Author Archives: Severian

The Devil’s Dictionary

We seem determined to do Gettysburg II: Electric Boogaloo sometime in the near future.  But just so you can’t say nobody warned you, I’ll make one last effort to explain to the “Democracy dies in darkness” crowd just why things are going to happen the way they are.

Since all of you Media people have been to college, you’re comfortable with academia’s bizarre lingo.  On campus, nobody means what they say, because nobody on campus uses words the normal way.  I’m not just talking about fugly jargon like “intersectionality.”  Even more-or-less everyday words mean something very different in the ivory tower.

Take “privilege.”  In the real world, a “privilege” is something tangible — like how you say “it’s an unofficial fringe benefit” when you swipe a case of pens from the office.  On campus, though, “privilege” means…. well, it’s actually really hard to tell what it means, and that’s the heart of the problem.  As near as most people can figure, it just means “something bad that other people have,” or — stranger, but more in line with how the term is actually used — “something bad that other people are.

With me?  It matters, because y’all insist on lecturing us 24/7 about the vast and ever-growing threat of “White privilege.”  To y’all, of course, this means nothing more than “Look at how virtuous we are for hating Whitey!  Come sing our praises!”… but normal people, who use words the normal way, actually start looking around for this “privilege” White folks supposedly have.  And guess what?  Not only don’t they find any, but they find the exact opposite of that — these days, a White guy would probably get twenty years in the slammer for swiping a case of pens, but a Black guy can be a violent, gun-toting, drug-slinging, repeatedly-parole-violating thug and get a five-part documentary made about him by Amazon, the largest retailer on the planet (and whose founder, not coincidentally, owns the Washington Post).

That’s bad enough, but then y’all combine it with another word you — and only you — use in this particular way: “Political.”  The way y’all use it invariably means “left-wing.”  E.g. when an aging, suddenly thunder-thighed pop tart — Taylor Swift, say — starts lining herself up to be a Very Serious Artist, y’all insist on calling her songs “political,” by which you mean “SJW boilerplate plus a drum machine.”  The problem is, out in the real world, normal people think “politics” comes in at least two varieties…

Which leads to the third misunderstanding, the one that’s guaranteed to end in bloodshed.  See, in y’all’s tiny little pea brains there’s a clear distinction between “violence” and “free speech” — free speech y’all don’t like is “violence;” violence y’all approve of is “free speech.”  This is as befuddling to normal folks as y’all’s definitions of “privilege” and “political.”  To normal people, doing your very best to put a guy in a coma by braining him with a bike lock is violence, full stop.  It doesn’t matter what either party’s personal opinions are when their interaction ends with one of them getting his skull taped back together.

But that’s not how y’all see it.  In your world, Media “people” (using the word only in its strictest biological sense), all the violence was coming from the guy who got his skull cracked — he was out there voicing opinions of which y’all disapprove.  Meanwhile, the skull-cracker had the correct opinions, so his very earnest attempts to kill someone were “free speech.”  The crackee had “privilege;” and so the skull-cracking was “political,” therefore “free speech,” therefore ok.  Better than ok, in fact, because having “privilege” means you’re a “White supremacist,” which means you deserved it.

Here is the point, Media “people,” the incandescently obvious point, in boldface, blockquoted type so you can’t possibly miss it:

To normal people, this looks like y’all are cheerleading for indiscriminate violence.

Because, you see, as far as normal people can tell, y’all think political violence is ok — because it’s not actually violence; it’s “free speech.”  Out in the real world, hospitalizing a guy is assault.  You go to jail for it.  But Antifa goons don’t go to jail for it, because — again, pay attention, this is crucial — according to y’all, it isn’t really “assault,” because it’s political.  See what I mean?  You and all your friends know that “political” means “left-wing” — right-wingers don’t have politics, only “hate” — but normal people don’t  have the secret decoder ring they issue y’all at J-school orientation.  Instead, they see a very obvious domestic terrorist walk on felony charges because he did it in the name of a political movement.

If this were a novel, everyone reading would throw it across the room at this point, because the “twist” is just so fucking obvious.  But since “ability to grok the obvious” disqualifies you from getting a Journalism degree, I’ll explain: You “people” are responsible for the mass shootings.  Yes, all of them.  Anyone who is unhinged enough to consider shooting up a WalMart in the first place surely isn’t mentally stable enough to play y’all’s silly little word games.  A person like that sees y’all defending stuff like The Hunt and concludes that the way to win your hearts is to open fire in a public place.

And hey, since we’ve gone this far in our futile quest for understanding, I’ll even give y’all the answer: Words mean what they mean.  “Free speech” means free speech, even if Donald Trump is speaking; “violence” means violence, even if it’s coming from Antifa.  Y’all won’t take this advice, of course — y’all are on the Right Side of History, after all, and “revolutionaries” have made you cream your jeans since the 1960s — but y’all could change the “climate of hate” any time you choose.  When the inevitable happens, remember: It’s all your fault.

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1913

Or, yet another great example of why you really shouldn’t discount the human factor.


If they bother to teach it at all these days, World War I is still presented as a big mystery.  You get some stuff about the Triple Entente, some other stuff about the assassination of the Archduke, maybe something about the Zimmerman Telegram.  Why any of that should’ve led to the most horrific war in human history up to that point is left unexplained.  Also left unexplored is how nobody seemed to see it coming.  World War I just kinda…. happened, kids are taught.

You can blame the usual suspects for a lot of this — the Kaiser et al are far too White and male to be worth spending time on, especially when you’ve got to devote so many weeks to Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks.  But the other reason — the far more important one for our purposes — is this: It’s a mystery to the teachers, too.

As academics who have never set foot in the real world, they take other academics’ words at face value.  And the academics of 1913 couldn’t figure it out either.  They pointed out that a general European war would cause the world’s financial system to collapse; ergo there would be no war.  Besides, they argued, even if Germany did go to war, she lacked the natural resources to sustain the fight.  And finally, they claimed, the firepower of modern infantry is just too overwhelming — given their rates of fire, two regiments equipped with machine guns would wipe each other out in less than two minutes.

Credit where it’s due: The eggheads were right about all of that.  The global financial system did collapse; Germany as constituted at the outbreak of war didn’t have the resources to keep fighting; and the initial skirmishes showed the overwhelming impact of massed firepower.  But the eggheads never learned that people are people, and since people love fighting more than anything else in the world, solutions were quickly found.

