Tuesday, April 20, 2021

DREHER'S UTOPIA.

Rod Dreher has made it to Budapest, where he's a visiting fellow at John O'Sullivan's rightwing prop-shop The Danube Institute. Dreher calls it "my new city" but don't get your hopes up -- when he said earlier that he was "moving to Budapest for the summer," he apparently meant that he was visiting, but not like some icky, ignorant tourist wearing Bermuda shorts -- no, just as Dreher eats cured meats in a "sacramental" way that distinguishes him from the rest of you poor slobs gobbling your gabagool, when he spends a few months abroad it's an authentic, artisanal residency. 

Dreher is warming fast to his new sorta-home: So far the people are friendly and hate the transgendered. 

In my initial exploring of my new city, Budapest, yesterday, I met a man from western Europe. We started talking, and when I told him who I was and what I was doing here, he said he once read an interview with me in one of the French papers. That was a pleasant surprise. He went on to say that he moved to Budapest because his wife is Hungarian, and given his profession, he could work from here too. He said he finds life here to be more agreeable than in the western European city from which they came.

“One great thing about living here,” he said, “is that you don’t have put up with these damn people teaching gender ideology to your kids.”

It's like a Dreher Letter to Repenthouse come to life! But I think the man might actually exist, perhaps as an agent sent to handle Dreher by Viktor Orban. Now, to you and I Orban is a preeminent Eastern European fascist -- an autocrat seizing state power, stripping press freedoms, closing down a school that resists his far-right agenda, etc.  But Dreher loves the old bastard -- he even, on a previous vacation to Budapest (excuse me, brief-living-in-Budapest), got to meet him and was so starstruck he forgot to ask him any questions! (Haha, just kidding -- Dreher says he just wanted to "get a sense of his mind.") 

And now Dreher tells us the greatest thing of all about Orban: He got his government to ban gender studies and "define male and female according to biological sex," and even ban adoption by same-sex couples in the Constitution ("The mother is a woman, the father a man")! Swoon!   

It’s almost like Hungary is defending … reality. Meanwhile, in the United States, even conservative states have difficulty passing far more modest reality-defending legislation, because Woke Capitalism threatens them economically.

If only Republicans would run on depriving gay people of their rights -- or, hell, they don't need to run on it, just do it, it's not like conservatives are doing Consent of the Governed anymore.  

Viktor Orban is not perfect...

(But Franco's dead, so he'll have to do.)

...but tell me, where are the American conservative politicians who do things like this to protect their society from a poisonous, cruel ideology? If Donald Trump had had the intelligence and political skill of Orban, he might have been able to pull it off. But he didn’t, and so now we have to depend on the Senate filibuster to save America from the Equality Act.

If only Trump were smarter, we might have Trannie Concentration Camps now. Ah, what might have been! But Dreher and the Orban op shadowing him can dream of a time when the next coup actually works and he can return in triumph to Handmaid America. 'Till then, Orbanland is Utopia enough. 

Friday, April 16, 2021

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.



Someone reminded me of the Voidoids recently.
The big hits like "Love Comes In Spurts" are cool,
but how often do you hear this?

•   So many wonderful Roy Edroso Breaks It Down issues to choose from this week! (Why not subscribe? It's cheap!) But I can't go giving away the store, so here are two: one on the latest round of police excuses for killing unarmed black men, and another taking you through a day in the life of J.D. Vance, who has been preparing for his Ohio Senate run by becoming more fascist. His most recent goosestep is the punishment by legislation of corporations that don't overtly support rightwing talking points. I mean, get a load of this:

When you're too authoritarian for David French... well, you're mainstream Republican these days, I guess.  

•   At the Washington Post, Alyssa Rosenberg's "The ‘cancel culture’ wars are exhausting and useless. Here are five proposals for a truce" is as doomed to failure as any other proposed truce in this space, notwithstanding we may presume better faith on her part that that of recent trans-truce floater Andrew Sullivan. For one thing, how can I sign a truce that I have no power to effect? Take, for example, her suggestion that "liberals should agree it’s good for troublesome works to be available, while conservatives should accept context and content labels":

Keeping works in print and available in digital libraries would undercut complaints about censorship. A school might decide not to use certain Dr. Seuss books, but parents could still seek them out. 

