May 6, 2015

Pervasive Self-Hate

via Radix

Don’t worry Black America, one “white, upper middle class, suburban woman hears and believes you” and she’s “committed to racial reconciliation and reparations in my lifetime.”

Meet Jen Hatmaker, the suburban housewife behind the Washington Post column that takes the cake for the absolute, worst response to the Baltimore riots.

Hatmaker isn’t your average White liberal feeling the burden of race guilt; in fact, she’s a devout Baptist, a proud Texan, and has a slightly conservative style. But just like the craft brew sipping, Obama voting SWPL, this suburbanite receives her views on race from professional Black grievance mongers like Ta-Nehisi Coates.

It goes without saying that Coates is one of the most insufferable writers to have ever disgraced the English language. But his pompous, cringe-inducing diatribes against White people are a huge hit among urban elves and the chattering class, and so he receives the distinction of standing as the nation’s “premier writer on race.” And now his inane views are making their way into the minds of homemakers in Texas.

Here’s some selections from this “mom of two black children”:
What do I know of oppression? I am a white girl from Texas who has had every advantage skewed my way. But, black community, I stand in solidarity with you, not just as a mom to two black children, but as a human being. I hear you, and I believe you.
Like most southerners, I am conditioned to minimize struggle and avoid conflict. (Of course, this is selective, as I am quite dramatic about my own struggle when it suits me.) MLK famously dubbed this a “negative peace,” as it is no indicator of actual societal peace, only an absence of confrontation; everyone just settle down and don’t make us uncomfortable. We whitewash 400 years of systematic oppression and then scold the black community for bearing its scars. . .
To make sense of disturbing, confusing rioting in one’s own backyard, whites must try to understand the very real generational trauma the black community has endured. Judy Wu Dominick describes the Korean word used to represent a visceral reaction to unbearable psychological pain: han. . .
While the black community polices their own rioters alongside law enforcement, perhaps rather than more white scolding, we could acknowledge the depth of pain exploding within Baltimore, Ferguson and the collective cry rising all over the country. Do we have the courage to look beyond the symptoms to the devastating source? This will take monumental humility, acknowledgement and repentance from the white community, because we cannot pretend almost 400 years of terror and state-sanctioned disadvantages were erased and mended 50 years ago.
If we condemn the Baltimore mob, we must first condemn the lynching mob. . .
I obviously cannot speak for the black community or even the collective white community (as we are sharply divided over this, too), but I can speak for myself. So here is my message to my black friends, neighbors, mentors, and colleagues:
I suspect you and I watched the riots, albeit a tiny percentage of Baltimore natives and a fraction of those peacefully assembled, and we both grieved. We know violence only begets violence, and destroying property and vandalizing a neighborhood is only going to set progress back.
We also know the cynical will throw a blanket statement over the entire city and discredit the fault lines of injustice that gave way that day. I bet we both wept as 8-year-old boys threw rocks at the police. Not another generation, God. How long?
But I hope you can hear me say this: I am not blind to the systems that delivered me to the doorstep of privilege while you were relegated to the back door. I will not sanitize the abuse and injustice that built our entire infrastructure on human misery. I won’t imagine the plight of the modern black community was born in a vacuum, as if centuries of physical, financial, occupational, and social harm bear no marks.
I simply want you to know that one white, upper middle class, suburban woman hears and believes you. I do not share your collective han, but I am grieved immeasurably by it, and I am committed to racial reconciliation and reparations in my lifetime.
There is so much work to do: relational healing, power upheaval, systemic reform from the top down and bottom up, the laborious process of education, the laborious process of intellectual honesty, the laborious process of peacemaking. But I hope we can face this work together, and on the days you are weary beyond words, remember that we exist – a whole alliance of white folks who have heard your stories and heeded your leadership, who’ve been inspired by your resilience and broken over your pain. We stand by you as co-laborers, neighbors, and mostly your friends.
Together we can lessen the burden on our children’s generation until one day, through toil and courage and perseverance and unity, this good work is complete.
This article amply demonstrates Richard Spencer’s observation of the pervasiveness of White guilt. The fact that a woman like this (read: not a typical blue-haired lesbian SJW) would willfully embrace castigation for herself and her family over the apparent past sins of White people goes to show how ingrained this idea of guilt is in our folk’s psyche. Ethnomasochism isn’t just limited to antifa and sociology professors—it also extends to housewives and God-fearing Christians.

Needless to say, there’s a lot of work ahead of us to inspire race consciousness in Euro-Americans.

Newspeak: Linguistic Status Symbol of the Easily Convinced

via Toiletnation, USA

Consider the following words and phrases:
  • Fat-shaming
  • Privilege (White privilege, thin privilege, male privilege)
  • Marriage equality
  • Triggering or triggered
  • Larger person
  • Pro-choice
  • Women’s clinic
Seven simple words or combinations of simple words that have each been meticulously engineered to “trigger” a cascade of ideas and emotions meant to rewrite and reinforce new moral definitions every time they are used. If you are honest and aware of what the engineers of these word-concepts are trying to do, you have to admit that they have been very successful.

A quick Google Trends search for the search term “fat shaming” shows that, before the end of 2012, that particular combination of those two words was practically unheard of in popular culture. But now, just two or three years later, those two words beside each other have a very precise political meaning that tells the listener or reader volumes about the user’s values, background, politics and viewpoint. And most of the Western world is familiar with the concept. Impressive.

If someone uses the term “fat-shaming” (or any of the terms bullet-listed above) un-ironically, you can immediately deduce with a pretty decent degree of certainty that the person is:
  • female
  • white
  • upper middle-class
  • on the leftward end of the political spectrum
  • overweight to a greater or lesser degree
  • college-educated
  • studying (or studied) the humanities or social sciences
(The sorts of people who invent and use a term like “fat-shaming” bristle at how easily astute listeners or readers can peg their social status and political/intellectual position on just about any issue after just after a brief conversation. I know this from experience. )

But the phenomenon isn’t a new one. It’s a cliche’ by now, but whenever totalitarian political movements appear, a struggle for the language of whatever nation being taken over always follows. George Orwell made his career on this fact. 

When the Communists took over Russia, they instituted a well thought-out and organized government censorship plan within ten days of coming to power. They did so for a reason:
Soviet censors regard[ed] the world as a semantic system in which the information that is let through is the only reality….In terms of truth or falsehood, the objective sense of the world no longer exists. Instead of dealing with real things, the censor hopes that his world view will be accepted. Only what the censor approves is said to exist; what he disapproves has no independent existence.From I Must Speak Out: The Best of the Voluntaryist 1982-1999, edited by Carl Watner
In other words, totalitarians believe that reality is a consensus and that if enough people can be convinced that a concept is real (or unreal), it will either magically exist or cease to exist. Americans have seen this theory in action since the 1960s, as concepts of what people have traditionally considered natural or unnatural are continually under semantic assault. Consider ideas of gender, sexuality, body image, race, nationhood, etc. “Normal”and “decent”–two words which once had understood meanings–have been deliberately destroyed. Or, at least, damaged.

But more than a tool of social re-engineering, progressive Newspeak serves as a conversational identifier to differentiate the in-crowd from the politically unacceptable. The use of the words is a status symbol, announcing to the world that the user is superior to the non-user and that the convinced are superior to the unconvinced and that the New Soviet Man is superior to the parasite.

Consider which you are the next time you consider using a word like

The First Leftist Genocide of the Twentieth Century

via The Occidental Observer

There is good reason why President Obama avoids using the word ‘genocide’ to describe the killing of one-and-a-half million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire.

