Tribalism and the Alt-Right

The Men of the West explain why the current historical trends are making the Alt-Right inevitable:

Imagine you lived your whole life in a quiet suburb that was just far enough away from the metro area where no one bothered you. It’s full of upper middle class homes, very low crime rate and you’re generally afforded a peaceful life. You don’t notice at first, but soon your way of life is getting chipped away at. The people from neighboring towns, whom you have no quarrel with and have rarely interacted with start trash talking your town. Sure, you can ignore it. Maybe it’s just petty jealousy and there is no advantage for you to get involved at all; let them say what they want.

As time goes on, the anger from the towns around you grows, the rhetoric gets dialed up and soon you’re being painted as evil just for living in your town. People from the other towns start coming through your town, holding demonstrations and demanding that you apologize for being a resident of that town and demanding that you give in to other demands from the towns around you. They demand payouts from businesses who face boycotts if they don’t relent. You find that you’re just not as comfortable being out in public anymore because your quiet life has been disturbed. Even so, you tell yourself that if you keep your head down, this will all blow over because there’s nothing to it and you’re not one of the bad guys. You’re not even sure who the bad guys are really supposed to be.

You’ve never had a reason to look down on the people from the towns around you. You’ve been more than content to let them leads the lives they see as most beneficial to them and you pay them no mind at all. You have no hatred or resentment, nor feelings or superiority either. But now you’re being pushed. Your’e being encroached on. Your way of life is threatened by people that have no business telling you how to live your life, but they’re doing it anyway. They’ve painted you as a hater, a terrorist, and any other negative label they can pin on you. They get control of the media. They shame people relentlessly for not conforming to their way of doing things. At what point do you get fed up and start fighting back?

Welcome to identity politics in America.

You can’t escape identity politics because you don’t approve of them any more than you can escape crime or war. It’s not an option. Once they are upon you, you must accept the new situation and revise your thinking accordingly.


All Americans are now antisemites

Supreme Dark Lord‏ @voxday
It seems #AIPAC has forgotten with whom they are dealing. Americans will not give up their First Amendment for Israel’s sake.

Isaac Hebestein‏ @isaachebestein
I mean, since Israel is America’s only ally in the ME, why would anyone want to boycott them in the first place?

Supreme Dark Lord‏ @voxday
That’s irrelevant. Obviously some Americans do. And that is absolutely their First Amendment right.

Isaac Hebestein‏ @isaachebestein
Boycotting Israel stems from deep-seated anti-Semitism, and therefore is religious discrimination. Would rather have terrorism over not being able to boycott an allied country. That makes sense.

Supreme Dark Lord @voxday
We don’t give a damn. Try to fuck with the First Amendment and you go right to #1 on the enemy’s list.

Isaac Hebestein‏ @isaachebestein
You sound ridiculous, wanting terrorism over the ability to boycott an ally. Just don’t buy our stuff if you don’t like us, no need4 boycott

Supreme Dark Lord‏ @voxday
We don’t give a damn what you think. Americans killed their British brethren for those rights. Americans will kill Jews for them if need be.

Isaac Hebestein‏ @isaachebestein
This is the anti-Semitism we deal with on a daily basis. It really is so disheartening

Isaac Hebestein, Rabbinics Curriculum Coordinator at Academy for Jewish Religion and Adjunct Assistant Professor at HUC-JIR, New York, New York.

It’s rather astonishing, actually, to observe how many Diasporans clearly have no understanding whatsoever of Americans or how Americans will react to this proposed law. I knew Jews are not Americans, of course, by definition, but I didn’t understand how utterly foreign the American perspective is to many of them until now. The following was the truly funny part of the exchange. Mr. Hebestein clearly didn’t understand why some Americans are very much supportive of the idea of an AIPAC-endorsed federal law against the criticism and boycotting of Israel.

Supreme Dark Lord @voxday
We don’t give a damn. Try to fuck with the First Amendment and you go right to #1 on the enemy’s list.

Zorost_Risen @JoeWatson1414
You convinced me, I now support a law against BDS

Isaac Hebestein‏ @isaachebestein


Kid Rock for U.S. Senate

Rockstar Kid Rock set off a political firestorm after teasing his Twitter followers about a potential Senate run in Michigan. News broke this weekend that Kid Rock is LEADING challenger, Dem Debbie Stabenow in a new poll 30% to 26%!

There is absolutely no question that Kid Rock would be vastly preferable Senator for the State of Michigan than anyone the Democratic Party or the Republican Party will put forward. Before we worry about ideology, cultural remoralization, or anything else, America must survive. And Kid Rock is nothing if not America First.

