August 25, 2011

Laura Ingraham

Laura Ingraham

Ah, reality! That mysterious, untouchable world of mass and energy, of gravity and fire, of genes and synapses. It lurks out of sight beyond our reach, knowable to us only by the occasional fragments that impinge on our senses—fragments that are then, after much error-introducing data compression and many detours around feedback loops of hope, fear, desire, and hate, presented at last to our higher faculties.

She’s a bitch, Miss Reality. She has things she wants to tell you, but many of them are things you’d rather not know. So while she natters on about solitude and pain, failure and humiliation, biology and physics, old age and death, you turn away from her, bury one ear in the bed, pull the quilt up over the other ear, and feign sleep. You almost make it, too. Then, just as you find you can mentally reduce her damn repetitive drone to mere noise, with the words having no significance—suddenly, she whacks you backside the head with a loaded pool cue!

But enough with personification. Let’s talk about a real woman: Laura Ingraham. She’s not just a woman, either, but a lady. I speak from knowledge here, from a personal encounter a couple of years ago. The details don’t matter and aren’t interesting, but I came away from that encounter deeply and honestly impressed, thinking: “What a classy lady!”

So you can log me as strongly pro-Ingraham. Oh, we’ve had our trifling differences, but trifling is how they seem when you’ve had memorably indisputable evidence of a person’s genuinely high quality. I don’t merely like Laura Ingraham: I admire her.

Laura Ingraham is, however, a middle-class white American raised in the last quarter of the 20th century. She is also a law-school graduate and so was immersed for four years in the perfumed warm soak-bath of political correctness that is the modern American law school. She seems to have survived the experience better than most, but given that current US jurisprudence is well-nigh all “ought” and no “is,” her sense of reality—as much of it as she’d been able to hold onto through a standard high-school and college experience—is bound to have suffered some permanent impairment.

“A strenuously self-conscious effort to show the world that you do not suffer from a certain neurosis will always end by making it clearer than ever that you do.”

This showed up back in June when Ms. Ingraham was guest-hosting The O’Reilly Factor—of which show, with all its silliness, shallowness, and self-congratulating pomposity, I am a long-time addict.

Black “flash mobs” were just starting to make the headlines, and they got a mention on the show. As I reported to Taki’s Mag at the time:

I just watched a segment of the O’Reilly show titled “Violent Teen Mobs Causing Chaos Across Country.” In the entire 6:15 segment, neither Laura Ingraham nor either of her two guests used any of the terms “black,” “African American,” or “colored.”

Worth noting, I thought, and still think, as fair comment on current taboos. Other people thought so, too: I saw three or four mentions in dissident-conservative blogs.

Those sentiments must have been represented in the show’s mailbag. On August 16, flash mobs came up again on the Factor, and again Laura Ingraham was guest-hosting. On this occasion, in what looked to me—though I’m only guessing—like a very reluctant concession to the mailbag, our hostess allowed (at 5:02 here), as briefly as she could have done without slipping the whole sentence in between two passes of the TV camera’s raster scan, that the flash mobs are regrettably but unquestionably lacking in diversity:

In many instances these mostly young people happen to be African American, they’re running into stores…

They happen to be! In many instances!

I have this mental image of a centurion in one of the border forts by the frozen Rhine on that terrible last day of the year 406 AD, dictating to a scribe the message to be pony-expressed back to the Emperor in Rome:

There are thousands of them, tens of thousands…with siege engines and carts full of weapons…swarming across the river…In many instances they happen to be barbarians, in multis casibus forte barbari sunt….


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