Today’s dispiriting look into a decaying liberal culture
Levin played this last evening on his show — and his response is not to be missed — but I’ll share it with you here, even if you’ve heard it before, so that you understand why today I just feel utterly depressed and dispirited.
From self-hating, wealthy Jews like “Stewart” cocooned safely in their intellectual and social bubbles, to repugnant, historically regressive arguments about “appropriation” that suggest that certain modes of expression belong, forever more, to a particular ethnic minority (cf. Said’s Orientalism, in its diluted, mass-disseminated, dumbed down post-collegiate form), it seems this country has internalized the left’s ideas of language so thoroughly that the individual has been usurped by the consensus group narrative — the authenticity of the collective (or, if you prefer, the politicized mob) — and so many people are so eager to be seen as having adopted this post-modern idea of “authenticity” (without openly embracing its corrolary — that of race-traitor status, eg, a view that puts them in line with the KKK) in order to appear intelligent, without having done the hard work of thinking through positions they parrot, handed them by radical academicians and would-be Utopian tyrants to repeat without any real consideration or forward extension of the arguments, that all seems lost: this is the left’s conspicuous consumption, this ostentatious self-loathing and the concomitant indictment of those who refuse to reflect back to them approbation for this frankly cowardly pose.
Well, that, and their kitchen remodels and their Priuses.
I’m sick to death of it. And it’s days like this that I just want to sit around and watch home shows and make pretend the people who fought to give Jon Stewart the liberty to mock ideas of sovereignty and self-defense, to pander to the base radical-chic posturing of the “intellectual” left rank-and-file (who get their news, ironically, from a “comedy” show) aren’t paying attention to what they sacrificed for. It’s days like this that I pray that the true heroes of real civil rights struggles aren’t stunned into late-life tragic silence by the deconstruction of their battles that have resulted in a re-imagining in which, for instance, using the logic of the left, Jackie Robinson’s major league debut was but the cultural appropriation of white American culture. He shouldn’t be throwing a baseball. He should have been chucking a javelin.
It would be interesting to speak to these people and debate them publicly if I didn’t have to actually speak to these kinds of people to do so. Not because I can’t counter their largely self-contradictory and incoherent arguments. But because they disgust me so with their intellectual laziness and hive-minded collectivist protection of naked emperorism — wagon circling and consensus used to create “truths” that are in no way consonant with how things are outside of the language that describes them — that I no longer want to look at their smug, ignorant, entitled faces, ubiquitously pinched with a combination of faux outrage and showy sanctimony.
There are many obvious counter arguments that spring readily to mind in addressing these kinds of easy and lazy identity politics arguments: Stewart, for instance, is chiding the Jews for developing for their own citizens ways to notify them of incoming rockets (after Hamas refused a cease-fire) and then giving those in Gaza warnings that, somehow, those firing rockets at Israeli civilians from inside Gaza aren’t required — or even expected — to give. The fact that Hamas uses their own children as human shields doesn’t seem to faze people like Stewart, who look at perceived power dynamics and seem to long for a more “fair fight” — as if this is some game being played for their entertainment. Asymmetrical warfare is a good thing — particularly if you are routinely under attack. Stewart seems to believe there aren’t enough dead Israelis, so they don’t really have any skin in the game.
To the Salon writer upset about a white rapper from New Zealand appropriating black southern American rap culture (and the black rapper who is supposedly enabling her), I’d ask her if black authors are somehow entitled to create white characters; or if blacks should be allowed to play classical music; of even if they should write for the uber-white Salon crowd in “White” English of the hamfisted kind this author so obviously strained for?
But why bother? These are anti-intellectuals who engage in anti-intellectual bullying and group shaming. They are the PC infantry for the left’s totalitarianism. And sadly, most of them are too fucking stupid to realize it.
“Useful idiots” as a term has stuck around for a reason. And here, we find two such examples — and two instances that serve to show us just exactly how and why the anti-intellectualist scourge of leftist “thought,” once institutionalized and accepted as epistemologically sound and coherent (it isn’t: linguistically, it is actually quite obviously incoherent, however attractive its implementation), leads inexorably to the attenuation of individual sovereignty — of just such sad decay, propped up today by a Potemkin academy and media working as propagandizers for their counter-revolutionary cause, some out of true belief, and others simply because they believe it romantic to play radical revolutionary, and don’t see the consequences that await success, should they manage to overthrow the old order and replace it with the Utopianism they pretend to crave.