Category Archives: America

The Help

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House nigga 4 lyfe

The argument that black celebrities can’t possibly have grounds to complain about being black in America—because they’re rich—is a sophomoric bit of conservative boilerplate. But then, the absurd protocol that black perspectives be treated as more valid because black experience is somehow realer than others is equally tiresome. The morning headlines all insist on some variation of “Ice Cube schooled Bill Maher about white privilege,” but I wonder (not really) if it occurs to Mr. Cube that he was giving Maher moral cover by going on Real Time and calling him out.

Of course I’m not talking about a morality that I personally concur with; taboos against words can only elicit my sympathy for the sentiment that’s being repressed (naughty, naughty). So for example, I wouldn’t get too worked up if an Ice Cube were to rap, “You can’t be the Nigga 4 Life crew/with a white Jew telling you what to do.” In fact, Ice Cube did rap these lyrics, shortly after NWA broke up.

Now, ‘Jew’ and ‘white’ are clearly meant in the pejorative there, and it wasn’t the first or last time Ice Cube rapped anti-white, anti-Jewish or anti-Asian invective—which is not only excused but lauded in the NPR article linked above. So you can recapitulate the bollocks dogma that the N-word is more hateful because the black experience in America is uniquely unfair—in a way that’s totally unfathomable to non-blacks. But who I am is presumably as important to me as Ice Cube’s identity is to him, and I would be well within the electric fence of conventional cant to take umbrage, I just wouldn’t get anywhere because black resentment is more useful and (above all) malleable to elites than the white or Korean or even the Jewish varieties. After all, if you unreflectingly give people enough power that they can obligate you to respond to little trigger phrases like a marionette, then you’re a silly cunt and a weakling. Clearly, Ice Cube—a public image gangster who’s actually a pot bellied, noodle-armed little man in his late forties who lives in a gated community—sees things differently, and that’s his business. But by calling out Maher he’s reinforcing the entertainment industry pecking order he referenced in that song we just quoted from back in the 1990s.

This is not a spurious complaint, by the way. If I wanted to go all Irv Rubin and start calling in bomb threats to Farrakhan, I’d still have to admit the man’s got a perfectly valid point about Jews in the media. The fact is, a black actor or entertainer can only ever be a commodity in Hollywood, whereas a white Jewish comedian can conceivably reach a level—like Jon Stewart, Jerry Seinfeld, or Bill Maher—where he becomes an institution, an arbiter as opposed to a mere influencer of tastes and discourse, and a near-equal to real decision makers, who’re all Jews.

So Ice Cube can stroll into Real Time studios affecting as hard an image as he wants. The more indignant the better because, again, he was being used by Maher for moral cover. Public figures as powerful as US Senators have been taken down for saying nigger; obviously Maher has powerful protection. Again, the morning headlines all say Ice Cube “schooled” him, but if it matters to Ice Cube on any level what comes out of horse’s ass Bill Maher’s mouth then he’s a silly shit. “Please Missa Jewman, please don’t be using that o-ffensive language when you be referring to us black folk. We sho’ would be grateful. Nigga 4 Life crew, ya heard!?! You just been schooled.” Jerry Heller would be pleased.

So…… Nigger. Nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger. According to the oligarchs and their marionettes, this is what passes for unacceptable injustice in a world of actual slavery. To say that Ice Cube is a hypocrite for taking offense at Maher’s salty language after making a career glorifying drugs and pea-brained street violence would be another bit of sophomoric conservative boilerplate. I think it’s true, but so what? Hearst/Viacom/Zuckerberg say that one thing’s more offensive than another, and who am I to argue? It’s not my country, I don’t make the rules. I just wonder, with all the bloviating we tend to hear about irrational white wariness of blackness from all these three-named, Jew-approved horse’s ass black intellectuals (Marc Lamont Hill, Michael Eric Dyson, Ta Nehisi Coats, who can even tell the difference?) will it make black performers who bank on mean-mugging “jack-yo’-shit” yippity-yap—or their shithead street acolytes—feel any better to know there are whites who don’t take their bravado or their hurt feelings seriously? I won’t hold my breath waiting for an answer.

Jumping the Great Whitegeist

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“You guys feel like going for frozen yogurt?”

Naming is the origin of all particular things and the medium is the message, so don’t be surprised (as yours truly predicted) at the death-by-branding of the above-ground alt-right, as carefree mockery in the face of conventional cant gives way to perennial fundraising and dead horse-flogging lamentations of unfairness that nobody can seem to stop.

Indeed, the conviction that bloviating is tantamount to resistance is what adolescents have in common with activists, precisely the plush-doll American dream that Occupy Bernie and the alt-right both thought they were rejecting. Onward! The affairs of strangers must be meddled in half-assedly. I’m all for realism (and vigilantism) in the face of swarthy Idiocracy, but…. an “ethnostate”? How very postmodern. Will there be spandex cycling shorts and fair-trade organic light roast for all us “conquerors and crusaders”? And how, exactly, does getting bricks thrown at you by Antifa harm (how does it not help) the plutocracy, the MSM, SPLC, “und so weiter”? I know, I know, Never doubt that a small, full-retard vanguard can change the world, and I wish you the best of luck. (Come at me personally with that febrile Jewology you like to horrify nursing home yentas with on the Forward comments section and I’ll give your plebeian ass a Greco-Roman colonoscopy like my name was Meyer Lansky. But hey, Richard Spencer says it’ll help you get your ideas out there, right?)

On the other hand—and this is what’s so woefully lost on the inveighing punditry as they puzzle over Spencer’s naughtiness—in an era of vaunted victimhood and infantile HR-speak, racism is healthy by comparison (nor is it entirely unhealthy in general.) Fact is, genteel aversion to frankness is a liberal impulse, not a consensus but a cowardice, and it provides far better cover for exploitation and well-heeled debauchery than get-off-my-lawn conservatism ever did. Neofascism is an overdue rejoinder to the empiricist hubris, intellectual courtesanship and mercenary behaviorism of TED Talk America. Unencumbered by race taboos, only the alt-right is putting forward novel analyses of gentrification and income inequality and elucidating the indispensable role of Benetton inclusivity in proliferating soulless corporatism.

