More Random Observations

Freebies

Francis Porretto is giving away a good book, starting November 20th. Get in on the action if you haven’t read his work before. The money quote:

From November 20 through November 24, the Kindle edition of Innocents will be free at Amazon. Yes, friends, that’s a grand total of $0.00 for enough words to separate the wholly electronic covers. Oy vey! Such a bargain! So don’t miss it.

Far be it for me to dispute a freebie.

Moralizing Morality Morally

Leftists are prone to excessive moralizing about everything. They rationalize too much, they go too far. It’s difficult to explain but easy to demonstrate. Many might remember the woman who was free-bleeding (that is to say, going through menstruation without any sanitary devices) during a marathon. The press gave her more attention than the marathon winner, because the free bleeder was protesting the patriarchy, or some other vague thing. They rationalized how it was edgy, and a brave statement of… whatever. They overlooked the absurdity that she was visibly bleeding all over herself in public on purpose.

Lately, they’ve taken to rationalizing human extinction, the death of Western civilization (because slavery, dontcha know), why wearing a kimono is racist, or why being attracted to women is misogyny. There is no limit to their capacity to over-moralize themselves into absurdity. Here’s another grand example: Science proves kids are bad for Earth. Morality suggests we stop having them.

I fisked the last death cult article I ran across, I’m not going to bother with this one. But suffice it to say, I tire of these supposed moral proscriptions against doing… well, anything, including even existing. Sooner or later these people will rationalize themselves into the moral superiority of suicide. Want to save the Earth from the bootheel of humanity? Fine. Let’s colonize space instead. I don’t want to share a planet with these assholes anyway.

Plato’s Cave Sucks

Sarah Hoyt touched on something today that I think everyone should read. By necessity, we are all at somewhat imprisoned by Plato’s Cave, because we are limited to the individual experiences as filtered through our consciousness. Or, put more simply, we only see through our own eyes. She explains for us:

I’ve long ago maintained that movies and other visual media is inferior to books.  Why?  Because you’re observing things happening to other people.

 

HOWEVER when you’re reading a story, particularly first person, though others work too, for a moment it replaces the voice that narrates your life.  For a moment someone else is behind the eyes.

 

Powerful writing can even create the impression you LIVED something.

Read the rest, it’s very powerful stuff. Sarah does an excellent job of explaining not only why reading is so powerful, but why the narrow-minded SJW conception of “diversity” and “authenticity” forces the reader further into Plato’s Cave. It certainly doesn’t help us escape it, even for a moment.

 

 

The Cultural Borg

We are the Cultural Borg.

You will be assimilated.

Existence, as you know it, is over.

Lower your borders and surrender your guns.

We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own.

Your culture will adapt to service us.

Resistance is racist.

Democrats were celebrating in the months up to the election in 2016. The emerging demographic hegemony of Democrats had finally come. They could taste victory. The time of Socialism could begin, at last. Sure, they were more enthusiastic about Bernie than another stuffy old Clinton. Hillary was to the right of where the True Believers really wanted the United States to be, and she had snagged the nomination from the Bernie Bros with her iron grip on the DNC. But she would serve her time, and drive American further Left, and no Rightist would ever win that office again.

The election of Trump shattered those dreams, and destroyed the minds of many of the Hard Leftists since then. They’ve been raging, screaming, and lighting trash cans on fire, throwing a temper tantrum. After a year of this juvenile behavior, we’re seeing signs that they are reengaging. Some of the brighter ones have realized that nothing has really changed. Trump stood in the way of the final demographic transformation necessary to bring about a Socialist United States, but he was stymied by his own party and facing constant press opposition on a scale unheard of in our history. I don’t think even Nixon had it this bad.

And there was a day most of us would have accounted Trump a moderate Leftist. That’s how far things have gone off the rails.

