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?

Nazis, Weathermen, Millennials

We all know how Our Betters, the Liberals, like to throw the word “Nazi” around.

  • The Nazis were racists and nationalists;
  • racism is bad;
  • nationalism is “right wing;”
  • therefore “nationalist” means “racist” means “right winger;”
  • therefore anyone who disagrees with a Liberal is bad
  • because Nazi
  • QED.

That doesn’t mean the Nazis aren’t worth studying, though.

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In reality, Nazism was a utopian revolutionary movement like any other.  The only difference was the details, which cynics on both sides acknowledged — Goebbels bragged he could turn a Red into a Nazi in two weeks; the German Communist Party recruited heavily among Nazi Brownshirts.  Let’s leave the details aside, then, and focus on the process.

The names everyone recognizes — Hitler, Goebbels, Goering — were anomalies.  Great War veterans(1), they were middle-aged when the Nazis seized power in 1933.  Their time on the Western Front defined their lives — Hitler’s military decisions, for example, don’t make sense outside the context  of trench warfare.  But the men who actually carried out the prototypically Nazi stuff — the SS, the Einsatzkommandos, the Gestapo — were younger.  Their defining life experience wasn’t the War, though they were fully aware of it.  The “War Youth” generation was defined by defeat, the stab in the back, the missed opportunity to prove themselves worthy of their Fatherland.

This is important: They spent their entire adolescence preparing for war, physically, mentally, and emotionally.  They longed to test their mettle in the crucible of combat like their fathers, brothers, and older schoolmates did…. but they didn’t get the chance to.

So they turned to radical politics.

As “everyone knows,” the guys who joined the SS(2) were mindless thugs, sadists, failures like Heinrich Himmler and Adolf Eichmann, wannabe-farmers who (in Eichmann’s case) actually scratched out a living raising chickens for a while after the war.   As with pretty much everything “everyone knows,” this is false.  SS officers were largely college-educated; many had real degrees in real subjects; quite a few of them considered themselves intellectuals and, of those, quite a few actually were.  They preached, and practiced, a radical ideology they learned in college — a distinctive, instantly recognizable weltanschaaung that guided their actions.

Again, this is important: They learned this stuff in college.  They were Nazis long before the war, and their actions during the war were logical, though horrifying, consequences of their ideology.  The war didn’t turn them into fanatical killers, their ideology did.  The war, especially the brutality of the Eastern Front — which they all regarded as an existential struggle against Bolshevism — provided them with the means and opportunity to put their motives into practice.  Had Germany not gone to war, or had the war gone differently, these guys still would’ve been fanatical, murderous Nazis… except instead of leading “special actions” in Russia, they’d be teaching college seminars.(3)

I’m pretty sure the Six Regular Readers see where I’m going with this but for everyone else, let’s talk about the Sixties.

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That’s Bernardine Dohrn, the driving force behind Weatherman, the most violent radical group in the 1970s.(4)  For those who haven’t heard of Dohrn, Barack Obama’s best bud Bill Ayers, and the rest, Weatherman, like every other white radical outfit in the Sixties and Seventies, was a movement by, for, and about the frustrations of over-privileged college kids.  Their membership was invariably middle- to upper-middle class: Dohrn grew up in an upper-middle-class suburb of Milwaukee and was a law student; Ayers’s father was the CEO of ConEd energy in Chicago; Mark Rudd and John “J.J.” Jacobs were undergrads at Columbia.  And they all wanted to be black — “I think in our hearts what all of us wanted to be was a Black Panther,” a former (female, natch) leader proclaimed, and none of the black groups who terrified California in the early 70s would’v gotten anywhere without the white, female attorneys who helped them… and, of course, slept with them.

Reading about Weatherman and the rest, then — Bryan Burrough’s Days of Rage is a good start — one gets the overwhelming impression of solipsistic kids overdosing on white guilt and boredom.

The parallels are obvious if you choose to see them.  Where the German “War Youth” were radicalized by defeat, the Americans were done in by victory.  Their fathers defeated Hitler, then and now the evilest human being that could ever be.  What could possibly compete with that?  They’d never be tested in battle.  They’d never endure the hardships of the Great Depression.  The only foreign evil on offer was Communism, whose JV squad was slapping their generational cohorts around and whose Varsity was armed with ICBMs.  A hot war with Ivan would be over in twenty minutes.

