The white/black test-score gap has been in the news since the 1960s, yet much like Mark Twain supposedly said about the weather, despite all the talk, nobody seems able to do much about it.
America in the later 21st century will likely be dominated numerically by blacks and Latinos. In 2008, the Census Bureau projected that America’s Hispanic population would increase by 66 million from 2000 to 2050. So far, though, there’s scant evidence that they will have much impact on elites other than as affirmative-action tokens.
The big news in this century has been the growing Asian-white test-score gap at the high end.
Consider a feature article in The New York Times over the weekend, “To Be Black at Stuyvesant High.” It was seemingly commissioned to argue for admissions quotas at the famously competitive Manhattan public high school by pointing out that only 3.6 percent of Stuyvesant’s students are now black or Hispanic, down from 15 percent in 1970. My guess is that the story’s emphasis on a lonely black student was mostly an elaborate framing device for its more interesting but unspoken message: Holy God, look at ALL THE ASIANS!
Stuyvesant’s Asian fraction has grown over four decades from six percent to 72.5 percent. The whites who comprise a large majority of New York Times subscribers have seen their share plummet from 79 percent to 24 percent.
A similar pattern can be seen among the top “one percent” on the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test for high-school juniors. Although the National Merit Scholarship Corporation appears reluctant to discuss its honorees” ethnic makeup, industrious individuals can examine National Merit semifinalists“ names on its state-by-state press releases. The NMSC doesn”t post these lists online, but some obsessive souls at College Confidential have tracked down a couple dozen here.
For example, California is allotted 1950 semifinalists this year. A reader of mine whose screen name is “Rec1man” counted 974 Northeast Asian surnames and 184 South Asian surnames. Although Asians comprise only 13 percent of California’s population, three-fifths of the state’s National Merit Scholarship semifinalists have Asian last names. (This doesn”t count those with Western surnames who no doubt have East Asian Tiger Mothers.) A breakdown of the previous year’s winners proves this isn”t a onetime fluke.
(Surname analysis is not foolproof on the individual level, of course. Much to the surprise of some of his South Boston constituents, Senator John F. Kerry (D-MA) was discovered in 2003 to have no Irish in him. And what about “first-name analysis?” I looked for scholars with monikers such as D”Quisha or D’sqhan, but nobody with an apostrophe qualified.)
From Francis Fukuyama to Barack Obama to The New Yorker, nobody to the left of Joe Bageant seems to understand why poor white hillbillies prefer Republican oligarchs to the glorious rainbow coalition of the condescending. They wonder why the white working class lost the loving feeling they used to have for the Democratic Party.
Perhaps like a modern-day Squanto, I can help the lefties understand my tribe. I was born to the lower middle class and spent a couple of adult years living the life. I score a 63 in Charles Murray’s “bubble quiz,” which puts me into the “first generation middle class with working class parents” category. When I was a boy, people around me came from intact families, went to Catholic Church, knew people in the military, and worked jobs which soil the hands. They enjoyed pastimes such as deer hunting, mud bogging, and backyard wrestling. We were dimly aware of a hostile tribe in the nearby college town. These were folks who drank coffee with foam in it, who thought so little of the average hayseed that they would walk out in front of a moving pickup truck. The latte-sippers didn’t control the Democratic Party in those days: Working-class white men such as Tip O’Neill did, and everyone in my town voted for the Party of the Working Man.
The latte tribe insists that working-class peckerwoods are voting against their economic interests when they vote for Republican candidates. This may be true, but it doesn’t mean that voting for the tax-and-condescend party would be a vote for the economic interests of the world’s Archie Bunkers. NAFTA was a Clinton Administration achievement, after all. Why should Archie vote for the Meathead party that shipped his job to Mexico? Economists of all political stripes have also noted that low-income working families tend to pay an appreciable portion of their earnings in taxes. Maybe they get it all back in “services” somehow, but the working poor notice how the non-working poor live off the state without doing any work. They take it personally that working harder is penalized while left-wing policies reward being lazy and dependent. Palefaced plebeians also dislike the latte-tribe concept of “white privilege,” which says the Obama daughters should be given legal preference over poor white kids.