These topics are somewhat ancillary, though. What sensible sort could argue that whitey isn’t sorely in need of a wake-up call? But as a political program, the alt-right jumps the shark. It jettisons all couth, all sense of balance, of individual dignity and of when the inclusive impulse is organic and sincere:

I asked [Spencer] whether I, as someone who is half-Chinese but had a classical Western education, would fit within his group… “I’m a generous guy,” he told me. “If you truly identify with our people, I would not have any problem with that.” But there were genetic deal breakers. “A full-blooded African, no matter how wonderful he might be—I’m not sure that would really work.” (Graeme Wood, Atlantic Monthly, June 2017)

How’s that for “freedom of association“? The pompousness here is far worse than the bigotry. It might be half-joking, but it can never be more than half-serious. Spencer’s identitarianism contends with its starting question (“Who are we?”) too brusquely to build anything but contrarianism and dissent upon.

20th century luminaries who flirted with fascism—Celine, DH Lawrence, TS Eliot—are dismissed today as brilliant but troubled gadflies. Symposia and scholarly papers are devoted to gauging the anti-Semitism of Nietzsche or Heidegger without really parsing their big ideas. In the postwar US, we’ve identified ourselves not with heritage or hierarchy but with the vanguard of wild abandon, the Beats, Lenny Bruce, Jim Morrison, gangster rappers and Hollywood mafiosi, many of whom (not incidentally) were astroturfed plants. Where has this led? Altamont, O.D., Henry Hill ratting out Pauly. Hunter S. Thompson’s proverbial “high water mark.” Divorce, illegitimacy, AIDS, pandemic nervous ticks, strange new addictions, and the destruction of the ecosystem in pursuit of personal fulfillment and freedom from societal constraints. Is this not a Dionysian death cult? Really, how much worse is fascism than, say, a liberal intelligentsia that gives sympathetic media coverage to child rape?

But this is the logical cul-de-sac of political liberty, and for anyone with an IQ above 120, the novelty has simply worn off all the system’s diversions. The white negro long ago supplanted the Ugly American with no resulting change of policy; the atom bomb destroyed the world passively. We live in an era when old men pass for youth impresarios, when Hollywood devours every last comic book and historical footnote for lack of fresh ideas and

the vast fatigue…experienced by a generation on which the multitudes of… innovations burst abruptly, imposes on it organic exigencies greatly surpassing its strength. (Max Nordau, Degeneration)

Just look at your average NPI conference attendee: preppy, scrawny, grey-complexioned, pimple-pocked, rocking Brooks Brothers like awkward bar mitzvah boys. They go about preaching Olympian beauty ideals and gabbing about master morality though as dependent moderns they’d be hard-pressed to make more than a pin-prick in the New Colossus’ pinkie toe.

To their credit, the alt-right is the last bastion of true, unco-opted, unadulterated social satire. I mean, what’s less relevant today than SNL? Lately the dominant, left-liberal paradigm begets only humorless ideological directives and “validation,” however oblique, of skin-crawling peccadillos. Like aging pop-stars, Saudi oil-wells and boomer entitlements, the legacy media is an obsolete investment being defended with ever-increasing ruthlessness:

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Even its Silicon Valley supersessionist heirs (whom you’d think would display more independence of thought, Lord knows they’ve got the requisite leverage) cling to its mid-20th century ideological commitments. Are they bringing us freedom? Behold the near-totalitarian level of perception-management we’re approaching, thanks to our zombified cooperation with this Zuckerberg, the protagonist from One Hour Photo leapt skin-crawlingly into real life and absolute power, only minus the emotions:

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Under the spreading chestnut tree….

They have seeded and infiltrated nearly every information source and thought trend; they can track your emotions in real time and find you in the remotest wilderness; they’ll use gay pride to ratchet up anti-Russian jingoism and black liberation to help destroy the middle class.

In keeping with this strategy, myriad popular online outlets affect a cutting-edge veneer these days, but a good general rule is that the more lurid and higher-budget the content, the more wholly owned its producers are by the planetary managerial class. The biggest backers of Vice, for instance, are BofA, Disney, George Soros and Rupert Murdoch. This brackish scene deserves the vilest ridicule, the most acerbic satirization, but there’d be no funding for that, for the same reason nobody ever invades Switzerland.

Some of the wittiest, most acerbic shit I’ve ever read in my life was spoken at NPI conferences or published on Radix Journal circa pre-Trump. When the point was to express these ideas (not just expand the audience for them), they were way funnier and more exhilarating. Now that the antiseptic media klieg lights have warmed the alt-right’s obligingly exposed butt cheeks, the fact can’t be concealed that vindictive, half-witted, pathos-laden language is rife on Counter-Currents, Radix, TRS, Red Ice and Occidental, and this humorlessness has diffused throughout the alt-right punchbowl as the imperative to branch out and justify itself overtakes insider ribaldry. How sad to be peddling an ideology of order, hierarchy and opposition to commercial vulgarity in the .25 cents’ admission Imagination Land of new media, only to get mere first world pushback as they traffic in ideologies that really punished thought-crime. Now that they’ve had their fifteen minutes, the leadership will spend the rest of their lives scraping donations, “Remember me? Just ten grand more to meet our goal this season.” Even Milo was doing interesting work as recently as 2015, before his election year transition to full-time attention-whoring. Spencer’s criticisms of him are blissfully un-self-conscious.

The problem with the 2016 NPI conference wasn’t the menace or poor taste of the sieg heils, it was the quivering bunghole that compliments the kind of toast Spencer delivered. I mean, “Children of the Sun”? That’s what the Times is calling a Nuremberg rally? Sounds more like a Maya Angelou quote over a stock photo. Children of the fucking sun, why not “God’s Chosen People”?

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“Hail Trump! Hail our People! Hail victory!”

