer readers

** It’s telling that the Terminator series actually did, at one point, attempt a retcon in which they “explained” how their supposed-to-pass-for-human infiltration cyborg ended up as a gigantic bodybuilder with a ludicrous German accent. It’s a deleted scene in Rise of the Machines (I think), and the significance, for our purposes, is that they decided to cut it. T3 isn’t a very good entry in a series that has been absolutely shameless about twisting itself into pretzels, but even back then they realized that “explaining” stuff would do more harm than good. See also: All the Terminator movies after that one, where they try to explain every damn thing and lose their audience.


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The End of Frivolous Lawsuits?

That’s too much to hope for, I realize, but significantly cutting down on America’s litigiousness might be yet another unanticipated side effect of the Kung Flu.*

Word comes that the NCAA is thinking of moving its football season to spring. Several smaller conferences have already cancelled their fall football seasons. Some NFL teams, like the Packers, have already announced ludicrous “social distancing” policies that will result in, at best, 1/3-capacity crowds on gameday. It’s quite possible that the NFL will end up playing the “Black national anthem” to empty stadiums come September.**

It’s not fear of COVID driving this. It’s fear of lawsuits. Consider that the NFL has also announced their “post-game social distancing policy:”

NFL teams will be forbidden from postgame interactions within 6 feet of each other and jersey exchanges between players will be prohibited during the 2020 season, sources say.

So you can bang on a guy every play for four quarters, getting slathered in three out of four of his bodily fluids for going on three hours… but you can’t shake his hand after the game, or switch jerseys with him. That’s the kind of thing that only makes sense to lawyers — you can’t sue, say, “the Dallas Cowboys” for your case of COVID, but you can sue So-and-So, the Cowboys’ left tackle, if you come down with it. Same thing with the NCAA. You can’t sue the stadium, you can’t sue the fan in seat 42A, but you can sue the college. It’s all about where the buck lands — who’s going to be named in the tort?

It might take one of these nuisance lawsuits actually getting to court before we finally break free of this COVID nonsense, but break free we shall. Because who’s gonna win, the fan in seat 24B, or the University of Southern California? All the defense has to do is point out that there’s no possible way to establish transmission of the virus, and we all go back to “you pays your money, you takes your chances” when it comes to event attendance.

And once that happens, the ongoing mask hysteria loses its last conceivable rationale. Once it has been established that you can’t sue the grocery store for letting people without masks in, the management is going to tell Karen to stuff it, because their bottom line demands it. And the precedent can be extended in all sorts of useful ways, by deep-pocketed entities that — let’s face it — do most of their business CYA-style, working far harder to avoid pesky lawsuits than they do to deliver the goods.


*Is anyone else starting to actually kinda like this bug? I mean, the educational system is voluntarily putting itself out of business… that alone is a big win, yuuuuuge, and then there’s cord-cutting, the end of sportsball mania… provided it doesn’t start a giant war (see previous post), the Wuhan Flu might end up being one of the best things to happen to America in a long, long time.

**Which raises the fascinating philosophical conundrum: If a bunch of spoiled multi-millionaire felons kneel for the real National Anthem and no one’s there to see it, did it really happen?

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The Next Big War

In the comments below, contrariandutchman writes:

War between major powers seems unlikely as all the major powers have serious internal stability issues, major demographic problems and mostly both. China faces demographic collapse end may well fragment into another warring states period, that will rather distract from any designs against the outside world.

A strong argument. I suggest, advocatus diaboli, another interpretation: That sounds an awful lot like the start of World War I to me.

Around 1914, Britain was coping with massive changes to its Parliamentary system. H.H. Asquith, the People’s champion, “played a central role in the design and passage of major liberal legislation and a reduction of the power of the House of Lords.” Wilhelm II forced von Bismarck out in 1890 and went it alone, with predictable results. And as for the French, what Republic are they on now? Six, seven? Russian radicals shot their one competent (by Imperial Russian standards) minister, Pyotr Stolypin, in 1911, leaving Nicholas II to the mercy of Rasputin and, far worse, himself. Serious internal stability issues indeed!

Demographically the situation was little better, though in this case the problems were over the horizon, in the colonies. J.A. Hobson’s criticism of imperialism was both basically right, and hugely influential. Colonies didn’t even cover their costs of administration, and as for defense, their position was ridiculous and the expense damnable, as a wise man once said about something similar. The situation in the colonies was bound to get you into a war sooner or later… but so would decolonization, except faster.

