Saturday, February 17, 2018

Thoughts and Prayers?


After the Ash Wednesday shooting
at Stoneman Douglas high school in Florida.

Yes, we need much more serious thinking and much more serious praying.

Our nation has had guns all along, but massacres committed by mentally disturbed nihilists--this is a phenomenon of the past couple decades. Why? Because we have lost thinking and praying. We have replaced them with radical individualism and a media-driven culture of chic fads. But we are social beings by nature, not loners; and we are spiritual beings that will not be satisfied by mere fads.

Sow anomie and reap death. This cycle will continue until we recognize our collective delusion for what it is. The freedom to make yourself into whatever thing you choose is not freedom, but a slavery to despair. It sets us into a frantic grasping after fevered dreams.

Our media now refer to us as "consumers" even more frequently than as "citizens". Which is telling. For us the act of choosing, and thus self-understanding, is now modeled on our nonstop consumption. It is sick. Because being is not something for which you shop, but rather a gift given by our Maker.

Until we return to the task of thinking through the shape of that gift, and reverencing the One by whom it is given, the cycle we're in will continue and deepen.

Check out my Idiocy, Ltd., and begin the long, hard reckoning.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Alt-Right and SJW Left: Mirror Images




Whether Rod Dreher’s reading of the alt-right in his recent piece is correct or not, he does a great job underlining why both alt-right and SJW left (mirror images in my mind) must be taken seriously. Dreher writes in response to a First Things piece by Matthew Rose. Rose:

The alt-right’s understanding of human identity is reductive, and its rejection of Christian solidarity premature. “Christianity provides an identity that is above or before racial and ethnic identity,” Richard Spencer complains. “It’s not like other religions that come out of a folk spirit.” Spencer is right that the baptismal covenant transcends our local loyalties and identities. It does not, however, eradicate them.

The alt-right seeks an account of what we are meant to be and serve as a people, invoking race as an emergency replacement for our fraying civic bonds. It is not alone; identity politics on the left is a response to the same erosion of belonging. But race is a modern category, and lacks theological roots. Nation, however, is biblical.

Dreher’s blog also drew my attention to Andrew Sullivan’s recent New York magazine editorial on the seriousness of the threat posed by the new left-liberal identity politics. Sullivan writes:

If elites believe that the core truth of our society is a system of interlocking and oppressive power structures based around immutable characteristics like race or sex or sexual orientation, then sooner rather than later, this will be reflected in our culture at large. What matters most of all in these colleges--your membership in a group that is embedded in a hierarchy of oppression--will soon enough be what matters in the society as a whole.

And, sure enough, the whole concept of an individual who exists apart from group identity is slipping from the discourse. The idea of individual merit--as opposed to various forms of unearned “privilege”--is increasingly suspect. The Enlightenment principles that formed the bedrock of the American experiment--untrammeled free speech, due process, individual (rather than group) rights--are now routinely understood as mere masks for “white male” power, code words for the oppression of women and nonwhites. Any differences in outcome for various groups must always be a function of “hate,” rather than a function of nature or choice or freedom or individual agency. And anyone who questions these assertions is obviously a white supremacist himself.

Sullivan begins his piece by remarking that he’s often told to calm down when he reports on the aggressive and patently insane SJW culture now dominating American campuses. According to Sullivan, readers often react with: “Why does it matter? These are students, after all. They’ll grow up once they leave their cloistered, neo-Marxist safe spaces. The real world isn’t like that.”

But Sullivan is having none of it. And he’s obviously correct in his assessment that the intellectual poison killing our campuses has also now begun infecting the corporate world. In short, it's not a matter of "kids who will eventually grow up and face the real world", but rather of a deeply entrenched identity politics that is disconnecting us from what is real and vibrant in our classical liberal tradition.

Most Americans have for many decades now taken higher education seriously mainly as a matter of job training. Doing so, they’ve let the whole humanities side of our universities fall to the extreme left. The results are what we have now. Universities churn out generations of young people primed to look at both our Constitution and American and Western culture generally only as embodiments of an oppressive system to be overthrown. They don’t see that these traditions are what have given them the freedoms they enjoy.

To treat job training as the ultimate meaning of higher education is thus to betray liberal education as a whole. It is to hand the reins of the culture to another. In this case, a dangerous intellectual clique.

Sullivan’s piece is good at underlining the issues, but I don't agree with his implied claim that the rising SJW insanity is somehow a "response" to Trumpian nastiness. No, it has been long in the making, and if anything the power of Trump's persona, his ability to garner millions of votes, is rather a belated response to 1) the Democratic Party's abandonment of average working folks, and 2) the outrageously shrill claims made by this new, pseudo-left identity politics.

And mark my words, in case you haven't already noticed. This 21st-century left has been raised up deeply suspicious of open debate and free inquiry. It is increasingly hostile, even proudly hostile, to both. The upshot? We are in the midst of an intellectual civil war, a war which pits a warmed-over, repurposed Marxism against our Constitution.

