Monday, July 25, 2016

Lydia McGrew joins the alt-right.

Unintentionally of course, but it is what it is.

The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible. Forget all your flashy theatrical rap garbage. Forget your idealism about your life in the hood and your idiotic belief that you can either gangbang, rap or dribble a basketball to success. Forget your goddamned 'people', and while you're at it, forget Malcolm X too. The black American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are single fathers and crack addictions. Obama's speeches make them feel good. So does dope. What they need isn't analgesics, literal or political. They need real opportunity, which means that they need to stop whining about their lot in life, go to the library, and learn how to read.
When asked if the above hypothetical passage flies, Lydia McGrew had this to say:

Actually, I thought at the time when I read the Williamson article that I _did_ think rather similar things could be rightly said about the black communities. Tough love, as it were. And not, ipso facto, racist. Indeed, *mainstream* conservatives used to say that the black community is dysfunctional and its own worst enemy and needs to pull itself up by the bootstraps. I suppose there are still some mainstream conservatives that do, though it's become less acceptable in the last twenty years or so. But I'm old enough to remember when it wasn't. 
Which isn't to say that I agree with every bit of your translation. I think in particular substituting "people" for "gypsum" is more than a bit weird. There are other bits I could disagree with as far as their equivalence to the original. But overall, the general level of straight-talk harshness in neither of the quotes offends me and is not the kind of thing I am condemning. 
So sorry your experiment backfired. Well, no, actually, I'm not sorry at all. I just tell the truth around here. You don't have to like it. 

To which I responded:

Backfired? Far from it, Lydia. It means that harsh, racially-focused condemnation of a community's failings isn't horrible or condemnable at all. 
Which means, in one fell swoop, you've managed to defend a whole lot of what the alt-right says yet is routinely attacked and denounced for. 
Lydia McGrew... welcome to the alt-right! 

Meanwhile, at WWWtW

Apparently the alt-right conversation lit up a bit after my last comments. News to me - I hadn't been back there since the last dustup.

So, a few comments.

First, to Perilanda - whoever that is - well, thanks for the kind words. Always pleasantly surprised when I know more folks are reading this than I suspect, and some are actually getting something out of it. Humility's probably not my strongest point, though; I'm just realistic.

Chillanodon, meanwhile, chimed in with:
It just sickens me that today, in the current year, a large, loud, black woman can't be paid thousands of dollars to play a large, loud black woman in a super-lazy-cash-grab of a movie without going on Twitter and receiving texts from anonymous users that imply she is, in fact, a large, loud black woman who does resemble other things if you squint hard enough.
Ah, you bastard, you got me cackling! But it's true.

To this end, let me clear up a few things.

First, I don't think the entirety of conservatism - even the alt-right-hating wing - has been mistaken, or wrong, or in need of repudiation. It'd be hard for me to condemn, say... literate, well-spoken, intellectually forceful arguments. I'm a Feser-fan and have been since the olden days. You can't have a strong appreciation of A-T metaphysics and classical theism and think reasoned argument is useless, or God-forbid, counterproductive. It has its place, and that place is important - it's for a certain class of individual.

Convoluted legal arguments won't budge most people in the world, for example. But if they manage to convince a judge? Well, that's going to have one hell of an impact potentially. That's important, and it's necessary.

But it ain't the only thing in the world by a longshot, as Ted Cruz - damn good lawyer, I hear - hopefully realizes by now.

Worse, conservatives have had to face a torrent of abuse laid against them, largely in popular media they don't have much control over. And they've tried to combat this abuse in the worst possible way - by striving to prove that it's not true, to an audience that couldn't care less if it WAS true, because what's important is the accusation and the stigma rather than the reality. The result has been, over and over again, not just criticism of fellow conservatives, but the destruction of them when they commit some social sin: people get fired from their jobs, banished from social circles, attacked and ridiculed.

Lately, they get banished from major social media platforms. For life. In Milo's case, not for actually saying anything himself, but because people who follow him did unspeakable things, like make fun of some windbag of an actress. I know, because I read his damn tweets.

And, once again, it becomes a great opportunity for some conservatives to huff and chide one of their largely-allies and talk about how vile some of those tweets were and suggesting that it was all deserved and how we shouldn't be sympathetic (or outraged) on Milo's behalf, because the REAL story is how mean he is.

As a guy who used to play some of this game, sincerely: no thanks. Also, fuck that action.

Fuck the attitude that the principle rule of being a conservative is vicious, unrelenting self-policing of tone, lest someone accuse us collectively of what they damn will accuse us of anyway, or because we're committing some suspiciously modern sin. To hell with the constant fretting of whether this or this word, or action, or even -thought- may shock and mortify the victim classes (or more specifically, their self-appointed keepers.)