This is because if you scratch almost any methodical mass killing in modern times, you are almost certain to find Liberals and Leftists pulling the strings. So it was with the first major holocaust of the twentieth century, the massacre of the Armenians and other Christian minorities that started about one hundred years ago today.

This prolonged atrocity, which included countless acts of rape, torture, and even crucifixion, and which saw tens of thousands taken out into the Black Sea and drowned, while many more were marched out into the deserts to die of starvation and disease, was carried out by the Ottoman Empire. This superficial fact conjures up an image of Oriental despotism of the sort we normally associate with the likes of Tamerlane or even Ivan the Terrible.

In other words, the implicit image of these massacres that exists in the popular mind is of dark deeds carried out at the behest of an absolute monarch, embodying the forces of traditionalism, conservatism, and even ethnic nationalism. But nothing could be further from the truth. By the time of the genocide, the Ottoman Empire of popular imagination had ceased to exist. The Sultan of the Ottoman Empire at the time of the genocide was Mehmed V, a gentle and ineffectual man, who has been described as follows:
The very appearance of Mehmed V suggests nonentity. Small and bent, with sunken eyes and deeply lined face, an obesity savoring of disease, and a yellow, oily complexion, it certainly is not prepossessing. There is little or no intelligence in his countenance, and he never lost a haunted, frightening look, as if dreading to find an assassin lurking in some dark corner ready to strike and kill him. The Near East from Within
By 1913, he had been reduced to a mere figurehead and pawn by a series of coup d’états, which had placed the leaders of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) in absolute power.

The CUP became better known by its nickname, “The Young Turks,” because of the youthfulness of it three leaders, Enver Pasha, Talaat Pasha, and Djemal Pasha, who were also known as “The Three Pashas.” Enver Pasha , the youngest, was only 32 years old, in 1913. This was the ruling triumvirate that oversaw Turkey’s disastrous alliance with Germany, the genocide of the Armenians, and the country’s final defeat.

Dominated by Enver, the Three Pashas were thoroughly modern types, inimical to traditional Islam, until they realized its military and political utility as a trans-nationalist force that could strengthen the state.

Those on the Left, keen to distance themselves from the brutality and failure of the CUP, prefer to describe it as “nationalist” and even “proto-fascist,” but, within the context of  Turkish politics, it was clearly a left-leaning anti-nationalist organization whose slogan — “Hürriyet, Müsavaat, Adalet” (Liberty, Equality, Justice) — would do justice to any liberal party in the modern West.

The Young Turks favoured a constitutional monarchy and the modernization of the country in ways that would eradicate the ethnic divisions that had always formed the texture of the ethnic patchwork that was the Ottoman Empire. They defined themselves politically against reactionary conservative, monarchist, and Islamist elements that wished to restore the power of the Sultan.

Due to its progressivism, the CUP had the support of most of the Empire’s minorities, including ironically and tragically the Armenians themselves, many of whom celebrated its seizure of power. Also important in the movement were the Dönme crypto-Jews, especially those from the town of Salonika, which passed into Greek hands following the Balkan War of 1912.

The most significant Dönme was Mehmet Cavit Bey, editor of the CUP’s newspaper and later finance minister in the government. Other important Dönme figures were the feminist Sabiha Sertel, Doctor Nâzım Bey, one of the chief architects of the genocidal policy, and Munis Tekinalp, also known as Moiz Cohen, one of the main intellectuals behind Turanism and Pan-Turkism, the form that Turkish “nationalism” later took.

All four of these figures had close links to the town of Salonika, as did Kemal Atatürk, the later founder of the Turkish Republic. It is often rumoured that Atatürk was also a member of this crypto-Jewish community, although his Albanian forbearers are better documented and more evident in his physical appearance.

But the most interesting thing about the supposed Turkish nationalism of both the Young Turks and later the Kemalists, is how un-Turkish it actually was.

This was the effect of IQ differences between the European, crypto-Jewish, and Asiatic elements in the Ottoman Empire, with the former naturally rising to the top of any movement or organization. It was also the result of the need to literally create the idea of “the Turk” in order to unify what was in effect an ethnically diverse area.

While, generally speaking, society is more often a racial construct, the Turk is one of the few instances where race can be said to be a social construct. The Turk was certainly not a clearly defined racial entity with unique features. The original Turanian blood of the original Turkish nomads from central Asia had long ago been lost in an ethnic mix with Byzantine Greeks, Armenians, and the various ethnicities of Anatolia. Atatürk later proclaimed the ancient Hittites to have been his people’s true ancestors, but the Hittites were not Turanians (they were Indo-Europeans), and none of the Turkish people could claim anything greater than 25 percent Turanian blood, least of all Atatürk himself with his strong Albanian heritage.

Not only was Atatürk (literally “Father of the Turks”) a very un-Turkish Turk, so were at least two of the Three Pashas. Enver was also of Albanian origin on his mother’s side, while Talaat was a member of the Pomak ethnicity — a group of Bulgarian-speaking Muslims.

Even if you accept the mongrelized Turk as a distinct hybrid race that originated after the conquest of Anatolia by the original Turanian people in the 11th century, the main leaders of Turkish nationalism were a separate racial cadre with greatly disproportionate Albanian, Pomak, and crypto-Jewish elements.

The Young Turks and later the Kemalite state did not therefore represent an authentic nationalism, expressing the true character of the Turkish people. Instead, like the later Baathist regimes in Syria and Iraq, they represented a kind or ersatz statist nationalism, imposed by tightly networked hidden minorities on the wider population, a “nationalism” that served the generic statist interests of the modernizing and centralizing civic entity.

As with Assyrian Christians in Baathist Syria and Iraq, the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire initially stood to gain from the new order. But their specific ethno-religious character as Christians and ethno-political character as an ancient kingdom with a long history that predated the Ottoman Empire — and even its predecessor, the Byzantine — made them an awkward fit in the new ersatz nationalist civic state that the progressivist CUP were working towards. This inherent conflict was additionally exacerbated by their concentration near the frontline with the Russian Empire, which offered a competing pole of loyalty, especially as many Armenians also lived on the Russian side of the border.

Another factor in the genocide was the characteristic mix of totalitarianism and incompetence that typifies Leftist regimes.

Although technically in favour of constitutional government and democracy, the leaders of the CUP, faced strong resistance and an unsympathetic populace, predisposing them to a “temporary” suspension of their progressivist principles.

This pattern is often repeated among Liberal and Leftist ruling elites: the pursuit of idealistic policies that don’t conform to realities invariably leads to problems, which, in turn, unleashes dictatorial and totalitarian tendencies. Liberals and Leftists have an built-in tendency to veer towards a “dictatorship of the proletariat” mentality — the desire to take power on behalf on the “less fortunate” and “less enlightened,” in order to make the radical changes they feel are necessary.

By 1912, the CUP had completely rigged the electoral system in the Election of the Clubs, and were in the process of sweeping away the past. Part of this included turning its back on the Ottoman Empire’s traditional ally, Great Britain, and its pragmatic and moderating influence, and aligning instead with the strident modernism and assertive militarism of Wilhelmine Germany. This strengthened the tendency towards radical solutions and political ruthlessness within Turkey; this was intensified by the war situation that arose following Turkey’s entry into World War I in October 1914.

