Category Archives: Zoology

How to Kill Christ

lord of the flies

I.

Stalin supposedly said, “Gratitude is for dogs.” I’ve always thought there was great truth in that, and have always felt dirty and guilty for thinking so. I mean, how can gratitude be for dogs when everybody knows that an ingrate is despicable? But gratitude and ingratitude are not opposites. It may be despicable to spurn kindness and generosity, but no true act of kindness or generosity is ever committed for the sake of receiving gratitude in return.

So why be generous or kind? Out of a desire (it seems to me) to participate in another person’s happiness. Gratitude is generic, perfunctory. Appreciation, on the other hand, is idiosyncratic, and the way to be appreciated is by the peculiar things we do for others. So the proper response to kindness or generosity is not to be grateful, but to be happy, and thus appreciative.

The same is true of good fortune itself—a blessing, a windfall, a narrow escape. The point is to see it for just what it is, and be glad; to change our ways, perhaps. But not to grovel and scrape. This is what I’ve come to realize about devotional worship. It’s all performative. What God would want us to take our time away from gladness, from self-improvement, from kindness, generosity, and appreciation, in order to lower ourselves to the dust? 

For many years I tried to be a Jew. But I am not a Jew. I tried to be a Christian, but I am not a Christian either, not exactly. Next I thought I might be a pagan, but I’m also not entirely a pagan.

From time to time readers and colleagues chide me for being “inconsistent,” for not being committed to an ideology, as if we must be simultaneously bound by everything we’ve ever said or done. As if we don’t wake up feeling one way and go to bed feeling another. It’s all so pretentious, so tiresome—this moral arrogance of faith and ideology. I cannot know what I cannot know, and I’d rather not be in a position of having to tolerate anybody telling me things that they don’t know either. The only criteria that interest me anymore are good and evil, reason and unreason, worth my time or not worth my time. If you’re trying to trap or denounce me with my words, you’re making me into your criterion. Will you then be “consistent,” forevermore?

II.

I have never tried to make money from this blog. Not even a tip jar.

The minute you make your ideas a commodity, they forfeit their power. This is especially true online, where every personality is beholden to a platform, and a public beyond. Granted, it would be more difficult for me to blog without WordPress, but even if I had a million readers, I’ve not made myself an avatar here. It’s just words on a pseudonymous webpage.

This is why I’ve never vlogged or appeared on podcasts. Those media are more dynamic than the written word (more fleeting, more lost in the ether) and their dynamism comes at the cost of ever greater symbiosis with the medium. If this blog is taken down tomorrow, oh well. It’s just graffiti on a bathroom stall. It’s not my name. It’s not my image. It’s not a business or a brand. I’ve not forfeited that kind of energy to the internet.

III.

The so-called problem of consciousness is sometimes cited in support of theology. It refers to the fact that we don’t know where consciousness comes from. We may know all about neurology, brain chemistry and the like, but scientific inquiry cannot really show us the true source of perception, of emotions and thoughts.

In Matthew 18:18, Jesus says that whatever is bound on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever is loosed on earth will be loosed in heaven. We’re accustomed to thinking of heaven as the afterlife, and it may be. But Matthew 18:18 is much more readily comprehensible if we think of heaven as the metaphysical realm, co-terminus with the mundane, material one; a supra-temporal canopy of memory, perception, reputation, where every physical phenomenon has an emotional and conceptual analogue. This is the firmament to which we are “bound” by our choices, our triumphs, our joys, fears, and regrets.

A good analogy for such a concept of Jesus’s kingdom is the internet. Your data, your social media avatar, your online reputation, the emanation of information this way and that, the abstracted interplay of thoughts and feelings pinging about the little labyrinths of software systems. The ways they get lost; the ways they get found. A Jewish teaching that I particularly like is that everything—everything—is written by God in one great book. The reason why the internet—the world wide web—is a good analogy for metaphysics is because it is metaphysics: artificial metaphysics. That’s what metadata collection, social media, AI, IoT, 5G, transhumanism, the Great Reset, and all this kind of shit is about. It’s about the power to see, record, inventorize… everything. It’s an attempt at the total usurpation of all metaphysical power, from the level of the individual man, ad astra.

It’s deicide.

Boatman’s Bluff

Screen Shot 2020-07-09 at 12.35.36 AM

spare me

The year after college I was an ambulance EMT. I started in July, and it wasn’t until September that I was assigned a steady shift with a partner. Before that I just bounced around between paramedics, snoozing, reading, and writing this blog on my cellphone between inventory and 911 calls.

My first code blue was an OD, on my first day of work. We arrived on scene before fire to find a supine fat kid unresponsive on a back driveway, with a gaggle of bleary-eyed teenagers who’d obviously waited too long to call, and were real quiet and vague about what happened to their friend.

I attached the EKG nodes and started bagging while my paramedic trainer pounded on his chest. No cardio activity. Fire arrived and they started banging on his chest in a rotation. Still no activity. Then someone offered to bag while I pumped, and I went to town so hard on this kid that I cracked his sternum. The snapping sound was horrific, but the moment it happened the heart monitor gave a beep and started going.

The thing about it was, everything happened in under ten minutes, and although he died later that day, when we dropped him in the ER the kid was still alive—unconscious and intubated, but alive. It wasn’t until November that year that I actually witnessed a death.

Now, I’m an omega, a contrarian loner who hates rules and rarely strikes up a lasting friendship. I’m also fairly tall and large-framed. My first paramedic partner, Tommy Gonzales, was a medic second lieutenant in the National Guard, the kind of beta-simp who joins the service to compensate. He looked like Eugene Levy—gaunt, about 5’6″, and very uptight, but highly intelligent, which necessitated bending the rules as often as they got in the way of logic. I respected him for that.