The United States, with its shiny new Federal Reserve system (created late 1913), was more than happy to step into the financial breach, just as American companies were more than happy to help Germany (and everyone else) with their armaments shortage.  And Walther Rathenau happened, as my students would write, keeping the raw materials flowing to German industry.  And faced with the overwhelming firepower of machine guns, soldiers ducked.  Then they dug, and there’s your four years of bloody trench warfare.

Even the outbreak of the war, far from being a mystery, is painfully obvious if you know the first thing about the major players.  In what historians call the Long 19th Century (1789-1914), it was taken for granted that a nation needed colonies to be a serious power.  The reasoning behind this was never too sound, and by the turn of the 20th century various smart guys had figured out that on balance colonies were more trouble than they were worth, but pretty much by definition smart guys don’t hold on to the reins of power.  Bismarck didn’t — the Berlin Conference was supposed to keep jingo knuckleheads like the Wilhelm II from starting a war over a few acres of scrub jungle, but since Wilhelm II shared his class’s raging hardon for colonial expansion, all it ended up doing was sweeping Bismarck out of office.  And as for Tsar Nicholas and his colonial adventures in the Balkans (and the Far East), one could write an entire book about that stupidity and still not cover all of it.  Throw in England’s stuffed shirt of a king, and France’s legendary inability to maintain a stable government, and tragedy was inevitable.

In short, World War 1 was a massive, indescribably bloody dick-measuring contest between a few inbred yokels.  To anyone who has met the Sons of Privilege,* or who is passingly familiar with the Peter Principle, this comes as no surprise.  Hell, Lenin saw it, and a guy with his egg head further up his own ass you’ll never find.**  All you have to do is look at the people, not the paper.

That’s where the modern political landscape gets so terrifying.  Looking at the paper from the establishment Democrats’ point of view, their course of action seems obvious.  And credit where it’s due, even Slow Joe Biden and Fauxcahontas are smart enough (or, more likely, have hired people who are smart enough) to see the obvious once it gets rubbed in their faces a few dozen times — Slow Joe is playing the above-it-all unifier, while Dances with Socialism has gone on a Hillary-esque “listening tour” for The Media’s benefit (Ace of Spades link).  Should they choose, The Media can now memory hole all the “fake Indian” stuff, and yell “racist!” at anyone who tries to dredge it back up….

…but I don’t think they’ll choose to.  The human factor always wins, and the humans (using the term in its strictest biological sense) in The Media are fed up close to bursting.  The mask is completely off “The Squad,” and The Media couldn’t be happier.  I’m sure that, in their heart of hearts, Nancy Pelosi et al don’t have a problem with BDS, or the Green New Deal, or any of the rest of it.  But flying to Israel on the taxpayer’s dime to support Palestinian terrorism just doesn’t play in Peoria, and the Establishment Dems know it.  The Media, however, do not — just look at the coverage.

I’m also quite confident that Nancy et al are even, in their heart of hearts, ok with “Antifa” shooting at cops and firebombing ICE offices.  Nancy, after all, came up in the heyday of Jim Jones’s San Francisco, so she’s no stranger to political violence.  But The Media absolutely cream themselves over “revolutionaries.”  They’ve kept this stuff under wraps so far — Nancy et al have convinced them it’ll hurt Donald Trump more than it will hurt them if they keep it bottled up — but every single person in The Media had xhzhyr first wet dream about Che Guevara.  I doubt they can keep it in their pants too much longer, especially if — as seems all but certain — “Antifa” commits some gaudy, gross atrocity in the 2020 campaign season.

Nor can we discount the human factor regarding Normals.  Every day brings a new insult — Twitter colluding with China to suppress democratic protests in Hong Kong while all-but-openly banning anyone to the right of Mao; gender-and-race-swapping comic book characters; anything and everything to throw sand in Normals’ faces.  If Trump’s victory in 2016 was The Great Fuck You, I can’t even imagine what it’ll look like in 2020, after four more years of this stuff ramped up way past 11.

It’s not looking good, but since the idiots in charge have never even thought about looking up from the paper, the whole thing is going to catch them completely unprepared.  Forget “that’s how you got Trump;” this is how you get the Somme.

 

 

 

*they’re like the Sons of Anarchy, but effete and usually gay.
** though he basically just stole the idea from Hobson, who, though a goofy love-the-worlder, was actually a pretty smart guy.
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Malicious Ignorance

Discussing the Basic College Girl’s “stupidity” with contrariandutchman (in the comments on the previous post), I agreed that “stupid” is the wrong word to describe someone like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez… but there’s not really a right one.  I eventually settled on “malicious ignorance,” and since that’s the main reason I retired — because yes, they’re ALL like that — I owe it to y’all to at least try to explain what this means.

It’s a combination of narcissism, subservience, and borderline sociopathy.  Ever been around someone with a chronic, debilitating, but non-terminal illness?  Not something like a particularly tenacious flu, which, though it feels like it lasts forever, we all know is temporary.  Nor something as serious as cancer, which forces one to confront one’s own mortality.  I mean the equivalent of “bedridden” (a word I’m surprised WordPress’s spell checker even recognizes).  Something like a major heart attack or a minor stroke, where everything you do must now be examined through the lens of your condition.  No activity, no decision, is so minor that you don’t first have to think about your illness.

With me?  No one handles that kind of thing well.  Even the most stoic person tends to get querulous; even the toughest break down if it goes on long enough.  Indeed, that’s one of the worst things about such an illness from the family’s point of view — the person who was once a pillar of strength is now a whiny old wreck who tears up if their oatmeal gets cold.

But that’s not the worst thing.  The worst is discovering that there’s a kind of person who actually kinda enjoys being sick.  They seem to take a sadistic pleasure in making you hop, but when you actually try to help them — get them out of bed, for example, rather than just fetching their tissues or picking up the remote they “dropped” — they give you an utterly convincing “poor me!” act.  You feel like the world’s champion asshole for not doing whatever they want, even though five minutes ago your own lying eyes convinced you they were a lot healthier than they let on…

If you’ve ever experienced that, you’ve more or less experienced the Basic College Girl.  She wants what she wants, and she deserves to get it, right NOW, and you’re the world’s champion asshole if you don’t give it to her.  She’ll issue her list of demands — that’s the narcissism — but if you tell her no, she’ll switch immediately to cringing subservience, and if that doesn’t work, she’ll do anything — increasingly literally — to get it.

