Some of my readers may already know that I’ve been banned from Twitter. You may not know the reason, however. Some folks were arguing that the word “retarded” should be banned from Twitter discourse. Naturally, I replied that this was retarded. Twitter has apparently sided with those demanding censorship, so let it be known that the social media platform has banned use of this word. Using it results in account suspension.
That’s pretty retarded.
Leftists, and especially journalists, have a propensity for deliberately misunderstanding language. Words have meanings, which can be gleaned partly from the commonly-accepted definitions, and partly from the context in which they were used. Or, put another way, intent matters in communication. Calling something retarded is not an affront to people with Down syndrome, because of the context in which it was used (i.e. not in the presence of, or having anything to do with, people with Down syndrome). To interpret the use of “retarded” this way requires deliberate intent to misunderstand the speaker.
In other words, Leftists who do this are defying the very purpose of language in the first place, which is to communicate. Now, using the word may very well be construed as extremely rude (and, in fact, it was intended to be), but since when is rudeness an offense which requires censorship?
This is where something very interesting happens. You see, to a Leftist, rudeness is an unpardonable sin. If I were, for instance, to refer to a gay man as a “fag” (despite the fact that many use the word to describe themselves), I am being rude. The rudeness must be censored. Leftists presume to be my mother, and to explain to me what words I am, and am not, allowed to use.
Now in the case of my suspension, it can be argued that Twitter is a private entity, and has every right to censor me for whatever reason they wish. And while this is true in a legal and technical sense, it omits the greater point that any nation which does not really believe in freedom of speech in a cultural sense is soon to lose its legal rights to the same. Or, in other words, de facto censorship can easily become de jure censorship. But even if it didn’t, note that North Korea enshrines freedom of speech in its legal documentation. Nobody there is stupid enough to actually try to use it. Nonetheless, Leftists would love to ban the use of words they don’t like at a legal level. Indeed, they salivate over hate speech laws, and the Orwellian policing we see today in (formerly) Great Britain.
It gets much worse than that, though. Take a look at this video created in opposition to the Second Amendment:
The fascinating thing about this video is just how childish and patronizing it truly is. Note the bright colors, the cartoon figures, the sing-a-long verses and Mr. Rogers vibe of the host. This whole thing looks like it was designed for six year olds. This is what the Left thinks of people.
Ana Gasteyer’s argument is, essentially, that if one person does something stupid with a gun, that person has effectively ruined it for the rest of us, and all the guns must be rounded up and taken away, because clearly Americans are unable to handle them. She appoints herself Mom-in-Chief, under which the rest of us are supposed to obey like good little six year olds.
This argument falls flat on its face, for we could easily make the same kind of delusional argument about alcohol and automobiles. Some people drink too much, and then drive their cars, and hurt people. Clearly they have ruined it for the rest of us, ban automobiles and alcohol. Remember the temperance movement? This shares a number of similarities to it. Indeed, it’s a very matriarchal approach to problem solving.
Some people are rude on the internet, ban mean words! Some people commit sex crimes, well… we they’ve clearly ruined sex for everybody, if you want to have sex, please obtain signed consent to continue every 2 minutes. Yet somehow this motherly attitude, this “omg somebody save our kids from the NRA” attitude vanishes the moment somebody coat hangers their child at the local Planned Parenthood abort-o-mat.
Temperance movement mothers would have been horrified by that, at least.
Some time ago, Sarah Hoyt wrote about the matriarchy that she encountered when she first immigrated to the United States. The experience was jolting for her. Feminists presume that we live in a patriarchy, and that men have all the power. Men know better. We possess a great deal of hypothetical power, rather like the Queen of England. But if we actually try to use any of it, it is quickly revealed as meaningless.
After all, if you can’t even call somebody retarded on the Internet, how much power do you really possess?
Leftists want government to be your mother. To put you in time out if you say a mean word to somebody, to take a thing away from everyone if even one person misuses it. To enforce Socialist notions of fairness through a sort of scaled up version of “oh, did you bring enough to share with everyone? No? Then I’m going to take it away!”
Affirmative action is a sort of scaled up participation trophy concept. Oh, it doesn’t matter if you didn’t practice, work out, or any of that. You’re just as good as the people who did! Here, have a trophy! Take a look at medical school admission rates for how this works in the real world:
Note that the lowest tier of black applicant is roughly comparable in acceptance rate to the highest tier of white acceptance. Note, also, that whites aren’t even the worst off here – Asians are. The Asian stereotype of “you be doctor now” has some truth to it. They are likely to have intact families, to work hard, to study hard, and to be dedicated to their work. But sure, affirmative action someone with lower grades and scores, right? Yeah, I’ve never heard anyone say “can I please have the affirmative action doctor?”