One night just about dusk as I was driving Tommy around the Sonic drive-thru, we got coded to a trailer park. Again, we got there before fire. Again, the patient was supine, this time on a shabby carpet. It was a double-wide with fake wood paneling and a bunch of taxidermied elk heads on the walls. The guy must’ve been in his mid-sixties. He was shirtless and barefoot in a pair of jeans that hadn’t been washed in a coon’s age, skinny-fat like alcoholics often are, and covered in a half-inch layer of wooly grey body hair that went all the way up his neck to an untrimmed beard. The place was strewn with empty pint bottles and crushed-up Coors cans.

The family was all assembled—son, daughter, daughter-in-law, adult grandkid. They said they’d found him the way he appeared, unresponsive, not breathing. They thought he’d choked on a turkey sandwich he’d been eating lying down, and that he must’ve rolled off the couch onto the floor. That was what it looked like. I had to shave him to place the EKG nodes, then Tommy and I started doing our thing.

It was a long night. The monitor gave just enough activity after a minute of CPR that we had to keep going even though the guy’s chances were very slim. Fire got on scene and Tommy started trying to intubate, but the laryngoscope kept bringing up turkey sandwich. The firefighters and I rotated doing CPR while Tommy smeared gob after gob of partly digested food like pâté onto the inner lining of a red haz bag. Eventually we got the guy tubed. His cardio kept flopping and starting back up with just enough activity for hope.

At one point I stood up to stretch my legs. Across the room, the family was piled around a card table in the corner, faces downcast, their arms draped around one another, watching their patriarch recede into eternity past indifferent, knee-jerk bureaucracy. Past us, on the other side. We were the boatmen.

Above the family on the wall was a framed and faded portrait of a proud and fearsome Marine with a flag half-draped across the background. That was the guy we were trying to save. The two of them couldn’t have looked more different. He wasn’t in his body anyway, yet he might not’ve been further away than that portrait. I felt this sudden sense of reverent foreboding in the pit of my stomach, that this man lying dead at my feet was witnessing his family’s despair from just out of reach of them.

After three hours, Tommy advised the family that things weren’t going to turn around. They nodded stoically. We called up to the hospital and signed the necessary forms. Then we packed up our equipment in haz bags and debriefed with the firefighters before leaving them to wait for the coroner.

That shift went long. We went back to base, cleaned up, and tried to get a nap, but the calls just kept coming. The 24-hour shift that had begun just before that code in the Sonic drive-thru turned into 35, 36, then 40, and topped out at 51.

At one point we dropped someone at the ER. It was about 9 in the morning. I was sitting in the driver’s seat of the ambulance waiting for Tommy to snag Graham crackers and juice boxes from inside at the nurse’s station, when all of a sudden I started sobbing maniacally, just huge choking sobs without any kind of buildup or anticipation whatsoever. It was so primal. There was no reflection, no social pressure (I was completely alone) and no reason to feel anything. I hadn’t known the guy, the Marine—I hadn’t known him. I’d run plenty of codes, seen lots of pitiable people in sorry states and felt bad for them, and I’d gone hours by then without it occurring to me that I’d been impacted at all. It was just a job, I was just exhausted, I just wanted to go home to my family, I just wanted a burrito. This is America—nobody has real feelings. I remember that I’ve had them, back when I was a kid, but I don’t even remember what real feelings feel like. It’s been six years since that 911 call and in all that time I haven’t experienced a comparably spontaneous and authentic emotion. And yet it happened, in spite of every social pressure militating against it.

It’s strange how things incubate in us when we thought they didn’t matter, or that we’d forgotten them. Sometimes when I discipline our kids, my wife gets on me and says, “This isn’t the army, you know!” On the one hand, when I hear this it sounds odd, because the army is the furthest thing from my memory and my motivations. On the other hand, my first reaction is to feel she’s being unreasonable, because life is rough, and it’s better they learn it first from their dad. But what she sees me doing that I can’t see myself is sublimating an experience that’s constantly with me in ways I’m almost never aware of. Sublimating the untold humiliations and death by a thousand cuts of being a king, and a piece of shit, all at the same time.

Unfollow, Pt. III

Screen Shot 2020-05-23 at 12.51.32 PM

(Part I here, Part II here, Part IV here)

As I stood in the socially-distanced self-checkout of my nearby Idiocracy Costco, gazing vacantly across a field of eggplant-shaped cattle, the whole history of our species from the agricultural revolution flashed before me, and I understood all at once how the instinct for safety is strangling everything worthy that’s in us.

I don’t want to beat my sword into a ploughshare—that’s ridiculous. My sword is who I am. Yet here I am, smashed between a hammer and an anvil. I look at my youngest son and see the most unadulterated aggressive instincts. There’s no resentment or ulterior motive, just pure joy. He just wants to fight—to box and run and sword-fight and do archery—and the whole world is against him. Our world is predicated on neurosis and anti-social impulses. Every protected class of people is fundamentally self-loathing. Every feature of modern life conduces toward cowardice and resignation.

Lysander Spooner described the U.S. Constitution as a contract that binds no one. Ironically, that is now the U.S. government’s position as well. You probably don’t know my identity, and I don’t know yours, but (as you already know) a global shadow government knows both our identities, because its skynet backlogs our every word and keystroke—every purchase and fap sesh—in real time. No proposition could be more straightforward than that this proves you are not a man, a citizen, nor even a consumer (who at least in theory has choices) but a subject.

What does it mean to be a subject? It means you have no moral agency. The mandarins of a parallel society will decide right and wrong for you. A good illustration of this was in the news recently. An Omaha middle school employee named James Fairbanks sent letters to the local press confessing to the murder of a repeat child rapist who had gotten away with a couple slaps on the wrist and was out walking around. Somehow, Fairbanks became aware of him, and of some pretty clear evidence that he intended to continue kid-fucking, and decided to kill him instead.

He was charged with first degree murder. The district judge who ordered him held without bond declared that, “There is a reason we are a nation of laws and don’t take justice into our own hands.” Yes, exactly—so that children can be raped. That is the reason. According to his own daughter, the victim in this case raped lots of kids over a period of decades. Lots of people knew what he had done, and could reasonably know that he was never going to stop, yet none but Fairbanks took the highly intuitive step of greasing him. Why not? Because the system told them not to.