I don’t know that America has another hail Mary pass like 2016 left in her. If Trump fails to stop the deliberate demographic transformation of America, it will result in full-on Socialism soon enough. A sufficiently bold amnesty plan combined with some resettlement could turn Texas blue, and that’d be the end. Democrats often complain of Republican gerrymandering, but this is projection. The Democrats don’t even have to redraw districts, they just bus in new Democrats, settle them in the district, and turn it blue that way. Gerrymandering with immigration and amnesty programs, in essence.

All this bleating about racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, and why America is guilty of… whatever… it’s all just a ploy to bring about more Socialism and to wipe out existing cultures. They often accuse the Right of imperialism, colonialism, etc… but they are the ones shifting people around to political ends. If you can’t make Americans vote Marxist, import Marxists from someplace else. But they’ve also done the former to great degree, too. Education and media have long been bastions of Leftism. The current crop of 20-somethings is exceedingly Marxist.

Either way, the Cultural Borg will come for you. You will have to exchange your values for theirs if you are to survive. Bake the cake, cater the pizza, obey the government, give up your shit.

Up until now, Americans moved around to escape the Cultural Borg. If your neighborhood was going bad, if crime, drugs, and section 8 made their appearance, you sold at a loss, packed your shit, and moved someplace else. My father lamented that the neighborhood he grew up in is just a ghetto shithole now. A lot of Americans share this experience. I’ve seen it happen to an old working class neighborhood I once lived in, too. Now, it’s just another cesspit. But I moved to escape it. Talk to most regular Americans, and they have plenty of stories like this.

SJWs would probably say I’m racist for doing that, likening it to white flight or some such. But what do you do when the house a block down the street becomes a crack house? What do you do when squatters come in, and the shootings start? The Cultural Borg marches on. I’m sure they’ll eventually come for the neighborhood I’m in now.

They do this to whole cities, sometimes. Even whole states, in their own way. Once they turn a state blue, they’ll impose the usual formula of high taxes, high regulation, and absurd restrictions on things like cigarettes and fountain sodas. To escape the consequences of their own policies, drones flee to red states, and begin the process of turning them blue. Salt the influx with some illegal immigrants, some refugees, and a sprinkling of amnesty, and a new blue state is created. Repeat the process until no combination of red states could exist to pull off a Trump.

Oh, 2016 saw a reversal in some areas, most notably Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. It was a truly amazing thing to witness. But look at the effort required to pull it off, the sheer balls on Trump to do what he did. I’ve never personally liked Trump. But I respect the hell out of him for doing something I didn’t legitimately think was possible anymore. It’s like for a moment, the Cultural Borg Collective was disrupted and there was a balls-to-the-wall effort to fight its pervasive influence.

I heard it said once, I forget where exactly (and I’m too lazy to look it up right now) that when you live in a culture, you forget you’re embedded in it. Like just a fish thinks of water as the normal state of being, like how we don’t have to be conscious of breathing air. What a lot of Americans have been feeling – and what I suspect was behind Trump’s surprising wins – is that the culture has changed so much it’s like dropping a freshwater fish into a tank of saltwater.

It’s not the same, anymore. SJWs celebrate this, of course. They like to extol the great browning of America. But by this don’t mean race, per se. To them, the virtue of a particular people isn’t in their culture, or their gifts, or any of that. It’s in their voting patterns. If Mexicans suddenly started voting Republican, Democrats would be demanding Trump’s wall tomorrow. So by celebrating the ‘browning’ of America, they are really celebrating the triumph of Socialism. Any Mexican, or member of any minority really, who doesn’t want Socialism is, of course, a race traitor or an Uncle Tom, or some such.

It is the culture the new Borg are after. They want to erase any and all cultural elements that are incompatible with Socialism. They want an all-powerful, omnipresent government to run everything. We’re fast approaching a point where fleeing the influence of the Cultural Borg won’t work anymore. Only in the rural areas is their rule still openly scorned. In the suburbs, people have to at least pretend to be Socialist-lite. And in the cities, if you are to the right of Stalin, forget it. Even then, they’ll come out to some pizza shop in the sticks to ask about gay wedding catering services in an effort to paint them as unBorgified, and in need of assimilation.