This is Generation X politics. This is 4G politics.


College graduates are stupid

It’s not your imagination. The Audacious Epigone explains:

The mean IQ scores, converted from GSS wordsum results, assuming a national average of 98 and a standard deviation of 15, of those who attended college for at least four years by the decade they graduated in* (n = 5,124, though n for 2010s is only 49 and should be seen as merely suggestive–the trend is clear regardless):

Graduated IQ
1960s 112.3
1970s 109.1
1980s 106.0
1990s 103.9
2000s 102.9
2010s 100.0

The change in the intelligence of the average college graduate over the last fifty years approaches the IQ gap separating whites and blacks.

College for everyone has been an unmitigated intellectual, academic, cultural, and economic disaster.


LawDog is now in paperback!

The hilarious #1 Humor bestseller is now in paperback!

From the reviews:

  • Truly side-splitting! Both touching and hilarious, a glimpse into a world seldom seen by those not in law enforcement.
  • If you want to laugh so hard you fall out of your recliner and blind yourself with tears of laughter, this is the collection of tales for you. Sorta the opposite of pc. If you have worked in or around law enforcement, this might remind you of personal experiences, just written down with great verve and descriptions.
  • Hilarious — as always! The LawDog has been one of my favorite bloggers for years. His voice is distinctive and perpetually entertaining. Run, do not walk, to plunk your money down for this collection; I promise you’ll be laughing your head off.
  • Larry Correia led me to this gem. If you are at all a fan of short stories, told in a self-deprecating humourous way, get this now, and make everyone else wonder what you are laughing at. “Work for it fat man!”
  • Great stories written in a fun and thoughtful manner. Entertaining insight into the people and culture of the small communities which make up the backbone of America.


BUT WAIT, THERE IS MORE!

LawDog had the honor of representing law and order in the Texas town of Bugscuffle as a Sheriff’s Deputy, where he became notorious for, among other things, the famous Case of the Pink Gorilla Suit. But long before he put on the deputy’s star, he grew up in Nigeria, where his experiences were equally unforgettable, and in most cases, every bit as funny. In THE LAWDOG FILES: AFRICAN ADVENTURES, LawDog chronicles his encounters with everything from bush pilots, 15-foot pythons, pygmy mongooses, Brigadier-Captain
Azikiwe, and Peace Corp hippies to the Nigerian space program.



THE LAWDOG FILES: AFRICAN ADVENTURES are every bit as funny as the previous volume, as LawDog relates his unforgettable experiences in a laconic, self-deprecating manner that is funny in its own right. Africa wins again, and again, and again, but, so too does the reader in this sobering, but hilarious collection of true tales from the Dark Continent.


Now available for preorder.


The DNC-Pakistan connection

While NeverTrump and the media is still muttering RUSSIA-RUSSIA-RUSSIA like a crazed homeless man, the FBI is actively investigating the DNC-Pakistan connection:

FBI agents seized smashed computer hard drives from the home of Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s information technology (IT) administrator, according to two sources with knowledge of the investigation.

Pakistani-born Imran Awan, long-time right-hand IT aide to the former Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairwoman, has since desperately tried to get the hard drives back, an individual whom FBI investigators interviewed in the case told The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group.

An additional source in Congress with direct knowledge of the case, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the probe, confirmed that the FBI has joined what Politico previously described as a Capitol Police criminal probe into “serious, potentially illegal, violations on the House IT network” by Imran and three of his relatives, who had access to the emails and files of the more than two dozen House Democrats who employed them on a part-time basis.

Capitol Police have also seized computer equipment tied to the Florida lawmaker….

Soon after Imran began working for Wasserman Schultz in 2005, his two brothers and two of their wives — plus Abbas and another friend — began appearing as IT staffers on the payrolls of other House Democrats. Collectively, the Awan group has been paid $4 million since 2009.

Fellow IT staffers TheDCNF interviewed said the Awans were often absent from weekly meetings and email exchanges. One of the fellow staffers said some of the computers the Awans managed were being used to transfer data to an off-site server.

One of the many, many reasons you don’t want to hire Indian or Pakistani IT guys. They can’t even manage to correctly wipe their hard drives when desperately needed to do so.


Which is the true text order?

Here is an apt demonstration of what I meant when I said that postmodern literature is bad writing. Not only is it bad writing, but it isn’t even meant to be properly read at all, only skimmed for the surface impressions made by the words. In fact, it’s not even necessary for the words to be in any particular order from paragraph to paragraph.