Added to these pressures and tendencies, we have the psychological aspect of the leaders, especially Enver Pasha, who like many Liberals and Leftists, was a vainglorious and emotionally brittle individual. In the winter of 1914, he had led an ambitious offensive against the Russians in Eastern Anatolia, which aimed to crush the Russian armies. Faced by General Yudenich, later a hero of the White Russian forces in the Russian Civil War, his army was disastrously defeated at the Battle of Sarikamish. This was another example of the Liberal tendency to get swept away by big ideas and visions, only later to come crashing into realities.

Rather than admit his own incompetence, Enver shifted the blame to the Armenian communities living in the region, and started to see them — and portray them — as traitors and a fifth column for the Russians. Thus the Armenians were demonized as a people that did not fit into the exigencies of the state-of-war mentality which was being promoted by the Liberal dynamic of centralization and standardization. These tendencies were intensified by the pressures of war. The prelude to the actual genocide was Enver’s order to disarm all Armenian soldiers in the Ottoman armies and to transfer them to the labour battalions; in addition there was a sketchy plan to relocate the Armenian population.

The Armenian genocide had two aspects, both of them deadly. On the one hand there were direct attempts at simple extirpation of the Armenians. Many of these efforts were driven by a mixture of human passions, including greed, cruelty, envy, lust, religious hatred, and a displaced desire for revenge. Many of the most violent agents of the genocide were people like the Dönme crypto-Jew Doctor Nâzım Bey, who had been displaced by the Balkan War of 1912 and whose families had suffered.

But there was also a more cold and callous aspect that involved badly thought-out and ill-prepared attempts to relocate the Armenians to less militarily sensitive areas, just as there was in the USA with regard to Japanese Americans following Pearl Harbor. But unlike America, where the camps that held the Japanese were commodious and well-provisioned, little was provided in the way of provisions, accommodation, or protection, with the result that many Armenian deaths simply occurred through neglect and the unsupervised abuse by guards. A large part of the loss of life can be attributed to the inefficiency of the process of relocation and a lack of proper organization. This again is a trademark of the Liberal Left (and a hallmark of ethnic policy in the USSR under Stalin), namely the implementation of big plans that haven’t been properly thought through, and in which glaring flaws, weaknesses, and horrific consequences are callously ignored.

But the final proof that the perpetrators of this horrific act of genocide were on the Left rather than on the Right can be found in the aftermath. With military defeat and the collapse of the Ottoman state, no attempt was made, as in 1945, to arrest and try the perpetrators of genocide. The Three Pashas were allowed to escape and go into exile. Luckily two of them fell at the hands of Armenian assassins. But the worst of the three, Enver Pasha, escaped this fate. Instead he fled to Germany, where he made contact with German communists. He then moved on to Soviet Russia, where he managed to win the trust of Lenin, before his Pan-Turkist tendencies led to a falling out and his death at the hands of a detachment of Soviet cavalry.


'Support John Friend's Free Speech' Crowdfunding Campaign a Success!

via The Realist Report

Yesterday, the Support John Friend's Free Speech! Indiegogo campaign officially ended. We reached, and even exceeded, our goal of raising $2,000! I cannot begin to express how grateful I am to everyone who supported the Indiegogo campaign, as well as everyone who has sent correspondence and donations via snail mail to my PO Box*. Your support is greatly appreciated!

As regular readers are well aware of, engaging in this type of work can be challenging. Openly writing and speaking critically about Jews, controversial events like 9/11 and WWII revisionism, racial issues, and related matters is very risky, even in America where we ostensibly have freedom of speech. But it must be done. We are engaged in an epic struggle for the hearts and minds of billions of people around the world. Thanks to the Internet, we have the ability to compete against the controlled mass media and "entertainment" complex.

I truly believe we are making significant progress. The mass media and political establishment are discrediting themselves on a daily basis, and more and more people are seeking alternative and independent information online. What I am attempting to do is cut through all the disinformation and nonsense. I hope to bring attention to and focus in on the most important issues facing America and the wider Western world. And I once again thank everyone who has supported me in these efforts.

Finally, I'd also like to encourage everyone to consider subscribing to American Free Press - America's last real newspaper - and its sister publication, The Barnes Review, both of which are national treasures considering the state of mainstream journalism and historiography today.

American Free Press is the last printed national newspaper that openly champions the interests of traditional America. It is independent, populist, and pro-White. The Barnes Review is practically the only revisionist publication operating in the entire world today. If you are unfamiliar with these publications, be sure to check out their websites and become a subscriber! Both are well worth your support.

*Those who send correspondence and donations via snail mail, please include an email so I can follow up with you electronically.

On Pan-Arab Nationalism, Part I: Origins and Beliefs of Ba'athism

via TradYouth

Ba’athism has no founding moment, but rather grew out of the writings of three Arab nationalist thinkers in the early 20th Century who founded their own individual movements that later coalesced into a unified, pan-Arab nationalist movement. Michel Aflaq of Iraq and a Greek Orthodox Christian, Zaki al-Arsuzi of Syria and Salah al-Din al-Bitar of Syria and a Sunni Muslim who worked with al-Arsuzi to found the Syrian Ba’ath Party.

Their ideas emerged in the context of both Ottoman and European occupation of Arab lands and synthesized with the emerging forces of 20th Century ideologies of Fascism and Socialism. It was the first wave of Third World liberation movements that would overtake the European empires in the later half of the 20th Century, however unlike the African movements, Ba’athism emerged with one of the most coherent and effective ideologies.

Ba’athism is often greatly misunderstood by many commentators in the West, who often believe that anything that is from the Middle East, must automatically something jihadist related. Yet Ba’athism seeks to transcend the purely Islamist view of history and theology. Ba’athism, or al-ba’ath in Arabic means “resurrection” or “renaissance” and the movement was seeking to establish ethnic Arab liberation against the foreign Turkic and European forces that were alien to the Arab lands and bring about a revival of the great Arab culture. Prior to World War I, the Ottoman Empire was the center of the Islamic caliphate and strictly speaking a theocracy, that Arab nationalists, were opposed to.

Therefore, Ba’athism and the Ba’ath Party sought to bring unity and revival to all forms of Arab history and identity which includes the Christian heritage of Arabs that existed before the advent of Islam.

It well known that many Ba’athist thinkers and leaders, such as Saddam Hussein, were influenced by the Nazis and National Socialist thought, yet Ba’athism should not be confused with National Socialism. Other than certain economic ideas and a mutual hatred of the Jews, the two ideologies are actually quite different. Whereas Nazism sought to empower the Aryan race in order to expand outward and take away from the undeserving and inferior, Ba’athism was the inverse of National Socialism in that it sought to use nationalism as a means of liberation from external forces.

The motto of Ba’athism is “Unity, Liberty, Socialism” which contains many of the ideological components of leftism, which was not uncommon among anti-colonial movements, yet it retained the “trappings” of Fascism. Unity of the Arab peoples, liberation from foreign occupation and anti-capitalism in the form of not being trapped in the Western economic-financial matrix was the objective.

Ba’athism though, as in almost every ideological movement, could not be satisfied with only one brand. Since the 1960s, the movement has been split between Syrian and Iraqi factions. First split came in 1966 when the military of Syria launched a coup against the civilian control of Aflak and Bitar and the debate then became about structural organization. The Iraqis demanded that the Syrians form their party as it was originally intended, to be ruled by civilians to keep the Baath Party populist in nature. There were then subsequent attempts at reconciliation, especially under Saddam’s Iraq, but nothing ever came of attempts at reunion.

