These days, when I get a Google News “ping” on my name, I shudder, because I know it’s not going to be good. Take last week, for example. My name was plastered all over the Jewish press due to a comment made on Reddit by Charles C. Johnson. Johnson is either a conservative investigative journalist web entrepreneur or a fake news white nationalist troll, depending on your point of view. This past January, the ostensibly Trump-connected Johnson conducted an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) on Reddit. During the session, he was asked about the Holocaust and the “Jewish question.” He responded with this:
I do not and never have believed the six million figure which I think is still up for some historical debate. There were a number of sources that disputed the six million figure and I find myself in that camp reluctantly. Of course you can’t really discuss any of this stuff without being called a Holocaust denier which I am not. I think Jews were killed in the war, particularly in the Eastern occupied provinces. I think the Red Cross numbers of 250,000 dead in the camps from typhus are more realistic but I confess to having complicated views on the subject. I think the Allied bombings of Germany were a war crime. I agree with David Cole about Auschwitz and the gas chambers not being real.
The AMA received spotty attention in January. But last week, it was given new life when California Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher brought Johnson to a meeting on Capitol Hill with Sen. Rand Paul to discuss Julian Assange. “Republican Congressman Brought Holocaust Denier to Capitol Meeting,” screamed the Forward. “U.S. Representative Brings Holocaust Denier to Meeting on Capitol Hill,” wailed the ADL. A good dozen other Jewish sites found their own way to reword the same headline, and in every case, the evidence of Johnson’s “denial” was the fact that in his Reddit AMA he had invoked the name of (in the words of the ADL) “well-known Holocaust denier David Cole.”
If I’m a denier, Rep. Rohrabacher is a woman.
As further proof that God can interweave disparate plotlines better than the finest Hollywood screenwriters, the same week that Johnson’s AMA received renewed attention, Anthony “Mooch” Scaramucci thought it would be a dandy old idea to pin a poll to his recently launched “Scaramucci Post” media outlet asking readers to vote on how many Jews died during the Holocaust (Mooch’s judgment in poll questions is every bit as good as his ability to choose original website names). Before you could say “gabagool,” Mooch took the poll down, blaming the entire mess on an underling. But GOP pollster Frank Luntz reposted it on his Twitter page, explaining that there was no reason not to gauge the public’s level of knowledge regarding the Holocaust death toll.
And that “public knowledge level”? Somewhere between “crappy” and “really fucking crappy.” Forty-eight percent of the respondents voted for “less than 1 million” Jewish deaths, compared to only 40 percent for “more than 5 million.” Seven percent went for “between 2–3 million,” and 5 percent chose “between 1–2 million.”
In the space of one week, two Trump-connected guys, for two entirely different reasons, brought attention to the fact that there is a widespread belief, especially among the (*cough*) “based,” that under 1 million Jews died during the Holocaust. This is, of course, pure nonsense. It’s a lie that has been spread by deniers for decades. According to the story, the International Red Cross compiled a complete list of Jewish dead during the Holocaust, and that list totaled between 250,000 and 290,000. This falsehood has become more prevalent on social media than cat memes, and in light of the Johnson and Mooch stories, it deserves a good debunking.
First, a caveat. When I use the term “ignorant,” I’m not using it as an epithet. I don’t mean idiotic, but rather lacking knowledge. We’re all born ignorant of history; the idiots are the ones who hear the truth and still cling to falsehoods. So here’s the truth: The Red Cross has indeed published a postwar estimate of deaths—deaths of registered inmates in non-extermination camps. All of the camps on the Red Cross list were in Germany (I’m referring to Germany as defined by the Nazis’ redrawn wartime borders), with one exception, Majdanek. No one claims that the Nazis’ program of organized mass murder occurred in the West. The extermination camps were located in occupied Poland (officially referred to by the Germans as the Generalgouvernement), and the extermination ghettos (like Minsk) were located in the occupied East (the Ostland). The Red Cross meme is only effective because humans have grown ignorant of World War II; huge swaths of internet users read it without noticing the absence of any camps on or near the Eastern Front. If I were to show the average American a list of National League baseball teams and proclaim it to be the list of every baseball team in the U.S., most would probably notice the absence of American League teams. But show that same person the Red Cross list, and only a tiny percentage would be aware of the absence of camps like Treblinka, Sobibor, Belzec, and Chelmno.
Omit the Yankees from a list of baseball teams, folks will notice. But anti-Jewish nutjobs can get away with spreading falsehoods about the Red Cross concentration-camp figures because the average American has never heard of Treblinka. So an elementary-school-level recap is necessary: Germany fought a two-front war during WWII. Generally speaking, on the Western Front the Axis adhered to (or, perhaps more accurately, gave lip service to) the “civilized rules” of warfare. The Red Cross had some level of access to most of Germany’s Western labor and concentration camps. But in the East, the story was different. Germany never gave the Red Cross access to its Eastern camps and ghettos.
In 1942, Himmler commissioned a census of Jews from his statistician Richard Korherr. Himmler wanted to know how many Jews were dead, and how many remained. In early 1943, Korherr presented his finished report. He counted the Jews who had died due to “natural attrition,” and the ones who had emigrated. Separately, he listed 2.4 million Jews whom he classified as abgang—dispatched, disposed of, departed—via “special treatment” in the Eastern camps of the Generalgouvernement, and in the Ostland, where Korherr specifically listed them as fatalities (todesfällen). Korherr made clear that these Jews were gone from Europe, but not by emigration, and that they were “not in camps or ghettos.” Abgang…todesfällen. Korherr’s figures jibe perfectly with Goebbels’ March 27, 1942, diary entry in which he stated that 60 percent of Polish Jews, being unfit for work, would have to be “liquidated.”