Milan Kundera said that “The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.” What’s this guy’s beef with power? Well, by power, he meant the Stasi, who were capable of a great deal less than the U.S. government, but at least knew how to read. As Jonathan Bowden once remarked, under liberalism, you talk like a Jamaican gangster, and books don’t have to be burned because 40% of the population can’t read them anyhow. We are to our forebears what a beagle is to a grey wolf. By the sum of a million little undecisions, we sign up for this degradation.

The coronavirus lockdowns—the destruction of livelihoods and total abrogation of civil liberties—put me in an extremely libertarian, even anarchist place. I wasn’t alone: a great deal of overlap began to manifest between the anarchist accounts I follow on social media, and the alt-right ones. And then something strange happened: the Minneapolis riots broke out, and (apparently for the sake of consistency) not a few of these alt-right people stuck around on the anarchist side, decrying supposed police heavy-handedness against African-Americans and lauding the riots as a “boogaloo,” with memes like “This is what ‘don’t tread on me’ looks like.”

This is an absolutely delusional take.

First of all, Metro PD is undoubtedly a part of “the system.” But so is the media, the Department of Justice, and every public official in Minnesota (and beyond) now calling for Derick Chauvin’s head. Yet (as always with these events) the rioters’ grievances are focused solely on municipal police—and on the average white person, whose “privileges” and “implicit attitudes” are presumed to be propping up the world like Atlas.

And this narrative persists when the same system—that just put 100 million people out of work and vilified them for protesting peacefully; that backlogs virtually all our private communications; that tells us not to “take justice into our own hands” and ice a child rapist—gives a mob the go-ahead to torch American cities. George Carlin once remarked that “The upper class keeps all of the money, pays none of the taxes. The middle class pays all of the taxes, does all of the work. The poor are there just to scare the shit out of the middle class.” Accordingly, as with every race riot since Rodney King, Minneapolis is 100% a media phenomenon. And if the system has direct access to your brain the way it does with these “protesters,” then you’re not against the system. You are the system.

The alt-right is the only sub-culture that clearly perceives the cynical ways that the deviant and the marginalized are pressed into service by the powers the be. What the alt-right cannot see is the way this draws their alienation into fruitless hostility with those groups. Orwell once said that “if you encourage totalitarian methods, the time may come when they will be used against you instead of for you.” That time is now. The minute corona hit stateside, the whole alt-right peanut gallery came down with a major case of hyperchondria, praising the Chinese and denigrating “conspiracy theories.”

Screen Shot 2020-04-05 at 11.46.59 AM

neoliberalism is statism

It’s very hard to believe (for example) that the TRS network can be so well-versed in Whitney Webb’s reporting on Israeli spyware (they never seem to cite her work, but it’s the sole basis of a lot of their podcasts) and not take seriously everything she’s been reporting about DARPA and big tech plotting to chip everybody like cattle. Deep-diving the “evolutionary psychology” of every lumpy kike they worked with in a call center is more interesting, I suppose. But when every problem looks Yiddish, it’s because you have a favorite gas.

This is actually analogous to certain alt-right criticisms of the alt-lite, e.g., Tommy Robinson:

The whole argument of all these sorts of anti-Islamists is, Muslims are scary, please don’t hurt us… All they’re doing is, they want to preserve their own nihilism, because Islam is a metaphysically objectivist system… Whereas these western nihilists just want to wallow in their own hedonism, that’s what they want to defend.

This kind of eggheaded take ignores the fact that alt-right thought leaders are as eager as the EDL to be kept creatures of a paternalistic state, so long as no one rocks the boat. I mean, what’s more “metaphysically objectivist” than a chimp-out? Forcing people into stadiums to do calisthenics hasn’t altered mass man’s basic mediocrity anywhere it’s been tried. The only difference between the alt-right (or 3P or whatever autistic label they’re giving themselves nowadays) and fully automated luxury space communism is that the former is racist. Well I don’t think that racism is all that wicked per se. But if you’d trade the Bill of Rights for Hugo Boss, what exactly is setting you apart from the homies?

68688497_1405528912920140_6894826792587100160_n

To see human liberty as an illusion is perverse. I’m reasonably certain that western powers are abetting the HK protests. But no one really believes this demagogue when he says he “has no idea what these protests are even about.” And what they’re definitely not about is biological determinism.

Whiteness is not the paramount threat to misplaced power. Liberty is. I’m not talking about capitalism or NAP or any libertarian dogma. I’m talking about the things that make the heart exult. I’m talking about the experiences we can only have—the sensations we can only feel—when we are free to decide our path. “All good things are wild and free,” as Thoreau put it.

Liberty is priceless. There’s no identity worth trading for it.

Unfollow, Pt. II

A homeowner fed up with a string of neighborhood burglaries kills a negro who may or may not have been minding his own business, and somehow it’s a mandatory “national conversation.” We’ve seen this show before. Cui bono?

That would be the oligarchs playing an underclass against tax cattle, to separate 60% (and declining) of the population from its most basic survival instincts. It’s MLK meets MK-ultra. But what I mean by this is not that “survival” requires fear of black people. On the contrary. Fear is what this country’s owners are pushing. It’s the instincts that conduce toward liberty and dignity that they’re scheming to deprive us of. They’re just using black people to do it:

Screen Shot 2020-05-08 at 12.38.10 AM

As discussed previously, last month Michiganders fed up with absolute government power stormed the statehouse in Lansing toting ARs. They didn’t really do anything, but State legislators boohooed on Twitter anyway, and the intelligentsia piled on. Over a week after the protest dissipated, the State Rep. pictured above, a Democrat who advocates citizen disarmament, strode into work with an armed (civilian) escort to protect her from “protesters bearing white supremacist symbols.”

