Category Archives: Culture

Cool Detachment

Looks like a Manson family member at a parole hearing. Give me Paglia any day.

I still haven’t memorized my cell phone number, or my husband’s. I don’t remember the year my mother or father died, let alone the month and day. I can’t remember my wedding anniversary, either.

However, I’ve never forgotten that, sometime between the release of Annie Hall (1977) and Manhattan (1979), Woody Allen was the subject of a cover story in either Newsweek or Time in which—while musing bitterly about random, pointless suffering—he put in that cultural critic Susan Sontag’s cancer diagnosis “must have been particularly devastating for a woman of her sensibility.”

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The Ivory Tower Man: Why Academia Hates Guns

There is a particular strain of humanity now deeply rooted in Western culture that we can refer to as the Ivory Tower Man. This individual is the product of an entire cultural philosophy. He is the result of several generations that have faced no immediate danger or challenge to life itself; he is the spawn of the Nanny State. The Ivory Tower Man is found throughout all current age groups and academia is especially rife with this character.

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“Sheeple” is now a Merriam-Webster word, BUT …

If Hill had won US 2016, would that have been the honoured word? We are informed via Mashable that it’s a new Merriam-Webster word for 2016:

If you’ve spent any time online, you know that “sheeple” is the word you use when you want to yell at an otherwise undefined group of people. It is the insult the blogging masses use to call someone a “dummy following a person or ideology without knowing why they’re following said person or ideology.” More.

As a rule, the Cool never vilifies the rest of us more honestly and earnestly than when we are acting to protect ourselves from the worst damage they can do.

See also: Mark Steyn on the doomed hillbilly

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No, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Is Not ‘Unexpectedly Timely’

We are all necessarily prisoners of our own place and time, and thus, I was in my youth necessarily a fan of “The Handmaid’s Tale.” I read it; I discussed it very earnestly with like-minded friends; I copied author Margaret Atwood’s muted style and dystopian preoccupations in my own, less competent fiction.

But that youth has fled, alas; it has been two decades since I last waxed indignant about the drinking age, or picked up my copy of the book. Even that copy — paperback, dogeared and waterstained and threatening to come apart at the spine — has been left behind somewhere, presumably the same place I lost my velvet chokers and my Suzanne Vega CDs.

However, a new television show has been made out of the book, and is attracting rave reviews, less for its acting, script, or stunning visuals than for its “unexpectedly timely” message.

Nonsense.


According to the fever swamp left we have been living “The Handmaid’s Tale” since every Republican president.

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SNL couldn’t really joke re Obama

He is their Jesus. And those are Big Shoes to Fill.

From Christian Toto at Hollywood in Toto:

Comedian Jay Pharoah’s impression of President Barack Obama was spot on. Too bad so few people noticed.

Pharoah opened up about his time on the venerable sketch series during an April 13 chat on Hot 97’s “Ebro in the Morning” show. The comedian got fired from “SNL” in August, but his Obama character got his pink slip much earlier.

“For the last year and a half they did no Obama sketches at all. They just were like, ‘oh, we don’t know what to do…’ I said, ‘just let me do my characters and we’ll be fine.’ They didn’t wanna do that,” Pharoah said.

“SNL” became increasingly progressive during the Obama years. Few sketches skewered the first black president. The show’s writers ignored Obama’s considerable ego, his lofty pronouncements nor the fallout from the 2013 PolitiFact Lie of the Year – “If you like your health care plan you can keep it.” More.

Pharaoh’d hoped his 30 million views on YouTube would save him. They didn’t. One does not mock SJW Jesus.

Reality check: The inability to mock their own will be their undoing unless they can shut down alternative forms of entertainment. Watch for purse-lipped concern about “vicious, bitter” sendups of SJWs, virtue signallers, and other poseurs that “diminish our fragile national discourse.”

See also: Marvel! Readers tire of partisan comics

and

Progressives go after art eventually too

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Marvel! Readers tire of partisan comics

From Christian Toto at Hollywood in Toto:

The Marvel universe has embraced diversity with a passion. And it doesn’t simply mean a glut of new characters who better represent the culture’s ethnic and gender diversity. The comic book company radically transformed its most beloved stars.

