LITERALLY a Metaphor

Kids these days can’t process figurative speech.  Literally can’t process it, which is why they say “literally” all the time.  If you’re under 30, it’s like… like…

I’m sure there are cog-sci studies on this, if anyone cares to plow through PubMed one rainy afternoon.  I’m going off my observations interacting with, and attempting to instruct, college kids.  So, yeah, it’s all anecdotal, but the sample size is decent.  I see the following types of communication:

Undigested Metaphors.  E.g “Donald Trump is literally Hitler.”  George Orwell nailed this back in 1946, and as this post is really just an attempt to update “Politics and the English Language,” you should probably skip this and go read that.  Should you choose to soldier on, this is the essay with the famous quote “The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable’. ”  The rest of the paragraph is equally instructive:

The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another. In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using that word if it were tied down to any one meaning. Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way. That is, the person who uses them has his own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he means something quite different. Statements like Marshal Petain was a true patriot, The Soviet press is the freest in the world, The Catholic Church is opposed to persecution, are almost always made with intent to deceive. Other words used in variable meanings, in most cases more or less dishonestly, are: class, totalitarian, science, progressive, reactionary, bourgeois, equality.

We don’t use Bolshevik jargon like “reactionary” or “bourgeois” much anymore, but the others are very much with us.  In Orwell’s day they at least still had vestigial meanings — even the commie trying to justify Stalin’s gulags would make a nod to Plato when asked “what is justice?”(1)  These days, we’re in the odd position of throwing around words and phrases that have never meant anything.  Whites being racist towards other whites in favor of blacks, as compensation for the supposed racism of other whites towards other blacks — all of whom have been dead for 100+ years in most cases — and calling anyone who notices the blatant self-contradiction “racist”… that’s the kind of thing I mean.  Kids who call Donald Trump “literally Hitler” don’t know any of Trump’s policies and couldn’t recognize a Nazi if he anschlussed their ass with his jackboot.  It’s just a metaphor that passes through their speech undigested, kinda like corn in… well, that’s another metaphor, so I won’t confuse any Millennial readers with it.  The point of Undigested Metaphors is to express disapproval, with an implied threat of legal action.

Voice-to-Text.  This is an expression of disapproval without the implied threat of legal action, as most VtT phrases could themselves be actionable.  E.g. “ur a fag,” the standard putdown of “noobs” (or whatever it is now) on the internet / video games / whatever.  It might as well be an emoji, and had voice-to-text technology progressed slower, it probably would’ve been, e.g. 8=>.  It doesn’t occur to users that words like “fag” actually mean something — it can’t, as the people who throw around homosexual slurs the most are Social Justice Warriors, who at every opportunity proclaim themselves the BFFs of every sexual orientation except straight.

Tweets. A cant(2) phrase intended to be retweeted / upvoted, i.e. virtue-signaling.  As any actual information content would almost always destroy the intended effect, Tweets are effectively anti-communication. E.g. “love trumps hate!,” followed immediately by “DIAF Republicans!”  In the dark ages before social media, this was called bumperstickerese — see, for example, any Subaru Outback in any college town in America, where “Coexist” bumper stickers nestle quite comfortably next to calls for the eradication of entire classes of people.

Tinfoil Hat Prose.  According to feminists, everything that’s wrong with a feminist’s life is the fault of The Patriarchy, even though nobody knows any patriarchs.  Same goes for White Skin Privilege, Heterosexuality, and all the other “social constructions” — if they were true, we’d never know about it, because all the chicks, gays, blacks, etc. would still be on the plantation(3).  Phrases like “social construction” give the veneer of academic respectability to what are essentially hare-brained conspiracy theories.  It’s easy enough to detect one — just ask, “who is society (a patriarch, etc.), comrade?  Point to a specific member of the set.”  As the whole point of Tinfoil Hat Prose is to keep everything in the passive voice — “women are oppressed by the patriarchal reification of capitalism” instead of “women are oppressed by Steve” — the same technique refudiates it.