I already think "it’s good for troublesome works to be available." I'm troublesome as fuck, myself. But Seuss Enterprises doesn't want to put out the books I suppose Rosenberg is talking about, and they own the books. Similarly, National Review doesn't want to publish my columns. That's capitalism, comrade! 

I do approve of her first proposal: "make it harder for skittish employers to fire or blackball people over their political views." But as I keep saying over and over again, you can't do that with attitude and "standards" -- you can only do that by making laws that actually protect employee speech, which probably means no more "at-will" employment. And there's one whole side of this "truce" that won't go for that. 

Thursday, April 15, 2021

ALSO, SWIFT DIDN'T REALLY ENDORSE EATING CHILDREN

Back in 1994 Kristen Clarke, now up for assistant U.S. Attorney General for civil rights, co-wrote a letter to the Harvard Crimson calling out defenders of Charles Murray's The Bell Curve, which famously posits that black people are intellectually inferior to whites using the old It's Just Science routine. Clarke's letter begins

In response to those who defend The Bell Curve ("Defending The Bell Curve," Opinion, Oct. 24, 1994), please use the following theories and observations to assist you in your search for truth regarding the genetic differences between Blacks and whites.

One: Dr. Richard King reveals that at the core of the human brain is the "locus coeruleus" which is a structure that is Black because it contains large amounts of (neuro) melanin which is essential for its operation.

Two: Black infants sit, stand, crawl and walk sooner than whites.

Three: Carol Barnes notes that human mental processes are controlled by melanin--that same chemical which gives Blacks their superior physical and mental abilities.

Four: Some scientists have revealed that most whites are unable to produce melanin because their pineal glands are often calcification or non-functioning. Pineal calcification rates with Africans are five to 15 percent, Asians 15 to 25 percent and Europeans 60 to 80 percent. This is the chemical basis for the cultural differences between Blacks and whites.

Five: Melanin endows Blacks with greater mental, physical and spiritual abilities--something which cannot be measured based on Eurocentric standards.

We can readily admit that an abused child is less likely to achieve academically than a child that has grown up in a supportive atmosphere. Black children, whether rich or poor, grow up with an added abuse which white children never have to face. Imagine the message that misguided information like The Bell Curve would send to a Black child who is trying to find her place in school. It's degrading, belittling and outrageously false....

As someone who can read and understand basic irony, even without reading the original Crimson defenses (but having read plenty such like) I can see that Clarke is pitching Murray's racism back at his defenders so they can see how they like it. It's a classic reversal.

Clarke explained this at her Senate hearing (using the term "satire"; "sarcasm" is probably more like it, but close enough) to the moron Senator John Cornyn, and rightwing soreheads like David Harsanyi sputter that it's all lies because they don't recognize it at satire -- which in their world involves Steven Crowder talking in Ebonics or selling "Socialism is for F*gs" t-shirts -- and claim Clarke is a "liar" and a who's-the-real-"racist"-now. I mean, how can Clarke's letter be satire -- she didn't even use an asterisk! 

The fact that object lessons in American racism are in the headlines every day is driving them nuts and, in addition to trying to ban drawing reasonable educational conclusions from it, they're desperate to portray the problem as black people being racist against whites.  But even people who don't read a lot of Juvenal and Swift can see through that.  

Friday, April 09, 2021

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.



Whattaya think? Kinda Young Marble Giants meet Pylon, right?

I know, Rod Dreher's an easy layup, but I'm feeling lazy. Here's a post availing Dreher's traditional "reader" "mail" device. This alleged tenured professor, after the customary his-masters-would-punish-him-severely shtick ("if you post anything I share, please keep both my name and university confidential, as I am supporting a wife and a large family, and cannot risk getting doxed at my job"), bitches at length about his online diversity training, which Dreher agrees is totalitarian. One fascinating section:

 Look at the first and last bullet points here in particular.  The first: “Call transgender individuals by the name and pronoun that reflects their gender identity.”  I have no issue with the “name” part, but look how they are also forcing us to use their preferred pronoun.  They could have kept the peace by saying “name or pronoun,” as calling somebody by their preferred name would not violate my Christian conscience, but of course there can be no compromise here.  I refuse to use a non-biological gender pronoun, for the exact same reason that I would refuse to call an anorexic person overweight, which makes me wonder how long I will be able to stay here before the issue is forced.  

