The Week’s Most Ruthless, Truthless, and Toothless Headlines
OBAMA: “WE ARE ALL JEWS”
Many Americans take President Barack Hussein Dolemite Obama at his word when he claims that he’s a Christian. Others accuse him of being a closet Muslim. But Obama shook the Judeo-Christian world to its roots last Wednesday with his shocking revelation during Holocaust Remembrance Day that “We are all indeed Jews.”
Speaking at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC, Obama told the assembled group of co-Jews:
Anti-Semitism is on the rise, we cannot deny it. When we see Jews leaving Europe…and attacks on Jewish centers from Mumbai to Kansas; when we see swastikas appear on college campuses, we must not stay silent. When any Jew anywhere is targeted, we must all respond as if we are all Jewish.
The fact that we are all Jewish tremendously complicates the rising problem of anti-Semitism.
Mr. Obama will further prove he’s Jewish by visiting a mosque in Baltimore this week like all good Jews are wont to do.
Since Holocaust Remembrance Day is the only day on the calendar when Americans are encouraged to remember the Holocaust, it came as a tremendous relief last week for people who fear that anti-Semitism is on the decline to hear that Anne Frank’s 86-year-old stepsister says that Republican presidential candidate and renowned chick-slayer Donald J. Trump reminds her of Adolf Hitler. “I think [Trump] is acting like another Hitler by inciting racism,” Eva Schloss wrote in a Newsweek opinion column.
Another Holocaust survivor”there sure were a lot of them”named Martin Weiss said, “I don’t want to make any comparison to Hitler” and then proceeded to compare Trump to Hitler without wasting a breath.
Meanwhile, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei soiled Holocaust Remembrance Day by alleging that Europeans quake in their boots for fear of ever publicly questioning the Holocaust:
No one in European countries dares to speak about the Holocaust. While it is not clear whether the core of this matter is a reality or not, even if it is a reality, it is not clear how it happened….Speaking about the Holocaust and expressing doubts about it is considered to be a great sin. If someone does this they stop, arrest, imprison, and sue him. This is while they claim to be supporters of freedom.
Obviously that man needs to be stopped, arrested, imprisoned, and sued for making such outlandish claims, because no truly free country would tolerate such intolerance.
The fatal stabbing of a 22-year-old female Swedish asylum center worker by an alleged 15-year-old Somali refugee has thrown this once-docile and seemingly suicidal Scandinavian nation into a tizzy.
Twenty-two-year-old Alexandra Mezher was knifed to death at an asylum center allegedly reserved for refugees between the ages of 14 to 17, but according to her mother, she had often remarked that very few of these “children” seemed to be younger than 18 and more often were “big powerful guys” who appeared to be in their early 20s at least.
Sweden’s national police chief Dan Eliasson threw gasoline on the fire by appearing to be more concerned about the murder suspect’s emotional state than by the fact that a young Swedish girl had been murdered:
Who knows what horrors he has been through? Under what circumstances has he grown up? What is the trauma he carries? This entire immigration crisis shows how unfair life is in many parts of the world.
In response to such callous official disregard for native Swedes, a large group of “black clad masked men” distributed “racist leaflets” last Friday night at a Stockholm train station before launching a coordinated physical mob attack on the African and Middle Eastern “rapefugees” who cluster around the station harassing women and begging for change.
According to the “racist leaflets”:
All over the country, reports are pouring in that the police can no longer cope with preventing and investigating the crimes which strike the Swedish people….But we refuse to accept the repeated assaults and harassment against Swedish women. We refuse to accept the destruction of our once to safe society. When our political leadership and police show more sympathy for murderers than for their victims, there are no longer any excuses to let it happen without protest. Those who gathered today are neither your politician, your journalist or your policeman. We are your father, your brother, your husband, your colleague, your friend and your neighbor.
Apparently Sweden’s old Viking spirit may not have died after all and is now only awakening from a self-induced coma.
Gstaad—The Dolly Sisters were off to Davos last week for the World Economic Forum: Nat Rothschild and Sebastian Taylor in their finest, playing up to Harry Selfridge, in reality Christine Lagarde, the IMF chief under indictment. The purpose of a week’s total waste of time is advertised as a discussion of the global issues of the day. In reality it’s utter twaddle, unless one is networking like the Dolly Sisters, or showing off like Justin Trudeau, the Canadian premier whose mother is Margaret, once upon a time a Studio 54 regular and a friend of yours truly. Old Greek ship-owning families, prominent ones like the Livanoses, Goulandrises, and Chandrises, eschew such shenanigans, leaving it to that down-market version of Zorba the Greek, Alexis Tsipras, a man whose vulgar manner and hairy appearance would have pleased the likes of Tom Driberg and Guy Burgess almost as much as he’s pleased the Greek electorate, who have voted him prime minister twice within a year.