In short, by early 1943, approximately 2.4 million Jews had been dispatched in the East. The deniers don’t dispute Korherr’s figures; they merely argue that rather than having been murdered, those Jews, pacified and under German control by 1942, just kinda magically vanished from under the Nazis’ noses. The deniers never bother to say where those Jews went. They couldn’t have escaped en masse to the Soviet Union, as over 3 million German soldiers on the Eastern Front would have been blocking their way (plus, odds are that if 2.4 million Jews escaped custody and rushed the Front in 1942, some Nazi would have, you know, mentioned it somewhere along the line). The question of what, if not death, happened to those “dispatched” Jews is the “phase II” of the deniers’ Underpants Gnomes profit plan; it’s just a big-ass question mark. But the bottom line is, whether one believes that those 2.4 million Jews were killed, or whether one believes that they were carried away by flying monkeys, everyone agrees that whatever happened to them happened in the Eastern territories, not in the West.
The morning after Donald Trump won the election, breakfast tasted better than it had in years. It was unseasonably warm for November, and I was seated at an outside table at a Brooklyn restaurant as a woman stomped by on the sidewalk in her business shoes, sobbing on the phone about the regime of rape camps and torture rooms and forced clitoridectomies she was certain the Trumpenreich would herald.
“HA HA HA!” I shouted at her. “CRY! CRY! CRY!” When I returned to eating my omelet, it tasted better than ever.
A year later, they’re still crying. And screaming. They haven’t stopped for a second. Through their myriad poo-flingin’ diaper tantrums such as election recounts, begging electors to switch their votes, impeachment threats, the Russia deflection, and now the Nazi Scare, they’ve proved congenitally incapable of realizing this sort of behavior is exactly why they lost in the first place.
And they keep organizing and networking and workshopping and fellowshipping so that they can gather together in public to cry even more, because if crying for 365 days didn’t work, surely the 366th day will finally do the trick.
On November 4, a group called “Refuse Fascism”—which is apparently under the deep delusion that Trump’s presidency is a fascist one, and if that was remotely true they wouldn’t get away for a minute with all the assassination threats and burning effigies and property destruction and smack-talking they’ve been getting away with for every minute since he was elected, but fanatics are immune to facts—is calling all its brain-dead shriek-monsters to “Take To The Streets And Public Squares…in cities and towns across the country continuing day after day and night after night—not stopping—until our DEMAND is met.
Their “DEMAND” is that the Trump Administration be “removed from power,” or they will keep on a-takin’ it to the streets in a very nonspecific way that, when pressed, they insist will be nonviolent unless, of course, they spot some “fascist” somewhere and their inerrant moral compasses urge them to smash that Nazi’s brains into the concrete.
Listen to the hyperbolic American Clown World Concentration Camp these blockheads believe they’ve been trapped inside since Trump was elected:
A Nightmare…Immigrants living in terror—their next step could mean detention, deportation, being torn from children and loved ones….Millions—children, the elderly, disabled, the sick, the poor—denied healthcare, food assistance, the very right to live….Women objectified, degraded, and denied the basic right to control their own reproduction, with fundamentalist Christian fascism increasingly being made law….Black and Latino people openly threatened by the President, with maximum sentencing, stop-and-frisk going national, intensified police brutality and murder of our youth with no holds barred….A regime unleashing the violence of white supremacists, anti-semites, [sic] and fascist thugs.
I gotta admit, that all sounds rather exciting. But it is with deep sorrow that I must inform these fuzzy-brained boobs that not a single member of their Fabulous Furry Freak Coalition is being “denied…the very right to live.” Neither are any immigrants “living in terror” except illegal ones who’d be much more justified in feeling terrified of deportation in any other country in the world besides the United States, which currently exists with almost no border protection. Let any one of these squirming worms go down to Mexico, start exploiting the public welfare system, brag of being undocumented, pour into the streets calling the host culture “racist,” and expect not to be shot dead within five minutes. And I’d challenge any one of them to present a single instance where Trump “openly threatened” blacks or the so-called “Latinos,” most of whom don’t even speak Latin. Trump has always said he loves “the blacks,” but in the hardness of their hearts, the blacks refuse to accept his love.
The “nightmare,” you mental cases, is all inside your heads. And if there is any violence on November 4, I am certain that the mainstream media will not blame it on you, despite the fact that your side has been the instigator in nearly all American political violence in memory, including Charlottesville. You operate from atop an extraordinarily flimsy scaffolding, knowing that all you need to do is claim that you’re “fighting back” against “Nazis” who secretly want to kill you even though they’ve never said any such thing and didn’t throw the first punch, and the media will run cover for you no matter how many skulls you crack.
Four days later, on November 8, what Camille Paglia has called this “nationwide orgy of rage and spite” gets even sillier. In a handful of cities, people who remain perpetually upset at the thought that a Fascist Orange Monster is crushing them under his Cheeto-colored toes will gather together to “scream helplessly at the sky.”
The Week’s Curviest, Perviest, and Scurviest Headlines
LEFTIST JOURNALISTS AND THE WOMEN THEY CLAIM TO GROPE
It is one of life’s sublime pleasures to see a self-described truth-digging “journalist” get hoisted on his own petard. It’s even more pleasurable when there are two such “journalists.”
Enter Mark Ames and Matt Taibbi, two champagne socialists who were both born with silver rectal thermometers. Taibbi is the son of NBC reporter Mike Taibbi, which is likely the only reason Matt got a media gig in the first place. Ames, despite his claims to have lived in “poverty,” was reared in the sheltered enclaves of Saratoga, CA, one of those “six-figure zip codes” that so chafes the thighs of wealth-inequality grievance-mongers from coast to coast.
In the 1990s, these two would-be working-class heroes were miraculously able to scrape up the means to move to Russia and start their own English-language newspaper, which they called the eXile. The paper featured headlines such as “WE’LL FUCK YOUR KIDS.”