The latte tribe are rabid tub-thumpers for the current immigration tidal wave. Mass immigration is very obviously against the interests of all working citizens who aren’t government bureaucrats. Why do we need a million legal immigrants a year when the U6 unemployment rate stands at 15%? The sweatshop wing of the Republican Party is also pro-immigration, but at least the Republicans aren’t completely hostile to citizens who would prefer we have fewer immigrants. Modern Democrats think those who aren’t so enthusiastic about the immigration tsunami are evil irrational racists rather than folks who are looking after their self-interest.
Although most critics lambasted this year’s Oscar show, I roared with laughter. The jokes were funny. Some were even hilarious. It was a ginormous improvement on last year’s awards, even though the presentation felt dated at times.
You gotta love any event that Kermit and Miss Piggy deem important enough to grace with their presence. They should host next year if the Oscar people really want to appeal to a younger audience. Muppets are certainly more amusing than Anne Hathaway and James Franco will ever be.
If Kermit and Piggy didn”t steal the show, Zach Galifianakis and Will Ferrell did. That routine with the cymbals and their white marching-band costumes was brilliant. Billy “Botox” Crystal’s mind-reading number came in a close second. The comical Emma Stone was not only one of the few well-dressed women, she was flawless as the overeager first-time presenter.
Angelina Jolie‘s right leg had the onerous task of remaining in view at all times despite the veiled slit in her black velvet dress. This ridiculous attempt at sex appeal produced a handful of uncomfortably funny photo opportunities and onscreen moments. Someone who knows Jolie should tell her that scrawny legs are not sexy and she should pack on 20 pounds pronto. While you”re at it, tell Brad Pitt to cut his hair, shave his beard, and dress like a gentleman instead of a car mechanic. He’s too good-looking to be so unpolished.
The typical Hollywood montages were not as lame as usual. The mid-show entertainment by the Cirque du Soleil was spectacular, with wonderful costumes and mind-blowing feats of human strength and flexibility. Surprisingly, the acceptance speeches were often amusing and some were even funny. For once, not everybody thanked their mother and their spouse. Max von Sydow‘s speech was the most gracious.
The show was far more interesting than the actual awards, which were predictably lame in their scope. Biggest bummer was the fact that The Artist won so many awards. Only a dramatic industry that acts as if it was saving the universe would kowtow to Harvey Weinstein instead of paying even tossing one Oscar at Moneyball.
Since fashion is my passion, Gwyneth Paltrow, Emma Stone, Tina Fey, Glenn Close, and Penelope Cruz rocked the best looks. The ugliest of the ugly were donned by Jennifer Lopez, Missi Pyle, Melissa McCarthy, Giuliana Rancic, and Meryl Streep. As far as fashion goes, these awards were the worst. Pathetic!
So Jewish people don”t run Hollywood after all?
That was my first snarky thought when I heard about the flap between comedian Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat, Talladega Nights) and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, AKA those old white (and probably Jewish but DON”T dare ask!) men who dole out the Oscars.
Baron Cohen had vowed to walk the red carpet Sunday night costumed as the titular character in his next movie The Dictator, which is about a bombastic strongman styled on Hussein and Gaddafi.
The Academy countered by pulling Baron Cohen’s ticket to the Oscars, citing corporate bylaws forbidding participants from promoting their projects during the world’s longest and most widely watched movie commercial.
If the “Holly-blood” libel were true, I mused, surely they wouldn”t forbid one of their own (himself an Academy member) from participating in its most prestigious annual ritual.
After all, Baron Cohen”a kosher-keeping onetime kibbutznik descended from a Holocaust survivor”belongs to a fairly distinguished family of English Jews.
Baron Cohen has built his career on pranks and masquerade. He’s made a public nuisance of himself at every entertainment spectacle to which he’s been invited. What did the Academy expect?
Baron Cohen started out as “Ali G,” a coarse “chav” of indeterminate ethnicity who corralled the likes of Boutros Boutros-Ghali and Buzz Aldrin into squirm-inducing interviews.