The anti-lockdown protests at Lansing began on April 15. Protesters entered the capitol building on April 30. All told, this story was national news for three weeks. You would think that if just one of those protesters was “bearing white supremacist symbols,” the media would’ve found a way to have a field day with it well in advance of May 8, when this slander first surfaced in The Hill. Yet they didn’t. So where did it come from? The Hill attributes it to a local Michigan paper, which claims to have sourced it from video evidence posted by Rep. Anthony to her Facebook page—which contains no such video. And this smear surfaced just three days after a similar one fizzled. The moral of the story is that if you’re white, and armed, and opposed to absolute government power, you’re a Nazi—period. Human dignity is criminalized, starting in the media.

But that’s just the long-term angle. In the short-term, the point is to distract from these corona-powers that are instigating the protests, exactly as the killing of Trayvon Martin was employed to redirect almost immediately after the suppression of Occupy Wall Street (which had apparently outlived its usefulness.) Last week, when reporters asked the masked gunmen guarding that Dallas salon their names they replied, “Duncan Lemp.” See what I’m saying? To the criminal conspiracy that runs this country, Ahmaud Aubrey was a godsend.

However, that homeboy lay dead for over two months before he made the New York Times suggests that nationally, this isn’t news—it’s expertly timed propaganda. Maybe the DA’s initial decision not to indict the McMichaels was baksheesh between good ol’ boys, and maybe it wasn’t. But does similar partiality not go on where blacks are in charge? I don’t want to discount the possibility that the McMichaels are racists or belligerent people who unfairly targeted an innocent man. But how many innocent black victims of white firearms ownership would that make—this week, this month, this year? #JoggingWhileBlack is no more (and definitely much, much less) of a thing than jogging while white is, especially in major metro areas. So just talking about this kind of Bonfire of the Vanities media event with even a modicum of reverence inevitably concedes something to the suspicion it’s meant to cast upon white people who don’t outsource their safety to the government—i.e., “yes, we have impure thoughts, conversations need to be had, inquests need to be made.” Sorry, no. I am not setting foot in that confessional, whose purpose is to stymie the kind of dissent we just saw in Michigan.

The current controlled-libertarian talking point is that McMichael the elder is an ex-cop, so fuck him. I’m not a cop sycophant, but the McMichaels were private persons, acting in a private capacity. If they really did have him on video committing prior break-ins, then they didn’t go to Ahmaud Arbrey, he came to them. What’s more libertarian than protecting your own neighborhood? “But they called white privilege 911!” How’s that working out for them? You’ll notice it’s not a Citizens’ Counsel clamoring for capital charges here—it’s the intelligentsia. If we’re going to oppose overbearing police power, we ought to be consistent.

But the policy-making class doesn’t actually oppose police power. They are the police. The media, academia, the legal and STEM professions, have considerable power to determine what laws you live under. It’s a closed club, and only a modicum of the process takes place democratically. Essentially, this is the class that is sponsoring BLM, for whom BLM is making itself a rationale. If all they wanted was to hamstring the police in accordance with the Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment, I’d be all for them, but what they want is citizen disarmament. They want to empower (with hate crimes statutes) the very prosecutors they’re denouncing. They want the government to have more and more power to control the lives of strangers. They aren’t anti-police. They are the fucking police.

If you have any idea how difficult it is for a homicide defendant to mount a successful self-defense case, I want you to go ahead and multiply it by this:

“People keep saying, ‘We need to have a conversation about race’,” Morrison told the Daily Telegraph. “This is the conversation. I want to see a cop shoot a white unarmed teenager in the back.” She added: “And I want to see a white man convicted for raping a black woman. Then when you ask me, ‘Is it over?’, I will say yes.”

This breathtaking vindictiveness was excreted by a Nobel-laureate—and it is bottomless, because there are plenty of examples of the things she’s talking about, from the Duke lacrosse incident to Daniel Shaver and Duncan Lemp. If white privilege is to not notice or care about strangers, black privilege is to openly, unashamedly, unappeasably wish them ill. Never mind the fact that per capita, more whites than blacks are shot by police every year in the United States, or that the ratio of black-to-white perpetrators of interracial rape is more than 1000:1. What’s interesting here is what Morrison inadvertently revealed about herself, which is that her highest conceivable aspiration is equality in hell. We see this with blacks who are millionaires, world class athletes, professors emeritus, senators and presidents. As Sartre once said of the Jewish cabinet minister, “he is at once an Excellency, and an untouchable.” Half-baked communism is their only will to power. And when Rep. Sarah Anthony votes to disarm those people who showed up to “protect” her, they’ll blame the white man for that, too.

(On to Part III…. here)

How to Respond to Microaggressions

I come from a town where the locals can be a bit territorial.

In my mid-twenties, I went home and decided to finish college. Throughout this period, I moved around a lot between shared quarters of various kinds. At one point, I rented a backyard bungalow from a divorcee with two school-age kids.

Jenna was a petite blond in her early forties whose ex-husband was a schoolteacher. She took good care of herself. Apparently, it had occurred to her rather late that her sexual power was never fully realized, so she rebelled against this weak-chinned fellow to live the independent life of her dreams, in his house, on half his salary, with some strange renter sharing a bathroom with her poor kids—though I wasn’t around much, and it was only a two-month sublet anyway.

She devoted herself to jiu-jitsu, and would invite the whole staff of Brazilian instructors and other students over for wild parties. She had turned her living room into a salon, and whenever I got back from campus there’d be a gaggle of gibbering yentas all getting their hair and nails done. And she seemed to be dating quite a bit, with numerous types of guys. There was an uptight, white attorney who’d come for dinners after work in a suit. One of the Brazilians was definitely getting in there. Also, a high school classmate of mine who played bass for a local fixture rock-reggae band. And a couple of times I noticed a short-statured but muscular, intense looking black dude.

I was in very good shape back then. I had a weight set and a tower with dip handles and a pull-up bar, and in the afternoons I would lift in the backyard. It was springtime. One day while I was working out, I came through the back porch to the kitchen for some water. No one was home, so I had my shirt off. Just as I finished washing my glass and putting it on the dishrack, Jenna came in with this black fellow. Like me, he was shirtless, in basketball shorts. I was feeling friendly and self-satisfied. I greeted the two of them warmly and chatted with her a bit, but I could sense him sizing me up as competition.