The following three passages are the same string of words taken from the 1985 National Book Award winner. I divided the original passage into 15 strings based on the punctuation and randomized it twice. Now, without looking anything up on the Internet, see if you can tell which passage is in the correct order, Number 1, 2, or 3.
  1. We simply walk toward the sliding doors … This is not Tibet … sealed off … timeless. Code words and ceremonial phrases. It is just a question of deciphering … Another reason why I think of Tibet. Dying is an art in Tibet … Energy waves, incident radiation … Look how well-lighted everything is … Not that we would want to … Chants, numerology, horoscopes, recitations. Here we don’t die, we shop. But the difference is less marked than you think. Everything is concealed in symbolism… This simple truth is hard to fathom. But once we stop denying death, we can proceed calmly to die … Tibetans try to see death for what it is. It is the end of attachment to things. The large doors slide open, they close unbidden. We don’t have to cling to life artificially, or to death …
  2. Everything is concealed in symbolism … The large doors slide open, they close unbidden. Energy waves, incident radiation … code words and ceremonial phrases. It is just a question of deciphering … Not that we would want to … This is not Tibet … Tibetans try to see death for what it is. It is the end of attachment to things. This simple truth is hard to fathom. But once we stop denying death, we can proceed calmly to die … We don’t have to cling to life artificially, or to death … We simply walk toward the sliding doors … Look how well-lighted everything is … sealed off … timeless. Another reason why I think of Tibet. Dying is an art in Tibet … Chants, numerology, horoscopes, recitations. Here we don’t die, we shop. But the difference is less marked than you think.”
  3. Energy waves, incident radiation … This is not Tibet …timeless. Chants, numerology, horoscopes, recitations. Here we don’t die, we shop. But the difference is less marked than you think. We don’t have to cling to life artificially, or to death …Another reason why I think of Tibet. Dying is an art in Tibet … Everything is concealed in symbolism… Look how well-lighted everything is … code words and ceremonial phrases. It is just a question of deciphering … We simply walk toward the sliding doors … Not that we would want to … Tibetans try to see death for what it is. It is the end of attachment to things. Sealed off … This simple truth is hard to fathom. But once we stop denying death, we can proceed calmly to die … The large doors slide open, they close unbidden. 

Mailvox: bad writing is cancer

This is an email from a Castalia House author who shall go unnamed, but obviously isn’t John C. Wright.

Well, now you’ve done it.

One of your strongest points in your discussion with Stefan on Crime and Punishment was how Dostoyevsky focused on the moral decay caused by material naturalism and did not and likely could not possibly have seen its system-wide effects.

Now, today’s post about bad writing makes a similar case that Modernism, and in particular its virulent Boomer strain – Postmodernism – is culture cancer.

Many people could see that Modernist literature was, at base and overall, simply not as deep or interesting as those books which had not gottenn caught up in Modernism’s well-crafted, insubstantial mopefests.

The clue that Modernism was a dead-end can be found in its best products: As I Lay Dying, The Wasteland, Invisible Man, Heart of Darkness and The Aspern Papers are ALL, at heart, about how writing from a Modernist perspective is a pointless, disjointed exercise that renders a man insignificant. Wait for death, write or don’t…in the end Material Man is a Hollow Man. If even Modernist novels don’t like Modernist novels, you know you’ve chanced on a Very Bad Idea.

When the reactionary Post-Modernism came along, the self-defeating problem became clear. There were plenty of sane readers who said, “Okay, that way lies madness. Taken to its logical conclusion, PM could lead to the end of literature!”

It is no coincidence that the era of the blockbuster genre novel exploded in a major response to academic Post-Modernism. Everybody read Dr. Zhivago or Sidney Sheldon. No one read Alphabetical Africa.

BUT…Post-Modernism clearly was not contained to academic literature. Sidney Sheldon’s soap operas were not merely pop-classic melodramas, but were materialist ones. The casting couch ultimately made starlets powerful, taboo relationships were taboo because of society’s evil, not personal sin. Ursula Le Guin’s adventure stories became feminist meditations. Stephen King’s pulp adventure horror veered badly into religious ignorance. John Updike was…Updikian.

Now, these books and hundreds more were still, in form, traditional, popular novels. They just had some spots of odd, discolored PostModern crust on them.

The spots showed up in movies and television: Laugh-In, All in the Family, the Brady Bunch, Planet of the Apes, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Heck, the massive blockbuster Jaws opened up with a nude girl being bitten, dragged, mauled and eaten by the literary aquatic symbol for Death incarnate, a “Great White” no less. That’s Post-modern action: no heroes, no villains, just young, bare, feminine annihilation.