KISSes.  New writers are commanded to “Keep It Simple, Stupid,” and this is the only type of prose modern kids can handle.  In my experience, you can’t make instructions simple enough.  Your sentences can’t be too short, too clear, too declarative.  If you leave any room for interpretation at all, you will be misinterpreted, in hilarious ways you couldn’t have forseen in a million years.  This is literally — literally!!! — the only way to communicate with Millennials.

More as the mood strikes me.

 

(1) n.b. to any Millennials reading this: “What is justice?” was the central question of Plato’s Republic, which used to be required reading in any college humanities class… often in the original Greek.  Here’s a summary.

(2) n.b. to Millennials, not a typo (though how would you know?).  “Clear your mind of cant” isn’t an uplifting slogan about being all you can be; it’s about thinking for yourself.  “Cant” is dogma, things “everyone knows,” the rote bullshit you had to memorize for every test you’ve ever taken in your entire lives.  Rosa Parks is the patron saint of cant.

(3) no, really, homosexuals used to be confined to lavender plantations, which were located in closets.  That was the point of the Stonewall Riots.  Pick up a history book, why dontcha?

Fake Intellectuals

Further to a post at Z Man’s, there is exactly one political principle that doesn’t lead directly to totalitarianism: Equality before the law.  This principle cannot be amended, modified, nuanced, gray area-d, penumbra-d, folded, spindled, or mutilated.  Equality before the law, and let the chips fall where they may.

This will of course entail some outcomes that are not socially just.  Equally applied, the anti-crime laws will disproportionately affect blacks, as they commit disproportionate amounts of crime.  Equally applied, the patent laws will disproportionately favor Jews and East Asians, as they have higher average IQs.  And yes, equally applied, the laws pretty much guarantee that some people are going to get screwed, even up to, sigh, children starving in the streets.

lovejoy-think-of-the-children-16nov131

Life ain’t fair, and this notion that it’s somehow the government’s job to make life fair — thus abandoning the principle of Equality Before the Law — leads directly to tyranny:

  • There is no objective definition of “fair;”
  • Therefore, someone must be empowered to judge individual cases;
  • Anyone granted such power will abuse it;

And pretty soon we’re reduced to arguing whether that FEMA camp is a gulag, a workhouse, a concentration camp, or a thought reform center.

That’s really all there is to it.  People are what they are.  We can make up fancy theories about why this can’t happen, or that it’s actually fair, or how that guy really deserved his rubber hose time in a secret police dungeon, but at bottom there is only Reality.

Stop intellectualizing.  Stop over-thinking.  Stop rationalizing.  There is Reality, and there is Theory, and when the two conflict, Theory must yield to Reality.  You’ll find that’s true even in the gulag (thought reform center, whatever).  The way things are going, I’ll be in the next bunk over.

“Academia Discriminates Against Women”

so says some feminist professor (so says Stacy McCain).  I have a question:

Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!

No, wait, make that

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

That is literally the funniest thing I’ve ever heard a feminist say.

Ok, ok, if I’m being honest, it’s only the second-funniest.  The funniest thing was way back in grad school, when the chicks in our department — who were the clear majority of our department — started bitching that women didn’t have enough leadership positions.  So, as always, the PTB convened a blue-ribbon commission, staffed by these chicks themselves…

….which found out that not only did women hold the majority of leadership positions in the department, they held every single blessed one of them.  The report stated this….

….and in the very next sentence started bitching about how the disproportionate burden of occupying all these leadership roles was keeping them from pursuing their training, thus holding them back from completing their degrees.

You really can’t make this stuff up.  You really can’t.

An Interesting Test Case

The now-all-but-unreadable Ace of Spades posts another thumbsucker about how gauche Trump supporters are.  Which contains this:

This election is lost.

We can argue about who lost it — indeed, most of the passive-aggressive kneecapping from the more liberal-leaning, Rubio-supporting Upper Middle Class is about arguing, in a cowardly fashion, who lost it — and I imagine we will be arguing about that for quite a while.