By the way, that doesn't mean I think conservatives or the right should unanimously turn a blind eye to, or mindlessly celebrate, each and every action deemed 'non-PC'. I'll say if I think some joke about this person or that person or this group or that group is wrong-headed, or unfunny, or the like. Others should too. However, just saying 'Yeah I didn't like that joke' doesn't seem to be an option - and God forbid, the idea that you can say 'I don't like the joke, or the comment, but how dare you try to purge them for it you lunatic' seems alien to a good share of conservatives, or at least conservative bloggers and writers.

To put it succinctly, consider this: the conservative obsession with being the least-offensive person isn't some wise and wily move, crafted to evade the nastiest charges of the left. It is defeat itself. It's a concession that yes, as a matter of fact they CAN control your language, your behavior, your associations, and ultimately your thought, because they can determine what's stigmatized and you'll react accordingly. Conservatives have said that they can't out-spend the left on social services, because the left has no limit with what they're willing to spend. Sorry guys: they're willing to out-pander you to every victim class as well.

One of the things you CAN do better than them is - oddly enough, for Christians - out-blaspheme them. You can out-laugh them, you can mock more, you can enjoy more speech, and you can have a lot more fun. And you can care a whole lot less about their precious stigmas, their ever-more-labyrinthine rules for their secular religion. That's one area they can't outdo you, because to even try would be defeat for -them-.

Trump learned that rule, and he won the nomination - and will quite possibly win the presidency. Milo learned that rule and he won a ton of fans and notoriety. Laughing at their rules, mocking their sacred cows, engaging in a bit of secular shamelessness, and refusing to whip and attack and savage your allies for the high crime of wrongthink is not just more fun. It is, often enough, the right thing to do.

Christians should not worship and honor idols, ladies and gentlemen. Secular ones are no better than pagan ones.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Fast thoughts 7/24

* The Republican convention was satisfying, at least as a Trump enthusiast. There's a bit of poetic justice in watching the Colorado delegation in particular get railroaded on the convention floor via, shall we say, strict adherence to the convention rules. The fact that they were trying to kick up dust at this stage of the game says a lot, but oh well - I guess they 'have to work on their ground game', as they'd say.

* I was sad to see Milo get kicked off twitter, but given how many times they've attempted to punish him, it was kind of an eventuality. Twitter, like Facebook, tries to squelch voices it doesn't like, and Milo's been in their crosshairs for a while. Team Morality at WWWtW huffed and puffed about this, talking about how this was deserved because... well, Milo's followers (not even Milo himself) tweeted mean racist jokes at the actress, and this is absolutely reprehensible. My own view is that I've stopped giving a shit about self-policing racism and sexism among people I'm otherwise sympathetic to (or just find funny), and further that the bar for 'despicable racism' is way too high anyway. I'll worry about sexist comments when making fun of a man's appearance or gender is unacceptable, and I'll worry about Harambe jokes re: black women when mocking 'whitesplaining' is a nigh-universally fireable offense. Or maybe the whole world SHOULD be more relaxed about such jokes in the sense of a free-for-all.

* Speaking of attacking one's own allies, I've come the conclusion that Ted Cruz honestly has no idea how badly he comes off at times. I think part of the problem is that he's made a career out of being the annoying shit to the right people (I liked him flat out calling McConnell a liar, etc), but I'm worried that his ability to be a real shit does not have an 'off' switch, and thus far he's just luckily channeled it in the right direction. His convention floor speech was the most clear case of 'being given the rope to hang oneself with 'that I've ever seen, and I think thoughts about how he's wisely positioning himself for a 2020 run are, shall we say, insanely optimistic. Actually just insane.

* An upside of the Milo banning was that it's provoked some people to come out of the woodwork to support him. Gadfly Notch, being one. Even - shockingly - Wikileaks, who I think are fast changing from 'left-wing favorite' to 'target of left-wing hate'. As of this writing they've managed to skunk Wasserman-Schultz, who has had to resign in the wake of her emails being outed. Not bad work. Who would have thought rogue hacktivists would be cheering on alt-right figures and taking down Democrats this election? We've got one hell of a ride ahead of us.

* The alt-right's performance has been the best thing to come out of this election, and the result has been the rise of a host of figures who are weird, eloquent, funny, and... to be honest, kind of reminiscent of Batman villains. That may or may not be related to me wanting to see Lauren Southern dressed up in a Harley Quinn outfit. Regardless, they're superior replacements to mainstream conservatives, much as I've liked some of George Will's work in the past.

