Category Archives: Idiocracy

Rise of the Normie Fascist

I’ll show you no nut November

Progress and civilization, religion and the ideal have closed life in a mortal circle where phantoms most grim have erected their viscid reign.” —Renzo Novatore

Beware of those who talk much of their ‘justice.'” —Nietzsche

I have a confession to make: I can’t stand Tucker Carlson. It’s not that I disagree with him much. It’s just that…. Some evils are so ubiquitous, so predictable, that I can no longer be bothered with anyone who’s still gawking at them.

It would be difficult to pinpoint the exact moment when the 2010s alt-right merged completely into basic conservatism. It didn’t happen all at once. For me, I think the first sign came a few years back, when the tattooed, pot-bellied pastor at a boys’ church activity group I take my youngest son to told the parents (apropos of what, I can’t recall) that “Strong men make good times, good times make weak men,” etc. But there have been lots of little moments like these over the past ten years, Yarvin on Tucker being the most recent. Or when The Tim Allen Show parroted the “white people built civilization” trope, or when rumors were going around that Steve Bannon was fond of Julius Evola. And who can forget this Chestertonian slop-gob, which made quite the rounds a few years back:

It’s always sad when your comedy heroes confess to being humorless. The verbiage, the sentiment…. It’s a perfect illustration of Wilde’s definition of a cynic. Note the outrageous abuse of the word “stygian.” The Enlightenment was a milestone in the history of consciousness. Its assassins are who is lurking in wait, and they’re all so…. tiresome. Little do alt-right Twitterers realize, when they skewer the uncouthness of Marjorie Taylor Greene, that they’re looking at their own souls in the mirror.

In late 2012 I was in college, when I encountered an article on TakiMag someone had shared to Facebook. Before long, I was reading Jack Donovan’s blog, then Radix and Alternative Right. It was all so heady and subversive. The alt-right was hatched as a movement, but in the early days it really was just a thought trend, a Fight Club-style critique of corporate culture, consumerism and the ideal of progress, with a hefty portion of cheeky racism thrown in almost as a litmus test of iconoclasm. After all, what other taboos are there left to break? But the sense of alienation it spoke to was so raw, and the venue it emerged in so incompatible with the catharsis of being punched in the face, that before long the alt-right went from skewering puritanism to practicing it. The moment of clarity for me came in 2013 when an alt-right page on Facebook shared a Counter Currents article condemning the Kansas City JCC shooter, but purely for tactical reasons, “optics” and the like. It wasn’t long before the alt-right became a Nuremberg rally, just another ring-around the fetid altar of anti-semitism—a die-hard habit and a rock-bottom that can only be dug deeper, because one cannot climb out of it.

That’s the thing about fascism: it’s all bark. Whereas Zionism started out with great feats of daring against precipitous odds, only to degenerate into a liberal consumer culture and a victimology, Nazism started out with bawdy talk and broken glass, only to take on precipitous odds that its ersatz heroism was insufficient to overcome—Tolkien’s “ruddy little ignoramuses,” stroked with assurances of their congenital fortitude, morality, and entitlement.

But we shouldn’t be too hard on the Nazis. After all, the complexity of nature and of human life is lost on ideologues, who are always in the vanguard of far dimmer wits—the man with one eye, leading the proverbial blind. For as I have sung many a time in the shower:

When one reflects how necessary it is to the great majority that there be regulations to restrain them from without and hold them fast, and to what extent control, or, in a higher sense, slavery, is the one and only condition which makes for the well-being of the weak-willed man, and especially woman, then one at once understands conviction and ‘faith.’ To the man with convictions they are his backbone. To avoid seeing many things, to be impartial about nothing, to be a party man through and through, to estimate all values strictly and infallibly—these are conditions necessary to the existence of such a man. But by the same token they are antagonists of the truthful man—of the truth…. The believer is not free to answer the question, ‘true’ or ‘false,’ according to the dictates of his own conscience: integrity on this point would work his instant downfall. The pathological limitations of his vision turn the man of convictions into a fanatic—Savonarola, Luther, Rousseau, Robespierre, Saint-Simon—these types stand in opposition to the strong, emancipated spirit. But the grandiose attitudes of these sick intellects, these intellectual epileptics, are of influence upon the great masses—fanatics are picturesque, and mankind prefers observing poses to listening to reasons.

The party-men of the alt-right are on trial this week, in a federal court in Virginia, and things look to be going badly for them. Little do they (and their opponents) realize that they’ve already won. They got what they wanted—they radicalized the normies. Conservatism in 2021 is completely isolationist. Jews are about as popular as they were in 1937. Old-time religion is enjoying a resurgence. The Great Replacement is on Fox primetime. Everything is “based.” Alt-right memes and tropes are everywhere among normie conservatives and Trumpists, who in 2021 are finally as alienated as the readers of Radix were in 2012. The only problem is, they’re no less stupid for having been radicalized. The circus of American public life absorbed these poison darts, and carried on. The vanguard led its child army to the Holy City, and the windswept streets whispered “Rosebud” (and a promo code for MyPillow. Thanks, Jack Posobiec.)

Pay careful attention. I say this as a Pale Horse-before-it-was-cool conspiracy theorist: such an outcome is far, far beyond the abilities of Dr. Woland, Project Monarch, or the Elders of Zion. It depends on the constitution of the human creature—and his apotheosis, the American—something that can only be ascribed to the sick sense of humor of God Almighty. The problem was not hatched in a Prague cemetery, it was ordered loud and clear with a Dr. Pepper and a large fry.

Some carnival barker called Darren Beattie—a self-styled genius whose star is rising among right wingers, because they lack all sense of style—proposes that the antidote to left-wing moral fervor is right-wing moral fervor:

Juxtapose the slogan ‘Silence is violence’ with ‘Don’t tread on me.’ ‘Silence is violence’ is morally imperialist, and it will always beat ‘Don’t tread on me,’ and [this] registers the fact that the left, for all its faults, has the moral high ground, and that’s why they win. And so, until Republicans can be just as confident in being protectors of civilization against barbarism and destruction and defend civilization as such with the same kind of moral fervor that the left attempts to tear it down [using] words like ‘racism’…. Until they’re prepared to do that, they will lose. And so that’s the moral framework, and having the moral high ground gives you the confidence to hold frame in a discussion.