Not everyone in Davos is a hustler, starting with the sainted editor of The Spectator, who wrote in The Telegraph last week about his surprise at a 54-quid hamburger. You should try Gstaad during the high season, oh exalted one. Another good man among the barbarians was Dimitris Diamandopoulos, a.k.a. Jamie Dimon, of J.P. Morgan fame. Yes, we Greeks get around, but most of us dislike mingling in a circus of egotism and self-absorption like Davos has become. And speaking of Greeks, all of us here in Gstaad have decided to boycott the Academy Awards this year because no Hellenes have been nominated.
Actually, although invited to the after-Oscars party these last twenty years by the Vanity Fair editor, Graydon Carter, I have never attended. That’s because, year after year, no Greek actor or actress has made the nominated grade. I have spoken to my NBF, Harvey Weinstein, about having more Greeks among those who vote, but Harvey wasn’t aware that we had moving pictures in old Hellas. Especially talkies. Anyway, the mother of my children has decided to boycott watching the awards, which should scare the shit out of the networks, so expect Greek actors and actresses to be nominated next year for the first Technicolor movie that is also a talkie in the land of Tsipras. Who says African-American methods of crying foul nonstop don’t always work? The next thing you know, Charlotte Rampling will accuse Greeks of being anti-American, heaven forbid.
But let’s be serious for a change: What they should have been discussing up in the Alps is that jihadism is not about to be defeated in 2016, and that war and misery in the Middle East and Africa will send millions and millions of people to invade Europe. Tunisia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Indonesia, Turkey, France, Iraq, Syria, and Egypt are under attack, and the fat cats up high in the Swiss mountainsides are discussing robotics and artificial intelligence. The migrant crisis is the greatest threat to Europe since a certain Austrian-born failed artist decided to send his Panzers east and west. A German chancellor was the bad guy back then, and a German chancellor is the bad guy today. A fact that kills this Greco-German, who loves the country of Goethe and Beethoven and Rundstedt and Guderian and Schubert and von Karajan, even more than Ava Gardner and Betty Grable.
But not to worry. Uncle Sam has the Saudis on his side—and William Kristol. The latter is a short, fat man who was the Goebbels to George W’s Führer. Kristol’s rhetoric and propagandizing helped persuade the most intelligent man to ever inhabit the White House to attack Iraq in 2003. And I ask you, dear readers: How is it possible that a man like Kristol and his fellow neocons are still influential in Washington after having aided and abetted the greatest American foreign-policy disaster ever? Millions have become refugees, perhaps a couple million have died, close to 2 trillion greenbacks have been wasted, and still these people are swanning around D.C. spreading their foul ideas.
It is strange what moves people to action, if signing a petition counts as action”which, given the sedentary nature of so much of the population, I suppose it might do. According to a newspaper article I have just read, 140,000 people in Britain signed a petition to have a man with the improbable name of Tyson Fury removed from the list of candidates for the BBC’s completely vacuous and unimportant title of Sports Personality of the Year.
Fury is a boxer who is 6 feet 9 inches tall and comes from a family of Irish Travellers (once known as tinkers), though he was born in England. His father was a bare-knuckle fighter who named his son after the boxer and all-round role model Mike Tyson, who distinguished himself by (inter alia) running through his $300 million earnings, being convicted of rape, and biting off part of an opponent’s ear in the ring. Fury is now heavyweight boxing champion of the world.
Again according to the article, “Fury provoked outrage when he equated homosexuality and abortion to paedophilia and saying a woman’s “best place is on her back.”” The article does not say who exactly was outraged by these remarks”who was furious at Fury, as it were”but I have noticed that in British newspapers such phenomena as anger, fury, and outrage seem often to subsist independently of anyone who feels them, and so are a kind of meteorological phenomenon, or resemble the pain descried by Mrs. Gradgrind in Dickens” Hard Times:
“I think there’s a pain somewhere in the room,” said Mrs. Gradgrind, “but I couldn”t positively say that I have got it.”
That guardian of public morals, the British Boxing Board of Control, called upon Mr. Fury to explain himself. The BBBoC later expressed itself satisfied that he, Fury, “expressed regret that he caused offence to others, which was never his intention.”
I was rather reminded of the commentary that often follow articles published online, in which those who comment turn on each other with contumely if not with rage, having forgotten what the article was about in the first place, utilizing such powerful arguments as “You f—-ing idiot, can”t you f—-ing think, you moron?””to be followed by a comment that has been removed by the forum moderator because it did not “meet our community standards.”
“What standards are those?” one wonders. It would be an interesting experiment to try to write a comment so abusive that it did not “meet our community standards.” Or perhaps comments are excluded because they are too polite: We live in strange times when people are as likely to be offended by politeness as by its opposite.
The BBBoC reminded Mr. Fury of the “heavy responsibilities” that went with his boxing title, which he subsequently claimed to “understand””as, presumably, he had not understood them before. The British Minister of Sport”O brave new world that has such people in it!”reminded him that he was “a role model.”