Gamel Abdal Naser of Egypt was viewed as a unifying figure thanks to his role in the Suez Crisis and bringing about the short-lived existence of the United Arab Republic (UAR) of Egypt and Syria (1958-1961) that was supposed to include Iraq, however the UAR was viewed as a strategic threat to Jordan, and Jordan sought to unite Iraq and Jordan together against the UAR.

In Iraq, a massive political schism between the Hashemite royalists, who were loyal to British rule and influence, came into conflict against Saddam Hussein and the Ba’athists. Later Saddam Hussein, working in connection with the CIA, launched a coup against the monarchy and established Iraq as a Ba’athist state.

Over time, Iraqi Ba’athism under Saddam adopted a much for right-wing tone, of vehement anti-Communism, mainly in its never ending war against the Kurds who were largely Communist-based. It is at this moment that the Iraqi Ba’athists began working with the CIA and Saddam eventually getting his chemical weapons from the US government that he used against the Kurds and Iranians. In contrast were the Syrians who viewed themselves as staying more true to the orthodox creed of pan-Arabism and socialism, in contrast to Iraq’s Iraqi-first Arab socialist views.

Further exacerbating the tensions between Syrian and Iraqi Ba’athism was Saddam’s purges of the Iraqi Ba’athist Party of any orthodox sympathizers and anyone opposed to his rule and Iraqi-first Ba’athism. This then culminated in the final split, when the Iran-Iraq War began in 1979, Syria sided with jihadist Iran against Saddam Hussein and this relationship was never repaired, even to the point of Syria participating in the 1991 war against Saddam Hussein and not opposing the second US war against Saddam Hussein in 2003.

After the fall of Saddam Hussein, the removal of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt all that remains is what is left of Bashar al-Assad’s Syria. Though Assad has proven to be far more resilient against the Western backed insurgency than was originally thought possible, the insurgency is still far from over, and if Assad does win, his regime will never return to its original level of power and influence.

Mob Rule in Baltimore

via American Renaissance

Police officers indicted to appease rioters.

'The Street Hardly Understands:' The Case of J. Alfred Prufrock

via Alternative Right

"I have heard the mermaids singing, each to
each I do not think that they will sing to me."
Alternative Right Editor's Note: The following is an excerpt from Andy Nowicki's new book Notes Before Death: Three Essays , now available on Amazon. Hear Andy read "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," the poem discussed in this excerpt.

Today, viewed from the perspective of a middle-aged English teacher, whose hair, like Prufrock's, is growing thin, I still find myself most captivated by Eliot's earliest work. As for "The Four Quartets," written later in Eliot's life and long after his conversion to Anglo-Catholicism, they leave me cold. There is something about them that is too airy-fairy, too abstract. "The Waste Land," Eliot's most celebrated poem, has its moments of power, but I can't make head of tail out of much of it, and really, couldn't he have cut back on the abstruse literary allusions just a touch? (Those who call Eliot a pedant are no doubt mostly prejudiced against him for his political and social views, but honestly, the guy could lay on the references and footnotes a bit thick at times.)


The buttoned-up banker as poet: T.S. Eliot
In fact, while most things in my life have changed drastically since I first opened that book of T.S. Eliot's poetry as a 15-year old kid, one thing hasn't changed at all. My favorite Eliot poems are still the early ones, specifically the ones that comprise Prufrock and Other Observations. Today, most of Eliot's fans are those who share, or are at least in substantial sympathy with, his beliefs, which were officially enumerated in 1927: "an Anglo-Catholic in religion, a classicist in literature, and a royalist in politics." Eliot's enemies tend to dislike him for the same reason his fans tend to like him: they think he is too conservative and too religious. As a teenager and a young adult, however, I was an ardent leftist; it always distressed me a little that I couldn't reconcile my opinions with those of my favorite poet. Yet Eliot spoke to me in ways that no revolutionary-minded, left-leaning poet ever had. It would have been easier for me if I could have said that Shelly or Byron or Walt Whitman or Alan Ginsburg was my muse, but such was not the case; it wasn't the innumerable wild-eyed, crazy-living, bearded bohemian bards who caught my fancy, but rather the buttoned-up, respectable, sober-eyed, middle-class banker Eliot whose literary style I wanted to emulate.

It was a bit uncomfortable that I was an ostensible left-winger who loved the work of an ultra-conservative writer, yet at the same time it never occurred to me to "ditch" Eliot; instead, I endured the cognitive dissonance that comes from holding two irreconcilable positions at once. Of course, something had to give eventually, and what "gave" (after several years of gamely enduring cognitive dissonance) was my leftism and my agnosticism. Through the influence of Eliot (and, I believe, God), I came to see the value of orthodoxy and tradition; I soon followed his path to Anglo-Catholicism, before going one step further and dropping the "Anglo" prefix entirely.

It's often been intimated to me that, now that I'm a good believer in sacramental Christianity (though now of the "Roman" rather than the "Anglo" stripe), I ought to gravitate towards Eliot's later work, written when he was a good (Anglo) Catholic. Yet for some reason, it's Eliot's early work that still holds the most appeal. This is particularly true with Prufrock and Other Observations, a collection of poems in which the speakers grope desperately for a sense of transcendence, for a connection with the divine in the midst of a world that they feel to be utterly drained of spiritual vitality. But why should this appeal to me more than the more "settled" and calm quality of Eliot's later works, like "Ash Wednesday" or "Little Gidding"? Perhaps because I'm still a moody teenager at heart, still restless in some ways, still searching.

*****************************

Prufrock and Other Observations contains what could be called four "major" poems: the famous "Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," and the lesser-known "Portrait of a Lady," "Preludes," and "Rhapsody on a Windy Night." Shorter poems are interspersed between these larger ones, including the wry "Cousin Nancy," about a sophisticated woman who "smoked and danced all the modern dances," and whose aunts "weren't sure what to think of it," as well as the satirical "Boston Evening Transcript," whose readers are said to "sway in the wind like a field of ripe corn." Here, I wish to consider mainly the four longer poems of the collection, and their collective meaning and effect.

It's quite fascinating that a man in his early twenties would feel compelled to write "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." It is, after all, about the travails of a middle-aged man, one who fears that life has passed him by and dreads the approach of old age and death ("I grow old... I grow old... I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat and snicker/ And in short, I was afraid.") It is, of course, always inadvisable to try to read a writer's work autobiographically, but I've always wondered to what extent Eliot could identify with Prufrock, even though by all accounts he wrote the poem as a newly-minted college graduate. (A few years later, the still young Eliot would follow with "Gerontion," about a decrepit old man reflecting upon the emptiness of his soon-to-end life.)

Prufrock's dramatic monologue sets the tone for the entire collection; as with every other major poem in PAOO, it is told from a first person point of view; as with the other poems, the speaker often lapses into curious, impressionistic, and rather gloomy descriptions of urban scenes-- here, we have the extended description of "yellow fog," which one suspects to be pollution; the fog is compared to a cat, and is said to "rub its back upon the window panes," "lick its tongue into the corners of the evening," and "curl about the house." We also hear that the speaker "has seen the smoke that rises from the pipes of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows." These descriptions help to reinforce a context of the speaker's feeling of anonymity in the midst of a harsh, smoggy, and unforgiving city filled with isolated, lonely men (who mirror Prufrock's own sense of isolation) and unobtainable, high-class women who "come and go, talking of Michaelangelo." The speaker is hesitant to approach these latter, much as he desires company, for fear that they will turn him down cold.

