Halloween Hot Takes

Once again, I’ve got nuttin’, so a few brief random thoughts:

Words and things. Blogfather Morgan has a good piece on Don Lemon’s stupidity yesterday, and the dimness of Leftists in general.  Quoth he:

It is the kind of ignorance that can come only from people who haven’t done things. Like “Buy your meat in the store where no animals were harmed.”  Or “Move those deer-crossing signs to someplace with less traffic…”

As with all things Left, this comes down to four possibilities:

  • Ignorance
  • Stupidity
  • Malice
  • or some combo of the three.

As Don Lemon is paid to be an idiot on TV, I’m going with malice over stupidity here.  But long experience of undergraduate teaching suggests that ignorance — deliberate, systematically imposed enstupidation — accounts for most of it in the younger generation.

For once, I’m totally in agreement with the hardcore Leftists in the teachers’ unions: “Teaching to the test” sucks, it isn’t real education, it’s worse than useless.  But as the Federal money spigot shuts off if everyone doesn’t test above average, “teaching to the test” is what everyone does.  So, by the time I got them in undergrad, they were so used to regarding all statements in isolation that stuff like “buy your meat in the store where no animals were harmed” doesn’t even register.  For them, “meat” is “a product you buy in the store,” and since Everyone Knows (TM) that harming animals is wrong….  Throw in text messaging, Twitter, etc. — where every message must of necessity be a discrete unit conveying one and only one message, and I can’t really even blame them for this.

Once again as Farce.  Hey, where have I heard that “every message must be a discrete unit” blather before?  Ahhhh yes, it was Derrida: “Il n’y a pas de hors-texte;” there is nothing outside the text.”  I remember getting this stuff in Eng Lit seminars back when Deconstruction, reader-response criticism, and other such mind-viruses were breaking containment in the Ivy League and infecting the whole university system.  Turns out the old Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkey was right after all.  Oh, and just for giggles, read up on the Ivy League’s favorite Deconstructionist, Paul de Man — Soros is far from the first Nazi collaborator they’ve excused and championed because they like the cut of his jib.  Why, it’s almost as if the Left has no problem at all with Socialism-spouting anti-Semites!!!

Speaking of anti-Semites, yes, it’s true, there are some vocal — very, very tediously vocal — ones in Our Thing.  But: I’ve never actually met anyone in Our Thing (I keep wearing my white Boss hat out in public, hoping to meet a fellow thoughtcriminal, but so far no luck).  I have, however, met several frothing-at-the-mouth anti-Semites — in academia.  As nobody in academia is to the right of Bernie Sanders…. well, you figure it out.  If you’ve spent any time on campus in the last 20 years, the Left’s reaction to the Synagogue Shooter is hilarious.  I know you really really really want to bash President Trump with this, but you really ought to take down those “Israel is a Fascist State!” posters and the pictures of Bibi Netanyahu sporting a swastika before you do.

Batgirl.  Having won my pyrrhic victory with Sting in a Thong, it’s only right that I take Contrariandutchman’s suggestion and post a Batgirl pic.  This one’s for you, comrade.  I know, I know, she’s a lunatic even by Hollywood standards, but Alicia Silverstone really was something back in her day, wasn’t she?

Happy Halloween, y’all.  Maybe next year we can all go trick-or-treating together in the reeducation camp.

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19 thoughts on “Halloween Hot Takes

  1. MBlanc46

    Re Deconstructionist Nazis: Before there was de Man, there was Heidegger, the inventor of Destruktion. Re Jews and higher ed, although from a different angle, I first discovered the meaning of that when I went from a small, nominally Protestant, liberal arts college in the Chicago suburbs to the University of Chicago (more than nominally Protestant when it was founded).

    1. Severian

      It’s everywhere. Heidegger has many, many fans, and there’s no question he was — ZOMG!! — literally a Nazi, you guys! Leftist legal scholars love them some Carl Schmitt, too, since (as I understand it, which is but little) “decisionism” amounts to “might makes right,” and the Left has all the might in the legal realm.

      Why, it’s almost as if the Left has some strange affinity for the National Socialists. The Jew hate? That’s just a bonus. Let’s not even get started on the long line of Jewish anti-Semites in academia, starting with Karl Marx himself and going through Chomsky and the rest….