The minister is called Tracey Crouch, best known previously for having protested that she had not been allowed to play on the all-male Parliamentary football team. It seemed not to occur to her that her remark about Mr. Fury undermined very fundamentally the case for democracy: For if a population really took a boxing champion ex officio as a role model, it was certainly not to be entrusted with the vote.
Professional boxers are always brave, of course, for it undoubtedly takes courage (or is it foolhardiness?) to volunteer to make one’s head the target of other men’s fists in front of a baying crowd. Boxers are also men of determination in their training and discipline. But bravery and determination are not virtues independent of the ends to which they are put: A man may be brave and determined, after all, in the pursuit of an abominable goal. I know no strictly scientific evidence for my opinion, but I doubt that, taken as a group of men, professional boxers are particularly admirable.
Great news, anarchists, you have your martyr.
LaVoy Finicum has just been shot by the Feds after a two-month standoff with authorities. He represented ranchers who were being bullied by a government hungry for the ranchers” valuable land. The government accused the farmers of terrorism after setting some brush fires and today Dwight and Steven Hammond are in prison.
We don”t yet have all the details, but since when has that stopped anyone? Some are saying LaVoy had his hands up so let’s get to making those “I am LaVoy” shirts.
Nope. Politics is fashion today and Finicum wouldn”t look good on a T-shirt. It amazes me that people are so into what’s in vogue when it comes to justice yet so totally disinterested when it comes to their own appearance. If you”re so into fashion, how about not wearing your stupid camping vest everywhere?
Despite Occupy Oregon meeting all the criteria for an anarchist revolution, the reaction is still much more in the #YallQaeda #VanillaISIS camp. I”m seeing people focus on the fact that LaVoy’s wife lists “foster care provider” as her vocation. Where were these people when we discovered that Trayvon’s father was a gangbanger? They want you to know that LaVoy’s fellow occupier Ammon Bundy may have been drinking alcohol at the time of his arrest. The same side that chanted, “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want them? Now!” is offended that Bundy may have threatened cops. They call the ranchers welfare moochers who are taking advantage of the poor, feeble state.
Apparently, allowing your cattle to graze outside government boundaries is some kind of aristocratic decadence. Anarchists wearing Guy Fawkes masks are all of a sudden concerned about the government not getting enough tax dollars. It’s willful ignorance.
Every time you hand the media the exact story they”re hunting for they say, “No, thanks” and run back to the narrative. They are obsessed with frat boys and attack Mattress Girl’s boyfriend, Duke Lacrosse, and the UVA frat with tireless gusto, but when confronted with a child prostitution ring, not even the police will go near it. Islam is so entrenched in rape culture that they bring children into the mix, but we turn a blind eye to that because that’s not how the story is supposed to go.
Childless hag Angela Merkel told the world there’s no such thing as a rapefugee. When anyone questioned her open borders she told them to go to a church or visit a museum and look at a painting. She opened the floodgates to the rapists and they got to raping. The very people holding “refugees welcome” signs were now being attacked en masse. The blindness went unabated and Europeans reacted by handing out pamphlets and holding cute signs with platitudes about being kind to one another. If anyone identified the problem they were arrested for hate speech. The narrative is that the patriarchy must be destroyed and anyone who stands in the way of this creative destruction must be silenced. Innocent students are guilty of rape until proven innocent and guilty rapists are innocent until proven even more innocent.
There’s a bizarre hierarchy of justice within this subjective reality where white males are at the bottom and gay minority women are at the top. This gets complicated when it’s white women against minority men. When Carlos Mencia and Fat Jew were caught stealing jokes, their careers were shut down. But when a friendly Jewish girl with blond hair did the exact same thing, we were told it’s just part of the art of comedy.
Jewish women trump Jewish men and Mexicans. Christians are below Muslims even when both are foreigners. When Nakoula Basseley Nakoula made a video mocking Muhammad, he was blamed for Benghazi. I remember when he was sent to prison, people I knew and respected shrugged and said he shouldn”t have violated his parole. Nakoula is a Coptic Christian from Egypt and his people (our people) are being slaughtered like cattle. The reaction when his right to free speech is violated is that he shouldn”t have made those Muslims angry.
Angus Deaton and his wife, Anne Case, completed a study last year asserting that the death rates for American middle-aged working-class whites, especially males, have been increasing over the past twenty years while the death rates for everyone else in the developed world have been steadily decreasing. In December, Jeff Guo of The Washington Post wrote a piece about this phenomenon, linking it to Donald Trump. And earlier this year, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria devoted a segment to promoting and further elaborating upon Guo’s paper.