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.  Like the SS intellectuals, the Radical intellectuals of the 1960s were convinced that utopia was within reach, if only we had the steel to reach out and take it.  Their idols — Che Guevara, Regis Debray, Carlos Marighella, Lenin, Mao — taught that a dedicated cadre of professional revolutionaries could lead the masses to victory.  The only requirements were iron will, utter ruthlessness, and total rejection of conventional morality.  The American version played out like a caricature of modern SJW hyperventilating — in their total rejection of “the System,” Weatherman leaders decided to “smash monogamy” by ordering all revolutionary couples to break up; when that wasn’t enough they moved on to mandatory orgies, and when that proved insufficient, to compulsory homosexuality (somehow Dohrn herself always seemed to miss out on the action).  It would almost be funny if not for the bombs, but these people were serious:

We have the moral right, we had the duty to our people to do it, to kill this people who would kill us. We however do not have the right to enrich ourselves with even one fur, with one Mark, with one cigarette, with one watch, with anything. That we do not have. Because we don’t want, at the end of all this, to get sick and die from the same bacillus that we have exterminated. I will never see it happen that even one bit of putrefaction comes in contact with us, or takes root in us. On the contrary, where it might try to take root, we will burn it out together. But altogether we can say: We have carried out this most difficult task for the love of our people. And we have suffered no defect within us, in our soul, or in our character.

That’s Heinrich Himmler addressing a group of SS officers, not Bill Ayers addressing the Weathermen, but change the “bacillus” from “Jews” to “capitalism” and he’d agree with every word.

Which brings us to the Millennials.

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Once again, we see an entire generation of over-educated youngsters who feel they’ve missed an opportunity — really, the opportunity — to test their mettle.  The wandervogel who were radicalized into the SS in college missed the First World War, the Weathermen missed the Second, and the Millennials missed everything.(5)  And unlike the Sixties, money can’t paper this over — when The Simpsons joked about Homer’s hippy-dippy mom “marketing Jerry Rubin’s line of diet shakes, proofreading Bobby Seale’s cookbook, and running credit checks at Tom Hayden’s Porsche dealership,” it wasn’t really a joke.  Hayden never owned a Porsche dealership (Wiki prissily informs us), but the rest of the Sixties bomb-throwing crew did just fine — ask Bill Ayers, emeritus professor of education at Northwestern, or Bernardine Dohrn, law professor at same. Mark Rudd was a college prof, too, and so is Tom Hayden, who was also married to Jane Fonda back when she was still hot.

The rest of the Sixties flower children became hedge fund managers.  Their grandkids can barely get jobs at Starbucks.  And — this is the important part — radical politics are dead, too, at least as we’re used to understanding them.  The Weathermen were stupid, grandiose, murderous clowns, but at least the racism they decried (in between the mandatory homosexual orgies, anyway) was a real evil.  Millennials are stuck picketing department stores so that 6-2 dudes in dresses can make wee-wee in the little girls’ room.

So what’s left for them?  As Matt Forney (a Millennial himself) points out, they’re turning en masse to a new kind of radical politics — the shitlord kind.

Millennials came of age in a world where the entire establishment, from the politicians down to the flesh-puppets of Hollywood, were complete and total jokes. No shock that we want to crash it with no survivors. Donald Trump is the avatar of our rage: while not a millennial himself, his ideas and attitude make the overly comfortable chattering classes collectively brown their pantaloons. Because we have no memory of the leftist upheavals of the sixties and seventies, we’re not bound by the taboos that have held back Boomers and GenXers. Our parents fear the taint of “racism” because of their memories of Hair, Martin Luther King, Jr. and industrial-strength LSD: we see four Chicago savages kidnapping an autistic boy for an anti-white snuff film and we call a spade a spade.

If you’ve followed along with me this far (I’m sure all but the Six Readers stopped about a paragraph in — “oh god, he’s on about the Nazis again!”), you’ll see where this is going.  The only important difference between the SS and the Weathermen was opportunity.  Because America was a lovely place, even in the coked-out patchouli-reeking early 1970s, only a few truly deluded weirdos went underground and became Weathermen.  The Ostfront in a total war was a whole different ballgame, and while Ayers, Dohrn, et al were willing to kill cops and soldiers — and Weatherman did bomb police headquarters in L.A., and the bomb that blew many of their stupid asses up was intended for an army dance at Ft. Dix — the Einsatzkommandos could shoot all the Jews and Commissars they had bullets for.  Bernardine Dohrn praised the Manson Family for killing a pregnant Sharon Tate and sticking a fork in her stomach; Himmler praised his men for remaining “decent” while herding women and children into mobile gas vans.  Other than scale, the difference is…. what, exactly?