Let me illustrate.  A few years back, I “taught” one of the most Basic College Girls I’ve ever encountered.  No BCG really groks what “extracurricular” means, but this chick took it to the next level.  She was majoring in Sorority, with a minor in Activism.  Her email auto-signature (yes, they all have those) was longer than my entire resume: President of This, Co-Chair of That, Secretary of The Other Thing.  Naturally this kid had no plans to actually attend class, let alone do any of the work.  So she simply informed me that, since the first exam was due on the Friday right before some big out-of-town event, she’d be turning it in a few days late.

When I replied that this was unacceptable, I got an email of such pathos that, as Oscar Wilde said of the death of Little Nell, you’d need a heart of stone not to laugh: She’s been working SO hard, and she just loves my class (in which she’s learning SO much), but this is SO important to her future career that she just can’t possibly….

No problem, I replied.  The due date is Friday, but nothing says you can’ turn it in early.  Thursday would be fine.  Heck, make it Wednesday!  Just give it to the department secretary — she’ll log it in, and drop it in my mailbox.

You know what happened next: Nothing.  Wednesday passed, then Thursday, then Friday.  No paper.  Snowflake wasn’t in class on Monday, of course, and just before noon the inevitable Dead Grandma Email popped into my inbox.  Fortunately for her, though, they must’ve held Grandma’s funeral at the same posh hotel in the same city as the big sorority bash, because ten seconds on social media revealed umpteen pictures of Snowflake having a ball with 5,000 of her closest girlfriends…

Bad as that is, though, that’s not the truly sociopathic part.  The truly sociopathic part was that after she got busted, she tried to complain to the Dean.  You see, I was the asshole who set the due date.  I caused her great emotional trauma by not letting her just turn the paper in whenever, which I compounded by not believing her Dead Grandma Story.  And here’s the kicker: She wasn’t petitioning the Dean for a makeup exam, or to force me to accept her paper late.  She’d never even written the damn thing.  All she was trying to do was get me in trouble with the administration.

That’s what I mean by “malicious ignorance.”  From her perspective, I was the unreasonable one.  Hell, I started as the unreasonable one, by making her take an exam in the first place.  After all, my class wasn’t in her major — it was one of those required classes universities use to fool the rubes into thinking they still teach stuff — and so there was no point in her being there anyway.  It was just a hoop for her to jump through.  My job was simply to mark the A in the gradebook, and since there’s no possible point to “class” other than getting the A marked in the gradebook, I was seventeen kinds of jerk for not just marking it down and letting her get on with the important stuff, like sorority formals.  And since I was being such a jerk, she had to try to ruin me — that’s what one does with “h8rz,” after all.

This was a few years ago, and an extreme case.  But do you think it has gotten better or worse since then?

And that, comrades, is why I’m terrified of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

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Trump’s Chances

This started out as a reply to MBlanc46, below, but I figure it’d be a good conversation-starter up here.

Most people on our side are dubious about Trump’s reelection chances.  After all, the argument goes, he wasn’t supposed to win anyway — if his opponent hadn’t been an unprecedentedly awful candidate, running a beyond-slipshod campaign, he would’ve been toast in 2016.

Worse, now that he’s in office, he’s revealed as just another lying politician.  Is a big beautiful wall currently under construction on the southern border?  No?  Then what’s the point of giving him another four years to not build it?  When you screw up your signature issue, you’re toast — ask George H.W. “read my lips, no new taxes” Bush.

Worst, the Dems will at least bother to campaign in the Midwest this time.  And as they always do, they’ll bring their illegals, their dead relatives, their pets, and their dead relatives’ dead pets to the polls with them.  Republican candidates have needed to win outside the margin of fraud since 1868, but that margin gets bigger every year.  Even Kim Jong Un would be embarrassed to win as heavily as the typical Democratic candidate does in places like Detroit.

All that is true.  However, as noted in the post below, our side certainly isn’t immune to discounting the human factor.  I’m not real optimistic myself about Trump’s chances, but I think they’re a lot better than we fear.

First, Hillary may have been an unprecedentedly awful candidate — no argument there! — but despite being older than Methuselah she’s the Democrats’ future in one key respect.  Just as she had no reason for running other than “It’s my turn to be president,” so the Democratic Party as a whole has no reason to exist anymore.  They’ve won, on every front that matters, and as much as Nancy Pelosi et al keep trying to get the band back together for one more show, it ain’t Woodstock anymore.  The current crop of stick-it-to-The-Man Democrats have themselves been The Man for so long, they got senior citizen discounts at Jeffrey Epstein’s Pedo Island resort.  The ditzy idiots in “The Squad” know this very well, even if Hillary and Nancy and Slow Joe Biden don’t.  That’s why some big-titted goof who probably still gets carded back in el barrio roams the halls of Congress like she runs the place — because she does, and she’s as tired as the rest of us at listening to drooling senile Boomers and their delusions of peace love and understanding.

Under the circumstances, Hillary’s “Avert your eyes as you vote for me, filthy peons!” campaign strategy might actually have been the best bet.  The only realistic alternative was “Fuck you, pay me!“, which, while it meshes perfectly with Her Thighness’s utterly venal soul, really belongs to the younger crowd.  Folks like, say, Pete Bootycall or “Beto” or anyone who isn’t a whiter shade of pale.  It’ll be AOC’s campaign slogan in 2024, but since they’ll need those drooling senile boomers one last time in 2020, whoever wins will have to go with “#OrangeManBad.”  It’s all they’ve got to keep the coalition of the fringes together.*

Which segues nicely into point #2.  Trump is, undoubtedly and in actual fact, just another lying politician.  If I were running the Democrats’ campaign — and I’d be happy to, guys, for a modest low-seven-figure salary, please call me — I’d hammer that nonstop.  The Fourteen Readers will recall that I offered the Dems this exact advice all the way back in 2015.  The Media could’ve schlonged Trump’s campaign any time it chose, simply by covering him like a normal politician.  They wouldn’t have to be fair — that’s a bridge too far — but simply covering Trump with no more blatant bias than they do for any other Republican candidate would’ve finished him.

