Last week, I watched Blackfish on CNN. It is a documentary about killer whales in captivity—and mostly a visual philippic against Sea World. Like The Cove, Blackfish serves as effective propaganda against greedy money interests and heartless bastards (of course, with a significant Venn overlap). CNN will air it again this weekend.
I found the film’s sympathy for anachronistic concerns for homogenous communities interesting and provocative. The filmmaker interviews marine mammal specialists who criticize Sea World’s policy of housing orcas from various parts of the world together. These unenlightened scientists argue that whales from different places have different languages and customs and that forcing such whales into a multicultural environment stresses the animals and instigates misunderstandings, tensions, and crises. Happily, these folks do not work for the Office of Refugee Resettlement and cannot influence immigration policy in advanced nations. Their dangerous and backward ideas totally contradict what contemporary wisdom has directed good, decent people to do with their own human communities.
Last week, “Queer Nation” protesters disrupted a concert by conductor Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra at Carnegie Hall; read about the brouhaha on Norman Lebrecht’s Slipped Disc. Such reminds me of Jay Nordlinger’s pining for art free from political intrusion in “My Kingdom for a Safe Zone.” Radicals, however, have no manners, and they do not respect the sacred, the beautiful, or their neighbor. For them, art, like all things, is subservient to “the cause.” Which cause changes upon the season and the appetite, naturally, but what is important is the cause du jour. For many homosexualists, the current rally is to attack the Russians for their having rejected the Left’s next stage of the sexual revolution. Hence, “Queer Nation” malcontents annoy concert goers in Manhattan. For another slice of rancid fruitcake, read “LGBTs protest pro-Putin Russian church” in The Bay Area Reporter. “Activists” attempted to harass Russian Orthodox folks at church in San Francisco. You may also read the Western American Diocese’s briefing on the episode. There are many other examples, including efforts in Cincinnati to get Procter and Gamble to remove their sponsorship of the American Olympic team because the Winter Games will be held in Sochi. So what if those athletes have dedicated their lives in preparation for that Olympic moment! Who cares that they financially depend on corporate assistance? All that matters is the cause! Fortunately, P&G has refused to comply, though the company could not bloviate enough about its enthusiastic support of the homosexualist agenda.
What really angers me about these folks isn’t their beliefs. I think that they are wrong, but most people are wrong about most things. That is the way of the human herd, pretty much everywhere and in every age. Rather, it is that they are bullies. Every self righteous leftist “activist” is an obnoxious thug who likes to push people around using the corrupted institutions of our irrational, emotionally driven, feminized society as their instruments. They are despicable. The Russkies are wise to stomp them into the ground. Unfortunately, discreet and peaceful homosexuals in Russia and elsewhere are the collateral damage of such efforts to remake society according to the latest whim of leftist madness . . . but when have revolutionaries ever worried about the human costs of their schemes? If one wants to make an omelette . . .
On this first day of August (N.C.), I wish you an enjoyable month. May you prosper and remain cool and well hydrated for the remainder of the summer. This will likely be the only entry on Arimathea for the month due to my travel in Puerto Rico. I shall not post again until the beginning of the (ecclesial) year.
Last April, I read about a quiz administered by Pew Research that measured Americans’ familiarity with the basic political landscape during the election cycle. It was a short thirteen question test that asked about current issues and politics. It was easy! I scored 13/13, naturally, but I was shocked when I saw the scores for the test takers in Pew’s national survey (which I assume Pew administered before putting the quiz online). The results showed widespread ignorance—even in an election year. I sent the test to family and friends, and people responded with the same surprise. My sister, who hardly ever watches the news or reads the paper, scored 12/13, which was still in the upper 10% of results. Half the country has no idea what is going on, and they vote! But democracy is clearly the best political system ever devised . . .