The opportunity for serious political violence — on an SS scale, not a Weatherman scale — is potentially right around the corner.  An entire generation is angry, hopeless, and backed into a corner. They’ve been stewed in radical politics their whole lives — remember, Ayers is a professor of education; former flower children have been in charge of almost every primary school, and certainly every college, in America for decades.  The Nazis spared no expense conducting “research” to prop up their bizarre racial views, and the flower children could at least quote Marx Marcuse and Mao to back up their weird notions of collective guilt.  Millennials can’t grasp — literally can’t grasp, and for once I’m using their signature slang unironically — the notion that different groups don’t have different rights.  They can micro-calibrate racial, gender, and sexual identities with a sickening ease that’s beyond us older folks.  They’ve been trained to do so for literally their entire lives.

What happens when the student loan bubble pops?

What happens when China’s economy crashes?

What happens when the shitlords in the crowd start punching first?

It’s not going to end well.

 

 

(1) except Goebbels, who was rejected for service due to a club foot.

(2) As any World War 2-related discussion invariably brings out the internet’s spergiest spergs, let’s get this down for the record: I’m grossly oversimplifying.  I’m talking about the type of guy who ended up in one (or several) of the organizations under the umbrella of the RHSA, the Reich Main Security Office.   The SS was a separate organization, and because of the distinctive Nazi leadership style, there was serious, vicious competition between them and the RHSA, and within the various departments of the RHSA.  But because the Nazi-est Nazis were in the SS, and because everyone who was anyone in the Gestapo, SD, etc. also held SS rank, I’m using “SS” as a catchall term to describe this type of guy.  I’m also aware that the SS itself was far from a homogeneous organization, and that there’s a difference between an Einsatzkommando and a private in the Waffen-SS.  I’m really not interested in who did what during the war, who should’ve been sentenced to what at Nuremberg, et cetera ad nauseam.  There are plenty of cheeto-stained gentlemen on the internet who’d be happy to discuss all that with you; don’t bring it up here.

(3) N.b. to spergs part II: Whether the Nazi regime could’ve existed without going to war, or if it were capable of winning any of the wars it could have chosen to fight, are open questions that we won’t be getting into here.  Save it for your Man in the High Castle fan fic.

(4) not a typo; their official name was WeathermAn, singular.

(5) I know, I know, I’m excluding Gen X.  For one thing, that’s my generation, so it’s hard to be objective about it.  My quick take, though, is that Gen X was largely against youthful rebellion because “being against youthful rebellion” WAS youthful rebellion.  Remember: our parents, the Boomers, made Sticking it to The Man a lifestyle, and they just Would. Not. Shut. UP. about it.  When you’re 18, everything your parents tell you to do is lame; therefore, Sticking it to The Man is lame.  We still did it, of course — “it” being sex drugs and rock’n’roll — since that’s what modern kids do, but we had to be all, like, you know, whatever about it.  Which is one of the main reasons our kids are so fucked up.  And now, back to the rant….

“Home Grown” Rotten Fruit

So I’m reading this article … and it suddenly becomes crystal clear what I’m being sold and how it’s being sold:

Allowing a terrorist disguised as a refugee is a possibility, Sandweg said. But he added, “talk to any professional and they will probably say what keeps them up at night is the homegrown terrorist.”

In Paris, where 129 were killed in a combination of shootouts and bombings, some of those responsible were radicalized French or Belgian citizens.

“There is a notion that refugees are the source of the problem.  Recent events show the opposite.  Individuals get radicalized at home and it’s not the wolf slipping in in sheep’s clothing.”

Let’s take a look at the wording up there.

“Homegrown terrorist.”

And “homegrown” terrorists are grown from what sort of seed, in general?

Next sentence “some of those responsible were radicalized French or Belgian citizens”.

Some of them.  They didn’t even say “most” of them.  And you know darned well that if they could say “most” of them, they would.

