Wednesday, April 04, 2018

The Malice of Diversity

One needs to grow the hide of a rhinoceros these days to endure the constant, obsessive, near psychotic malice shown not only for President Trump, but for all things Western. The malice is almost tangible.

 It’s grown so old and calloused that one can't make jokes about it anymore. Nothing seems to be exempt from the malice: not Easter, not the 2nd and 1st Amendments, not “whites,” not bathrooms, not mathematics, not Israel, not Jews, not statues (Confederate or not), and a seemingly limitless cornucopia of issues – none of which is as comedic as Basil Fawlty thrashing his car for dying or straight-faced Anderson Cooper interviewing Stormy Davis.

You must ask yourself: Has the universe ceased to exist for the MSM? And for all the go-with-the-flow politicians who take their public cues from social justice warriors? Is there no nook or cranny in our culture that hasn’t been sprayed with Progressive disinfectant?

Or has it grown so inhospitable and toxic for them that they cannot perceive of existence other than the idyllic prancing unicorn paradise of diversity imagined by social justice warriors? Are the Left and its sycophants auditioning for a Saturday Night Live parody special called, “Every Injustice Corrected, Every Wrong Righted – There’s Nothing to Whine About!”? They all seem to predictably scream “EEK!” at the sight of mouse, it’s almost funny.

Although monotonous, the malice is real. Others have called it the “Trump Syndrome.” The left will not accept the fact of reality that Hillary Clinton lost the election and Trump won; reality has trapped it in a Titan-like methane and nitrogen atmosphere.  

The prancing unicorn of Never Trumpers
You might ask yourself: How can anyone stand living in a state of denial for such a prolonged period of time? For one thing, the black hearts of the Never Trumpers hate Trump and anyone with the least smidgen of agreement with him. He stands for the America the MSM and its allies have always despised and talked down to. They can stand it because they enjoy the hate and are quite at home in that emotional realm. If they didn’t hate, they’d have nothing to be for. They would be empty, without value to themselves or to anyone or anything else. Hate and malice are their primary fuels.

It isn’t funny, because its ubiquity has so saturated the culture that it has a negative prognosis. It has affected virtually every realm and facet of the culture and society, from academia and education, to business, to speech, and even to sports. It colors everything, including jihadist attacks and the Parkland shooting.  It cannot last, and will abate only if especially the MSM redefines itself and becomes a gaggle of responsible real news reporters – and not  fake, or become Progressive-agenda-free. (The MSM, although a plural term, is a singular entity in most people’s minds.)  

Such an interminable state of mind will not last because it cannot exist indefinitely without its minions going full-on crazy and losing all contact with or interest in reality. Insanity is not a profession or a healthy “life style.” All those earnest, carefully coifed photogenic faces on national TV will someday cross their eyes and begin to sound like Porky Pig. “That’s that’s…not all folks!” Dementia will set in and not let go.

Who knows? Perhaps the SJWs will raise an objection to Porky Pig and how stutterers have been offended and defamed by the character for decades. I wouldn’t put it past the MSM and its fake news junkies to raise the hue and cry. (Which would be wasted on me. The writer has a chronic stuttering problem, but stuttering cartoon characters or stereotypes have never offended me or bothered me in the least.) 

Those photogenic talking heads would have a cause to champion and a reason to live in anything but the real world.

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Diversity à la carte

Our Gang, racing the rich kid
Ayn Rand’s archvillain, Ellsworth Toohey, in The Fountainhead, promoted “diversity,” in Chapter XIV, as one means of acquiring power:  "Don't set out to raze all shrines—you'll frighten men. Enshrine mediocrity—and the shrines are razed." This is true. If you’re taught, and believe that a thatched hut in Africa is as much of an achievement as  the Empire State Building, then the shrine has been razed.

Diversity means mixing apples and oranges and forbidding you to choose between them.

Diversity means equating a Rachmaninoff symphony or a Chopin etude with any instance of “rap” you care to name. God help you if you disagree. Rap is undiluted hatred, in performance of shouting obscenities and misogyny in your face, backed up by throbbing, deafening, mind-nullifying bass. Its purpose is to destroy.