The fact that the bourgeois American WASP is a diminutive, emotionally sterile cardboard cutout who might actually have enjoyed deferring this past seventy years to comparatively dysfunctional cultures that have a little more cut-loose panache than his own is as little discussed on the alt-right as Germany’s no-go zones are on MSNBC—though Spencer does acknowledge it, calling it “the white problem.” Of course, to suppose Trump will arrest these developments significantly is pitifully gullible optimism. As Spencer told some pie-faced yenta at Rolling Stone, “I think we’ve leveraged ourselves in an incredible way, but at some point we need to cross the Rubicon and have a footprint.” Translation: OMG, this might even lead to an internship. In a duck costume. At a mall kiosk. For (in the words of the great Marshall McLuhan) when you gaze long enough into the Facebook, the Facebook gazes also into you.

Crypto-fascist, Crypto-Jew Pt. 1

zionism-equals-nazism

Bro I wish

I.

When I was eighteen, I beat up a white power skinhead. My late-adolescent self-seeking had taken a schlocky, Daniel Deronda kind of turn, so any opportunity to defend Jewish honor I felt I had to take, no matter how contrived. I guess I fancied myself a little like the Jewboy in Porky’s. 

Anyway, as I was standing with a gaggle of crust punks one weekday afternoon on a downtown corner across from the bus station, a sinewy little guy with a shorn pate and narrow mustache strolled up in boots, braces, beater and bomber, drew one of my punker compadres aside and transacted a drug deal inconspicuously. Then he started back on his way—that is, until I shoved him, hard, from behind. On that day I decided I would simply refuse to accept that neo-Nazis should make themselves visible.

He turned around to face me, breathing through his open mouth, his incisors streaked a scummy, bacterial yellow. He had grimy pores and crusted-over scabs, his fingers were nicotine stained and filthy under the nails. There were little SS lighting bolt runes tattooed on one side of his neck, an iron cross on the other.

I stepped forward and poked him in the chest. Fear flashed momentarily across his eyes but he steadied his gaze, grinning as he reached into his beater and flipped out a brass swastika on a long, thin chain around his neck. That was when I hauled off.

I managed to land a solid several thumps upside his noggin as he flailed, until suddenly he surged into me at chest level, Hail Mary-like—head down, forearms up blocking. He managed to back me up a few steps, grabbing me by the shirt collar as he poked his little radish head up to bite me, square on the nose. The shock of this lent him the further momentum to bare down and take me tumbling to the pavement, back first. I almost rolled him but he bore down hard again, straddling my chest as he tried to strangle me. He overplayed his hand, though: as he wound back to clock me point blank, I availed myself of the empty space between my sternum and his groin, gripped him square in the nether region with one hand and up under an armpit with the other, then pulled him sideways into my chest and flipped him square on his back.

I mounted, I grounded, I pounded. Quite often the toughness of recidivist scumbags has more to do with the capacity to absorb a beating than to mete one out. He struggled, quivering with desperate futility, like a live fish held down for gutting.

Then suddenly I heard a crisp “snap!” I thought the sound was his nose breaking, which it was. Although I didn’t feel the pain immediately, it would also turn out to be the distal metacarpals on my mean right shattering in several places each. The pain settled in a second later, as I looked down and noticed that my opponent, though conscious, had given up, and was bleeding profusely from his nose and mouth.

Just then, someone yelled “cops!”

I looked up to see two peace officers, a man and a woman, sprinting towards us down the sidewalk some fifty yards off. I hopped up, bolted and rounded the nearest corner. Within two blocks I’d completely lost my pursuers and cut through the parking lot of a gated condo complex to a corner hamburger shack on the other side that had a pay phone booth in its back parking lot, out of view of the street. My dad was just getting off work and I called him for a ride.

II.

Awhile after that, once my broken hand had mended, I saw a member of the same local clique of white power skinheads strolling past me on the same downtown block. He was wearing a trucker hat on which he’d stenciled an iconic punk-rock anti-fascist symbol….

keepctryt

Only $12.99 on Angry, Young & Poor LMFAO

….only in his rendition, the stick figure was trashing a Star of David, not a swastika. I was so shocked by this meager display of literacy that I doubted what I had seen until he was well out of sight, but twenty minutes later he came back in the opposite direction with a slice of pizza in one hand.

As he passed by I snorted, ‘Nice hat.’ He turned to see who’d paid him the compliment and I mean-mugged him like I intended to do him harm. He froze, gazing back indecisively, whereupon I decked him in the face with my skateboard, an act I hadn’t planned nor even anticipated from myself. His pizza slice went flying as he dropped, hard, straight back. As soon as he hit the pavement he began seizing violently. I found out later that I had actually cracked his eye socket.

If you go out of your way to seriously insult strangers, you should probably be better prepared for a backlash than this guy was. But then, if you set out to harm everyone who says stuff you don’t like, you’d better know your limits a little better than I knew mine. I’d been reading a lot about the Irgun and Murder, Inc., but imitating them didn’t feel so good. I had beaten people with fists before, but this was the first time I used a weapon. In an instant I had become a more brutal creature than I realized I was, or ever had been. Frozen in shock, staring down at my victim, I experienced the disembodying sensation of a strong compassionate impulse concurrent with the realization that I had now forfeited my right to feel it. When I reemerged into linear time I heard shouting, and glanced up just soon enough to outrun bus station security.

I was less than six months out of high school then, and while I was heavily into pot and earning C grades at the local community college on my Jew-doctor daddy’s dime, my best friend Max (a goy, if you must know, and a profoundly goyische one, at that) was getting heavily into meth. He used to flop at a mutual friend’s apartment, where a female roommate was dating one of the skinheads, who also happened to be meth retailers. They would party there too, and crash on weekend nights. Word got back to me from Max that the White Power crew was looking for me and that their leader, a hardened ex-con by the nom de guerre of ‘Panther,’ had vowed to handle me personally. I didn’t know what Panther looked like, but he sounded fearsome.

III.

At that time I was also running a moderately lucrative sideline in pot (re-upping weekly by the quarter-pound), and one of my occasional customers was a six-and-a-half foot homeless high-yellow, also an ex-con, who bore an uncanny resemblance to Lawrence Fishburne—pockmarks and all—and went by a nom de guerre of his own, ‘The Reverend.’