Where to begin with these brain contusions? The Republicans as “defenders of civilization”! “Civilization” is a buzzword, an affliction to which its sufferers apply the snake oil of moralism the way a junkie uses smack. This right wing junkie hates the left because the left has better smack. He needs the good stuff because getting help is out of the question—he cannot work for a living, he’s too far gone. “I’ll see your AOC and raise you a Father Coughlin and a No Nut November.” Is public discourse not insufferable enough? Who that lived through the summer of George Floyd could possibly want more moralism? This lunatic’s will to power is a game of blackmail anybody’s mother-in-law could beat him at, yet he intends to “defend civilization” with it. Sad!

Here is what this Beattie’s “moral high ground” looks like in practice:

The French and Indian War? Why not the Battle of Thermopylae? These dimwit spergs are everywhere now, with nothing to say for themselves but this Ancestry.com trivia. Outhouse intellectuals, consumer dissidents and high school football has-been dad bods who’ve learned the word “oligarchy.” The oligarchs couldn’t wish for choicer enemies, Beattie’s moral rectitude is the extent of their power:

Has the baggy-eyed soul of Spiro Agnew acquired a new flesh suit? The awakened Saxon would like to please speak to a manager. This loyalty-oath fetishist thinks the military is too woke because he doesn’t realize that Nietzsche’s “regulations to restrain him from without and hold him fast” were already gayer than a rubber dolphin. That’s why my sole loyalty is to my family and friends, and to timeless principals. I wouldn’t waste a drop of it on ideology, or institutions, or on making common cause with patriotic louts and moralfags against woke fairies and loons. If our rights don’t derive from government, but from God, then why this obsession with power? I don’t know about you, but my rights derive from me, and I don’t give a fuck what God or America has to say about it.

Reductio Ad Iudaeoram, Pt. II

innocence is bliss

Dave Chappelle is woke as fuck. He traffics in every NPR tote-bag trope from hair touching to food deserts, and tops off each of his specials with grave sermonizing about racism. His recent tranny bit was a fig-leaf for Netflix, and his “Space Jews” bit only made the whole thing palatable for consumer-dissidents of every variety, whose bravest ego-defense will always be Palestine.

What do I mean by this? Full-retard anti-semitism is not a garden variety prejudice, but its psychological mechanism is textbook projection, which works the same in every fanatical creed, its object being to salve the conscience while relinquishing one’s freedom. Moderate, “implicit,” classical liberal racism is sober and mature—the subtle recognition of ontological differences that makes mutual respect possible. Full-retard anti-semitism, in contrast, is dishonest precisely because it arises from a sense of innocence, something cunning and vindictive mediocrities are always in the market for.

As an illustration of this, here is Congressman Thomas Massie commenting apropos of the recent controversy around the congressional progressive caucus’s rejection of an allocation for Israel’s missile defense system:

the innocence abroad

I like Thomas Massie. I’d make him President if I could. I’m certainly not calling him an anti-semite, but his Twitter feed is full of this Pollyanna bilge, and his formulation (above) is a good illustration of psychological distancing. Obviously, both of these things (“fantasy” and “reality,” above) are true, and they’re interdependent because a lot of the time it’s Foreigner A exerting influence on Congress to suborn U.S. influence over Foreigner B. But even supposing Massie’s tweet is correct as formulated: in order to buy influence, you have to have someone who is willing to sell, someone who holds power and is willing to hire it out. What Massie was implying instead—and certainly what those applauding him inferred—is that foreigners are corrupting Americans who would otherwise be quite innocent in foreign affairs.

Well I like America fine, okay? But that’s pure idolatry. Ever heard of Brown Bros. Harriman, or Mr. Potter? How about the Contracts Clause, or Lin Manuel Noriega? This country was structured on peonage and patronage and foreign wars from day one. Horatio Alger was a pederast for chrissakes, and Reverend Dimsdale was a paragon of “a moral and religious people.” Show me a man who thinks the problem is Jews, and I will show you an exhibit of the psychology needed to willingly go on having a problem when the debt for it comes due. And as for those earnest liberals who now essentially view Israel entirely from the Palestinian perspective, if I was King of the Jews I’d relinquish everything up to the 1949 armistice lines just to force the purveyors of this thoroughly conventional iconoclasm to say what they really think.

Oh, and by the way: $4 billion per year in military aid to a country whose military is constrained by this arrangement to spend $20 billion here, annually, equals negative 16 billion dollars, geniuses.

Southern Exposure

There’s only one great road trip in Israel, a three-hour drive from Tel Aviv’s sweltering, interminable bumper-to-bumper through a great empty desert of sandstone canyons and date palms and camels, downhill all the way to the little manicured pubic-strip of beachfront hotels along Israel’s flea-speck of Red Sea shore. The Arava is a single arroyo so big you can see it from space, straining south toward furthest Arabia, punctuated by a massive below sea-level crater you can see a hundred miles across as you descend into it along serpentine switchbacks to its soft, sandy belly. Emerging at the other end, from eastward the craggy red mountain spine of Jordan leers down at you the remainder of the way to Eilat.

This dramatic topography belies the relative size of the speck of map that it crosses, and the contrast gives itself to a sensation of wild freedom comparable to driving from Denver to Taos, or from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe. When the highway finally reaches Eilat, you’re still looking downhill, across a long, gentle slope extending between foothills through town, down to the water and off down the coast of Saudi Arabia, as if the whole southern half of the country was one great funnel-shaped beachhead. To the east of you is Jordan, Egypt is immediately to the west, and the bay is full of Panamax tankers. No other place so small and narrow as Eilat could ever feel so wide open.

