Insanity is rampant, and there is no shortage of material for cultural critics. Nonetheless, I recommend a brief but clear post that Malcolm Pollack published last summer about the Obama administration’s clever strategy on the racial Marxism front: “A Respectful Whistle.” Perhaps, clever is not the appropriate word. It is not tactically brilliant to muster and direct one’s forces to attack a wide break in the enemy’s defense. That is war 101, right, if not just common sense? Thus, it is not so much that leftist strategy is brilliant as it is that American “conservatives” are blind, imbecilic, or pusillanimous (and possibly all three) when it comes to ethnic matters. So, why shouldn’t Obama’s henchmen have a little opportune fun with our Nation of Cowards?
Claire Lehmann wrote an article of substance on Quillette about the current state of psychology research, the work of Lee Jussim, and studies about stereotypes: “How a rebellious scientist uncovered the surprising truth about stereotypes.” The irony is that the truth about stereotypes is not at all surprising—it is what careful observers of the human condition have always known. What is surprising in Lehmann’s report, sadly, is how information that does not complement Party doctrine (the “Narrative” as some folks like to say) gets shelved or ignored in a society wherein most everyone voices encomia to the values of transparency, objectivity, and rationality. What a sham—those Potemkin principles of the modern university! Ask Charles Murray, James Watson, Robert Oscar Lopez, or Lawrence Summers about their esteemed colleagues’ and institutions’ commitment to open inquiry in search of truth. See how school administrators, “educators,” and today’s students handle what Steve Sailer calls “hatefacts”—those unpleasant, counter-narrative truths that might trigger cognitive dissonance among upstanding, right-thinking citizens. Dedication to science!?!? Hooey!
Jussim’s experience should surprise and appall the academic world, but that will not happen. We should be shocked by the established, pervasive, willful deceit in our society, but its ubiquity accustoms us to its perversity. Kudos, though, to folks like Jussim—and Lehmann—who fight the good fight.
Last October, James Kalb wrote about the rise of Donald Trump in the context of “political correctness”: “Trump and the Culture of Political Correctness.” Kalb argues that Trump’s spectacle of a campaign, while showy and bacchanalian, is nevertheless less unreal than the official narrative of the American establishment, which refuses to acknowledge its own masquerade. The vivid contrast between the clown who tells the truth and the marm who gravely speaks what everyone knows to be nonsense has set Trump on the path to the White House.
Trump’s campaign has been a personal delight for me ever since he announced his candidacy by forcing the media and the politicians to address the national question. Trump—the smasher of leftist bars on the Overton window. What joy! I do not know whether he will succeed in winning—but I am surprisingly pleased by the American presidential race this year. I put no trust in the sons of men, but I quite enjoy seeing an unholy fool mock the wicked and dishonest sanctimony of the powers that be.
Last month, Bret Easton Ellis penned an essay reflecting on our culture in The New York Times, “Bret Easton Ellis on Living in the Cult of Likability.” I recommend Ellis’ insights on the “reputation economy” and the stifling, inclusive blandness to which we are obliged to conform and pay hommage.
Due to this site’s inactivity, a significant backlog of commendable articles that I wish to share rests in my bookmark files. For instance, I had wished to discuss Laura Kipniss’ “Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academe” as well as Kipniss’ ordeals subsequent to that essay, but The Chronicle of Higher Education has moved the article behind a paywall. If you are not aware of l’affaire Kipniss, you may wish to research it online. Shocking—but perhaps not, as we are increasingly conditioned to accept contemporary nonsense as normal.
Speaking of campus desolation, Anthony Esolen has a fine piece in the Intercollegiate Review (from the Fall 2013 issue) on the reductionism rampant in humanities departments: “The Subhumanities: The Reductive Violence of Race, Class, and Gender Theory.” Esolen argues that the current obsession with the postmodern trinity of “race, class, and gender” blinds readers to the works that they are apparently trying to understand.
Indeed, the entire point of postmodernism seems to be blindness—for sight is oppressive. Seeing that which is outside the self affects the self, and we must not allow our fragile egos to encounter ideas or horizons to which we do not consent. Why, such would be epistemological rape!
Esolen, reactionary troglodyte that he is, must know the pain of being dragged from the cave of one’s own choosing. Why would he wish such unpleasantry on anyone?
