Political correctness. The dreariest, most depressing and dismal words in the English language, almost as depraved as the word “hype.” The apostles of P.C. claim to teach tolerance and diversity, but heaven help anyone with thoughts sufficiently independent and diverse to disagree with them.
There is nothing more venomous than the hate-hype vipers, slithering far and wide, thus posing a danger nearly everywhere. Any speech they hate is “hate speech,” and any group they hate is a hate group. Given their totalitarian mentality, it is not surprising that they obsess over “hate crimes.” (A crime is by nature a hate crime, but these pedants insist on separating the two in order to score brownie points where P.C. is concerned.) If we continue down the way we”re now going, soon all speech and associations the P.C. Nazis deplore will be matters for the police to handle. Welcome to George Orwell’s 1984.
Liberty depends on memory. Cutting people off from their past and discrediting our ancestors are the chief techniques of modern tyrants”as in the politically correct. In a P.C. world, humor is a capital offense, yet the two traits humor cannot resist offending are pomposity and self-satisfaction, both P.C. templates. Finally, P.C. is nothing but a manifestation of the permanent spirit of inquisition. There, I”ve said all there is to say about this intolerant system.
Which brings me to another word I”d love to see excised permanently from the syllabus: Hype. It is a word aggressively in tune with the times, a hard sell in the works. Hype works in an artificially engendered atmosphere of hysteria in order to create a demand for a product or a person. Hype derives from the Greek word hyperbole, meaning excess and exaggeration. Its object is money, power, and fame. There is nothing elegant about hype and very little truth in it. Hype routinely debases language and exists in a universe where everything is fabulous. All fashion is hype, and all conversation about fashion is hype. Hype manipulates taste as it vitiates our ability to discriminate. Hype has made many careers that were and are based on nothing.
Take Bianca Jagger, for example. An untalented woman, she has managed to keep her name on bold-faced script purely through the hype put out by her press agents. She doesn”t act, does not sing, is not particularly well read or schooled, for that matter, but she’s on all sorts of committees that tell the rest of us what is good and what is not so good. I believe these pests are called activists, another word that should be abolished once and for always.
Hype, like propaganda, is a conspiracy against the rest of us. Hoodwinking the public is hype’s premier task. Politics is all hype. Selling books is all hype. Filling a stadium for a rock concert is all hype. How the hell does a hairdresser become a star and get invited to stately homes except through hype? Movies become profitable through hype; even royal families use hype. Hype makes a mockery of humanity.
We call druggie, ugly as sin, dirty, untalented rock stars gods because of the hype their P.R. flunkies have generated. Women faint when touching dwarfish movie stars who mumble and dress like homeless people because of the hype concerning their person. We no longer believe in God so we keep inventing extremely poor imitations of him in our celebrity culture. Celebrity itself is one big hype. One of the very few heroes who sought to escape his celebrity, the first man to fly across the Atlantic, the great Lindbergh, was vilified like no other man because of his unwillingness to hype himself.
Once upon a time, a cornucopia of gossip columns, movie magazines, and television programs covered so-called celebrities. These were film stars, sport stars, and cafÃ© society playboys and playgirls. No longer. With the arrival of the most annoying and malevolent invention since television”the Internet”hype now has expanded from the upper regions of stardom down to include almost everyone: businessmen, publishers, pop musicians, cosmetic tycoons, fashion designers, fashion designers” assistants, fashion designers” bum boys, record executives, gay liberationists, transgender activists, porn stars, plastic surgeons, victims of plastic surgeons, fashion victims, celebrity criminals, gossip columnists, gossip columnists” assistants, professional confessional autobiographers”you name it, hype has made it famous. Late night talk show hosts are now on any A-list of the White House, 10 Downing Street, and the ElysÃ©e Palace. Nobel Prize winners are way down on the sliding scale of fame and celebrity. Even famous criminals outrank them, like some IRA killers now making the rounds.
Has the cult of Alan Turing finally jumped the shark with the well-made but tepid movie The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the British mathematician and computer science pioneer who died of cyanide poisoning in 1954?
Over the decades, Turing has become ever more of a folk hero since his death at age 41, displacing one-time proto-computer celebrities such as Norbert Wiener and the awe-inspiring John von Neumann, while crowding out the chance for broad fame of American information theorist Claude Shannon.