“They’ve got all these crime families in Israel, kafkazi, Moroccan. Mafia, mafia,” Boris informs me in slow, steady Hebrew as if he’s talking to a chinaman. We’re cruising south in Betzalel’s Lamborghini, top down, full moon beaming, the cool night air swirling in the desert around us. Boris is a street-wise general contractor who grew up in a pnimia, a kind of low-class boarding school for foster kids. Shrewd and charismatic, he has dreams of getting rich and a habit of cultivating useful friendships: Betzalel is the indolent and airheaded rich-kid pushover, and I am the American. I regard Boris with wry skepticism and he respects me for it. Plus we have a mutual sort of anthropological interest going on.

“And it’s true they pimp and run drugs,” Boris continues, “but would you believe where the bulk of their income is derived? From recycling. Municipal recycling! You get 10 agorot for a Coke can, right? Half a shekel for a bottle. So these guys extort restaurants and falafel stands for recyclables. Isn’t that wild?”

“No one in America would think to make a criminal enterprise out of saving the planet,” I respond. “That’s for damn sure.” (Actually, nowadays that’s not true anymore.)

Yotveta is the last stop before Eilat. We pile out. Boris and I grab chips and chocolate milk while Betzalel fills the gas tank.

It’s 1 AM on a Friday night when we check into the hostel. The room’s like a county jail cell, with eight bunks for a total of sixteen beds, a couple of violently buzzing fluorescent lights and a shitty ceiling fan. It’s not Betzalel’s kind of digs, but he was going along to get along because he didn’t want to be too generous.

A boisterous group of guys our age is drinking arak and playing dominos around a card table, monopolizing the space in front of the room’s single window, overlooking a boulevard where revelers are transiting back and forth loudly. These roommates are a half-dozen hairy kafkazi guys in skinny jeans and beaters, with two raven-haired broads standing, because the guys have all the chairs. One of the girls is frumpy and the other is pretty. They’re both wearing heavy layers of make-up. We nod to this group and the girls glance at us furtively, but I can tell the cute one had been looking at Boris.

We go out. We bar hop. We drink and dance and try to pick up chicks. Everyone comes to Eilat in discrete groups and it can be difficult to separate the women. Eventually the night finds us at a bar in this little cabana type place by the water. A largish group shuffles in behind us and in the dark I make out our roommates. As they pulled out stools Boris looked wary, but Betzalel struck up with them very amicably and before long we were all up the street in a nightclub with strobe lights, fog machines, a DJ and everything. Some drunk, sweaty chick was grinding on me, spilling her RedBull and vodka down my shirt in slips and slops, when I realized Boris and Betzalel had vanished. My dance partner was way too drunk for me to fuck honorably, and she smelled like faded Axe body spray and patchouli, so I took off looking for my friends. I found Boris around back by the dumpsters, making out furiously with the cute kafkazi girl from the hostel. Betzalel was off a ways, puffing on an L&M with his collar popped and pissing against a chainlink fence.

I walked right over. “Hey Boris man, where are those guys? You sure that’s a good idea?”

He tore himself off her face like a suction cup and looked around blankly. Then he said, “We’re taking a cab back to the room. You coming?”

“Uh…. Yeah, but what about those guys? You’re not worried?”

“Just stand guard down the hall for me.”

Ten minutes later I’m leaning on a vending machine with Betzalel when our douchebag roommates come bowling up the stairs like West Side Story. You could hear Boris fucking the shit out of this girl down the hall. “Hey, guys, how’s it going?” I put on a shit eating grin and tried to distract them, but they brushed right past me and into the room. I wasn’t gonna let them beat up my friend, but as I started to follow them in they burst out, dragging Boris by the scruff of his neck, shoeless with his belt buckle dangling. As the girl came slinking out, shamefaced and shoulders arched, Betzalel slipped into the room behind them and shut himself in. Betzalel’s grandfather owned an oil refinery in Greece, meat-packing plants in Israel, and God-knows what else. I’d been trying hard to like him but the fact was he was exceptionally stupid and contemptible.

In any case, I decided I’d play dumb with these kafkazi guys and see how far it got me. I trailed close but not too close behind them as they made their way to the parking lot, and when we emerged into the early morning I put on the thickest, most ham-fisted American accent I possibly could. “Hey where we going guys? We going back to the club?”

“Go back to the room, Sam!” Boris entreated. But as they opened the sliding side-door on their Mercedes Sprinter I slipped in behind the driver’s seat. “We going for breakfast or something guys?” I tried to look as moronic as I could. They all glanced at each other sidelong and kind of shrugged. Then they shoved Boris in beside me and five of them hopped in behind us. The sixth and runtiest one had bad acne, a ridiculous overbite and coke-bottle glasses with a headband. He grabbed the girl by the hair and slammed her face against the passenger-side window, then walked calmly around the front to the driver’s side. She snuffled and wiped a profuse stream of blood from her nose up her forearm, then from her forearm onto her pants. Then she climbed in the front passenger seat resignedly and buckled up.

There’s a ring road that goes up around Eilat into the burnt hills and comes out at a highway that winds up to an observatory and on along the Egyptian border. Dawn was breaking over Jordan as we turned east off the highway down a dirt track and off onto an endless, sandy mesa. Pretty soon we pulled over by some bushes and the driver snuffed the engine.

Boris was not the kind of guy to go quietly like he had, and the fact that no explicit threats had been made nor weapons brandished told me that on the one hand, these guys had good reason to be confident of being feared, which was very bad for us; but also that the situation was negotiable, because if you don’t need to make a threat explicit you don’t lose face by back-peddling. The question was how to give them latitude.

I hopped out ahead of the other guys in back as they dragged Boris out by his armpits like he’d been condemned to a firing squad. They threw him on the ground. I helped him up. Then they surrounded us as the biggest one, this choad-like, walleyed kid with a ginormous globule of neck fat separating his head from his shirt collar, brought out a tire iron and waddled over to right behind the little guy with the glasses. The runty one got right in Boris’s face.