The political quiz is unfortunately no longer available. The link that I had saved now goes to a “News IQ” quiz, which I just took. Of course, I scored 13/13, again; only 8% of the original respondents answered all the questions accurately. Despite the fact that I find this test harder (mainly because I do not expect normal people to know what Elizabeth “Taxagawea” Warren looks like or what a particular trendy company’s corporate logo is), I believe that 8% is higher than the percentage of perfect scorers from last April’s political awareness test. I do not remember the exact scores (I should have saved them), but you may read Pew’s report on the survey and the results according to partisan affiliation: “What the Public Knows about the Political Parties.” Amusing line from the report:
Republicans fare substantially better than Democrats on several questions in the survey, as is typically the case in surveys about political knowledge.
Ha! Coastal elites like to imagine that their party is the one of intellectuals, and that is largely true due to the deformed Zeitgeist. However, the Democrats get their election numbers from piss ignorant proles, ne’er-do-wells, and halfwits, who simply vote for the politicians who promise them “mo’ stuff.” The report also states that independents tend to have less knowledge of the parties . . . due, I assume, to apathy. Most independents probably just do not care. I wonder, mostly from my own egoism, whether people who are independent on principle fare better. I am doing my part to represent us 13/13 Americans (I-Idiocracy).
Congratulations to the British and Commonwealth peoples who celebrate the birth of their future king! I was hoping for a boy so that the harpies would spare us their elation about the proposed changes in succession rules. Let us hope that by the time the boy becomes king in four decades or so, the English speaking peoples of the world will have repented of their madness and returned to their semi-semi-Salic ways.
(That said, there is an argument for absolute primogeniture as the more ancient custom among various Germanic tribes, but I do not adequately know its merits. Tolkien may have favored absolute primogeniture, at least in his fiction. For it was from Princess Silmariën of Númenor that the righteous Lords of Andúnië and the subsequent royal lines of Arnor and Gondor in Middle Earth descended. However, the contemporary argument against male preferred succession results from our civilization’s disastrous dallying with sexual egalitarianism rather than from any respectable source. I am personally fond of permitting succession through daughters in a male preferred system so that the daughters’ sons could inherit the throne but not the daughters themselves. In the current system, for instance, there are times when there is no king. A more important problem in the current system that would worsen (in terms of frequency) with the proposed changes is that a prince consort is unable to head his household and to be an obedient subject to his sovereign wife at the same time. Such introduces a fundamental disorder in the royal family for the sake of dynastic stability, which could be achieved in other ways without contravening the law of God. Alternatively, heiress daughters could rule celibately like Elizabeth I, but then future monarchs would not be descended from every reigning sovereign (the ideal) and some such poor women might wish for the married life. In my system, we would get a male preferred order wherein a grandson could inherit the crown through his mother if she had no brothers or if she only had deceased brothers who had no children. That would ensure a king, provide good dynastic stability, and minimize succession moves to cadet branches.)
Speaking of babies, I found an interesting article last year that features a baby who yawns in utero—a wonder we may now witness due to “4D” sonogram technology: “Baby yawns in womb, 4D scan shows.”
I sent the video to my family, confessing that I had yawned after seeing the fetus yawn. My brother Aaron responded by sending me to Vsauce’s Why Is Yawning Contagious? video. Fascinating stuff.
Thomas Bertonneau has shared Paul Gottfried’s new site, The Gottfried Report, on The Orthosphere. As a regular reader of Gottfried’s articles elsewhere, I look forward to enjoying his site. Among the first entries are two that excoriate the idiotic Republican leadership (and, by extension, their enablers—their voters), “No, This Is Not Watergate” and “Kicking A Bad Habit” In the former, Gottfried writes:
Lest I forget to mention the obvious, the GOP fully deserves its approaching second-class status as a national party. Every congressional or presidential measure that led to this situation was enacted with Republican approval. Whether we are looking at the Twenty-Fourth Amendment, banning the poll tax in January 1964, the Voting Rights Act in 1965, and its subsequent extensions and amendments, the Immigration Reform Act of 1965 and the Amnesty Act passed under the Reagan administration, GOP Congressmen voted in at least the same numbers as, and sometimes even more than, the Democrats, to create our present electorate. Never missing a beat in the march toward a multicultural electorate, the GOP not only gave us a voting rights act in 1965 that provided for mobilizing a large black, Democratic voting bloc. GOP Congressmen and presidents have run to extend and broaden the surveillance of districts thought to be “suppressing” minority votes in order to ensure an optimal unfriendly turnout on Election Day.