Rap is “a musical form of vocal delivery that incorporates ‘rhyme, rhythmic speech, and street vernacular’, which is performed or chanted in a variety of ways, usually over a backbeat or musical accompaniment….Rap differs from spoken-word poetry in that rap is usually performed in time to an instrumental track. Rap is often associated with, and is a primary ingredient of hip-hop music, but the origins of the phenomenon predate hip-hop culture. The earliest precursor to the modern rap is the West African griot tradition, in which ‘oral historians’, or ‘praise-singers’, or ‘critique individuals’ would disseminate oral traditions and genealogies, or use their formidable rhetorical techniques for gossip or to "praise or critique individuals….”

I beg to differ. It contains no music.  And it is usually performed by someone who can’t sing, or doesn’t seem to try. After all, melody is verboten. I stress the term chanted.

Diversity means Western culture is alleged to be on a par with primitive cultures. The Venus de Milo is the same as a voodoo doll. To make a distinction between them is to “confess” your innate “racism, “white privilege,” and even Nazism. Elevate the subjectivist in art, and raze the absolute. A subjectivist person is a coward who is afraid to have values, or is afraid to defend what values he may have if they are attacked.

Diversity means that the artwork of Lawrence Alma-Tadema is on a par with the non-art of the likes of Jackson Pollack, together with that of all his ilk’s smears, blobs, blank canvases, and parallel lines of modern art.

Diversity means that meaningless means that there are no absolutes, only one’s subjectivist feelings. Feelings replace reality. A subjectivist will assert with a straight face that, “The Dark Horse Nebula is just a spilled ink spot, that’s how I see it.” To say that an “artwork” is meaningless is not an acceptable or recognized critique of a canvas of blobs and smears. To a doctrinaire subjectivist it is an expletive. A box of randomly chosen junk is the equal of or superior than the Statue of Liberty. If you are faced with a jumble of colors, or by a canvas on which are glued swatches of fabrics, and insist on identifying it as such, you will have violated the modern cardinal rule of art appreciation to not identify rubbish is trash. You will have hurt the creator’s feelings, and invaded his “safe space.”

What is crucial to note is that the non-objective is always compared to the objective. The non-objective must be presented as relative to the objective. By itself, it means nothing. Standing alone, a canvas of blobs and smears is just that: a canvas of blobs and smears. It must have a standard to be “relative” to. A slice of toast with holes in it means nothing. It can be whatever its creator says it is. He can give it an arbitrary name or a number. He can call a pile of bricks the Venus de Milo or Number Six. So it doesn’t even need something to be opposite or relative to. It won’t need a reference at all.

Jackson Pollock once said, “Painting is self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is." Believe him or anyone else who makes the assertion. Believe anyone who claims that “his reality” differs from your reality. The automobile you see might be an orange pumpkin to the modern artist. What such a person confesses is that he is truly what he is, and puts on canvas, or welds together from a scrap pile: mad, and a fraudster.

I noted in my Rule of Reason column last January, “Own Truths vs. Reality,”, that a Pollockian subjectivist will claim:

“We don’t care about facts. We ignore them. It’s racist to cite facts. It’s our feelings that determine what is real or relevant, not facts. What we feel is the true reality. We have our own truths. Oprah said so.” However, as many “non-#Resistance” commentators have observed, there is no such thing as one’s “own” truth. There is just reality, or facts. An individual doesn’t own reality, nor is it true if he does assert he that does. To him, reality is malleable, changeable, clay putty to be turned into anything he wishes, because he “doubts.” He is the practicing icon of Descartes’ dictum, “I think, therefore I am.”  And they don’t care if they’re called hypocrites. Labels, after all, mean nothing to these doyens.  

At this point in time I would not grant a Pollockian even the dubious distinction of being a hypocrite. Pollock, from Pablo Picasso and his contemporaries onward, were basically scam artists; the mainstream critical establishment knew it and profited from sales of their works. Noël Coward wrote a comedy in 1958 about the fraud of modern art and the hubristic pretentiousness of its creators in Nude with Violin, in which a famous artist dies and leaves his oeuvre to the world, a collection “bad” art, all of it done by a variety of off-balanced people, and even a child. It commanded fabulous sums in art galleries and at prestigious auctions, paid by delusional millionaires.

Would it profit one to argue with a modern artist? No. I left this remark on a Gatestone column,

"Every day we hear on television, 'We need an honest discussion about race in this country.'" But the "discussion" would not be a real "discussion." It would be deliberately steered to a concession that whites are intrinsically bad, regardless of a white's sincere but obsequious bows to the Progressive spiel (or to Islamic dawah). The best "discussion" is to have no "discussion," for the dice would always be loaded to force whites to acknowledge their "guilt," for slavery, oppression, and wanting to retain their "privileges" to enslave others, and so on. “Shaming” reveals in an insightful essay the collectivist phenomenon now propagated by academics and the MSM.