“The name Benziad mean anything to you?”

“Yes, of course.” Boris replied. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean anything. I didn’t know.”

Eyal Benziad was one of the most feared names in Israel. I hadn’t lived in the country eighteen months and barely spoke the language, but even I knew that. The resemblance suddenly asserted itself: we were face to face with the son and protege of a mass murderer.

“Guys please,” Boris continued. “This is all a misunderstanding. I apologize. I really mean it. I didn’t know. I’m sorry. Please….” His voice was breaking. He was on the verge of tears.

Now, we may have been facing death, but I wasn’t going be murdered without my dignity, and Boris’s groveling pissed me off. At that time the U.S. wigger imitator of boogie lip-flap was a well-known comedy trope internationally, and I’m not proud to admit that I was going through a bit of a phase myself. In fact, at that moment I was dressed in a Sprewell jersey, Timberlands and basketball shorts down to my ankles. I looked like J-Rock from Trailer Park Boys. I even had on a sweatband. That’s when it dawned on me. I knew just what I had to do.

“Yo dawg, this some bullshit dawg!” I shoved Boris aside and got right in this kid’s face. “This my boy, dawg. We aint’ going out like no punks!” I said all this entirely in English, gesticulating as niggerishly as I possibly could. I tapped the runty kid lightly in the chest. “You fuckin’ with my boy, you fuckin’ with me dawg! We ain’t goin’ out like that. My boy ain’t no punk.”

The others tightened the circle around us. I’d tried, but now we were completely fucked. Just then the corner of the runty kid’s mouth turned up, and he glanced wryly around at the others. The walleyed kid in back burst out laughing like an orc receiving a handjob. That set off a chain reaction. First, the runt started cackling, then the others until they were gasping for breath. Boris glanced at me for a nanosecond, subtly enough to not be seen, with a look of supernal relief and amazement.

“What’s this guy’s name?” the runt asked Boris in Hebrew.

“Sam.”

“Sam? Nice to meet you.” He gave a mirthful snort as he stuck out his hand and we shook. “You America? America good. George Bush. Dr. Dre. You many good, many ha ha ha.” He said all this in English. “You friend name?”

“Boris,” I replied.

“Okay, Boris,” (now in Hebrew). “I think we can call this a misunderstanding. You need to have respect and be aware of who you’re dealing with in the future.”

“Absolutely. Thank you. Thank you.”

Then we all went back into town for omelettes and hair of the dog.

Please Hate Israel More

they’re the same picture

Alt-right tropes have been percolating into populist conservatism for awhile now. Chief among these is an outsized opprobrium of Jews and Zionism as major sources of national and societal ills. As the 2020s progress and the boomers die off, this dime-store eschatology will only intensify and spread. And you know what? I can’t wait.

I love being hated. I’m a born contrarian. The other foot is never any better than the shoe, and moral rectitude is always a mask. That’s why anti-semites are invariably all windy mediocrities. Some things never change.

Please don’t misunderstand—my recent polemics may have given the wrong impression. I am emphatically not urging anyone to hush-up their sniveling about Israel. On the contrary, please, please keep it coming. I like my enemies ridiculous, and if you ever stop honking your red rubber nose I don’t know what I’ll do with myself. Five years ago, these midwits were a vanguard; today, with reactionary clichés selling like Beatlemania, T.S. Eliot’s “freethinking Jews” are the stuff of teenybopper nightmares.

Chief among “dissident”-right dilettantism’s apostles to the magapedes is the lithe and dilated carnival barker, Nick Fuentes, who this week emerged triumphant from a debate with an obscure boomercon attorney, hosted by Alex Jones, on the subject (what else?) of perfidious Israel. Who that is impressed by this can rightfully complain about boomers? The fruit nowadays is as rotten as the vegetables. If Sacha Baron Cohen and Jonathan Greenblatt were to sodomize them in a pizza parlor and delete their Twitter app, I’d fall down laughing.

What does it mean, “America First”? It’s a spiteful, circuitous admission of worthlessness and defeat. It means, “why is no one defending me? Why can’t we have nice things? Where is my safe space to criticize your privilege? I’d like to please speak to a manager.” It is a syndrome of grown men who’ve only lately had the milk tit removed from their gibbering gobs.

And who is this American, who must be put first? What is an American? He is someone who would resent you if he had to lift a leg to step over your dying body on a hot sidewalk to get through the entrance of Panda Express. He’s a passive-aggressive spiritual carnie who loves his dog more than his next-door neighbor. Mountebanks like Fuentes out insisting he be catered to give no more of a shit about him than Lindsey Graham or Sean Hannity do.

The chief objective of U.S. foreign policy and military strategy since 1945 is unassailable technological and geospatial dominance. Jews ex machina is just the cost of doing business, when your business is to be in everybody else’s business. America was toppling legitimate governments, occupying foreign lands and handing out no-bid contracts to crimson profiteers long before Israel existed. It uses its reserve currency to decimate the economies of whole hemispheres and suck the surplus value out of them like a marrow bone. No one in the alt-right has anything to say about this unless they can pretend to blame it on Jews. “I can’t believe I’m doing this, I’m not that kind of girl.” Show me a radcon newly woke to ZOG, and I’ll show you a replicant who has no affirmative vision of what an “America First” foreign or military policy would look like. When the money changers are driven from the temple, the Groypers will follow them to Wal Mart.

all the hasbara we need

Conspiracy Tales

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the new normal

The town where I grew up is a hotbed of effete radicalism and low-grade mental illness. I came back in my mid-twenties to finish community college. There’s this hipster coffee shop downtown where I used to do all my homework—I’ll call it Café Tangier. One day I noticed a girl there reading a Hebrew novel. Let’s call her Shirley. We hit it off. She was going to university and working in a mall kiosk with her sister and her sister’s boyfriend—all Israelis.