In some visceral, sub-conscious nether region I understood perfectly well how predatory and aggressive the poor can be—must be, oftentimes—and I certainly recognized all the ways this tends to manifest among blacks. But at that age the psychic patina of racial pathos and Pavlovian guilt-inculcation at the hands nearly two decades’ worth of Hollywood movies and civics lessons prevented me from metabolizing this information to the full benefit of my survival instincts. If defending Jewish honor was a legacy passion project, evasion of actual danger was a work in progress.

Perhaps intentionally, The Reverend dressed a lot like Morpheus from The Matrix, in a ratty trench coat over an unwashed hoodie, with greasy cargo pants and army boots. His hustle was fortune telling for racially solicitous post-pinko granolas at a card table he used to set up in front of a health food store on the downtown strip, with a purple velvet table cloth where he’d lay out crystals for sale. Obsequious in characteristically downtrodden-black fashion, with that opportunistic malice lurking plainly underneath, The Reverend used to call me ‘Young Buck,’ and I showed my appreciation for his backhanded flattery by over-weighing his twomp sacks by a half-gram. Sometimes I’d smoke a joint with him just to be friendly. I was listening to a lot of rap music at that age.

One day as I was making my rounds on the downtown strip, I passed by The Reverend’s tarot table when he hailed me. I was carrying a bag of fruits and vegetables I’d just purchased from the health food store. He asked if I had any bud for sale, and slid a twenty spot onto the table. I snapped up the bill, slid my backpack down one arm and fished out a half-eighth (about half a gram more than I normally charged twenty for). But The Reverend gave a pensive, dissatisfied grimace and deadpanned, ‘Now why you tryin’ ta short me, homie?’ My balls dropped a bit as it dawned on me exactly what The Reverend took me for—ironically, this Morpheus-lookalike kind of redpilled me that day. As I returned the weed to my backpack and tossed his twenty-spot back onto the table I told him, “Go fuck your mother you shitty fuckin’ nigger.” It was the first (and second to last) time in my life I availed myself of that epithet in the second person.

Well that must not’ve made The Reverend’s day, because no sooner had I made my way half a block up from where he sat than I heard someone murmur, “The fuck you say to me?” and when I looked back over my shoulder, there was The Reverend in hot pursuit. I turned, snarling to face him and he stopped about three feet shy of me.

The Reverend was fairly big. He probably could have fucked me up; he probably could have fucked me. A crowd gathered ’round as we stared each other down, but this didn’t register immediately. All that was going through my head was that fight-or-flight electric slow-mo, and while (relative to his size) I might not have had the ablest fight in me, there was no flight. On that day—in spite of the stifling, kumbaya college-town atmosphere and the gaping hipsters and granolas gathered ’round to spectate—I simply refused to accept that I owed a predatory hustler anything but flagrant contempt.

The Reverend looked around at the assembled throng and decided to go for a half-measure: kicking around the back of my shins in big circular motions, trying to trip me. I jumped, took a step back, and grabbed an apple out of the grocery bag I had dangling from my wrist. My side-hand curve went ‘thwap!’ upside The Reverend’s head and dropped to the sidewalk broken open, dripping juice; then I hurled another, and another, each one landing with a ‘thwap!’ as we danced around in circles like a folk jig, him still trying to trip me, until I was out of apples.

Realizing, I suppose, that this spectacle was liable to cost him business, after a minute or so The Reverend stopped, hung his head sullenly, and skulked back to his tarot table to pack up his things. As I moved on up the strip, the atmosphere around me seemed to inflate with a laden tingling of shame. Had anyone heard me say nigger? Would word get around? Would I now be labelled a racist?

In just a few short months, The Reverend had made himself such a figure in town that at one point, about a month prior, he officiated a well-attended, interactive ‘white privilege’ self-flagellation demo organized by some intrepid sociology students at the university campus. But after our confrontation I never saw him in town again.

Bu the day of our confrontation, as I tender-hoofed my way up the strip and away from the scene, the strangest thing happened. A lousy, shirtless, sunburned little man with a shorn pate, wearing blue jeans, combat boots and braces came straggling along behind me. When he caught up he blurted out, breathless, ‘Are you having trouble with that nigger?’ Unsure of his intentions and leery of being judged by any proximate third-parties who might’ve seen what just happened, I replied ‘Hey man, that’s some pretty strong language right there.’ But when I glanced over I noticed that he was covered from torso to neck in Nazi tattoos. This dude intended to lend me moral support on the grounds of white solidarity. ‘Man, I hate that fuckin’ nigger. Just out here preyin’ on dumb fucks in this town. You don’t have to take that shit.’

‘I don’t know if you wanna take my part, bro. I’m Jewish.’

‘Well…..’ He paused. ‘I don’t have anything against Jews. I just have a problem with certain Zionists.’ I was taken aback, not at the note of acceptance but at the vocabulary, and not because it was impressive, but because it existed at all.

‘Name’s Panther.’ He extended a hand and we shook. Panther was small enough I could’ve picked him up and tossed him in a trash compactor. ‘Stay out of trouble, brother. Just look at me’—he was pretty haggard—‘it ain’t worth it.’ And off he went into the evening.

Disaffection

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Too much of a good thing

When I was younger I was a thief. Something just seemed to possess me from a young age, about 9-10, to shoplift. By the time I was a chubby-cheeked bar mitzvah boy I had shelves full of CDs and cassettes I had walked out of record stores with. Throughout childhood, if I saw an adult doing physical work, it was a Mexican migrant or some rough white prole. I never learned how to produce anything, just how to consume, and to bullshit my way through school. I lived in a nice neighborhood but there was an underclass there of latchkey kids and failed families, failed in that they didn’t keep up appearances.

Once I got into high school some fellow miscreant pals and I would run out of convenience stores with cartons of cigarettes and resell them, steal laptops and other valuables from dorm rooms on the university campus (glass bongs in particular had resale value), stake out student drug dealers in off-campus rentals and steal their stash, their scales, their loose cash. If they were at home when we struck I’d strong-arm them. It wasn’t like, a routine thing, but it happened a few times. As a 15 year old I hung out with a 13 year old kid who used to drop down into strip malls late at night through various hatches in the rooves and hoist the safes up out of taquerias and liquor stores. Years later I ran into him downtown and it looked like he was heavy into meth and peddling his ass, all that time he was doing Mission Impossible shit he’d been closeted. Talk about sublimation.