Prufrock fantasizes about fearlessly expressing himself in a very forthright manner, showing himself to be a powerful man, living an extraordinary life, but he isn't sure it's worth the risk, so he refrains:
Would it have been worthwhile, to have bitten off the matter with a smile
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question
To say, 'I am Lazarus, come from the dead, come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all...
If one setting a pillow and throwing back a shawl, and turning toward the window should say,
'That is not what I meant at all
That is not it, at all."
What Prufrock fears is the awful feeling of putting oneself on the line, making oneself vulnerable, only to have one's interlocutor reject what he has expressed as irrelevant or tiresome. Yet Prufrock's angst transcends the problem of being shy around the opposite sex. Ultimately, what he wants is a sense of connection, not merely on a romantic level, but in a more profound sense. "Prufrock" is not an explicitly religious poem, but its speaker clearly suffers from spiritual thirst – he wants more than can be provided by the dry, sterile desert of a modern world he inhabits, where faith seems to have altogether evaporated. It is not by chance that Prufrock invokes figures like John the Baptist and Lazarus, comparing himself unfavorably to these great men who played such an important role in the origins of the Christian faith. Prufrock feels that he has suffered just as they have, but his suffering seems meaningless, because it hasn't been redeemed by the ability to believe in a transcendent realm, in a God who, in the words of the author of Revelation, "wipes every tear from our eyes." Prufrock has "wept and fasted, wept and prayed," and has even, like John the Baptist, "seen (his) head.... brought in upon a platter," but Prufrock, unlike the Baptist, cannot take the real step into martyrdom and faith, so he remains insignificant: "I am no Prophet," he mourns, "and here's no great matter."

Near the end of the poem, Prufrock walks along a beach and looks out to the eternally rolling waves of the ocean; this provokes a vision of a rather sensual spiritual realm, inhabited by "sea girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown," who "ride seaward on the waves, combing the white hair of the waves blown back." The mermaids sing to one another, he observes, before adding poignantly, "I do not think that they will sing to me."

In the last three lines, the first person "I" becomes the collective "we," signifying that Prufrock is not meant to be viewed as an isolated case, but rather as a microcosm of the universal state of modern man. Like Prufrock, we all "have lingered in the chambers of the sea," in a state of ecstasy (rendered in suggestively erotic terms through the imagery of the beautiful mermaids) that is, however, only a fantasy state; in reality, we have no faith, so we can only drown when we wake, and after dying, we cannot be raised, as Lazarus was, from the dead.

In the hyperallusive "Waste Land," a common motif is the depiction of impotence, joyless sexuality or lack of fertility as representative of spiritual emptiness. In "Prufrock," this same theme is rendered in reverse: the speaker's dreams and fantasies involve romantic and sexual success, but these dreams are in fact representative of Prufrock's unfulfilled spiritual urge for a connection to the divine. In both cases, Eliot uses sexuality as a metaphor for spirituality; Prufrock as well as the debauched characters in "The Waste Land" yearn for a meaningful union with God, but cannot access the faith that came more easily to their pre-modern forbearers, so they cannot succeed even at having a fulfilling physical union with their fellow human beings.

Obama Vows to Fight 'Anti-Semitism' and 'Holocaust Denial' as Jewish Heritage Month Commences

via Renegade Tribune

To kick start Jewish Heritage Month, which takes place the entire month of May each year, President Obama proclaimed that Jews living in America still face bigotry and persecution, despite the fact that they openly own and control the mass media, Hollywood, federal government, Wall Street, and Federal Reserve System. He also once again affirmed his government’s commitment to combating “anti-Semitism” and “Holocaust denial” while professing his unwavering support for Israel and the Jewish people, The Times of Israel reports.

How many times do we have to hear the same pathetic talking points about the “poor, persecuted Jews” by our elite political and media class? This is just getting old now…
Jews continue to face bigotry in the United States, President Barack Obama said in his Jewish Heritage Month proclamation.
“This year, Jewish American Heritage Month begins as the world commemorates the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Dachau by American soldiers,” Obama wrote in his proclamation issued Thursday for the month, which is designated as May by US law.
“We are once again reminded that the vibrant culture of the Jewish people has not always been embraced,” he wrote. “As tragic events show us all too often, Jewish communities continue to confront hostility and bigotry, including in America.”
In the proclamation, Obama said he remains “committed to standing against the ugly tide of anti-Semitism in all its forms, including in the denial or trivialization of the Holocaust” and reaffirmed “America’s unwavering commitment to the security of the State of Israel and the close bonds between our two nations and our peoples.”
Could it be any more obvious how thoroughly subservient to international Jewry and the Jewish state of Israel America is?

Message for Gullible White Girls

via Elliot Lake News

Nine people have been charged and another is sought in a national human trafficking ring that Toronto police allege saw gang members “romance” teen girls and women to lure them into prostitution.

Police say the victims are between 15 and 33 years old and come from (the provinces of) Ontario, Nova Scotia and
Alberta.

Toronto police Insp. Joanna Beaven-Desjardins says they were recruited from dance clubs, group homes and schools as well as online.

She says members of the Complex Grip Gangsters would “romance” (seduce) the victims by showering them with attention and gifts and then slowly manipulate the victims into thinking prostitution was glamorous and lucrative.”

The inspector says the victims would have between 10 and 15 clients per day and were beaten if they didn’t bring in enough money.

The nine accused — six men and three women between the ages of 18 and 32 — face 61 human trafficking and drug-related charges between them. Police say another suspect is still at large. Investigators also announced arrests in two other human trafficking investigations.

In another case, a 19-year-old woman is accused of forcing a 17-year-old girl into the sex trade (Prostitution) over three months, forcing her to turn over the money she earned and threatening her family when the girl attempted to break free.

Camille Beausejour is charged with trafficking a person under 18, procuring a person under 18, uttering threats and criminal harassment.

A 20-year-old man has also been arrested after police allege he forced a 17-year-old girl to perform sex work and hand over her earnings for 16 months.

Jemaal Wilson faces seven charges, including trafficking a person under 18, reaping material benefit from someone under 18, withholding or destroying documents, exercising control of a person for prostitution and assault.  >Source

Also read:
“Guilt-Tripping” White People
Importing Black Violence (Canada)
Is Racial Diversity Good For Canada?
****************************************************
“Racism” Is Not Sinful
The Right To Discriminate

Judaic Crypsis in the Final Season of 'Mad Men'

via Counter-Currents

Caddy Danny Noonan (working-class Irish American): “I planned to go to law school after I graduated, but it looks like my folks won’t have enough money to put me through college.”

Judge Smails (rich WASP): “Well, the world needs ditch diggers, too.”
Caddyshack (Harold Ramis, 1990)

If Steve Sailer can leverage his high school days to psychoanalyze Matt Weiner’s Mad Men,[1] then I can ransack my own past for inside dope!

A lot of people don’t believe me about how much of what you see on TV today is driven by great-grandpa not getting into Los Angeles Country Club and therefore having to found Hillcrest Country Club, but listen to the creator of Mad Men instead and he’ll say the same thing.

Here’s Matthew Weiner, son of a leading neurologist and a lawyer who stopped practicing to keep house, yet it still drives him nuts that Jews were a minority at Harvard School for Boys. He gets up in the morning and goes to work to get revenge for that.

I had thought — and surely some others did too — that Mad Men was gearing up to tell us the typical triumphalist story of how advertising, like everything else, got so much better after the Jews overcame, through sheer talent, those mean, artificial, upward mobility and free market distorting WASP barricades and took over.[2] From the very first episode:

Roger Sterling: “Have we ever hired a Jew?”
Don Draper: “Not on my watch.”[3]

The chosen vehicle seemed to be one Ginzburg, a pushy, loud, sarcastic, badly dressed, and hairy chap, but he was too bumptious, too explicitly Jewish (“born in Auschwitz” no less!) to really be suitable.[4] Exit Ginzberg, in a straitjacket.

