A perennial problem for the Republican party is the fact that it is almost always out-funded by the Democrats. In recent years, it hasn’t even been close. Where does all this money come from? Folks have documented Leftist agitators getting paid, bussed in, provided with professionally-created signage and messaging. Where does that money come from?
Go on Instagram, and you will see a number of quasi-whores flashing their wares in expensive mansions in exotic locations, with some token Leftist message hashtagged below. Save the whales, maybe. Or they’ll talk about the right to flush your baby down the toilet (or sell its parts for a Lamborghini). How do they afford these exotic trips and stays at million dollar plus mansions? I saw one who said that her job was working at a dog rescue. But every other pic was a vacation photo to some new destination.
Chelsea Clinton has a wedding around the time a whole lot of funding for Haiti disappears. Where did it go? Who bought Chelsea’s surely-expensive designer dress? Where did the money come from?
Tom Kratman posted on ZuckerBook about UNICEF’s party “sizzle”, where they provided a video of their high-dollar festivities. Where did the money come from? If you’re running a fund for what is, ostensibly, a children’s charity, surely the money could be put to better use? How much of the money they receive really goes to the children? The next time we hear of another child sex ring involving the UN, maybe we can infer they really mean something else when they say “children’s fund.”
Think I’m exaggerating about this ‘Louis Vuitton’ and UNICEF shit? Think again. Because nothing says “children first” like blowing $10,000 on an outfit you’re going to wear once.
I’ve mentioned it many times before, because it really was an eye-opening moment for me. A series of Socialists, with Democratic-Socialist imagery in their profiles, descended upon my Twitter to make fun of the fact that I drove a Mustang, and not a Ferrari or a Lamborghini (did they sell babies to get theirs, I wonder?). Find an Instagram whore with a Gucci outfit or a Louis Vuitton handbag, and you’ll find a raging Leftist 9 times out of 10. Who is buying them all this shit? Because I can’t even figure out what it is these people get paid to do. We know how Trump made his money. How did the body positive Instagram girl get her vacation to some fancy hyper-exclusive resort in Cancun?
Most Rightists I know don’t care much for brands or fancy designer clothing – that’s all Leftists, in their dick-measuring contests. Or, excuse me, vagina-measuring contests, since everything from hats to Leftist political slogans are based on female genitals.
Ocasio-Cortez made sure to wear a $3,500 outfit when she took her campaign photos, but then tells us that she can’t afford an apartment in DC. When confronted about her fancy clothing, she explained that a fashion magazine gave them to her. Why does a fashion magazine hand out clothes to politicians, I wonder? And what tranzi bureaucrat or bankroll man forgot to stroke the ‘I need a fancy apartment in DC’ check to Ocasio-Cortez? Come to think of it, does Ocasio-Cortez have an Instagram account? That would explain a lot.
When Zoe Quinn wrote a crappy Word document about depression – which, presumably, everyone who has ever interacted with her has been afflicted with – and called herself a game developer, anointing herself with the Sacred Victim’s mantle (because, you know, everyone who doesn’t want to play a “game” involving a couple of shitty questions about depression is an oppressor), she somehow wound up in front of the UN, testifying on how evil gamers were. Who paid for all that shit?
I mean, I can write a crappy game right now and people will tell me it sucks. Where is my first-class ticket to a UN lovefest? Did Zoe get to stay in a nice mansion with proper modern architectural details and one of those zero-edge pools that’s all the rage these days? Did she get her obligatory Louis Vuitton bag?
Socialists are bizarre creatures. They complain about the rich incessantly. And yet they are gross materialists, sending out the good news to the oppressed working class folks from their iPhone X phones. Excuse me. iPhone XS Max. Who would have a mere iPhone X, these days? So passe. Does it come with a Gucci case?
Apple. Think Leftist.
But remember, folks, their student loans are a terrible crime. Why, someone wants them to pay for those lectures about cisheteropatriarchal oppression of poor transethnic genderqueer mentally disabled people?
Well, yeah. I guess I would be mad if I had to pay for that too. But still.
Still, where does all the money come from? Instagram whore vacations, UN shindigs, fetus-powered Lamborghinis, an army of buses for every Leftist protest about “orange man bad’ and some Yankee tart screaming about the wonders of Socialism in her $3,500 suit right next to a bar that is shutting its doors because of wage controls… who pays for all this crap?