Might as well stop being passive-aggressive about it and just come right out and say it. There is no party unity to pretend to be a part of any longer.

But more important than whose fault this is is what we’d actually like in a vehicle for ideological aspiration.

“Ideological,” you say?

Let’s try a thought experiment: what if all those cousin’-pokin, Bible-thumpin’, flag-wavin’, beer-chuggin’, NASCAR-watchin’, furriner-bashin’ rubes who currently take time out from their busy unemployment- and meth-smoking schedules to vote Trump should actually turn out to favor Constitutional liberty and limited government?  Because for all Ace pisses and moans about how Trump isn’t really a conservative, the vast majority of his anti-Trump posts — and that whole site pretty much just Donald-bashing at this point — all seem to boil down to NOCD.  Trump’s not our class, dear, and his supporters are such boors.

How, exactly, is that “ideology”?  Or, more to the point, how is that “ideology” any different from that of David “Perfectly Creased Pants” Brooks?

But let’s make it even simpler.  Let’s say the polls show Trump is competitive… which, of course, they do.  Let’s further say that as the campaign drags on, more and more polls show Trump to be within the margin of error, or even leading outright.  What do Ace of Spades types do then?  Do they suck it up to deny Evita the White House — which would be the bare minimum “ideological” choice — or do they cuck it up with the National Review crowd?

Let me be clear: most so-called ideology is really just status signaling.  Pick any revolutionary movement in history — even in the most spectacularly successful cases, maybe a quarter of the entire population is even tangentially involved.  The hard core — the guys who would actually pick up guns for the Cause — are no more than 10%, if that.  Most people wouldn’t even cross the street for their so-called “principles” unless the weather was perfect, nothing good was on tv, and there was a hot chick handing out free burgers and beer on the other side.

And historically, there’s a word for guys who beat their chests in public about their principles.  Two words, actually.

Trump isn’t just going to be competitive with Hillary; he’s going to win in a walk.  The next few months should be very interesting indeed.

Oh No!!! PURGES!!!!!

Herr Trumpf is purging “principled conservatives.”  Also known as…wait for it…. dissidents!  (Remind me: Is dissent the highest form of patriotism again?  Or are we all supposed to get in line behind the John McCains and Mitt Romneys of the world, because that’s what “principled conservatives” do?)  Anyway….

Whether the establishment political class was on board with Trump from the beginning (and most were not), they are going to use loyalty to Trump as an excuse to purge conservatives of conscience from having any political work at all. And the people who still remain opposed to Trump are the same people who are likely to align with the conservative troublemakers in both the House and the Senate. With the willing aid of the Trumpkins, the goal is to crush Cruz’s actual and ideological allies and drive them from the party.

The only named “actual and ideological ally” of Ted Cruz?  Ben freakin’ Sasse.

As the Z Man quips, Ben Sasse is the epitome of the Trotsky Wing of the Republican Party.  His resume reads like something I’d make up to lampoon guys like Ben Sasse:

He spent a year in the dreaded private sector after college and then got on the gravy train of government work. A dozen years on the dole and runs for Senate and is now the shiny new penny “representing” Nebraska, a place he rarely visited for twenty years prior to his election. Instead of working his way up from dog catcher or state rep, he just parachuted into the Senate without much vetting.

Let’s see…yep: “consultant” (=lobbyist) for a year, then a year as “consultant/executive director” at some evangelical (=lobbying) group, then Homeland Security, HHS, and the Senate, with some Obama-style “professor” gigs thrown in.  Government or academia — when he’s not in government, or lobbying the government, he’s “teaching” government.  Dude is 44 years old and has never, ever held a job that didn’t involve kneepad service to the leviathan state.

What principle could he possibly have acquired, in all those years working his fingers to the bone shuffling regulations in the belly of the beast?  He’s a full time tax code comma-juggler…. but he gives the occasional shout-out to Jesus, so he’s a “conservative.”