Second, if we look at the “radicalized” citizens, what was their path to said citizenship?  I’ll bet francs to beignets they weren’t multi-generational French people named “Pierre” or “Francois”.  Immigrants become citizens unless they’re there illegally.  Refugees who have children have children who are citizens at the very least.

Now back to my first question … who is it being radicalized?

By saying “homegrown” and “citizens”, they are intentionally disguising the problem, and that is the problem of setting up a culture clash in your own country.  It might not happen often in the first generation … but that’s not what’s been going on in Europe, is it?

This is exactly what one would expect when you import people from radically different cultures and bend over backward to allow them not to assimilate.  This leaves, after a generation or two, a large population of unassimilated people who have thus not been able to successfully integrate into society, most of whom probably therefore have crappy jobs and don’t mix with their new “home” countrymen.  And they understandably feel “separate” and “other”.  And it just so happens that their religious cohorts in their families’ original home countries and around the world are all to willing to provide the spark needed for radicalization, even self-radicalization.

But it all happened here at home, so don’t worry about bringing more in.  Nothing to see here.  Move along.

 

Reconstructing a Deconstruction

There’s this fairly common joke construct. Goes like this. “I thought ___A__ was OK, until I found out ___B___.”

In the formula, “A” is something people pretty much universally agree is horrible, and “B” is something that is relatively trivial. The bigger the disparity, the greater the irony, the funnier the joke.

The point is never to trivialize the evil of A, it is always to trivialize “B” as an offense.

Might go something like this….

“I thought Hiltler was OK until I found out he was a vegetarian.”

The irony being, of course, who really gives a damn if someone is a vegetarian? (Unless they’re constantly in your face about it, at which point they’re Vegetarian Nazis  😉 )

“B” doesn’t even have to be true for the joke to work, but “A” must be universally perceived to be *very* bad, or the joke won’t work.

“I thought Mother Theresa was OK until I found out she treated people for leprosy.”

Doesn’t work for 2 reasons. Most people admire Mother Theresa, and pretty much nobody thinks treating people for leprosy is bad on any level.

But this one might work …

“I thought Charles Manson was OK until I found out he liked the Teletubbies.”

A lot of people think the Teletubbies are weird and don’t like them. But it’s certainly not anywhere near the evil that Manson wrought. You could replace “Teletubbies” with “Jersey Shore”, or any other TV show many people don’t like.

And so another one might go like this…

“I thought the KKK was OK until I found out they smoked pot.”

Which a joke Jeff Sessions told 30 years ago that seemed to be the crux of the case *against* him.

One of the most insidious things about the NewSpeak nature of Political Correctness is that it that it doesn’t just make words mean things they don’t mean, but that it can actually go so far as to make words mean the exact opposite of what they mean if it suits the person engaging in Political Correctness.

Thanksgiving Chestnuts

As everybody knows, on this date back in 1620, evil white genocidal gun-toting religious fanatics tricked the noble Native Americans into teaching them how to grow corn, which in their language was called “maize.” Soon all the noble Native Americans died from smallpox-infected blankets. And patriarchy. Also global warming.

So have a good one, fellow Deplorables. Oppress a LGBTQ family member, grab a pussy, be sure not to use any parts of the buffalo, and make America great again. Heil Hitler.*

*this post brought to you straight from the brain of every obnoxious freshperson just home from their $50K/year “safe space,” formerly known as a “college.” It does not reflect the opinions of the writer, the management, WordPress, the Republican Party, the designated hitter, or any of their heirs, assigns, or pets.**

**No, really — have a great one, y’all. I’m off to watch football and test the human stomach’s maximum elasticity.

Details, Details

There are no Ace of Spades types among the Four Regular Readers — we’re Not His Class, Dear — but if there were, I’d love to ask them: How, exactly, is Hillary going to beat Trump?

I don’t mean bromides like “because Trump is a jerk and a poopyhead!”  I mean procedurally.  Walk me through the mechanism.  What’s she going to run on?  What are her signature issues?  What’s she going to bring up in the debates?  IS she going to debate?

Ace’s theory seems to be “She’ll lay low and let Trump immolate himself, which he’s sure to do, because the media is in such a tizzy that their anti-Trump 24/7 attack mode is going to make what they did to George W. Bush look like the happy ending to an Oriental massage.”