      1. MBlanc46

        I guess you get a pass if the Leftists can make some use of you. Plus, Heidegger wasn’t a very good Nazi. De Man’s fascist connections were an embarrassment to them, and he’s practically an unperson now. After they found Foucault, they had little use for de Man. I suppose the fact that he was a rampant homosexual who died from AIDS was a plus for him. How far we have fallen.

  2. Contrariandutchman

    Thank you for replacing Sting on such short notice, a great improvement in the quality of the discourse here at surely a very low cost.

    re all the philosophers mentioned: I’m thinking the big problem of the late 20th century is that anglo-american brains just cannot handle weapons grade continental philosophy, so once that was introduced in US colleges it quickly broke containment and started tearing at the fabric of society, even though Hegel had been contained in continental universities for almost 150 years with few problems.

    1. Severian

      There’s definitely something to that! Perhaps Deconstructionism etc. are like vampires — they can’t cross running water…. very well.

      Philosophy is another place where the HBD (human biodiversity) people lose me. It’s a very striking fact that England has only ever had a few world-class philosophers, and they only worked on the most “practical” areas of philosophy (Hobbes and Locke in political theory; Bertrand Russell in math). America has no philosophers worth mentioning — Santayana, I guess, but he’s mostly a historical curiosity (and wasn’t even American anyway). Even if you stretch the definition of “philosophy” very far, you only get William James and a few literary critics.

      That’s all culture. White Americans have every single strain of European DNA mixing around, but no philosophers, very few artists, writers, etc. We’re just different. We’re great tinkerers, engineers, chemists, biologists… but no artists or philosophers.

      1. nightfly

        I would amend “no” to “few,” at least as creatives go. The difference is that Americans generally have innovated and embraced new art forms: photography, film/TV, and blues/jazz/bluegrass foremost. It makes them less likely to be known for classical sculpture and such.

        Along with, a part of the general lack of recognition for the greatness of some of the finest examples of American art is that they’re popular, and easily-enjoyed by too many ordinary people. We have already seen this rotting out the Oscars, where nobody could name any of the last 10-15 Best Picture winners – including, one year, the actual presenters while giving out the actual award.

        Another thing is that others embraced these forms (British Invasion, foreign film) and quite often, snobbish sorts will tell you that those imports are the best examples. Brian Wilson had to wait decades for his just due and to have people re-appreciate the Beach Boys and the surf sound. It becomes another way to piss on the Yanks. (Exception – they will tell you that only the original black musicians sang real blues and jazz, in order to piss on the pale Yanks and score some “Ain’t a Rayciss” points at the same time.)

        (Side note – this example also covers established stuff like painting and novels and such. Unless you’re a poet like Whitman or Frost and thus suitably unfashionable, you’re nothing if you’re American. Think about great American writers through the 19th century, or artists like Norman Rockwell, Frederic Remington… or hell, Walt Kelly, Frank Frazetta, Bill Watterson, or Neal Adams. It’s popular, it sold stuff – same goes for commercial art and ad illustrations and such – so it’s not really any good!)

        Finally, you can’t hang Twilight Zone episodes or Ben-Hur in the Louvre. I think that great examples of those media are more impressive because they involve such a collaborative effort, the worst part of which could scuttle the whole affair. But some people would rather watch something incomprehensible, because “incomprehensibility = art.”

      2. Contrariandutchman

        As you note, Anglo-americans tend heavily toward pure practicality, weapons grade continental philosophy no matter how fascinating as pure mind conctructs is anything but, and then the ever so practical people started thinking this intellectually super-rigorous and fascinating stuff (and the best Hegelians, deconstructivists and postmodernists are that very much) just had to have amazing practical application…. The Germans and French always knew better so they’d keep a few specimens for study in their universities for study and went on with business.

        And is that practicality purely cultural? or part genetic?

        Impossible to prove the hypothesis I suppose.

        1. Severina

          No idea, but it’s true for all that. Germans seemed to be able to do both, for quite a long time — back when people read History, that was a perennial topic of discussion, how the nation with the highest technical and cultural achievements could’ve fallen victim to such barbarism. These days, you’re not even allowed to discuss the ideas animating any of the great 20th century social movements – they’re hatefacts, which get you fired.

          I suspect the answer has something to do with “1500 yeas of feudalism.” It’s just different, walking over land that shelters the bones of fifteen generations of your ancestors, vs. picking up and moving every few years like Americans do.