One article described how the staff’s female workers were being forced into giving Ames and Taibbi oral sex in exchange for employment:
We have been pretty rough on our girls. We’d ask our Russian staff to flash their asses or breasts for us. We’d tell them that if they wanted to keep their jobs, they’d have to perform unprotected anal sex with us. Nearly every day, we asked our female staff if they approved of anal sex.
Another passage—written under Ames’s byline rather than a pseudonym while he was in his early 30s—describes his excitement when learning a peasant girl he was about to despoil was fifteen rather than sixteen:
When I went back into the TV room, Andy pulled me aside with a worried grin on his face. ‘Dude do you realize…do you know how old that Natasha is?’ he said. “‘Sixteen?’ “‘No! No, she’s fif-teen. Fif-teen.’ Right then my pervometer needle hit the red. I had to have her, even if she was homely.
When taken to task for such passages by the Chicago Reader in 2005, Taibbi blamed it on his “conspicuous moral deficiencies.”
But now, after being questioned about such lurid passages during a speaking engagement at Harvard Bookstore, Taibbi is claiming it was all “fictional and not true…not a biographical reality…a giant satire.” That claim might have some credence except for the fact that at the beginning of the eXile anthology book is this passage:
This is a work of nonfiction. While all of the characters depicted in this book are real, certain names and identifying details have been changed.
For his part, Mark Ames—who has a speech impediment and effeminate manner that combine to make him sound like a Valley Girl with a lisp—is claiming he’s the victim of “smears” by bad people, including one former and one current writer for Taki’s Mag. Mind you, this is someone whose entire career as a “journalist” consists of nothing beyond smears, innuendo, ad hominem, appeal to motive, and guilt by association. Unfortunately for Ames, his own ex-coworker on the eXile, Owen Matthews, chided Ames in a 2000 article for The Moscow Times for not having the “balls” to admit he hid behind a pseudonym while describing his actual rape of a girl he found in a club. Neither Matthews nor The Moscow Times was ever sued for this bold allegation, which was made years before anyone on the Taki’s Mag staff was even aware that Mark Ames or Matt Taibbi existed.
While Ames wallows in obscurity, Matt Taibbi is back as a staff writer for Rolling Stone, which permanently discredited itself after its disastrous “A Rape on Campus” story turned out to be entirely fraudulent. Taibbi returned to Rolling Stone after leaving Glenn Greenwald’s The Intercept in the wake of a female staffer accused Taibbi of being “verbally abusive and unprofessionally hostile.”
Whereas Rolling Stone was nearly buried for publishing a story about a rape that didn’t happen, now it has to contend with its staff writer denying sexually abusive behavior that he documented in a book which claimed to be “nonfiction.”
We, but of course, would hate to see Taibbi and Ames strangled to death with a noose made of their own words.
DANCING WITH CORPSES IN MADAGASCAR
Since all cultures are equal, you should be neither shocked nor disgusted to discover that in Madagascar, there’s an annual ritual where celebrants dig up their dead relatives’ corpses and dance with them. Now comes news that health officials are warning locals that by doing so, they may be subjecting themselves to pneumonic plague, which has killed 124 Malagasies since August. Many locals suspect a government plot to subvert their culture and refuse to heed such warnings. According to one woman, she’s danced with dead relatives’ cadavers on fifteen separate occasions and has yet do die.
But you know how the saying goes—sixteenth time’s the charm.
TEACHER’S AIDE ACCUSED OF PURPOSELY INFECTING STUDENTS WITH H.I.V.
Maryland officials have arrested a thirty-year-old middle-school teacher and track coach on 206 counts of sex abuse of children aged 11 to 17. Among these counts are five charges of purposely attempting to infect the children with HIV. In other words, a teacher’s aide is charged with attempting to give kids AIDS.
Carlos Deangelo Bell faces a life sentence. If he had a lick of sense, he would have been working in California, which recently downgraded the act of purposely infecting someone with HIV from a felony to a misdemeanor.
I hate to say this, but the quality of life in the Bagel has crashed in a Harvey Weinstein-like downfall. The city has always had a sort of roller-coaster feel, its ups and downs following Wall Street and budget cuts, but the present state is by far the worst I’ve ever experienced. When I first came to New York it was the true center of the world. It was following the war, Europe was in ruins, and what glamour existed worldwide resided in the city. People dressed to the nines, women wore hats and gloves, and manners were far more important than money. One’s eye didn’t know where to settle: Rockefeller Center and the chic crowds who skated on its ice rink, the beautiful women shopping on Fifth Avenue, the black-tied swells emerging from the Stork Club and El Morocco, the preppies and Joe Colleges under the clock at the Biltmore. Palimpsests of the old place survive and revive memories of youth. A lonely steel diner here and there, an old cigar shop in Brooklyn still advertising five-cent smokes, tenement neighborhoods still crowded with pushcarts now selling halal food. Chinatown still stinks of garlic and the Diamond District is still crowded with Hasidic Jews plying their trade, but Tin Pan Alley is gone, as is the music. Now and then a street corner evokes memories of past loves, but the city that was gritty and glamorous is no more.
On the Upper East Side, where I live in a 1920s building, things are as bad as they are downtown or over on the West Side. It’s the people, stupid, not the place. Never have I seen a less glamorous or worse-looking bunch, at least not since I was in Tirana back in the early ’70s. Women and men are short, squat, and rather brown. Women wear leggings and trainers, and men sport ghastly docker shorts, tight sleeveless T-shirts that accentuate their obesity, and fat calves that bulge and descend into very large trainers. It is a horror show like no other.
Fifth Avenue is now a no-man’s-land because of the gawking tourists. Further west, the sleazy shops that sold cheap sex magazines and videos and made Times Square naughty and unique have been replaced by giant Apple Stores and megashops that sell paraphernalia with professional team insignias on it. Peep shows and cheap movie houses are gone, as are fast-food joints like Horn & Hardart. Ads are everywhere, deafening and blinding in intensity where once upon a time the Camel man would exhale a ring of smoke under the logo “I’d walk a mile for a Camel.” Cabs are cramped and impossible to see out from, and cabbies don’t speak English. But Urdu will do, or pidgin French. The place is hell.