Do y’all seriously think that’s going to work?

Yes, Trump is an egomaniac and yes, he never misses an opportunity to not shut up and yes, he says all kinds of controversial stuff all the time.  But Trump isn’t stupid, no matter how hard you try to convince yourselves otherwise, and he’s been dealing with this stuff since last summer, and all his self-immolatory style brought him was the Presidential nomination.  I know y’all think of yourselves as the Alt-Media, Ace et al, but you’re not — you only share their basic assumptions, one of which is that you are Shapers of the Narrative.  In fact, in this particular election the Narrative shapes you, and the Narrative is:

Look how much the American public hates the fucking Media.

Seriously.  I’m no Nostradamus, but I can read the news and work a google machine, and it’s pretty obvious what Trump’s response to all this is going to be: “When are you going to be asking Hillary these questions?”  And then the Media will get all outraged — how dare you question our objectivity?!? — and then Trump’s poll numbers will rise 10 more points like they do every time he tells the Media to go fuck themselves.

Eventually Trump is going to get around to making his trademark self-destructive statements about Hillary’s record.  And, in the course of getting all outraged!!!1!eleventy! about it, the Media will have to report what the man actually said.  At which point, he accomplishes two objectives simultaneously: He points out how incompetent and corrupt Hillary is, and he highlights, in the starkest possible way, how incompetent and corrupt the Media are in their pro-Hillary cheerleading.

I mean, he’s only been doing this for a year now.  Am I the only one who sees this?  How can you, Ace, who thinks of himself as a smarter version of a Fox news bobblehead, not see this?  Isn’t it your job to see this?

Fixing it Matters

Muslim man shoots up gay nightclub, claiming he did it in the name of ISIS and Allah.  But we don’t know the motive.  It must be Christian hatred and the NRA.

White cop shoots black man.  Has to be white racism.  Clearly there is no other explanation than systemic white racism.

#BlackLivesMatter.  #WhitePrivilege.

Over and over we find that the people peddling these hashtags have rushed their narrative to the media before the facts all come out — because they know what gets out there first sticks, and people have a natural instinct to root for the underdog. Saul Alinsky knew this and advised how to best do it to your advantage.  “Rules for Radicals” *is* the Bible for the American Leftist Activist.

We saw old younger pictures of an angelic-looking Michael Brown rather than the big thuggish bully he had grown to be.  The one who had just robbed a convenience store and assaulted the Indian manager, and who tried to wrestle a gun from a cop who had just advised him not to walk down the middle of the street.  Trayvon Martin was just a young innocent teen, shot for being black by a “White Hispanic”, not because he was bashing Zimmerman’s head into the ground in a potentially lethal fashion. And “White Hispanic” was a term they came up with out of whole cloth when it turned out the initial reports that Zimmerman was white turned out to be far more complex and in fact was actually raised with black other children.

I look at situations, not skin color.  They look at skin color regardless of the situation.

Now … is a police officer (white or black) more likely to fear for his life when confronting a black suspect than a white suspect?  Quite possibly, even probably.  Is this bad?  Yes it is.  Is it rational?

Yes it is.

Both of those things are true.  This is tragic.

So what do we, as a society, do about it?

Here’s what we DON’T do:  Blame white people.  Which is exactly what the terms, not accidentally chosen, “white privilege” and “black lives matter” do. The people peddling them claim it doesn’t, but the rest of their rhetoric and actions make it clear that this is exactly what they intend.

“Black Lives Matter” implies that white people don’t think that black lives matter – that the problem lies simply with white people seeing black skin and thinking somehow the person inside matters less.  It is insulting to white people. Even if it were true, insulting people is not the way to bring them to your side.  And the reality of the reaction being referenced is far more complex than that (which we’ll get to in a minute).  The suggestion is inherently racist.  The whole thing is divisive.  Divisiveness will not solve the problem.

The same goes, even more so, for “white privilege”.  White people are not privileged.  Black people are treated unfairly as individuals.  White people are being treated the way all people should be treated.  It’s nothing special. But black people *are* treated with more suspicion in our society.  And there are deep psychological reasons for this that have far more to do with culture than skin color.  And it is culture that is the underlying problem.

Consider this … why aren’t white people leery of Indian, Asian, Brazilian, or Polynesian Americans?  Why are even black people more leery of black strangers than strangers of other races (see Juan Williams et. al)?