The parentage of this new pseudo-left is easily traced. I myself was more or less schooled in it in the late '80s and '90s, and saw then the potential threat. What I never guessed was that the Foucault/Frankfurt-School tradition would eventually be completely uncoupled from critiques of capitalism and imperialism and morph into a mere domestic politics of identity tribalism. Which is what it now is across the whole of our left-liberal press, from Slate and Salon all the way to the "paper of record" and WaPo.

If indeed the rise of the Alt-Right and the SJW left are just the first stage of a more general unraveling (and there's good reason to believe this may be the case) I see two possible outcomes. Either cultural Marxism continues to overplay its cards and brings about an aggressive counter-movement that crushes it at the ballot box and re-establishes something like more classical liberal norms. Or it keeps gaining force along with those opposed to it, and we end in something more like actual civil war.

A third outcome I don't even want to contemplate. Namely, that the hate-driven clowns of the pseudo-left finally control all the levers of power. That would be the end of the American republic as we've known it. Because, again, this movement doesn't give a damn about real individual rights or quaint things like the First Amendment. It is concerned only with a perverse kind of "group rights". But group rights don't work in our system of government. You'd have to look to Stalin's Russia to find a thoroughgoing implementation of "group rights".

Most white Christian conservatives like myself don’t want to see America fall into civil war or end up ruled by an alt-rightish nationalist authoritarianism. But at the same time, we’re not going to sit idly by while we’re first shut up, then marginalized, and finally hanged like Kulaks in our own country. And it of course is our country just as much as it is that of any group of left-leaning citizens however defined.

Our leftist extremists should be sure of one thing: to the extent they support racial profiling, censorship, violence, demonization of those who dissent from their utopian diktats--to that same extent they’re going to be raising up an equally violent and intolerant opposition. This is, in fact, already starting to happen.

Read Rod Dreher's piece on Christianity vs. the Alt-Right.

Read Andrew Sullivan's piece on the SJW left.

Check out my Idiocy, Ltd. and begin the long, hard reckoning.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Idiocy, Ltd. / 白痴有限公司 and Why I Love the Prose Poem


With Sharky Chen at TIBE 2018

I was very glad to join Sharky Chen of commaBOOKS (逗點文創) at the Taipei International Book Exhibition to talk to readers about the new Chinese translation of Idiocy, Ltd. Here were my comments:

謝謝各位來到這裡。

我是寫3種文類的自由作家,也是住台北20年的台灣女婿。

我很感謝詩人枚綠金幫我找到陳允石這麼好的譯者來翻譯我的這本和台北有關的散文詩故事集《白痴有限公司》。我也特別謝謝陳允石。我和她溝通很多次,詳細說明, 讓她知道寫作的用意。也非常謝謝逗點文創的各位幫忙這本書。

台灣讀者知道的法國詩人波特萊爾是努力推散文詩的十九世紀大師。我寫的散文詩故事已經有世界其他大師的影響。

我寫出很多新的實驗,還有我對台灣的愛。

書裡面有推薦文和序,註解,幫助讀者明白我的語言實驗,很多益智闖關遊戲和謎的神秘感覺,等待大家發掘。

That’s quite brief. Initially I’d planned to spend more time giving some rough ideas of what I’m trying to accomplish with the book. But I didn’t have time to get my comments rendered in Chinese. And anyhow, I’m not sure people sitting there wanted to listen to my painfully accented Mandarin for that long. (!)

Still, I’ll post my draft comments here because, for readers new to the prose poem, they might be helpful.

Eric Mader 枚徳林

On Idiocy, Ltd. and the Jacobian Prose Poem

Thank you all for coming to listen. I’ve been writing seriously for many years now, I’ve published a novel, a collection of essays, and other things, all in English. But since the 1990s I’ve been living here in Taipei, my life is here, I love Taiwan, and so I’m very happy finally to publish one of my books here in Chinese. Because many of my best friends are here, and now they can read some of what I’ve been working on. What’s more, I’m especially happy it’s my weirdest book that’s been translated first: Idiocy, Ltd. I’m thankful to 逗點文創 for taking on the project.

This book is a collection of short texts, including a few short stories, but mostly it contains what we in the West call prose poems. The prose poem has a very odd history, beginning in French in the 19th century with Baudelaire and Rimbaud and eventually being practiced by writers elsewhere in Europe and the US. What started me writing in this genre was my discovery many years ago of one 20th century French prose poet: Max Jacob.

With Max Jacob and a few other European writers, the prose poem took on a very different character from what it was earlier, and became very different from lyric poetry in general. Jacob turned it into a space of play. For one, he used the genre to play with narrative conventions. Jacob mastered a certain tone, both intimate and detached at the same time, a very ironic tone connected, I think, to his Jewishness, and arising from his being something of an outsider to European culture.

What do I mean by Jacob’s “playfulness”?

This will be difficult for me to express in Chinese, so I’ll try to make it very simple.