Turing worship is related to two groups riding high in the 21st century: gays and nerds. The Imitation Game exploits Turing’s status as one of the relatively rare gay-nerd intersections to create a victim for our times.
Back in the previous millennium, The Onion headlined:
For too long, wad factionalism has divided the wad community, senselessly pitting wad against wad in bitter inter-wad disputes,” dorkwad representative Tad Patrick Reems, 15, told reporters. “Now is the time for us to set aside our differences and join together in opposition of our common enemy”the mean, popular kids who have mercilessly inflicted locker-room wedgies upon us since time immemorial.
Movies, however, take a long time to put together. Thus The Imitation Game‘s notion of a gay-nerd alliance against the Haven Monahans now seems more clichÃ©d than galvanising.
This is not to say that Turing doesn”t deserve his endless approbation. He was already famous enough from his theoretical papers on computability that the Nobel Prize of computers was named in his honor way back in 1966: the Turing Award.
Then the 1974 revelations of Britain’s wartime Ultra project to break the German Enigma codes finally revealed what Turing had been up to in 1939-1945. He had been perhaps the star consultant at the immense Bletchley Park decipherment operation.
After 1940, Britain’s chief risk of being forced to surrender was if Germany could starve the overcrowded island by coordinating its U-boats to sink enough freighters carrying food across the Atlantic. Turing’s group never truly succeeded in “breaking” the German Enigma code, but they devised enough ways to exploit enemy sloppiness that the Anglo-Americans had the upper hand after the crisis of the Battle of the Atlantic in 1942-43.
It was all much more complicated and exhausting than in the tidy plot of The Imitation Game, but the new movie’s version is close enough.
Was Turing the father of the computer, as the movie insists? Once again, the history is immensely complicated, but Turing’s multiple roles as theoretician, technician, and as client (for the secret Colossus electronic computer introduced at Bletchley Park in 1944) are impressive, although not as coherent as a screenwriter would like.
In 1983, a feverish biography by mathematician and gay activist Andrew Hodges established the current image of Turing as a gay martyr.
The Imitation Game screenplay”by Graham Moore, the son of Michelle Obama’s former chief of staff Susan Sher”is officially an adaption of Hodges” bio, but is less fervid and more geeky. Moore, previously known for a bestseller detective novel called The Sherlockian, now has his ideal interpreter in Cumberbatch, the thin white duke who became famous playing on the BBC the ur-nerd Sherlock Holmes.
On the other hand, the well-bred Cumberbatch isn”t gay, or at least isn”t anymore. (Rather than auction off news of his recent engagement to TMZ, he placed a traditional Forthcoming Marriages classified ad in The Times of London announcing the betrothal of “Mr. B.T. Cumberbatch and Miss S.I. Hunter.” The Old Harrovian explained, “It’s what we do.”)
It’s hard for 21st-century audiences, who have been instructed that the past was one long featureless nightmare of homophobia, to make sense of the last two years of Turing’s life. The old stereotype of the English elite as prone to homosexuality has been forgotten, but it’s useful in understanding what happened to Turing.
After the war Turing did important work on early computers at the University of Manchester. But in 1952, his taste for rough trade brought him embarrassment when some mates of Turing’s teenage boyfriend burgled his flat. Turing called the police, only to be surprised when the Manchester coppers took an unsporting interest in why the distinguished academic was entertaining lowlife youths.
A snob of superb pedigree (his parents were from the meritocratic Indian imperial civil service that had attracted such outstanding families as the Mills), Turing evidently hadn”t realized that in the working-class-dominated postwar era, his open homosexuality would be less tolerated as a Brideshead Revisited-like foible and treated more as obsolete upper-crust decadence. In a new biography, Alan Turing: The Enigma Man, Nigel Cawthorne explains that back when Turing had gone up to university in 1931:
At Cambridge at that time, homosexuality”though illegal”was largely tolerated. It was generally assumed that public [i.e., private] schoolboys were basically bisexual. Many who had youthful homosexual dalliances went on to marry and be solely heterosexual. Others would remain, or become, fully gay. Turing barely hid his interest in that quarter. The walls of his rooms were hung with pictures of young bodybuilders in swimming trunks. … Somewhat reminiscent of Sebastian Flyte’s teddy bear Aloysius in Brideshead Revisited, Turing asked his mother to send him a teddy …
In July of 1870, King Wilhelm sent Foreign Minister Bismarck an account of his meeting with a French envoy who had demanded that the king renounce any Hohenzollern claim to the Spanish throne.