Perhaps more importantly… what does whoever is writing these checks expect to get as a return on this questionable investment? Or is it enough for them to say “I’m better than you plebeian scum.” How positively Socialist of them, right?
So unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen the results by now. The Democrats pulled the House, which wasn’t exactly unexpected. The Republican lead in the Senate expanded, enough that one or two flaky RINOs are unlikely stand in the way of Trump appointments. My home state of Florida was a mixed bag. Ron DeSantis pulled a win, by less than one percent, for the governor’s race. This was an extremely important race, because Andrew Gillum wasn’t just a run-of-the-mill Democrat, he was a Bernie Sanders-endorsed Democratic-Socialist. Rick Scott barely eked a win out against Bill Nelson, but this is almost certainly heading to a recount, which means the voting dead will be added to the tally for Nelson. I don’t think it will be enough, the margin is beyond that which I think the Democrats can steal. But they will try.
However, a few things went bad in Florida, too. An amendment to restore voting rights to felons after their time has been served passed by a wide margin. This will pose great challenges in delivering Florida to the Right in 2020 and beyond. Margins are so narrow in Florida, that this could be sufficient to turn the state blue next time around. Furthermore, a number of tax hikes passed in my county, and one of the two tax limitation amendments failed to pass. Florida could be lost soon. To give you an idea, most of my family volunteered with the DeSantis campaign – and half of us didn’t even support him in the primaries. Gillum was such a threat that it required direct involvement. My cousin really went above and beyond for the campaign.
We didn’t get a Blue Wave last night. We got a Purple Mixed Bag. The Democrats will undoubtedly cause trouble from the House, but without the Senate, they can’t really make anything stick. Still, they continue to play alternative paths toward their desired demographic lock. If we don’t have the votes in Florida, says the Democrat, let’s raid the prison cells for more votes. If we can’t swing Texas for Beto, say the Lefties, let’s get some more illegals, grant them amnesty, give them a rapid path to citizenship (or just fuck with voter ID laws), and get those votes that way.
Demographic destiny is a favorite catchphrase on the Left. And yet, if confronted about this agenda that they discuss publicly they will deny it. On social media this morning, I witnessed an argument between a Rightist and a Leftist, and the Leftist supplied a whole litany of links to studies and political opinion pieces on how immigrants don’t vote any differently, overall, than natural-born citizens, so it must really be hatred for brown people that motivates the Right. And yet, the Left is fond of throwing the fact that America will be a rainbow multicultural stew, and we better get used to the idea, because the Left will be in power, since demographics are destiny. This is beyond even a Motte & Bailey fallacy and into straight up dishonesty. Don’t believe a word of any of it. They will use whatever rhetorical tool is necessary to take us off the scent, that’s all.
This political cartoon captures the concept well enough:
If Mexicans voted like Cubans, Obama would have built a wall as tall as Trump Tower. It’s all about bringing in people who will vote Socialist. They don’t believe in multicultural super-diversity any more than we do. That’s why most well-off white liberals live in lily-white gated communities or gentrified downtown districts. They just want Socialism so that they can steal more from the rest of us, and lord over us like the elite, super-smart technocrats they imagine themselves to be.
That’s why Trump irritates them so much. He’s the last roadblock in their path to Socialism, which they crave more than a crackhead wants his next high. They will do anything to get it. Illegals? Caravans of migrants? Violent felons? Islamists? The voting dead? Democrats will take them all in. Nothing matters except power. And, at least in my state, the balance is so close they are going insane. They are acting like a toddler waiting to get in to Disney World. They’ve waited in line all day, and they can see the entrance! They are almost there! And then Trump turns to them and says “you know, on second thought, we’re going home.” They whine, and scream, and throw a temper tantrum. They were RIGHT THERE!
If you’ve ever raised a toddler you’ll see the resemblance in how Antifas and idiots like Maxine Waters act. They thought this was a done deal, and they just can’t accept no for answer. That’s why every victory we win feels like moving a mountain. It’s analogous to pulling a toddler who is dragging his feet on the ground, screaming. Add to that the ever-present Free Shit Army, Mitt Romney’s 47% who will never vote anything other than a straight Democrat ticket, under any circumstances whatsoever, and things aren’t looking good.