As a sort-of fan, I’ve never been interested in Don Draper, either his family life (such as it is) and romances, nor his absurd backstory,[5] nor the travails of the plucky ladies striving to survive in a “man’s world,” but rather in the constant, almost comical shifting of partners and organizational alignments, almost as if Sterling Cooper were less a WASP ad agency and more a Temporary Autonomous Zone or even a pack of Wild Boys.

As Season 7 progressed, first founder Bert Cooper died, and then the loveable firm known under various forms of Sterling Cooper[6] itself died, or rather, “died and went to advertising heaven,” as Jim Hobart, the head of their new owners, McCann Erikson, smugly — and falsely — tells them. (He is in advertising, after all).[7]

mad-men-window

Now, from the start, McCann has been the Eye of Mordor for everyone, the monolithic bureaucratic nightmare (that somehow manages, after all, to be the leading creative force in advertising — go figure!). But there’s something a little off about how McCann is presented to us.

It started a few episodes back, when we learned why former SCP-er Ken Cosgrove was “shot out of there like a cannon.”

“I’m not Irish. I’m not Catholic. I read books.”

Where did that come from? Were illiterate Irish Catholics running Madison Ave. all these years?[8] It can’t come from Weiner’s high school angst; Sailer again:

As a Catholic from the flatlands of the Valley, I was always kind of baffled by the dominant ethnic animus of the region, which was hostility toward WASPs, because we Catholics didn’t count because we weren’t very competitive or interesting. If you are a white Catholic in Boston, say, that’s potentially pretty interesting, but being a white Catholic in Los Angeles is just kind of random. If you are in Southie you can blame it on the Potato Famine, but if you are growing up in Sherman Oaks, it probably suggests that some of your ancestors had some good sense and spare change.

What suddenly made everything fall into place was this ominous line:

“This is a shirtsleeve operation.”

It’s a motif that has been popping up throughout the season, as bloggers have noted:
Ferg mentions that McCann “is a shirtsleeve operation—we want you to relax.” While that might be the stated purpose of the agency’s dress code, the more obvious upshot is to make everyone look the same, like drones in a hive. Don is taken aback by the worker-bee effect when he steps into a conference room packed with white-shirted men buzzing about before the Miller meeting. “Is this every creative director in the agency?” Don asks Ted Chaough. No, it’s only half of them, explains Ted, who’s wearing shirtsleeves.[9]

MadMen2

Elsewhere, such as the season premiere:

Don seems trapped. He’s in his shirtsleeves, gripping a cup of lunch-cart coffee. This is work.[10] 

And in a later episode:

Indeed, the opening shots of this scene feel like they depict an alternate universe, one in which Don and Betty somehow found enough contentment to raise their kids together. He works the blender in his shirtsleeves.[11]

Shirtsleeves = work, yeah, I get it. But it bring something else to mind, at least for me. Years ago, I worked at a “top ten” law firm in New York. Now, one of the “top three” firms would be a classic “white shoe” Wall Street outfit; this one, always just making the Top Ten list, had been founded to service a unique niche: lawyers and clients who would otherwise qualify for one of those Top Three firms, but for one thing: they were Jews — or Irish.

This, in other words, was the place for the smart Jewish lawyers that the white shoe lawyers wouldn’t hire; but they still didn’t get the white shoe clients; they got the clients that, however rich, the white shoe firms wouldn’t touch — other Jews.

One such category was the big department stores; lots of money, but not the sort of peddlers you wanted hanging around in your offices.

Indeed, the aforementioned bit of “anti-Semitic” dialogue from Roger and Don starts off an episode where Sterling Cooper considers the lucrative but shady idea of taking on a Jewish department store as a client. (Don, however, decides to take on the owner, Rachel Menken, as his latest paramour.)

Anyway, it was made clear to me that this was “a shirtsleeve firm” where associates were expected to show up in suit and tie, and then dispense with the jacket (perhaps even the tie) while getting down to work. A complete suit and tie was seen only on such rare occasions as a client conference or a court appearance.

Now, the Irish presence gradually become comparatively small (we’ll get to that bit again), so this was definitely a “Jewish firm” as Roger’s worried comment shows he would understand the phrase: “Most of the Jews work for Jewish firms.”

So it seems clear to me that Weiner is using the “Irish Catholic” McCann firm to pantomime the Jewish takeover of the ad world; the firm is, we might say, “implicitly Jewish.” And so the WASP firm of SCP is reconfigured as plucky upstarts, and thus “implicitly” Jewish as well.

A veritable Purim festival of disguise and misdirection! The Jewish self-image, creative upstarts against monolithic conformity, is played out against McCann, while the later encrypts the real world takeover of WASP professions by upstart Jews. As always, there are two sides, both good for the Jews.

Encrypting SCP as Jewish takes various forms with each character. Ken Cosgrove, we’ve seen, describes himself, and thus his colleagues, as not Irish, not Catholic, but not WASP either, since the WASP of course is a blonde dolt who eschews books in favor of athletics and gentlemanly C’s.

Though from Vermont, he, like scion of Old New York Pete Campbell, performs as a Woody Allen-style “real New York Jew” when dealing with the Midwesterners of GM, unable to drive and injuring several times, including losing an eye while hunting.[12]

Joan, her role diminished at McCann and subject to sexual harassment, strikes back by threatening them with the ACLU and Betty Friedan, both Judaic weapons.

I’ve previously discussed Bert Cooper as a pseudo-WASP whose cult of Ayn Rand and blithe unconcern about Don’s false identity (observing in passing, like a good neo-con, that America was built by men with worse backgrounds) type him as already Judaic, so it’s no surprise when his ghost reappears in Don’s car to give him advice (more on Don’s drive later).

More interestingly, the other name partner (actually, his father’s name, because as we all know, WASP privilege is unearned, right?), Roger Sterling, though alive, is given a ghostly entrance — playing a creepy, Carnival of Souls type organ in the abandoned SCP offices — for a session of drunken advice giving of his own; to Peggy, as always Don’s younger/female surrogate. We also recall his Jewish wife, making him an “OK goy.”

But before dealing with Don and Peggy, I have to step back a bit and observe that we’ve seen this film before.[13]

Back in the late ’70s, two Jewish directors (Harold Ramis and John Landis) inaugurated the “slobs vs. snobs” genre with Animal House and Caddyshack. In both, we see the same meme: stuffy but lame WASP institutions and authority figures (Faber College, Dean Wormer; Bushwood Country Club, Judge Smails) get their comeuppance from feisty, take no prisoners upstarts. In both cases, the upstarts, though white ethnics, are implicitly enacting the Jewish revolt against the WASP.[14]

Back to SCP, whose abandoned and self-trashed offices recall both the slob hangout of Delta House, and the post-parade carnage of Animal House, as well as Carl the Groundskeeper’s shack, and the presumed wreckage of the golf club after Carl sets off the dynamite.