None of these three were bad people. However, they had a friend who was. We’ll call him Lior. Lior had a friend named Jake. They claimed to be working for some kind of IT start-up, but the two of them were always just down at the Tangier, scoping people out, or hanging around the various student co-ops around town: the Caesar Chavez Co-op, Food Not Bombs House, etc. They gave the impression of a couple of con-men with a traveling act, like there was an invisible mist between them that only the two of them could see.

A cell of would-be ecoterrorists had been uncovered—entrapped, really—at the Tangier by an undercover FBI agent about a year before. At the nearby anarchist co-op (which had a neat little bookstore I would occasionally peruse) there was a flyer on the corkboard denouncing the cafe’s owners for allegedly cooperating with the FBI from the get-go of the case, denouncing Tangier hipsters as sell-outs, and warning people to stay away from the place. But it was a hopping little place, lots of coeds, good music, good conversation.

There were other odd characters around the Tangier, too. One of them looked like Bruce Willis—cue-ball bald, mid-forties, in decent shape (but bedraggled in a way that wasn’t convincing) and constantly at the Tangier as if he had nothing else going on. He had this shady gregariousness about him. I’d watch him befriend impressionable looking loners and overhear him shit-test them by peppering them with the most astounding BS.

Anyway, this Lior and Jake—there was something off about them, too. They couldn’t have been younger than 27. Lior was Israeli, in the States (according to him) since adolescence. Jake was a regular American. Their back story kept changing, not in the sense of glaring inconsistencies, but in the sense that it seemed improvised. We used to go out with Shirley and her sister and the sister’s boyfriend, and these two weasels—this Lior and Jake—would hone in on the youngest, most vulnerable looking girls they could find at the bars. One night, Lior showed up at Shirley’s place with a girl who was obviously a high schooler, painfully shy, homely… The whole thing looked very bad.

Now, if you’re thinking I’m a POS for not intervening, what can I tell you? Perversion is a triage situation. It was a boisterous house party and I had my own concerns.

Anyway, I used to ride my bike around town a lot, and one day I started seeing these flyers all over, on lampposts and bus benches: “We are anarchists. We are everywhere.” There was additional text. All I remember was that it contained some threat of violence, but the grievance wasn’t too clear. This was odd, considering not only that the campus radicals and cat-lady activists around town never threatened anyone, but were always very specific about what they were advocating. But this “We are anarchists” business just looked like a vacuous art project from some out-patient rehab.

One day I was on a foot path beneath a bridge when I got a flat tire. I used to do these road trips in the summer, by bicycle, from the coast up into the Sierras, and I was very proficient with all aspects of bike repair. So I knelt down to patch my tire. Once I had it patched and the glue was drying, I cast my gaze up the path. It ran along a river, but there was a park on the other side. Basically, I’m in the shadow under this bridge, looking up the path, with the river on the left side of my vision, and the park on the right. In the distance, I notice the Bruce Willis-looking guy from the Tangier. He had on a white t-shirt tucked into cargo pants, with this pair of absolutely autistic looking bus station urchins, half his age at most, straggling along behind him. He also had a stack of paper in one hand and a roll of packing tape in the other.

It was mid-morning on a weekday. The park was empty, but I was in the shadow of the bridge, so they couldn’t see me. I watched as this guy directed these two mouth breathers to post flyers on the park benches, and (with no one around to see him) his bearing was just unmistakably military. I went back later to the park, and just as I’d suspected, it was those dumb-fuck “We are anarchists” flyers, all over the playground and picnic tables.

Less than a week later, there was a little kristallnacht along the main downtown drag. Someone smashed up the windows of about a dozen shops late one night and spray-painted a bunch of menacing slogans, “We are anarchists” among them. After that, the city council passed emergency regulations, applied for (and received) federal grants to blanket the downtown in surveillance cameras, and the FBI permanently stationed a squadron of some kind at the local police station.

A month or so later, Occupy Wall Street broke out. Hippy liberalville being what it is, a camp mushroomed up at that park where I’d gotten my flat tire. Meanwhile, Lior was the ringleader of a cadre that broke into and holed up in a vacant storefront across from the county courthouse. He ran their Facebook page, and throughout their “occupation” he was constantly on Facebook posting appeals for food and blankets and for people to join in—a rather odd commitment for someone who was supposedly working full-time at a start-up. His rather benign LARP-sesh was broken up after a week, and four of the participants—all American Apparel shopper college students—got hit with serious federal charges, including “terrorism” shit.

But Lior never faced any consequences.

I didn’t like the guy, nor respect him, but before that I’d at least have greeted him when he saw me. But afterwards? No way. I stayed the fuck away from that dude from then on, and I never went back to Café Tangier.

Wear the Mask, Bigot

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“TRS retweeted”

I had an instructor in college, a black woman, who used to arbitrarily hand out low grades to smart white students. (No—not just to me.) She would always gerrymander the topic of race into her lectures, too. It was very annoying. Essentially, this person lived and breathed negritude. She had a software system in her brain that not only scanned constantly for certain signs, but could make totally unrelated signs fit the patterns her software was designed to uncover. This is the kind of thing I have always seen going on with the JQ on the alt-right:

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You’re more than welcome to take a look at the thread that Enoch here is retweeting from. You may notice a few things. First, Zach Goldberg does not have a blue checkmark. He’s not a public personality. For a private person, 12.9K followers is nothing to sneeze at, but his word is no more consequential than Enoch’s is at 14.3K. Second, where does Zach Goldberg “blame whites for the problem”? I don’t see it. Third—who is “everybody clapping”? The reactions to Goldberg’s thread seem to mostly be from Joe Rogan bro types. For them, the information presented is novel indeed. So what’s more likely? That Goldberg is appropriating WN talking points because he’s a Jew who wants to co-opt sperg audiences? But that would be Mike Enoch’s job. Zach Goldberg, on the other hand, is obviously just a derpy centrist who’s late to these insights.