In that same column, Nonie Darwish observed: “Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer cited ‘skin color’ in voting against a white federal judge nominee. He justified the vote as, ‘Having a diversity of views and experience on the federal bench is necessary for the equal administration of justice.’”  Which brings me to diversity in “entertainment.”
Superior to the Empire State Building?

 The Atlantic on March 15 published a column, Can Inclusion Riders Change Hollywood?
Frances McDormand’s Oscar speech encouraging diverse hiring in the film industry has sparked a mini-trend.”

What is a Hollywood “inclusion rider”?

David Sims wrote: It is, “a contract stipulation that requires certain kinds of diversity in a film’s cast and crew, such as racial and gender balance. It’s not a foreign concept within Hollywood, but McDormand’s speech has inspired new efforts to implement inclusion riders in the industry.”

The concept of the inclusion rider was introduced in 2014 by Stacy L. Smith, the director of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, which conducts comprehensive studies on representation and diversity. Smith’s idea was specifically designed to address systemic inequality in Hollywood; some of her suggestions included balancing out background roles so more female actors can find work, and demanding that executives and studio heads at least consider women when hiring directors for their films. According to a sweeping industry study, only 31 percent of speaking roles in movies go to women (and 29 percent to actors of color), and only 4.2 percent of women get to sit in the director’s chair.

Annenberg writes under the heading: The Inclusion Rider: Legal language for ending Hollywood’s epidemic of invisibility:

The purpose of the inclusion rider is to counter bias in interviewing/auditioning and hiring/casting in specific employment positions in the entertainment industry. The rider is a template and living document, not something to be cut and pasted into a contract. The details of its implementation are crucial to its success. The rider is a flexible and adaptable framework that actors/content creators should consider together with counsel prior to signing on to their next project. The inclusion rider does not provide for quotas. It simply stipulates consideration of the deep bench of talented professionals from historically under-represented groups and strongly encourages hiring and casting of qualified individuals from under-represented backgrounds. We believe that this language is a necessary first step to eradicate inequality experienced for years on screen and behind the camera.

As a lifelong watcher of movies, and in the past, of television (which I am viewing less and less  anymore; today it seems to be targeted to PC brainwashed knuckleheads), I’ve never kept a check marked percentile count or have been conscious of a film or TV cast’s makeup in a production featuring stars and support cast: of men, women, blacks, Hispanics, gays, Indians, foreign-born of any category, etc. It was never my motive or purpose to count “group” noses, and I am certainly not going to develop a social justice warrior conscience and begin counting them now, either.
An early Our Gang: 1920s

“Inclusion” is not as new or radical a practice as McDormand professes. I remember the “noses” now from having watched TV in the 1950s, such as Our Gang, which was produced from the 1920s for movie theaters to the 1940s, while episodes of it were later rerun on TV. I can’t count the number of films I saw that fulfilled McDormand’s demands. They are too numerous to even mention in passing here. Over a century of films did fine without “inclusion riders,” and nearly seventy years of TV. I don’t think any studio went out of its way to meet the demands of ethnic or gender “diversity.” Not having “a proportional” group presence in any production is unjust, they say, and unfair to women and other minorities (including the LGBT bunch), and extremely dangerous to our “democracy.”

Diversity is all about showing the best “multicultural” face possible, in conformance to political correctness -- or else.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Progressive Extinction of Freedom of Speech

A protected class and its protected speech

There was a headline recently about the death in Kenya of the last captive northern white rhino.

This item has not yet made the MSM, but give it time. The bloviating MSM is pretty desperate for news of any kind that will shoot down Trump, and I’m certain that a determined “reporter” will come up with ambiguous and verbose parallels between Trump and the dead rhino. Perhaps the rhino shed his yellow hair?