Anyway, eventually I mellowed out and started selling pot. There were a hundred pot retailers my age in town, but once I got the hang of it I managed to drum up a nifty little book of business. Problem was, I was so habituated to the thought process of running up on people and just ganking their shit that the fake schmoozing and (figurative) smoke blowing was too much for me. It gave me anxiety. Ironically, thieving had made me too honest (impulsive, really) to cultivate commercial wiles or insincere relationships or even just future-time orientation. I’d never been a calculating sneak, just brazen, short-sighted. I didn’t want to ensnare people or string them along, I wanted not to fuck with anyone unless I had to or chose to, and then I wanted to just swoop down on them and be done. In the case of friendships I didn’t want there to be a business element, just frankness. But it’s calculating, sneak fucks who run the world these days, or swarm institutions aspiring to run shit because they know their kind is most eligible in this system. People with inverse values and no impulses.

Being heavy into pot had one advantage, it was that glass pane dividing rebellious upper-middle class mediocrity from real depravity and forfeiture of the most basic moral inhibition. My childhood best friend has been a meth-head alcoholic stumble-bum wherever-dweller since the year we got out of high school, guy uses smack the way smokers use a nicotine patch. I hear from him once in eighteen months now, and not from lack of effort on my part trying to locate him, although we live in different states. Two years ago he told me he had pawned his mother’s jewelry after crashing at her place for the night. Six months ago I heard from him again and he was totally gone, fried, kaput, insane in the membrane, he was trying to talk but made absolutely no sense. But at least being a scumfuck or a psycho is honest. An animal or a devil is a known quantity, there may be a ton of day-to-day conniving and a trail of fucked-over relationships but there’s no overall pretense of goodness.

Now, me (on the other hand), here I am today working a corporate sales job trying to be a good guy and pay my bills. But that lashed-out resentful kid is inside of me with all those violent impulses, and in a way he’s truer to who we are, more psychologically hygienic for all his so-called maladjustment. The world is war, physical war. Money’s not real, your stomach is. We forget that, we like others to slaughter the meat for us. And as a salesman, marketer, manager, executive, PR hack, entertainer or public face of any kind, an academic, a “journalist”, a whatever-you-fancy-yourself, you’re always a fucking charlatan, every word you utter is smoke, because your end-goal is always to bedazzle someone and get inside their pocket. You can be as transparent, as forthright, as helpful as you want. It’s just a tactic. The other guy’s interests are a means. And it can never be finally acknowledged. It’s so standard (i.e., pervasive), yet so slimy. And those impulses I gave reign to as a youth now sit like stone guests, restrained yet blocking my every effort to sublimate the fundamental guile of this most accepted protocol for making a living into the neat little rationales that make it effective.

Disinteresting Times

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Did somebody say download speeds of up to 35.46 gigabits per second?

Modernity is the subordination of principle to process. And if man is subordinate to technology, this inversion would signify a negation of life by the very means once intended to serve at its disposal.

Life, however, is anxiety-inducing, and faced with it plainly we tend more and more to retreat instead into life-negating distractions—think of Sartre’s Nausea—which seem to represent more and more of the benefit we now derive from technology, and cannot be separated from whatever ideas, however lofty, which the latest hi-tech media transmit.

When we absorb ourselves in our smartphones, we almost invariably peer down into them. But it is possible to get a seemingly uncanny sense of how ridiculously small (in contrast with the world as we naturally position ourselves to view it) this frame is that sucks in so much of our focus, simply by correcting our posture and holding up our arm to position the phone within the normal, eye-level field of vision. Of course, the attempt at diversion simply cannot be carried out in this way.

The other day I’m out with a friend, when he tells me he needs to pay a cell phone bill, so we duck into a T-Mobile store. While he’s busy with the clerk, I stroll around the place, and it immediately strikes me (I’m probably not the first to say so; I don’t know why I didn’t notice it before) how much these outlets are arranged like art galleries: the displays mounted mid-floor on spray-painted white particleboard pillars, or sequenced along the bleach-white walls in the foreground of splashy, lit-up stock imagery. Next to each phone display is an informational placard. To get the interactive experience you need assistance from an initiate flunky with a lanyard and a thumb drive. Just enough reverence to discourage overthinking is all that’s needed, but when 48% of the market is on public assistance it’s a legacy feature.

As we’re leaving, I remarked to my friend that, just for the hardware, the margin on a lease must be astronomical, considering how low the resale value of a smartphone is. But my friend informs me that, to lower their costs, every time you go in for an upgrade, the retailer more or less sells your old phone back to the OEM, who does a little light refurbishing and then punts these devices in bulk into a developing market—a euphemism for a country where the buildings are still tattered from the last civil war or the peasantry have all been displaced and reduced to hawkers and bricklayers, if they aren’t combing through garbage for a living.

Think about that: every impression of these industries that the public is imbued with is one of buoyancy, bedazzlement and pure intelligence. Meanwhile, these companies are balancing the books with third world fire sales.

I work in IT sales. Not anybody’s dream job, but what can you do? (Ask me about our tower desktops with Windows 7, LMFAO). Among the concepts they beat us over the head with to peddle is virtualization, you can’t sell servers anymore without VM Ware. Again, the impression they want you to have is of buoyancy, bedazzlement and pure intelligence. But somewhere over the rainbow there’s still a fucking server bank and, eventually, the amount of energy it takes for those sleeker, more powerful machines to direct traffic is going to exceed what it takes to run all the bulkier devices they’re replacing today, because we’ve mistaken data for value and elevated our valuation of data to a catechism. And we’d be right but, cui bono? Zuckerberg’s hardly less creepy than One Hour Photo (if you think that’s hyperbole, you have brain parts that aren’t working).