Bismarck edited the report to make it appear the Frenchman had insulted the king, and that Wilhelm rudely dismissed him. The Ems Telegram precipitated the Franco-Prussian war Bismarck wanted.
Words matter. And if a picture is worth a thousand words, how much greater impact can a motion picture have? We are finding out.
Egypt has banned “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” the $140 million 20th Century Fox biblical epic. Cairo’s culture minister Gaber Asfour condemns it as “a Zionist film” containing “historical inaccuracies.”
The depiction of enslaved Jews building the pyramids and Moses parting the Red Sea to enable the Jews to flee and drown the Egyptian army is false, says Asfour. Historians date the pyramids to around 2540 B.C., 500 years before Abraham, the father of Judaism.
Paramount’s “Noah” was banned in Egypt, Indonesia and Malaysia, for taking liberties with the Quran.
Islamabad is in an uproar over the Showtime series, “Homeland,” where Pakistani intelligence services are portrayed as colluding with Islamists trying to kill ex-CIA director Saul Berenson and station chief Carrie Mathison. In the season’s final episodes, the U.S. cuts ties to Pakistan and closes the embassy.
The Showtime series “maligns a country that has been a close partner and ally of the U.S.,” a Pakistani embassy spokesman told the New York Post, and “is a disservice not only to the security interests of the U.S., but also to the people of the U.S.”
The 2014 “Homeland” finale was aired just after 140 Pakistani school kids were massacred in Peshawar by the Taliban.
Islamabad is “a quiet picturesque city with beautiful mountains and lush greenery,” said one Pakistani, yet is “portrayed as a grimy hellhole and war zone where shootouts and bombings go off with dead bodies scattered around. Nothing is further from the truth.”
Angrier than Egypt or Pakistan is North Korea over Sony’s “The Interview.” Why would a film company owned by the Japanese, who are not beloved in Korea, think it would be a great fun to make a comedy out of a CIA plot to assassinate North Korea’s head of state?
The North Koreans are serious people. They massacred half of the South Korean cabinet in the Rangoon bombing. They have brought down airliners and sunk warships without warning. They have plotted to assassinate South Korea’s president.
Their megalomaniac ruler, Kim Jong-Un, just had his uncle-mentor executed, along with his family. Kim has atom bombs and seeks to miniaturize them to put atop missiles able to reach the United States.
He is the most erratic and dangerous ruler on the planet and this assassination-comedy is just the thing to set him off.
Says Adam Cathcart, a North Korea expert at Leeds University, “In North Korea it’s more or less a fait accompli that the Americans are trying to kill our leader.” To sustain its Stalinist dynasty, says the Washington Post, Pyongyang has created a “personality cult that is anything but a laughing matter.”
In retaliation for “The Interview,” North Korea, says the FBI, hacked into Sony’s computers, published confidential emails and threatened retaliation against any who showed the film.
The North has repeatedly denied it hacked into Sony. But it now appears the U.S. has retaliated by disrupting Internet service in North Korea, much to the cheers of the War Party, which wants President Obama to put the Hermit Kingdom back on the list of state sponsors of terror.
North Korea is now using racial slurs to describe Obama.
There is an aspect of reckless immaturity here.
For even the most mildly sentient among us, living in the modern world is like being crucified on an old rugged cross of perpetual annoyance.
Public discourse”if you can call it that”has devolved into a ghastly assembly line of vapidity, vanity, shaming, shamelessness, stunted thinking, and arrested emotional development. We are served up the same puke-worthy dish daily”a smarm casserole baked in snark, fricasseed in smugness, and sautÃ©ed in intellectual cowardice.
Sometimes I wish you all had one face so I could vomit on it.
I compiled a similar list last year, much of it comprised of the same sort of flickering nonentities that people this year’s list. The main difference with my approach this year is that I”ve decided to go a little more “populist,” to lower my gaze and punch downward, to forgo listing anyone remotely famous”thus there will be no mention of perennial high-profile annoyances such as Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Chris Hayes, Bill de Blasio, or Lena Dunham. I”ve skewered them all this year, and except for that brief mention in that last sentence, they deserve no more of my attention, and to be frank, I”m getting a bit of a headache even thinking about them right now.