It is the association with violent crime.  Violent crime is far more prevelant in the black population.  It wasn’t always this way.  It is something that developed during the latter half of the last century.  But it’s real.

Now the other side will argue that it’s not, it’s just a disproportionate number are picked up because they’re watched more carefully.  And the numbers may skew slightly higher for that reason, I will acknowledge.  But it’s not responsible for all of it, or even most of it.

The fact of the matter is, if race is what it’s about, black lives apparently matter far less to black people than they do to white people — most black people who are killed are killed by other black people, typically gang on gang.  This is a cultural issue.  And in the modern, Western Civilization worldview (before it was bastardized by Marxist shills) culture is not dependent on race.  There may be correlation.  But race is not the cause.  It is this correlation which must be broken to solve the problem.  This cannot be done by denying the correlation.

The Marxist shills, however, are interested in keeping us divided, for they want to build coalitions of aggrieved people to overthrow the order of Liberty.  This is called (by them … most of us hadn’t heard of it until 2008) “Community Organizing”.  They don’t really want it fixed, so they deny the correlation and insist everyone do the same. They use it to push their cause de jour.

They want the black American community to feel aggrieved, and to feel that they are powerless to change their lot outside of demanding concessions from “white” America.   It is also in the shills’ interest to keep white America aggravated to help justify the narrative that whites hate blacks and live to keep them down and protect their “privilege”.

The truth is, the rest of America would love for black America to be just as “privileged” as it is.  That is, it would love for black Americans to be treated the way all people should be treated.

The best way for that to happen is … assimilation.  Like the Italians.  Like the Irish.  Like Asian Americans, and a lot of American Indians, and Indian (dot!) Americans, and Hispanic Americans.  You can keep cultural elements as a part of your identity, but to join our culture, you can’t insist on a separate one.  You have to join it.  Melting pot. Remember?

This problem cannot be solved overnight.  And white people cannot solve it for black people by turning a blind eye or tolerating bad behavior so as not to appear “racist”.  Everybody black, white, whatever — must hold themselves to the same basic standards.  No races elevated or denegrated.

I always find it fascinating that the people who scream the loudest about racism make absolutely *everything* about race.  There’s nothing more racist than that.

National Purpose

Over at Vox Day’s, we see this:

So Reagan is dead, so is Reaganism. The only question is what can we do to improve the lot of regular Americans, materially, and what can we do to generate some kind of purpose for our people and our nation.

Yep.  As I have repeatedly said, and guess I’m OCD-compelled to go on saying until every one of our Four Readers gives up in disgust, this is the entire point of the (((SexyFunTime))) system of government.  It gives men a reason to be men again — a large, encompassing purpose, a challenge worth taking because there really are Maidens Faire at the other end who appreciate the effort.  It guarantees a minimum standard of material comfort and safety, and above all, it gives a certain demographic — which has been shat upon from all quarters for going on 70 years now — a feeling of national community.*

It’s inevitable.  It seems we’re trying the Trump clown show version first — and thank God for that! — but if the circus act doesn’t work, get ready for the very serious steely-eyed fanatic with the passion for Parties.

 

*N.b. to aspies: Whether it can actually deliver what it promises are two separate questions.  We’re talking about the appeal, not the results.

Question-Flipping

One of academia’s handiest bullshit-masking tricks is question-flipping.

One of Rotten Chestnuts’ four regular readers (I think it’s Nate Winchester; please correct me if not) likes to quote Jonah Goldberg’s pithy insight that it’s not poverty that demands explanation, but wealth.  I’d like you to imagine yourself captured by an evil genie, who tells you he’s going to insert your brain into either A) a modern trailer-dweller, or B) any famous historical figure from the 19th century or earlier. Pick whomever you like — Queen Victoria, Julius Caesar, Ramses II, Genghis Khan, Cesare Borgia, Shakespeare… anyone, so long as his life ended in 1900 or before, or choose Tornado Acres Trailer Park.*

If you know anything about history, you take the trailer.  If for no other reason than trailers have aspirin, antibiotics, and air conditioning.  Those three things alone make modern life unimaginably more comfortable than even royalty experienced back in the days.  If you don’t believe me, try it — wait until a nice sultry summer’s day, then turn off the a/c and lock your medicine cabinet.  I bet you don’t make it past lunchtime.