When you commit yourself to narrow activism, you have to die on that hill, and there will be times that you have to make a lawyerly argument, to obfuscate, to filibuster and demagogue. It takes no great powers of perception to pick up on the fact that Mike Enoch is a master of this. But what this little example with the Zach Goldberg retweet reveals is that Enoch also has no problem concocting the purest, most blatant lies and putting them in front of his audience.

A couple weeks ago I was listening to an FTN podcast, and within the first ten minutes, one of the presenters, referring disdainfully to conspiracy theories about COVID-19, says, “If you can convince me that Bill Gates is Jewish, I’ll believe this conspiracy.”

Putting aside the fact that of course the plutocracy is disproportionately Jewish, FTN here encapsulates my whole problem with alt-right JQ memes. Bill Gates is fucking shady. COVID-19 is shady. The government’s whole response to it is shady. It’s obviously a huge psyop. Yet in the absence of Jews ex machina, none of this interests TRS. Months after they happened, these guys are still disparaging the statehouse anti-lockdown protests (~45:10) in terms resembling those used by liberal pundits. What remains of Spencer’s cohort is likewise still treating COVID skepticism dismissively (~38:00). This isn’t just a difference of opinion about the numbers. It’s moral support for a plutocrat agenda from people who brand themselves as dissidents.

Here’s another example, this one from James Allsup: “Easily Falsifiable 5G Conspiracies are a Hamster Wheel for White People.” Well of course an “easily falsifiable” theory is not worth anybody’s time. But that’s not what Allsup is really saying. TRS has internalized MSM tactics, which (again) they have an obvious talent for. So the point of an article like this is not to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to 5G “conspiracy theories.” It’s to plant a suggestive seed in the minds of unwary followers that some (pretend) authority says you’re a moron or a liar if you’re concerned about 5G whatsoever. Yet 5G is a critical tool of an incoming system of totalitarian social control. You only have to look at the facts. Why would these self-styled dissidents want to discourage that?

They do the same thing with 9/11—not just to their audience, but to their colleagues. A few years ago on a podcast (~50:00), podcaster “The Mad Wop” starts in with a bit of trutherism. Promptly, and with a lot of pretentious sighs and awkward pauses, Enoch and McNabb start steering him away like a couple of boardwalk con-men, claiming there’s no hard evidence for non-mainstream theories, blaming Saudi Arabia and “bureaucratic incompetence.” McNabb then asks, supposing it was an inside job, “what does it get us” to promote 9/11 truth?

IDK, what does it get you to promote Goebbels and Himmler? The fuck outta here.

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First they say al-Qaeda did it, then they say they’ve “always been skeptical” (~20:00) of the official narrative. Then they say the Jews did 9/11 at the same time (~20:00) they say the Jews “created the whole 9/11 truth movement.” None of this makes sense. Noticers aren’t supposed to not notice things. Professional noticers are not supposed to run a sideline in telling their audience, “Move along, nothing to see here.”

So what am I saying? Am I saying that TRS are feds or that you shouldn’t be listening to them? Look: when they’re right, they’re right—amen. When they’re entertaining, they’re entertaining—bravo. And when they’re lying, they’re lying. I frankly couldn’t care less about their identities, or their real motivations. I don’t really know who anybody is on the internet. The only barometer of honesty is whether the things you say are true. TRS says many true things, and they also have a propensity for obscurantism that’s very odd considering the boldness of their worldview in other areas.

There’s a name for this kind of thing. It’s called gatekeeping. Beyond that, I won’t speculate. I don’t have to.

Unfollow, Pt. I

 

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“A queen practicing self-care.” Do we have monarchy in America? You know…. crowns? Coronas? Today America, and the world, have never been less free. Yet, in a way, we’ve never been freer, because we’re nearing nothing left to lose. This COVID lockdown is putting things right into perspective.

How do people behave when they have a lot to lose? According to Wikipedia:

The Mulford Act was a 1967 California bill that repealed a law allowing public carrying of loaded firearms. Named after Republican assemblyman Don Mulford, and signed into law by then governor Ronald Reagan, the bill was crafted in response to members of the Black Panther Party who were lawfully conducting armed patrols of Oakland neighborhoods, in what would later be termed copwatching. They garnered national attention after Black Panther members, bearing arms, marched upon the California State Capitol to protest the bill.

Of course, that’s not what’s going on, above, in that screenshot from the Instagram of one Lenard Larry McKelvey (who is not only royal, but divine.) No, those African-Americans are bearing arms at a state capitol not in opposition to, but in support of gun control. The Michigan legislator there is being escorted into the statehouse by armed men because she claims to fear for her life from “armed protesters marauding through the state capitol demanding an end to the coronavirus lockdown.” Here is a snapshot of just a few of these rapscallions:

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Just how were they able to get away with it? Why, the color of their skin, of course:

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Then again, one way of testing this hypothesis (don’t tell Mehdi Hasan) would be to look at a control group, like (say) the one in Sacramento that same week. Same demands, same politics, same podunk demographic…. Except the Californians didn’t even get into the statehouse. They got zip ties from stormtroopers, while their counterparts in Michigan got a field trip.

How to explain this disparity? I’ll tell you how. Common sense gun reform:

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That screencap just above is from the campaign website of Michigan State Rep. Sarah Anthony, the same Rep. Sarah Anthony being escorted by gunmen in the Instagram screenshot up top. You see, not unlike assemblyman Don Mulford, Rep. Anthony supports common sense gun reform like they have in California. What would the Black Panthers make of this—from an African queen, no less? Well…. Perhaps they’d think the same thing the NRA thought of the Mulford Act.

The Mulford Act appears cowardly in retrospect, because at 2020 levels of disillusionment it would be naive to rely on government protection in this manner. But that’s not the huge difference it seems like. It’s axiomatic that middle-class Americans became decadent after the war. The Mulford Act is just a tree ring that gives some indication of how long this has been the case.