But they didn’t, of course, because they’re stupid, and because they’re catastrophically stupid they volunteered to be the centerpiece of Trump’s campaign.  He all but said “A vote for me is a ‘fuck you!’ to The Media,” but for all their well-tuned ears for “dog whistles” and such, The Media never heard it… which is why screenshots of CNN anchors looking terrified started making the social media rounds even before the polls closed.

In short: If any of Mike Dukakis’s people are still around, the Democrats absolutely should give them a call.  Dukakis was a pretty terrible candidate, but at least he knew how to run a bread-and-butter, talk-about-the-issues type campaign.  The fact that the Dems would have to go back that far, though, tells you just how deep the rot goes.  Orange Man thrives on driving NPCs nuts.  He wasn’t a New York tabloid fixture because of his antics — any one of the zillion guys making a phone number on Wall Street back in the 80s had similar stories — but because of his personality.  Orange Man drives a certain type of limpwristed freak absolutely bonkers, and he takes great, sadistic pleasure in that.  Running a point-and-shriek campaign against a guy who lives to be pointed-and-shrieked at is the dumbest thing they could possibly do…

…but it’s the only thing they know how to do.  I’m sure there’s a pithy Sun Tzu quote for this situation, but you don’t have to be Napoleon to realize that charging straight up the chute at the enemy’s strongest point is a bad idea.  But since everyone involved is one of the aforesaid limpwristed freaks, they can do no other.

Which brings us to voter fraud.  Trump’s very narrow victories in key states like Michigan can’t be replicated, the black pill analysis goes, because this time the Dems will bother to “campaign there.”  Combine the base-depressing effects of Trump selling out on his signature issue with the inevitable appearance of Al Franken’s car, and you’ve got traditional blue states going blue again…

Indulge me on a trip down memory lane, won’t you?  I promise there’s a point at the end of it.

Back in college I had what should’ve been a little summer fling between my sophomore and junior years.  I was working one of those country club-type jobs that comes with a prefab social circle — nothing bonds a bunch of hungry scholarship kids together faster than scuffling for tips from rich pricks and their trophy wives and their spoiled asshole kids.  My “girlfriend” was a lot of fun, but utterly unsuitable for anything other than a fling — not only did she live several states away and go to a different college, but we were as different as two people can get.  Opposites attract, and teenage pheromones seal the deal, and we both knew it…

…until one night we all got drunk on some booze one of our friends liberated from a wedding celebration.  This buddy, drunk as only a 19 year old scholarship kid on summer break can be, sat my “girlfriend” and me down for a Very Serious Talk.  We were actually terrible for each other, he said, and if we weren’t bored and broke and horny and pretty much high all the time, we couldn’t hardly stand to be in the same room together.  If we’d been grownups, we’d have laughed it off, because of course he was right, and we knew it better than he did. But we weren’t grownups, so you know what happened next — it was True Love, and it took a semester’s worth of awkward phone calls and one very expensive trip to her ritzy private school to remind me that I never actually liked her all that much in the first place.

That’s Donald Trump, as seen from the perspective of the American electorate.  Which “fact” about yourself is easier to swallow:

  • that you got duped by a not-particularly-convincing orange con man with the world’s worst comb-over; or
  • that it’s really True Love?

Now throw in the sanctimonious drunk buddy — this is The Media — self-righteously lecturing you on how stupid you are for having anything to do with this person.  What do you think?  What do you think the average American voter thinks?  And remember, this thought experiment takes place in a vacuum — in the real world, it won’t just be The Media lecturing you.  Imagine if the Democratic nominee is, say, Elizabeth Warren.  I think I speak for a lot of Average Americans when I say I’d light myself on fire and jump off a bridge if Fauxcahontas told me it was a bad idea, because anything that walking toothache thinks is bad must be good…

I’m not optimistic, comrades, but I’m not despairing either.  We’re in a lot better shape than we think we are.  Keep your chins up, and if I’m wrong, well, you can tell me all about it when we meet in the reeducation camp.

 

 

*This assumes they’re acting rationally, of course, which with Democrats is never a safe bet.  There’s a pretty solid chance their convention in Milwaukee goes kerflooey if “The Squad” gets impatient… and Millennials are hardly known for their impulse control.  If that happens, Trump will have to roll in the tanks for real, and Shiloh II: Electric Boogaloo will be opening soon in a theater near you.
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Ignoring the Human Factor

Why is there so much bullshit in academia?

I get asked that one a lot.  “Cultural Marxism” is a sufficient answer, but there are other factors, of course.  Like social life, or lack thereof.

Grad students spend most of their time in the library, and because of the peculiar ecology of college towns, even their non-library hours are spent almost exclusively with other academics.  You have to work very, very hard to have any kind of “normal” life in a college town, in other words, so even if you’re not a goofball when you arrive, pretty soon Stockholm Syndrome kicks in and you find yourself, if not liking, then at least tolerating, experimental theater and milk made from plants.

After a few years of this, you forget what normal life is even like.  You come to understand the deep and longstanding grievances the Poststructuralist Feminist Marxists have with the Marxist Feminist Poststructuralists.  Oh, there’s scads of “diversity” on campus — all those recruiting brochures they mail to dumb parents in the ‘burbs aren’t lying — but there’s one thing you’ll never, ever find: The thought that maybe politics doesn’t matter all that much.

That’s the answer, right there.  Academic “humanities” work is mostly bullshit because most people just don’t care about politics.  To normals, if they think about “politics” at all, it’s in Schoolhouse Rock terms — some guys in Washington vote on some stuff, and that’s how a bill becomes a law.  They certainly don’t mean ideology, which is pretty much the only thing academics mean.  That a normal person could walk into the voting booth without really knowing if he’s going to pull the lever for Trump or Hillary fries an egghead’s circuits….

… and yet, as we all know, the majority of American voters do this, every single time.  There’s something profound about normal person behavior that academics just can’t — or won’t — grasp.

Which leads to stuff like this.  Some caveats: I generally enjoy this “Agnostic” guy’s posts.  His archives are well worth a trawl, as he looks at big social changes among American youngsters over decades.  But he’s also some kind of academic, and so falls into the typical academic trap of thinking only in big-idea terms.