That being the case, the bottom line for all belligerents in World War I seemed to be: Fight now, risking everything while we’re relatively weak, or fight later, when we’ve declined absolutely. The British knew their empire was a huge drain on resources, and anyway a tiny little island couldn’t possibly compete with that rising industrial giant, Germany. Germany knew she had a world-class land army, but was starved of sea access, and no amount of crash dreadnought-building would enable her to catch up to the Royal Navy. Russia had a crappy land army and no sea access, plus a recent stinging defeat staining her escutcheon. France was France, and all of them combined couldn’t match up to the rising industrial, economic, and military power of the United States.

So they fought, striking while the iron was hot.

I certainly wouldn’t put it past China to try it, whoever wins in November. If Trump, can he be sure that his generals will follow his orders to defend, say, Taiwan or Japan? If Biden, will he even know what’s happening enough to grovel to Beijing? Nor does it even have to start as a direct US-China engagement — China could wipe the floor with India any time she chooses, and there’s lots of tension with resurgent Russia in Central Asia. “Americans losing to Chinese while fighting on Russia’s behalf” would be ironic, but certainly not outside the realm of possibility.

I’d watch Japan and India. Both are real, actual countries, with at least a few grownups in their governments, and uninfected — insofar as any First World nation can be — with the SJW toxoplasma. The Japanese have been stealthily but steadily rearming here these past few years, and since their demographics are even worse they’re really going to have to kick it into overdrive here soon.

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Who Gets the Nukes?

Anyone who doesn’t have an answer — a specific, implementable answer — to that question hasn’t thought this thing through.

There have been two cases of nuclear powers voluntarily surrendering their weapons. One is South Africa, which, though we should all be thanking whatever Great Spirit we believe in it happened — can you imagine? — doesn’t really teach us anything, as “South Africa” basically ceased to exist as a nation-state shortly thereafter, “nation-state” not being a concept the African mind can grasp at the present time.

The other was the Ukraine, and look what happened to those guys.

As much as we all know the neocons were just trying to spin up another war for all the usual reasons back in 2014, they did have a single, unassailable argument in their favor — we, the United States, were legally obligated to come to Ukraine’s aid in the event of an invasion, as a condition of them surrendering their nuclear weapons. Too bad it never got to the Supreme Court — we could’ve had John Roberts declaring war for us, instead of just awarding Tulsa to the Injuns, based on treaties no one in their right mind thought the US government had any intention of honoring anyway.

The United States has a gigantic nuclear arsenal. If you don’t believe we also have shitloads of chemical and biological weapons, too, no matter what the treaties say — see above, re: Indian Country — then I’ve got a few bridges to sell you. Any “peaceful” dissolution of the United States has to deal with those realities.

“Peaceful” needing the quotation marks, of course, because the ur-premise of all the keyboard commandos is that the POCs hate us and want us dead. So… how many nukes will we be giving them when we withdraw to Whiteystan? Oh, none? And their incentive to agree to peaceful separation is….?

The best the White folks of the United States can realistically get is some kind of divided-sovereignty, Austro-Hungarian Empire-type arrangement. Anything else ends in a nuclear exchange.* Within that context, I’m happy to do anything I can to help my fellow Whites, because that’s my tribe. I’m also willing to help spread that civilization to whomever is willing to embrace it, because that’s how civilization works — the French and British had to be civilized by the Romans before they could start spreading civilization to others. History is what it is.


*and that does too, most likely, but let’s leave our friends in the People’s Liberation Army out of it for simplicity’s sake.

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Quick Take: The Upcoming School Year

One thing that’s being lost in all this nonsense is the mutiny in the Ed Biz.

I retired several years ago, but through old colleagues (and acquaintances from grad school) I’m still semi-wired in to a couple different colleges, from across the spectrum — JuCo to Big State to Small Liberal Arts College. Moreover, having worked with, and lived around, these people for so long, I know their mentality pretty well. So take this to the bank: when it comes to the Chinese Lung AIDS, y’all ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Eggheads are the Branch Covidians to end all Branch Covidians. The only thing you need to know to deduce their attitude toward the Wuhan Flu is: These people are deeply, passionately invested, with all their hearts and souls, in the idea that the Mainstream Media is in the tank for Donald Trump.