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It gets better

So if man is an intrinsically technological creature, then technology is the one and only factor that enables us to cage animals. If you’re caged, you’re an animal, and a cage is any advantage some shrewd, unscrupulous creature has—some limp-dick sneak fuck who’d be eaten in open combat or humiliated in reproductive competition, and knows it. Basically: usurers, sexual predators and peeping Tom data miners. The cage is technology. Your data trail. The toilet paper stuck under your shoe. That’s our rulers’ source of power; Mark Zuckerberg is a virtual used toilet paper magnate.

We get the micro-managers we deserve, though: behold the Gothic architecture of medieval Europe, and it’s hard to gainsay T.S. Eliot’s estimation of the 13th century as the apex of civilization. What are we missing about those people when we ascribe primitivity to them? Something, I assure you. When in the intervening centuries were the structures they built surpassed for exquisiteness? Hell, the largest solid, unreinforced dome on the planet is still the Pantheon of Rome, completed in 128 AD. Technologically, this edifice remains unimproved upon in 2017.

Kurzweil, Zuckerberg, Musk…. they keep telling, not asking us how we’re going to live in the future. Who’d have thought a few autists with Excel spreadsheets for brains would exceed the imaginations of Hieronymus Bosch and every dystopian fiction author, ever? RFID implants and neural lace make precogs look like deus ex machina. Symbiosis with the internet sounds about as appealing as being strapped down like the protagonist in the closing scene of A Clockwork Orange. And that’s exactly what these control freaks want, because the minute they bet money on their predictions those predictions become a motive in themselves, if they weren’t propaganda to begin with. Tech oligarchs are the ultimate totalitarians, and they’re sold to us as luminaries! In a civilization whose denizens possessed a shadow of a survival instinct they’d be fed to orcas at SeaWorld on national television.

And yet the technologies they mean to imprison us with are so…. crude. Internet traffic runs through transoceanic cables the way the telegraph did at the close of the horse and buggy era. When 5G comes online it will require a massive new infrastructure that can be traced, ultimately, to a surge protector in a wall outlet. And when these batty, syphilitic billionaires and virginal, glorified sysadmins tell us about the singularity, they’re talking about an autonomic simulacrum of the übermensch, what VR masturbation is to hot, sticky sex. We’re moving backwards, not forwards. Wireless signaling, photography, the combustion engine, conventional aircraft, even rocketry—none of these is fundamentally different today than they were at inception, they’re just spiffier. Granted, there are still actual and theoretical game changers: anti-gravity, fusion, quantum, nanotech, AI, genetic engineering. But do any of these developments portend spiritual or intellectual advancement? Of course not—on the contrary. Mankind is the only known species capable of true (i.e., conscientious) cruelty, and we can’t even eradicate the mosquito without taking ourselves out with it. Measured in terms of the ratio of arithmetical figuring to grandiosity of outcome, the capacity to immolate half the solar system remains our greatest technological achievement—our greatest achievement, period, if the technological inclination is our foremost distinction as creatures. Maybe it isn’t, though. Maybe inventiveness and creativity are distinct sides of the same coin. Maybe these improvements aren’t just risky, but unnecessary, enabling aggressive tendencies at the expense of traditional wisdom. Prime example: the Elon Musks of the world keep telling us they’re inevitable and we may as well make the best of it. Sounds rapey, doesn’t it? Kind of like how voting is conflated with choice.

Either way, craftmanship isn’t what it used to be—at least Patrick Bateman used his hands.

Cattle Prod

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It gets better

Although making an example of someone is the most primitive, totem-and-taboo method of maintaining order, it is a cudgel uniquely suited to democracy. In America, the buck simply must stop somewhere, for where human beings are reduced, scurrilous and simpering, to their uttermost state of servility, it becomes inconceivable to them that misfortune results from their own inadequacies, or—put differently—that our inadequacies result from nature.

So if this had happened to a white boy in a majority black school district, you can be sure it wouldn’t make the Washington Post:

A ham-faced Missouri teenager puts a squirrel-peeler to his humpty dumpty and squeezes…. Come to find out he was being bullied sadistically from just about sun-up, by dozens of classmates and by his supervisor at the local Dairy Queen, who is being charged with second-degree involuntary manslaughter, and is a woman. (Inadequacy: the apple doesn’t fall far from the woe-is-me, but do you think they’ll charge the parents who went on helplessly eating Dairy Queen while all this was taking place?) One look at him choking back tears in his school portrait and you can’t not pity the boy, so anyone remotely acquainted with him in person had to’ve known what was going on, if they wanted to. Either (a) the whole town is complicit in this young man’s Missouri, or (b) no one is. But local media and opinion say it’s both.

For example, the schools superintendent asserts that the bullying in his district isn’t that bad. How many people like him are superintending schools in this country? Rudolph Höss had a personal touch by comparison. State’s prosecutress April Wilson had this to say about her colleague in public, er… “service”:

We wanted to be very cautious and responsible. Both sides of the issue are extremely important. A young man is dead. But we also want to acknowledge that it’s not easy being in public education.

For the kid or the adults?

And is it easier to manage a Dairy Queen?

In other words, as long as we’re assigning blame arbitrarily….

Is this a justice that would satisfy the deceased Kenneth Suttner? From the looks of the victim and the fact he apparently never fought back, the kid probably didn’t have a vindictive bone in his body. At least, not yet. But on the part of others this utter lack of will is why no one intervened to help him. Nature culls herds of all species, but this is the behavior of prey.

A whole town. An entire race.

Conversion therapy

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“Please, Rick! You have to let me help you!”

“That particular combination of arrogance and timidity sets my teeth on edge.” (Orson Welles)

Late-modern Americanism is a solipsism of appointedness, combining the sociopath’s incapacity for empathy with high-flown moral rationale, the fluidity of the unindividuated narcissist’s imperviousness to critique with paternalistic, managerial hectoring in kitschy, motivational guise.

Jon Stewart is one of this epistemology’s more poignant exponents. Here he is this week with Charlie Rose, holding forth on the recent presidential election:

….America is not natural. Natural is tribal. We’re fighting against thousands of years of human behavior and history to create something that no one ever [has]. That is what is exceptional about America. This ain’t easy and that’s an incredible thing.