I was tempted to remark here that the Black Panthers were a separatist organization, whereas today’s black activists are pets of the corporate state. But that’s also not the huge difference it seems like, because the insight that emerges when we juxtapose these two mirror incidences (Sarah Anthony’s little gun stunt on the one hand, and the Mulford Act on the other) is that white power is inseparable from what we mean when we talk about America. Non-whites tend to understand this implicitly. English civilization reorganized itself as a republic on a new continent and absorbed the repressed energies of half of Europe’s peasantry. It was glorious while it lasted, but it certainly had its undeserving victims. So when you see white liberals and big business patronizing blacks, it’s tempting to think that they’ll catch on to this, that they’ll feel insulted and withdraw from being used in this manner. But a critical mass of them never will, because they’re happy to ally with whomever, if it means tearing at the mythos of a country whose bygone glories belong solely to the white man.

And the more pathetic the specter of the white man becomes, the harder it will be necessary to beat him, because our historic outliers can no more admit to a politics of revenge than conservatives (another dog whistle for whites) can admit that what they are defending is whiteness. Read Jack London, Sven Hedin, or Bruce Chatwin’s In Patagonia, and you get a sense of the extent to which the late 19th and early 20th centuries was this big bang of triumphant energy of one great race, like a salmon racing upstream to spawn. This will no more be forgiven than it was ever destined to last. No Russian Revolution, no 1919 World Series, no degenerate Hemingway or child-free Jennifer Aniston will ever suffice to absolve us of this. As long as civilization as we know it persists, its bitter medicine will be these upheavals. And so whom we chose to hate, and on what terms, is a stalking horse for an abyss of memory that we cannot consciously recognize without hazarding a definitive break from a system we’ve become dependent on, like a woman or child dependent, living under a pallor of fear in an abusive relationship.

For example, a few weeks back, Texas Gov. Greg Abbot issued an emergency quarantine order that shuttered Texas businesses. One Dallas salon owner, Shelley Luther, decided to defy Gov. Abbot’s order and keep food on the tables of her stylists’ families. She reopened, and before long, Texas authorities arrested her. Texans were outraged by this. Conservatives are mad about it. Ms. Luther and her attorney are mad about it. But do you know who they’re mad at? Not Gov. Abbott. No. They got mad, instead, at some little metro court judge for enforcing the governor’s order:

How very convenient. If you were a witness in Sheriff Tucker’s county jail lineup, he’d have you cover one eye.

 

I have an acquaintance, a German (not Jewish) who is quite elderly. Regarding coronavirus—the lockdown and the fear and the mass, compulsive rule following—he said, “This is how it began.” It put me in mind of a quote I’m fond of:

An assault on the inviolability, on the sacredness of the home, would have been impossible in old Iceland in the way it was carried out in 1933, among a million inhabitants of Berlin, as a purely administrative measure. A laudable exception deserves mention here, that of a young social democrat who shot down half a dozen so-called auxiliary policemen at the entrance of his apartment. He still partook of the substance of the old Germanic freedom, which his enemies only celebrated in theory…. Naturally, he did not get this from his party’s manifesto….

Are you “partaking of the old Germanic freedom,” or just “celebrating in theory?

Part II….

il y a une lumière

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mirror mirror, on the wall

>”For some, Notre Dame serves as a symbol of an idealized France that never really existed.
>”For some, the human brain, which is really just taco meat, serves as a symbol of an idealized, interconnected web of neural pathways.”
>”For some, geometry serves as a discriminatorily encoded reification of hierarchies of institutional dominance in a romanticized grid of space-time.”
>”For some, Botticelli’s Venus serves to unrealistically conflate womanhood with light and beauty, thus obscuring and denigrating cankles, acne, period blood, cockroaches, dead puppies, and choleric diarrhea flecked with wiry asshairs.”
>”For some, a cocker spaniel is a child, and a kindergartener is a melanoma.”
>”For some, belly buttons are assholes, midgets are space dolphins, and you can get pregnant in the poopy hole.”

The Four Freedumbs

I’m not an inveterate conservative. Show me an innovation or reform that actually improves life, and I’ll take it. But that never happens anymore, which is why no one identifies any longer as “progressive.” You never even hear the word nowadays, because pretending that their agenda is constructive would be too shameless even for liberals.

As a perfect example of this, consider if you will the following 21st-century reimagining of Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms:

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Freedom of Speech

(1) Freedom of Speech: In the original, two apparently established, white-collared gents are craning their necks to hear a frumpy blue-collar Joe speak his mind, because one’s value to the community depends on more than money and professional credentials.

In the revision, in contrast, two men who apparently sell burner phones in a mall are craning their necks toward a moon-faced woman in a plunging blouse, whose value to the community is as unclear as a LinkedIn profile with a bio that reads “Seeking opportunities.” Superficial characteristics such as the subjects’ ethnicity, gender and/or personal style are the sole and total measures of their intrinsic worth.

Incidentally, in order to emphasize the lone white male on the bottom right (presumably a bartender or used car salesman) listening to the lady-POC, the artists not only cast him as the best-dressed (i.e., the richest) person in the room, but they intuit, in spite of their ideological conditioning, that in order to be the kind of white male who cares what she has to say, he would need to have a rapey neck tattoo. Just as it’s easier to imagine the end of the world than it is to imagine the end of capitalism, the browning of America is easier to imagine as a temp-to-hire gig economy than as a workforce with real bargaining power.

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Freedom of Worship

(2) Freedom of Worship: In the original, you have a Jew (foreground, right), Protestants (the elderly couple with clasped hands), a Catholic (the blond in the middle with the Rosary), a skeptic or agnostic (the pensive-looking, dark-haired man behind her with one hand tugging on his chin) and a black woman, presumably Southern Baptist, in the back (in the original you can see more of her; part of the frame is cut out here).