When you’re from a place, you can just tell who’s local and who isn’t. Black people are no exception; in my town, I knew all of them, and he wasn’t one of the ones I knew. On the other hand, a part of me despises not just provincialism, but territoriality where no territory has really been earned. Out of both a cosmopolitan impulse and a certain penitence over my past, teenage life of petty robbery, I liked to be open and cordial to transplants, tourists, and students. One can learn a lot in this manner, without making any real compromises. So I extended my hand and introduced myself to this guy. He seemed a bit on edge, which was understandable. I assume it’s not pleasant to be brought home by a woman, only to encounter a shirtless, sweating bodybuilder when you arrive there. Immediately after learning the man’s name and telling him mine, I asked where he was from. He wasn’t from there, after all.

My question pushed him over the edge. He glared at me with intense hostility. “What do you mean, ‘where am I from?’” White people normally like to retreat when put in such a position. Whether they’re intimidated, or simply keeping their powder dry, the aggressor makes of it what he will. But not only was I not intimidated; I was in a good mood. And it would be incorrect to say that I wasn’t going to let my good mood be dampened, because I was in such a good mood that that would have been impossible. In other words, it was beyond my control. I felt great about myself. It just wasn’t a matter of what I was going to let or not let happen.

“What do I mean, ‘where are you from?’” I smiled calmly, but with a look indicating that I regarded the question as ridiculous.  “I guess I mean, where are you from?” I uttered this last part with slight but zesty sarcasm, making direct eye contact all the while. This whole thing was going to go my way. I could feel it.

“Yeah, what’s the problem?” Jenna asked him. “I don’t get it.” If he was mad before, now he was positively steaming. It was no longer a matter of whether I wanted to offend him, but of how far he wanted to take his own counter-productive bullshit. He was the houseguest of a loose woman, after all. Such encounters should be carefree. And although he was clearly in good shape, I did not look like anybody he wanted to fight.

I went back out and resumed my weight routine. Though I couldn’t make out the words, they were bickering in the kitchen—he in a strained, frustrated tone and she in a calmer, uncomprehending one. Frankly, I understood exactly what he objected to about my question. She, however, did not. He was trying to explain it to her, and having no success. By and by, the two of them came out back with a couple of beers. Her backyard was pretty big, so this wasn’t an imposition on my workout. She had a koi pond with a little bench. I was on my back in the grass, doing chest presses.

The two of them sat down. He was visibly perturbed. I stood up and started a set of curls. After what appeared to be some deliberation, he craned his neck my direction. “Hey Sam.” The use of my name signaled a painful concession to civilized mores. “How old are you man?” This was his attempt to shift gears from intimidation to condescension, but the fact that he was older than me only made things worse for him. Try as he might to tone it down, there was considerable edge in his voice. Not even bothering to turn my head his direction, I continued my set of curls. “It doesn’t make a difference and it’s none of your concern.” This was a devastating blow. Under the circumstances, it wasn’t something Jenna could hold against me. I hadn’t started anything with him and I didn’t need to reciprocate his softening up.

“You know, I don’t think you understand what it means when you say certain things to people.” He sounded more agitated this time. It was an impotent threat wrapped in an unsolicited lesson. “I don’t give a fuck what your issue is” I snapped back. “It’s your problem.” I got down and started a set of push ups. When I got back up, they were gone. Jenna later apologized profusely. She told me they’d argued more in the house, and she eventually kicked him out. It was a beautiful little triumph over the forces of arrogance and entitlement. Later that summer, I transferred to a university out of state, and I haven’t been back since.

Achtung Juden

IMG_3562

What ideology unites Antifa and 4Chan, manosphere he-thots and intersectional harpies, tradcaths and neopagans, wignats and hoteps, Dugin and Zizek, peacenik granolas and international arms dealers?

“Well it’s your own damn fault if you’re so hated!” By those clowns? Really? A man with no enemies is a man with no character, and these enemies are not sending their best. Like the Jersey City shooting earlier this month, last night’s machete attack on an ultra-orthodox Hanukkah party in upstate New York appears to have been carried out by a lumpen African-American under the influence of YouTube Wakanda theology.

Now, I’m half-Jewish, and basically a modern, secular person—I have about as much in common with Hasidic Jews as I do with the Denisovans. So it’s as strange to see people who are so different from me being attacked for what little we have in common, as it is startling to see how different the backgrounds of the perpetrators tend to be.

You may recall, for instance, last year’s events at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue. No, not the Purim party. I’m talking about the sabbath service where a lonely old wignat truck driver with an AR mistook the place for a range and did target practice on a dozen or so nursing home inmates in wheel chairs. Update: they didn’t survive. You may also recall the following April, when a homeschooled sperg male nurse took out a Federal Reserve banker at a shul in San Diego, wounding the rabbi in the process, along with an eight-year old girl who runs the porn industry. The perp there seems not to have had any imaginary friends, though he did have the next best thing, i.e., 8Chan anons.

Then there was the 2014 Kansas City JCC shooting, also perpetrated by a wignat, who killed a kid and two adults, all of them gingerbread-baking white Methodists in RealTree camo and ugly Christmas sweaters. At least the 2012 shooter in Toulouse (that’s France, for all you Victor Hugo fans) managed to hit actual members of the tribe, killing three toddlers and wounding five others at a synagogue daycare. Oh, and how about the 2009 DC Holocaust Museum shooting? That one took out a married black father of three, which is not as rare as a unicorn, but should probably require a permit or something. Then there was the Seattle JCC kindergarten shooting in 2006, and the El Al ticket counter shooting in LAX a year or so prior. Oh, and who could forget the 1999 JCC shooting in LA? A real classic, which took the lives of four children, a secretary, and the mailman.