If you didn’t click, his assertion is that the GOP is going to swap out nominees at the 2020 convention.  As the Democrats, media, academia, Hollywood, et al (hereafter, “the Democrats”) have been doing nothing but raging at Trump for the last four years, they’ll be completely disarmed.  We all know that no matter who the Dems run, he, she, or xzyhr will do nothing but chant “Orange Man Bad!” on the campaign trail… but Orange Man won’t be there, so the Republican will cruise to victory.

As Machiavellian political schemes go, that one’s a doozy.  Not only would it work on paper, but as Agnostic points out (indeed, it’s one of the key parts of his argument), everyone in the Republican Party not named “Donald Trump” would be totally on board with dropping Donald Trump as the nominee.  If they’re determined to get someone like Yeb Bush back in the saddle, that’s the quickest and surest way to do it…

But it’ll never happen, because people, especially political people, just don’t work that way.  Machiavellian schemes, after all, require Machiavellian schemers to plan and execute.  Any of those in the GOP?

As Orange Man himself has shown us, you don’t have to be some kind of multidimensional chess master to defeat the Democrats.  The Democrats are profoundly stupid.  They score more own goals than policy victories, and have done so for years.  Only profoundly stupid people would let Elizabeth Warren near a DNA lab, for instance, or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez near a smartphone.  And yet, here we are.  All you need to do to beat the Democrats is:

  • show up,
  • throw a punch, and
  • not be utterly, incandescently retarded.

Does that sound like any Republican other than Donald Trump?

But let’s be generous and assume that, like all Official Conservatives, the GOP are ready willing and able to fight against their own.  So… how do you think Donald Trump is going to take the news that he’s been sidelined?  Is he going to quietly hang up his jock and hit the showers?

See what I mean with this stuff?

Of course, it’s not confined to academia.  The more you like to chew on ideas, it seems, the likelier it is that your pet theories require people to be other than they are.  Marxism is the best example — it’d work great with a different species — but our side is far from immune (indeed Agnostic, despite his apparent belief that Bernie Sanders (yes, really) is the savior of Legacy America, is on our side).  I’ll prove it:

Since this is the Internet, everyone loves to fantasize about how World War II could’ve gone.  Alas for all those fun fantasies, the war really couldn’t have gone a whole lot differently than it did.  Leave economic, technological, even military factors aside.  The reason it went down like it did was the same reason it couldn’t have gone down very much differently: The personality of Adolf Hitler.

Hitler called the shots; everyone else, even Stalin, was just reacting to Hitler’s decisions.*  Hitler’s decisions all make sense in the light of his very odd, very distinctive personality, one that was shaped by years of trench warfare on the Western Front, plus a meteoric rise from obscurity.  He was the same guy in 1945 that he was in 1933, which was for all intents and purposes the same guy he was in 1921.  Read any competent biography.  That guy couldn’t have done anything but what he did.  Men make history, but they do not make it as they please, as Karl Marx said.  You can’t know the history without knowing the man….

… but since academics don’t know any men, all their stuff is dreck.

 

*Though I am not qualified to evaluate Suvorov‘s evidence, I am convinced that if Germany somehow didn’t attack the USSR in 1941 (e.g. the entire top Nazi brass drank some tainted schnapps and some middle-management goober ended up as the new Fuhrer), Stalin would’ve attacked Germany by 1950.  And, of course, I say this not because I’m some kind of expert on the Red Army — see above — but I’ve read up on Stalin.  His personality is as weird, distinctive, and inflexible as Hitler’s, and though the same academic historians who wonder if Stalin was really a communist would no doubt be baffled by it, launching a war on Nazi Germany (and the rest of the world) would be perfectly in character.
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They F*cking Love Science

Don’t ever not remember to forget that.  (Ace of Spades link).  The headline says it all:

Monsters, men and magic: why feminists turned to witchcraft to oppose Trump.

I’ve said before that I was something of a hippie in college.  I’ve also said that I did it mostly to get laid, and for one beautiful summer just after graduation, it all meshed together.  Her name wasn’t Sky Moonbeam Ravenhawke, but it might as well have been.  She was only a few years older than me, but already getting cougar-y (living the “all natural” lifestyle seems to really put the miles on a woman; have you noticed?), so she was ready willing and able to help me get in touch with my, ummm, “spirit essence” in all kinds of inventive ways.  I’ve never had it so good, before or since….

…. fun as that was, though, I couldn’t help but notice something weird about her and her friends.  Well, ok, pretty much everything about her and her friends was weird, but this seemed weird even by the standards of a gal who called herself Sky Moonbeam Ravenhawke: When they weren’t channeling crystals or chanting in drum circles to save the rainforest, they all were patting themselves on the back about how much they loved science.

For the benefit of younger readers: If you think Lefties Fucking Love Science(TM) now, you have no idea of the torrid affair they carried on with it back when the USSR was still a going concern.  Karl Marx, of course, pretended that his sub-Hegelian flatulence was the only truly scientific world view, and his disciples have been playing along ever since.  “The facts have a liberal bias,” you’d routinely be informed, by people who spent $200 to have their chakras cleansed by a Navajo shaman once every two months.

I can’t think of a better illustration of what I call (for lack of a better term) the Left’s grammar problem.  Lefties tend to get nouns and verbs mixed up.  “Science,” for instance.  I’m not going to go all Vox Day here and start making up words, but when normal people say “science,” we generally mean it as a verb:

  • “Science” is what scientists do; it’s shorthand for “applying the scientific method.”

This is why, when we’re presented with a startling new find from the white coat guys — that the polar ice caps have all melted, say — we ask to see the lab work.  If it’s really science, then we should be able to replicate the experiment ourselves.  Or, at the very least, you should be able to show us the satellite photos….

Which nicely highlights the Left’s notion of “science.”  To them, it’s a noun:

  • “Science” is a fixed body of knowledge; upon which “scientists” operate the way theologians work on the Bible.

What “scientists” do in the Left’s world, then, is what normal people call “hermeneutics.” This is why the bizarre phrase “the science is settled!” makes sense to Leftists.  You don’t get to see God’s lab work, after all, and you’re not allowed to make up new Scriptures.  To them, an ordinary person challenging a “scientist” on a point of “science” is like a layman challenging the Pope on a point of theology.

Right and Left really do communicate in different “frames,” as the very very leftwing George Lakoff would have it.