* The Democrat convention hasn't even started yet and already blood has been drawn, with Wasserman Schultz going down faster than Milo at a Black Lives Matter march. Sanders is under pressure not to endorse the Lizard Queen, but let's face it - the guy has no balls, and he'll do as he's told. But between the heat, the Wikileaks scandals, and the wild card that is Black Lives Matter, this shit may be hilarious. If so, it'll be amazing to see happen after the supposedly Hitleriffic Trump, in Cleveland of all places, hardly resulted in any protests at all. (Ohio being an open carry state may have had something to do with that, as I imagine the aura of 'Uh, don't Republicans tend to carry guns?' tends to put the damper on more excited displays of troublemaking.)

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The difference between the alt right and conservatives

Alt Right: I think there are bigger problems on the horizon than tending to the delicate social sensitivities of the left's most precious victim classes.

Conservatives: Being a conservative is first and foremost about keeping in mind the delicate social sensitivities of others, since maintaining the social order is paramount. What's the point of solving bigger problems if people think we're jerks in the process?

Principles uber alles

Praising someone for their commitment to their principles, regardless of what those principles actually are, invites a kind of twin sickness.

First, it obfuscates the necessity of *good* principles. If simply having some standards that one commits to (whatever they may be) is praiseworthy, then we undercut our ability to encourage people for having good principles, or discourage those who have bad ones.

This leads to a compensatory measure: by denying that people with 'bad' principles are really principled at all. Hitler did not sincerely believe he was doing the right thing - if he did, then he was principled, and we can't have -that-. Instead, he had to never really believe what he was saying, and the whole thing was just a bid for power and glory, or maybe just madness.

Play that game and you can at least describe a world where only people beholden to 'good' principles really exist after all. Convenient!

But if it's not true - and if it's easy to realize that it's not true - then you're setting the groundwork for a horrible and confusing culture of misdirection and mistrust.

Which, to a degree, seems to be exactly where we are right now.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Why do people take an instant dislike to Ted Cruz?

Because it saves a lot of time.

(Saw this somewhere, got a laugh.)

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Brief thoughts 7/17/2016

Enthusiasm for the coup in Turkey - and remorse at its failure at the hands of a spontaneously uprising populace - gives a glimpse of the real state of 'democratic ideals' in the US. That Erdogan was elected (indeed, that he's pretty popular) doesn't mean a thing to people. All they know is that he's a muslim and wants greater muslim influence in Turkey, and thus he's not taking up our prized values. Like our respect for democratic political processes. This isn't to say I think Erdogan is a good guy, but I grimly suspect he has a clearer view of the world than many other leaders, and that he's a nationalist besides.

Fallout from Nice continues, with it being confirmed that the killer was an ISIS member, yet another local who radicalized extremely quickly. The response from the French authorities is apparently that this is the new normal and the proper thing to do is to just get used to it, and show those terrorists they're not going to react improperly to such mass killings. 'Improperly' apparently means 'vote for nationalists, protect their borders and the culture'. Earlier in the day, Hollande said that the real threat was right-wing nationalists, and it's fast becoming clear that leftists would rather die altogether than live in a world where their values were exposed as unworkable, to say nothing of wrong.

Fallout from Black Lives Matters continues as well, with yet another targeted killing of cops by a cop-hating, BLM-loving black man. Right now the left is in a state of growing panic, since every time this happens it becomes harder and harder not to criticize the very elements that give the Black Lives Matter engine its fuel. Let's face it: remove the cop-hating, white-hating elements from BLM and you're not getting nationwide marches anymore. In fact, you're not even getting a coherent message anymore.

#NeverTrump fizzled out, with its adherents reduced to hoping Hillary wins - and make no mistake, that's exactly what they're hoping. A Trump victory in November would mean they not only look foolish (half of their cries are 'he can never win!'), but their place in the party would probably be gone for good. Jeb Bush is already talking about the necessity of purging the party of Trump supporters and influence, in favor of replacing it with the most bland pablum I've ever seen. I fully expect that within a decade, Jeb will be in Mexico, renouncing his citizenship, no matter what happens. I've tried feeling sorry for him, but to put it bluntly, it's hard to feel sorry for people that pathetic.

Has anyone noticed that the fight has gone out of a lot of New Atheists? They snarl, they spit, but I think their morale has taken a nosedive, even with the continued irreligiosity in America. It has to feel like hell to notice that 'irreligion' and 'the spread of feminism, Islam-worship and general cuckery' go hand in hand. I think a sizable slice of anti-Christians find themselves on the Trump train, and are quickly dropping to a 'well they aren't as bad as atheism+ types' as a tradeoff. Meanwhile the atheism+ atheists are stuck with having to pretend Islam is a religion of peace no matter how many body parts fly through the air.

Interesting times and all.