Just for giggles, I googled Redstate’s last two endorsements for president: Bible-thumping no-hoper Rick Santorum (because he’s against abortion and global weathering) and that truest of true conservatives, the lisping Cuban Cabana Boy himself, Marco “Bootsie” Rubio, because “electability.”   I’m trying to figure out what “principle” this track record hews to… nope, coming up empty.  Unless, of course, it’s the principle of “throw the election to the Democrats, then climb up on our cross and scream ‘forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do’ at every possible opportunity for the next four to eight years.  Oh, and please donate!  Paypal, Patreon… it’s all good.”

The old 90s-style culture wars are dead, y’all.  You want to know why Republican voters don’t care about abortion anymore?  I’ll spell it out for you in little bitty words: IT’S THE FUCKING IMMIGRANTS.  The very same self-righteous Churchians who are out there marching for life are helping Obama import Aztecs and Muzzies as fast as they can fill the cargo holds.  The Constitution isn’t a suicide pact, and neither is the Gospel. The rest of us can see that for every baby you save from the butcher’s knife — and it’s a laudable goal, God bless you — you’re disemploying five American citizens, three of whom will be wounded in next week’s outbreak of Sudden Onset Jihad Syndrome.

While all that’s going on, the wonkblogs are yelling about “purges,” as if stone-faced men in jackboots have hauled poor Ben Sasse off to a meeting with a rubber hose and some thumbscrews.  In reality, of course, he’ll be back in the Senate sponsoring vital true conservative legislation in no time.  And should he be ousted in his next reelection bid — perhaps because the voters of the great state of Nebraska couldn’t pick him out of a police lineup — he’ll be right back on K Street the next day, true conservatively lobbying Congress for more true conservative pork.

But don’t forget: it’s e before i in “gleichschaltung.”  PURGES!!!!

The “Alt-Right” in a Nutshell

Human biodiversity rules!  Intelligence is the only thing that matters in a postindustrial economy.  There is nothing but IQ, IQ and race are inseparable, and that’s why blacks, Mexicans, etc. always lag behind whites in the first world.  Biomechanics is god!!!

……

But the Jews?  Conspiracy!!!  Never mind all that stuff we just said about IQ being the only thing that matters, that biomechanics is god, etc etc.  Yes yes, IQ and race are inseparable, and IQ is the only thing that matters, but there’s no way the Jews and their top-of-the-heap group IQ could ever have risen to the top honestly.  It’s simply not possible that a group with the highest average brainpower could disproportionately excel in fields that take a lot of brainpower, like finance….. but, ummm… biomechanics is god!!!!

Handing a microphone to these fucking tinfoil heads won’t be the worst aspect of Trump’s presidency, but it’ll be up there.

images

If I Were a Democrat …

Inspired by Bob Parks’ Black History Month and Bill Whittle’s Pin the Tale on the Donkey.

HillaryConfederate2a

hillaryshoppedAs an aside, on a related note, it looks like the old College pic of Hillary with the Confederate Flag on the shelf is a fake (would NOT surprise me if it were faked by democrats to dupe free-speechers into posting it to discredit them). But no matter. It really isn’t needed to get the point across.

The Obama pin that’s been circulating is probably a fake as well, and I would bet that the Hillary “H->” pin was created to capitalize on the controversy too. But neither is needed to get the point across.

ConfederateFlagObama

Probably a fake

 

hillz

Likely a fake as well.

 

On Tolerance, Disapproval, Respect, Acceptance, and Living Your Own Damned Life

So I got into a bit of a kerfuffle over this post on HKB.

Not exactly a kerfuffle, since the guy involved is an old friend, a really good guy — who cares about his gay friends and his straight ones as well.  He wasn’t being combative, really.  I think he just really missed my point. Which is not surprising given the way the argument’s been framed for a decade.

Here it is:

“It is not enough for the Left to live and let live. You must change your mind. You must not hold disfavored views. You must be the right sort of person. If you’re not, you will be muzzled.”

This is what has me worried.  Not dudes lying with dudes and chicks lying with chicks.

read more here.