At the moment, however, the MSM is gathering steam to make a major impeachment-worthy story over Stormy Daniels’ claim that over a decade ago (or more) she hugged Donald Trump in amorous and scandalous collusion. It is supposed that no American president ever had “relations” with a “loose” woman; one supposes that JFK was a chaste Catholic, and that FDR was a pillar of sexual propriety, as well, and that having such a tête-à-tête proves that a man who so dallied was not qualified to sit in the Oval Office. Name me a president who never had sex with any women outside his family circle. Jimmy Carter, perhaps. The MSM is no doubt hoping that Stormy will help to accomplish what Humpty Dumpty Robert Mueller failed to do after a year of “investigating” the existence of a prancing unicorn. The Mueller investigation, amounting to likely thousands of pages of useless documents, has the credibility
Stormy replaces Robert Mueller, sue
Trump’s lawyer, first step?
of the Steele Dossier, with the consistency of a dandelion puff.

The subject here is not Trump’s extracurricular adventures, which I think most Americans care very little about, but rather, freedom of speech, here and abroad.  Germany’s outlawing freedom of speech concerning the opposition to and criticism of Islam is by now old hat.

The MP for the hard-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party detected in the force’s multilingual new-year greeting a bid “to appease the barbaric, Muslim, rapist hordes of men”. The next day her tweet—and, for 12 hours, her entire account—vanished from Twitter. In the subsequent political storm Alice Weidel, co-leader of the AfD, came to Ms von Storch’s defence: “Our authorities are subordinating themselves to imported, rampaging, groping, punching, stabbing migrant mobs,” she tweeted. That, too, was promptly deleted.

Germany’s memories of the Gestapo and the Stasi undergird its commitment to free speech. “There shall be no censorship,” decrees the constitution. Even marches by Pegida, an Islamophobic and anti-immigrant movement founded in 2014, receive police protection. But the country of Kristallnacht and the Holocaust also takes a punitive attitude to what it deems “hate speech”. Inciting hatred can carry a prison sentence of up to five years, Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” is available only in annotated form, and it is illegal to single out any part of the population for insult or other abuse that could “breach the peace”. …
Reconciling these two convictions—for free speech and against hate speech—is becoming harder, particularly since Angela Merkel’s refugee gambit in 2015. Opening Germany’s borders to some 1.2m mostly Muslim migrants has fuelled the rise of nativist outfits like the AfD and Pegida. Racist propaganda and sensationalist reports (some, though not all, fake) of criminal and rapist immigrants have rippled across social media. In 2016, for example, the number of criminal investigations into online hate speech in Berlin rose by 50%. A number of the newcomers from the Middle East and Africa are anti-Semitic. Confronting such ills without encroaching too much on freedom of expression is tricky.
The most prominent example of the balancing act is the new Net Enforcement Law (NetzDG), of which Ms von Storch’s and Ms Weidel’s tweets were early victims. Inspired by the rise of fake news and a report suggesting that only a minority of illegal posts on social media were being removed within a day (and just 1% or so on Twitter), the law cleared the Bundestag last June and came into force on January 1st. It sets out 20 things defining a comment as “clearly illegal”, such as incitement to hatred or showing the swastika. Once posts are flagged by users, a social-media firm has 24 hours—extended to a week in complex cases—to check and remove those that contravene the rules, or face a €50m ($60m) fine. In the first week, Facebook’s over 1,000 German moderators have had to process hundreds of thousands of cases.
Not a "summer soldier"
What is more surprising is how swiftly Britain has emerged as a fascist, authoritarian country, to the point of advising Britons to snitch or inform on anyone they might see reading or accessing “extremist” literature or sites, or behaving suspiciously. Pamela Geller reported in her March 23 article, “UK Police Call for ‘Counter-Terrorism Citizens’ to Report Others Viewing ‘Extremism,’”

What? The British authorities routinely allow jihad inciters and jihad preachers into the country, while they ban counter-terror experts and counter-jihadists, and now they are appealing to the British public, asking them to act as “counter-terrorism citizens” and help thwart plots and stop the wave of Islamic extremist attacks hitting the nation.

But what will happen if British citizens heed this call and start reporting suspicious activity? Will they be arrested for hate speech and “Islamophobia”?
Britain is finished as a free nation.

Whose “suspicious” activity? The racket produced by a coven of Druids making weird sounds in the neighboring flat? An “Asian” man purchasing half a dozen pressure cookers, or a bag of drugs in the local chemists’?

They will be punished, fined, jailed, or silenced by banishment just as Martin Sellner, Brittany Pettibone, Lauren Southern, and others (Geller and Robert Spencer) have been because they spoke out against the Islamic invasion of Britain and European nations.