Iron Man is now a black teenage girl. Thor is a woman. Captain America is black. Ms. Marvel is a Muslim teenage girl.

And then there’s the company’s partisan storytelling, Last year, Marvel tweaked the classic villain Modok to look and sound like Donald Trump. A recent “Captain America” story cast anti-immigration foes as the villains. More.

It was a huge hit with everyone but the readers.  As Marvel’s VP of Sales David Gabriel recently whiffled,

What we heard was that people didn’t want any more diversity. They didn’t want female characters out there. That’s what we heard, whether we believe that or not. I don’t know that that’s really true, but that’s what we saw in sales.

Reality check: We believe it even if he doesn’t. Readers’ tastes hadn’t changed at all. The company was being pressured by Correctness thugs, and the thugs are not the market.

This helps us see why political correctness eventually requires government control even of trivial media. Just think, lots of jobs for junior jackboots once they graduate from assaulting the profs with whom they disagree.

Note: Comment of the week, below: Wonder Woman and Rogue were actual characters, not props for Social Justice. If the clowns running Marvel can’t tell the difference, there’s no hope for them.

See also: Progressives go after art eventually too

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The Danger of Ayn Rand

On the morning of September 11, 2001, I didn’t know the difference between National Review and The New Republic. (By all means, write your own joke…) I was groping for guidance, as I always had, in the written word, but my knowledge of lofty (and, I hoped, helpful) American political journals was restricted to Woody Allen’s line in Annie Hall that “Dissent and Commentary had merged and formed Dysentery.”

After getting properly oriented, I became curious about the evolution of U.S. conservative and libertarian publications, and basically inhaled George H. Nash’s The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945. Nash’s classic introduced me to what I think of as “the old, weird, other America,” that of The Freeman and Albert Jay Nock, anti-Communist folk music and Isabel Paterson.

 

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Liberalism’s Problem with Christianity

One doesn’t need to believe in order to understand the principles of early Protestant political ideas on liberty, the role of the civil magistrate and civil society. Yet, without the Christian faith as a foundation, liberalism will not help us live well together

Here in the West, we like to think of ourselves as liberals. Freedom for all, we say. Individual rights! is the cry heard from Poland to Perth. As liberals we understand society to be made up of individuals, and believe those individuals to be equal, with each possessing inherent moral agency. This equality and moral agency, we believe, mean that each individual possesses a set of basic rights enforceable by law. Our society and our political structures and practices are built upon this liberal ideal. Everybody is free, and everybody is equal. This, it seems, is our most basic political and social assumption.

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Why Progressives Hate Steve Bannon’s Cyclical View Of History

Progressives hate Steve Bannon’s fascination with a book that suggests history is cyclical. It undermines a progressive worldview that yearns for utopia.

If you want to make a progressive squirm, tell him that history is cyclical. Whether they realize it or not, progressives borrow their entire worldview from Christianity, and therefore have a fundamentally millenarian view of history. The idea of cycles makes them uncomfortable.

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Opioids and ‘the Good Life’

Lately there’s been a great deal of media coverage of the opioid crisis that is going on in the country. It is commonly referred to as a “‘disease’ along with alcoholism and drug abuse. This seems to be an egregious example of political correctness that disguises the real problem in the fog of a euphemism. Cancer is a disease, addiction is a spiritual problem. It is what happens when a society’s primary values are entertainment and pleasure rooted in materialism. And it represents the culmination of what secularism and liberalism have accomplished in their efforts to tear down all restraints to one’s conscience by destroying Christianity and biblical morality.

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No room for baby Democrats, it would seem

From Matt Vespa at Townhall:

Last week, MSNBC’s Morning Joe had former Vermont governor and DNC chair Howard Dean to discuss the new direction for his party. Co-host Joe Scarborough said he had interviewed former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, who reminded him of the old school southern Democrats who dominated the South and the border states. A dying breed of Democrats who didn’t veer too far left on abortion, Second Amendment rights, and other cultural issues. Scarborough noted Dean’s call for Democrats to launch an offensive into the rural areas, which yielded political dividends for the party during his tenure as DNC chair. Scarborough asked Dean if there was room in the Democratic Party for people to be progressive on economic issues, but conservative on social ones (i.e. abortion)?