The Borg either assimilate you, and convert you into Borg yourselves, or they get rid of you. Think about that before consider caving in to more gun restrictions. You’re probably going to need them sooner or later.

More and more, the old guard establishment wings of both parties are starting to look like merely a bunch of Trotskyites. Maybe not quite as bad as their Hard-Left brethren but still sympathetic to Marxism, in the end. A lot of people were happy about Donna Brazile’s revelations of Hillary’s cheating, and control of the DNC. But to me, this looks like bad news. Yes, we get to watch the Clintons squirm, which is always fun. But it means the Trotskyite wing of the party is collapsing. The Hard Left, the Antifas, the BLMs, the “Democratic Socialists”, and the outright open Communists are gaining control.

In the ordinary course of American politics, this would alienate them from the moderates, but these days the moderates are often guilted via weaponized empathy into buying into the Hard Left SJW agenda. If you don’t hate white people, and constantly bitch about white men, you’re probably racist against [insert any other race here]. If you don’t agree with the Hard Left’s demands for demographic transformation, you’re a bigot of some stripe or another. This holds even if, paradoxically, you are one of the sacred victim groups yourself. A Clarence Thomas is as likely to get hit with it as a Rand Paul. Stop manspreading you Uncle Tom self-loathing racist Islamophobe.

It’s the deliberate dismantling of Western civilization in the attempt to remake it into a global Orwellian Socialist technocracy. It used to be that if your country fell under the Marxist bootheel, you could escape here, as my father-in-law did, and as many others have. It used to be that as it crept into America, you could leave the blue state for a red state. You could stay a step ahead of the Cultural Borg. Now, there’s really nowhere left to go. The Cultural Borg, meanwhile, continue marching on. And they are showing signs of adapting to Trump’s weaponry. I don’t know how long his rhetorical combativeness will continue to work on them.

The Cultural Borg think resistance is futile. Or, perhaps, resistance is racist. It’s up to us to disabuse them of this notion.

About the Supposed Patriarchy…

Every time I sat down to write this post, something else came up, and so it’s been on a delay for a while. However, it’s a very important topic, so today I sat down and forced myself to finish it.

It all began when I was reading a post from Sarah Hoyt, called About that Matriarchy. The thing of it is, she’s entirely correct. We don’t live in a Patriarchy, we live in a Matriarchy that disguises itself with the skin of a Patriarchy, just like any other Marxist-controlled institution, really. Sure, men are nominally at the top of the power pyramid still, though that edge is slowly falling away. College education greatly favors women now, the last I checked at a rate of about 60/40. HR departments are overwhelmingly female. And middle management is heading that way, too. Eventually that will crossover to upper management and political representation. Remember, this is on something of a generational delay timer.

But in the meantime you might ask how I could make such a claim. Sarah, having grown up in an actual Patriarchy (which she describes in her post) explains for us:

I knew the US was a matriarchy from the moment in the airport when I was waiting for my plane to come over and get married and watched a very overweight, inappropriately dressed middle aged woman boss her husband and sons around.  (It occurred to me the other day that I probably now resemble her.  Eh.)

Only in a matriarchy are all men shown as idiots in every commercial; is every boss on tv a woman; are women treated like they have special and holy insight.

ONLY in a matriarchy can a bunch of women suddenly deciding that events thirty years ago still apply today (77 is not now, and now any guy saying sleep with me or else will be taken to court.  Unless he’s in Hollywood, publishing, the news or politics, and, oh, yeah, leftist) have men scurrying to come up with #Ihave.  When they OBVIOUSLY and painfully not only haven’t but couldn’t being to.

When she talks about TV commercials, she may be channeling an earlier post here at The DeclinationPop Culture, Commercials, and White Guys. Or perhaps she merely came to the same conclusion independently. Either way, a Matriarchy is not as obvious or blunt as a Patriarchy. Given the general personality characteristics of women, and how they often differ from men, we should not expect it to manifest in the same way.

