Category Archives: Idiocracy

Sanctuary of Shamelessness

The secret of a master deal-maker

I never would’ve thought Donald Trump and Mahmoud Darwish had anything much in common, but hearing Trump make his announcement this morning recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital reminded me of the same banality of holiness evoked in Darwish’s “A Soldier Dreams of White Lillies.”

Like anything—not least our 45th president—that poem has its flaws (it denies the reality of Jewish communion with the land, and suggests that a Jew disabused of vulgar nationalism can only abandon his community and quit the region.) Not incidental to those flaws, the Arab threats of violence in this matter are frivolous, narcissistic and—above all—boring, even if they’re followed through upon. 

The first Arab riots against Zionist designs on Jerusalem were sparked in 1929 by allegations that the placement of a dozen chairs and a cloth mekhitza for elderly Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall was a prelude to the destruction of the al-Aksa mosque—the rioters murdered whole families. As of 2017, fifty years of Israeli administration has entailed a great deal of covetous malfeasance, but not the slightest disrespect of the Noble Sanctuary. Yet the Muslims never tire of this pretext, and such outbreaks are veritably seasonal in Jerusalem, because—although Israel indeed steals their property and stifles their freedom to organize—the real Zionist provocation has always been assertiveness on the part of a non-Muslim minority. Political repression is par for the course in that region with or without Israel, and in almost every Muslim land, some ethnic or religious minority is constrained to know its place, and know it well.

Fortunately, Jewish non-combatants are better protected today than in 1929, because a Palestinian protest is rarely just that, and international audiences watching Israeli troops fire tear gas canisters into throngs of Arab men don’t generally realize the appetite of the Palestinian resistance for violent confrontation is not limited by scruples regarding age, gender, or non-combatant status—nor, until quite recently, has it ever been readily divisible into violent and non-violent factions.

So for Trump to be deterred by the Arab street’s predictable reaction would be pusillanimous, regardless of whether his Jerusalem decision was a wise one. But the arbitration of highly sensitive religious matters by the star of The Apprentice may not be the biggest irony here. That among all the gravely concerned world leaders opposing him in the matter (not a few of them embezzlers, inveterate liars and icky-fingered war criminals in their own right) the one whose objections carry the most moral force is the sinister pope, Francis—a gilded, pharisaical career accomplice to the foulest possible acts of sexual predation—is a commentary all its own. The conventional wisdom is that the international community indulges Israel and tolerates Palestinian suffering, but generally speaking, the extent of world outcry on the Palestinians’ behalf is greater, more sustained and less proportionate to the corollary offenses against them than any sympathy the Jews have ever managed to elicit, certainly from the Vatican, and including during the Holocaust. Massacre of Jews just feels too familiar to be condemned without nuance: a consensus that Israel ought to be prepared at all times to absorb a modicum of civilian casualties—without response, as a matter of course—exists among world bodies, governments, NGOs and news agencies that would never be so much as whispered to Muslims as a suggestion. Since the Oslo Accords went into effect not only Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the PFLP but the PLO (through its bad-cop Tanzim faction—essentially a death squad) has carried out dozens of attacks on Israeli civilians. So when PLO officials and PLO-affiliated scions of Palestinian civil society like Marwan Bishara, in his capacity as a TV host for Al Jazeera, warn that bloodshed will result from Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, they aren’t forecasting the weather—they’re making a threat. Of course they don’t mean to be understood this way by anyone but the Jews. Surely (to some degree) they don’t even understand themselves this way, because the Palestinians are always supposed, and suppose themselves, to lack agency in events. Like the dozen chairs which provoked them to a frenzy of murder of women, children and the elderly in 1929, they don’t think, they are only moved by others. Supposing we grant this premise, then when Ismail Haniyeh warns that Trump has “opened the gates of hell” with his decision: who are the demons?

But if the Muslims are evil to covet Jerusalem, the Jews are evil for clinging to it, and ought to be put in mind of an Arab proverb: “Where there is concession, there is strength.” I, for one, would take a summer night out drinking in Tel Aviv or an autumn morning strolling the hills of Haifa over an eternity ensconced in the King David Hotel presidential suite. For what is Jerusalem? It certainly isn’t worth American lives. I recall it as a dusty, mildewy disappointment, like a woman who has to be gazed at from a very peculiar angle to be thought beautiful; the Dome of the Rock as a lid rattling precariously atop a broiling, apoplectic sense of entitlement; the Holy Sepulcher as a creepy, vulgar little tourist trap akin to an amusement park haunted house. And the Western Wall? That Jews should venerate and kill and be killed for that stupid, ugly pile of bricks left behind by Herod—a sadistic Quisling—is the very definition of idolatry that Judaism once cut its teeth forbidding.