According to him people view the world through the lens of their metaphors, which he thinks provide them with the framework of their thought. Since the 1980s, liberals have allowed conservative metaphors to take over their own metaphoric framework, so that all discussions or arguments about social policy are carried out on conservative terms. Liberals waste their time and effort in arguing from the evidence (conservatives, of course, can have no evidence); they should instead be working to get conservatives to accept a different metaphoric framework.

That’s Theodore Dalrymple giving Lakoff both barrels, and you should definitely read the whole thing, but later.  For now, focus on the word “evidence.”  I love Dalrymple, but he’s actually missing a trick here.  If you accept Lakoff’s ideas, then yes, of course “conservatives…can have no evidence,” because conservatives operate in an entirely different mental world.  “Social policy,” for instance, often means “poverty,” and we use “poverty” like a verb: Poverty is what poor people do.  There are certain decisions and behaviors that land you in poverty.  Change your ways of thinking and acting, and you will no longer be poor.  

For the Left, “poverty” is a noun.  Poor people simply are poor, now and forever.  That’s why the “poverty” statistics never change, even though American “poor” people keel over from heart disease while fiddling around with smartphones.  The “poor” can only be made not-poor through divine fiat — raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, for instance, and “the poor” will become not-poor, because the only difference between “poor” and “not poor” is a buck fifty an hour.  (See also “the rich,” who don’t pay their “fair share.”  President Obama, peace be upon Him, did us a great service there:  “The rich” make $200,000 per year.  $199,999 per year = “middle class,” because…. well, because of that noun/verb problem.  Take a McDonald’s fry guy, raise his salary to $200K, and all of a sudden he’s part of the problem, even though he’s still slinging grease at Mickey D’s).

Of course, “social policy” can also mean “race,” and this is where Our Thing fails to understand normal people almost as badly as the Left does.  To normals, “race” is a verb, too.  Normals think their attitude towards Blacks is: “Pull up your pants, turn your hat around, and stop blasting rap music at 120 decibels every time you drive, and you’d be welcome in our neighborhoods.”  In other words, “Black” means “acting like a thugged-out ghetto banger.”  It’s not racist to want Black people to stop doing that, because we don’t anyone doing that…

Getting the grammar right won’t solve all our problems, but at least we could talk about them productively.

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Speaking of Stalin…

….this is how they get you (autoplay video link).

That video has been making the rounds on our side of the Internet for a while now.  It’s the national meeting of the Democratic Socialists of America, and it’s as sad and hilarious as you’d expect — goofballs calling each other “comrade,” insisting on “points of personal privilege,” and demanding the use of jazz hands in lieu of clapping (no, really) because some people are triggered by the noise.  If these…organisms… are “The Revolution,” then what could we possibly have to worry about?

Lots.  Not to toot my own horn too much, but I’ve written on this before.  Comrade Stalin is an excellent example.  We all know what he did as dictator, but unless you’re a fairly serious student of the Russian Revolution, you probably don’t know that before becoming the vozhd, his primary duty was… paperwork.  Tons and tons and tons of paperwork.

His brief stint as a Red Army commissar was a disaster — he was, as you might expect, aces at having dissidents rounded up and shot, but his few actual military(-ish) decisions were widely blamed for the loss of important cities to the Poles.  Here too, his decisions were all paperwork — in this case, refusing to countersign orders because they didn’t follow proper procedure.  After the Civil War he was the “People’s Commissar for Nationalities,” hardly a glamour post (by contrast, Lenin’s heir presumptive, Leon Trotsky, was in charge of the Red Army… which he created from scratch).  Even Stalin’s participation in the Tiflis Bank Robbery of 1907, the one “direct action” he was involved with, is disputed — his only known role was as an organizer.

In short, the guy was a pen pusher, and very little more than a pen pusher, up to the moment he seized power.

His plan was simple and obvious: Build up an organization by inserting his loyalists into every possible post, while maneuvering to get anyone who opposed him transferred (or shot).  The execution was even simpler: Meetings, meetings, and more meetings. Stalin didn’t seize power; he ground all his rivals down with sheer tedium.  “Stalin” means “man of steel,” but he won by having a cast-iron bladder and a leather ass.

Probably everyone who has worked for a large organization has been in a meeting with one of those people.  She (and these days it’s almost always a woman) has some pet issue that she just will not let go, and so the meeting drags on interminably.  Since her pet issue is invariably petty chick shit — posting an official sign on the break room fridge about labeling your lunch bag or whatever — everyone shrugs and agrees to it, just to get the damn meeting over with.

With me?  Now imagine that scaled up just one notch.  Google up your town’s library board.  Municipal public libraries have Boards of Trustees; those Boards have regularly-scheduled meetings that are open to the public.  Almost nobody in the community knows about this, because nobody with a normal life cares.  After all, who has the time and energy to think about the minutiae of library policy?

And then one day you walk in, and the shelves are nothing but Hillary and Chelsea’s children’s book and A People’s History of the United States. Nothing has been banned.  Everything was done legally, indeed democratically.  It’s just that, when it came time to hire a new assistant librarian, the three people who showed up to the board meeting nominated the blue-haired, nose-ringed, trans-woman with the face tattoos, and nobody objected, because nobody who would’ve objected was there.

Scale that up another notch, and you’ve got the local school system.  I saw this one firsthand.  I grew up in the New New South created by the regional tech boom that started in the late 1970s.  My sleepy little burg on the edge of a slightly bigger sleepy little burg in Yoknapatawpha County transformed, in the space of a decade or two, into a gleaming prefab yuppie paradise on the edge of a bustling metropolis.  Since this was due to a tech boom, though, half the yuppies had names like “Prajneet” and “Kung Pao.”  Those fine folks certainly weren’t going to have their precious kids getting their hands dirty in gym class… but alas, gym was still a requirement in our school district.  So Prajneet and Kung Pao staged a sit-in, and by the time they were done, not only were their kids getting gym class credit for playing in the school orchestra, they were getting academic credit for it, too — at “honors” level, natch.  Who the hell was going to schlep on down to the school board meetings, night after night after night, to object?  The football coach?