Glamour aside, what I mostly miss are the chic restaurants and nightclubs. The latter no longer exist, the former are packed with badly dressed people whose manners are even worse. New Yorkers have always been loud, but they used to be loud in a sweet, drunken Irish way. Now the street is loud in an aggressive, menacing way. The jungle has come to the city. Bookstores are no longer to be found—except a few places I’ve marked down—all replaced by shops selling lingerie, or whatever women are never seen wearing nowadays.
Once upon a time the city was a place where people who wanted out from small towns or suburbs moved to. There were bookstores galore, sidewalk cafés, interesting people to meet, even jazz bands playing down in the Village. One could go and tango, for God’s sake, right in the middle of Times Square, and after meeting at the Biltmore with some Southern belles, I’d always go up to Harlem where after-hours clubs existed and treated us with special care. (That’s where I smoked my first joint, when the penalty was probably ten years in the pokey.)
Now all this is gone. Finished. Curtains. Minorities are the majority in the Big Bagel and everything is done in their name. City payouts on lawsuits and claims have topped $1 billion a year. People have collected on their civil rights violations, medical malpractices, police wrongdoing, city-vehicle collisions, defective roadways and defective sidewalks, water-main breaks, and, of course, being sent to jail. As I recently wrote about gigolos, we’re in the wrong business. All one has to do is stop speaking English, fall down on the sidewalk, and claim 5 million for their troubles. (That’s what the daughter of African-American civil rights leader Al Sharpton did, despite the fact that she was photographed hiking in the Himalayas the following week.)
And speaking of jail, Bartle Bull III, as he’s know over here, has made a great documentary about the Golden Gloves tournament, which amateur boxers compete in each year, that’s called Cradle of Champions. It involves more than 500 mostly black and Hispanic youngsters who are coached by great ex-Marines or firefighters, who teach them never to say the N- or F-word. Ironically, almost none of the tough kids ever land in jail or get into drugs. They live clean productive lives, and it’s boxing that makes them do it. More ironic is the fact that the city is closing down the gyms where these youngsters train. I think it’s time for me to return to London. If Brexit takes place, I’m back in a jiffy.
The Irish Post Office has issued a stamp to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Ernesto Guevara. This is, presumably, because he was both very famous and had some distant Irish ancestry. It is, however, a rather sinister philosophy that the worth of a man’s work or ideas, or his influence on the world, is much affected, either for the better or the worse, by his distant ancestry.
Guevara’s reputation is, of course, the triumph of marketing over truth and reality. There is probably no resort of mass tourism in the world where Guevara kitsch is not on sale and, one must presume, bought; and in an odd way this is only appropriate, for mass tourism makes lemmings seem like unreconstructed individualists, and Guevara was nothing if not an ardent promoter of mass conformity and unthinking obedience. Like many an adolescent psychopath, as he remained all his life, he dreamed of making mankind anew—not in his own image, exactly, for he thought of himself as a leader rather than a follower, but according to his own far-from-profound ideas of what mankind should be. The triumph of marketing is to have made this apostle of the most complete servitude into an apostle of the most complete freedom.
The triumph of marketing over truth and reality is nothing new, however. To expect people who are trying to sell you something also to tell you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth is to expect what never did happen and what never will happen. The buyer will always have to beware, no matter what legal protections are put in place for the unwary; the necessity is inscribed, as it were, in human nature itself.
A few years ago, I did some research on three early Victorian murders that caused me to read several provincial newspapers of the time. I discovered incidentally to my research that the owners or editors of about half of the British provincial newspapers also sold patent medicines; and this made perfect sense, for by far the greatest advertisers in provincial newspapers were the manufacturers of patent medicines. The owners or editors of the newspapers sold advertisements to the producers of patent medicines, then they sold the newspapers in which the advertisements appeared, and finally they sold the products themselves to the readers. It was an excellent example of rational commercial synergy. (About half of the medicines, by the way, were either to cure or to prevent syphilis—a disease, then, that was a great support to the press of the time.)
Now, the principal quality or characteristic of the sellers of patent medicine has always been effrontery, that is to say the blatant insinuation of the false. Thomas Holloway’s innovation was to insinuate such falsehood on a mass or industrial scale. There was hardly a newspaper in which he did not place a weekly advertisement; moreover, he pioneered the advertisement that masquerades as news story. He would ensure that reports of miracle cures in faraway places, supposedly wrought by his pills and ointment, and written as matter-of-factly as possible, were placed in every newspaper, reports whose veracity no one could possibly check for himself, of course.
As Napoleon once said, repetition is the only rhetorical technique that really works—besides which hope and fear render people susceptible to effrontery. In Thomas Holloway’s time, the fear of illness was often, and the hope of cure rarely, justified; at least Holloway’s preparations were unlikely to do much harm (they contained aloe, myrrh, and saffron), unlike the prescriptions of the orthodox doctors of the time. They allowed for the possibility of natural recovery, whereas orthodox medicine often hurried its consumers into their graves. Nevertheless, the claims Holloway made for his ointment and pills were preposterous, and something is not curative just because it fails to kill.
Holloway made an immense fortune by his effrontery and founded a women’s college in the University of London on the proceeds.
Since his day (he lived from 1800 to 1883, dying in the same year as Karl Marx), effrontery has made great strides as a key to success in life, and indeed quite ordinary people now employ it routinely. There are consultants in effrontery training who not only commit it themselves but teach others how to commit it, and charge large sums for doing so. There was a time when self-praise was regarded as no praise, rather the reverse; but now it is a prerequisite for advancement.