On the plus side, the Blue Wave was mitigated. The Democrats managed some wins here and there, but failed in their big takeover. Some of the winners in the House were more moderate Democrats, Trump might be able to work with a few of them. So we can expect more kicking and screaming in the days to come. The power of the media and Leftist money to swing elections is waning. They threw in everything but the kitchen sink into the Beto campaign. He was a rockstar. He was given truckloads of money. He was the media darling, the new rising star, Obama 2.0. And while Beto did move the needle, he still couldn’t break Cruz. The media, academia, and Hollywood are still bastions of Leftist power, but their influence is decreasing. Or, perhaps more accurately, they’ve converted about as many Americans as can be converted. They’ve reached their high water mark.
For now, Congress is a relative stalemate, a bit of split government. Long-term, I still think this will go violent sooner or later. Like my home state, America is on a razor-thin edge. When the balance is broken, the losing side is almost certainly going to regard it as a do-or-die moment. And unlike a mere state government, at that point there will be nowhere else to run to. The final battles against Socialism will be fought here. Hopefully just in the ballot box, but that does seem increasingly unlikely.
Going through my old posts this morning, I was reminded of this one, from a year and a half ago: RedFems, Cenobites, and the Lament Configuration. It was probably the darkest post I’ve ever penned on The Declination. But it remains quite poignant.
Go on social media, and you will see SJWs telling us that Nazis are everywhere, that they are evil, and foul, and legion. They are in the White House, they are on Youtube, they are on Twitter, they are in Video Games. Nazis, everywhere. And so they march out into the streets, the Black Bloc, Antifascists engaging in what Tom Kratman calls a bit of political theater (not unlike Fascists once did).
But at the end of a long week of fighting the cisnormative heteropatriarchy, they come to be beaten by men dressed as Nazis, to the gritty beats of loud Industrial music in the depths of an Industrial park.
And what’s more, RadFems have come to resemble these very same Cenobites, covered in piercings, dyes, and tattoos, such that the difference between Hellraiser’s Pinhead and the average denizen of Slut Walk is minimal at best.
Radical Feminism is a death cult, both figuratively and literally. In their man-hating quest, they are, in effect, arguing for the voluntary extinction of humanity. Oh, it never starts out that way. It’ll start out in an argument about equality. It’s a traditional example of the Motte and Bailey Doctrine.
Motte: “Feminism is about equality, it is about women having the same rights as men, it is about better relations between the sexes!”
Okay, that doesn’t sound so bad.
Bailey: “Now DIE cis male scum! #KillAllMen #YesAllMen Lol @ Male Tears. Men so fragile.”
Hmmm. Maybe I don’t like this Feminism thing.
One of my favorite tech outlets, Hard[OCP], had a quick commentary on Riot Game, and some of their employees vigorously defending an event at PAX West that excluded “cis men.”
League of Legends developer Riot Games has fired at least one longtime employee for defending a PAX West event exclusive to women and “non-binary” people: systems designer Daniel Klein, who revealed he was terminated for “violating social policy,” had evidently upset his employer by calling complainants on r/leagueoflegends “manbabies” and comparing the subreddit to a “toxic landfill.” Communications associate Mattias Lehman is also out for having similar views.
It’s fascinating to note that a white man is, in essence, defending his own exclusion in the name of inclusion and diversity. I’ve said it before and I will say it again. Diversity has become an idol to these people. A golden calf before which all good sense is sacrificed. It is heresy to even question the belief. No, it is worse. It is heretical to even be insufficiently enthusiastic about it.
In any event, if somebody created a male-only event, the Feminist shrieking would probably be heard even in the vacuum of space. That some individuals (probably not all of them men, either) would even critique this is considered worthy of collectively referring to them as a “toxic landfill” and as “manbabies”.
The Motte and Bailey Doctrine is a perennial favorite of the Left. A frequent detractor of mine who used to comment here on immigration matters would often explain that he wasn’t an open borders supporter. But then he argued for no restrictions on immigration, no refugee screening unless it was purely a formality, no border wall, and no deportation of illegals. It was a de facto open borders policy without having to suffer the social and political penalty of being truthful about his aims.
Motte: “We just want to be humane, and make sure these poor people are helped, and show empathy to fellows of different races and creeds.”
Okay, that doesn’t sound so bad.
Bailey: “If you support a border wall you’re a racist, whiteness so fragile, #YesAllWhitePeople. Fuck Whiteness. The future of America is brown, and you better get used to it!”