What Deaton and Case discovered is that this increase is being driven primarily by suicide, drug overdose, and liver disease (presumably from alcoholism). The significance of this piece of the puzzle is not lost on either Guo or Zakaria; they both recognize that it points toward a collective depression. However, in a rather brazen lack of journalistic integrity, both Mr. Guo and Mr. Zakaria barely attempt to explore the roots of this collective depression.
Of course, this comes as no surprise. Mr. Guo is Chinese and Mr. Zakaria is Indian. Indeed, the fact that minorities like Guo and Zakaria have increasingly and visibly replaced whites in so many cushy, respectable, well-paying jobs is part of the problem. Whites feel”and for good reason”that they are no longer important. And this is the basis of this collective depression. What Deaton and Case have provided in their study is perhaps the first substantive data supporting white American anomie.
Anomie is, of course, the concept that has been utilized to describe societies or groups that are in a state of breakdown, or have been disrupted or uprooted, and are thus characterized by their conspicuous lack of cultural standards and values. Anomie can also describe the lack of purpose and principal of a society. Emile Durkheim popularized the term in his famous 1897 work Suicide, wherein he utilized it to analyze why suicide rates increase during times of economic change.
The most famous example of a people suffering from chronic anomie is that of the Native Americans of North America. The Native American people were decimated, their cultures and societies were utterly disrupted, if not destroyed, and the remaining human debris was forced into a marginalized existence on various Indian reservations. Because of this collective experience, life on Indian reservations has been marred by a complete lack of purpose, hope, and meaning. Not surprisingly, extremely high rates of suicide and alcoholism have plagued life on Indian reservations from the very beginning. To this very day, young Native American youths still possess suicide rates that are more than double the national average and alcoholism mortality rates that are hundreds of percentage points above the national average. Native Americans grow up in a land that, they are told, was once theirs, but is now controlled and inhabited by “invaders” or “conquerors” who stole it from their ancestors. One can only imagine the fog of shame, regret, and feelings of failure and defeat that must certainly hang over the Native American psyche.
As Deaton and Case have now demonstrated, white Americans are, in a sense, beginning to succumb to a similar fate as those same Native Americans they once supplanted. Over the past few decades, white Americans have lost control of their own destiny. They have lost their collective purpose. They have become increasingly disparaged and lampooned on television and in the movies. And they have watched their country, their economic prospects, and the would-be inheritance of their children and grandchildren be appropriated by foreigners and alien peoples at the behest of powers in Washington they cannot perceive nor understand.
So apparently the Academy Awards are now the most racist, evil thing in the world, having surpassed the left’s last most racist, evil thing in the world (what was that again? Halloween costumes? Interracial wrestling? It’s so hard to keep track). The tragic fact that for the second year in a row no “actors of color” were nominated in the best-performance categories has touched off a wave of garment-rending outrage among “diversity” advocates in politics and the media.
You see, the Oscars are supposed to “reflect America.” Didn”t you know that? Well, apparently it’s true. “You don”t reflect America, your industry doesn”t reflect America,” a coalition of minority activists bellowed last week. Will Smith agreed, telling Good Morning America in a live satellite hookup from his solid-gold mansion under the sea that the Oscars should “reflect” American “beauty.” Al Sharpton, who’s normally so wary of bandwagons, uncharacteristically raised his voice in support, claiming that the Oscars don”t “reflect modern America.” And at a recent event in L.A., actor David Oyelowo claimed that the Motion Picture Academy “doesn”t reflect this nation.”
Wait…Oyelowo is a Nigerian from England (just like 2013 Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor). Exactly what “nation” is he referring to? The fact is, over the past 30 years, over one third of Best Actor Oscar winners have been foreign. Over one third of Best Actress winners have been foreign. If the point of the Oscars is to “reflect America,” why has there been no outcry over the disproportionate number of non-Americans who win? I don”t know about you, but I don”t exactly swell with USA pride when I see Brits, Canadians, and Australians taking home our precious statuettes, mooching our swag bags, and stealing jobs from great American actors like Eric Roberts (I mean, really, the man did forty-six movies in 2015, and not one single nomination? Not even for The Human Centipede 3?).
Someone call Trump”I think I have the topic of his next press conference.
Of course, the truth is the Academy’s nominees are not supposed to “reflect America.” Entertainment-industry hiring practices in general are not supposed to “reflect America.” They”re supposed to reflect the available talent pool, and nothing else. The notion that Hollywood is supposed to reflect America is a pernicious bit of nonsense that even some conservatives buy into when they counter the current Oscar protests by (correctly) pointing out that black actors get hired roughly in proportion to the percentage of black people in the U.S. However, making that point merely plays into the fiction that “representing America” is somehow the goal. It isn”t. Acting isn”t like food-service work, retail or clerical work, factory work, janitorial work, or customer-service work. No one is ever forced into acting by a bad economy. No man has ever said, “They”re closing the plant and shipping the jobs to India, so I guess that means I”ll have to learn Shakespeare in order to support my family.”