But the mother might say “it’s not fair!” And we should hold the phone, drop everything, and move medicine back to accommodate somebody’s feelings about fairness, right? That sounds pretty retarded to me.
No guns for you, share and share alike, don’t say mean words, and go have a time out if you voted for Donald Trump. Or, hell, if you just didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton. After all, she’s a mother too, right? Otherwise you are an internet bully or something.
Thing of it is, even if we accepted the premise that human beings are all little children who need constant supervision, who have no agency of their own, and who must obey their betters in all things… who are the betters? Who constitutes someone worthy of being the mother who knows best? Naturally, Ana Gasteyer clearly thinks of herself this way. And pretty much every teenage SJW or college feminist considers his, her, or xis self qualified for the role, despite having a tendency to abort away their actual children.
They have agency, you see. We do not. We, as in productive adults, must obey college SJWs in all things. They are our mothers, and mother knows best, right? I have no doubt Hillary Clinton saw herself in this light. Certainly some of her emasculated male followers thought of themselves as slobbering man-children.
As far as I’m concerned, they are all retarded. And unlike folks who actually have Down syndrome (some of whom are wonderful, humble, caring people), these people are viciously arrogant about their retardation.
The thing is, mothering is an important part of humanity, but it is not the sole part, nor is it supposed to be done excessively. Otherwise you end up with wussified children who are completely unable to take care of themselves when they grow up. And if you think about it, that does sound like the 47% Mitt Romney lamented about in the 2012 election, people who would never vote for him because the government was, in effect, their mother, taking care of everything for them.
Eating is a good and proper activity. Gluttony is a sin. Having a glass of wine a day is supposedly a benefit to your overall health. Getting plastered every night is likely to destroy your body and send you to the hospital. Today, we have an excess of mothering, both from actual mothers (see: helicopter parents) and from Leftists and the government assuming a motherly role. In effect, Leftists are helicopter parents who, in lieu of actual children, have assumed the role of some kind of global parents over the supposedly-childish hoi polloi. That many of these Leftists are themselves barely removed from childhood might be regarded as a colossal irony.
I’ve long suspected that this motherly activity is actually one of the primary motivators behind the very school shootings lamented about in the video above. I remember several times as a child being disciplined by the school for defending myself against a bully. The policy, you see, was that violence was bad. Therefore, when two kids were seen fighting, both were disciplined the same. No effort was made to determine who was the aggressor. Both were at fault. Leftists view self defense in a similar matter. They are suspicious of it. They don’t actually like it. In their minds, someone who shoots an intruder is as bad as the intruder himself. Perhaps worse, even, because excuses can be made for the bad behavior of the intruder.
Likewise, excuses are made for the bullies. Oh, he’s having problems at home. Oh, he’s black and you’re white, and quite honestly you probably deserve it because your great-great-great grandfather might have owned a slave. You must accept it. No outlet is given for boys, girls are held up as the gold standard, something Christina Hoff Sommers has commented on many times. Add to this a toxic stew of single motherhood, absent fathers, a tendency to over-medicate, and a general cultural malaise… and you have a recipe for boys snapping and going apeshit at school. Not to mention the media gives a twisted sort of fame to the school shooters.
But no, like the helicopter mother who wants to stop her kid from spitting out gum everywhere, as cited in the video above, we should just ban everything for everybody. Forget the reasons why the bad behavior was occurring, just ban the word, or ban the physical object. It’s like the Rotherham rape epidemic. Forget actually protecting the victims and going after the perps, ban talking about it, ban the words.
This has given us a culture of childishness, of never actually growing up. Nothing is ever your fault, because you are seen as a child.
If I was of some protected class, and a recipient of affirmative action largess, I’d be angry. It’s patronizing, it’s saying “oh here, because you can’t win the game on your own, we won’t keep score, and we’ll give you a participation trophy.” No, screw you, I want to win, and losing the game is motivation to do better next time.
Participation trophy culture is retarded. The government is not your mother, and the fact that Leftists of various stripes think they are qualified to be my parents is profoundly insulting. In this case, ‘mother’ definitely doesn’t know best.