But those spots are hardly noticed in the work by most people at the time, whether it is a bit of King’s “tornado-faced” lady (bad writing) or the now iconic but originally “ironic” “Episode IV” scroll in Star Wars.

But they got everywhere, and, while it occasionally worked (the unvarnished, unapologetic racism in The Godfather I and II was possible under a sort of Post-Modern “honesty” at the time), most of the time, these spots show up as an anachronism, a ‘breaking of the fourth wall’ or just bad dialogue.

And today?

We don’t even have personal pronouns anymore.

Our culture adopted a literature that had, at its core, an anti-communication ethic. The more obscure, the more personal, the more disconnected a “text” was from its meaning, the more “authentic” it was. The more “identity” it had.

Post-Modernism didn’t just end literature. It ended communication.

I think that’s why there are so many landmines of bad writing today. I think that’s why you can emerge from a writing program or college less literate than when you came in, even if you were borderline literate to begin with!

Bad writing is cancer.


SJWs always lie: Patreon edition

Patreon’s ludicrously lame excuse for canceling Lauren Southern’s account.

Hi Lauren,

My name is Max and I am a member of the Trust and Safety team at patreon.

Here at Patreon we believe in freedom of speech. We are creating a platform that empowers creators to share and debate ideas. When ideas cross into action, though, we sometimes must take a closer look at what our creators are doing with the funds they earn through Patreon.

It appears that you are currently raising funds in order to take part in activities that are likely to cause loss of life. We have therefore decided to remove your page from Patreon, and paid out your final balance of $95.00 to you.

We understand that this will come as a disappointment. Please know that we have come to this decision after a long review process and will not consider an appeal.

Thank you for your understanding.

Regards,

Patreon Trust+Safey

Never have anything to do with any organization with a “Trust and Safety” team. Fortunately, there are rock-solid alternatives on the way, as I will be announcing soon.

Modern literature is bad writing

Speaking of bad writing, this 2001 Atlantic essay on the form and purpose of modern literature is magnificent. The author, BR Myers, rightly crucifies several doyennes of modern literature, including one, Cormac McCarthy, whose popular appeal I have never understood in the slightest. Read the whole thing. It’s long, but it’s well worth it.

Parallelisms and pseudo-archaic formulations abound: “They caught up and set out each day in the dark before the day yet was and they ate cold meat and biscuit and made no fire”; “and they would always be so and never be otherwise”; “the captain wrote on nor did he look up”; “there rode no soul save he,” and so forth.

The reader is meant to be carried along on the stream of language. In the New York Times review of The Crossing, Robert Hass praised the effect: “It is a matter of straight-on writing, a veering accumulation of compound sentences, stinginess with commas, and a witching repetition of words … Once this style is established, firm, faintly hypnotic, the crispness and sinuousness of the sentences … gather to a magic.” The key word here is “accumulation.” Like Proulx and so many others today, McCarthy relies more on barrages of hit-and-miss verbiage than on careful use of just the right words.

While inside the vaulting of the ribs between his knees the darkly meated heart pumped of who’s will and the blood pulsed and the bowels shifted in their massive blue convolutions of who’s will and the stout thighbones and knee and cannon and the tendons like flaxen hawsers that drew and flexed and drew and flexed at their articulations of who’s will all sheathed and muffled in the flesh and the hooves that stove wells in the morning groundmist and the head turning side to side and the great slavering keyboard of his teeth and the hot globes of his eyes where the world burned. 
(All the Pretty Horses, 1992)

This may get Hass’s darkly meated heart pumping, but it’s really just bad poetry formatted to exploit the lenient standards of modern prose. The obscurity of who’s will, which has an unfortunate Dr. Seussian ring to it, is meant to bully readers into thinking that the author’s mind operates on a plane higher than their own—a plane where it isn’t ridiculous to eulogize the shifts in a horse’s bowels.

As a fan of movie westerns, I refuse to quibble with the myth that a wild landscape can bestow epic significance on the lives of its inhabitants. But novels tolerate epic language only in moderation. To record with the same somber majesty every aspect of a cowboy’s life, from a knife fight to his lunchtime burrito, is to create what can only be described as kitsch. Here we learn that out west even a hangover is something special.