People go into acting because they want to. It’s a gigantic money-pit of a so-called profession, practically impossible to earn a living at, with zero job security, and unless a struggling actor or actress has wealthy parents or me as a boyfriend, a day job is usually required.
Hollywood owes America jack shit. If, and this is a big if, the entertainment industry has a responsibility to be “fair,” it owes fairness only to those poor bastards who are trying to become a part of it. This was a basic argument of Friends of Abe, the failed experiment in conservative Hollywood advocacy. FOA never demanded that Hollywood hire conservatives in exact proportion to the number of self-identified conservatives in American society. FOA only sought to ensure that people in the industry who are conservative don”t lose jobs on account of their beliefs.
The ridiculous notion of forcing Hollywood to “reflect America” last reared its head in the early 2000s. Back then, the focus was on television, not movies. After waves of protests from the NAACP and other equally useless organizations, the TV networks began forcing casting directors to seek out “diverse” talent, to make TV roles “proportional.” I dealt with that jibber-jabber in a 2002 L.A. Times op-ed under my pseudonym Marlon Mohammed (I wrote in detail about my brief stint as a black Muslim in this 2015 Taki’s piece).
“Marlon’s” op-ed was titled “Diversity Isn”t So Black and White an Issue,” and it dealt with the topic of proportional representation of available talent as opposed to representation of society as a whole:
White actors may get more work than actors of other races but, numerically, there are many more white actors who are struggling to make it in the business. To get an idea of the numbers we”re dealing with here, we can consult the Academy Players Directory, a master list of actors”accomplished and unknown, union and nonunion, with and without representation. These figures show that, of 16,235 listed actors, 695 are black (a little more than 4%), 484 are Latino (about 3%), 378 are Asian (a little more than 2%) and 170 are Native American (slightly more than 1%). The rest are white.
These numbers give a good indication of the supply-side of the actor marketplace. From these figures, it’s not hard to draw the conclusion that white actors make up the overwhelming majority of actors competing for work, in which case it’s not necessarily wrong that whites are hired in greater numbers. I just can”t support efforts to force the industry to gerrymander some kind of artificially engineered racial quota in hiring that doesn”t reflect the reality of the job market.
And here we are, fourteen years later, same angry rhetoric from the screech owls of diversity, and same answer from me: It’s the talent pool, not “society,” that matters when examining how “representative” the industry is.
The Internet has rendered the Academy Players Directory (which I relied on for my data in 2002) unnecessary. Casting is now done primarily online, and the leading platform through which actors seek work is Backstage.com. Through Backstage, casting directors can be assured of getting submissions from working-but-not-yet-famous actors, and from newcomers to the trade. Using Backstage as my source, I decided to obtain a new data set.
I created a phony Backstage.com casting notice to obtain my raw numbers. It was important that the “film” for which I was casting appear welcoming to actors of all races and ethnicities, without favoring any in the description of the roles. And it had to have the type of maddeningly bland title that would be offensive to none (and without any big words or clever puns, because actors tend to be very, very stupid). The film’s title? Silent Justice (what the hell does that even mean?). The roles? A clichÃ© for all ages and types: a dedicated female lawyer, a jaded male private eye, a young con man, a dignified poor chick, two feared assassins (one male, one female), a corrupt male politician, and a noble female one. Each role was clearly labeled “open to all races and ethnicities,” and ethnically identifiable character names were avoided (no Svens, Seamuses, Yahudas, Pablos, or D”Vondrells).
My ad began running on Monday the 18th, allowing me to collect a full week’s worth of applicants. I ended up netting 1,400 submissions from poor, desperate thespians. It appears I missed my calling as an online predator, because apparently I”m quite good at phony ads. The submissions represent a snapshot of the current Hollywood talent pool, the base of the acting pyramid. So let’s examine the numbers.
All hell broke loose this month in the halls of academia. Medievalism, a field normally clean and cloistered, was rocked to its very foundations by the knowledge that one of its foremost members is a heretic.
A quick and dirty summary of events goes as follows. Allen Frantzen retired from a nearly 40-year career as an English professor in 2014. He authored numerous books and articles over the course of his career, edited many others, and was esteemed by his peers as a leading specialist in Anglo-Saxon literature. In 2015, Frantzen published a blog post on his website titled “How to fight your way out of the feminist fog,” in which he notes that the goal of modern feminism is to remove men from power and that many men are afraid of the consequences of questioning feminism, or of being masculine. He then offers advice on how men can “clear the fog of feminist propaganda” in order to improve their lives. The following quotation regarding how to argue with a feminist gives a good indication of the author’s thoughts:
Changing her mind isn”t the aim. Making a man’s point of view clear is your aim. A man who thinks for himself and knows something is more manly than a suck-up feminist afraid to say what he thinks. I”m guessing she will get that. Power is sexy. Wimpishness is not sexy. GYB….