Meanwhile, in the revision, there’s no discernible religious or even ethnic diversity, unless the arresting prettiness of the girl in the star-spangled hijab is intended to imply that she’s a convert, or a fair-skinned Bosnian or Levantine, i.e., (in either case) that whiteness, being intrinsically more beautiful than the alternatives, is something to which Muslims, too, can aspire. The co-mingling here of genders at a Muslim prayer service is likewise illusory, a multi-culti fantasy, total bullshit. Though there is a man with a hand on his chin, this is probably just unthoughtful mimicry of the original, because overt skepticism is so unlikely in a Muslim prayer quorum. But supposing he’s a skeptic—in the future this painting imagines and fetishizes, there’s only one religion to be skeptical of (the prayer beads of the partially-visible man in the top right are Muslim, not a Rosary). That’s what is meant here by diversity. Wild, huh?

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Freedom from Want

(3) Freedom from Want: There’s a discernible reduction here (on the left) in freedom from want, with a loaf of bread (or psyllium-husk dry-cake of some kind) replacing the turkey. It’s fair to assume that in the original, nearly everyone at the table is related. In the redux, the man of the house is serving a bunch of people who are clearly not related. Why does he have his jacket on in the dining room? Also, no grandma—it appears as though the food was not plentiful enough to include her; perhaps she’s already been dumped in an insurance-bilking hospice. Again, the sole measures of human worth in the revision are superficial: ethnicity, gender, beard-thickness, all in service of the conceit that the revolution has gone ahead and we’re all now freely flying our freak flags.

Obviously, bourgeois Anglos can be extremely fake and mercenary—there’s been an unending stream of literature and film about this subject since the 1950s. But this quality is absent from the original Rockwell, whereas the redux has the kind of eyeless-smile energy you sense, e.g., in a nouveau-cutsie neoliberal uptown brunch spot.

Notice as well that the revision fails to recapitulate Rockwell’s alignment, i.e., other than the woman with the baby, no one in the update is gazing directly at anyone else—and the baby looks a tad apprehensive, as though he’s just been passed to a stranger. The woman wears an expression like she’s holding someone else’s baby for the first time. Or perhaps it’s hers, and was only just recently harvested from her Nepalese surrogate.

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Freedom from Fear

(4) Freedom from Fear: I’ve read somewhere that nearly fifty percent of gay men report having been molested as children—if true, this certainly comports with what I know from gay friends and acquaintances. In any case, the kids on the left have intentionally been deprived of their mother (a mother still being a requirement of being born), so theirs is a qualitatively worse situation than that of the children on the right. It’s only the adults whose lives have ostensibly improved. Of course, the original was entitled “Freedom from Fear”—ask yourself whether kids in 2018 are more likely than their 1943 counterparts to be free to play outside unsupervised without fear, and you’ll immediately grasp how obscene and delusional is the suggestion that things have either improved or not deteriorated utterly in terms of children’s freedom from fear. But then, the ideological milieu this Rockwell redux emerged from doesn’t really give a shit about children in any visceral sense. Mimicry of Eisenhower-era family values is the great irony of gay marriage, and it strongly underscores how completely artificial the neoliberal brownie-points moralism exemplified in these paintings is—it has no original quality and in its self-loathing envy must plunder from the past it reviles, wearing it like a skin. It is the sad loaf of bread to the juicy roast turkey, the swivel-eyed jazz-hound to the loving matriarch, the cryogenically fertile poofter imitators to the biologically complimentary genuine article.

There’s a movie about precisely the transition this Rockwell-redux is proposing, and documenting—it’s called Idiocracy.

The Office Versus Office Space

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“Yeah, if you could picture a boot stamping on a human face, forever—that’d be great.”

Consider the differences between the film Office Space and the TV series The Office (U.S. version.)

In Office Space, there’s a real overall sense of gall. The protagonist and his accomplices refuse to accept their circumstances as normal. They harbor an inchoate sense of higher purpose that’s inimical to their work lives, and in fact, we frequently see them out of work, out of doors, driving around town, in their apartments, at barbecues. In The Office, on the other hand, there’s an overall sense of compensatory smugness: rather than underground solidarity, and questioning their circumstances, the characters content themselves with feeling smarter than one another and (especially) the boss, as a salve to their embittered acceptance of dreary mediocrity. When they help each other it’s less like prisoners plotting an escape and more like nursing home inmates giving one another a sad hand job. 

The characters in The Office have no lives outside of work. Throughout the series we rarely see the outside world, and when we do it’s usually either the parking lot, the loading dock, a business trip, or an office party where all are present and thus no kind of subversive plan can be hatched like the one that forms the plot of Office SpaceThe Office is like a claustrophobic horror movie set to hokey folk-brewery muzak. Its whole premise is to normalize the most pernicious ennui and paralysis in guise of social critique—social critique being the maximum extent of satisfaction anybody (characters and viewers) is intended to get out of it.

This is how man-boob IPA and fantasy football are reverse-marketed to urbanites who think they’re better than the rednecks; it’s how work-as-identity is given plausible deniability for failed artists bagging groceries at Trader Joe’s and has-been high school drug dealers working sales at Best Buy. The NPC meme’s unintentional depth (that the alt-right can never fathom) is that it has everything to do with how we live, and nothing to do with how we identify.

Unlike the classic hero quest where evil is ultimately overcome, The Office co-opts the viewer to the flaws of the world the characters inhabit by centralizing the upward trajectory of Jim, the series’s one unironically sympathetic character, and his rivalry with the obtuse and narcissistic boss, Michael Scott. There is no third option, as there is in Office Space: the worker’s choices are the carrot, or the stick. The boss can be hated, but only with resignation, and padded, puerile shenanigans form the outer limit of anybody’s volition within this dreary frame of Sisyphean neoliberal servitude.

The Office does not critique the neutered Hobbesianism of corporatism so much as it smuggles it in through the back door by co-opting the viewer’s sense of gall to a passive-aggressive amusement so cheap it scarcely rises to the level of humor or compelling irony. It is the prescription lithium of art and entertainment.