A nation is like a dysfunctional family. The confident elder son is his father’s favorite, fiercely resented by his insecure younger brother. Rivals in beauty and for male attention, the teenage sisters, though both stunners, have many vicious quarrels. The weary mother tries to endure her exacting mother-in-law, who never believed she was good enough for the woman’s son. The drink-loving uncle stays sober on holiday get-togethers, lest he should wind up drunk and get into it with everyone, especially with his cocky cousin, whose athletic glory, though thirty years past, he has never forgiven.
The dysfunctional family, we see, struggles to get along. The members require endless tact, forbearance, and forgiveness. What now makes the endeavor almost impossible is the media, whose motto is: “Let us encourage them to hate each other, the whites and the minorities, because it will make for a good show, and so be very profitable. Plus, we can affect a moral superiority all the while, and in our hearts congratulate ourselves for the division we have sown, for which we shall blame the victims themselves.”
So it happened a few years back that the media falsely depicted George Zimmerman as a white man, knowing that such a shameless appeal to cheap resentment would be sure to bring in the dollars. So too, whenever a police officer, of whatever race, kills a black man, the media never demonstrates any understanding of the extraordinary difficulties and inherently irrational challenges police face while trying to enforce law and order in singularly violent black America. There is so little effort to understand context because, like old ladies on their porches, the media is concerned to work up “a story.” So there is every effort to make blacks seem like innocent victims no matter what they have done. The point is to make it seem as if slavery never ended: The white master still exists; just look at his badge and gun.
Of course, immoral police do exist, and awful mistakes happen. Yet, of all the violent crimes that are committed, these persons and events make up a much smaller percentage than the media, with its appalling irresponsibility, would have us believe. Moreover, per national statistics, a police officer has a far greater chance of being killed by a black man than vice versa. Here, of course, one meets with the paranoid and delusional character of the leftist mind. “The statistics are doctored,” the leftist will say, also thinking implicit bias is the reason blacks are not keeping up with the rest of the races when it comes to success. There is no rational response to such a person. He is acting on faith, and therefore impregnable.
The media’s hypocrisy is galling. If the media really cared about black Americans, it would show some guts concerning that terrible social evil, black-on-black crime. It would provide the necessary admonishment: “When will you black men stop? Enough!” Instead, we get trite canters like President Obama, Michael Eric Dyson, and Ta-Nehisi Coates, who think poverty, lack of employment, and “the legacy of slavery” explain away crime and immoral conduct generally. Somehow nobody in the media and none of its beloved “public intellectuals” ever asks how it has happened that generations of poor Jews, Asians, Africans, and West Indians have not found that being “underprivileged” entails the elimination of individual agency. If the media really cared about black Americans, it would feature more figures like Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams, admirably honest and notably accomplished men who urge the black community to stop all the easy victimhood and take control of their lives.
Like sinners who never leave confession, the self-loathing media wants us all to despise America, and white people most of all. Income inequality, gender inequality, social justice, the school-to-prison pipeline, rape culture, the patriarchy—journalists and reporters, most of them badly educated and incapable of independent thought, throw around such clichés like kindergartners playing dodgeball at recess, and the game is rigged since white people are always hit. The media’s voguish bias against white people derives from what Harold Bloom has called the School of Resentment, a wretched collection of women, minorities, homosexuals, the sexually confused, the disabled—in short, anybody who feels that life has done him wrong: the more “inclusive” and “diverse” the party of complaint, the better. Highly influential on the media, the School of Resentment’s remedy for “injustice” is the hypocritical implication that white people—who, like everyone, are inheritors of contingencies with which they themselves had nothing to do—must be punished for being white. Justifying this desire to punish—a product of envy—is the actual purpose of “diversity,” which says, in effect: “White people bad; everybody else good.”
So it happens that every white patriot is interpreted to be a white nationalist, where “nationalist” is synonymous with “supremacist.” So all white history, be it Civil War monuments or the teaching of English literature, must be reformed, cleansed of the sin of whiteness. Clearly the actual racists here are the resenters themselves. And far from wanting people to be free, they intend to make us all permanent slaves to the past, which we can never move beyond, since they find that “correcting” the past is a kind of religious ritual; and all because they are too weak for self-reliance, too weak to forge a life worth living here and now. Stunted types as opposed to fully formed individuals, the diversity fundamentalists prefer playing petty word games to the hard work of becoming something better than what they are. So they invent trendy concepts such as “underprivileged,” an insidious, Orwellian term that falsely implies that privilege is a natural, common condition, like having arms and legs. This too is driven by sheer envy, and it is a symptom of modernity’s ongoing deprivation of human value, which produces a discontentment that must somehow be discharged. The Old Left, in a sense, was not all that far from the Old Right or true conservatism, since its primary value was moral, a decent life for all citizens. The New Left is a flight from life itself, whose harsh, tragic character cannot be accepted. The solution is to revise history and create a kind of perverse Christianity, rights and entitlements on the one hand, idols like diversity, implicit bias, and microaggressions on the other. Envy and the burning desire to punish drive it all.
Being an apocalyptic psychologist, I had long expected that some actual white supremacists—truly dangerous white nationalists, unlike the many white patriots who are falsely presented as such—would emerge in response to all this unwitting racism against white people. So it happened on Oct. 19 that three men—Colton Fears, 28, and William Fears, 30, both of Pasadena, Tex., and Tyler Tenbrink, 28, of Richmond, Tex.—were charged with attempted homicide after one of them shot into a crowd of protesters at Richard Spencer’s speech at the University of Florida. Such evil, to be sure, is playing right into the hands of Antifa, who have nationwide protests planned for Nov. 4, about a year after Donald Trump won the presidency. The point, says organizer Eva Sahana, is to “drive out the Trump and Pence fascist regime.”