No no, stop laughing, I’m dead serious. Since these dinks don’t read anything but Harry Potter, they’re all stuck, mentally, in grad school, where they encountered a little book called Manufacturing Consent.* This book — again, stop laughing, I’m 100% serious here — argues that the American Media, being a big business itself, is beholden to its advertisers, which means, since all businesses are by definition conservative, that The Media is, like, doubly conservative, which you can totally tell, because of how rabidly anti-Progressive they are.

Seriously. Click on the link yourself if you don’t believe me. Be careful not to laugh yourself into a hernia.

From this belief, it follows that The Media, far from ramping up the hysteria about COVID, is actually seriously downplaying it, in order to help out their good buddies, Donald Trump and the plutocrats.** And since The Media is already at DEFCON 1 over Kung Flu, it stands to reason that it’s really the actual, literal apocalypse out there…

…what, you think the self-evident fact that there are no bodies rotting in the streets would cause them to rethink things? These are the persyns, you’ll recall, who make up their own pronouns because they can’t decide what gender they are today. You could stroll down the Main Street of any college town in the land, naked as a jaybird, proclaiming yourself to be irresistibly sexually attracted to furniture, and not only would the cops not arrest you, they’d escort you back to your tenure-track office in the English Department. You’d have better luck actually making sweet love to a desk drawer than you would trying to get a professor to face reality.

That being the case, there have been several faculty mutinies already at colleges across the land. They’ve told the administration in no uncertain terms that they won’t report in until the virus is eradicated and everyone is vaccinated against it, and since both of those things are plainly impossible…

And that’s just college. Universities could still hold classes, considering that 75-90% of them are taught by grad students and adjuncts anyway, but what about grade school? Take everything I just said about professors, then multiply it by the biggest, best-funded union in the history of organized labor. You think they’re gonna get back in the classroom?

Fun times ahead, y’all. Stock up on popcorn.

*Not that any of them have actually read it, of course. Actually assigning Manufacturing Consent in grad school would be like assigning fish to read up on water. If you want to know what the egghead’s mental world is like, all you have to do is read the wiki summaries of Manufacturing Consent, Orientalism, Gender Trouble, and The Wretched of the Earth. And yes, y’all, they’re all like that.

**a great band name; feel free to use it.

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Random Thoughts

The Magical Mystery Tour Continues:

It’s looking like the Dems are going to run on nostalgia this year. Here’s some Twitter moron, responding to some moronic Tweet from Cap’n Bill Kristol:

It’s sad that before Trump, both left and right got along (for the most part). Since Trump, he’s purposely driven a wedge between us that may be too deep to pull out. That’s the strategy. Divide and conquer. It wouldn’t have happen without Barr and McConnell. #indictments 8:21 AM · Jul 5, 2020

You can peruse the Ace of Spades post for a refresher in just how well “left and right got along” before Trump (hint: The Left have called every Republican since at least Nixon “literally Hitler”). But, really, what else have they got? The Dems’ only halfway honest campaign slogan would be “Make Dementia Great Again,” so they’re going to try to pitch Biden as an older, Whiter, much more cognitively impaired Barack Obama.

Makes sense. It’s what I’d do if I were in charge of Biden’s campaign. Because, of course, in one sense, it’s perfectly true — the batshit insanity of the Obama years seems, in retrospect, to be a golden age, compared to the batshit insanity of the Trump  years. They’re hoping people won’t notice that the same people are responsible in both cases. Given the American public’s goldfish-like attention span, it’s not the worst bet.

There’s even a precedent, of a sort: Richard Nixon in 1968. Nixon ran as Ike’s 3rd term in 1960, barely losing to JFK. 8 years on, and most Americans had forgotten Tricky Dick’s vice presidency — from the depths of hippy-fied insanity that was 1968, the 1950s were ancient history. Nixon could run a law-and-order campaign because he was a law-and-order type, and had the Commie-bashing credentials to prove it… if anyone felt like checking, but few did. All they knew is that Nixon promised to bust some hippie skulls, and that was enough.

The difference between then and now, of course, is that Biden was as radical then as he is now. He’s already signaled his willingness to pour gas on the flames. The Party is going to do everything in their power to shut him up, but no candidate in the mass-media age can hide out completely. Eventually they’re going to have to stick a camera in his face, and all bets are off when that happens.