Christina Hoff Summers explains for us in this video:

Masculinity is variously regarded as toxic, sexist, and at the very least in need of close monitoring and modification. The gold standard for personal behavior is the feminine, not the masculine. In essence, our society is asking why men aren’t more like women. And the needs and views of women are prioritized over men. This is often expressed as something like “happy wife, happy life” or “I put her needs first.” This isn’t even seen as particularly good behavior, rather it is the bare minimum. If you don’t think this way, you’re obviously a bad man.

Notice in the following poster how the woman is assumed to be the victim, even though the poster tells us both individuals were drunk:

072215JakeJosie

 

A woman who is intoxicated cannot consent, but apparently a man who is intoxicated can and is automatically assumed to have done so. This entire campaign is centered around a distinctly female perspective. It’s not hard to find examples of this kind of thinking everywhere.  Even the value system the West adheres to these days – at least publicly – is distinctly feminine. It’s a sort of ‘everybody just get along, and let’s all share’ passive-aggressive demand for conformity. It is the kind of thing you would see in a daycare run primarily by, you guessed it, women.

Sarah explains better than I can:

Women, being smaller and slighter and weaker than men have no built in brakes.  If we go to war, we go to war till the enemy is pieces.

The feminists who convinced American women that men were the enemy, at least as far back as I’ve been in the country, unleashed a monster that most of them didn’t anticipate or understand.

Ain’t momma happy ain’t nobody happy.  And momma knows that she can’t hold her men by force, so she must berate them and berate them and berate them, until they confess to things they wouldn’t dream of doing.

The constant accusations of racism, sexism, whatever… that are heaped upon men, especially straight white men (but other male demographics still get some of it), is off the scale. White men can do nothing that will satisfy anyone, anymore. If a white guy invented a cure for cancer, tomorrow we’d hear that he was a secret sexist because he said something hasty on Twitter once.

Meanwhile, if a woman does something a thousand men have done before her, we’ll be hearing about it for months. One of my favorite examples is this headline:

DKJaOGrUQAEw8nu

This is another case of people forgetting men even matter at all. Avery Brooks (a black man) played the lead character, Benjamin Sisko, in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine over 20 years before this woman was cast in Star Trek:Discovery. But it doesn’t matter, because Sonequa is a woman. Sometimes you don’t even have to be a white male to get shafted this way, you just have to be a man. The female perspective is the only one that really matters in pop culture.

A hundred men could, for example, fly to Mars, and yes it would make headlines for a while. And people would praise the scientific achievement (even though it’s more of an engineering achievement, but that’s a separate post). But when the first woman goes, it won’t just be a mere scientific achievement, it will be an historic moment for all women, and for social justice, equality, fairness, and a thousand other Marxist buzzwords that don’t really mean what they say. Women matter more than science or engineering. Women matter more than anything.

Here’s a little social experiment to close:

The woman is always the victim. Even when, paradoxically, she’s doing the hitting. If a woman hits a man, it’s all smiles, laughter, and the occasional “you go girl” messages of encouragement. The reverse, of course, is anathema. Now, some of my readers may wonder about the difference, after all the Patriarchal way of doing things (at least in the more recent past) was generally to not hit women either. The difference is, in those days, it was understood that this was predicated on women not hitting men. If a woman started hitting a man in public in, say, the Victorian age, there would be no messages of encouragement or laughter. It would have been view with horror and embarrassment. People would think she was mental. Today, she’s a hero fighting the evil sexists, or at least entitled to hit her man as much as she wants.

Radical feminism has embraced the penultimate line of the strange 70s movie Zardoz: “The Penis is Evil.” Of course, the first line is one they’d view with horror: “The Gun is Good.” But that’s because, in the minds of feminists, the gun is nothing more than an extended penis anyway. Certainly, comparing gun ownership with penis size is common enough among them.