Back to Sweden, which has gone over the totalitarian cliff in Wile Coyote style and isn’t even visible as it plummets to the hard ground below. Swedish police will invest little energy in investigating  “hate crimes” (such as rape, assaulting civilians and the police). Special victims of “hate crimes” will be Muslims. Robert Spencer reports in “Sweden: Police to focus on combating “hate speech,” quoting a Swedish publication:

The Police in the South Region will now focus more on combating and investigating so-called hate crime as “harassment of an ethnic group.” A special regional group will be formed responsible for investigating and prosecuting such cases throughout the region, the police have announced on their website. According to the police, investigations must be conducted with urgency and special skills.

It is ahead of the forthcoming elections this autumn that the police in southern Sweden now have to make extra efforts to fight so-called hatred and crime against democracy.

The police mention crimes as “harassment of an ethnic group,” but point out that the hate crime designation may apply to any crime if the intention was to attack someone because of their national origin, ethnicity, color, belief or sexual orientation. If there is a so-called hate crime motive, the perpetrator could receive a more severe penalty for the crime.

 Crime against democracy is described as a crime that threatens someone’s constitutional right to exercise, for example, the freedom of expression and religion.

The police in the South region already have a hate crime group, and it is going to be expanded in the spring to work throughout the region. It will have a “holistic mission” combating crime against democracy and hatred.

Pamela Geller: Will never surrender
Hate speech” and “hate crime” are foggy enough in terms of precise definitions, being offences based on what the authorities think a person’s motive is or was. Flipping the bird at anyone could be construed to be “hate speech” because someone did not like someone, but took no other action, and the object of the action may feel offended. It’s the emotion that is unapproved by the authorities. It is the “failure” of the state or the political establishment to regulate and determine what a mind can think and see. After the failure, come stricter controls, in action and in language (political correctness).

But what is a “crime against democracy”?  The Swedish government is guilty of a “crime against democracy” for welcoming countless migrants who resist assimilation. Sweden is no longer a “democracy,” (a term I’ve always had problems with, because democracy means mob rule; in Sweden Muslims engage in mob rule) and nor are Germany and Britain; the only group whose “freedom of expression” is no longer opposed or prohibited is that of Muslims. Muslims can demonstrate noisily in the streets in mosques or on Speakers Corner in London or preach against the West and be as “hateful” as their lungs can stand, and not be accused of “hate speech.” Antifa can violently close down a scheduled speech at a public venue but not be charged with hate speech or a hate crime; with perhaps of committing a physical assault, but never deemed as guilty of a hate crime. Antifa and Islam ideologically have much in common.

An interesting and comprehensive site, Markl Humphrys, details the consistent alliance between many intellectuals, the MSM, and politicians with totalitarians in modern times.  

German philosopher Martin Heidegger supported the Nazis.
German film director Leni Riefenstahl made propaganda films for Hitler, which encouraged many young Germans to enthusiastically join the growing Nazi genocide.
American writer Ezra Pound not only supported but actually worked for the fascists in WW2.
Belgian deconstructionist Paul de Man supported the Nazis.
Nobel Prize winning Norwegian author Knut Hamsun supported the Nazis, and wrote a eulogy for Hitler in 1945.
Spanish artist Salvador Dali supported Franco and was ambiguous about Hitler.
French fashion designer Coco Chanel was a Nazi agent.
The co-founder of Amnesty International Sean MacBride supported the Nazis and worked for them.

In Markl Humphry’s document, one can see how far back totalitarians have been winning friends, and how much, in academia, the MSM, in education, and in popular culture (such as Hollywood).

"Illegal hate speech", is broadly defined by the European Commission as "incitement to violence or hatred directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, color, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin."

But even if the “hate speech” doesn’t result in violence, one can still be charged and arrested for it, in live public or private discussions and in print, or just banned. The measure of “offence” is an emotional one tacked to “hurt feelings” or the aggression into a “safe place.” The protected class is largely exempt from the enforcement of hate speech laws. Its depredations and crimes can be deliberately hidden from the public.  Gatestone has an interesting column on European censorship.
One commentator noted about German “hate speech” laws noted:

Under this legislation, if Muslims generated any terror or rape attacks, reporting and commenting as such would be a punishable crime. Therefore, no reporting, the general public is kept ignorant and Brussels achieves the goal of ending in the public's mind the main significant anti-Muslim immigration reasons. Look ma, no Muslim rapes or terror. Aren't they wonderful and kudos to the EU for keeping us safe and making the right choice.