Hmmm. On second thought, no thanks.
Radical Feminism is an example of the Motte and Bailey Doctrine writ large. They want to exclude men, they want to replace men, they want to hold down men, and at its most extreme adherents want to imprison or exterminate them. They want revenge for perceived injustices to women. But even most women would find this abhorrent, and so they fortify themselves in the Motte when stating their views publicly. The Bailey is for social media and friendly media. But still, it is not difficult to find.
Go back to my first piece, though. You will find something very interesting – an observation that has stuck with me over the years. Red pill sites often refer to a concept known as “shit-testing”. A woman may periodically test a potential (or existing) mate for fitness. She might cop an attitude or be bitchy, even if you don’t really deserve it. What she really wants is confirmation that you’re not a total wuss, can stand up for yourself, and thus are worthy company for her.
This is neither good or bad. It simply is. This exists outside of manosphere context, too, in the phrase ‘testy’. Regardless, it happens, and most women I know will admit that they do this from time-to-time. It’s about as normal as men being generally boorish and staring too long at a nice pair of boobs.
What happens, though, when you fail a shit test? No, when all of society fails thousands of shit tests? What happens when women don’t just suspect, but know that most men are wusses, worthless, and completely unable to stand up to them in any way whatsoever?
I’d suspect it would look something like what we see today. Feminists running roughshod over men who aren’t even sure if they are men any longer. Wil Wheaton is their role model, instead of Conan the Barbarian.
Women on the Right generally don’t act this way, but I suspect this is because men on the Right generally aren’t sniveling wusses who, like Daniel Klein, gleefully extol the virtues of their own exclusion and abject submission. In other words, Rightist men are probably more likely to pass a shit test.
The key, then, is to recognize the Motte & Bailey when it occurs, and to tear down the Bailey, and pay very close attention to the Motte, in case it spawns another Bailey in its place or retakes its previous position. It also means being unafraid to challenge the protestations of women, or other various “oppressed” groups, even if you pay a social penalty for the same.
Leftist politics in general is all about the Motte and Bailey, these days. Using oppressed/minority status as a way to deflect criticism away from the Bailey and toward the stronger Motte is a tactic that has paid dividends for them, despite its fundamentally dishonest nature. It’s also a shit test, and if the West doesn’t pass the shit test… more barbaric societies will.
Put another way, deprived of positive masculinity, women will seek out the negative, barbaric variety over sniveling wusses and ‘my gender is an Oscar Mayer hot dog’ folks. And we can’t blame them for this. After all, what would men do if the only options were ugly hags who hated men, and hot – but dangerous – uncivilized barbarian women? The result would be much the same, I think. It should be noted that Feminism may eventually accomplish that, too. It certainly has multiplied the number of man-hating ugly hags, in any event.
When it comes to principles, I can really only speak for myself, but I suspect what I’m about to discuss is something that holds true for most people. We naturally hold having principles to be higher, that is to say morally superior, to not having principles, or to violating them arbitrarily. However, this can lead to absurdities such as guilt-ridden, suicidal cultures (see: most of the West right now).
Most people, I imagine, would agree that non-aggression is generally a good principle. Indeed, Libertarians and Anarcho-Capitalists have this enshrined as a core principle. Violence can only be used on someone who, in turn, has violated the non-aggression principle. This sounds well and good on the surface, but is subject to complexities. Imagine for a moment that you are sure – absolutely sure – that someone is about to commit murder. But he has not made his intentions to do so clear to others, nor has he actually done it yet. By the non-aggression principle, are you allowed to preemptively deal with him accordingly? Or must you wait until the violence has been committed?
Must, for example, a society of Libertarians allow hordes of Communists into their borders? Communists, I might add, who express a desire to kill them and take their property for redistribution, should they obtain sufficient numbers. Taken to its logical endpoint, strict adherence to the principle may well result in the extinction, both of the society in question, and adherence to the principle itself.
It goes much deeper. Pacifists would appear to favor peace as a principle. However, many of them take the principle to absurd lengths, such as not even fighting back when said murderer starts killing people. Without restraint on murderers, without defensive action against them, soon there are many such murderers. Violence increases when pacifism is used, for the violent are no longer restrained by fear that they may suffer consequences for their actions.