I originally compiled a list of over 30 names, gradually winnowing it down to these 14 losers, none of whom I could imagine spending three minutes alone with in a room without wanting to floss my gums with fist-sized glass shards. You may notice there are only six men and eight women on this list, but that is only because women are highly skilled at being annoying.
This is a countdown, from least annoying to most annoying, even though they are all tremendously annoying. Go thy way, all of ye, and annoy me no more!
14. Filippo Menczer
Unless half of your face was blown off in battle or you suffered such intensely scarring acne during adolescence that you could hide pocket change in your facial craters, no male face alive looks better with a beard. Yet to my extraordinary annoyance, beards have become the default fashion style for all modern male progressives, no matter how mincingly effeminate they are otherwise. Perhaps beards are only useful in that they allow the casual observer to distinguish between male and female progressives, because they all have boobs these days.
Indiana University’s Filippo Menczer has a beard. That’s strike one. As of a couple months ago, his personal webpage featured himself and his family depicted as characters from The Simpsons, an animated cartoon series that I”ve always found so supremely annoying that it makes me want to stab hamsters. That’s strike two.
Where Menczer strikes out completely is that he’s one of the go-to guys for a new database known as “Truthy,” which receives federal funding to monitor “hate speech” on Twitter. I suppose the very fact that I hate bearded government snitches who like The Simpsons may get me red-flagged on Truthy, but if I hid my annoyance with people such as him, it”d give me cancer faster than I could toast a Pop-Tart.
13. Ben Pitcher
Like Filippo Menczer and 99.874% of all modern male leftists, Ben Pitcher has a beard and glasses. And like the devil-hunting Orange County housewives who were always seeing hidden satanic messages on cereal boxes in the 1980s, Pitcher’s delusional X-ray vision allows him to see “fascism” in the most benign cultural expressions. This year he did an interview with BBC Radio 4 in which he claimed that the BBC program Gardeners’ Question Time “is layered with, saturated with, racial meanings.” No, I”m not kidding. Quite obviously his brain took root and blossomed in some decidedly fallow and shallow soil.
12. Tracy Van Slyke
Another British scribe who is paid to hallucinate racism where none exists, this whinging ginger minge-bucket penned a midsummer essay in The Guardian alleging that the harmless children’s animated show Thomas the Tank Engine was a burbling furnace of racism, sexism, homophobia, and anti-worker sentiments. The only thing that I could imagine would make her slightly less annoying would be if Thomas the Tank Engine were to flatten her in a locomotive mishap.
11. Greg Dyke
Yet another impenitent British ethnomasochist, Dyke also proved to be an ungrateful employee, referring to the BBC as “hideously white” while on the company’s payroll. While employed as chairman of the Football Association in July, this old, hideous white man referred to the FA as “overwhelmingly male [and] overwhelmingly white” and that it needed to start ethnically cleansing itself of “old white males.” Predictably, he did not offer himself as a sacrifice, because these types never do.
10. Sierra Mannie
Fat, nappy, and perpetually stank-faced, Miz Mannie has found herself writing for TIME magazine as a Professional Angry Black Woman. She scolds gay white males for allegedly stealing black culture, but my spider senses tell me she’s more afraid of them stealing her barbecued ribs.
9. Mary Shomon
This is a woman with thyroid problems who appears to think that the “thyroid world“ has a problem with her because she’s a woman. She consistently depicts the field of endocrinology as a male-dominated snake pit of misogyny: “I regularly hear the term ‘crazy’ used in reference to thyroid patients, and myself.” The possibility that she’s crazy seems to have deftly eluded her consciousness.
8. Toni Christina Jenkins
What does it say about America that so few white people are calling black people “niggers” anymore that black people have to make it up to gain attention, money, and sympathy? Jenkins, a Red Lobster waitress in Tennessee, appears to have forged a receipt in which a takeout patron called her a “nigger” instead of leaving her a tip. Jenkins blasted a pic of the forgery on her Facebook page and allegedly received over $10,000 in sympathy donations. Even after a handwriting analyst concluded that her customer, a white male named Devin Barnes, had not written the “nigger” part of the receipt, Jenkins defensively claimed that “I was not trying to get back at him or bring any attention to him at all. I have nothing against him. I can only imagine what he is going through. I was trying to bring attention to racism.” Ms. Jenkins, even the lobsters are laughing at you now.