It is impossible to imagine our current leftist electorate without noting the Republican contribution to this hostile force. And I don’t stand with those demonically possessed GOP partisans who think their party hasn’t done enough to serve the other side’s constituency. Nor do I share the view of those Republicans who feel minorities have been ungrateful to their past benefactors. Rather I hold the view that Republicans are getting exactly what they deserve, as a party of fools. Until now they’ve been happy as clams to strengthen their enemies without any thought for their future.
It is not for nothing that Republicans are called the stupid party.
A few months ago, I was discussing the death penalty with some relatively bright young people. I shared my evolution on the topic—from being completely against it to becoming less and less opposed. I mentioned that my turning point was hearing a speech by Alan Keyes in which he invoked the instructive power of the law. A society teaches through its laws, and it teaches the value of human life and the seriousness of crimes against it by exacting an extreme penalty for such violations. To me, that is the best argument for capital punishment.
After we chatted for some time, I said that, in the end, a society has to decide for itself how to ensure civil order and to protect its people. Through the conversation, one girl was becoming more and more aggravated. After I finished speaking, she asserted that Hitler was put in power by “society” to do what the Germans thought was right. Somewhat surprised, I asked if she was equating a society’s due process killing of child rapists and murderers to the Holocaust. She said yes. “Who are we to . . . “
First they came for the child rapists, and I said nothing.
Then they came for the parricides, and I remained silent.
Next they came for the cannibals . . .
Today is when most Americans commemorate their treasonous rebellion against their original homeland, though the day has fortunately become a celebration of summer, community, and American-ness, to the extent that such survives. Fitting for this day in the twilight of our civilization is a story from earlier in the year, “Wisconsin’s VISTA Program Encourages Volunteers to Overcome White ‘Privilege.’” The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction wishes for its white volunteer do-gooders to keep their “white privilege” in mind while they spend their own time and treasure trying to help dysfunctional members of the colored underprivileged. They will do this in part by wearing special white wristbands.* It is nice that the religion of contemporary liberalism progresses in the development of vestments and rituals.
When I first read the article, I thought of Lawrence Auster’s comment a year ago: “In all of human history, have there ever been human beings as cowardly and contemptible as contemporary white liberals?” The answer is easy: no.
Steve Sailer has occasionally predicted that such nonsense cannot go on forever. The children of today’s racial masochists will be racially aware and possibly even ethno-nationalists. Maybe, they will keep those white wristbands and put them to better use.
* Evidently, the news source of the story misconstrued the program. According to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction site, the white wristbands were not mandated by the program but were an idea in the “additional resources” provided by the program’s trainers. Give leftists another decade to bring those wristbands “out from the shadows” of “additional resources” and into the pushed curriculum. They do what they can get away with. Treacherous fiends!
A few months ago, I read a short quotation by Ayn Rand in a comments thread that I found insightful. It is from a speech that she gave in A.D. 1960:
The truth about the intellectual state of the modern world . . . which distinguishes it from other periods of cultural crises, is the fact that what people are seeking is not the answers to problems, but the reassurance that no answers are possible.