To answer that question is to refute pomo-ism in its totality, and it is why the XQTLBGFYZ-theoried folks cannot understand Esolen’s criticism.
Nick Gillespie of Reason Magazine interviewed Camille Paglia, wherein Paglia voiced some provocative words about the American university: “Everything’s Awesome and Camille Paglia Is Unhappy!” Paglia states:
Paglia: I am an equal opportunity feminist. I believe that all barriers to women’s advancement in the social and political realm must be removed. However, I don’t feel that gender is sufficient to explain all of human life. This gender myopia has become a disease, a substitute for a religion, this whole cosmic view. It’s impossible that the feminist agenda can ever be the total explanation for human life. Our problem now is that this monomania—the identity politics of the 1970s, so people see everything through the lens of race, gender, or class-this is an absolute madness, and in fact, it’s a distortion of the ‘60s. I feel that the ‘60s had a vision, a large cosmic perspective that was absolutely lost in this degeneration, in this splintering of the 1970s into these identity politics.
reason: Was it just that the revolution eats its own? Or is it that there’s a shrinking economic pie, so people started grabbing for whatever they could before the Titanic goes down? What explains that narrowing?
Paglia: I actually wrote an entire essay about the religious vision of America in the 1960s in “Cults and Cosmic Consciousness.” I feel that the real visionary thinkers of my generation destroyed their brains on drugs. LSD just leveled all the truly talented people of my generation.
reason: I have to say that this conversation is over! So who were the people who destroyed themselves on drugs?
Paglia: My classmates. The authentic imaginations, the really innovative people of my generation, the most daring of my generation took the drug. Now I, for some reason, felt that the LSD was untested, and I did not want to experiment with it. But I was very interested in it. I was interested in all types of vision quests at the time. I went up with fellow students [from SUNY-Binghamton] to see Timothy Leary speak at Cornell. I saw him, and it made me uneasy that here was the guru with such a crowd around him, but his face was already twitching. I could see that this was not going to end well, and it did not.
So when I got to graduate school in 1968, I can attest to the fact that no authentically radical student of the 1960s ever went to graduate school. So all that were left were the time-servers, who parasitically [lived] on the achievements of the 1960s, for heaven’s sake. Any authentic leftist who had a job at a university in the 1970s or ‘80s or ‘90s should have been opposing the entire evolution of the university-that is, toward this administrative bureaucracy that has totally robbed power from the faculty. The total speciousness and fraud of academic leftism is proven by the passivity of these people in every department of the university to that power play that happened.
Re-read that last paragraph, and re-read it, again. Then, sputter a series of expletives and amens. But is she right? I don’t know, but it makes me wonder.
Count your blessings if you have not yet encountered the cowardly new world of trigger warnings. For a briefer, Christina Hoff Sommers explains the stupidity for you:
Western peoples as a whole really need something like an intense Outward Bound experience. And we may get it, but without the safety nets. I certainly do not wish for an EMP-like incident, but nonsense like “trigger warnings” makes me wonder whether a great culling must await us.
Katherine Timpf has an article in the National Review about universities’ latest attempt to deal with the sexual revolution: “Students Told to Take Photos with a ‘Consent Contract’ Before They Have Sex.” My friend Andrew commented:
If only someone had thought of this before…. If only it had occurred to someone that you shouldn’t have sex with someone before entering into a publicly verifiable contractual relationship with that person. Maybe the next step for these progressives will be to suggest that these contracts must be witnessed at some sort of public ceremony, so that you have witnesses to prove the consent. And then maybe for health reasons, these contracts should be exclusive and permanent. Oh how far we’ve come! California will lead us all the way around the circle, and the serpent will devour its own tail!
Our society looks so hopeless.
Last year, Bret Easton Ellis published “Generation Wuss” in Vanity Fair. Be forewarned about the language and decadence. I worry that Ellis is largely correct. I am shocked by how psychologically delicate young Americans have become. I blame helicopter parents, electronic device-life, the self esteem cult, and the cowardice of every institution that caves to unreasonable vermin for fear of lawsuits and/or bad p.r. It is a shame, though. I do not know if anything is uglier than an ugly soul—it is such a defacement of what is destined for greatness.
Proctor & Gamble is a major company in Cincinnati; the global corporate giant began here and continues to have its headquarters in town. I know many people who work for the company in different capacities. So, for tribal reasons, I support the company and buy its products. However, like most corporations today, Proctor & Gamble is controlled by leftist toadies. I suppose this is the price they must pay to play the game “successfully” in the dominion of this world.