So I don’t use the word “evil” lightly. Israeli administration of Jerusalem has from the very beginning involved strategically needless property theft, selective destruction of historical sites and expulsion of innocent people from their homes. In 2007, this was ratcheted up to the worst form of desecration: the wholesale removal of medieval Muslim graves to a trash dump and their replacement by a Wiesenthal “Museum of Human Dignity” (seriously) atop the former grounds of the Mamilla Cemetery, just over the Green Line from the Old City. But Israel’s “unified eternal capital” is, indeed, an interactive museum, teetering precariously on the nape of what normal, everyday life still manages to persist there. It belongs in the same general category as Florida’s Holy Land Experience, or the Kentucky Creation Museum, but at least those institutions’ proprietorship doesn’t require recurring blood sacrifice (or grave robbery.) There is so much that is beautiful and admirable about Israel, but to the extent that the place is ugly, it’d be a lot less so without the Old City of Jerusalem and the mischief that the coveting of holy relics always inspires:

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In Defense of Bowe Bergdahl

Thanksgiving turkey

(See also: “In Defense of the Westboro Baptist Church” and “American Diaper“)

“Experiences of inner emptiness, loneliness, and inauthenticity are by no means unreal or, for that matter, devoid of social content; nor do they arise from exclusively ‘middle- and upper-class living conditions.’ They arise from the warlike conditions that pervade American society.” (Christopher Lasch, American historian, 1932-1994)

For at least the duration of this week, Bowe Bergdahl will remain the most hated man in red-state America. So far, the loudest voices denouncing him are the supporters of a sitting American president who, as a draft-eligible youth during Vietnam, received four deferments and a (probably) bogus medical disqualification from military service while other, less privileged young men went to war in his stead. Most of Bergdahl’s detractors will have never served in any military or, if they did, will never have deployed to a combat zone.

An acerbic remark about the President’s draft dodging was in the news two weeks ago. It was made by an admiral’s son who graduated at the bottom of his class at West Point; who, once in theater in Southeast Asia, was promptly captured and sang, like Bergdahl, for enemy propaganda. This admiral’s son was eventually released home and a (probably) false narrative of heroism was promulgated as he rose to a seat in the US Senate, while hundreds of his fellow POWs were left behind—a disgrace he has been at the forefront of covering up for decades. Like the President, the Senator sends US servicemen to die for sordid reasons that will never be clarified to the American public. But most of Bergdahl’s detractors won’t get too animated about that.

From what can be gathered on his Wikipedia page, Bowe Bergdahl is an omega-male eccentric: homeschooled, vaguely artistic, brought up in a splinter sect church but with a fetish for Buddhism and delusions of sauntering off into the wide Mohammedan vistas of Central Asia like some kind of Great Game cartographer.

Here is what he emailed home shortly before being captured:

The future is too good to waste on lies…. In the US army you are cut down for being honest, but if you are a conceited brown nosing shit bag you will be allowed to do what ever you want, and you will be handed your higher rank… I am ashamed to be an american…. The US army is the biggest joke the world has to laugh at. It is the army of liars, backstabbers, fools, and bullies…. We don’t even care when we hear each other talk about running [Afghan] children down in the dirt streets with our armored trucks…. I am sorry for everything. The horror that is america is disgusting.

Jaundiced, subliterate vomitus. Still, it contains little in the way of outright falsehood. But if a narcissist is someone who conceptualizes himself as the star of his own movie (“The future is too good to waste”) then the character Bergdahl is playing is Rambo with a lisp, and the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. Here is what his father wrote back:

OBEY YOUR CONSCIENCE!

Dear Bowe, In matters of life and death, and especially at war, it is never safe to ignore ones’ conscience. Ethics demands obedience to our conscience. It is best to also have a systematic oral defense of what our conscience demands. Stand with like minded men when possible. Dad.