          1. Contrariandutchman

            Its not just the Germans, the French were never slouches in engineering and the applied sciences. Neither were a bunch of smaller European peoples, if they pale next to the Germans, well, the Germans were more numerous and they are thorough (grundlich as they say themselves). Yet everyone could keep the Hegelian, deconstructivist and postmodernist mind-viruses containes within the philosophy department of their local university.

            (and mind-virus seems the not entirely orignal but proper analogy here, a neurobiological weaopn, fascinating to study, but extremely dangerous if released into society)

            I’ll agree with a commenter above that anglo-americans have been no slouches in the arts, there is a fair bit of decent conventional art and the newer forms of cinema and videogame design got many contributions from the US of course. That those forms are popular does not make them not-art I think.

            But post-1800 philosophy…. Maybe when you have won the culture war you should ban its study in US colleges entirely? People who insist can study it in Europe where containment has proven possible. (under no circumstance may they teach it in the US)

    2. MBlanc46

      That, and that it’s possible in phenomenology, which is the foundation of Continental philosophy, for you to spout the most ridiculous rubbish, and as long as you do it in impenetrable prose, you’re home free. If anyone attempts to counter with evidence with evidence and argument, the retort is that you’re inauthentic, or a tool of the bourgeois patriarchy. There’s no way that you can beat them, because they’ve got a built-in answer for everything. It’s perfect for Leftists and no surprise that they took to it like ducks to water. There have been Leftists among Analytical philosophers, Russell, for example, but they don’t construct their politics as a total, closed system.

  3. Frip

    It was hard to believe Lemon said that. (Yes, I know, we’re not supposed to admit to being surprised by ANYTHING. So I’m not cool, whatever…) anyway, so I look up the clip and he really did say it.

    I’ve always emphasized how dumb Lemon is. People would just kind of ignore me, as they know most talking heads aren’t high IQ. But no. I’ve been trying to say he’s especially dumb. Like laughably, distractingly stupid.

    It’s funny to watch the clip below, and see him asked a question requiring him to extrapolate like he’s a serious, articulate person with something to say. And he just sucks so bad at it. No better than a locker room jock interview after the game.

    Note how he pulls the common tactic of not-very-bright Lefties, who after saying something outrageous/controversial, can’t explain, (or don’t realize they REALLY owe the audience a thoughtful explanation…but can’t, so they bail quickly by switching subjects mid “thought”. It happens at about 1:00 min in. And it’s a two-fer. The weasel question “so what do we do about that?” I don’t know genius, do tell us, you brought it up! And then the change the subject tactic in the next breath, “let me just say…”

    I’m babbling. Sorry. But the biggest anchorman in the country just instructed everyone to view an entire race and gender as terrorists.


    1. Skedastic Racket

      You’re surprised he said that. I’m surprised anyone listens to him. His name is dawn lemon. Literally dish soap. It boggles my mind.
      I wish I knew people IRL who listened to him and who would reference his name so I could ask why they take advice from dish soap.

  4. Frip

    Suggestion for topic: I’ve always thought it’d be fun to create categories of Conservatives and list popular conservatives that fall into each. Pimpkin’sNephew’s comment today over at Zman did something like this. It’s toward the end of Z’s post today. We could all contribute over time. Just an idea.

  5. Alt-Gringa

    I have met someone in Our Thing. At my church! This person is the only one I know of, besides husband and me.

    1. Severian Post author

      Nice! It’s good to know there are a few out there. There are days when I wonder if Our Thing is just an elaborate Federal honey trap. How did you find out this person was one of Ours?

  6. RRW

    – “Buy your meat in the store where no animals were harmed.” God has a sense of humor, yes.

    “weapons grade continental philosophy” – That’s a cool phrase, a geil phrase; ‘weapons grade’ is
    a geil phrase: but you shall hear.

    “It’s just different, walking over land that shelters the bones of fifteen generations of your ancestors, vs. picking up and moving every few years like Americans do.”

    I would drive around Bavaria sand ask myself why the countryside was so attractive; it was just rural woodland and farmer’s fields, but it was like an eighteenth or even nineteenth century painting, so unlike the rural areas of America that I’m used to. Then I realized the landscape had been under continuous cultivation for a thousand plus years; it was, in effect, a gigantic garden.

    Good to be here. Wearing the hat.

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