This is a simple, obvious, irrefutable point, but as Goldberg keeps pointing out, almost nobody ever makes it, or thinks through the implications.  Politics in 21st century America assumes a baseline of material prosperity that goes well beyond the wildest dreams of science fiction from even the Fifties and Sixties.  Where on earth do we get this idea?

Part of it is simply that familiarity breeds contempt, of course, but some of it is much more insidious.  You’ve probably heard of “postcolonialism,” for instance, and even if you haven’t heard the term, you know the arguments — the Third World is so screwed up because the white man wrecked the place; anything that’s wrong with, say, Mexico is due to the “legacy of colonialism.”  It’s one of the pillars of Obama’s worldview, for instance.

Question-flipping, Goldberg-style, is the only way they can get away with this.  The obvious question should be, “well, if Whitey screwed it all up, why was life so much better when he was in charge?”  Tanzania, for instance, had a pretty good standard of living back when the Germans ran the place.  The average Indian peasant was obviously better off in the Raj’s glory days than in all but the last few years of independence.  The difference between Ian Smith’s Rhodesia and Mugabe’s Zimbabwe is too gruesome to mention.  Ditto South Africa pre- and post-apartheid.  How many Average Joes, do you think, would happily invite Whitey back if they knew this?

The point of this exercise isn’t to show that wogs are incapable of self-governance, or some other Victorian-era bullshit.  I simply want you to see the disconnect between what reasonably informed, but non-indoctrinated, people would conclude from this set of facts, versus what the ivory tower concludes.  Because it’s obvious that Whitey wasn’t running everything out there in the colonies.  One of the most cited figures in Postcolonial Studies — and you’ll never find a more wretched hive of fact-avoidance than “___ Studies” — is that Britain ran the Raj with something like 100,000 full-time white folks…. at most.  Clearly there were a LOT of talented, dedicated, hardworking Indians making the Raj go.  Why, then, did it all go to shit in 1947?  Ditto just about any colonial possession of just about any European power — grotesqueries like Belgian Congo aside, most everywhere was run mostly by natives, most all of the time.  Where did they go?

That’s the question you’ll never see asked, because the answer is “they swallowed Leftist ideology, which is as utterly destructive of personal integrity and work ethic as it is of infrastructures and economies.”  Pick any country you like.  Tanzania elected Julius Nyerere, who is still the collectivist wet dream in many parts of academia.  He managed to ruin the economy and start a famine within a few years.  And Nyerere was just dumb and ideology-blinded; he wasn’t batshit insane like Idi Amin or Mobutu Sese Seko or Francisco Macias Nguema.

But question-flip it, and you can have a long and lucrative career flogging Whitey with 50 cent words.

 

*yeah, I know, Queen Victoria died in 1901.  Forget it, Hoover, he’s rolling.

 

“H8” and the Importance of Tautologies

Over at Morgan’s, I opined that “H8” may be the root of most, if not all, of modern society’s ills.  “H8,” of course, is that peculiarly Progressive perversion of Jesus’s command to hate the sin, but love the sinner.  According to Progressives, if you don’t love the sin, you must “hate” the sinner — if I don’t “celebrate” little Tommy’s decision to live as Ms. Phyllis Levine, showgirl extraordinaire, I’m itching to tie him to my pickup hitch and take him for a long ride down a gravel road.

Which is baloney.  I’m almost completely indifferent to Tommy.  “Mild pity” is the strongest emotion I can muster for him.  My “hate” — and it’s nearly strong enough for that word — is reserved for the notion of forcing us, with fines and jail time, to participate in Tommy’s delusion.

They are not the same.  They are, in fact, light years apart.  The only way to conflate the two is to completely lose one’s grip on tautologies.

It’s easy to do, alas.  In fact, almost any “skeptical” worldview you can name, from Diogenes the Cynic on down, rests on this kind of error.  They’ll say that we can’t know the “real” world, or “things as they are in themselves,” because our perceptions are mediated by our sense-organs and our understanding can only function in language-dependent concepts….

…which is just a fancy way of saying “we can only know what we can know.”(1)  Of course we can only see with our eyes and think with our brains.  And it’s certainly true that if our mechanism of perception were different — if we had bat sonar, say — things would appear quite different (2).  But this too is tautologous: If things were different, they wouldn’t be the same.  But that’s boring.  Isn’t it so much more fun — not to mention remunerative — to pretend that our “inability” to know “things in themselves” leads to all sorts of radical political consequences?