Of course, there is no recognition that the “fascist regime” was elected by democratic process, because being fundamentally delusional, the leftist must assert that the Russians were involved, or that everyone who voted for President Trump is racist, sexist, or whatever (Martian interference, being disprovable, would also suffice). And why shouldn’t the leftist do so? After all, behind the guise of righteousness is the will to hate. Nor does anything realize a purpose like hatred: Nothing binds people together or compels them to act as effectively as hatred, which is powerfully sustained by pride.
ORLANDO, Fla.—One of the funniest writers in the sports department where I started my career—a quick-witted guy who should have known better—got promoted to editorial writer. This meant he was responsible for the daily Wisdom Decrees passed down by whoever dwells in those mahogany-lined offices with the big windows that always seem to contain photographs of presidents and home-run hitters.
He lasted three months.
“You can’t pay me enough to have an opinion every day,” he told me when he returned to the safe haven of minor-league baseball and publinks golf tournaments.
I feel the same way, and I don’t even work for an editorial page.
Quick digression: Do editorial pages even matter anymore? By the time I get to the editorial page of the The New York Times, which is usually located on the third-to-last page of the “A” section, I pretty much know what the Sanhedrin on Eighth Avenue has determined to be their duty as the cultural and political custodians of the nation’s conscience. It’s not like they ever break ranks and say, “We respectfully disagree with the seventeen analyses of the health care bill that you’ve already read on pages 1 through 29.” The crusty old managing editors in the news department who once barked, “Save your goddamned opinions for the barroom” have apparently all gone to that great Rewrite Desk in the Sky, and the executives in their place say, “Give me some attitude! Barf it all over the lede if necessary!”
Meanwhile, we’re all expected to vote one way or the other or salute somebody’s battle flag. Every time they write one of those articles that starts out “Never before has our country been so divided…” you know it’s coming.
Which side are you on?
We demand to know.
They never give you a “None of the Above” option.
For example, gay marriage. I never wrote that much about gay marriage while the battle was raging because I didn’t much care about how it ended up. Marriage is a church idea that was appropriated by the state, and I’m not too comfortable with the county registrar being involved with it in the first place. I thought the only goal of whatever legislation we had was just to make sure gay people don’t get dicked around. So we could have done what they do in Europe: go down to City Hall and register so we’ll know who your kids belong to, and then continue on over to the cathedral or just skip it. Your choice. The state will never know whether you got married in a church or not—the state won’t care. But when several states instituted a registration system for gays—you can register as a couple and get your health insurance and tax deductions and all the other stuff—the gay rights movement said no, not good enough, we want the church word “marriage.” So, since gays obviously wanted to join up with the weirdest state institution we have, one that has never worked, one that has such an astronomical failure rate that it clogs up the courts and wastes billions of dollars a year, I washed my hands of the whole thing. The only really good thing about legalizing gay marriage is that, when they make The Hangover Part IV, Stu and Doug can wake up from the bachelor party married to each other.
Another issue I don’t care much about—please don’t start lighting torches—is abortion. The metaphysical question of “When does life begin?” was not solved by Dr. Frankenstein and it was not solved by the classic Monty Python production number “Every Sperm Is Sacred.” So when somebody says, “I know when life begins,” I think, “Really? Marvel should make a comic book about you called Fertility Man because you obviously have superpowers.” What’s truly remarkable about that 1973 court case is that the Supreme Court looked at all the evidence and decided that life starts at around 22 to 26 weeks—they didn’t claim to know this for sure, they just said that was the best they could do and they might revisit it later—and that number has pretty much held after all this time. We haven’t had any first-trimester miracle babies, and most of the debate on both sides doesn’t go into the science at all, it’s just anecdotal stories about what a woman feels like when she’s pregnant. So when somebody says, “I feel life inside me” at the two-week mark, that’s fine, go ahead and have the baby, but we know from Lifetime Movies of the Week that there are also women who feel “There’s a mutant alien space creature inside my body!” and want to abort. Making them watch a sonogram before they abort is like torturing them with the image of the mutant space alien for the rest of their lives.
At any rate, my position on abortion is that we should bring it back to the Supreme Court but only women can vote. We have three of them now, so you can’t make the argument that it’s old clueless men trampling all over women’s issues. Let Justices Sotomayor, Kagan, and Ginsburg examine the law books, the science, and the secret messages emanating from their collective endometria and settle it once and for all.
Which trait most accounts for the spectacular career of Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic’s race blogger–turned–intellectual superstar?
Coates, widely assumed to be America’s foremost public thinker, has published yet another best-seller: We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy. In his new $28 book, Coates reprints his old magazine articles that The Atlantic had given away for free, sandwiched between what he enticingly labels “extended blog posts” about what kind of mood he was in when he wrote each article.
A couple of years ago, Coates was awarded a MacArthur Foundation genius grant of $625,000 for his best-selling micro-memoir Between the World and Me, in which he recounted not just one but two anecdotes about people he knew who were the victims of white racist oppression.
In one, a black guy whom Coates had vaguely known in college was gunned down by a policeman.
Eventually, Coates admits the shooter cop was black too, which you might think wrecks the moral of his tale. But that’s not the point; the point is that, no matter what blacks inflict upon one another, white people are to blame.
And that’s not all Coates could remember from his first forty years of life. His memoir also included the celebrated story of how Coates let his little boy dawdle upon an escalator and then a white woman about to crash into the lad said, “Come on,” which is racist.
These two thrilling yarns have rocketed Coates to near the top of the college speaker circuit, where he makes up to $1,000 per minute on the nights when he can’t think of enough to say about White Supremacy to fulfill his contractual minimum speech length of 75 minutes.
What exactly is the secret of Ta-Nehisi’s success? Why has he vaulted over more talented black intellectuals such as John McWhorter and Thomas Chatterton Williams (who have both been unloading on Coates lately)?
It’s definitely not his erudition. McWhorter scoffed recently:
The elevation of that dorm-lounge performance art as serious thought is a kind of soft bigotry, which is as nauseating as it is unintended.