Either way, Sarah Hoyt is right. I can’t speak for her native Portugal, but I can say with some degree of certainty, as she does, that America is a Matriarchy. And in other Western nations I’ve visited, I’ve seen little to convince me otherwise.

 

The Spin Doctor is in the House

It’s been a crazy last few days, hasn’t it? Before we get into the meat of today’s entry, I want to express both my sorrow for those who died in the Texas shooting, and my deep respect for the men who fought back against the shooter and ran him down. You may kill people in Texas, if you are evil enough and determined enough, but know that Texas will kill you back. The two men who fought back did so quickly and decisively, before more lives could be lost. As for those who died in the shooting, I can only say that a just and true God awaits them. He knows His own. Others have said more, and said it better than I can, so I will leave it at that, for now.

Something else has been on my mind for a while as well. Rand Paul was recently attacked by a neighbor while out mowing his lawn. The neighbor broke 5 of his ribs, such was the fury of the assault. But that isn’t what bothers me per se. While I generally like Rand Paul (and that’s significant praise from me – I loathe most politicians), this hardly ascends to the level of the Scalise shooting, right? Well… kind of, in a different way. Check out this article:

Rand Paul is not a perfect neighbor, says community developer

First off, HOAs are generally as loathsome as any other political entity (which is what they are, don’t let them claim otherwise). But this is a fascinating bit of spin. Rand is not a “perfect” neighbor. Note the choice of words. My friends, none of us are perfect neighbors. I’m sure I do things that irritate some of my neighbors, and they have done things that irritate me from time-to-time, though I am generally blessed with neighbors who are very good people. Mostly, we all get along anyway. Hell, some of them are even good friends (and yes, it is still possible to irritate your good friends sometimes, too).

Point is nobody is perfect. Lack of perfection by no means excuses the actions of Rand’s neighbor. It counts for nothing at all. Zero. Zilch. So why mention it?

Dear readers, the spin doctor is in the house. It’s time to make the attack on Rand look, if not excusable, then at least less bad. This is media and its allies in politics conducting damage control. They can imply that, oh maybe the neighbor shouldn’t have attacked Rand BUT and then insert a long stream of excuses that diminishes the impact of the crime. Let us fisk a few of these, shall we?

The history between U.S. Sen. Rand Paul and his neighbor, who is accused of attacking him, is filled with years of angst and petty arguments over misplaced lawn trimmings and branches, the neighborhood’s developer said.

Ah yes. Misplaced lawn trimmings and branches excuse violence. What? Note that it doesn’t even mention who was misplacing the trimmings. The piece insinuates that it’s Rand’s fault, because of the not perfect headline, but it stops short of claiming that. This is common media rhetorical technique, such that if it came out that the trimmings were the neighbor’s, and not Rand’s, the journalist can escape by saying he didn’t really claim that.

The two men have been neighbors for more than 17 years, said Boucher’s lawyer, Matt Baker, in a statement Monday.

While there’s no official word on what caused the fight, Skaggs suggested it might have stemmed from Paul allegedly blowing lawn trimmings into his neighbor’s yard.

Again with the weasel wording. Skaggs suggested that it might have allegedly stemmed from this. Yet the inattentive reader is given the picture that Rand was being an asshole. Pure rhetoric. No facts.

There have been disagreements in the past, Skaggs said, over lawn clippings or who should cut down a tree branch when it stretched over a property line. The two men live on different streets but their lots join and their homes are 269 feet apart, according to Google Maps.

Skaggs described Boucher as a “near-perfect” neighbor, but he said the libertarian politician is a different story.

By near perfect, I wonder if Skaggs means ‘shares my political orientation?’ But that is rhetorical supposition, and at least I’ll admit it is.

Paul “was probably the hardest person to encourage to follow the (homeowner’s association regulations) of anyone out here because he has a strong belief in property rights,” said Skaggs, who is the former chairman of the Warren County Republican Party.