He rocketed to superstardom, however, as Borat Sagdiyev, an obnoxious Jew-hating Kazakh journalist documenting hickery across the USA. Well-timed to take advantage of worldwide Bush Derangement Syndrome, the movie Borat (2006) made millions but left viewers divided.
I thought Baron Cohen took advantage of American decency and hospitality to create an anti-American film. He showcased the United States“rather than, say, Switzerland or, well, England“as a hotbed of Christian anti-Semitism.
Naturally, Yankee-bashing was what critics and viewers loved about Borat, hailing him as “brave” and “transgressive” and all the other adjectives bandied about when praising the latest wimpy, derivative “artiste.” (Who else is Borat but a mutation of Andy Kaufman’s “Foreign Man” and “Tony Clifton” characters?)
Perhaps Baron Cohen heard the criticisms of even self-described fans such as Ron Rosenbaum, who complained about Borat in Slate:
Is this the true face of the anti-Semitism to be feared in the world, a world in which a near-nuclear nation promises to wipe 5 million Jews off the map? Or does this belittle anti-Semitism as the province of powerless, backward dimwits?
On Tuesday February 22nd, police were called to the Strangers” Bar in the House of Commons to remove a man who had allegedly gone berserk, assaulting several others and breaking a door. The alleged assailant was 51-year-old Eric Joyce, Labour MP for Falkirk. His victims were mostly Conservative MPs”AKA “f***ing Tories,” as Joyce reportedly called them immediately before launching into his hands-on debating style. The former judo champion was fair-minded enough to extend the horseplay to a Labour colleague who intervened to restrain him. Joyce was removed to Belgravia Police Station for 24 hours until he felt less tired. The following day he was charged with three counts of assault and suspended by Labour. It was a mother of a scuffle for the Mother of Parliaments”an unfortunate and undignified affair for someone once seen as a potential PM.
His political career had started so promisingly, too, with a mass denunciation of friends. After an army career starting as a private in the Black Watch and ending up as a major in the Education Corps”a rare peacetime accomplishment, especially as he was given lengthy sabbaticals”in 1997 he suddenly realized he had always despised his comrades. He authored a Fabian Society pamphlet called Arms and the Man, the “outspoken” premise of which was that soldiers were white, male, racist, etc. His sally was greeted with some disfavor and he was threatened with dismissal, after which nothing happened for 18 months while the Tories murmured the government was protecting him. And as good luck would have it, the honest major was soon on a list of approved Labour candidates. He also worked in public relations for the Commission for Racial Equality”more Black Watching, you could say. As the Daily Record commented, more in sorrow than spleen, he was viewed as
…a bold leader with a bright future, [and] his square-jawed, military bearing and smooth-talking style made him ideal material….
Since ex-soldiers with theology degrees are almost as rare among Labour MPs as ex-social workers with AIDS are among Tory MPs, he was elected as expected. He worked for several ministers, including Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth”although he resigned over Afghanistan. He edited a stirring work entitled Now’s the Hour: New Thinking for Holyrood and served as Chair of the National Executive of the Fabian Society, helping them to promote “an accountable, tolerant, and active democracy.”
He racked up hugely impressive titles”Chairman of the Great Lakes Africa All-Party Parliamentary Group, Vice Chair (digital) of Parliamentary Internet Communications and Technology Forum, and Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Skills. It will therefore come as no surprise to learn that our Eric is one of politics” preeminent Tweeters, messaging incessantly on important subjects even during Prime Minister’s Questions. It is impossible to do justice to the depth of his thinking. In fact, some of his communications are beyond comprehension:
OK, who’s the hardest boxing correspondent in the country? Only one way to find out…
head in oven, feet in fridge; overall quite comfortable?
Just watched last 4 episodes of Killing 2. Scooby-Doo, Agatha Christie, Crossroads
Bloated hippo carcass on C4. Doesn”t look appetising. Predators accessing through anus and penis. We”re too harsh on humans, sometimes.
I”m in front of mirror in shorts,Das Kapital in one hand, @playethic in other.Putitwhereuwantit playing. Not promising.
No discussion? Then you are truly pathetic. Where’s your wind? Arse.