[They] walked off in separate directions through the chaparral to stand spraddlelegged clutching their knees and vomiting. The browsing horses jerked their heads up. It was no sound they’d ever heard before. In the gray twilight those retchings seemed to echo like the calls of some rude provisional species loosed upon that waste. Something imperfect and malformed lodged in the heart of being. A thing smirking deep in the eyes of grace itself like a gorgon in an autumn pool. 
(All the Pretty Horses)

It is a rare passage that can make you look up, wherever you may be, and wonder if you are being subjected to a diabolically thorough Candid Camera prank. I can just go along with the idea that horses might mistake human retching for the call of wild animals. But “wild animals” isn’t epic enough: McCarthy must blow smoke about some rude provisional species, as if your average quadruped had impeccable table manners and a pension plan. Then he switches from the horses’ perspective to the narrator’s, though just what something imperfect and malformed refers to is unclear. The last half sentence only deepens the confusion. Is the thing smirking deep in the eyes of grace the same thing that is lodged in the heart of being? And what is a gorgon doing in a pool? Or is it peering into it? And why an autumn pool? I doubt if McCarthy can explain any of this; he probably just likes the way it sounds.

No novelist with a sense of the ridiculous would write such nonsense. Although his characters sometimes rib one another, McCarthy is among the most humorless writers in American history. In this excerpt the subject is horses.


He said that the souls of horses mirror the souls of men more closely than men suppose and that horses also love war. Men say they only learn this but he said that no creature can learn that which his heart has no shape to hold … Lastly he said that he had seen the souls of horses and that it was a terrible thing to see. He said that it could be seen under certain circumstances attending the death of a horse because the horse shares a common soul and its separate life only forms it out of all horses and makes it mortal … Finally John Grady asked him if it were not true that should all horses vanish from the face of the earth the soul of the horse would not also perish for there would be nothing out of which to replenish it but the old man only said that it was pointless to speak of there being no horses in the world for God would not permit such a thing.
(All the Pretty Horses)

The further we get from our cowboy past, the loonier becomes the hippophilia we attribute to it. More to the point, especially considering The New York Times’s praise of All the Pretty Horses for its “realistic dialogue,” is the stiltedness with which the conversation is reproduced. The cowboys are supposed to be talking to a Mexican in Spanish, which is a stretch to begin with, but from the tone in which the conversation is set down you’d think it was ancient Hebrew. And shouldn’t Grady satisfy our curiosity by finding out what a horse’s soul looks like, instead of pursuing a hypothetical point of equine theology? You half expect him to ask how many horses’ souls can fit on the head of a pin.

All the Pretty Horses received the National Book Award in 1992. “Not until now,” the judges wrote in their fatuous citation, “has the unhuman world been given its own holy canon.” What a difference a pseudo-biblical style makes; this so-called canon has little more to offer than the conventional belief that horses, like dogs, serve us well enough to merit exemption from an otherwise sweeping disregard for animal life. (No one ever sees a cow’s soul.) McCarthy’s fiction may be less fun than the “genre” western, but its world view is much the same. So is the cast of characters: the quiet cowboys, the women who “like to see a man eat,” the howling savages. (In fairness to the western: McCarthy’s depiction of Native Americans in Blood Meridian [1985] is far more offensive than anything in Louis L’ Amour.) The critics, however, are too much impressed by the muscles of his prose to care about the heart underneath. Even The Village Voice has called McCarthy “a master stylist, perhaps without equal in American letters.” Robert Hass wrote much of his review of The Crossing in an earnest imitation of McCarthy’s style:

The boys travel through this world, tipping their hats, saying “yessir” and “nosir” and “si” and “es verdad” and “claro” to all its potential malice, its half-mad philosophers, as the world washes over and around them, and the brothers themselves come to be as much arrested by the gesture of the quest as the old are by their stores of bitter wisdom and the other travelers, in the middle of life, in various stages of the arc between innocence and experience, by whatever impulses have placed them on the road.

The vagueness of that encomium must annoy McCarthy, who prides himself on the way he tackles “issues of life and death” head on. In interviews he presents himself as a man’s man with no time for pansified intellectuals—a literary version, if you will, of Dave Thomas, the smugly parochial old-timer in the Wendy’s commercials. It would be both unfair and a little too charitable to suggest that this is just a pose. When McCarthy says of Marcel Proust and Henry James, “I don’t understand them. To me, that’s not literature,” I have a sinking feeling he’s telling the truth.

The essay finally made it clear to me what these modern literaturists – one hesitates to call them actual writers – are doing, and it’s not dissimilar to what the gammas are doing with their terrible, narcissistic metaphors. Their words are not meant to be read as words as such, but are meant to be lightly scanned, so that an impression is formed by that superficial contact.

That’s why there is so often no meaning to be found in their works, that there is neither action nor character to be found in the texts. No one actually reads these books! They are, instead, scanned, with no more comprehension of the empty contents surveyed than the whole language reader grasps the phonetics of the words he is reading.