Ah. A libertarian-leaning Republican has a strong belief in property rights. Why, what a crime that is! It almost drives a man to break 5 of his ribs! Look carefully at the last bit, however, where the journalist drops “former chairman of the Warren County Republican Party.” This is another rhetorical technique. The author can insinuate that Skaggs’ criticism of Rand is justified because they share a political party, thus deflecting the notion that the criticism is rooted in politics, not substance. But we are not informed if Skaggs is still a Republican, or if he is a liberal Republican, or anything of the sort.

Skaggs noted the 13 pages of regulations are extensive. But even from the start of Paul’s residence in Rivergreen, Skaggs said Paul has been difficult to work with.

“The major problem was getting the house plans approved,” Skaggs said. “He wanted to actually own the property rights and build any kind of house he wanted. He didn’t end up doing that, but it was a struggle.”

So Rand wanted something the HOA was not prepared to approve, but ultimately decided to follow the HOA guidelines. Why, that’s just terrible isn’t it? Why is this even news?

But Rob Porter, a 20-year friend of the senator, said he had never even heard of Boucher before.

“When I saw Rand after the incident, he even acknowledged that he hadn’t talked to Boucher in years,” Porter said. “If there was some kind of ongoing rift, i wasn’t aware of it and Rand didn’t act like he was aware of it.”

At least the author acknowledges this. If there was an ongoing feud, as Skaggs and the author imply, why would no one else be aware of it? But even if there was a feud, how does that justify even slightly attacking Rand that way?

Voter records from March 2017 show Boucher registered as a Democrat, but his lawyer said Monday that politics had nothing to do with the dispute between neighbors.

Boucher’s lawyer, Baker, said he would not comment on what the argument was over until he conducted more interviews with other neighbors.

Somehow, I very much doubt this is true. It sounds like standard lawyer boilerplate.

“We would really like to see this all over and you back in your house and him back in his house and try to be friends with each other, even though you’ll never like each other,” Skaggs said he told Boucher.

This Skaggs guy, if the author is accurately quoting him, is an idiot. How can you “be friends with each other even though you’ll never like each other”? It makes no sense. That is word salad, devoid of any meaning. What I think Skaggs is trying to communicate here is that the neighbors should pretend to be friends, even though they hate each other’s guts. So Skaggs criticizes Rand for being imperfect, but tells the attacker that he’d really like to see everyone just be friends.

And people wonder why I hate HOAs. Too bad they are almost inescapable, short of moving to the country, these days.

Modern Media, Superiority Complexes, and the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect

Social media is full of long-winded, acrimonious debates about politics, sociology, cats, etc… It’s enough to make a man seriously consider giving it up completely. My colleague at Liberty’s Torch discussed cutting that particular line earlier, and though I have not done what he did, I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t think about it.  Mostly, the arguments are just for show. People don’t expect to win hearts and minds in them, not really. Rather, it’s often just a virtue signal, or the refilling of narcissistic supply.

A few posts in, and the insults about stupidity, bigotry, Dunning-Kruger, and otherwise will make themselves known. And in them we see the true purpose of many such debates: feeling superior. If you infer that your opponent is a Nazi, you feel morally superior to him. If you call him stupid, you can feel intellectually superior. The bigger the audience, the better, so more people can affirm your superiority over your enemy. The actual issue at hand is rarely as important as these feelings. Find me a Facebook debate, and I can almost guarantee you at least one participant who is engaging in this behavior.

And since no one is really arguing in a dialectical manner (though you will see the word “facts” repeated as mantra for things that aren’t), nothing gets resolved. No new knowledge is gained, no insight or deeper understanding. It is purposeless mental masturbation. It certainly doesn’t make one an intellectual, or more intelligent.