Why do these things keep happening? I’m sure some anthropomorphic little Eric Cartman somewhere would love to fill me in. Yes, the Jews have their fair share of perverts, plutocrats, embezzlers and corrupt politicians. But these pogroms never seem to target those Jews—or any pervs, plutocrats, embezzlers, politicians, etc. So the question is not what the Jews have done to deserve these atrocities. Because if that was the question, they wouldn’t really be atrocities, would they? “Well they’re not, teehee.” Yeah, tell me more about elite pedophile rings there, guy who supports kindergarten shootings.

The reason these things keep happening is because Jews don’t prevent it. And so the real question is, what is to be done to prevent it?

I don’t intend the question as a “silence is violence” callout. Silence can be complicity in the unconscionable, but a lot of unconscionable shit goes on every day, and no one owes it to anyone else to think or feel anything. The solution, then, depends on the Jews. Do we want to live, or don’t we? It’s that simple.

I know that’s sounds trite. I only ask because lots of Jews don’t want to. Don’t get me wrong—I’m not saying that Hitler or Chemelnitsky is coming. Believe it or not—in spite of all these attacks—that’s not the problem. I’m also not talking about Jews who are estranged from their heritage, either. No. I’m talking about Jews who make fellow traveling with some form of anti-semitism a literal component of Judaism, and of yiddishkeit.

Sound far-fetched? These types are quite vocal, and they’re the tip of a huge psychological iceberg. On the left stand the anti-Zionists, who should be irrelevant—clammy, furtive little figures like Philip Weiss, Norman Finkelstein, Israel Shamir, and Gilad Atzmon, who make entire careers and identities out of shame, discomfort and denunciation of an identity they could easily just walk away from instead. Proof that mainstream liberal Judaism essentially fellow-travels with this pathology is the recent, wholesale renunciation of Zionism by Jewish Voice for Peace—whose board members include Tony Kushner, Noam Chomsky and Naomi Klein. (It was 1941 when Jabotinsky declared “all those who regard [peace with the Palestinians] as a condition sine qua non for Zionism may as well say ‘non’ and withdraw from Zionism.” Better 78 years late than never, I suppose.) Liberal Zionists like Jeremy Ben Ami and Peter Beinart are actually worse, because they’re pushing from within for the Zionist movement to reflect JVP’s attitudes. Of the Palestinian factions they imagine they’d like to conciliate, each one, including the internationally recognized PLO, has a completely undisavowed and remarkably recent history of deadly attacks on Israeli women, children and elderly. But then, no one in J-Street has to actually live with those consequences (unless J-Street is working with frummies from Monsey I don’t know about.)

As bad as all this is, there’s something far more patently offensive to the intellect about the left anti-Zionists’ mirror image on the right, among the burgeoning ranks of sycophantic, alt-right adjacent Jews desperately flailing to live down every absurd libel and stereotype as if it applied to them personally. (At least having no pride or self-esteem whatsoever suits leftists.) Tech entrepreneur Ron Unz, for example, runs the largest aggregator of anti-Jewish content on the web, where he publishes his own rambling, scarcely readable essays that reprise familial and childhood resentments at great length before eventually getting around to the ostensible topic, which is always how bad his own people are. Self-help charlatan Mike Cernovich similarly grovels for acceptance from Twitter Nazis. Classics professor Paul Gottfried pathetically fawns all over pseudoscientist Kevin MacDonald (and is shocked, shocked to find that liberal journalists associate him with alt-right leaders he actually associates with.) Eccentric inventor Henry Makow writes gushing blurbs for latter-day clerical fascist E. Michael Jones’s self-published screeds; and blog posts with titles like “Anti-Semitism is Legitimate Self Defense.” Would he like somebody to murder him, or what?

One looks for sanity in this febrile atmosphere of ADHD Twitter discourse, of anomie and atomization and dementia, and sees the Jewish civil society commentariat, the ADL, the Atlantic, etc., exuding precisely the fear and panic that the high school bully mentality of anti-semitism veritably lives to elicit. When has official Jewry in America ever prevented an attack on Jews here? When they aren’t pushing constitutionally dubious legislation that makes us look ugly and stupid, their solution to everything is “education”: more words, factoids, arguments, and admonishments against wrongthink; to explain ourselves for the umpteenth time to a balkanized and stupefied public irremediably leery of smug expertise.

In Russia, in 1911, Jabotinsky had a prescient sense of this:

Now they have raised a rumpus over ritual murder, and once again we have taken on the role of prisoners on trial: we press our hands to our hearts, with quivering fingers we leaf through old stacks of supporting documents that no one is interested in, and we swear right and left that we do not consume this drink, that never has a drop of it passed our lips, may the Lord smite me on the spot. . . How much longer will this go on? Tell me, my friends, are you not tired by now of this rigmarole? Isn’t it high time, in response to all of these accusations, rebukes, suspicions, smears, and denunciations—both present and future—to fold our arms over our chests and loudly, clearly, coldly, and calmly put forth the only argument which this public can understand: why don’t you all go to hell?

Who are we, to make excuses to them; who are they to interrogate us? What is the purpose of this mock trial over an entire people where the verdict is known in advance? Our habit of constantly and zealously answering to any rabble has already done us a lot of harm and will do much more. The situation that has been created as a result tragically confirms a well known saying: ‘Qui s’excuse s’accuse.’ We ourselves have acquainted our neighbors with the thought that for every embezzling Jew it is possible to drag the entire ancient people to answer. . . Every accusation causes among us such a commotion that people unwittingly think, ‘Why are they so afraid of everything? Apparently their conscience is not clear.’ Exactly because we are ready at every minute to stand at attention, there develops among others an inescapable view about us, as of some specific thievish tribe. We think that our constant readiness to undergo a search without hesitation and to turn out our pockets will eventually convince mankind of our nobility; look what gentlemen we are—we do not have anything to hide!

This is a terrible mistake. The real gentlemen are those who will not allow anyone for any reason to search their apartment, their pockets or their soul. Only a person under surveillance is ready for a search at every moment. This is the only one inevitable conclusion from our maniac reaction to every reproach—to accept responsibility as a people for every action of a Jew, and to make excuses in front of everybody including hell knows who. I consider this system to be false to its very root.