But whereas his forebears carried whiteness like an ancestral talisman, Trump cracked the glowing amulet open, releasing its eldritch energies.
Coates grew up physically scared of other blacks, which is one reason he has so few interesting stories from his 42 years of life: He didn’t go out much.
So what has made this rather pathetic person so immensely popular with whites?
The secret behind Coates’ appeal to white liberals is that he’s not very smart. He’s not likely to bring up awkward facts that don’t fit The Narrative. Why not? Because he can’t remember them.
Coates’ lifelong worries about his lack of mental retentiveness are a recurrent theme in We Were Eight Years in Power:
…the classroom had always been the site of my most indelible failures and losses…. I wondered then if something was wrong with me, if there was some sort of brain damage…. And like almost every other lesson administered to me in a classroom, I don’t remember a single thing said that day.
Coates sums up:
I’d felt like a failure all of my life—stumbling out of middle school, kicked out of high school, dropping out of college.
His failure to graduate from Howard U. ate away at him for most of the next decade:
…my chief identity, to my mind, was not writer but college dropout…
Fortunately, a loyal girlfriend supported him into his 30s as he failed in various ill-paid journalism jobs:
Kenyatta and I had been together for nine years, and during that time I had never been able to consistently contribute a significant income.
Kenyatta believed in him as a writer, despite his deficiencies of style and substance:
And so I derived great meaning from the work of writing. But I could not pay the rent with “great meaning.” I could not buy groceries with “great meaning.” With “great meaning” I overdrew accounts. With “great meaning” I burned through credits cards and summoned the IRS.
Coates has a hard time remembering much besides his feelings. For example, the last three words of his account of a seventh-grade trip to Gettysburg reveal a repeated theme in Coates’ rise to best-selling memoirist:
Given this near-totemic reverence for black history, my trip to Gettysburg…should cut like a lighthouse beam across the sea of memory. But when I look back on those years…all is fog.
This is not to say that Coates’ memory is worse than average, just that as a professional memoirist he’s not exactly Vladimir Nabokov penning Speak, Memory. Moreover, Coates doesn’t remember much of what has been in the news in recent decades, which is a little odd for a journalist.
“The Kurds have no friends but the mountains,” is an old lament. Last week, it must have been very much on Kurdish minds.
As their U.S. allies watched, the Kurdish peshmerga fighters were run out of Kirkuk and all the territory they had captured fighting ISIS alongside the Americans. The Iraqi army that ran them out was trained and armed by the United States.
The U.S. had warned the Kurds against holding the referendum on independence on Sept. 25, which carried with 92 percent. Iran and Turkey had warned against an independent Kurdistan that could be a magnet for Kurdish minorities in their own countries.
But the Iraqi Kurds went ahead. Now they have lost Kirkuk and its oil, and their dream of independence is all but dead.
More troubling for America is the new reality revealed by the rout of the peshmerga. Iraq, which George W. Bush and the neocons were going to fashion into a pro-Western democracy and American ally, appears to be as close to Iran as it is to the United States.
After 4,500 U.S. dead, scores of thousands wounded and a trillion dollars sunk, our 15-year war in Iraq could end with a Shiite-dominated Baghdad aligned with Tehran.
With that grim prospect in mind, Secretary Rex Tillerson said Sunday, “Iranian militias that are in Iraq, now that the fight against … ISIS is coming to a close … need to go home. Any foreign fighters in Iraq need to go home.”
Tillerson meant Iran’s Quds Force in Iraq should go home, and the Shiite militia in Iraq should be conscripted into the army.
But what if the Baghdad regime of Haider al-Abadi does not agree? What if the Quds Force does not go home to Iran and the Shiite militias that helped retake Kirkuk refuse to enlist in the Iraqi army?
Who then enforces Tillerson’s demands?
Consider what is happening in Syria.
The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, largely Kurdish, just annihilated ISIS in Raqqa and drove 60 miles to seize Syria’s largest oil field, al-Omar, from ISIS. The race is now on between the SDF and Bashar Assad’s army to secure the border with Iraq.
Bottom line: The U.S. goal of crushing the ISIS caliphate is almost attained. But if our victory in the war against ISIS leaves Iran in the catbird seat in Baghdad and Damascus, and its corridor from Tehran to Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut secure, is that really a victory?
Do we accept that outcome, pack up and go home? Or do we leave our forces in Syria and Iraq and defy any demand from Assad to vacate his country?
Sunday’s editorial in The Washington Post, “The Next Mideast Wars,” raises the crucial questions now before us.
Would President Trump be willing to fight a new war to keep Iran from consolidating its position in Iraq and Syria? Would the American people support such a war with U.S. troops?
Would Congress, apparently clueless to the presence of 800 U.S. troops in Niger, authorize a new U.S. war in Syria or Iraq?
If Trump and his generals felt our vital interests could not allow Syria and Iraq to drift into the orbit of Iran, where would we find allies for such a fight?
If we rely on the Kurds in Syria, we lose NATO ally Turkey, which regards Syria’s Kurds as collaborators of the PKK in Turkey, which even the U.S. designates a terrorist organization.
The decision as to whether this country should engage in new post-ISIS wars in the Mideast, however, may be taken out of our hands.
Saturday, Israel launched new air strikes against gun positions in Syria in retaliation for shells fired into the Golan Heights.
Remember when Halloween used to be fun? Before the left got its unwashed, THC-stained hands on it? Before finger-wagging SJW scolds began their NKVD-style war against costumes that might be seen as offensive to non-straight non-white non-males? Every year now, we get the same lecture: “No offensive costumes or else!” It’s gotten so tiring, I’ve developed Halloween fatigue. So, as I haven’t had a vacation in over two years, I’ve decided to take the week off and merely cut-and-paste the comments on the Facebook page of the superstore that always attracts the most costume-related complaints, Walmart. The sentences in bold are Walmart’s replies. I’ll be back next week. Happy Halloween!