Well, dealing with a newborn, doing a lot of work, and getting my home fixed up and ready to sell all at the same time is… fun. And by fun, I mean sleep-depriving. But I’m coming up to the end on a lot of my work, which is good. In any event, a lot has happened since I was last blogging here. Of course, my first topic after my hiatus is going to have to be the guns. Specifically, the supposedly spontaneous child protests across the country.
To preface this, I don’t care what a child thinks about political issues any more than I worry about my dog’s opinion of my cooking. This strikes me immediately as similar to the “woke 8 year old” bologna that appeared all over Twitter in the wake of Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton.
This is another manifestation of Weaponized Empathy. “It’s for the children” was a tactic employed by the media during the Syrian refugee crisis, often by showing carefully staged bodies of children, or as in one particular example, showing an injured child in an ambulance. In the latter, the child was dirty and bleeding, but journalists still found time to sit him in the otherwise clean ambulance and take a carefully-considered photo to push their political points.
However, today’s tactic is, perhaps, even more insidious. In this case, Progressives are using the gullibility and lack of experience of children to push for their political goals. One individual of some noteriety, whose name escapes me at the moment (it made the rounds on Twitter, if one of my readers has a name please drop it in the comments), mentioned that children are often wiser than their parents on social and political issues. And they are supposedly less gullible, too. And while Democrats want to raise the age required to purchase a gun, they simultaneously want to lower the voting age. Surely there’s no self-interest in that, right? After all, it’s easier to talk a child into Socialism with a basic “it’s not fair” kind of argument.
Look, the fact is children just don’t understand. That’s why they are children, not little adults. They don’t have the life experience to make such weighty decisions yet. The fact that some of them were talked into protesting (I seriously question the spontaneity of these events) doesn’t mean anything. When I was a child, I once threw a ball of watered down toilet paper at the gym teacher, and the other kids laughed and clapped when it happened. Children do a lot of stupid things.
Woke 8 year olds around the world were trashing Trump, right? Just like mommy told them to. Now students are comparing the NRA to the KKK, just like their parents and/or teachers are doing. And so long as they parrot a Leftist agenda, why not, right? I’m sure if a bunch of 8 year olds started protesting abortion, the Left would tell us how the kids are brainwashed or something. The media spin would go in the opposite direction, because according to the media, Left = good, Right = bad.
Hilariously, as a friend of mine pointed out, the children cannot even maintain a level of consistency (because they are children) in their messaging. Take a look at this hilarious example and see if you can spot the contradiction:
I don’t care if a child is singing the praises of Donald Trump or comparing the NRA to the KKK. He’s a child. His political opinions are irrelevant. Anybody attempting to cynically use a child’s ill-formed positions in an effort to sell a political agenda is evil. Such people are using our natural instincts to protect and cherish our children in order to sell a political position. Forget the facts, forget the rights of Englishmen. Forget history, forget economics, forget what actually works and what doesn’t. Instead, the message is this: “do what we say, or else you hate children.”
It’s conceptually no different from “you want to push granny off a cliff.” It’s an emotional argument. Pure rhetoric and a form of Weaponized Empathy.
Yesterday my 3 year old wanted a popsicle for breakfast. Because he’s a child. His opinions on nutrition are irrelevant. And so are the opinions of children on the matter of gun ownership and gun control. They are being used as pawns in someone else’s game. And the idiot who said children are less gullible than adults is a liar.
I mean, what’s next at this point? Here’s a list of some unpleasant truths about Progressives and the cynical manipulation of people:
Leftists like mass-immigration from the third world because they believe such people are more gullible, and thus easier to con into Socialism.
Leftists like child-protests, because children rely on popularity and peer pressure more than adults, and are more gullible, thus easy to con.
Leftists want to lower the voting age because the younger you are, figures the Leftist, the easier it is to con you into voting their way.
The lower your economic class, the Leftist figures, the cheaper it is to bribe you into voting their way.
And so on and so forth, ad nauseam.
Everything they do is about more Socialism. And they don’t care what lever they use to move you out of the way of Progress ™. Sad stories about third world refugees failed to move you? Okay, bring out some pictures of dead kids. That didn’t work? Con their own kids into some kind of twisted version of the Children’s Crusade and get them protesting in the street. That didn’t work? How about some woke 8 year olds on Twitter? How about some peer pressure? How about threatening your income?