The Week’s Most Addictive, Predictive, and Vindictive Headlines
NYPD TURNS ITS BACK ON THE MAYOR
The New York Police Department and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio appear to be at war.
De Blasio”who was born Warren Wilhelm, Jr. but eventually changed his name as a way of snubbing his father and paying homage to his Italian mother”campaigned for mayor as a vocal opponent of the city’s “stop and frisk” program, arguing it disproportionately victimized minorities even though minorities were committing gun violence in severe disproportion to their numbers.
De Blasio has described himself as being “very proud to have been deeply involved” in offering hands-on support to Marxist Sandinistas in Nicaragua. In 1990 he described himself as an advocate of “democratic socialism.” In 1994 he married black poetess and former lesbian Chirlane McCray, spawning two phenotypically black children with her. In 2002 he joined other New York City Council members in welcoming anti-white butcher Robert Mugabe to City Hall. More recently he expressed sympathy for the disastrous collective bout of ideological flatulence as Occupy Wall Street. Regarding Al Sharpton, he said, “The more people criticize him, the more I want to hang out with him.”
Earlier this month when a grand jury failed to indict officers involved in the death of Eric Garner, de Blasio went on a sanctimonious tangent about his black son Dante, he of the giant Afro, and how like all parents of black sons in America, he had to carefully train him to be very wary in the presence of police officers. De Blasio neglected to mention that in the overpublicized cases of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, and Eric Garner in Staten Island, all that alleged training didn”t work very well, as they both aggressively resisted arrest.
It was his perceived anti-police bias and support for the protestors against the Garner non-verdict that gradually caused the NYPD to turn their backs on de Blasio, both figuratively and literally.
Last Saturday night”after a black vigilante executed two NYPD officers as they sat in their squad car”police lining the halls of Brooklyn’s Woodhull Hospital literally turned their backs on de Blasio as he arrived to pay his respects to the families and hold a press conference.
Later that night Ed Mullins of the Sergeants Benevolent Association issued this statement to his union members:
Mayor de Blasio, the blood of these two officers is clearly on your hands. It is your failed policies and actions that enabled this tragedy to occur….Ever since this mayor took office there has been a sense of lawlessness that is rampant in every borough.
Patrick Lynch of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association echoed Mullins:
That blood on the hands starts on the steps of City Hall in the office of the mayor. When these funerals are over, those responsible will be called on the carpet and held accountable.
On Friday a coalition rumored to be comprised of retired NYPD officers and current detectives hired a plane that flew over New York City with a banner that said, DE BLASIO, OUR BACKS HAVE TURNED TO YOU.
On Saturday outside the funeral of slain officer Rafael Ramos, a huge blue phalanx of NYPD officers”estimated in the hundreds or even the thousands”turned their backs from a video screen as de Blasio offered his eulogy.
An email that circulated in the wake of the double homicide against two cops last week reiterated the blood libel against de Blasio and effectively declared a state of war:
The mayor’s hands are literally dripping with our blood because of his words actions and policies and we have, for the first time in a number of years, become a “wartime” police department. We will act accordingly.
TOPLESS WOMAN STEALS BABY JESUS AT THE VATICAN
Members of Ukrainian-born feminist street-theater group FEMEN are known for baring their breasts, scrawling hysterical political slogans across their bodies, and disrupting religious ceremonies in the grand tradition of Russia’s menses-crazed collective Pussy Riot and its cacophony of smelly, yelping labia.
Their latest blasphemously tacky shenanigan involved a blonde topless woman named Inna Shevchenko seizing a baby Jesus statue from its manger in St. Peter’s Square after Pope Francis had delivered his Christmas message to the faithful. The words GOD IS WOMAN were painted across Shevchenko’s chest. According to FEMEN’s website, this gesture was some sort of protest against established religion’s “maniacal desire to control women’s fertility” rather than, say, radical females” maniacal desire to exhibit their breasts and go around blithely smashing cultural idols in ways that would be deemed “hate crimes” if their targets had been the left’s designated victim groups.
Although Christian institutions have borne the brunt of FEMEN’s bare-breasted bullying, the group has been known to occasionally flash their taters in protest of alleged Islamic misogyny. Completely missing from their designated targets is Judaism, despite the religion’s deeply “patriarchal” underpinnings. This may or may not be related to rumors that some of FEMEN’s chief financiers have been Jewish men such as George Soros and Jed Sunden. It may be entirely coincidental.