Scale that up another notch, and you’ve got the American university system. Hiring one self-proclaimed radical is no big deal, right?  After all, the mission of the university is to encourage the free discussion of ideas etc.  But while the other faculty members had lives and families and hobbies and whatnot, all the radical had was his radicalism.  So when the rest of the faculty didn’t feel like doing the twelve reams of paperwork that some new administration policy required, the radical volunteered…. and hired a few of his buddies to help.

Scale that up another notch….

That’s how they win, comrades.  Anyone who has the patience to sit through a meeting where “points of personal privilege” are invoked, and jazz hands made mandatory, has more free time than you and I will ever have.  They have more patience than all the Fourteen Readers combined.  And they use it, because they’ve got nothing else in their lives.  That’s how you win in a democracy — infiltrate your people into all the low-level positions, and then, when it comes up for a vote, have all your people vote to abolish democracy.

Ask Koba.

 

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Was Stalin a Communist?

If you’ve been anywhere near a college campus in the last 75 years, you know that’s a rhetorical question.

In much the same way we’re instructed to ignore the “Socialist” part of “National Socialist German Workers’ Party,” Our Betters in academia have instructed us to ignore the fact that Stalin believed, with all his heart and soul, that he was a communist.  The catechism is: Stalin was a one-off, a psychopath, a tsar-in-Marxist-clothing who tapped into the Russian soul’s deep, centuries-old yearning to be ruled by a despot.  All that Foundations of Leninism-type stuff Stalin wrote, his authorship of the Party’s official hagiography, all that… it’s all just eyewash, saith the dogma.  That pretty much everything Stalin did makes sense in the light of Marxism/Leninism is just a coinkydink.*

It also helps that the CIA isn’t hiring “Kremlinologists” anymore.  Back in the days, a lot of academic historians worked for the Feds.  The problem, of course, was that the Feds needed those academics to be right, which meant dispensing with the “true Communism has never been tried!” baloney which, then as now, was the standard line in the ivory tower.  Guys like Richard Pipes and Robert Conquest (and gals like Condoleeza Rice) assumed that Soviet leaders were all singing off the Marxist  hymnal, and so got at least in the ballpark with their analyses of Soviet actions.  With the USSR gone, there’s no need for academic historians to test themselves against reality anymore, and so academic Russian history now goes like this:

mumble mumble something EVIL STALIN! mumble mumble something PUTIN STOLE THE ELECTION!!!

All this isn’t just more egghead-bashing, fun as that is.  The point is that ideology is — or, crucially, used to be— a good predictor of behavior.  This was true for analysts as well as actors.  The only people surprised by Hitler’s actions, for instance, were the ideologically enstupidated.  That is to say, guys like Stalin.  The Wehrmacht all but hung big neon signs over their troop movements.  It couldn’t have been otherwise — Operation Barbarossa involved over three million men, not to mention conquering several other countries along the invasion route.  Junior high boys playing Risk have pulled off less obvious maneuvers.** And yet Stalin got caught with his pants down, because the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was the distilled essence of fraternal socialism and any NKVD analyst dumb enough to point out the panzers massing on the borders would swiftly find himself in Siberia.

What happens, though, when there’s no ideology?

It seems badly wrong to say this, but that’s the point we’re at now.  Our PoMo, Cult-Marx Left sure seems to have an ideology:  “Intersectionality,” let’s call it, for convenience.  But when you look at how it plays out in practice, its predictive power is pretty much zero.  Then as now, eggheads hated guys like Pipes and Conquest; “the Hoover Institution,” then as now, was a swear word in academia.  And yet, Pipes and Conquest got it at least in the ballpark most of the time, as we’ve noted, because they took the Soviet leadership’s proclamations of fealty to Marxism/Leninism at face value.  But even if we take, say, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at her word, that puts us…. where, exactly?

As far as I can tell, “intersectionality” boils down to: Hate Whitey.  Given the choice, the Intersectional will do whatever does the most damage to White people, especially White males.  However, and crucially, the predictive power of that observation is fading fast.  In majority-minority America — which we have certainly achieved electorally, if not quite yet demographically — all the fights that matter are going to be Intersectional civil wars.  Worse, several important parts of the Intersectional coalition utterly depend on the continued existence of Whitey as an important socio-cultural force.  “African-Americans,” for instance, construct their entire worldview around being not-White.  It’s so obvious that even Black people joke about it — if we ceded the entire American South to the Blacks as slavery reparations, the first thing Black folks would do, according to Blacks themselves, would be: Move North.

Without us, there is no them.  Most importantly: This seems to be true of the Intersectional as a whole.  What the hell are they going to do when they win?

That’s what makes people like AOC so terrifying.  Marxism is a bone-stupid, anti-human creed, but at least it’s consistent.  “Intersectionality,” by contrast, is nothing more than the momentary whims of Basic College Girls…..

 

 

 

*Which of course should raise the fascinating question of whether Lenin was a communist… but you’ll never hear that one discussed.  There are very few world-historical figures with longer shadows than V.I. Lenin, yet he’s the forgotten man of 20th century history.  If you’re one of those folks who read the footnotes before the rest of the article, spoiler alert: Yes, Lenin was unquestionably a communist, which is why nobody wants to talk about him.  By heaping the blame for all the awful shit the Soviets did onto Stalin, the cultural Marxists in the ivory tower can pretend that famines, gulags, censorship, torture, secret police, and all the rest of it are bugs, not features, of Leftism in power.  In reality, of course, Lenin did all that and then some — read any halfway honest account of the Red/White Civil War.  But, of course, all those atrocities were just exigencies of wartime, comrade, and had nothing to do with Marxism….
**In my hilarious alternate-history version of academia, there are a zillion books asking the question “Was Hitler really a Nazi?”  The only reason “Nazi” is a swear word and “Communist” is still respectable, of course, is that the Reds won the war.  Had Germany won, Alfred Rosenberg’s ooga-booga sub-Heglian mystical bullshit would be all the rage among the “I fucking love science” crowd, while Karl Marx’s ooga-booga sub-Heglian mystical bullshit — Lysenkoism, anyone? — would be derided for the hateful nonsense it is.
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Quick Take: The Severian Corollary

Since I haven’t posted in a while, a placeholder.

Y’all are doubtless familiar with “Hanlon’s Razor:”

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

A while back I wrote that this needs an update, and being a humble guy, I named it the “Severian Corollary:”

There’s a level of stupidity so profound, you actually hope it’s malice.