Did you catch that? We’re fighting against nature, human nature. Who among us can instruct men to transcend this mortal coil? Let he who is without humanity cast the first instruction. But the point Stewart wanted to make was that we (meaning, the appointed) should not stereotype Trump voters any more than “we” would Muslims or others. The earnest liberal’s moment of clarity is always another defense mechanism. Of course a figure like Stewart has something conciliatory to say all of the sudden. Ass-licker that he is, how could he stay relevant otherwise?

Obviously, “Trump voters”=Anglo-Saxon Christians, the erstwhile national stock—those of them who aren’t left-wing, anyway. In Stewart’s worldview we are to refrain with few exceptions from critical discussion of the group characteristics of every other category of people. But Stewart isn’t suggesting “we” admit whites to the illusory hearthside of this exemption, no no no: he’s merely calling for a tempering of the critique, a strategic retreat. Stewart’s snide diagnostician’s schtick has always been to call for dispassion and in this, he’s as wise as his admirers say. Indeed, the depths of the inmate’s psyche must be plumbed, its mysteries penetrated, so as to determine upon the proper course of further treatment.

Bad Hair Day

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It was a simpler time

Left-liberal friends assure me that the right-wing corporate media elected Donald Trump. ‘Right-wing media’! Are they blind? But I think I understand their misapprehension: Bernie Sanders was derided as populist and utopian, ergo economic justice is not a priority of an intelligentsia long complicit in both neocon wars and neoliberal predations. But the intelligentsia isn’t merely corporatist and interventionist, it is sexually libertine and racially egalitarian. Should this not give the earnest liberal pause?

In Hebrew we have a phrase, avoda b’ayinaim, which means something like ‘brazen deceit’ or, ‘unconcealed legerdemain.’ Sweatshop lords sponsor anti-racist celebrity PSAs…. a 21st-century Guernica is rationalized in liberal quarters as humanitarianism…. a soilent-green corporatocracy champions a thing it calls ‘diversity,’ except when it doesn’t. Foreign aid and international lending are tied to the promotion of eugenics and homosexuality.

Far be it from me to credit musty old fables with prescience—ones that aggregate scientific hubris with multiculturalism and characterize sodomy and usury as aggressions deleterious to spiritual and societal hygiene—but some of us are starting to notice a pattern. In light of the chilling reality of ideological enforcement—an exclusively leftist speciality—even I got fingerfucked into voting, and now feel eerily ambivalent and a tad greasy, as well I ought to. Donald Trump is a symptom, not an antidote, and clearly not the director of the show we’ve just seen, but a faux-paleocon, an exploiter of the working class and very probably a child-rapist, who will expand the police state and the war machine. That his butt-smoke showman’s bombast about ‘disasterous trade deals’ and ‘international bankers’ is what got him elected should indicate not what we can hope for from his administration, but how the system switches gears when it’s so far gone in terms of legitimacy. ‘What an stunner! Who could’ve seen it coming?’ Avoda b’ayinaim.

Trump’s wannabe greaser-pimp noblesse oblige—his periodic sympathetic gesture to the bellhop or the garbageman—is razor thin, but it’s precisely the bellhop and the garbageman who will now be savaged by the intelligentsia, permeated as it is by dread of the peasantry it presumes to know what’s best for. Though historically the left’s concerns are proletarian, lately it transpires that these can be assuaged very effectively with butt-smoke moral rectitude, little-man hip-hop flights of fancy or Whole Foods and gay TV characters. Joe Dirt, on the other hand, is armed—a bone in the system’s throat no hat-passing Bernie or OWS stink-in can hold a candle to. He needed placating this inauspicious autumn with #MAGA the way his counterpart in a Subaru needed ‘hope and change,’ eight summers and a thousand years ago.

Camile Paglia put it this way:

People want change and they’re sick of the establishment — so you get this great popular surge… If Trump wins it will be an amazing moment of change because it would destroy the power structure of the Republican party, the power structure of the Democratic party and destroy the power of the media. It would be an incredible release of energy… at a moment of international tension and crisis.

That the power of the establishment could be detonated so blithely is a woeful delusion from so normally prescient a commentator, but Paglia was correct about one thing: there has now been an incredible exorcise of energy, precisely the narcotic catharsis a mark needs to go on being conned.

A Time to Cast Away Stones

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“Run nigga! George Washington!”

We’re told that a national debate about race relations is underway. We’re told this because, as consumers of information, reality is curated for us.

The BLM narrative is essentially that white people harbor biases they aren’t even aware of, that (among other things) this effects police decision-making under life or death circumstances (should’ve dropped the TV), and that these subconscious prejudices are confirmed by scientific studies conducted in the nation’s leading universities.

But if whites aren’t aware of their feelings, it’s because they’ve been told not to be.

For example, an article in the WaPo on Harvard’s study of the subject insists that

It is very important to note that implicit racial bias is not the same thing as conscious racism. People who harbor implicit biases may not think of themselves as prejudiced, and in fact, might consider prejudice to be abhorrent. They also may not know they even have these biases.

In other words, though in practical effect it is harmful to harbor racist thoughts (this is unfalsifiable, but alright….), there’s no moral culpability unless you’re honest about it, and not ashamed. Or unless we redefine culpability, over and over, expecting the same result each time. So although left-liberal self-flagellation treats the symptom (guilt), the underlying malady (racism) can never be pursued to the end of the worm hole, and the floggings will continue until morale improves.

The conservative counter-narrative is that this is all contrived, that black Americans, who are merely being judged by the content of their character, have been co-opted to a politicized grievance racket inflated with exquisite nonsense like Harvard studies and selective news coverage of officer-involved fatalities. Though this analysis writes the entire black experience off peremptorily, it’s obvious that a certain investment is indeed being made in black American opinion: if you think the media is concentrated in too few hands, you might be interested to know who funds the NGOs.