¡Conscience!

Conscience? That’s the last thing you need in the army. Bergdahl the Elder (a typical exponent of the kind of hippy-confederate pretense to self-reliance so common in the late-American cycle) is essentially advising junior not to reimburse gangsters he willfully borrowed money from. Bowe’s wrong about the Ugly American, too: what’s peculiarly disgusting about Americanness is not compulsive rule-following or callous disregard for human life (those things are universal.) Rather, it’s the coquettish insistence on enjoying complicity and rebellion simultaneous.

When I was in the Israeli army I got butt-hurt about something and went AWOL for a week. I rode into Jerusalem and left my bag and rifle in a locker at a youth hostel, but I didn’t want to be there either, so I went for a jog.

It was late. It was dark. After running four or five miles, I realized that the Dome of the Rock was peering at me from an angle it never had before. I emerged out of darkness into a well-lit intersection. Packs of male teenagers were roughhousing on street corners. Cabs and delivery drivers with unfamiliar license plates were stalled up and down the curb. The smelly runoff from dumpsters and shawarma-joint mop buckets mingled in the gutters. Waddling matrons in hijabs were taking advantage of the evening reprieve from the summer heat to do their grocery shopping at vendors’ stalls. The storefronts were lit up in neon Arabic.

I had wandered, unarmed and alone, into Palestine (well, Baba Zahara, technically within Israeli jurisdiction, but still a Hamas hotbed.) A callow, bourgeois existentialist, I didn’t know who I really was, and when I did, the conviction was fleeting. But if the people on that street had noticed me—or, if I hadn’t gotten out of there swiftly in the direction from which I’d come—they’d have known perfectly well who I was, and things would have turned out very, very bad for me.

Of course, war pervades the middle east, but “war-like conditions” pervade America. What does that mean? Deception is the essence of war, but what is the essence of America? You can see it in Times Square, in a Hollywood picture, a philanthropic campaign or public apology. What characters are more quintessentially American than the huckster, the shill, the confidence man, the philandering or money grubbing preacher, the motivational charlatan, the tycoon?

The first white men who settled this continent came in search of freedom: cash crops, real estate, Montezuma’s coffers. Slaves. The freedom of finder’s keepers. The freedom to fuck, suck, eat and shit. Freedom isn’t free—it has to be strong-armed, unfortunately. If she didn’t have all that oil, we wouldn’t have needed to invade ‘er. True, many of the Indians were no better to each other; and subsequent waves of immigrants escaping to these shores came largely for prosaic reasons, if not sordid ones. What savior, what savant, what Dostoevsky Idiot can rightly demand any redress of grievances now? For example, today the curtain is being peeled back on the world of American pederasty. Bravo. But the father of American pederasty was Horatio Alger.

In summarizing the film American Beauty, a once verbally-unchastened Louis CK put it aptly:

Kevin Spacey playing the man… he’s fantasizing about fucking a cheerleader in high school, and the way they represent this, in this gay movie, this fucking bunch of cum through a projector—according to this movie, when you fantasize about a cheerleader, you lie on your back and rose petals fall all over your body. Instead of her hot, sweaty ass, and the confused look on her face as you cum in her stupid eye…. No, it’s Kevin Spacey with a sweet look on his face, and flower petals, and jazzy music.

[And at the end of the movie, the ex-Marine] is the one who’s really gay. ‘None of us are gay, it’s actually the one hetero guy, he’s the gay one.’ No one else is gay, Kevin Spacey’s not gay. He’s straight as an arrow, he lifts weights, listens to Zeppelin, drives a Firebird—and thinks about fucking rose petals. And then when he actually sees her tits he almost vomits…. He finally sees the 18 year old tits and says, what have I been doing all this time? I forgot I like men….

If the makers of American Beauty (such as Clinton confidante Harvey Weinstein, the film’s exec-producer) can glorify pederasty and drug-dealing, but can’t forgive an ex-Marine, it’s because “it belongs to human nature to hate whom we have injured.” But the consignment of combat veterans to poverty, derangement and indifference is an effect, not the cause of injury. The Bergdahl case illustrates this in ways we might not like to know.