This “transgender” nonsense is just feminist tautology-dodging.  They will tell you that biology is meaningless when it comes to behavior.  Your private parts are the result of chromosomes, yes — not even feminists have gotten around to denying that yet — but “male” and “female,” they claim, are just “social constructions.”  Since the suite of behaviors we call “male” and “female” are largely (=entirely) culture-bound, anyone who “identifies” as a girl really is a girl, no matter what he’s packing in his pants.  And if you try to dispute that, well, we’ve seen how easy it is to get led off into the socio-philosophical weeds (very few scientists would claim that all behavior is entirely genetic…).

But “social constructions” are tautologies too.  Social things are social.  Customs are customary.

To get to “transgenderism,” you need to argue that DEscription is the same as PREscription — that by noting something is such-and-such a way, you’re asserting that it should be that way.  Which is false.  And, indeed, it’s only Progressives who argue that the way things are in The Current Year is the only way things should ever be.  For the rest of us, it’s uncontroversial, boring in fact, to note that gender roles change with circumstances.  On the football field, this is acceptable, indeed manly, behavior:

1253293349In line at the DMV, not so much.

Getting back to Tommy:  Tommy is a boy.  Tommy is not a girl.  Tommy dresses like a girl, and often behaves like a girl (3), to the point where it’s a not-unreasonable hypothesis that Tommy thinks he IS a girl.  But he’s not.  He’s a boy.  Same deal as the guy in the nuthouse who thinks he’s Napoleon (4).

Now, one can argue — and, in fact, I would argue — that Tommy deserves understanding and compassion.  I don’t hold it against him, and I wouldn’t force him into psychiatric treatment or anything like that, even if I could.  I certainly don’t “hate” Tommy.  But it is a tautology — it is true by definition — that Tommy is a boy, not a girl.

Forcing us to publicly pretend to believe otherwise is propaganda, and like all propaganda it’s designed to belittle and humiliate.  That’s where the hate — real, honest-to-God hate — comes from.  And if certain overly-excitable folks can’t distinguish between the propaganda and its subject, well, are they not following the Progressives’ lead?  They, not we, insist that tautologies aren’t tautological.  They, not we, insist that Tommy IS a girl.  Any actual hate directed at Tommy is unfair, and a tragedy….

…. and it’s entirely Progressives’ fault.

 

 

(1) I can’t recommend David Stove’s essay “Idealism: A Victorian Horror Story” enough.  He clobbers these arguments, then salts the earth behind him.  The full thing (parts I and II) are in The Plato Cult and Other Philosophical Follies; if that’s hard to get, or you want more Stove (and you really can’t get enough), one of the parts is in Against the Idols of the Age, ed. Roger Kimball.  Read them!!!

(2) That’s the thought experiment behind a famous essay by philosopher Thomas Nagel: “What is It Like to Be a Bat?”  Here’s a summary; the essay itself can be found online in .pdf form and is well worth reading.

(3) Though not nearly as often as you’d think.  When you read up on them, a surprisingly large number of “trans” folks are attracted to the same gender they believe themselves to be.  The “queer trans_____” actually seems to be the norm, in my experience, and you haven’t truly lived until you’ve heard a very obvious dude — I’m talking 6’3″, built like a linebacker, adam’s apple the size of a softball, with five o’clock shadow you could putt on — angrily going off about how he’s really a lesbian.  And no, he absolutely was NOT kidding.  I felt like I was on mescaline.

(4) The most fascinatingly quixotic book I’ve ever read, Julian Jaynes’s The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, uses these types of delusions as evidence.  A psychiatrist, Jaynes claims that folks who think they’re Napoleon exhibit the same inability to individuate that pre-conscious peoples do.  If you put two guys who think they’re Napoleon in a room together, the result is…. complete agreement.  They both agree that the other guy is also Napoleon. They somehow don’t process the idea that two people can’t be the same guy at the same time.  It would be fascinating to learn if “transsexuals” really believe that other transsexuals are the gender they claim.  Alas, that would imply (as I have implied throughout) that “transgenderism” is a mental illness, and that simply won’t do.