What I’ve come to realize is that this behavior on social media is a microcosm for our society at large. The same behavior applies at the highest levels of media and politics. Most of these people have no idea what they are talking about, even most of the so-called experts (contrary to Tom Nichols’ assessment of political expertise). Find me an expert pilot, and we can go through his records, how many hours he’s logged, on what aircraft, and with what results. It is demonstrable. There is no similar metric for media talking heads, especially where results are concerned. And for politics, and measure of this is bound to be skewed by the political views of its members, such that our reliance upon it is already suspect.

This leads to an environment of low accountability. Oh, sure, if a man like Dan Rather gets snookered by some fake memos very publicly, the house of cards can fall down on him. But the mistake has to be high profile enough and, paradoxically, covered by the media enough, for it to get out in the first place.

Michael Crichton explained the problem as the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect. Observe:

Media carries with it a credibility that is totally undeserved. You have all experienced this, in what I call the Murray Gell-Mann Amnesia effect. (I call it by this name because I once discussed it with Murray Gell-Mann, and by dropping a famous name I imply greater importance to myself, and to the effect, than it would otherwise have.)

 

Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect works as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward-reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.

 

In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story-and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read with renewed interest as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about far-off Palestine than it was about the story you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.

 

That is the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect. I’d point out it does not operate in other arenas of life. In ordinary life, if somebody consistently exaggerates or lies to you, you soon discount everything they say. In court, there is the legal doctrine of falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus, which means untruthful in one part, untruthful in all.

 

But when it comes to the media, we believe against evidence that it is probably worth our time to read other parts of the paper. When, in fact, it almost certainly isn’t. The only possible explanation for our behavior is amnesia.

A combination of superficial understanding and political narratives results in articles and news programs that make no sense. The percentage of the problem attributable to either feature varies widely from case-to-case. Sometimes it is blatantly political, and it cannot be explained by ignorance. Other times, it is probably best explained with stupidity. Most cases are probably a little of both. The media and its supporters, meanwhile, are quite blind to this. I came across this gem this afternoon, and it made me laugh out loud for the sheer stupidity of it:

lolol

The amusing thing is how easy this is to disprove. A quick glance at the SAT scores of incoming college students, broken down by major, is sufficient to reveal the error (see page 13 here). Of the STEM majors, all outscored journalists (see: engineering, physical sciences, mathematics, computer/information sciences). Some did so by staggering margins (see: mathematics). That the author of that tweet couldn’t be bothered to check his work, when claiming high intellect, is actually pretty damned hilarious. It’s enough to make me wonder if the guy is secretly trolling.

Anyway, point is, try Michael Crichton’s test for yourself. It’s something I’ve spoken of before – I just lacked the convenient name for it. Talk to other people who have done the same for different subjects, people you trust. You’ll soon see just how wrong the media is. Trump frequently calls CNN fake news, but in reality pretty much every outlet I’ve seen is full of shit to greater or lesser degree. Sometime I’d like to see a counter for how many times individual journalists have been caught in lies, or made serious mistakes driven by stupidity and ignorance.

These are the same people who, like the randoms on Facebook, want to demonstrate how enlightened they are, how wise, all-knowing, and progressive. They have a bigger podium, of course, and more spectators. But the motivations are similar enough. It’s all about appearances and narcissistic supply. It all boils down to a statement even a toddler could understand, and likely hears frequently on the playground. “I’m better than you! Neener-neener!” But they aren’t willing to do the work. They all expected Hillary Clinton to win, right up until she didn’t. Never forget how badly they called that election. If you get amnesia about their smaller mistakes, at least hold on to that one. They pretend to expert status. Meanwhile Trump, the supposedly stupid bigot, baits them like a matador. It’s comical how he plays them.

They want so desperately to shout down this man. I once thought it was because of his immigration policies – and I have no doubt that was a major factor, at least at first. But I’ve come to realize that there’s a deeper reason. He makes them look like idiots. He hurts their egos. Because, deep down, they know they aren’t the superior intellects they pretend to be. They know they are fake news. And he not only sees through them, he’s exposed them as frauds in front of the world. This they cannot forgive, or forget.

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