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Love wins

The last American to be tried and executed for dissertation, during WWII, was found guilty of escaping from danger (near the front lines), back into safety (in a liberated area of France.) Bowe Bergdahl, on the other hand, spurned safety and traipsed off into incredible danger. To treat this extraordinary incident strictly as a commentary on the stupidity or moral turpitude of Bergdahl himself is to miss its significance entirely; rather, it’s an indication of how suffocatingly padded, litigious, infantilized and delusional American life has become. A system that automizes, “utilizes,” and pathologizes people, and measures them by “metrics,” can offer young men for fodder, but cannot let them be men. On the far-flung rugged terrain of Afghanistan this vaginized baby-sitter regime only trebles its emphasis on procedure and safety and unthinking.

But how would a green recruit know that in advance? Not only is Hollywood not gonna tell him, no one in his community will, either: scarcely 1% of Americans have or ever will serve in the US military, and if they aren’t keeping their mouths shut about it, they’re probably blowing smoke (bravely, I might add.) But if Bowe Bergdahl did just eight hours of guard duty, he did 8000% more than most any of the rest of us. Sure, he got people killed and injured looking for him; everyone else is content to let others be injured and killed in our place. Bergdahl’s crime is not being a bigger piece of shit than most other Americans, it’s being exactly as big a piece of shit, with the added feature of bad timing.

That most of his colleagues in the combat arms represent a greater or lesser exception to this goes without saying. So certainly there is a characteristically American kind of honor—there has to be, it provides fodder for the other penguins to shove into the water. But Sun Tzu was wrong when he said the supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. In America, our enemies are one another, they’re everywhere, and the supreme art of war is to get them to fight your battles for you. To obfuscate, intimidate or disconcert and get something for nothing while the mark blames himself. Maybe I deserved it. Maybe I secretly wanted it. I didn’t fight hard enough. I saved my objections for the staircase. I had no choice. I’ll find a way to compensate. At least I wasn’t the only one. Conscience is freedom’s truest enemy.

The grasping protagonist of Borges’ The Immortal is a legionnaire who says “I barely glimpsed the face of Mars [and] that privation grieved me, and was perhaps why I threw myself into the quest, through vagrant and terrible deserts, for the City of the Immortals.” How much flailing braggadocio is likewise expended by American men who will never feel truly tested, vindicated or individuated? That weaselly energy has got to profit somebody in this land of second chances, where Jesus is Lord, insurance is mandatory and Budweiser urges you to drive responsibly. Where once we came fleeing persecution or poverty, today, with nowhere else to go, we try (and fail) to escape from ourselves. Profligacy, obesity, overdoses, dropouts, car crashes, rap sheets, rejection, one-night stands, bullying and being bullied, chicken-shittery of every variety. That’s not who I really am. But its perpetrators are the soldiers of the real America, where around the Thanksgiving table and in mommy’s waiting embrace, all is validated, all is tolerated, and all is forgiven. So why not Bowe Bergdahl? In the words of Al Pacino’s Tony Montana in Scarface, “You need people like me so you can point your fucking fingers.”

The Alt-Right is Peak Degeneracy

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Spot the non-manjaw

It seems there will never be a time when some half-educated narcissist somewhere isn’t being taken in by the Semitic prime mover theory of history. As I made clear before, when I had a bit more sympathy for its utility (and its grievances), the so-called alternative right is effectively dead, having shot its exuberant wad in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election, when it entered the glorious street-fray against the semantically-woke handicapped and genderfluid. There wasn’t really anyplace else for it to go, but since, like worms settling in to dine on a corpse, its hangers-on have decided to stay awhile in the staircase, the whole issue deserves, as it were, a final nail.

Occasionally I see debate on alt-right forums about whether or not Richard Spencer is some kind of shill for hidden interests (the alt-right’s wariness is commensurate with its credulity.) The two positions taken are always as follows:

(1) Spencer is indeed some kind of shill, spook, provocateur, who is out to undermine/misdirect the alt-right; and

(2) Spencer is most likely sincere in the beliefs he espouses, and about promoting the alt-right.

I want to suggest a third possibility: that Richard Spencer is both a shill and sincere about promoting the alt-right.