Old Jabotinsky could’ve saved Franz Kafka a lot of time and ink. But even the State of Israel cannot help us if this remains our mentality—not over there, where it can scarcely protect its own citizens from this kind of attack, and damn sure not here in America. Its leaders are busy fighting corruption charges, and casting belatedly and superfluously about for 1940s anti-semitism; it sends its condolences, as peremptory as any American politician’s. If the body count approaches a dozen, you may get an Israeli cabinet minister at your memorial service. Mazal tov.

So do you want to live, or don’t you? The state of our solidarity, of our situational awareness, of our rectal fortitude, is as sorry as it was in 1932. But though I may have as little in common with Jersey City frummies as I do with a Denisovan, though these things may happen thousands of miles away, every one of these attacks is an attack on my soul. Zionism is as much about spiritual exigencies as it is about practical ones. For over a thousand years, our ancestors were forbidden to own land, enter an honest trade, testify in court, ride a horse, or carry a weapon for self-defense. We were a “protected” class. A crime against us was a property crime. That is why the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was so important: not because it prevented any great proportion of the crimes committed against us by the Germans, but because it vindicated our dignity as human beings. The Israeli army exists as much to defend Israeli territory, lives, and infrastructure, as it does in order for you to know unequivocally that you are a free and equal human being.

I got into a debate not long ago with a couple of law school friends, about a Texas law requiring public contractors to sign a pledge not to boycott Israel. Though not Jewish, my friends are mainstream, pro-Israel conservatives. They defended the law, on the premise that a government contract is not a right; and I opposed it, on free speech grounds. In the course of our conversation, I ranted a bit about lobbyists, about Jewish pushiness and Israeli arrogance and how some principles (e.g., free speech) are higher than my ethnic affinities. I see now that this was a mistake—not because of the facts, but because of my motives. I wasn’t just defending free speech: I was obliquely defending Jews, by melodramatically trying to demonstrate that my loyalties are not conflicted. But my friends didn’t have any doubts about that.

So it doesn’t matter if this or that Jew is a bad person. Are you? Or are you worthy to hold your head up and live? Because if you aren’t, there’s always alt-right Twitter, or left anti-Zionism, or banging on the office doors of senators and police commissioners demanding indifferent protection. Just know that if you seek to validate and defend yourself in this manner, your work will never be done, because you will have handed all your power over to others, when they didn’t even ask for it. Almost no issue in public discourse needs to be about Jews in any fundamental way—not even, e.g., U.S. military aid to Israel, or the phenomenon of anti-semitic shootings. Rather, you need to fundamentally be about yourself, before you can be for others. And an attack on Jews is an attack on you.

So never denounce your own kind. Never second-guess a friend, or an enemy. Fold your arms over your chest, like Jabotinsky said. Be clear, cold, and calm. Don’t panic. Be stationary, be stoic. Exude utter contempt. That’s number one.

Number two is, be prepared to physically defend yourself, and your loved ones. Over the same weekend as the Monsey attack, a gunman stormed a church in rural Texas, and was immediately shot down by a parishioner before he was able to kill anyone else. QED: if Jews weren’t such soft targets, these attacks wouldn’t be happening.

It’s that simple.

 

 

an embarrassment of kitsches

Your rags betray your vanity

Your rags betray your vanity

‘Multiculturalism’ suits them to perfection, conjuring up the agreeable image of a global bazaar in which exotic customs can be savored indiscriminately with no commitments required.                         —Christopher Lasch, Revolt of the Elites (1995)

The battle’s din subsides; CNN’s swarthy erstwhile good guys have all gone home to beat their wives. Skulking asthmatically through the suk between protection racket badlands a gangly, mysterious stranger with the untrimmed, languid mug of a bus bench masturbator declares the blast radius liberated as he assesses the remaining impediments to liquidation, consolidation and free love.

They should’ve given him the Qaddafi treatment.

The consummate, bloviating hail-fellow hipster who’ll pretend to know about anything and gives a shit about nothing, in each country he visits it’s the same schtick: fatuously lament the local misfortune between mouthfuls accompanied by disconcertingly age-incongruous pornographic moaning, lob an “and how does that make you feel?” or two with the narcoleptic gaze of a burnt-out psychoanalyst, then inquire primly about the timetable for Americanization. Nary a child-like denizen of these backwaters slated for development realizes they’ve lain their Sunday best before a predator, and when they slaughter their enemies with US ordnance he shudders as though Mr. Whiskers just dragged in a decapitated rodent. For chrissake, people—have a little class, will ya? I’m tryin’ ta eat over here.

Ours is an age propitious for the lily narrator who’s seen everything and experienced nothing, but once had a drink with someone who did. Let him assure you no good can come of principles, if your aim is to keep in victuals.

Regime mouthpiece Anthony Bourdain is Karl Marx’s last laugh, a typical effete and soon-to-be incontinent (but still partying) leftover of a once puerile, now senile revolution that refuses to clear the stage and—herpes notwithstanding—always has a happy ending, and endless rationalizations for prudence. Galavanting, dainty-sampling, conflating impudence with pluck under that jaunty canopy of special providence for drunkards, fools and the United States of America—where enjoyment of the finer things vindicates imperial prerogatives and televangelical lucre as surely as going slumming sends shivers down the asscrack—he never seems to tire of recounting how very much yonder humble folk meant to him. A missionary of mass-market libertinism in humanitarian guise, he combines the scolding and verbally chastened impulses of progressivism with insatiable lust for colonial spoils. A hippy-dippy paver of paradise, ever on the lookout for unsullied authenticity to add to his collection of taxidermied heads, he’s a blue-state Paula Deen with as much regard (and as much use) for the niggers as a payday lender. And he looks like a big gay squirrel.