Here, Peggy, still dressed up for work, is cajoled into joining Roger for drinks and boozy reminiscences, ultimately advising her to stop trying to make the men she works with comfortable, and shake things up instead. We next see Peggy arriving at McCann, carrying her office in a box, like the boys being evicted from Delta House: hungover, smoking, bloodshot eyes behind dark glasses, and carrying Bert Cooper’s Japanese tentacle porn etching for her office: the smart-ass slob, ready to take on The Man.

mmen1

So where’s Don? Don was so terrified by that vision of men working in white shirts that he took off out west, like some buttoned-down Jack Kerouac, ultimately picking up a hippie with a guitar, taking him to St. Paul. A Bob Dylan (Zimmerman) in reverse, perhaps taking Don to meet the Coen Brothers?[15]

His escape makes his Animal House doppelgänger obvious: Don Draper is, of course, Daniel “D” Day, careening off in a stolen cop car, “whereabouts unknown.”[16]

He’s played by Bruce McGill, which reminds us of Mad Men’s AMC stablemate (donkey to Mad Men’s thoroughbred[17]), Better Call Saul. Here we see the final stage of the process: while the lowest tier and night law schools used to be full of scrappy working class Irish kids, their numbers have been diluted almost to nothing by Jews; now Jimmy McGill (graduate of the University Of American Samoa Correspondence School Of Law) has to change his name to Saul Goodman:

“My real name’s McGill. The Jew thing I just do for the homeboys. They all want a pipe-hitting member of the tribe, so to speak.”[18]

What once was cryptic, now is mandatory.

Notes

1. “Matthew Weiner on How Mad Men Is Driven by His Resentment of WASP Country Clubs” by Steve Sailer, April 6, 2015, here.
2. Surely you’ve noticed how much better books, movies, and education have gotten, right?
3. “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.”
4. See the classic study of Jewish bumptiousness, John Murray Cuddihy, The Ordeal of Civility: Freud, Marx, Levi-Strauss, and the Jewish Struggle With Modernity (New York: Basic Books, 1975).
5. How many people know by now that Don Draper is really Dick Whitman (= white man), guilty of desertion and manslaughter, both capital crimes? After all, we all know every successful WASP is a big old phony, right? Does everyone agree with Bert: “Mr. Campbell, who cares?” See my reflections on Bert and The Secret, “Mad Men Jumps the Gefilte Fish Part One: Missed Collegiality,” here.
6. To paraphrase Murray Kempton on Nixon’s law firm, Mudge Rose, one always thought of it as something like Sterling, Cooper, Nasty, Brutish and Short. This HuffPost article on “Ken Cosgrove” gives and unintentionally funny account of the convoluted family tree of SCP.
7. Bloggers have noted that Don’s doomed last ditch pitch to McCann, to set up SCP as a rump LA outfit called SC West, shows that he agrees with me: he has the most fun not drinking, whoring, or even pitching slogans, but shuffling organizational charts.
9. “Really, Ken Cosgrove? You didn’t fit in at McCann because ‘I’m not Irish. I’m not Catholic. And I can read’? Don’t be showing your face in Boston with an attitude like that!” “Mad Men Analyzed: Looking the Part” by Robin Abrahams; Boston Globe April 06, 2015), here.
9. Onion AV Club, here.
10. Rolling Stone, here.
11. Onion AV Club, here.
12. Lane Pryce, though a Brit, is a runty little pencil-pusher who breaks his glasses and has to squint through one eye before hanging himself, as I discuss in “Mad Men Jumps the Gefilte Fish Part Three: The Country of the Blind, Continued,” here; this is an inversion of the Wotan meme, like hanging of Haman during Purim, and continues here.
13. Mad Manhunter? Will Graham: [stunned realization] “You’ve seen these films! Haven’t you, my man?” See my “Thanks for Watching: Awakening Through Repetition in Groundhog Day, Point of Terror, & Manhunter, Part 1“ and “Phil & Will: Awakening Through Repetition in Groundhog Day, Point of Terror, & Manhunter, Part 2.”
14. Caddyshack sides with the Irish caddies and Carl the Groundskeeper (Bill Murray, presumably Irish). Al Cevic, played Rodney Dangerfield (Jacob Cohen), deflects attention as the obvious Hebraic invader; see his entry on Jew or Not Jew, here. In Animal House, the boys are dolts and Delta House is explicitly not “the Jewish house” but as in all such films they are “street smart” enough to sabotage the Homecoming Parade, and the only other Jewish character mentioned, the late Fawn Leibowitz of Emily Dickinson College, is atypical as well, being from the Midwest. Chapter President Hoover rather resembles Ken Cosgrove.
15. In the midseason premiere, Don was already trying to pass for Jewish (he’s already changed his name, right?), claiming honorary Jewish cred at Rachel Menken’s shiva by saying “I’ve lived in New York a long time.” They don’t buy it, and close the door in his face.
16. Peggy has D-Day’s dark glasses, and as for his motorcycle, when Roger convinces her to roller skate around the abandoned offices, we are reminded of her tricking a rival agency some time ago by riding a motorcycle around in circles in an abandoned warehouse.
17. In the Season 4 episode of AbFab titled “Donkey,” Patsy points out that you don’t stable two thoroughbreds together, but with a donkey, otherwise they’d kick the shit out of each other.
18. Wikipedia, here.

Observations of an Overeducated A/C Man, Part 3

via Theden

Part 1
Part 2

The Gamer

Sunday evening. Not having much to do to while away the dwindling hours of my weekend, I share dinner with my girl and head across town to meet the second friend of mine. As I climb the stairs to his third floor apartment, a distinctly musky, earthy scent grows in intensity. I enter without knocking, a system we developed to keep from scaring his skittish cats. The smell of marijuana is omnipresent. A couch sits in the center of a room facing a massive flatscreen TV, perched atop an entertainment center chock full of video game consoles, computers, and media devices. The room is festooned with posters, wall scrolls, and trinkets, all displaying video game, comic book, or East Asian style art work. A glass-top coffee table stands between the center of the room and the couch, decorated by controllers and paraphernalia, all in use but still bearing a certain measure of order and care for their placement. We exchange greetings, and I head to the attached kitchen to pour myself a bourbon. He follows for ice.

The small talk, indeed the only talk, centers around gaming news, developments in our mutual lives, and running commentary on whatever absurd 80s-90s era schlock TV shows he cares to put on as we have our discussions. No deep delving into the secrets of the heart or the mysteries of the universe as with The Mystic. The closest thing to religion present here is his ritual of weed use.

As I drop ice into a tumbler and pour a four-Mississippi count of bourbon over it, he stacks the chamber of a bong with ice. The bong itself is clean, free from resin or dirt; the water freshly changed. Only the glass stem and bowl bear signs of the heavy use the pipe is given. We head back to the couch. I take my first sip and he prepares the rest of his drug. With all the care of a tea ceremony he grinds incredibly potent weed in a grinder he stores in the freezer. Chilling it is the only way to twist it because it has become resinous with use. He grinds the bud, taps it out onto a sheet of paper, packs the bowl, places it in the bong, and then takes a lighter to light a butane camping candle. This candle lit, he positions the bong in his lap, takes a small glass object loaded with a long hemp wick and lights it on the candle. This he uses to light the bong, waving the wick out as he fills the chamber. Setting the glass piece down he lifts the stem sending a thick cloud of smoke into his lungs. All of this takes place within the span of a minute, the last operation being performed with a single deep breath.

He offers me a toke. I reject it. I’ll have to do so roughly 3 more times before he stops offering. Above his TV are the wall scrolls. Five in all, evenly spaced, displaying characters from Marvel Vs. Capcom 3. I purchased his newest and oldest one.

“Y’know that one with Felicia is a different color than the rest.”

[coughing] “Haha you’re right. Wonder how that happened!”