Dear Walmart, I would like to complain in the strongest possible terms about your “vampire” costume. Vampires are MEN who forcibly and without consent PENETRATE their female victims. By selling this MISOGYNISTIC costume you are endorsing RAPE. I hereby demand that Walmart begin selling the feminist alternative to the vampire costume: Count Woke-ula, a soft-spoken undead beta male whose primary desire is not blood, but rather more women in STEM. The only thing Count Woke-ula puts the bite on is the patriarchy!
We applaud your suggestion. We have stocked our shelves with Count Woke-ula costumes.
Attention, Walmart: I am a fifth-wave fourth-dimensional intersectional feminist, and I find it appalling that you have a character named Count Woke-ula in your Halloween section. What’s “scary” about a man who LISTENS and KNOWS HIS PLACE? Relegating Count Woke-ula to the Halloween section implies that he is to be feared, rather than emulated. YOU MUST CEASE IMMEDIATELY the marginalization of Count Woke-ula!
We apologize; all Count Woke-ula costumes have been moved to menswear.
Hey, Walmart, I guess you don’t care about your black customers. I was shoppin’ there yesterday and I saw your skull masks, and they were all WHITE. Why the skulls gotta be white? I guess Walmart thinks black folks got no skulls. So you sayin’ we dumb? Hey, KKK, we got skulls. Get some BLACK skull masks NOW, or I promise you’re gonna get a visit from 500 furious niggas protestin’ outside your stores.
Unfortunately, our supplier doesn’t sell black skulls, so we have pulled the white ones from the shelves. We will continue to carry Captain America Red Skull masks.
As a Native American, I am incensed over your Captain America Red Skull masks. My people are not “redskins” or “redskulls.” What message are you sending our children by presenting a “red person” as the enemy of an American superhero? There is nothing heroic about GENOCIDE. Remove those masks AT ONCE.
Thank you for your comment. Captain America Red Skull masks will no longer be carried by Walmart.
While in your store today, I was SICKENED to see a shelf full of “wolfman” masks. Your SEXIST assumption that all wolf monsters are MALE is DISGUSTING. Why can’t a wolf creature be female? This is the year 2017, and such MALE-CENTERED DISCRIMINATION must not be tolerated. How can I teach my daughter that she is EQUAL to any man when WALMART is telling her that only men can be wolf monsters?
We have immediately added a line of “wolfwoman” masks to our inventory.
While visiting your store today, I was NAUSEATED to see “wolfman” and “wolfwoman” masks for sale. Your CIS-NORMATIVE assumption that all wolf monsters are gender-binary is REVOLTING. Why can’t a wolf creature be trans? We are in the year 2017, and such DESPICABLE CIS-CENTERED DISCRIMINATION must not be tolerated. How can I teach my transitioning human child that ze is equal to any cisgendered being when WALMART is telling zir that only those who conform to their assigned genders can be wolf monsters?
We hear your concern. We have added a line of non-cis wolf creatures to our stock.
As someone who is fighting a courageous battle against hypertrichosis, a condition that causes hair to totally cover my body and face, I DEMAND that you remove your so-called “wolfman,” “wolfwoman,” and “wolfnonbinary” masks AT ONCE. My disease is NOT your costume.
We apologize for any offense, and we’ve removed all wolf-themed masks from our stores.
I was in your store today lookin’ for a costume and what do I see? A “Jason hockey mask.” Hockey is the WHITEST sport in America. It’s a violent sport in which white people beat up a BLACK puck in front of a crowd of WHITE MILLIONAIRES. You better get rid of this racist WHITE PRIVILEGE costume or you’re gonna get a visit from 500 furious niggas protestin’ outside your stores.
Thank you for bringing this to our attention; we have removed all Jason hockey masks from the shelves.
My name is Chris Sims. Yes, that Chris Sims, the ace scribe for Cracked.com who got taco costumes banned from your stores after I wrote about how wearing them makes you “hella racist.” I know, I know, I’m one of the greatest heroes of my generation, so you might be a little intimidated that I’m posting here, but rest assured, as special as I am, I still put my pants on one leg at a time like a normal person. Wait, that’s ableist…my handicapable friends might object. Let’s just say that I put my pants on one leg at a time like any privileged limbnormative binaryped.
Although Halloween is a time to solemnly reflect on diversity and social justice, we here at Cracked do allow that it’s okay to have a small chuckle via the donning of a costume, as long as it’s done respectfully toward all people except straight white males. If you would like to stock a food-related costume, I suggest “Pasta Fazool the Spaghetti Monster.” It’s whimsical, gender-nonspecific, and hella halal.
We have stocked our shelves with 100 “Pasta Fazool the Spaghetti Monster” costumes.
Dear Walmart: Your “Pasta Fazool the Spaghetti Monster” costume is nothing more than sheer, bald-faced cultural appropriation. It is well-known that China was the original inventor of pasta, a food that was appropriated by oppressive colonialist Italians. To slap an Italian identity on the beloved dish of my ancestors is an insult that flies in the face of all decency.
We have removed from our shelves 100 “Pasta Fazool the Spaghetti Monster” costumes.
Chris Sims again. I hella goofed. Dang…I have NO idea why I missed the spaghetti/China connection, especially with my degree in Advanced Culinary Appropriation Studies from Yale. Appropriating Asian culture is absolutely the WORST thing anyone can do, according to my boss at Cracked, David Wong (a.k.a. Jason Pargin the white guy). As a replacement, I suggest the “Frankie the Frankfurter” costume. This costume allows us not only a lighthearted chuckle, but it also lets us poke fun at the privileged, fascistic WHITE MALES who greedily devour hot dogs at baseball “games” oblivious to the police shooting deaths of INNOCENT AFRICAN-AMERICANS in the streets.
Our stores are now fully stocked with “Frankie the Frankfurter” costumes.