You have to understand, with these people, the means doesn’t matter. Only the end matters, and the end, as they see it, is Socialism.
This lever failed to move me. It was, in fact, one of the dumbest Weaponized Empathy tactics I’ve seen them deploy in recent days. If we listened to children, everybody would be eating junk food, watching TV, posting on social media, and playing video games basically 24/7.
But what do I know, right? Listen to some 10 year old who was talked into protesting by his teacher saying he could get out of class early. Because that clearly makes sense, right?
Folks, I’m tired. I’m cranky. I’m operating off very little sleep and I’ve overbooked myself on work yet again. You’d think I’d learn. Or take a break. Sigh…
But a thread on Twitter caught my attention yesterday, and I couldn’t let it pass without some commentary. And that, in turn, opened up a whole new level of offensive wrongthink. Underneath it is, in this blogger’s opinion, one of the most important issues of our time.
prog: Elon Musk shouldn’t invest $10,000 starting paypal; he could help 1 person instead
prog: Elon Musk shouldn’t invest $10M from paypal into Tesla; he could help 1,000 people instead
A progressive woman laments how Elon Musk is, in her view, wasting his money launching automobiles into space. Instead, she tells us, he should spend his billions on Flint, a Democrat-run shithole (thanks, Mr. President, I’m using that term a lot more from now on) that can’t even deliver clean water to its residents.
As tired as my newborn has made me in recent days, this is worse. Progressive arguments like this are legion. Instead of using your money for anything else, you should dedicate it all to notions of wealth distribution. Forget your personal desires, your dreams, your aspirations for the very future of mankind itself… instead give everything to politicians.
Dear readers, enough is enough. I’m usually at least somewhat polite on this blog, so take it to heart when I say this. Grasp my full meaning: fuck them all. Toss them out of helicopters, or into woodchippers, or just air drop them into Somalia. I don’t even care anymore. But this is the last straw, folks.
Their short-sighted, Dunning-Kruger infused, elementary school worldview is beyond evil and into a realm of nonsensical mental masturbation. It’s a Lovecraftian horror, except it is inverted. Instead of greater beings beyond our comprehension filling us with horror because of our relative smallness, we have lesser beings whose sheer stupidity and ignorance of all sense is such that to even try to empathize with them causes headaches of massive proportions. To even comprehend such idiocy is horror-inducing.
Not that any of this is new. Back during the days of the Apollo Program, there were plenty of people lamenting that the money that sent a man to the moon would be better spent putting an end to poverty. The more things change, the more they stay the same, I guess.
Another cretinous fool on Twitter explained that Carl Sagan told us not to perform such crazy marketing stunts in space. This esteemed idiot supplied the following quotation:
So, what? Only Communists should go to space? Earth is for everybody, but space is for Communists! No Capitalists allowed. I know a lot of folks revere Carl Sagan, but this certainly ranks high on dumb quotes by this guy.
I started noticing a pattern. Most of the detractors of Elon Musk’s little stunt were women. Most of those singing his praises were men. That reinforces an old, but correct notion that women trend more Progressive than men. Look, I know a lot of smart women (Sarah Hoyt comes to mind right away), but at the same time there is something very, very wrong here.
Why are so many women fixated on first-order problems, without any conception of second-order effects? I mean, imagine if the folks at early Intel who pioneered CPU design, had instead donated all of their money to some politically-correct victim class and bowed out? What would benefit poor people more, a few thousand dollars worth of bread, or technological progress that eventually put the entire sum of human knowledge at their fingertips within seconds?
Our intrepid Progressive women cannot imagine the future benefits to everyone, the poor included, of opening up space to mankind. The entire future of our species, the whole universe there waiting for us, and this chick is fixated on Flint’s water supply? It’s maddening! It gives me a headache. It’s exhausting even trying to understand how a human brain could possibly operate that way.
But I see a lot of modern women who have this kind of thought process. Take a look at this feminist whopper:
Her complete inability to understand anything past her own immediate worldview is simply staggering to contemplate. This is extreme solipsism. Does she not understand what men say to each other on a regular basis? My daily conversations with my male friends would send your average feminist woman into conniption fits. They might give her seizures. She claims to want to be treated just like a man, but no woman actually wants this.
So hey, Thales, how is this related to Elon Musk launching a car into space? I’m getting to that.