You probably have not had a coach help you with defending manhood and your masculinity. The feminist believes she cannot be disagreed with by a reasonable person. How can you disagree with me? I”m a woman (black, gay, Hispanic). You will now have shown that you can disagree with a self-proclaimed victim without sounding prejudiced.
By the standards of the typical Taki reader, these statements are quite mild. But for the polite society of modern academia, having one of their own write that “wimpishness is not sexy” was the equivalent of churchgoers being told by a preacher that God is a fiction (which, on an unrelated note, happens once in a while in Canada). For many months the post sat dormant on Frantzen’s obscure and rather ugly website, largely unnoticed. But when Frantzen’s fellow medievalists stumbled upon the essay at some point mid-January, they reacted in a frenzied way that has been mesmerizing to observe.
Academics Internet-wide, upon reading Frantzen’s advice to men””Grab your balls””grabbed instead their pitchforks and torches. They created an online echo chamber in which to mock Frantzen, celebrate their own perceived enlightenment, gnash their teeth, clutch their pearls, and generally sound off about the joys of feminism and the great peril posed by nonbelievers. One melodramatic medievalist describes the impugned blog post as “verbal violence against women“; another believes that Frantzen wants to “police what it means to be a man.” Another takes the opportunity to state that this debacle shows that “We need more white people to address white supremacy and white fragility,” a bizarre statement that makes one wonder if the writer even read Frantzen’s blog post prior to getting offended.
Since Frantzen is retired, he no longer has a career that can be destroyed. This means that his ex-colleagues and past students are going after his legacy instead. Professors are removing Frantzen from their syllabuses and dismissing as “hateful” the same books and articles that were held in admiration just a couple of weeks ago. They are making the assumption that Frantzen hates women, that he views them as intellectually inferior, that he has sabotaged the career of every woman unfortunate enough to cross his path. “How many female PhD students has he supervised?“ asks a critic. “Interviewed for jobs? Listened to their papers? Accepted them onto courses, into conferences? Knowing that all the while, this respected man who has had so much to contribute to the world of scholarship has never viewed women as capable of the same contribution is immensely sad.”
Back in August in my review of Straight Outta Compton, I predicted that the rap biopic was likely to cause a racial controversy for the Academy Awards because, while the movie wasn”t quite good enough to earn much Oscar love, it was competent enough to trigger feelings of entitlement. As last year’s black complaints about Selma being handed only one Oscar suggested, when the Academy gave the Best Picture award a couple of years ago to 12 Years a Slave, it didn”t succeed in assuaging black demands for a few years as hoped. Instead, 12 Years“ Oscar seemed to convince racial spokespersons that blacks deserve to win Best Picture every year.
This ongoing Academy Award ruckus could be instructive.
For example, blacks not winning enough Academy Awards is not an actual problem in a numerical sense. For the last generation, black actors have taken home about as many Oscars as their share of the relevant population, but that doesn”t quell their demand for larger and larger racial quotas.
It’s not as if African-Americans don”t have enough encouragement from pop culture to become celebrities.
That may have been true in the distant past, but it hasn”t been so for a long time. I can recall about 50 years ago watching on television with my mother an uplifting 1963 movie called Lilies of the Field. It starred Sidney Poitier as a black handyman who gets cajoled by sly nuns into building them a chapel. (Hollywood back then loved crafty Catholic sisters, such as those in The Sound of Music and The Trouble With Angels.) The announcer kept coming on to point out that Poitier had won the 1963 Best Actor Oscar for his performance.
Did Poitier deserve his Oscar 52 years ago or did the Academy just get in the spirit of the civil rights era? I, personally, enjoyed Lilies of the Field very much when I was 7, but I haven”t heard anybody mention the movie in several decades. Still, 1963 was a down year for movies so the competition wasn”t stiff. The Best Picture winner, for example, was Tom Jones, another forgotten film. In retrospect, the landmark leading-man performance of 1963 was Sean Connery launching the James Bond series. But James Bond movies don”t get acting Oscars; they make plenty of money without them.
Black audiences don”t much like the kind of smart movies such as The Big Short that the Oscars encourage Hollywood to make. Blacks like blockbusters and broad comedies with Tyler Perry’s or Steve Harvey’s name in the title. Black viewers watch the Academy Awards on TV if a lot of blacks are nominated and hosting, but don”t have much interest if the host is John Stewart or Neil Patrick Harris.
Back in the late 1980s, it appeared that Spike Lee, who was then known as “the black Woody Allen,” would go on to enjoy the kind of career-making, stylish art-house films that the Academy lauds. But that didn”t happen.
While blacks don”t much care about the kind of movies the Oscars exist to promote, the Oscars care about blacks.
From 1985 onward, blacks have been well represented among the four acting categories, with twelve of the last 124 winners and 46 of the last 620 acting nominations going to blacks. (Blacks winning twelve statues in 46 nominations is slightly more than the expected nine victories, but the sample size is too small to worry about.)