But venture far enough outside the mainstream, and you’ll find a darker counter-narrative that goes more like: by every measurable parameter blacks are predisposed to crimes of violence and refuse to be held accountable. Of course, holding someone accountable for behavior they’re predisposed to is a thorny proposition (they’re working on that at Harvard), but ironically, this analysis tends to agree with the speaking fee hustla-balla theorists of black grievance, with the critical distinction that the latter blame whitey for the predisposition. Thus, and in conclusion, no one in America is willing to be held accountable for anything.

Well, that’s fair enough, so long as you aren’t trying to dictate how others ought to feel, e.g., that blacks should stop perceiving whites as persecutors or that whites should cease their wariness of blacks. But there can be no Americanism or Americanness as we know it without this race relations dialectic, according to which the souls of black folk depend entirely on white perception to prevent them from vanishing. The consolidation of a more perfect union just refines this cognitive domestication of blacks, and we go from the 1968 Olympics to #OscarsSoWhite. This inseparability of enfranchisement from infantilization is so terrifyingly awkward (click the link, you’re gonna love it; it’s not a parody, either) that we prefer Harvard studies arraign every man, woman and child in this country on charges of subconscious malice. I mean, the SCLC was demanding in 1956 that white people cease mistreating blacks. BLM is demanding in 2016 that white people commence some scarcely-specified work of absolution (of a half-dozen demands, the only one that’s tangible is money) on behalf of black people, otherwise, “No perfect union for you!” This is the precipice of post-Americanism, not because blacks will check out of a system that neglects them (clearly they don’t have that option today, though they did in 1968), but because whites will check out of a system that fawns over non-whites (and poofters) for lack of any more compelling claim to moral authority.

But there’s a remedy for that: as the white patrolman says, when you can’t get respect, you settle for fear (“community relations”). So what is really being implied by implicit bias theory is that (a) what goes on inside my caucasoid noggin is a matter of national import, that (b) by the mere fact of my existence, I am contributing to grievous injuries (microinjuries?) inflicted on untold innocent blacks, and (c) that all this is grounds for intervention (reeducation, in particular) with me as one of its objects. It’s enough to make a whiteboy start taking a knee for the anthem. They couldn’t have just let the Panthers have East Oakland? At least those guys weren’t demanding to come to dinner.

The whole gag’s ridiculously Kafkaesque, Orwellian, yet the provincial rube in this country takes the bait every time. Love it or leave it? Tell it to Fred Hampton. You can check in, but you can never leave. Why is a professional football player obliged to respect national symbols? Is he a fucking four-star general?

The fact is, blacks are perfectly right to understand themselves as the Other in American civilization, in so many social settings not individuals but mere objects of pity, fear, virtue signaling and begrudging inclusion; that they are compelled on a regular basis to account for themselves as representatives of the group and repositories of outside preconceptions, and that in essence this state of affairs has persisted unchanged since emancipation.

That being acknowledged, does it really suffice to explain the gamut of racial disparity? Employment rates, test scores, credit ratings, dick size, incarceration ratios?  Be honest. Will public discourse ever again entertain the suggestion of nigger culpability, in any way and to any extent? Of course not. So the Implicit Association Test wasn’t conceived in a vacuum. It’s impetus is a set of assumptions (and this is supposed to be science) about inequality’s culprits. It can’t show causation because it doesn’t need to, its designers already think they know. God knows alternate hypotheses purporting to explain racial disparity exist, they’re just disconcertingly uncompassionate, and cannot be broached at Harvard.

Tim Wise—the Dr. Phil of anti-racism—put it this way in his latest status update:

American history is basically this:

White people, getting it mostly wrong, for 240 years…and counting.

Do better. Be better. Achieve the country you claim to love, rather than loving the country you don’t even understand…

Sorry, pal—collective guilt’s a two-way street. But if that’s your game then I, for one, am a fair measure younger than 240 years, and I don’t claim to love the country because I do not love it. I don’t hate it, either, I have no feelings for it one way or another. Why would I? I have a family. I have a dog I care about more than the abstraction called the United States of America with all its whites, blacks and in betweens who’d resent stepping over me if I lay gasping in front of them on the sidewalk. As a cultural designation? Fine. But as an object of allegiance or a franchise I’m invested in voluntarily? The only people who stand to gain from raising that hackneyed specter are grifters: “Do better, be better,” let’s you and him fight. Sorry brothaman, I ain’t got time and I ain’t got bus fare. You say people shun and suspect you for no good reason, but that don’t pass Occam, and neither the chicken nor the egg are relevant to my family’s wellbeing.

So aside from certain differences of interpretation, I don’t deny the basic substance of the black point of view. Who am I to tell others what they see and experience? What I’m saying instead is that I don’t care. That your feelings mean shit to me and if you think I’m a party to them you’re literally hallucinating. That having spent twenty-eight of my thirty-two born years in America, well over 50% of my experience with American blacks is of ineptitude, extreme impressionability, violently indiscriminate hostility, emotional volatility and presumptuous entitlement. That it doesn’t matter why, because it’s not my problem and, if I can help it, it never will be. That before a pack of animals can drag me out of my car, they’re gonna be grease in my windshield wipers. And that if you think you see me in the crosshairs of your next jacking or curb stomping, I can guarantee you’ve just seen as sure a sign as ever you may that you’re about to meet your maker.

But good luck being heard. You’ve certainly got all the influential publicists on your side.

Love’s Iron Curtain

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Don’t stop believing

What becomes of a Russian girl?

We shall have to learn how to smile

Through strip malls and leasing offices

and uncomprehending inquests of a new colossus

Through syphalitic massage parlors and purgatory’s own vinyl siding

Through weekly coupons’ deadly barrios and indifferent correspondence courses

She longs for an abandoned pensioner and dies by a thousand cuts of anonymity and disdain

arranging clearance racks and perfume samples with the red shameless handmark upon her throat of a fat, impotent generation’s inchoate hatred of mother

Who flitted, frolicked, recited simplicity and diligence

Whose defiant gaze passed recorded history’s last glimmer of innocence

and the future’s city swarmed blind and tumult

Never knowing what grave depravities await

to make the overeager dashing of brains against the gears of heaven’s ever-turning barricade appear quaint