To which I added this:

If you say anything that can possibly be construed as being “meh” on the practicality of gay marriage (which was, in practical terms, already “legal”*) and just not agreeing with the route taken by the activists, people will assume you hate gays and want to keep them from being happy.

So you can’t even have a proper discussion about it. The discussion was bypassed because, Shut Up, and the bullying worked on 5 justices.

*I’ve asked several people in the past several years just what is it, in real terms, that gays are not being allowed to do? Can they have sex with each other and not be thrown in jail? Can they have a ceremony that is to everyone there a real wedding ceremony? Can they call themselves “married”? Can their friends and anyone who is sympathetic with them call them married? Are they not being served in restaurants? Can they not spend the night in motels and hotels? Are they being turned away from hospitals? Just what, exactly, is “illegal” about it? That they can’t get a “license” to do these things? Why the hell do they need a license? (Why the hell do *I* need a license for that matter?)

Hell, they could apparently even force people to bake them cakes and take pictures of them if those bakers and photographers had moral objections to participating in the event.

No, it has *ALWAYS* been, for the activists at least, about *forced* acceptance — NOT tolerance. Tolerance is, “meh, I don’t care.” Acceptance is, “yes, this is good and right.” What they’ve wanted all along is to force everyone to say “yes, this is good and right” by force of law.

This is what is wrong with it. Has nothing to do with the Bible, or what kinds of “marriage” arrangements have existed in various cultures throughout history. It’s about government coercion.

This was the wrong way to do it. They already effectively had what they SAID they wanted, which is tolerance, and even acceptance by a good chunk of the population.

Just to make sure we’re clear on what I’m saying and what I’m not saying… read my actual post again. Is my problem with gay people, or with leftists? I think I’m pretty clear on that.

But because of how the entire argument has been successfully framed by the leftists, people cannot separate criticism of the court decision, or apprehension on what is to come without assuming they hate gay people, or at the very least don’t care about them.  If you express sympathy for the majority of Americans and frankly, people in the world that Marriage is between people of opposite sexes and with very few exceptions in history — always has been… when it’s been demanded that they toss their worldview out the window to accommodate this one … you’re just a hater.

It bugged me more this time because it was a friend and you want your friends to at least understand your position.  It was pretty clear we were talking about two different things.

In the discussion he asked if I knew any gay people.  I do.  I think the assumption is that I had some sort of misconception that they were all combative and out to destroy society.  Again, because of the assumptions injected by the Lakoffian language strategy of the left.

So as I lay there thinking (I do that a lot.  It’s not good for your sleep habits) trying to come up with a way to break out of the assumptions that come with the language constraints that have been successfully imposed on the subject, I suddenly (thankfully) came up with a perfect example that was right under my nose, literally. I hadn’t thought of it because I don’t dwell on it. I don’t feel victimized by it.

Here’s the deal.

In our eyes, my wife and I have been married for 23 years. In my parents’ eyes, due to their religious beliefs, we’re not married at all. You see, she is a divorcee, and there was no annulment. They wouldn’t come to our wedding. I knew they wouldn’t before I even invited them, but I invited them anyway, telling them I completely understood if they did not want to come.

Now, they still have us out to the house. We visit. We talk. We have a good time. They don’t hate me. They don’t hate her. Matter of fact they love her. Dad made it a point to pull me aside several months ago and tell me so.

But … if we were to spend the night there, we would be asked to sleep in separate beds. Because in their eyes, we are not married. I understand and respect their beliefs. I do not demand, much less ask that they accommodate us. Similarly, they wouldn’t come visit us in our home because of our living arrangement. They disapprove. They don’t condone it. I respect their beliefs. I do not feel ill treated. I do not feel humiliated. I do not feel “lesser”. That is what tolerance and respect looks like.

You see, disapproval is not the same thing as hate. Tolerance does not mean acceptance. In this story there is love, tolerance, disapproval, and respect. They are not mutually exclusive. The leftists have purposely, in a very Orwellian 1984-ish New Speak way (in the real world it would be more like Lakoffian way) — mainly through the media have shaped the way we even talks about this by choosing the language with which we talk about these things – and people have gotten very confused.  It’s no accident.