Pacifists are moral cowards. If their principles incline them toward peace they, seemingly-paradoxically, must be willing to fight for that peace.
Libertarians, I suspect, are not this bad. I think many of them have merely failed to understand how virulent Marxists really are, how easily they infiltrate and subvert whole societies. They haven’t articulated a principle that will satisfy their disdain for unjust violence, that can simultaneously protect them from the unjust violence of those who are willing to game the system for their benefit. Some say that if you eliminate the welfare state, the impetus for Marxists to come will end. That is true on an individual level, but it fails on a meta level. Conquest, you see, is a motivation all on its own.
Yet nonetheless, principles still carry with them greater moral weight, and a lack of principles – being completely arbitrary, in other words – results in the very same tyranny we seek to avoid. Marxists are quite arbitrary in the application of their own beliefs. A rapist may be excused if his politics are correct. A murderer may be pardoned if he is useful to the Party. Their only real principle is a constant striving for power. Power is good, with them. Nothing else really matters.
When one group adheres to principles – or at least tries to – and another does not, the one that does not is often granted political advantage. This is something we have seen with the Left (though sometimes on the Right, too) for many years. It has created a House advantage, so to speak, for the Left. Consider how every close election that resulted in a recount almost invariably resulted in mysterious piles of Democrat ballots being discovered. Or how Hillary won every coin toss against Bernie Sanders.
The principle for them is power. No more or less than that.
I don’t argue for us to abandon principles, however, for then we become like our enemy. The challenge, rather, is to articulate them – to ensure that they do not become a noose around our necks. For like pacifists leading to more violence, so too will poorly articulated principles ensure the extinction of our own principles.
One current example is when Rightists come out and champion the censorship campaigns of Facebook, Twitter, et al. The usual principle given as justification for this view is that private companies may censor speech on their property as much as they like. Having discovered that Rightists will often adhere to this principle even against their own obvious interests, Leftists have concentrated much of their recent efforts on subverting the Right from within businesses. Every day, more businesses declare open support for the Left, and disdain for the Right. Indeed, Nike’s use of Colin Kaepernick’s face in their advertisements has been boiling over the airwaves today. Papa Johns recently declared their affiliation with Social Justice. And the position of Starbucks on guns is known well enough. Most companies have a decidedly Leftist bent, these days. Exceptions exist, but not that many – at least not at the large company level.
Leftists realized that the Right would fight to the death if the government was openly used to suppress the Right (see the IRS scandal), but the Right would stand by passively if the same was done through businesses, due to strict adherence to the principles of private property. This is being used as a weapon against us.
I don’t have a specific fix for this problem in mind, though some ideas have come to mind (one may or may not involve helicopters – I plead the Fifth on that). In actuality, I would ask my readers how they would solve the principle problem here. This cannot be permitted to continue, or else we become moral cowards – and soon, not even that much, for the weapon will be bludgeoned over our heads until we are broken.
And let’s not kid ourselves. If this weapon is defeated, the Left will find another. They have no moral restrictions on what they may use against us, for their only principle is power. All else falls before that.
A few quickies for today. The first is a piece I found buried a few pages down on Instapundit. It accurately describes the zeitgeist of our age: celebrity worship:
We hear a lot about white privilege from liberals, but no one on the Left wants to talk about the most glaring privilege infesting our nation today: celebrity privilege.
Let’s start with football players who use company time to protest — what? I’m not quite sure what they’re protesting and what it has to do with football or the flag, but they’re out there raising their fists and bending their knees. While they’re being paid by their bosses to play football and abide by team rules, they inject their politics into the sporting experience and alienate customers.
Only someone with celebrity privilege could get away with that. The lowly office worker can’t speak his mind whenever and however he wants. The cashier at Chipotle can’t spout off about his political views and drive customers out the door. The assembly line worker can’t walk off the job to protest his latest beef with society.
Read the whole thing. It’s unvarnished truth. Celebrities lecture us about societal ills few of them ever experience. They have no skin in the game.
The second headline of the day: South Africa farm SEIZURE HORROR: List of white farmers facing expropriation ‘exposed’.
Let’s be honest. We all knew this was coming, at least anybody who has been paying attention. The (somewhat-but-not-really) peaceful interlude since the end of apartheid has come to an end. South Africa has gone full Zimbabwe. You never go full Zimbabwe.