A prosperous, roly-poly Greek with a name that sounds like an Aztec root vegetable once proclaimed that if you have a brain, A cannot be both A and not A. Some twenty-one centuries later, a bookworm-poor, reed-thin, dark-cloaked Dane who for most of his life had been unhappy in love replied that if you”re in love, A can be anything.
Aristotle’s proposition was good for building railroads, winning wars, designing machine guns, inventing computers, spreading marmalade on toast, and organizing municipal rubbish collection”in short, for civilization generally. Kierkegaard’s rebuttal was only good for the soul and maybe for haute couture, too.
At times it may look as if science has finally bridged the chasm between the two positions. Our somber-suited physicists speak of subatomic particles” irrational behavior while our crazy-haired artists are calculating enough not to fly commercial. Bankers turn green, flower children file their tax returns on time, and bloodthirsty tyrants call for democratic elections in places we never knew existed.
At other times it seems that instead of the gods that the Age of Reason promised we would become, we now resemble the Dark Ages” idea of the Antipodeans: walking on our heads, Tweeting strangers, and reading our fortunes from cardboard Starbucks cups. Juliet Googles Romeo. They txt, check out Ibiza, and live together like a pair of silicone peas in an iPod. He spends his nights watching porn and she does her own Botox. What other thereafter is there for such wretched heirs to the Age of Reason in a concrete world where A cannot be both A and not A?
Our notion of pleasure is wholly contingent on this dilemma. Should hedonists adopt the Aristotelian view of the global playpen”demanding ever-sweeter sugar, ever-louder music, ever-more Facebook friends, ever-longer orgasms, and ever-thicker lines of ever-purer cocaine, as well as more personal space, quality time, and peace on Earth in which to enjoy them”or should we go for the Kierkegaard option instead?
That would mean eating none but the darkest, bitterest chocolate; subjecting ourselves to the agonies of genuine feeling, which not only ruins the skin but carries the risk of a messy suicide and even a double murder; listening to music whose harmonies are complex and emotionally disturbing, ideally on an old gramophone in a velvet-suffocated room with only a narrow breach in the curtains” faded brocade to admit sunlight; writing love letters on tear-stained, robin-blue Aerogram paper, scorching the mouth with bootleg absinthe, and leaving healthy wives for Moroccan nightclub dancers who turn out to be men; losing money at the tables not as the rich do (idly and painlessly), but like the desperate gambler who loses his one good shirt of cambric linen and goes home to homelessness in silent remorse and freezing rain; and yes, squeezing boldly, like Alizarine Yellow from a fat acrylic tube, into gowns of brilliantly dyed spider’s web and fine Flanders moonbeam, shameless in the dÃ©colletage yet straitlaced in the consequences, reflecting in men’s eyes, flirting with one’s own delectable shadow, thrilled to breathe, and dying to love.
Is it ever permissible to find a “hate crime” funny?
Granted, “funny” is in the eye of the beholder, and I”d wager that any pair of eyeballs not irreparably stained by armchair sadism would likely not find the attack itself to be a laugh riot.
What I find hysterical here isn”t the cowardly lopsided beatdown, but the colossal bloody smoking flaming 20-car freeway pileup of ugliness, vanity, lying, sanctimony, and flailingly befuddled identity politicking that followed in its wake.
Professional hate-crime hunters are now reevaluating the three-on-one filmed attack”which went down outside an Atlanta grocery store where accomplices yelled NO FAGGOTS IN JACK CITY as perps pummeled the victim into a fetal ball”as to whether it was a hate crime at all.
The beating happened on February 4 in a rundown Atlanta neighborhood known as “Pittsburgh.” In the video, one of the suspects is seen wearing a sweatshirt that says JACK GANG on the back. The crew suspected in the beating alternately calls themselves “Pittsburgh Jack City” or “Jack City 1029,” the latter in reference to the corner grocery store (1029 McDaniels St.) where the beating took place. In a 2010 reprazentin’ video, Jack City members are shown milling outside the store acting as if they couldn”t recite the alphabet even if forced to do so at gunpoint.