Of course, “shill” is imprecise. Infotainment mercenaries are all shills to some degree, unwitting marionettes for a system that runs on hot air. But what can be ascertained with a near degree of certainty is whether or not the alt-right worldview is a realistic one. This is important for obvious reasons: rule by deceit requires deceit. But if outsourcing—i.e., enabling self-deceit—is more cost-effective than brick-and-mortar traditional media, then any online thought-trend that posits a fundamentally flawed model of reality is going to serve that purpose, with no need of machinating in high places.

In fact—either way—we know that the alt-right is serving that purpose marvelously. Alt-right meme pages on Facebook love to bitch about censorship, and it’s true that social media platforms keep up appearances with little cat-and-mouse temp bans (as they do with all kinds of other users), but does anyone seriously believe alt-right material couldn’t be gotten rid of for good if Facebook wanted it to be? It’s not as if these memers are self-censoring to avoid scrutiny, and certainly Facebook would continue to thrive without them. Yet it permits them, heaps of them, as does Twitter, along with many other platforms. There’s simply no way these users aren’t serving their hosts’ purposes—which might include anything from ad revenue generation and simple mass surveillance to monitoring of specific thought-trends, to providing a ready medium for wild rumors, or diversion of eyeballs to frivolous wedge/identity issues, and the concentration of public discourse into a single, aggregating stream. And the alt-right is indeed helping all these processes along.

Of course, in and of itself this proves nothing about the basic accuracy of the alt-right model of reality (though it is suggestive). So…. what is the alt-right model of reality?

It’s true that American civilization has reached a late-decadent phase, that self-reliance and organic community are dead and ancient traditions are gasping their last. Racial diversification is attended by crime and terrorism, and is encouraged by an intelligentsia whose oligarch patrons benefit from societal division and decay. The alt-right is correct on each of these counts. But what is its essence?

A quick thought experiment: if we could remove the Jewish Question from alt-right consideration, leaving every other alt-right conclusion intact, would the alt-right remain fundamentally unchanged?

Well, of course not. There are alt-right thinkers who concern themselves fairly narrowly with one or another issue and rarely touch the JQ. But the JQ itself is a litmus test. It’s the grossest taboo-violation of a movement whose selling point is iconoclasm. Without it, the alt-right is nothing but alt-lite—in fact, the JQ is the one critical distinction that separates alt-right from alt-lite. It’s the rug that really ties the room together. Any other racial, political or religious animus under the alt-right circus tent can be deemphasized without risk to the credibility of whoever proposes to focus elsewhere for a moment. Only the JQ is an exception to this.

But other than as a litmus test, what purpose does the JQ serve for the alt-right? Well, the alt-right conclusion with regard to the JQ is simply this: that the Jews harbor an evolved proclivity to unconsciously attack and undermine social order as a way of gaining power, and that some of them (e.g., nearly any Jew who enjoys some degree of power or publicity) also machinate consciously to effect this outcome.

Of course, the inexorable pull that novelty exerts on the human psyche, restlessness, cupidity, craving for prestige and the anxiety of uncertainty are older than the gods. As a Jew I should find it deeply flattering to be arraigned for all this, but in order to believe that the Jews are the catalyst for degeneracy, one would have to assume (with the alt-right) that a great deal of human weakness would remain latent otherwise.

Why have anti-Semites always found this assumption so satisfying and broadly applicable? Projection, plain and simple. Do you suppose anyone on the alt-right is a narrow-chested self-abuser, overweight, a hebephile, an inveterate beta male, or closet case? Do you suppose anyone in the alt-right is not where he wants to be in life, and is sufficiently devoid of education and native intellect to be easy prey for easy answers? If so, how many of these people would be smarter, happier, or more successful in a homogenous ethnostate?

It doesn’t take any great genius to see that their movement is one great retro-antiquarian hodgepodge, American Roadshow trying to pass as Mad Men, with motorcycle goggles and leather-bound classics for decoration. When it asserts itself on the street the result is just full-contact LARPing—all its operatives really do out in public is fulminate, pull hair, physically confront lousy women, and generally activate the agents of armed babysitting so the movement’s leadership can get free publicity with which to panhandle online.