But never mind that. An important point for Americans is that this is a ‘coming soon to a country near you’ event. Make no mistake, the SJWs would love to expropriate your property, too. They salivate over the opportunity.
Lastly, Sarah Hoyt has opined on a topic that bears considerable exploration. It has long been assumed that creative personalities are liberals. I mean, look at the first article a moment. The author of that piece assumes that almost all celebrities are Leftists. He wasn’t wrong. Sarah asks the question why?
Yes, I know, even great men are allowed to have a blind spot, but his is a doozy and three miles wide: even through everything he’s gone through, he still believes that the preponderance of liberals in the arts and creative professions is because “liberals are creative personalities, willing to take risks.”
Dear Lord. What is wrong with that wouldn’t fit in a library filled with books the size of the Oxford dictionary, in tiny print, the kind you need the magnifying glass to read (yes, I always wanted one of those. Nope, don’t have one.)
It starts with the fact that most “liberals” aren’t even capable of taking risks in thought. They want everything regimented, and directions from above about what to think about every minute subject or portion of a subject. And if you question any of their shibboleths, they call you racisss sexissss homophobic, even if what you’re discussing is taxes, or the price of books. These words are the equivalent of their putting fingers in ears and going lalalalala, then running away screaming for mommy/government/twitter mob.
It continues with the fact that the arts are dominated by liberals because they’re dominated by liberals. Of course liberals only hire/promote/give legitimacy to other liberals. Look, if you believed your opponents were evil incarnate, what would you think?
Leftists in positions of power are so certain of their innate rightness that they do not permit Rightists to share the limelight if it can possibly be avoided. Now, some few exceptional individuals on the Right manage to crack that glass ceiling once in a while. But in the other shaft, Leftists get a glass elevator to the top, and probably a couple of man servants to feed them grapes and fan them with palm fronds on the way up.
And, rather stupidly, the Leftists complain that we are the privileged ones. But in any event, Sarah is right. To infer that Leftists are more creative simply because more of them are famous is a category error. Milo once explained that creatives are more likely to rebel against the current order of things, whatever that order may be. If that is the case, which it may be, then we should expect a surge in creatives on the Right, because the Left controls polite society. The Left is the Establishment against which rebellion is necessary.
I don’t know that Milo is right about that. Sarah suggests that we’ve seen a rather more general decline in the recognition of creatives:
Fortunately the true artists and crazy people haven’t gone anywhere. They’re just not getting recognition which means a lot of them will die young and in despair, because yes, creative people are neurotic. But some won’t. And with the new tech some will find a way to reach the public. Their public.
I imagine in the days to come, we will see who is right on the matter. If Milo is, we should expect a resurgence in the following years, primarily on our side, for the Left will be bankrupt. If Sarah is right… well, we probably won’t. Not without a great deal of societal change.
Change that, I should note, probably needs to happen anyway.
The other day, I was talking with a good friend about hypersensitivity to racism, and other forms of discrimination. And just last weekend I had a similar conversation with my father-in-law while we were driving back from a funeral. Those events, combined with reading this piece of drivel, which appeared on my wall this afternoon, inspired this post.
Drew Habersang, the author of that screed, had a rather long story to tell about what was, in essence, a friend of his using an ethnic slur (I’m sure you can guess the one from the title) in his presence. Note the slur in question wasn’t directed at him, or about him, or, in fact, directed at much of anything in particular. It was used as a stand-in for a generic curse along the lines of “fucking shit” or “damnit asshole” during a tabletop game. If you’ve ever played a particularly rousing game of Monopoly, you’ve probably heard worse.
Now, before I tear this apart, let’s discuss an old tradition in my household, to which my close friends can attest: smoking cigars, drinking whiskey, and making tasteless jokes on my front porch. This wasn’t consciously started, except to say that my wife generally loathes the smell of cigars and has banished them to the front porch. So when I have friends over, I invariably go to smoke a cigar, and hand out stogies to anyone else who wants one. Soon, all the men are on the front porch while the women do… well, whatever women do during small social gatherings. I presume it is something intensely boring. But whatever.