According to the comment, you may find this in Rand’s Philosophy: Who Needs It. I sent the quote to my friend Andrew, who replied so:
I think she’s right about the post-modern world. But it seems to me that the modernism, of which I assume she is a proponent, has the opposite flaw. It treats the perennial unpleasantries of the human condition as though they were problems to be answered, when, in fact, no answers are possible. So it’s almost like the Hegelian dialectic in reverse. First there was a reasonable synthesis, then with the Enlightenment, an overly simplistic thesis, and now with post-modernity, an oversimplified antithesis. And I’m sure that when we return to the reasonable synthesis of past ages, we’ll call it progress.
May such progress come quickly!
Sometimes, Lady Ann surprises even me. She posted on her site a few months ago:
Why Italians Are Our Best Americans! - Italian-Americans Accepted the Challenge Of Americanism—Why Can’t Hispanics?
“A frightened public believed that Bolshevism could come to America, and it would be transmitted by foreigners.”
It did, but they weren’t Italians.
What a gal!
A couple of years ago while I was dining with a fellow from New York who happened to be a family friend of the mayor, I asked the young man what New Yorkers thought of the mayor’s attempts to regulate the diet of his city’s denizens by banning or taxing items and portions that he found objectionable. The fellow replied that there was widespread support of the mayor’s noble efforts. This chap was part of the mayor’s circle, and he was of the same stock—wealthy, Jewish, left-leaning, and well connected. So, perhaps it was not surprising that he enthusiastically agreed with the mayor’s aims, but he offered me a window to see how such folks think. I asked him what business it was of the city government to tell people what size soft drinks they could sell or purchase. He said that the government has a responsibility to look after the health of its people. Given our social welfare and medical safety net, he argued that it was necessary to encourage or even to coerce (nicely) healthy choices, as someone’s poor decisions can easily become a burden to his neighbors.
Of course, the fellow had a point. Socialists acknowledge that we are all in this together, which is quite true. I wanted to know, though, how this young man and his friend the mayor could so quickly see the rationality of compelling “healthy” food vending practices while never considering the regulation of the populace’s sexual practices, which have important and far reaching consequences. Before the Stonewall riots, New York City took an interest in sexual deviancy due to community moral and public health concerns. For the bathhouse culture and the many social and venereal afflictions that inhere and result from that way of life arguably affect its practitioners more than drinking eight more ounces of Coca-Cola during meals. Why is the left-liberal mind incapable of recognizing the need for the city to “legislate” morality in certain areas of human life but seems so ready and willing to tell other people what to do in other areas?
When I suggested that the mayor was contradicting himself by supporting a homosexualist agenda and by pushing soft public health tyranny in other ways, the fellow replied that it was sheer bigotry to suggest that homosexual behavior was a health risk. I responded by mentioning some of the public health facts that the public health establishment no longer cares to mention. See, for example, “The Negative Health Effects of Homosexuality” by Timothy Dailey of the Family Research Council. Regardless of one’s views of homosexuality, the public health aspect—the one on which Mayor Bloomberg and his allies stake their powers to dictate what New Yorkers should eat and drink—seems pretty settled. If a city wishes to promote public health, it should discourage many tendencies that seem to go along with homosexuality as it is currently practiced in contemporary America. Facts be damned, though, if a liberal commits himself to the notion that (almost) all sexual practices should be treated equally. Dailey’s findings are, as Steve Sailer might say, hate facts.
As much as I try to investigate the leftist mind, and as often as I interview our sinister friends or read critical theories that attempt to explain them, I just do not understand them. Perhaps, Bloomberg and my dinner partner find the sexual matters of human life too “sacred” or whatever the equivalent is for materialistic atheists for state intrusion, whereas they do not think that regulating food or cigarettes steps on anyone’s toes. After all, fat people can get skinny, again, and smokers can stop smoking; so it’s not a true hardship for them. Suggesting that homosexuals can cease from homosexual activity just as gluttons can stop pigging out does not appear to be acceptable. Is it because homosexuality is a permanent condition for them, like ethnicity or origin, and the liberal cannot bear to treat different people as if they were different when they cannot help their differences? I do not know.