Beating victim Brandon White, 20, told an interviewer he had gone to the JVC Grocery & Deli to buy a humble piece of chicken on a sunny Saturday afternoon. He says he initially decided not to press charges and to “let it blow over” until he unwittingly became an Internet celebrity over the next couple days.
Whatever genius filmed the beating thought it wise to upload it to WorldStarHipHop, which serves as a sort of YouTube for hastening Western Civilization’s demise. The footage quickly went viral, inspiring the sort of predictably holy outrage from the usual suspects.
Leading the stampede for “justice””and managing to wriggle himself into nearly every ensuing TV report about the case”was a young gay black “activist” named Devin Barrington-Ward from a group called Change Atlanta. Ward effortlessly parrots moldy old civil-rights rhetoric in his quest to “empower this young generation” and to “fight for justice, equality, safety, and change.”
Ward stood behind beating victim Brandon White looking resolutely concerned as White held a press conference only four days after the assault. White himself looked, well, not exactly permanently disfigured. (Apparently the Jack City Gang members didn”t land many solid head shots.) Seeming a mite prissy and impertinent, White called his attackers “monsters,” denied knowing them, and implied he was curb-stomped “for just being a gay male.”
Saying he feared returning to the scene of his beating, White was absent from a rally held the following Saturday at a church across the street from the chicken-wing joint. The rally’s most famous guest speaker was Congressman John Lewis, who apparently lied about Tea Party members barking the “N” word (hint: It isn”t “nougat”) at him after he signed Obama’s healthcare bill.
A “social-justice minister” who claimed he had also been gay-bashed in the past told the rally members:
At the end of the day, I am Brandon White and all of you are Brandon White.
A woman named Holiday Simmons representing an organization called Lambda Legal told the crowd:
We are Brandon White, but we are also the attackers.
Nuzzling himself into a seat on the Everyone-in-the-World-is-Brandon-White bus, Devin Barrington-Ward wrote on his Facebook wall:
I stand with Brandon because in some way we all are Brandon…
Ward also told the rally members:
I thank God for giving me a passion for public service and the ability to express myself through oratory.
Oh, I”ll bet you do, Miss Thang!
Downton Abbey“s popularity in the United States comes as little shock to those who remember the early 1970s” Upstairs, Downstairs craze. In a word, the show’s popularity is fueled by nostalgia.
That word came to mind again a few days ago while enjoying the Weimar-styled antics of Max Raabe and the Palast Orchester at UCLA’s glorious Royce Hall. The crowd went wild, demanding three encores. Such a large fan base for such an arcane group in Los Angeles comes as no surprise to those familiar with the Cicada Club or the doings of such neo-vaudevillians as Evans and Rogers.
Yet it is not only the pre- and inter-war years that have their fans. I have long been a member of the Mythopoeic Society. The Renaissance Faire is big business out here, and the Society for Creative Anachronism started in Berkeley.
We need not be so exotic as to wear formal evening dress or even chain mail. The Mad Men era has its stalwarts, and any authentic bar, restaurant, or hotel surviving from that epoch owes much of its success to time travelers.
Nostalgia is big business because the here and now is annoying and drab. Sensitive souls escape the present any way they can: past, future, or multidimensional. This urge to combat insoluble problems with a retreat to le bon vieux temps, or to the exotic, or to the imaginary is deeply implanted in us. Such flight”often fueled by poetry or music, drink or drugs”has always been with us. The hippies, the Beats, the bohemians, and the Celtic Twilighters partook of it. So did the Romanticists in their innumerable forms, from Novalis and Chateaubriand to the Pre-Raphaelites and the Nazarenes. Even the 18th century saw the Enlightenment combated with Gothicism and Chinoiserie. The impulse to internal exile in difficult times is not restricted to Europeans, as the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove and the tea ceremony‘s originators can attest.
I was sad to read that the Attikon Cinema on Stadiou Street in central Athens was burned down by anarchist scum pretending to protest against the EU Nazis. The Attikon was built in 1870 as part of a beautiful, ocher-colored neoclassical edifice constructed by a German architect, only to be torched 142 years later by professional troublemakers posing as freedom defenders.
