Friday, February 04, 2022


Are you mesmerized?

•  I’ve got two Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebies for those of you who, unaccountably, have yet to subscribe. First is Monday’s item on all the Neil Young/Joe Rogan bullshit. (There’s also a review of Barn in there.) The general inability of rightwing dummies -- and though they often call themselves “libertarians” or “skeptics” or “free thinkers,” upon inspection they always turn out to be rightwing dummies -- to distinguish between “deciding not to do business with a disinformation vendor” and “censorship” continues. Bari Weiss offloaded her cancelculture belly-aching to the ex-banjo player from Mumford & Sons, and it’s a testament to her shitty writing that I thought at first it was her own work. After ominously talking about Soviet repression for three paragraphs, Banjo Guy says, “I’m not suggesting the music scene of the West today, or the creative industries more broadly, resembles this top-down authoritarian dystopia.” Then why bring it up, one might wonder. Then he talks awhile about how Ice-T swore at Tipper Gore -- possibly to stoke the crowd -- until finally: 

But in 2022, the censors are not in charge of governments. Something resembling a bottom-up authoritarianism has become the norm. Or perhaps one could call it lateral censorship. It’s artists shutting down other artists—or trying to.

The absurdity of the phrase “bottom-up authoritarianism,” which makes as much sense as “diet lard,” to one side, Banjo Guy seems to miss that artists do indeed oppose and even refuse to work with other artists all the time. How many theaters have rung with cries of “either he goes or I go” throughout the ages? Yet before our low, mean age, no one thought to pretend it was a First Amendment violation. To use an example from popular music, some players got mad enough at Eric Clapton in the 70s to form Rock Against Racism; I suppose by the standards of Bari Weiss and Banjo Guy, that, too, was censorship. Anyway I can report that the thing never gets any better, but it does contain plenty of gripes like "the producer insisted that the orchestra be racially diverse” and -- notwithstanding the beg-off on Soviet parallels -- a citation of The Gulag Archipelago and an assertion that “maybe a return to Soviet-style censorship is well on the way. Apparently banjo isn’t the only thing this guy knows how to play. 

•  Now where was I? Oh yeah, second freebie, about the rightwing college that other Bari Weiss Special Guest Star went to. I hope America survives, and if it does I wonder what our descendants will think when they look back on this phenomenon of rightwingers pretending to have been leftwingers so they can write about their conversion experience. Going to Hillsdale for "diversity of thought" is like going to Golden Corral for diet options.  

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