In contrast, no Hispanic actor or actress born in the 50 states has been nominated for anything since 1993, but virtually nobody has noticed. The last American-born actor or actress of more than half East Asian descent was Pat Morita in 1984’s The Karate Kid.
Since 1985, actors speaking in foreign languages have received only half as many nominations as blacks and merely five Oscars, suggesting the non-Anglosphere bulk of the world might have a larger complaint. But if they are not going to complain in English, Americans aren”t going to pay much attention.
It’s a little hard to determine what should be the appropriate denominator to measure black representation, but I”d say the population of the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand makes the most sense. Performers from the British Isles have made up about 23 percent of Best Actor and Actress nominees since the 1930s. And the lightly populated Antipodes have become a major force in recent decades. Since 1985, 5 percent of acting nominees have been Australian or New Zealander.
Blacks make up just under one-tenth of the population of the Anglosphere countries that participate in the Five Eyes spying project, so the Academy Awards have been remarkably proportional to their demographics.
On the other hand, relatively few people are numerate enough to notice this. In a 2001 Gallup survey, Americans estimated that 33 percent of the population is black and 29 percent Hispanic, which adds up to an improbably five-eighths. Gallup noted:
As many as 17 percent of Americans say the percentage of blacks is 50 percent or greater. Only 7 percent accurately state that the percentage of blacks falls between 10 percent and 14 percent of the entire population.
Indeed, nonwhites hallucinated that 75 percent of Americans were black or Hispanic.
I don”t think this is particularly due to blacks or (especially) Hispanics being disproportionately featured in the media. It’s more caused by people being weak at doing arithmetic in their heads.
Poland has been showered with what seems like excessive and surprisingly negative media attention of late. True, the Poles elected a new president in the summer, and a new parliament in the fall, but time has passed, and power changed hands without invasions, riots, or revolutions; both the winners and the losers are members of mainstream political parties, and the new, democratically elected conservative government was formed relatively quickly. That should all be good news for Poland and Europe”indeed, for the entire free world”though one could never tell judging by the shrill headlines that continue to claim prominent spots on news networks, magazine covers, editorial pages, and Twitter feeds on both sides of the Atlantic.
The media’s reaction to the Polish voters” decision to bring to power the country’s anti-Communist opposition has been relentless in volume and surprisingly hysterical in tone. Just to pick a few examples: Even before the new government was formed, the Financial Times reported that Poland returned the “most rightwing parliament in Europe”; The Economist fretted on its cover about the “perils of Polish populism” and offered a tendentious leader on “Europe’s new headache.” CNN aired its own “Poland swings to the right,” and The Washington Post weighed in on “Poland’s disturbing tilt to the right”; the reliably biased New York Times explained “Why Poland Is Turning Away From the West,” while the Daily Beast cut to the chase with a crude “WTF Is Wrong With Poland.” Even The Wall Street Journal finally joined the pack, adding “Poland’s Bad Turn” to the mix.
The articles continue to appear unabated, almost as though they were writing themselves. Goebbels must be having a good day in hell: A lie becomes the truth just because it is being repeated often enough.
Given the “truth” so established, it is almost no wonder that Standard & Poor’s responded to the political siren’s call and announced its cut in Poland’s sovereign debt rating without warning. Unlike Fitch or Moody’s, which kept their ratings unchanged, S&P seemed to be making a purely political decision and openly taking sides in recent Polish elections. Given the country’s positive economic outlook and Poland’s GDP growth that’s the envy of stagnant Europe, the move seems designed to punish the winning conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party for its presumed politics with a rating cut. S&P’s downgrade is a victory for the well-connected, ideologically fashionable coalition of the losing party politicians and their friends in NGOs and the media, who have been whipping up a remarkably prolific and effective disinformation campaign against the new Polish government.
It helps the losers” cause, of course, that the defeated Civic Platform (PO) party’s founder and former head of government, Donald Tusk, is now conveniently ensconced in Brussels as the president of the European Council; that the former president of Poland, BronisÅaw Komorowski, who valued good relationships with Western journalists and flattered them with prizes, now reaps the harvest of their loyalty; or that the wife of RadosÅaw Sikorski, a prominent member of the deposed coalition, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and a purported expert on East-Central Europe with editorial ties to The Washington Post and The Economist, both of which”without disclaimers”were among the first to warn the world about the demise of democracy in Poland. It must really hurt to fall off the gravy train after eight lucrative years!
Clearly, the losers of the elections in Poland are determined to fight their way back to power, if not through the democratic process, in which they failed, then through manufacturing a crisis. S&P’s unexpected action shows that the campaign to discredit the new government is working. To explain the sovereign debt rating cut, S&P does not cite facts or numbers, but simply echoes the vague rhetoric deployed by the coalition just booted out of power, claiming that “Poland’s new government has initiated various legislative measures that we consider weaken the independence and effectiveness of key institutions.”