Confronted blithely with remarks like these—exposed, as it were, the alt-right die-hard will protest that he’s no worse than anyone else of his generation. But that’s exactly it. Activism, like social media, is a bourgeois substitute for decisiveness. Like the Inquisition, the ADL, or the War on Terror, the alt-right cannot conceivably survive its demands being met. Its supporters want instead to throw tantrums, to bicker and blame and shitpost Hitler sympathy unironically, only to turn around and claim their detractors are hysterical for calling them Nazis. But though they are Nazis of a sort, alt-right agitators speaking out in the wake of Charlottesville were correct: the media was wrong to treat them as a serious menace. They just aren’t serious people, and their one-off sort of danger lies not in their brittle ideas but in their equally brittle emotions.

Cowardice has a volatility all its own. What these chinless, vindictive yammerers seek is to conceal their personal mediocrity in a sweeping narrative arc: the cataclysm is immanent, the sensual negro is at the gate, the Jew is making me so dirty. The alt-right exults in every retrograde hierarchy for the same reason that 50 Shades appealed to so many capricious women.

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“He’s gotta be strong/and he’s gotta be fast/and he’s gotta be fresh from the fi-ight”

Jumping the Great Whitegeist: the Alt-Right Viewed from the Right

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“You guys feel like going for frozen yogurt?”

“The goyim know?” Bitch, please. Naming is the origin of all particular things, the medium is the message, and—as yours truly predicted—the alt-right is looking a little overcooked nowadays. Thought trends may have a protean life of their own, but brands are destined for tombstones. The conviction that bloviating is tantamount to action is a peculiar, late-20th century misapprehension, precisely the plush-doll American dream that Occupy Bernie and the alt-right both thought they were rejecting.

Don’t get me wrong—Richard Spencer’s incisive, he’s got pluck, and neofascism is an overdue rejoinder to the empiricist hubris, intellectual courtesanship and mercenary behaviorism of TED Talk America. But while I’m all for realism (and vigilantism) in the face of swarthy Idiocracy, the alt-right ain’t it:

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 may be half-joking, but it can never be more than half-serious.

Still, to its credit, until just before the election the alt-right was the last bastion of real, uncöopted social satire left in this country. I mean, what’s less relevant today than SNL? Lately the dominant, left-liberal paradigm begets only humorless ideological directives and “validation” of skin-crawling peccadillos. Like aging pop-stars, Saudi oil-wells and boomer entitlements, the brick-and-mortar media is an obsolete investment being defended with increasing shamelessness:

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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 CFR ideological commitments, such that criminal syndicates that reject the premise get more leeway than political opponents who accept it:

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Under the spreading chestnut tree….

Speaking of Vice, 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 are its producers 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. The powerless don’t leverage power—it leverages them, and all the penny-ante social media antics in the world won’t get the alt-right’s fingers unstuck from the pearly gates of the Big Time.

Which (if you like violence) is too bad. A lot of NPI and Radix Journal materials were deliciously subversive circa pre-Trump, when the point was to express these ideas, not just expand the audience for them. 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 (not to mention dry, committee-meeting type knit-picking about activist strategies and doctrinal purity) is rife on Counter-Currents, Radix, TRS, Red Ice and Occidental, and this click-hungry humorlessness has diffused throughout the alt-right punchbowl as the imperative to justify itself to outsiders eclipses insider ribaldry. And so, my alt-right friends, what portends the Kali Yuga is not Jews or loose women, it is you, e.g., the inexorable pull that novelty and the allure of power exert upon the human psyche, which is why Evola’s advice was to ride the tiger, not stick your head in its mouth. (But how many alt-right personalities have really read all the authors they like to block-quote on social media?)

How sad to be peddling an ethos 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 little grandeur-deluded leadership will spend the rest of their lives panhandling like a one-hit wonder performing at an Indian casino: “Remember me? Just ten grand more to meet our goals this season.” Even Milo was writing interesting columns as recently as 2015, before the Twitter ban and his election-year transition to full-time attention-whoring. Spencer’s criticisms of him are apt, and blissfully un-self-conscious.

So the problem with the 2016 NPI conference wasn’t the menace or poor taste of the coy sieg heiling, it was the quivering bunghole that compliments the kind of toast Spencer delivered. I mean, “Children of the Sun”? That’s what the Times was 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 an over-socialized, emotionally sterile cardboard cutout who masochistically 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. But 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 into the Facebook, the Facebook gazes also into you.

Crypto-fascist, Crypto-Jew

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Bro I wish

Part II of a series in progress….. Part I here, Part III forthcoming

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 Schwartz 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 blacks can be, 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. It even got written up in the local weekly. But after our confrontation I never saw him in town again.