We each laugh at his sarcasm. I turn back to look at the scrolls: Five Shades of Grey as they’ve been collected and exposed to his steady clouds of smoke.

When I first met The Gamer he was about nineteen. He had recently lapsed from a brief stint in a local Baptist church and a much longer stint as a practicing Christian. The Mystic was a friend of his and introduced us. I in turn introduced him to New York Sour Diesel. The three of us fondly remember his visible distress at a DVD I had made up of a number of strange Youtube Videos, with a recurring theme being the opening to Hotel Mario run through a number of simple video editing filters. “Bowser’s gonna get me, dog!”

Two years his senior, I watched him do approximately what I did in college, approximately as I did it. His strained high school relationship crumbled, a new one kindled. Indulging freely in alcohol and marijuana but actually maintaining himself far better than I did. Doing his share of womanizing but otherwise staying pretty solidly on the straight and narrow—or what passes for it in early 21st century America.

A crucial difference was becoming apparent, though. While I maintained a kind of mania to improve my status and build a career, to the point of going through several failed jobs before becoming an HVAC technician, his resolve steadily declined. After majoring in Accounting for three years, he changed to education, saying he had a desire to teach. His attendance, his work ethic, and his motivation kept deteriorating, though. He wound up effectively dropping out a few semesters shy of earning his degree. Months later, he enrolled in a local program that would help nearly-credentialed dropouts like himself finish their degree and even get a masters in education, provided they teach in what both the program director and an alt-Righter like me would describe, in diametrically different tones, as a “vibrant” and “diverse” school. His enthusiasm for his recently attained position as an assistant teacher vanished almost overnight. When I was hanging out with him shortly thereafter, he said quietly that he had withdrawn from the program and he would revisit polishing off his degree sometime henceforth. No more has been spoken about it.

“What are we even watching?”

“Dude this is ‘A Different World’. It’s a Cosby Show spin off.”

“Ha! Look at Cosby phoning in the cameo.”

“I know right?”

“I mean apparently by this point too much time on set would interfere with all the rape.”

“Hahahaha. Ice cold, brother.”

To make ends meet, he’s worked as a server and then a bartender at a local chain restaurant. He got used to it, to the petty drama of the workplace, to the ease of the work due to his charisma and skill. There he met his girlfriend of two years, who now lives with him. She smokes about as much as he does. She wants more from her career, often saying she’d love to learn how to grow the marijuana she enjoys smoking so much. For Christmas, I got her a grow-your-own-herb kit so she could practice on thyme and rosemary. It remains untouched.

They’re solid, alright people who just seem lost—but comfortable. The bills are paid, the bowl never lacks. Any concerns of legacy, society, or a lifestyle oriented towards ends higher than their own lives and pleasure are numbed with narcotics, literal and figurative. The literal is obvious, the figurative less so. The Gamer is a committed atheist, as is his girl. Neither plan to have kids though his girlfriend, when I challenge this, often comments how “nice” it could be. Marriage isn’t in the cards, but they love their cats dearly.

Wars of Religion in the Land of Gar

via Radix

Garland, Texas, is a post-industrial housing development not too far away from where I grew up. It is a case study in “Suburban Hell.” Garland was once an actual community, a small town outside Dallas city limits. In the ‘60s and ‘70s, it became a haven for White Flight: its population increased 10 fold, and the city was enveloped by the formless highway, cement, and strip-mall monstrosity known as “The Metroplex.” 

In 2015, Garland is America in 2050: “Non-Hispanic Whites” are roughly 35 percent of the population, as are Latinos, with other groupings of African-Americans and Vietnamese making up the remainder. Garland has, in its way, achieved real, existing multiculturalism, sustained by social isolation and copious discount marts.

Before Sunday night, Garland was best known, if it was known at all, as one of the Dallas suburbs that inspired the long-running cartoon-sitcom King of the Hill (1997-2010). The fictional town of “Arlen” was a typical American Nowheresville, which served as the setting for Mike Judge’s gentle sendup of good-natured bumpkins navigating the modern world.

I could imagine no better setting for a conference organized by the “American Freedom Defense Initiative,” a salad of patriotic buzzwords and a veritable clusterfuck of the Fake Right.

The gathering included,
  • Pamella Geller—an Ayn Randian from New York City (her blog was originally titled Atlas Shrugs), who after 9/11 became an hysterical Zionist and Internet terror warrior. Now into her late 50s, Geller is one of those women who tries to look much younger than she is . . . which makes her look much older than she is. Her face has been lifted and botoxed so many times that she is beginning to resemble a mythological beast.
  • Geert Wilders—a Dutch politician who has, over the past decade, made himself into a poster child for “American Conservatism” on the continent. Wilders speaks of Europe’s “Judeo-Christian” heritage, equates “the West” with Zionism, and has sought to protect European liberalism from Muslims (i.e., people who actually believe in something). Intriguingly, Wilders’s bleached-blond hair is a distraction: he is of partial Filipino heritage. And for reasons I don’t quite understand, Wilders spent some teenage summers on an Israeli kibbutz.
  • And finally, The Base—In attendance were the rooting’, tooting’ Texans of the Fake Right, a group who (unlike Geller and Wilders) deserve sympathy. No doubt, these Republicans feel that something has gone terribly wrong . . . that they are losing control, or never really had it . . . that their children will live in a degraded parody of the America of their parents, perfectly encapsulated by the history of Garland. Their response it to imagine that their problems can be solved by engaging in a global struggle against Islam. Perhaps there is even a kind of vicarious nationalism—a desire to solve Israel’s demographic problems in lieu of their own?
All parties deserve one another.

Geller, AFDI’s President, apparently chose Garland’s Curtis Culwell Center because it had previously hosted a conference dedicated to “Islamophobia.” There can be no doubt she was deliberately trying to ignite a violent response from Muslims by couching the event as a “Prophet Mohammed Cartoon Contest,” which is also why she made sure that a SWAT team was on hand. (Whether you think this strategy was effective, shameful, or stupid depends on your perspective.)

But Geller also expected a warm welcome. White Texans in the ‘burbs are perhaps the most prone to support, viscerally and unwaveringly, the Fake Right—the Right that conserves nothing, that plays footsie with the “Clash of Civilization” and whose ultimate fruits are trillion-dollar military adventures in the name of democracy.
The shooting—as well as the participants’ rescue at the hands of the police—have already made “Garland” a right-wing chant, something akin to “Remember the Alamo!”

On a political level, it will serve to symbolize that, among a certain segment of evangelical Republicans, the spirit of "9/11” and the “Global War on Terror” will never end, will never lose its immediacy and potency, as it has for most everyone else in the country. America must endlessly fight “Islam” in its homeland—no matter what the cost. We must be “over there,” so they are not “over here.”

That said, on a deeper level, there is a genuine “traditionalist” impulse (albeit an unconscious one) to those who gathered in “The Land of Gar” last Sunday. Might we be witnessing a resurgence of primitive Christianity, long after we assumed that faith had become just another lifestyle choice or self-esteem strategy? The attendees might talk of their devotion to “free speech,” “freedom,” and other slogans of Classical Liberalism, but behind this is the primal desire to demean and desecrate a competing faith, much like their ancestors might have burned an effigy of the pope, smashed the idols of a defeated foe, or, like Pastor Terry Jones), set flame to heretical texts. In the 21st century, the extreme liberalism of Pamela Geller, Geert Wilders, George W. Bush, et al.—the liberalism that is willing to go to war—is sustained by a backward, primitive creed.