One buys books for peculiar reasons, and not only because they are good: for example, a few days ago I bought a book for its title and its opening sentence. The title was How Do We Become Criminal? and the opening sentence was “The history of crime is that of humanity.” We don”t need to become criminal, therefore; we are criminal by birth and nature.
I like an author who puts his cards on the table or who, to change the metaphor slightly, doesn”t beat about the bush or mince his words. And here at least was an author who was unlikely to deny the reality of original sin and retreat into fatuous optimism (nothing depresses me more than optimism). Indeed, the author, in his second sentence, goes on to say that crime and humanity are so intimately connected that if we were to seek for the origins of crime we should seek the first cause of everything. It seems, then, that the constitution of the universe was criminal.
The book was far from uninteresting even after its first sentence, from which decline could be expected. Published in 1920, written by one Georges Guilhermet, it described, among many other things, the lengths to which female prisoners, still desirous to look attractive to any passing male, went to procure the cosmetics, or rather substitutes for the cosmetics, forbidden them by the prison rules. To obtain face powder, for example, some prisoners patiently licked the whitewash of their cells until it became a kind of paste that they dried and then used as powder. Another prisoner was noted to be made-up like “a ballerina at the opera.” Her cell was searched to find out how she had rouged her cheeks, but nothing was found. Eventually the secret was discovered: prisoners” smocks had a red thread running through them which she had laboriously unpicked and soaked in water, using the resultant red liquid to paint her cheeks. I found this a moving example of the human spirit that so often requires adversity to emerge. But so much effort for so fleeting a result! I suppose it could be a metaphor for all our existence.
I found How Do We Become Criminal? in a secondhand bookshop in Paris that is about to close. The owner was tired of the crime and disorder that she witnessed every day outside her shop window; she was less interested in how we become criminal than in how we avoid criminals; she was selling off her stock cheap and fleeing to the countryside. The shop would soon be taken by a young man hoping to sell telephones, an item of commerce no doubt more attractive to criminal types than old books. She wished him luck, but did not think he would have much.
I bought other books from her, among them one which I judged entirely by its cover, Les convulsions sociales by Pierre Harispe, of whom I know nothing except that he was born in 1854 and died in 1929. Published in 1905, the book had never been read beyond page 12, for the pages, 358 of them, were uncut thereafter. This was a warning to authors, or to their vanity and self-importance. Those of us for whom the written word is of enormous importance, if not all-important, should try always to remember the words of Montherlant: Most people do not read; those who read do not understand; those who understand forget.
But it was the cover rather than the contents of the book that induced me to buy it. It consisted of a black-and-white drawing with despairing peasants in the foreground, dying, praying, breaking the ground with picks, all among scattered sacks of grain with smoking factory chimneys far in the background, and looming over all, emerging from the sky just above the horizon, a clawlike hand with nails like talons, obviously connected to an unseen monster of immense power, indeed omnipotence, responsible for all the ills of the world.
This was typical of the anti-Semitic iconography of the time, but not just of anti-Semitic iconography. The year in which the book was published, 1905, was the year in which France became a fully secular state, and the ferocious anti-clerical propaganda that led to the final divorce between France and the Church was iconographically indistinguishable from anti-Semitic propaganda, being complete with giant Vatican hands looming over the world, Vatican spiders whose thin legs encompassed the globe, and hook-nosed Vatican priests luring innocent children into their dark, smothering cloaks, from which they would never again emerge.
It seems that the desire for a scapegoat springs eternal, the scapegoat but for whose evil activities our lives would be devoid of frustration and dissatisfaction. I am no different, I too feel the need of a single underlying person or class of persons who is responsible for all that I think has gone wrong with the world.
Ghosts of Radio Derb Christmas past: extracts from our Christmas podcasts 2004-2013.
Every subculture must now be corralled into a wholly owned subsidiary of what’s euphemistically called “social justice.” Little did you know that even heavy metal was in dire need of progressive jihad, led by scolding new-media church ladies. It’s a strange phenomenon in a scene with a heavy dollop of rebellion in its DNA; but progressivism is a black hole, demanding fealty from every nook and cranny.
“Metalgate””named after “Gamergate,” last summer’s tiff over ethics in video games journalism (and I suppose also Watergate)”is the latest skirmish. An attempted sortie of leftist politics into metal ran through 2014: In July, Terrorizer pilloried metal for its “homophobia,” apparently unaware that metalheads refer to a guy who looks like he stepped out of a Tom of Finland drawing as “the Metal God.” Metal Injection went straight to the point, declaring that “the problem with heavy metal is metalheads.”