That’s where we’re at with this (Ace of Spades link).  It seems as if the FBI’s Andrew McCabe and a high-ranking member of MI-5 (British counterintelligence) actually believe this “Russiagate” shit that they themselves concocted.

These people selectively leak to the media so that the media will report a false impression of the contours of reality, and then, incredibly, they believe the false impression of reality that they know they themselves helped conjure up from ideology, fantasy, and lies.

When President Obama famously proclaimed he believed his own bullshit, we took that as either a joke or a taunt, depending on how we ourselves felt about Obama’s bullshit.  But he wasn’t kidding, and here’s the proof.  What would Dunning and Kruger have to say about people who are dumb enough to believe fantasias on their own bullshit, peddled by glorified stenographers?

Our leaders are terrifyingly stupid.  I’m starting to think that all our worries are groundless, comrades.  When the Thought Police finally come for us, just tell them we live at 123 Fake Street, Springfield USA.  They’ll never catch us.

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Sympathy for the Cucks

In one of his great essays, Orwell describes a joke in the satirical magazine Punch, making fun of pretentious wannabe-littérateurs (see what I did there?).  The pompous young man announces to his aunt that he’s going to be a writer.  The aunt asks what he’s going to write about.  The dork replies, “My dear, one doesn’t write about anything; one simply writes.”

Blogging in a nutshell, amirite?

But bloggers don’t get paid, and even if they do, it’s probably nowhere near commensurate with the effort.  For instance, here’s the Z Man’s advice to aspiring bloggers:

As far as material, post something every day, even if it is just a couple of paragraphs. That way, you get better and you get into the habit of running a blog. If after a few months it is no longer fun, you’re out a hundred bucks and you learned something about yourself.

Left implied is the actual time spent cranking out a few paragraphs.  You’ll have to take my word for this, but when I’m on my game I’m a blazing-fast writer (and even when I’m off, I’m pretty speedy).  Not quite up to Henry Morton Stanley standards — he apparently crashed out one of his umpteen-hundred-page travel books in something like three weeks — but pretty fast nonetheless.  Still, I bet my “average” blog post — tossed off with few or no links (meaning little to no research), no revisions, bare-bones on-the-fly editing, etc. — takes between 30 minutes and an hour.  Anything that takes sustained work — research, redrafting — can take all afternoon.  A quick search on “how much do contract computer programmers make?” comes back with a range between $35 and $400 an hour.  Assuming my stuff is low- but not bottom-end (and that I’ve taken the advice of Our now-unemployed Betters in journalism and learned to code), a day’s post costs me something between $50 and $250.

Obviously I don’t actually get paid squat, and there’s no legitimate comparison between blog posts and contract code, but the point is, “writing” is one of those “prestige-only” occupations.  Even those writers who are good enough to make a living solely off their authorial voice (the H-list, according to D-Lister Larry Correia’s hilarious official rankings) are so few and far between that it’s just statistical noise – you undoubtedly have a better chance of meeting a professional athlete than you do a professional writer.  Even if you make a buck or two off blog ads, or sell a novel or three on Amazon, writing is just a hobby, for 99.9998% of the people who do it.  When you take all the money your self-published novel made on Amazon and divide it by the umpteen hours you spent writing it, you get the kind of wage college kids stage protests about (be sure to pick up your authentic logo gear at the bookstore!).

Education works like that, too.  Nobody scoffs at teachers’ claims of being overworked and underpaid more than I do, but they’ve got a point for all that.  Teachers work iceberg-style — the work you actually get paid for is about 20% of the work you actually do.  It’s true no matter where you are on the academic food chain.  We joke that teaching is a 24/7 job — 24 hours a week, 7 months a year — but even the tenured work hard.  As I’ve tried to show, above, even those incomprehensible “gender studies” gibberish books represent a significant time investment.  Throw in committee meetings, all the other “university service” bullshit, and the umpteen zillion voluntary-yet-mandatory things the tenured are required to do, and if you’re not exactly at “Indonesian child laborer” wage levels, your plumber still out-earns you by several orders of magnitude.

Why do it, then?  Well, consider medicine.  Medicine is the ultimate iceberg profession.  Now, I’m not saying docs aren’t well-paid; of course they are.  What I am saying, though, is that if a machinist were capable of working 120-hour weeks — as medical residents routinely do — they’d be bringing in way more than doctors.  And those 120 hours are the hours actually in the hospital; they don’t get paid for writing notes, reviewing charts, studying for exams, and the million other things they do.  Dating a medical resident was, in fact, one of the great eye-opening experiences of my life.  When we finally did manage to get together, our “dates” usually consisted of a brief talk over takeout Chinese before she fell asleep on my couch.

Docs don’t do it for the money, in other words.  They do it to be doctors, in the same way professors do it to be professors, and writers do it to be writers.  I know lots of doctors and professors, and none of them — not one — has ever wanted to be anything else.  They’d still do it for half the pay.

This is a key weakness for attacking the Left.

As C.S. Lewis said, the Devil can’t stand to be mocked.  That’s no longer true in this brave new social media world — mocking a Millennial means “ur h8in,” which means you’re thinking about her more than she’s thinking about you, which means she wins — so let’s modify it: The Devil can’t stand to be ignored.  Ace of Spades — no mean Twitter addict himself — points out all the time that the Jonah Goldbergs and David Frenches of the world pretty much live on Twitter.  This is because they know all the stuff I’ve written above is true.

Whatever they get paid, it’s nowhere near a “living wage” for the amount of work they do, if you include “basically living on Twitter” as work.  Which it is, of course, since opportunity cost is a thing and living the Twitter life basically precludes doing anything else.  To this type of person, “I have 100,000 Twitter followers!” isn’t a childish boast; it’s an existential claim.  Deny them that, and they are literally nothing.

It’s crucial that we understand the difference.  Oscar Wilde nailed these goobers’ psychology over 100 years ago: “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.”  Goldberg et al would rather be praised than mocked, of course, but: Mockery serves the exact same psychological function.  In a very real sense, these people are terrified they’re NPCs — they’re not real, because they’ve dedicated their lives not to doing something, but to being something… and that “something” rests entirely on external attention.  That’s why they’ll write anything, say anything, do anything, so long as they can keep telling themselves they’re “writers.”

Cut that off, and they’ll self-immolate.  It must be a horrible way to “live.”

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