“No. Because the young generation isn’t that way. I think the old left/right is an anachronism. It exists in Washington. It exists in the media. Young people don’t think that way. They are not ideological. They are extremely interested in social justice, so we are never going back to maybe making compromises on abortion, and gay rights is another one,” he said.

Scarborough seemed shocked, noting that a large chunk of the country is pro-life. More.

Reality check:  It takes a really bright person to be unable to see that killing our kids for the sake of a better society makes us vulnerable over time to any group that does not do so, whether they have a better future in mind or not. They are the future and we are not.

And yes, a large chunk, including young people, is pro-life. Over time, even more may “get it” that we are all “the fetus” now

Maybe the Dem elite deserve this. They deserved their recent electoral defeats. On the other hand, do all their followers deserve it?

See also: The churches of Europe, having accepted abortion, are training their replacements Their growing acceptance of euthanasia will move things along. The surviving great-granddaughters of Church-hating feminists will live under sharia law. And no similar rebellion against religious authority will be possible. It’s almost like a divine judgment on abortion advocacy, but I digress.

and

Always remember, in the age of euthanasia, We’re all “the fetus” now

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God Bless the Right-Wing Social Justice Warriors

“Invent a weapon,” Jordan Peterson said on Tuesday, “and your enemies will have it within one generation.” He was talking about Gamergate feminist Brianna Wu, who was learning the hard way that YouTube’s Restricted Mode was hurting the gays it was supposed to protect. You may be thinking, “Wu who?” right now, but you should be saying, “Woo-hoo!” because Peterson’s observation is profound. Not only are the bots turning on their creators, we are too. We’ve taken Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and turned it into our guidebook. We are the Social Justice Warriors now, and we’re way better at it than they ever were.

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ESPN ratings in free fall. Why?

From Jeff Reynolds at PJMedia,

This new report comes mere months after a report showing that ESPN is losing subscribers at an alarming rate. In November 2016, ESPN lost over 600,000 subscribers, its worst month ever. ESPN has historically been a workhorse performer, one of the most successful cable channels of all time. Driven by live events, previously unavailable sports updates, an offbeat delivery, and compelling content, ESPN reached must-watch status and stayed there for a couple of decades. At the height of their popularity, in 2011, ESPN was available in over 100 million homes. A few years ago, however, the tide began to ebb. As of December 2016, that number had dropped to 88.4 million — a steady, inexorable decline.

This has resulted in a precipitous drop in ad revenue at ESPN and its corporate parent company, Disney. This is what is driving the next round of layoffs.

A number of factors play a role but one naturally wonders about the recent drift into social justice warfare:

One of the most vocal critics of ESPN’s embrace of progressivism is Clay Travis, a national radio host on competitor Fox Sports Radio. Travis is no conservative himself, having worked on Al Gore’s presidential campaign in 2000. Travis has nonetheless been relentless in his criticism of ESPN in both his on-air broadcasts and on his blog, Outkick The Coverage. He wrote in February that “ESPN decided to become a social justice warrior network, treating all liberal opinion makers as those worthy of promotion and casting aside all those who had the gall to challenge the new Disney world order. ESPN became MSESPN.” Or as a friend of mine puts it, they have become ES(JW)PN. When you alienate half of your potential consumers, why should you expect their uninterrupted loyalty? More.

Reality check: Progressives thrive better in government monopoly media than anywhere else and, where they gain power, they will simply eliminate the loyalty factor. But in the case of a sports channel, the growth of in-house progressivism absent any market demand suggests other underlying economic weaknesses, such as the ones Reynolds notes.

See also: Are Hollywood’s wounds self-inflicted? As noted earlier, when Hollywood types started demanding that we all listen to them rant, they were competing with every bore on the planet. No wonder their financial fortunes are tanking. Failing to understand their situation, they did it when the digital universe makes them just one alternative among many. If they haven’t figured all that out by now, they are just not going to pull out of their dive.

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