 First of all, I've wracked my brain and can only guess that the professor is willing to use a trans person's name but not their pronouns because it's easier to express contempt with a proper name ("Give this file to... 'Mary'") than with a pronoun. That's the only way this hairsplitting makes any sense. (Come to think of it, maybe he's got some kind of mind-game going where maybe a guy could be called Mary -- look at Evelyn Waugh and Leslie Nielsen! -- but can't be called "she," because pronouns are of The Lord or some shit.) Also, yeah right, next we're gonna force the guy to call skinny people fat, because respecting trans people is just a wedge-end for our real goal, demonic mastery of REALITY ITSELF mwah hah hah. Yeesh, even Dreher's imaginary characters are nuts.

 Then Dreher comes in and yells a while and does this interesting bit:

His point would seem to be that United is doing affirmative action and any black person thus "socially promoted" to pilot would be so unqualified they couldn't fly a plane. But we'll all pretend they can because PRONOUNS WERE JUST THE BEGINNING. (It occurs to me that it was easier to put this affirmative-action bullshit over when it came to college admissions, because grading is always a little arbitrary and one could imagine unqualified people getting inflated grades -- as rich guys' sons had been getting since forever -- but the idea that recruiting more black and female pilot numbers is a suicide mission because women and black people just naturally can't fly planes and white liberals are willing to die in a fiery wreck just to dispute this elementary fact of life, well, outside Dreherland that's a harder sell.)   

 (Lagniappe: Dreher announces he's summering in Budapest (or as he puts it, "moving to Budapest for the summer" -- maybe he thinks that less touristy and more artisanal). Guess his earlier taste of Viktor Orb├ín was not enough! Wonder if he'll come back with armbands for the family, if he does come back.

Oh, this week's Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebies -- almost forgot! Here, and here. Have fun! 

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

HOW YOU GONNA KEEP 'EM DOWN ON THE FARM AFTER THEY'VE SEEN THE FARM?

Caught up in the "woke corporation" contretemps, Erick Erickson suggests that conservative red-state governments should stop kowtowing to out-of-state companies with their crazy ideas like "voter access" and "gay rights":

We must, however, begin now aggressively pushing back on corporations involving themselves in public policy and advocacy. That requires credibility from the right on these issues...

Greg Abbott of Texas has come out swinging saying Texas stands with Georgia and MLB’s All Star Game is unwelcome there. Other Republican Governors should do the same. Then perhaps the GOP should have some counter programming at the Braves Stadium the same night as the All Star Game. Maybe get Donald Trump on stage there and see who gets better ratings.

That'll establish "credibility," all right! I think these states should go further and kick out the major league teams entirely -- I mean, sports leagues been pushing the Overton Window left since the days of Jackie Robinson, enough is enough! Then they could start up their own league with unwoke in-your-face teams like the Selma Sheriff Clarks, the Nebraska Redskins Yeah I Said It, et alia. (I have already established some ground rules for them here.)

But then Erickson goes even further, and suggests reversing the decades-old Republican policy of offering tax breaks and other perks to corporations (usually paid for with service cuts to their own poorest citizens) to attract them and their jerbs:

The second thing we should do is commit to a ban on corporate welfare to attract Fortune 500 companies to red states. They very clearly are taking the corporate welfare of red states and bringing in their blue state, woke employees. Conservative states should not be engaged in crony capitalism anyway. Employ sound tax policy and fiscal management so companies want to come naturally, instead of through incentive. Promote local businesses and corporations and provide a stable, conservative environment for them to grow.

We don't need your stupid liberal tech and aerospace and retail and all those other companies -- we got what you want naturally: the black people shoved on the other side of the tracks where you won't have to look at 'em, homos and he-shes scared to say boo, the few libraries purged of radical books, and plenty of meth and hookers. Our new slogan: "Bring your business to Bumfuck where we hate you and your employees and our water smells like rotten eggs -- take it or leave it!"

This is a movement that's going places, specifically Germany in the 1930s. 

Friday, April 02, 2021

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.