I started thinking this morning that perhaps we aren’t dealing with an inability to see beyond first-order effects so much as an inability to virtue-signal them rhetorically. It’s rhetorically easy to point to a crazy publicity stunt and call it stupid. It’s rhetorically difficult to demonstrate the larger utility of the affair, the technological milestones SpaceX achieved in the process. It’s rhetorically easy to give a man a fish and say “look at me, I’m a good person for giving this man a fish!” It’s rhetorically difficult to demonstrate how your long-term plan to teach the man to fish will benefit mankind.
Virtue-signalling is subject to the rule of laziness. If there are two ways you can virtue-signal your moral superiority, Progressives will invariably pick the easiest one. Here’s your fish, come back tomorrow for another. Of what possible use is a microchip to a poor person? No cars in space. And why land a man on the moon? What a waste, am I right?
In other words, it’s easy to drop a first-order effect into a rhetorical conversation and ignore all other effects of that decision, as if everything was in isolation. Nothing in the universe works that way.
And for some reason, women appear more vulnerable to this tactic than men. The irony of the no billboards in space comment? It’s usually women who are more consumerist than men. Marketing? Commercials? All targeted toward women. That’s why almost every man is a dofus in TV commercials, and every woman is a wise, sage-like being of feminine supremacy. Who spends all the money? The answer to that is obvious enough. And yet, women trend anti-Capitalist? It makes no sense, until you start looking at everything from a first-order effect perspective. She wants X, and so she buys X without any thought to the greater ramifications… unless, of course, political correctness rears its ugly head, hijacks her mind, and pushes its claptrap. Then it’s save the whales, don’t buy fur, and no automobiles in space. Those, too, are considered without thought for greater ramifications.
Don’t ask me if this is innate to female biology, or just a product of a century or so of Radical Feminist thinking and conditioning, or some combination thereof. I don’t know, and my headache is too great to speculate at the moment. But whatever the cause, I’m tired of it. When I was a kid, I can remember a little optimism left in the world. Not much, for Progressivism was already on the march even then, and had been for a long time. But still, it was worth looking up and thinking “someday, I’m going to achieve something great.”
Not anymore, I guess. You can launch your car into space, and some idiotic denizen of Twitter will stand up and say “laaaaaame, you should have given your money to some Democrats instead. What are you, some kind of racist?”
Just shy of a year ago, in cooperation with Tom Kratman and a few others, I put together this bit of memetic homage:
Francis Porretto reminded me of it in a comment this morning. It’s crazy to think that it’s been nearly a year since Trump took office. It has been a year of triggered SJWs, helicopter memes, and media self destruction. The hatred for Donald J. Trump is beyond anything I’ve seen directed at a political figure in my lifetime. Not even Richard “Tricky Dick” Nixon engendered such vitriolic hate.
This, naturally, is all coming from the peace-love-tolerance crowd. Peace-love-tolerance, of course, only applies to political conformists, Overton Window adherents, and proper Socialists. The level of cognitive dissonance demonstrated by the political Left is staggering to witness.
Trump is supposed to be an evil reincarnated Hitler, or something like that. And yet his daughter and grandchildren are Jewish. And, furthermore, he has done something no President has dared to do: called for the move of the American embassy to Jerusalem. Trump was widely hailed as the harbinger of economic apocalypse. Trickle down won’t work, they said. As a businessman he his a bankrupted failure, they claimed. And yet the economic growth of the last year hasn’t been seen since, perhaps, the Reagan administration. They said he wouldn’t last a year before impeachment or resignation, and yet here we are.
The reason for all this is simple. Trump is blunt and open about his beliefs, occasionally to a fault, something that drives the politically correct into conniption fits. With the politically correct Overton Window adherents, all language must be monitored for proper tone, current “in fashion” political jargon, and otherwise. They aren’t illegal aliens, they are undocumented immigrants. They aren’t stupid, they are intellectually challenged. Whatever. In some cases the meanings of PC jargon shift so fast, it is difficult to keep up with them. Cisgender is a great example. Until a couple years ago, I’d never even heard of such a term. Now it’s ubiquitous on social media, added to such SJW jargon as white cisheteropatriarchy.
Trump, meanwhile, calls Haiti a “shithole” and garners a media shitstorm for it. What of it? Haiti is a shithole. Perhaps he was somewhat vulgar and less than presidential in his delivery, but here’s the important question: is he wrong? To the politically correct, appearances matter more than substance. They don’t want to call Haiti a shithole, regardless of the fact that it is one. They say racism, but how can something be racist if it is true? Must we embrace “non-racist” lies in favor of “racist” truth? To the politically correct, that answer is obvious.