Kim Kelly, in her intro to SPIN‘s year-end metal best-of, declared, apropos of nothing:
Metal is still dogged by the issues that arise from its deep-seated conservative values, but thanks to an increase in conversations about racism, politics, and feminism, those on the right side of history have gained solid ground.
Back in August, Kelly penned a forgettable piece of outrage porn for VICE“now, sadly, a stronghold of shame-mongering orthodoxy”in which she accused members of Dragonforce of having previously been in a shock metal band with … shocking lyrics. Doubtless pitched to the band as an interview about their new album, it quickly became a dime-store show trial in which all of the prosecution’s questions were variations on “Why did you guys write offensive lyrics for a band designed to offend people 15 years ago?”
Later that month, VICE also gave Theis Duelund a platform for a hyperbolic sermon about black metal’s “bottomless capacity for misogyny.” Mr. Duelund is apparently unaware of the existence of gangsta rap, the Islamic Republic of Iran, or any actual examples of what hating women looks like.
No leftist moral panic would be complete without the Guardian‘s two pence. Dom Lawson, also the editor of Metal Hammer, chimed in to express his deep concern over women twerking in Mastodon’s new video. The article was confusing, due not least of all to a photograph prominently displaying a woman’s posterior at the very top. Certainly this was not an attempt to combine outrage with titillation for maximum page views!
In fact, it wasn”t long ago that this self-same venerable voice of the Lib Dems published instructions on how to perform the … er, “dance” would be the closest word. They also ran to the defense of Miley Cyrus’s constitutional right to shake her bony hips on television when that was the hot topic of the day. When the deep concern regarding globular behinds rhythmically bouncing started I”m not sure.
But these are pressing questions for the Internet indignation echo chamber.
The rigged game of publishing is no less rotten today than on any other, but it’s unnatural to be contentious on Christmas. I”d rather talk truces.
Most readers will have already heard my favorite yuletide tale, but indulge me: who hasn”t shed a tear over the Christmas Eve ceasefire of 1914?
Early in December of the first year of World War I, the new pope, Benedict XV”clutching at the last shreds of chivalry”asked both sides to stop bloodshed on the holy day.
The officials refused. But soldiers in patches along the Western front disobeyed their command on both sides to gingerly approach each other across no-man’s-land. They indulged in fellowship. They traded hymns and liquor rations and allowed each other to gather the dead; next day it was back to their duties in the corpse machine, and future outbreaks of peace were quashed by higher command.
It wasn”t a perfect ceasefire, but it’s inspirational enough to make me want to smash one of those “I drink male tears” coffee mugs over a feminist’s head. Come on, ladies. Knock off the grinching.
The “I drink/I bathe in male tears” trend, for the uninitiated, is what it sounds like: ironically smirking young ladies post selfies in which they pose with gear bearing such charming slogans.
When I first heard about this, my knee-jerk reaction was: “What a ghastly sentiment!” Then I supposed it was likely a clumsy rhetorical tactic, an attempt at an irony double-bind”an unfunny joke meant to veil a font of personal rage by indulging it.
And sure enough, according to Slate, this is supposed to be irony:
Ironic misandry is “a reductio ad absurdum,” explains Jess Zimmerman, an editor at Medium and the proud owner of a “MALE TEARS” mug. …
“I enjoy that it bothers the men who don”t get it,” one Misandrist Book Club member told me. “It’s a good way to weed out cool dudes from the dumb bros.”
I guess I”m a female dumb bro”where’s my Camaro? I want my Camaro!”because I still don”t believe this is all in good fun (and that’s not really a reductio ad absurdum). This generation has almost no grip on the very irony that supposedly defines their worldview; the “cool dudes,” for example, took about five months to forget that their godawful hipster facial hair was supposed to be a joke. For a movement to claim that it’s “just kidding!” about reveling in male pain seems odd now that they”ve driven a galaxy-class science hero to literal tears over a fashion choice.
The eternal war between the sexes dwarfs the world wars and the 100 Years” War and all the Mongol invasions put together. From Aristophanes to Joan Crawford, we”ve tried to make light of it, but it’s been going on for as long as men have been civilized enough to allow the smaller sex to disagree with them without bashing our heads in.