No fewer Indians dead for today’s cowboys being bi-curious, Bourdain’s interview questions of local denizens are always undergrad clichés, three steps short of poignance and five steps beyond real engagement. In the end, I didn’t know what to do about all the poverty I saw, but I sure ate good while I felt bad about it. He’ll use your history as a prompt for glib establishment tautologies, your city as a backdrop for a trustfund odyssey journal entry, the most hackneyed stereotypes about your culture and a dozen words of your language for a thin veneer of erudition between fits of sleep apnea brought on by the dreadful exertion of deciphering your pitifully accented ESL. The jingling in his pocket plays to local mercenaries, airtime whores and the shucking bourgeois sleeper cells that furnish him obsequious Squantos and Queequegs for guides, but never to the peasants, whose testimonies he’s happy to peddle wistfully through an interpreter, but who lack the venality—the truly ground-down sense of thrift and proportion—that his handlers have in mind for them.

One can well suppose how this sausage gets packaged—A: Hey Pepe, who’s the gringo? B: Pipe the fuck down and put on a shit eating grin, will ya? Can’t you see he’s being followed by cameras? Which are as good as apostles, or Angles of the Lord; on whose shoulders they alight separates hip from square, living from dead, but they can only lead you if you want to be led. This week, we’re here with the guy who’s been doing the thing that speaks so poignantly to the universal Us and where We’re all going…. Well why in the hell didn’t they put him on TV years before? And isn’t that universal We just the old, royal one? This isn’t a two-way street, after all. You’re telling us what to care about.

When Nir Rosen mocked Lara Logan’s rape in Cairo, it was despicable because he and she are playing the same game, only she has to play it with a twat between her legs, while he gets to take his own assignments (“Imperialism,” he told the Senate). Same isn’t true of Anderson Cooper.

In the words of another plagiarist luminary artificially accorded relevance beyond any reasonable expiration date, The times, they are a changin’: of her travels, Rebecca West gave us a thousand-odd pages devoted with desperate passion to a single area of the planet. Kerouac regurgitated his faggy soul in its tipsy entirety, little though anybody wanted it. Orwell took up arms with his hosts. Jon Stewart may’ve been a sycophant who played an iconoclast on TV, but he did it four nights a week, and even Brian Williams deserves credit for admitting he’s a phony. But Bourdain is a new low, a middlebrow parakeet, a geopolitical ambulance chaser whose every insight turns out to be precisely CNN’s vapid conventional ordure, served up in affected tones suggestive of some scintillating intellectual morsel. The world according to Anthony Bourdain is an abortion, a tree falling in the woods—an undifferentiated clump of cells that only the trend-setter, the marketing hack and the affluent solipsist’s ADHD nanosecond of consideration renders extant. And as this gas bag orbits his handlers’ parcels, he regurgitates his inch-deep cognitive intake in blithe, self-important banalities as homogenous as his digestive output.

By itself this carnivorously pontifical agenda-setting is quite unremarkable; what makes Bourdain’s every blasé pledge-drive du jour so egregious is the feigned humanity, withdrawn in the space of an Instagram share once he’s on to the next paternalistic holiday in the sun.

He checks in with the Congo to report whether anything’s changed since Conrad, and concludes that it hasn’t. Nope, still, uh… dark. Blame King Leopold, that’ll keep the heat off our sponsors! His Morocco is nothing but the footsteps of Bowles, Burroughs and sundry lesser man-boy love pioneers, to whose mughrebi meanderings he devotes the entire episode. He presents the haunted ruins of Leptis Magna as a veritable oasis of civilization in the Libyan dregs; his only complaint is that the cocks have all been chiseled off the facades by Mohammedan prudes. He gives Iran the predictable recalcitrant-child treatment: thankfully, there are a handful of brave ESL speakers holding out there, dreaming of TJ Maxx and the caramel macchiato. His Lebanon is a blur of caricatures, titillating nightlife mashups juxtaposed with exotic houses of worship and gratuitous stock footage of multi-confessional war dead. The feminism of Beirut literata Joumana Haddad in Parts Unknown is reduced to little more than…. parts unknown, the unemployed forbidden fruit of some deposed oriental despot’s harem, all lipstick and leggings and horridly uncouth death threats from jealous cleric cousins lurking somewhere off-camera. When he temerously characterizes the country’s deadly fissures as hip vibrance, she asks whether his lurid enthrallment has anything to do with the fact he’s just visiting, and the piece of shit deflects by asking “Am I not supposed to love this place?” Well you’d better ask it first, Tony. This isn’t the gay princess cruise you take it for. Where Flaubert got off light with syphilis, today they might pull your fucking fingernails out with a pair of pliers. (Now that I’d tune in for!)

Apparently monolingual (his copy-hacks don’t seem to realize raconteur is French for blowhard, anyway), Bourdain’s every encounter is a one-way street. Each new attempt to relate to those foreign “friends” he so self-servingly calls upon is terribly awkward to behold, even when he’s visiting English-speaking realms. But friends these guilelessly hospitable or attention-whoring dupes undoubtedly are, in the same sense that vile showbiz backstabbers are so adept at namedropping and mutual exploitation. His every word and gesture is smoke. Anthony Bourdain has Muslim friends the way Donald Trump does. He’s got as much chance of breaking bread with the locals unaided by fixers and coming away in one piece as the camel has with a needle’s eye. Underneath the mealy ideals is a sugar daddy impresario indulging crimson fetishes on the cheap as he moralizes behind hired protection. And did I mention he looks like a big gay squirrel?

Sundays at the Zoo

new-mexico-state-fair-5

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 thought I saw a crucifix

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

Cattle Prod

part-par-par8316921-1-1-01

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. So, either (a) the whole town was complicit in this young man’s Missouri, or (b) no one was. 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?

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 same indifferent meekness is exactly why no one intervened to help him. This is not the behavior of sapient life. It doesn’t even rise to the level of sentient predation. This is the behavior of prey.

A whole town. An entire country.

Jacob’s Plateau

brugghen2c_hendrick_ter_-_esau_selling_his_birthright_-_c-_1627

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