But 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.

Disinteresting Times

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

Modernity is the subordination of principles to processes, 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, which represent more and more of the benefit we now derive from technology, and cannot be separated from whatever ideas, however lofty, that the latest hi-tech media transmit.

A video I saw posted to LinkedIn recently featured a body language expert advising that one should never look at their smartphone while waiting for a job interview, because it induces wary, diminutive body language. Obviously, when we absorb ourselves in our smartphones, we almost invariably peer down into them. But it is possible to get an uncanny sense of how ridiculously small this frame is (in contrast with the world as we view it normally), simply by correcting our posture and holding up our arm to position the phone within the normal, eye-level field of vision.

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, when it strikes me (I’m probably not the first to say so) 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, backlit 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. Trying to contemplate in such an environment is as taxingly awkward as trying to maintain focus on a smartphone from a normal, upright position.

As we’re leaving, I remarked to my friend that, just for the hardware, the margin on a lease must be fairly wide, considering how low the resale value of a smartphone is. But my friend informs me that, to lower cost, 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 convey to customers is one 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 at the intersection of sloth and hubris.

If man is an intrinsically technological creature, then technology is the 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 (without money) would be eaten in open combat or humiliated in reproductive competition, and knows it. Basically: usurers, upper-management Johns 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. If (as they say) you were to pull the cork out of his asshole, you could bury him in a matchbox; not because he’s dishonest (though that’s also the case), but because he’s figured out the simplest way to facilitate everybody else believing our own bullshit.

And we get the micro-managers we deserve: 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 this 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, while the rest of us were partying in college? 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 all smoke 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.

Yet—again—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 their inception, they’re just spiffier. Granted, there are still 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., premeditated) 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 premeditation and inspiration are two different things. The Elon Musks of the world keep assuring us technologies x, y and z are inevitable and we may as well make the best of it. Sounds kind of rapey, doesn’t it? Either way, craftmanship isn’t what it used to be—at least Patrick Bateman used his hands.

Sundays at the Zoo

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Got my beverage past the turnstile equals white privilege

Just smile

Don’t maintain eye contact

Don’t say gesundheit

Mankind are pederasts, malingerers, rats on an ash heap communicating diseases

Horrible, ambling, eczemic, eggplant-shaped creatures

They suffer waking sleep apnea and never wonder how the meat gets to the plate

Should some grave misfortune befall them they must be maintained alive

Freedom isn’t free, they want a raincheck, they want a discount

They want to see caged animals

and teach the blind how to covet

Shame was the last vestige of propriety

In the distance I saw a crucifix

It was the logo on a ballcap, of a hotel casino

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.

Jacob’s Plateau

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Oh, alright…..

The onset of a darkening time

Of shadows as forms

Of eyes that guard no souls

Of the recession of green meadows into the bulldozer’s maw

Of menacing clouds amassed before the precincts of eternity

to download and be uploaded, or whatever

The metastasis of sickening flesh

Of bloodless jowls sagging beneath little green visors

Of numbers who aspire to be ants

Of the licensure of volition

Of callow dogs as commanders

who’ve refined to eyeless guile the art of getting what to eat and never stopping once they’re sated

Because there’s only so much to go around

Tzel-mahvet

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This might burn a bit

When a stranger’s blithe gesture outweighs your plodding devotion

and you’re granted the serenity to accept the things you cannot change

When you carry around in you a shattered Jerusalem

and find yourself a stranger, but people aren’t strange

The millstone, the cross, the imperative to forgive

the impulse to murder, the necessity to live

the dread that stalks awake-nights, the antiseptic light

dementia and goosebumps and envy and blight

When lies gain the weight of stentorian tomes

and vigor and vim, and known unknown knowns

Then we ordinary folk can cross bridges in space

secure, validated with spit in our face

and decide when to chase and to now flee our tails

and determine the contours of our own comfy jails

When Might may lie down with the left and right hands

and erode all embankments and count up the sands

Then old Lot and his daughters can go fuck themselves

and grannies and housepets and Santa Claus’ elves

and beat the meatcleavers to swordshares and plows

and secure our slick winnings with purrs and meows

and confide our blanch longings despite no true friends

and incline our ears, trifling, to the way the world ends