Don”t get me wrong”civilized society and the restraint of force are great achievements for creatures such as we. I love not being dragged into a cave by my hair. And I am indeed of the opinion that women are human beings. But I”m also of the more eternally radical opinion that this is not very much to boast of.
At Christmas in particular, these endless hostilities”now magnified by roaming gangs on the Internet hive-mind”make me so weary of the entire race that I want to lie down in a dark room for an indefinite period of time. Perhaps till we all grow up. I”ll be in there for a while.
Perhaps the cruelest flaw in the design of homo sapiens is that we find each other painfully annoying”and the more a person differs from us, the harder it is to forgive his tics. Feminists may deny it”when they aren”t making essentialist claims about the evil of white males”but women and men behave a bit differently due to slightly different biology. We can”t help that. But we can rein in our reactions to the facts.
If I were a North Korean leader, or even an ISIS head chopper, I”d be reveling in the fact that a black American former basketball star spoke more plainly about race in America than any member of our political class or media.
Charles Barkley doesn”t mince his words. Many of his fellow blacks were not best pleased when he told young African-Americans a while ago to forget about basketball and stay in school. After Ferguson, Barkley did not join the race hustlers, liberal media, and the rest of the self-promoters inciting violence. Instead he said in a radio interview that there was no excuse to be out there burning cars and burning down people’s businesses. Bravo, Barkley, says Taki; here’s a great athlete who tells it like it is. He went on to point out that if it weren”t for the cops, “we would be living in the wild, wild West in our neighborhoods.”
Compare Barkley with the “Rev.” Al Sharpton”I use quotes for “reverend” because of the mind-warping distortion of the idea of reverence when applied to this hustler and criminal. A man who falsely accused innocent men of rape and profited in the ensuing publicity; one who led months of protest against a shop owner in Harlem, calling him a “white interloper”; someone whose rhetoric encouraged a black thug to shoot several customers and set fire to the place; and one who, after seven innocent people died, refused to apologize but went ahead to cheat on his taxes and stiff the IRS for millions in back taxes. This is the man who dines with Obama and advises him on race, not Charles Barkley. With leaders like Sharpton, is it any wonder that black America is in trouble?
Race hustlers aside, the media have been the real enablers of hoodwinking the African-American community, along with our cowardly political elites. Portraying Michael Brown, the Ferguson career criminal, as a passive and innocent victim of a white trigger-happy cop is as slimy as journalism can get”slimiest of all being the New York Times, in its pompous, holier-than-thou approach to anyone wearing a uniform, especially where white cops are concerned. Leading the anti-white charge was a jerk by the name of Kristof, who banged on in five interminable rants about how whites don”t get it, and why a 13-year-old thug who needlessly shot a white mother three times in the face should now be let out because the victim has forgiven him and because he’s apologized to her. Right.
This is not journalism, it’s malpractice Ã la Rolling Stone, purposefully misleading while trying to justify the agenda, whatever that may be. (I know what it is but let’s not go there.) And it gets far worse. I live part-time in New York, and looking at the NYPD daily crime blotter I fail to see a single white face among those caught on tape committing crimes against hardworking people. Times executives who live in expensive buildings with guards and doormen galore do not get held up while getting into their chauffeured limos on their way to work. Racist cops and a racist system suit the racial mischief makers while they”re busy misleading African-Americans.
And there’s money in it for them. Hucksters and victimhood-mongers are doing untold harm to the American social fabric. When a group like the Bronx Defenders have been paid $107 million by the city over the last seven years to represent poor defendants, it is not too surprising that they put out a video showing a black man holding a gun to a cop’s head while lyrics demand that “a cop got to get killed.” Very nice.
But even worse than Sharpton and the rest of the hustlers is the mayor of Noo Yawk, Bill de Blasio. This SOB went as far as to publicly remark after a riot that he had to teach his son, who is of mixed race, about the dangers he faced from the police. Instead of calming people down, this dick stirred up trouble, all in order to please the constituents who got him elected: blacks, Hispanics, and I suppose poor whites on welfare. The governor of New York has not done any better. He posed for a photo op with an ex-crack dealer billionaire whose lyrics vulgarly denounce women and cops and whose name is Jay Z. Bravo! Crime pays, in fact, because it’s the necessary initial step in advancing toward the American dream.