Keep in mind I myself am not sitting here saying gays should or shouldn’t be married, or that they’re not married. What I’m saying is that this will not be enough for the leftists. They are out to destroy, and this was just one issue they have usurped to help get that done.

There are gay leftists. And there are straight leftists who will wear the mantle to help destroy people they don’t like — namely the good people who love everyone but do believe that certain behavior is wrong, or that marriage is only between men and women. After all, it’s not exactly a radical view.

Tolerance is a two-way street. My prediction is that it will only go one way. Or else.

… and vanished in a puff of logic

donezalSo the Progressive deconstruction of America continues. The president of the Spokane, WA NAACP – Rachel Dolezai … has resigned. She’s genetically white as her two white parents (whom she has disowned) pointed out in the picture on the right. But I guess she’s “identified” as black.

Which raises some questions. If a white woman colors her face to look black, is she guilty of the dreaded “crime” of appearing in “black face” … or not — just because she “identifies” as black? If it’s ok to liberals to “identify” as any number of gender pronouns, why not “trans-racial”?

After all, they’re the ones who came up with the term “`white` Hispanic” when they needed to “white-ify” a guy who they so desperately wanted to be white after he had killed a black man — when he turned out to be half Hispanic. And liberal hero Elizabeth Warren listed herself as a minority (a Native American one) in professional directories that are commonly used by recruiters …

caitlynscatIf gender is a social construct, why can’t race be a social construct?  As a matter of fact, it largely is thanks to our progressive betters.  If you don’t behave or believe, socially, the way your particular race is “supposed” to according to the social construct progressives demand, then you’re not REALLY that race.  You’re an Uncle Tom.  An Oreo.  A “White Hispanic”.

If black conservatives such as Thomas Sowell or Herman Cain or Larry Elder or any of a host of others can be considered “not really black”, why can’t a white woman be considered “not really white”?

If you can pick your race or gender, even from 50+ invented genders that only you yourself may understand but still demand to be referred to as … why stop there?

If you can be trans-racial, can you be trans-national? Are illegal aliens coming here really “Americans” who just happened to be born in the wrong country? Can I sue you for discrimination if you won’t hire me and I just happen to identify as “black” or “Hispanic” or “Native American”?

contradictionsCan you keep me out of the women’s restroom?  Can you kick a woman out of a gym for complaining that a man is in the womens’ locker room?

My question is, have we finally reached a point where the progressive deconstruction of language and logic must finally collapse on itself?  Or will we continue to allow ourselves to be bullied into submission to the bizarre?

What are the rules?  Are there any rules?  If so, who gets to make them?  Courts? Bureaucracies?

We the People?  Naahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!! 

mansplainingBefore you go accusing me of “whiteman-splaining“, I should let you know.  I’m really a genderless alien.  From a species that used to inhabit this planet before humans arrived and pushed us out.  I’ve always felt that way.

And I’m royalty.

“Exploiting” the Third World

This is actually very close to a conversation that flipped a friend of mine.

Saw this posted on the innerwebs:

skilled workersNo.  Jobs are being sent overseas because skilled workers in other countries demand less for their labor, and they can because WE subsidize American unemployment too generously.

Let’s follow the “logic” of the poster.  It would, apparently, be better for the poor “exploited” non-unionized, third-world worker who now has an income he can feed his family on and maybe fix his roof … if we didn’t export that job and instead paid the flat panel TV, iPhone totin’, lavish retirement plan givin’, unemployment guaranteein’  wage to the guy here in America instead. It would also make his iPhone more expensive.

No, that third world guy would be MUCH better off doing seasonal work in a rice paddy somewhere exposed to malaria-ridden mosquitoes and foot fungus trying to scratch out a basic living for his family and maybe afford a used 1970’s transistor radio.  Because YOU deserve a higher wage.

Provide more value to the world than you are paid, and the work will come to you.  That is how wealth is generated, making the pie bigger for everyone.

Thatisall.