Donald Trump has done us one great service, above all other things: he has exposed the politically correct as dishonest, superficial, egotistical liars. #AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs indeed. We have witnessed a year of collective PC meltdown. I don’t know that it is enough to reverse course in America, much less the rest of the world. I remain pessimistic on our long-term future. And we still need that border wall Trump promised us. The illegals must go back. Our immigration system must be radically overhauled. At this point, I’m not sure we’re going to get that.
But in the short term, the PC meltdown has been epic to witness. It’s a thing I never thought I’d see. If, a few years ago, you had told me Donald Trump would run for office, get elected in one of the greatest upsets in political history, and bring journalists to tears on live TV, I’d have laughed in your face.
An interesting (interesting in the sense of being utterly insane) piece came from regular reader Triple Sphinctered Wombat (what a name, right?): 10 Things Every Intersectional Feminist Should Ask On a First Date. Reading this vitriolic wishlist reminds me of something I once read at The Rational Male. Back in the day, Rollo Tomassi did a little bit of investigative journalism, I suppose you’d call it. He went on a dating site and wrote profiles that were mirror inversions of typical female profiles.
Many female profiles had wish lists that were, as he put it, vastly out of proportion with what they had to offer. Women of middling looks, intelligence, and income would write long screeds about how their ideal man should be tall, have an impressive penis, be smart, funny, make more money than her, not be too clingy, but be the perfect romantic. He should be the best of the best, you see, to date a perfectly average woman. When Rollo wrote a profile explaining how he wanted smart, rich, hot supermodels, women variously complained about him being a misogynist or merely a bad joke writer.
In this day of Social Justice insanity, we must add to the unreasonable demands of the typical woman to these 10 insane political demands from an intersectional feminist. If you don’t go to the local Black Lives Matter protests, you can’t have any of whatever she’s offering. I can’t know for sure, of course, but I suspect this woman has even less to offer in terms of dating prospects than the middling women of Rollo’s date site experiments. Take a look at this demand:
5. Are you a supporter of the BDS movement?
BDS stands for “Boycott, Divest, Sanctions” — an effort to end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians. I grew up with Jewish (Israeli and non-Israeli) friends and Palestinian friends. Before even understanding how power and oppression worked together, we understood the trivial hatred that colonized and put in constant danger the lives of Palestinians every single day.
Well, I guess this woman is probably an anti-Semite then, by the racism standards of SJWs. She refuses to date anybody who doesn’t prioritize Palestinians over Israelis. Which, naturally, would mean most Israelis. I mean who asks about the Israel/Palestine conflict on a first date, anyway?
Lastly, I’m sure my readers expect an opinion piece on Roy Moore’s loss. I have to sort some rather longish thoughts about that whole mess before I commit to writing that out. Suffice it to say, Moore was never exactly my kind of Republican, but the smear campaign against him was ridiculous in the extreme. I haven’t seen the Democrats go all in on someone like that since Trump’s election. Roy Moore was not up to the challenge the same way Trump was. Republicans should understand that this is the new normal. Every Republican is likely going to have to weather a storm like this one, unless they are properly pliable Flakes and McCains, and even that is no guarantee of safety.
These days, I figure almost everybody knows someone who is a complete idiot with his money. Somebody who, perhaps, makes a decent wage but constantly overspends in an effort to keep up with the Joneses. This is the kind of person who buys a $5000 Italian leather couch and then tells you that it’s a $5000 leather couch. It is important to him, you see, that you acknowledge his ability to spend money on overpriced couches. This is nothing new; it’s a form of status signalling that goes back to the dawn of humanity, most likely. My beads are prettier than your beads. My mud hut is bigger than yours.
The fascinating thing about it, however, is that most folks I’ve met who do this don’t actually have the money. They have car payments and furniture installment loans. They have credit card debt and student loan debt. They may have home equity loans on top of their regular mortgages. And frequently, they lack the liquid assets to cover any of these notes. Their lives are constantly stressed, for any interruption in their income stream could expose the lie of their status signalling. People would know that they were broke. That is more terrifying to such folks than losing the possessions themselves.
Even folks who do have the money often spend themselves into poverty trying to chase status. Stories of celebrities who spend their vast sums of money and wind up in crazy amounts of debt are absurdly common. But at least they had the money at some point. The status signal wasn’t entirely dishonest.