It’s par for the times to burn down an old beautiful building to show the world how civilized we modern Greeks are. Hundreds have lost their businesses in one night’s looting by extremists, most of them probably well-off and posing as anarchists.
The Brussels bureaucrooks don’t fear the street scum. They have one fear only: Contagion. If Greece drops out, others will follow. The EU’s dreams of running the old continent will be kaput.
So for now, who is worse”the pusher or the addict? I”d say it’s fifty-fifty as they sustain each other, although the addict has the moral high ground. Greece is the addict. The German and French banks are the pushers, with Brussels the Godfather shipping the stuff in from Afghanistan. The Godfather is not the cuddly Brando type, but rather an autocoprophagous degenerate who managed a coup d”etat while Europe slept. The Godfather is now defending his turf with Caligulan levels of depravity.
If I had one wish, it would be to see Europe’s dregs”dwarfs such as Barroso, Draghi, Rehn, Van Rompuy, and the rest of the scum”in the dock the way the Greek colonels ended up. At least the brave Greeks who pulled the coup on April 21, 1967 had the courage to roll the tanks out and take their chances. One of them, Costa Papadopoulos, brother of the leader George Papadopoulos, is still in prison, the junta having collapsed in 1974.
I am very serious. These midgets who have done away with democracy in the name of democracy need to be tried, convicted, and jailed for life. When the Austrians voted in JÃ¶rg Haider some time back, the scum in Brussels said no way. They threatened a boycott because they didn”t like the way the Austrians had voted. When the French and the Dutch rejected the 2005 referendum, they were rejected in turn by the Brussels commissars. The Lisbon Treaty, ditto. In Hungary the people have overwhelmingly voted for the Fidesz party, but the Brussels apparatchiks lectured the Hungarian premier on his internal policies. Daniel Cohn-Bendit, a Green euro MP and probably the most disgusting man in Brussels and Berlin, told the Hungarian premier to show more respect for the EU or else. Instead of instantly kicking Cohn-Bendit in his nonexistent balls, the Magyar went home with his tail between his legs. What in the hell is going on here?
Many people claim that they pay no attention to race, but then along comes the Jeremy Lin story to prove again that most folks do. Wikipedia, that embodiment of 21st-century attitudes, remains diligent about posting most of its subjects” racial and ethnic background. I enjoy using their countless racial lists, such as Oscar nominees, to count subversively.
The funniest footnote in Charles Murray’s book Coming Apart is where he documents his assertion that the movie industry openly proclaims its liberalism with:
Source: almost any Academy Awards show.
Yet Hollywood applies its own diversity rules selectively. For instance, blacks matter. Every few years, the Oscar season is wracked with controversies over whether blacks (or less often, women) are getting their fair share of statuettes. A year ago, there was a fuss over how not a single black had been nominated.
Blacks have been nominated 60 times for Oscars in the four acting categories, so the quibbles have grown more meta. This year, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer are in the running for The Help, but that raises second-order controversies about whether we should be comfortable with black actresses playing maids.
And why have black leading ladies been nominated only half as often as black leading men? Is Hollywood saying black women are less attractive?
Black achievement in less glamorous Oscar categories has been more modest, but that doesn”t raise much interest. For example, after blacks garnered seven Best Score nominations from 1961-1987, none has been nominated in almost a quarter-century. (That might imply that black musical competence has been declining in the hip-hop age, but nobody wants to talk about that.)
Yet the most striking diversity shortfall in Hollywood is one that would get any less liberal industry in trouble with Obama’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Los Angeles County is about half Hispanic, and Latino fans make up 30% of the enthusiasts for summer blockbusters. Despite all that, Mexican Americans”meaning those who have spent at least part of their formative years in America”are remarkably underrepresented in The Industry.
Wikipedia’s Oscar lists suggest that no Mexican American has been nominated in any category, no matter how humble, since the 1980s.
Oddly enough, Mexican Americans did better in the pre-diversity days, receiving five acting nominations from 1952 through 1964. Granted, one went to Susan Kohner, daughter of a Mexican silent-film actress who married her Jewish producer.