Worse, he pretty much has to pick an angry Black female as his running mate. If they decide to go all-in, look for Michelle Obama to get a lot of profile here in the next month or two. Again, not the worst move — “Bring Back Barack!” even has a nice rhythm to it, a perfect chant to burn cop cars by. The problem is that the Former First Wookiee is more radical than Biden and Barack put together. The rank-and-file Left have, of course, blinded themselves to this fact, but anyone who paid attention to her back in the days knows she’s basically Angela Davis on steroids (figuratively and literally). The Media, being stupidly infatuated with all things Obama, will want her on camera 24/7… which will be as hilarious to us as it will be terrifying to Chad and Stacy Normie. Hey, speaking of…

The Numbers Game:

You could be forgiven for thinking that American society is at least 50% Black. Every piece of pop culture, every “news” story, every advertisement, everywhere — no matter what the situation, story, or product, it’s stuffed to the rafters with Blacks.

The truth is, Blacks are at most 14% of the population. Currently both presidential campaigns are doing nothing but chasing that 14%. At some point, one or the other will realize that getting 15% of the White vote outweighs getting all of the Black vote, probably by several million votes. Trump seems to vaguely realize this, while the Dems of course hate White people with an incandescent passion. That it isn’t obvious to every single observer of the political scene shows you just how powerful a weapon the Media really is.

If Trump is really some kind of political wizard, he’s doing the right thing by seemingly pandering to the Blacks four months away from the election. Joe and Moo-chelle won’t be able to help themselves — they’ll double down, even though there’s no possible way Orange Man can pander harder than they can. It’s a nice rope-a-dope strategy — take the temporary hit in his poll numbers now, get Joe and Moo to really give him both barrels, race-wise, and then pull the rug out from under them by pivoting to law-and-order — you know, the stuff that the remaining 86% of Americans actually care about.

If he’s not, though…

Speaking of Nostalgia:

Here’s dredging up Harvey Weinstein. Which is weird, unless you consider that Creepy Joe has, in addition to his very obvious dementia problem, a set of Roman hands and Russian fingers. By piling on Weinstein, the Left seems to be setting up a #TrumpToo hashtag campaign. They’re betting that they can convince people that saying “grab ’em by the pussy” is worse than their guy’s actual pussy-grabbing. I know, I know, it seems weird to me too, but see above re: the American’ public’s goldfish-like attention span. Here’s Cracked’s rather interesting explanation for why they decided to run this particular article:

1) As a reminder that Harvey Weinstein is, was, and always will be a bad human being.

2) As a reminder to believe women.

3) As a reminder that, even with all of the star power above, even with all of the terrible things that people knew Weinstein did and was doing, it still took thirty fucking years for even a modicum of the justice due to actually be served

Not “believe all women,” note — obviously Tara Reade doesn’t count. Put this together with some of the stuff floating around about Ghislane Maxwell, and it really does seem like they’re going to try to go after Trump’s pussy-grabbing again.

One is tempted to ask “What, were the Russians too busy for a third go-round?”, but recall the 2nd Law of SJW: SJWs always project. Not even the Left can consciously deny for very long the fact that Joe Biden is one deeply corrupt, deeply creepy dude who is up to his eyeballs in the kind of dirt that would make a Central Asian dictator blush. They’re projecting all their anxieties about Biden onto Trump. Remember all the psychiatrists who were quite happy to pronounce Trump mentally unfit for office, though they’d never met him? (and despite the fact that such things are grounds for dismissal from professional societies, and even loss of license)?

Yeah. Expect lots of replays of that here in the coming months. “Slow Joe doesn’t have Alzheimer’s, you have Alzheimer’s!”

Don’t bring up anything that happened after 2012, or before 1997, pander exclusively to Blacks, and respond to every new allegation with “Trump is worse, neener neener.” That’s what we’re in for, ladies and gentlemen. Won’t it be grand?

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Why Are Liberals So Certain?

An excellent question over at Morgan’s. I took a stab at an answer over there, but I think it needs fleshing out. So:

Here’s The Last Psychiatrist on the new narcissism. Worth reading in full, as almost all of his stuff is, but here’s the upshot:

Consider the narcissist who wants his wife to wear only white, high heeled pumps.  The narcissist wants this not because he himself likes white high heel pumps– which he might– but because the type of person he thinks he is would only be with the type of woman who wears white high heeled pumps.  Or, in other terms, other people would expect someone like himself to be with a woman who wears those shoes.  What he likes isn’t the relevant factor, and certainly what she likes is irrelevant.  What matters is that she (and her shoes) are accessories to him….

