Friday, January 1, 2021

The Decline and Fall of the American Mind

How bad was 2020? Among its notably dubious achievements, 2020 was the year when the American media and our intellectual grandees went full on batshit crazy.

They declared all-out war on the American mind and ramped up their efforts to take complete imperialistic control over the way Americans think and feel. Bigotry was the enemy and they found it everywhere.

One might imagine that media commentators and academic intellectuals wanted to show us what happens when you hire people for their ideological commitments, rather than for merit. And let’s not forget what happens when you hire people to fill diversity quotas.

They provoked an orgy of guilt, to the point where even the most anodyne everyday expressions were exposed as masking insidious racism.

Matt Taibbi has done yeoman service in collecting some of the most demented and absurd moments in the war to take over the American mind. I will excerpt a few of them, but his post is available only to subscribers on Substack. Dare I say that I recommend that you do yourself the favor of subscribing to it. Otherwise, you can always donate to this blog. 

As for insidious racist habits that need to be stamped out. A publication called Fast Company explained that if you want to be anti-racist, you should follow its advice:

DO BE MINDFUL OF OPENING UP MEETINGS AND INTERACTIONS WITH QUESTIONS LIKE “HOW ARE YOU?” OR “HOW WAS YOUR WEEKEND?” Recognize that by doing so, you can potentially be re-triggering what your Black colleagues are experiencing or dismissing their experience by pretending all is normal. It’s not and hasn’t been for a long time.

One includes that piece of drivel to show what happens when you do not know how to think.

And then there is Laurence Fox, a British actor known to many of us as the Hathaway character in the Inspector Lewis television series. 

For those who care Fox was formerly married to a woman named Billie Piper. Now that he is single again, he has declared that he will not date woke women. 

As you might imagine, this provoked a vigorous reaction:

The actor Laurence Fox must be a much bigger deal in Britain than we could ever understand in America, because numerous pieces were written denouncing his odious views. Vice, as usual a proud leader in the production of woke-clickbait, wrote a blistering feature about Fox as the spiritual head of the “‘Warrior Toff’s’ War on Wokeness,” noting that British men like him “are built for war, for the high seas, for the stage, for death and glory” who “once upon a time… could have sent a thousand Geordies over the top.” In the era of drones and diversity initiatives, however, all that’s left to such men is “reactionary statements,” like for instance Fox’s vicious January revelation that he does not “date woke women.”

Not to be outdone, Canadians have discovered that it is environmentally insensitive to have a well manicured lawn. Besides, it violates the worldly wisdom of the indigenous peoples who did not have manicured lawns. No kidding.

I will mention in passing that I have a vague memory of something of this sort being practiced during the Cultural Revolution in China. If anyone recalls better than I do, please enlighten us.

Taibbi explains what is happening in Canada:

Canadians have long led Americans in their willingness to ritualistically self-denounce, a phenomenon that seems to be part patriotism (see how much quicker we are to be ashamed of ourselves than our southern neighbors!) and part inherent national instinct toward apology. The Globe and Mail asked Canadians to self-flagellate both for harming the environment and for importing a culture of manicured lawns that violates indigenous ideas about gardening, or rather, not-gardening. “What is a lawn but a statement of control over nature?” asked Canadian professor John Douglas.

I have no idea where they find these professors, but clearly the Canadian university system is as demented as ours. I am shocked to see that the professor did not consider how many illegal immigrants would be put out of work if we decided to let our lawns return to the state of nature. And, why no mention of golf-- surely the most anti-environmental game that could possibly exist.

And then there is an Oxford University professor by name of Emily Cousens who declared her wish that her university not develop the first vaccine, because people would see it as a sign of British achievement, or some such.

By her mental calculus, we must all renounce the products of the Industrial Revolution and much of modern technology because it smacks of white Anglo-Saxon privilege. How did she ever get hired by Oxford?