Before accepting the claims about the new government’s undemocratic behavior, a fact-check is in order. First of all, few outside of Poland understand that the dividing line in Polish politics is not left and right, but the commitment to the country’s independence”be it from invaders or meddlesome neighbors. To most Polish voters, Russian-empire nostalgia and perceived German willingness to accommodate it are not abstract global issues but local existential threats. It is at least partly in this context that the Polish voters unseated an incumbent in the presidential elections and chose Andrzej Duda, a former EU parliamentarian strongly committed to Poland’s sovereignty. Soon after, the voters handed an unprecedented landslide victory to the center-right Law and Justice party, giving it a parliamentary supermajority. With that election, for the first time since the fall of Communism in Poland, one party was given the mandate to form the government alone. Even more remarkably, PiS” victory marks the coming to power of the same staunchly anti-Communist, straight-talking political class that toppled the Soviet-sponsored regime 26 years earlier and inspired other Warsaw Pact countries to stand up, bring down the Iron Curtain, and send the occupying Soviet troops back to Moscow. How exactly would their win be a “disturbing” outcome? And why, in S&P’s eyes, would that “weaken the independence and effectiveness of key institutions”? How is that a “bad turn,” except, of course, for the Civic Platform, its Peasant Party coalition partners, and the former Communists, now known by their Orwellian moniker Democratic Left Alliance, all of whom, for the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union, find themselves nowhere near the trough of political spoils and are starting to panic?
And there is much to panic about. After all, it’s not just the Polish taxpayer largesse that was at stake in the elections they lost, but access to EU and NATO appointments, the crony capitalists” government contracts granted outside the procurement process, the sinecures, the lucrative seats on state-owned companies” management boards with stratospheric compensations that even well-paid Poles could only dream of. In other words, there are real losses for the defeated politicians to grieve.
With the Iowa caucuses a week away, the front-runner for the Republican nomination, who leads in all the polls, is Donald Trump.
The consensus candidate of the Democratic Party elite, Hillary Clinton, has been thrown onto the defensive by a Socialist from Vermont who seems to want to burn down Wall Street.
Not so long ago, Clinton was pulling down $225,000 a speech from Goldman Sachs. Today, she sounds like William Jennings Bryan.
Taken together, the candidacies of Trump, Sanders, Ben Carson and Ted Cruz represent a rejection of the establishment. And, imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, other Republican campaigns are now channeling Trump’s.
This then is a rejection election. Half the nation appears to want the regime overthrown. And if spring brings the defeat of Sanders and the triumph of Trump, the fall will feature the angry outsider against the queen of the liberal establishment. This could be a third seminal election in a century.
In the depths of the Depression in 1932, a Republican Party that had given us 13 presidents since Lincoln in 1860, and only two Democrats, was crushed by FDR. From ‘32 to ‘64, Democrats won seven elections, with the GOP prevailing but twice, with Eisenhower. And from 1930 to 1980, Democrats controlled both houses of Congress for 46 of the 50 years.
The second seminal election was 1968, when the racial, social, cultural and political revolution of the 1960s, and Vietnam War, tore the Democratic Party asunder, bringing Richard Nixon to power. Seizing his opportunity, Nixon created a “New Majority” that would win four of five presidential elections from 1972 through 1988.
What killed the New Majority?
First, the counterculture of the 1960s captured the arts, entertainment, education and media to become the dominant culture and convert much of the nation and most of its elite.
Second, mass immigration from Asia, Africa and especially Latin America, legal and illegal, changed the ethnic composition of the country.
White Americans, over 90 percent of the electorate in 1968, are down to 70 percent today, and about 60 percent of the population.
And minorities vote 80 percent Democratic.
Third, Republicans in power not only failed to roll back the Great Society but also collaborated in its expansion. Half the U.S. population today depends on government benefits.
Consider Medicare and Social Security, the largest and most expensive federal programs, critical to seniors and the elderly who give Republicans the largest share of their votes. If Republicans start curtailing and cutting those programs, they will come to know the fate of Barry Goldwater.
Still, whether we have a President Clinton, Trump, Sanders or Cruz in 2017, America appears about to move in a radically new direction.
Foreign policy retrenchment seems at hand. With Trump and Sanders boasting of having opposed the Iraq war, and Cruz joining them in opposing nation-building schemes, Americans will not unite on any new large-scale military intervention. To lead a divided country into a new war is normally a recipe for political upheaval and party suicide.
Understandably, the interventionists and neocons at National Review, Commentary, and the Weekly Standard are fulminating against Trump. For many are the Beltway rice bowls in danger of being broken today.
Second, Republicans will either bring an end to mass migration, or the new millions coming in will bring an end to the presidential aspirations of the Republican Party.