Now, a bottle of whiskey is a prerequisite for cigar-smoking, in this blogger’s opinion. So that enters the mix, also. When you mix smoking, drinking, and several dudes bullshitting about random topics, you are sure to get something roughly similar on your front porch, I imagine. We insult one another in jest, and the insults are almost always ethnic and/or religious in nature. One friend of mine is of Irish ancestry, so the drunkard jokes write themselves. I have some Armenian in me, and so comparisons to Kim Kardashian’s rather… large assets are common. Certainly the jokes about cheapness abound, too. But no demographic group is spared the treatment. You will hear Polack jokes, Asian jokes, French jokes… and so on.
Well, except for one. For many such gatherings, there are two groups that are off limits: blacks and Jews. As it so happens, I have many Jewish friends. A great many, actually. So in my circles, Jewish jokes are generally permissible in the spirit of things – for they will rag on my ancestry with equal gusto. But those are still somewhat touchy in a way say, Italian jokes generally are not. Black jokes, of course, remain completely off limits. And judging from the reaction of Drew, the author of the aforementioned drivel, it is well that they remain off limits. This has all the hallmarks of a powder keg waiting to explode.
So why is this? Francis opined on it a few days ago. And full disclaimer (for again, this is a touchy subject, and I’m sure my readers can feel this almost instinctively), Francis is married to a Jewish woman and is a vociferous and frequent opponent of anti-Semitism. So let the hairs on your back settle back down, if you please. If they did go up, though, file that away for later in this post. You’ll need the observation.
There is a hypersensitivity at work here. A heightened and overactive threat-detection mechanism, perhaps. Whatever the mechanics of the thing, it is understandable. Jews did indeed suffer mightily in history, and are watchful for a future pogrom. Blacks did indeed suffer slavery and segregation.
And yet, this hypersensitivity is absolute and complete social poison.
Read that again, please. This is a poison pill. When you read Drew’s piece, you will notice how everything is colored through the lens of racism. He literally cannot see anything without suspecting secret racism behind it. And, furthermore, I have no doubt his friends are fully cognizant of this. They, not wishing to anger him or appear racist themselves (who does?), almost assuredly feel a constant social pressure to micromanage their words, gestures, and behavior around their friend. This, in turn, makes interacting with him less pleasant. This becomes self-reinforcing. Drew detects his friends act different about him, which fuels an assumption that the difference is due to racism, which in turn is detected by the friends, who now act even more different in an effort to avoid this very thing.
Everybody gets caught in a spiral of stupidity that no one can escape from.
All until somebody, in the heat of the moment, not thinking, breaks out a slur. Whether driven by bad luck, too much to drink, or some other mechanism, the micromanagement of offense is broken. And not even knowing how to handle this, the relationship of the man and his friends entirely breaks down, requiring him to write a letter to his friend, and considering abandoning the friendship altogether.
See how this works? Drew, like many American blacks, has a wall between him and the rest of us. Piercing that wall takes extra effort. He may even be entirely justified in how he arrived at the notion that the wall was necessary, just as a Jewish person is quite justified in worrying about pogroms and other such things, given the course of history.
However justified, though, the hypersensitivity works against healing and normalization of relations. It poisons relationships.
One thing I’ve noticed in the offensive front porch cigar conversations is that, despite a prolific use of extremely offensive things, everybody is closer together! There is no stepping on eggshells. My Jewish friend can call me a fat-assed Armenian, I can reply with a joke about cheapness, then I can turn around and say to my Irish friend, “damnit, we’re out of whiskey, who invited the Irishman?” Everybody laughs, has another round of drinks, and talks about some other thing. There is no micromanagement of behavior, no walking on eggshells.
If an SJW stuck a microphone on my front porch, he would die of apoplexy.
I don’t know how we solve this problem, or if it even can be solved. The story my father-in-law told me goes something like this. A dwarf he knew was working with a black woman, and the black woman called the dwarf a ‘midget’. The dwarf was angry at this, and the black woman was confused. She asked what she should call him, what the correct term was. Was it dwarf? Little person? And she asked why midget was so offensive to him in the first place.
The dwarf explained that calling him a midget would be like calling her a nigger. She immediately blew up at him. How dare he call her that! He explained that he did NOT call her that. He merely explained that the word ‘midget’ offended him in the same way. But like the incident in Drew’s screed, the context of the word didn’t matter. It didn’t matter that it wasn’t directed at her, that it was a mere explanation, that no offense was intended toward her. The word was uttered. The genie could not be put back in the bottle.
But it was likewise for the dwarf who was offended by her use of ‘midget’ when she intended no offense by it.