Narcissists typically focus on specific things as proxies for their identity.  As in the example above, that the woman might be obese or a paraplegic could be ignored if the footwear was the proxy for identity.  These proxies are also easy to describe but loaded with implication: “I’m married to a blonde.”  Saying “blonde” implies something– e.g.  she’s hot– that might not be true.  But the narcissist has so fetishized “blondeness” that it is disconnected from reality.  The connotations, not the reality, are what matters (especially if other people can’t check.)

Emphases added. It’s not a word-for-word description of liberal behavior. The clinical narcissist’s proxy — the specific fetish object around which his identity revolves — remains stable over time, whereas the liberal’s changes all the time, effortlessly, without warning, like a school of fish. But it’s in the ballpark.

Consider Morgan’s example, the Kung Flu facemask. I think it’s fair to say that liberals are obsessed with this. Moreover, it’s obvious that it is an obsession, in the clinical psychological sense — it doesn’t matter to the liberal why you have to wear a facemask, as indeed the supposed rationale changes daily. It only matters that you wear a facemask. You wearing a facemask is central to their identity as liberals, just as the narcissist’s obese, paraplegic wife wearing high-heeled pumps that went out of style 30 years ago are central to his identity in TLP’s example.

If you look at it from the perspective of the liberal’s chosen identity, a lot of their behavior makes sense. Who, exactly, is the type of guy whose wife wears white high-heeled pumps? Figure that out, and you’ve got the guy nailed. Maybe in his mind he’s James Bond. You want to know what he’ll do in a certain situation, think about what James Bond would do…

… except that’s not right, either. You have to think about, not just what James Bond would do, but what that guy thinks James Bond would do. It’s a lot tougher, requires a second “filter,” if you will — you have to get into not just Bond’s head, but the headspace of a guy who thinks he’s playing James Bond. (And maybe even into the different iterations of Bond — if the guy thinks he’s Pierce Brosnan’s Bond, and you’re basing your evaluation off Daniel Craig’s Bond, you’ll come to different conclusions, even though you’re both trying to figure out what “James Bond” would do in a certain situation)….

Fortunately, James Bond is a fictional character. That makes it a lot easier, because if you want to reverse-engineer the narcissist’s thought processes, you can use the same basic story template he’s using. Remember, the narcissist thinks he’s the star of his own movie. That’s a big help, because even though there are a lot of James Bond movies, they all have the same basic structure, in which Bond faces the same basic situations, and handles them in basically the same way. So instead of asking “what would James Bond do?” about a specific mundane situation that has never come up in the movies, it’s much easier to translate it into a movie scene. What would James Bond do if the window guy at Mickey D’s forgot to super-size his fries? Dunno; James Bond has never faced that kind of thing in the movies. If Bond ever were to go through the drive-up at McD’s, it’d be because the fry guy is actually Blofeld in disguise…

See what I mean? The question “What would James Bond do?” becomes a lot easier to process if you first figure out “What James Bond movie scene is this?”

To return to Morgan’s question, and the mask: For the Liberal, the character they’re playing is “Genius.” House MD, or maybe Mulder from the X-Files. Maybe Spock, if they’re old enough, or Commander Data, or whatever, the actual character doesn’t matter much for predictive purposes. What matters is that the character “Genius” is what they think a heroically big-brained movie character would do in a given situation. The docs in the ER think it’s just a bad flu, but Genius — in this case, House MD — knows it’s really some pathogen that hasn’t been seen since 1378. The Vancouver cops think it’s a gangland slaying, but Mulder knows it’s really the chupacabra. And, of course, Genius is right! It doesn’t matter that Scully and the Vancouver cops have seventy-seven other much more plausible theories. The mountain of data arguing against the chupacabra doesn’t matter. Hell, it doesn’t even matter that what Mulder is 100% right about this week directly contradicts something he was 100% right about last week:

What he’s right about doesn’t matter. At all. All that matters is that he’s right, every single time. And he knows it, every single time. He doesn’t express doubt. He doesn’t wonder if Scully might be right, just this once. Scully’s never right, because that’s the character, so even though her objections are logical, reasonable, and backed by shitloads of actual evidence out in the real world, she’s wrong, because she’s Skeptical Sidekick and he’s Genius, that’s the movie they’re in.

Look at it that way, and their behavior suddenly makes a lot more sense.

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