SJWs do something similar with regards to various forms of bigotry. Their goal isn’t necessarily to defeat bigotry, as some of the more honest among their number admit that it isn’t really possible to eliminate all biases in human beings in the first place. And even the most idiotic of SJWs has to know deep down that in America, we have it pretty good with regards to demographic group tolerance – or we did, anyway, before SJWs started screwing around with it again. Rather, the goal of the SJW is to signal that he is not racist/sexist/whatever.
Like the guy who shows you his expensive couch, the SJW who spouts off how much he loves Antifa, and how he goes to all the local BLM protests, is actually saying look at me I’m better than you. He’s signalling that he’s one of the enlightened, educated, and right-thinking individuals. Not like those icky poor people; not like those icky Right-Wing would-be Nazis.
It’s all about ego gratification. It’s about feeling superior, and being able to look down with disdain on the unwashed, the impure, the unrighteous. Even some who are nominally Right-Wing have fallen victim to this (see: Tom Nichols, Bill Kristol, etc…). But like the neighbor who wants you to think he’s rich, many of them aren’t. Like Joss Whedon, feminist warrior who cheated on his wife with a dozen women, they are signalling a lie. Some, like Bill Kristol, may have once been what they are signalling, but aren’t any longer. Somewhere along the way, they took the signalling to be more important than the truth.
It’s confusing the packaging for the product, confusing PR with the people behind it. It is tacitly saying that appearances are more important than realities. This is a core tenet of Social Justice Leftism. A superficial understanding leads many to believe women make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. That is the appearance. Dig deeper, and the truth comes out: women make different career choices, work less hours, and tend toward lower risk tolerance. When these things are accounted for, the gap vanishes into irrelevancy. But this doesn’t matter, because the superficial appearance trumps the reality. Thus the SJW signals his acceptance of appearance over truth by constantly bleating this metric.
Underneath this ideology is a house of cards. One misstep, one accidental exposure of truth, and like the indebted man with his fancy furniture, the repo man will come and take it all away. Harvey Weinstein’s casting couch, Joss Whedon’s infidelity, or as I spoke of once before… an SJW’s obsession with getting beaten by men dressed as Nazis in a BDSM club… and it all it comes crashing down around them. Their moral preening is no more true than the yuppie’s affectation of wealth.
I often tell folks that I’m not that great of a guy. I prefer the position of Socrates on wisdom: none of us are truly wise. I prefer the Christian’s view on sinning: we all do it; we all fuck up. And I prefer a dose of humility to the obsession with social status. I don’t always achieve these lofty goals (see #2), but I’ve long believed that trying to achieve them is worth something. On the flip side of that, it’s very irritating when someone tries to signal a lie, and we all know it’s a lie.
I don’t judge my neighbor on the basis of his wealth, why should I care about that? But if he goes out of his way to lie about it, then I care about being lied to. I can’t be too harsh on a man who has committed various sexual indiscretions (provided they aren’t grossly illegal, of course – see pedo shit, rape, etc…), sex is and always will be a hangup for humanity. But if you pretend to be a moral puritan about sex, and it comes out that you are a creep, then I care about being lied to. It is a ‘cast the first stone’ situation. If you are casting stones at someone, and you are guilty of the same, you are tacking on intentional, self-centered dishonesty in addition to whatever it is you did. At least have the courtesy to be quiet about it. Better yet, go ask forgiveness from Christ.
On top of the aspect of dishonesty, it’s also insulting and patronizing. We know the signals are a lie. For the man bragging about his wealth, look… we can do math. For the man bragging about his sexual purity, we know you’re full of shit, we’re human beings too, you know. We know how it is with sexual desire. For the man declaring himself wise, an expert in all things, we know it’s all bullshit. We see when you are caught in lies and mistakes. In other words, we aren’t fooled, and by continuing on with your status signals, you’re only fooling yourself. Even your fellow signalers know, deep down, that you are lying. They merely enable your lies so that you may, quid pro quo, enable theirs.
Ultimately, the signals won’t work. Even if you fool us for a little while, sooner or later we’ll find out.
I don’t think any human can remove all signalling from himself; some of it is undoubtedly unconscious. And sometimes a signal can be true: Donald Trump’s ostentatious wealth is actually true in his case. But better to err on the safe side when it comes to signalling. Best not to do it. If you must, be very sure it’s not covering a lie.