It is similar for some Jews finding out that the Pope Emeritus had said something that someone else had interpreted as anti-Semitic (it turns out it wasn’t anti-Semitic at all). No offense was intended, and it was pretty clear that was the case, but that did not matter. It felt wrong. The fact is, words are a mechanism for communication. You cannot divorce the word from the intent of the speaker, because the word is a mechanism for conveying intent.
I started to think if I suffered this condition myself. And truth is, I probably do. When the aforementioned Irish friend makes an Armenian joke, or an English joke, I laugh. But would I laugh as much if a Turk made that joke? Fortunately that’s a rare enough event that this has never been put to the test yet, but I hope I could take it. Still, how many such tripwires are in all of us? It would be best if we disarmed them, instead of erecting new ones as is the modern fashion.
I started thinking about how this goes in relation to the new darling of The New York Times: Sarah Jeong, and her tweets about white people. What’s the difference between her saying these things and my friends and I making fun of one another? Intent. Sarah doesn’t like white people, she makes it clear that it is her intention to insult them. She means it as an insult, not an off-color joke. Yet various media outlets have come to her defense to excuse her behavior. Ironically, the headline of that article is about not coming to her defense, and yet the author does so with gusto. The excuse given is that she was imitating someone else’s behavior. Again, what was the intent?
If Sarah was on my front porch, smoking a cigar, and made a Polack joke, it’d be funny. Read her tweets, though. Is there an undercurrent of good humor here, or an excuse made for bad intent?
We’re all becoming hypersensitive to matters of race, religion, etc… we have created minefields in our society, such that we have long divorced intent from perceived offense. Americans are looking for ways to be offended, or at least enough of us are. Once offended, one is granted a license to act as Sarah did (presuming one has the correct ethnicity, religion, or what have you), trash people with bad intent and get away with it. Many people covet this license greatly. They are permitted to be deliberately insulting assholes, and get treated as heroes for acting so.
I don’t know that Drew is this way. Actually, if anything, I sense a little bit of hope for him. I don’t know why precisely, but I get a vague sense that he is at least generally aware of how his hypersensitivity is coloring his viewpoint. It doesn’t change his behavior any, but realization is worth something, at least. Sarah Jeong, of course, is entirely unrepentant. She quite likes using her ‘I get to hate white men’ license to great effect.
However, the hypersensitivity is not just present in the traditionally “oppressed” classes (really, no one is oppressed in a First-world country, but whatever). It is also present in those of us who try to tiptoe around offense minefields. My friends and I are probably never closer together than when we’re saying things that would horrify SJWs. I think, once upon a time, Americans kind of bonded this way. Even, paradoxically, with historical immigrant groups. Italians and Irish, Polish and Jewish, etc… I suspect the ribbing went this way with all of them, and served to blend the new group with the old, eventually. It diffused actual inter-ethnic tensions, which are a matter of historical record. People used to loathe Irishman. Now nobody gives a shit. Why is that? It was actually an integration mechanism; a way to break down tribal barriers and meld into one people.
If you’ve ever seen the movie Gran Torino, you may have some idea of what I mean by this.
Yes, I know, for many groups it will be difficult to let go of the hypersensitivity, to let it rest. But before you write it off as impossible, remember Eva Mozes Kor, a Holocaust survivor who was experimented upon, who nonetheless was able to forgive one of her captors, shake his hand, and put the matter to rest. If that can be done… what excuse does a man like Drew really have? How can Sarah act as she does when she has suffered comparatively little?
Christianity is centered around forgiveness, and beyond the spiritual reasons for why this is good, there’s a practical one too: it can break down this wall of hypersensitivity to perceived offense, this lurking notion that harm is still intended, when it is not.
As a corollary, it may also expose the genuinely hateful people for who they really are. Deprived of her Marxist license to hate, Sarah Jeong would be outed as the disgusting individual she really is. And there are many more like her who, likewise, would be seen as such.
And then you too can enjoy a rousing discussion of bad jokes on your own front porch, fueled by cigars, whiskey, or whatever vices float your boat. And maybe then, men like Drew can actually enjoy being around their friends.
It’s probably all wishful thinking. The market for racism has never been better. The advantages the license to hate confers upon its wielder are tremendous. But if we don’t put a stop to this behavior, it will tear our country apart, and then we’re all pretty much screwed.