Two shots in, seems like good late-pandemic music.

•  OK, non-subscribers to Roy Edroso Breaks It Down -- and what's keeping you, it's the only Substack newsletter not crammed with cancelculture crybaby bullshit, plus it's cheap! -- here's a freebie: a scene at The Rectory where our tradcath favorites hang out, drinking benedictine, soiling the antimacassars, and talking the latest moral majority crap. Special guest appearance by an old alicublog favorite! 

•  The main thing about the Matt Gaetz story for me is Dennis Hastert. You'd think an honest-to-God pedophile predator would have thought, at some point in his rapid rise through the ranks of the Republican Party, hmmm maybe I'm flying too close to the sun. But his predecessor in the Speakership was Newt Gingrich, a lying scumbucket of the highest order who brassed out his own scandals during the Clinton impeachment because he realized none of it mattered -- a hearty handshake, a pretense of statesmanship, and above all total, chicken-hypnotizing shamelessness were all it took to mesmerize GOP rubes, and if you could pull that off you could get away with nearly anything. At Hastert found out, fucking children was on the wrong side of "nearly everything." But now, who knows -- the QAnon constituency is busy painting all Democrats as pedophiles, so maybe a Republican Congressman who's actually paying for sex with underage girls can expect his rubes to think, "My Rep a pedo? Unpossible, pedos are Dems!" and walk away blinking. That's what goes through my mind when I see Gaetz's vapid, unbothered face on TV now. Time was you could expect an eventual Dan Crane* shift to egregious contrition, but in the modern GOP the malefactors simply keep going until the jig is truly up, and then vanish entirely to be replaced by new ones. (*I remember Crane's Democrat counterpart in that scandal, gay Provincetown Rep Garry Studds, who acted like he couldn't give a shit and got reelected. Boy, how times have changed!) 

Thursday, April 01, 2021

FROM THE "HOW COME THEY CAN SAY THE N-WORD AND WE CAN'T" FILES.

I've unlocked an issue of Roy Edroso Breaks It Down today about the right's gamification of racism -- that is, the way they confront the overwhelming evidence of systemic racism in our society with whatabout stories of black crime. This is an ancient strategy, really, old enough that I recall it from my childhood when relatives would tell me how those people were animals, always robbing, raping, and stealing; I've talked about the internet-enabled version in my "ooga-booga" essays, which when published in the Voice always drew an avalanche of racist and sometimes threatening reader responses. 

But the show of black electoral power signified by the Biden and Georgia Democratic victories have terrified the brethren into more intense and higher-level reactions. As is obvious to pretty much everyone, the wave of voter disenfranchisement legislation Republicans are rushing shows how they've trying to reverse the effect; but increased conservative chatter about (and attempts to ban) "critical race theory" shows that they're also afraid the increased sensitivity of younger Americans to systemic racism will make this harder for them in the near future. 

Hence the gamesmanship, which increasingly resembles the racist taunts of my youth. For example, here's an article at the Washington Examiner by Eddie Scarry called "Joe Biden is about to lock up a lot of black people." Tee hee, what a fun headline! What's it about? Before citing several cases of black people beating up Asian-Americans, Scarry sets up his gag: 

The New York Times reported that part of Biden's initiative will be "prioritizing prosecution of those who commit hate crimes" against people of Asian descent.

I guess that's a good thing, but what happens when prioritizing the prosecution of anti-Asian hate crimes disproportionately affects the black community?

You can see he's enjoying himself.

It will. Anyone tracking the sporadic incidents of violence against people of Asian descent lately will have noticed a pattern. The attackers are almost exclusively black men...

True, there was the recent violent rampage in Atlanta wherein a young white man killed Asians and a couple of white people at some Asian-run spas, which he said he did because of some weird sex addiction. Lightning strikes every now and then.

But as we've seen, this isn't a matter of white supremacy. It's very much not that.

This is right off the playground -- you libtards care so much about racism, well what about black-on-Asian crime? Undoubtedly in rightwing publications like the Examiner it gives mirth and comfort to conservatives; I wonder what anyone else thinks. 

UPDATE. Thanks to commenter keta for unearthing this story on Scarry's other service to wingnut comedy -- creepshots of butts.