Taibbi explains:

Even by this year’s standards, though, it takes a special kind of dickhead to root against your school developing a vaccine because “the story” would then be that China is bad and “the best brains of the UK have saved the world.” Oxford “gender and vulnerability” professor Dr. Emily Cousens conceded her school’s researchers were doing vital work back in April, but insisted such races for knowledge have “winners and losers,” and declared: “If my university is the first to develop the vaccine, I’m worried that it will be used as it has been in the past… as proof of British excellence.”

And then there is a piece of recycled Freudian nonsense, regarding skyscrapers. You knew that someone would denounce these overgrown phallic monuments as unmistakable signs of white male supremacy. Besides, the word scraper, in skyscraper, obviously connotes a violent action. And not just for the scraping. Remove the first two letters and what do you have left? The sky should indict the architects and builders who commit such atrocities.

Taibbi opens the discussion with a rational explanation of why we build skyscrapers:

Probably there is a “mine’s bigger than yours” element to some skyscraper construction, but the main reason human beings worked for centuries to design everything from elevators to load-bearing steel skeletons was to fit more people in crammed real estate. After all, it was either build up, build down, or discover a fourth dimension.

Apparently, the Guardian quoted a feminist Freudian architect professor, who said about what you thought she would say:

The Guardian skipped that part, but did include an old quote from architecture professor Dolores Hayden, decrying the skyscraper as an accessory to gender oppression:

The office tower… is one more addition “to the procession of phallic monuments in history – including poles, obelisks, spires, columns and watchtowers,” where architects un-ironically use the language of “base, shaft and tip” while drawing upward-thrusting buildings ejaculating light into the night sky.

So, good-bye 2020. If you think that this is all going to return to normal in the coming year, you drank too much last night.


trigger warning said...

Worth a couple minnits of your irreplaceable time: an excellent Laurence Fox music vid:

The man's hypertalented.

jmod46 said...

Why haven't city zoning regulations required all new buildings to look like giant pink pussy hats? Of course, only wymin would be allowed to design such structures...

Sam L. said...

I am gloriously UN-woke. As Mr. T used to say, "I pity da fools" who are "woke", for the STUPID is STRONG in those ones. As for Ms. Cousens (pardon me, "Dr. Cousens"), why, oh WHY, is she not wearing sackcloth and ashes? Now, THAT would be "virtue signalling!

Now, Taibbi: Ought not female architects build buildings below ground level? Wouldn't that be "vaginal"? And oh, so feminine? Hmmmmmm. Having been a missileer, and worked in underground structures... I'm guessing I could be conflicted, if I cared to be, which I'm not.

370H55V said...

Wouldn't the correct response among "woke" women be "Well who cares? We don't want to date HIM either!"

That would be what most sane people would think, but one has to get into the mind of the "woke" to understand that it's all about power and nothing else. "Woke" women are allowed their choice of men to date (that is, if finding a man is on their agenda--and for too many of them it is not), but men are not allowed a corresponding choice. Ditto for the trannies citation of the fact that 98% of men wouldn't date them and that "This has to change."

TheUsualSuspect said...

That woke group of womins wants the right/power of refusal.

Walt said...

And now Pelosi wokens the House.

IamDevo said...

To be consistent, she should also eliminate her honorific, "Madame Speaker," as "madame" is an offense to the transgendered, being exclusively referential to "women," a term which is also no longer acceptable, as we all now know that "men" can be "women," and vice versa. Of course, the "Speaker" part must also be eliminated, since it is offensive to the mute and dumb among us. At some point, we shall all cease communicating with one another, except to point and screech.

Sam L. said...

Urbane legend, I just do what I can. I do try to commit humor when I can. As an old comedian (the late Brother Dave Gardner) used to say, "It's all in how you look at it and study it." I expect there are examples of him on You Tube. I could be wrong; I've been wrong before. I lie in wait for my next opportunity to be wrong...

n.n said...

Progress (i.e. unqualified, monotonic change/process/system), or perhaps evolution (i.e. chaotic). Either way, a dysfunctional convergence seems to be a recurring, recycled phenomenon in human societies.