My annoyance with the company on this occasion involves their commercial “Like a Girl” that will air during the Super Bowl according to local media. You may read about the advertisement on the Business Insider: “P&G Asked Kids What It Means to Do Something ‘Like a Girl’ — Here’s What They Said.” In short, the commercial producers bring in adults—who, we are supposed to note, have been enculturated by a patriarchal paradigm—and then ask the adults to perform certain actions like “run like a girl” or “fight like a girl.” The producers then bring in young girls—those blissfully untainted Rousseauian savages not yet corrupted by sexist Western civilization—and ask them to do the same. The girls that they show just perform the actions as well as they can, since they are, after all, girls.
The commercial is supposed to be inspiring and liberating—according to dozens of journalistic reviews that you may read online. However, it is stupid. I see why P&G has produced it—the company has a brilliant marketing team that knows how to manipulate its female customer base with total precision—and they often do this by feeding women’s inherent narcissistic tendencies or affirming their unreflective, unreflected opinions absorbed from Marxist education and media saturation. At times, this form of emotional pandering is unobjectionable, as with P&G’s “Mom” ads during the Olympics. In those, the commercials emphasized maternal self-sacrifice and responsibility for molding the character of the next generation. These are necessary ingredients in the recipe for a strong, healthy society, and they should always be affirmed. In the latest commercial, though, P&G is sitting in for the insanely idiotic womyn studies professor in interpreting the world through her fragile feminist-fried neuroses.
Here is a simple reality check that any thoughtful, unprogrammed person can see. “Like a girl” is an insult for boys and men. It is not an insult for girls or women. It means that a boy should not run like a girl (meaning less quickly), throw like a girl (less quickly or aggressively), or fight like a girl (less aggressively). As such, it is a recognition of natural differences between boys and girls, between men and women, where human males are, by nature, as a sex (and not necessarily for every individual—an unfortunately necessary qualification added due to the abysmal level of education these days), bodily stronger and quicker than human females. This is obvious to anyone not entirely blinded by fanatical feminist ideology. So, “don’t run like a girl” is similar to other insults directed at people who are not living up to the standard appropriate for them, as when one states that someone (an adult) is acting like a child, or when someone yells to a driver (who has vision), “Are you blind?!?!” These comments are not insults for children or the blind. Similarly, our foolish elite-cum-Kindergarten-school-marm get their corsets in a twist when someone says, “Don’t act retarded,” but that is an entirely sensible suggestion for someone who is not retarded. No one blames the retarded for being retarded, but people justly demand that their fellows with normal cognitive functioning not behave like idiots.
It is sad—woefully so—that anyone would need to point this out, given how simple and straightforward it is. And yet, P&G will run this moronic ad, earn praise from the cultural establishment for doing so, and profit from the successful management of its bovine audience.
Furthermore, the commercial and the articles about it note that self-esteem (that hallowed end of our national self-worshipping cult) plummets among girls during puberty. I wonder what those same studies show about boys. Who knows? No one but Christina Hoff Sommers cares about them. However, I have a theory about that self-esteem plummeting. First, as we mature, we learn more. We become (or should become) increasingly aware of our significance, or lack thereof, in and to our larger society. As children, we are often the centers of our universe. This changes when we learn that other people have their own ends and intentions that usually do not involve us. Such is difficult to accept, but it is part of growing up. As such, we should be happy that it happens to boys and girls. Second, we need to know whether this decrease in self-esteem has changed over time, generationally. If it has, then something besides maturity is at work, and I suspect that such is the case. A twelve year old girl today doesn’t live in a world appropriate for her—or for any other human being. Rather, she exists in a world where whores have become the standard model for women. From tween pop stars to department store fashion, the pubescent girl in contemporary America walks in the societal equivalent of a strip joint, writ large and in neon with SLUTS SLUTS SLUTS. This situation is trying for a mature, stable woman; it is cruel and nightmarish for a girl who is just beginning to experience puberty.
The feminist response is to march in Take Back the Night rallies and to sacralize bizarre pagan devotion to rituals like The Vagina Monologues, among other crimes and misdemeanors against civilization. The correct reaction would be to fight against and to reverse the sexual revolution. But “turning back the clock” has never been on their agenda.