Monday, July 25, 2016

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.


Mike said...

After reading this it's quite apparent that she is unwilling to consider anything about Shapiro or French's character that might make them a mixed bag in their own right. When I raised Shapiro's savaging of his former colleagues (who turned out to be right), her response was "squirrel!!!!" to that. To my knowledge, he has never publicly apologized for getting the Fields thing so wrong and going out of his way to harm the reputations of his former colleagues.

Where is the consistency? If one is going to stomp one's feet in the name of decorum, be consistent. No one would give a damn about Milo if liberals were being punted from Twitter with the same public zeal. It's the fact that we're playing open double standards and it's a sucker's game that has us here.

Crude said...

Yeah, I just responded to that. Saved the post too, in case she nukes it.

Anonymous said...

Pfffffft, they really are a complete joke right now.

I was going to write a long thing about why, but why bother? It's all there.

Pro tip: When the barbarians are at the gates nobody gives a shit about babbling over "Decency and civility". Nor should they.

Crude said...


I sometimes wonder if part of the problem here isn't a little more subtle. To give one example: there's a sizable faction of people on the conservative right who hate Russia, and are - for whatever reason - all too eager to get us stuffed into Ukraine, forcing a confrontation with that country. And there's likewise a faction in the alt-right who views Russia more favorably, and would rather us stay out of that part of the world. I recall Trump's platform rewrite included a gutting of the 'we must defend the Ukraine' position.

That makes me wonder if, at times, the eagerness to castigate one or another conservative isn't related not to their actual sin of note, but to another disagreement. Ben Shapiro, for instance, hated Trump for other reasons. But the Fields bit was (so he thought) a convenient place to make his stand.

I wonder if some of that isn't at work here. In what particular ways, I do not know.

Mike said...

If nothing else, your posts certainly give me something to think about...One of the reasons I'm glad I found your blog.

Anonymous said...

It's just addiction to losing and frontier-culture writ large. The two go together of course. I'm merely synthesizing the apocalyptic thing agnostic at Face to Face has discussed w/r/t conservatives like, well, wwwtw with the historical developments and formation of certain specifically conservative mindsets and behaviors.

Mike said...

The Athenian/Visigoth thing would be more respectable if they weren't obsessed with words when everyone else is discussing actual violence being committed by the other side. That's why the comment about talking about decorum while your home is being looted and burned was so spot on.

The Deuce said...

The appropriate role model for this day and age is Elijah. Mock their idols when they try to force their unreality onto everyone. Call their bluff and laugh as their nonexistent gods fail to come through for them.

Anonymous said...

I don't think "there's no time for civility, this is war" is a good argument because common decency is the culture we're supposed to be defending. But WWWW didn't exactly do a good job of arguing for a position along those lines. (The irony of defending Niceness by insulting commenters who dare to disagree with you is apparently lost on them.) I don't mind if they want to use their site simply for venting their collective spleen; sometimes one has to get something out of one's system (though why bother allowing comments at all, in that case?). But Lydia even mentioned wanting to sway people, and when someone like me who already agrees with many of their points comes away disagreeing more, that's not a good sign.

Of course, what shocked me most is that a group of self-proclaimed conservatives apparently never heard the phrase, "Stick and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me." (You know who said that? That's right, Winston Churchill!)