Whenever you sit down to read a story or newspaper article or novel, you immediately, in the very first sentence, are infected by a rhythm, by a certain style, that determines how the genre works and tells you what kind of thing you are reading. What Jacob did brilliantly was set off in the style of one genre--his first sentences leading the reader to anticipate automatically what kind of writing would follow--but then suddenly he would switch in some other direction, the initial style would stop making sense, or the logic of the writing would break down. In other words, Jacob was constantly tricking the reader, making the reader expect one thing, then surprising him with an entirely different thing. He would begin stories that would go nowhere, that would end up in a joke on the main character, and he’d do it all in a handful of sentences. His writing is intentionally confusing in a way that makes you think not so much about the content of the story, but about the rules according to which stories are told. Or sometimes the rules by which newspaper articles are written. Because Jacob played this kind of game with all kinds of different genres of writing: newspaper articles, love letters, family histories, fairy tales.

I don’t know if you follow what I mean. In a few brilliant sentences, Jacob would mock the way we use language, and the way he would do it would make us notice how stiff our genres are. He would show this stiffness by breaking the rules in funny ways.

I give an example from everyday life: If you’re used to using a knife to cut vegetables in your kitchen, you don’t think about it, you just reach for it and start cutting. But if one day you pick it up and it’s broken, if the blade cracks and falls off of the handle, suddenly you have this odd feeling: “This is my knife that I’ve been using for years. And now?” You look at it as a suddenly alien thing; you notice it. You realize how long you’ve been taking it for granted only because, suddenly, it is something completely different: it can no longer cut your vegetables.

This is what Max Jacob and a lot of modern prose poets after him do with language. They break language in order to wake us up. They show us what we took for granted by misleading us in unpredictable ways. Of course as a writer Jacob does more than this, he does much else as well, but this is for me his most essential accomplishment.

In a lot of the texts in Idiocy, Ltd., I’m working in this way too. In many of them I use the language of persuasion and argument to make claims that aren’t persuasive at all. Or I state facts about things that aren’t actually facts, but absurdities. But I state them in a tone as if everyone already accepted the claims as true. Or I start out in a certain style, say adventure narrative, and shift into something very different, putting the whole notion of adventure in doubt.

Reading this kind of thing, some readers just say “Huh? It doesn’t make sense,” but other readers, they laugh. They’re led to laugh because the effect has worked.

Another thing I want to say about this kind of writing--I mean the kind of prose poem writing that a lot of writers have been working on during the recent decades: it is a method that can take up almost any genre of text and deform it in humorous or revealing ways. So, for example, here are some kinds of texts that could be taken up by a prose poet:

political speech;
fable;
folk take;
restaurant review;
message in a bottle;
public service announcement;
travel log;
medical report.

I make fun of some of these in my book by infecting and bending them.

Now this kind of writing is hard to translate into another language, and I’m very lucky that for this book I had Pansy Chen as translator, because she worked very hard to make the odd changes in tone work in Chinese. From people who’ve read the book so far, people here in Taiwan, I can tell that she often succeeded brilliantly. She and I met regularly for awhile, discussing most of the texts in the book line by line, so she always knew just what I was trying to do.

I want to thank Pansy for that careful work. I think any of you here, though you’re likely to find some of these texts just strange or opaque, other texts will make you laugh or make you look at things in a different way. So it’s a book about breaking perceptions, or at bending them in unexpected directions. I’d love to hear from you if you have any comments.

You can look at the handout I’ve given you. I invite you to follow my author page on Facebook and post comments there. In the coming weeks I’ll post any reviews that come out about the book. So you can see what other readers think of it.

Again, thanks for coming.

E.M.

白痴有限公司在台灣:
books.com

Eslite 誠品

Kingstone 金石堂
The English original is available through Amazon:
Idiocy, Ltd.
Reviews of Idiocy, Ltd., etc.:
Who’s the Idiot?
My novel A Taipei Mutt is out in a second edition. The Asian capital unmuzzled:
A Taipei Mutt
Cheers.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Idiocy, Ltd.: 白痴有限公司 Launch Party




THANK YOU all for coming to the book launch for 白痴有限公司! I was so glad to see you--many people I haven't seen in a long time. I only wish I'd had more time to talk to you during the party. I was busy signing books for the three hours.

台灣是我最愛的國家。你們台灣學生朋友們是我最愛的人。沒錯。

Thanks to Toasteria Cafe 永康 Yong Kang staff for coming, some of you, and for doing such a great job. Hope you guys who weren't working had a good time. Special thanks to 林小虎 and Vivian Ruan. Great job!

對於這本書感興趣的其他人: 白痴有限公司 is in Taiwan's book stores: http://www.eslite.com/product.aspx?pgid=1001254072653973

--枚德林/Eric Mader

[The book launch party for 白痴有限公司, the Chinese translation of Idiocy, Ltd. published by 逗點文創結社, was on January 31, 2018, at Toasteria Cafe Yong-Kang. The English original is available through Amazon. Above photo with the great people at Toasteria!]

PHOTOS / READER COMMENTS

With Yumin Lai and others

Yumin writes: 我和孩子的英文老師枚德林Eric Mader, 是個風趣但是教學卻嚴謹的美國人;他學的是英法比較文學,卻因為娶了台灣人而在台灣停留了二十年;這本以富有童趣的文筆寫成的諷喻小品集,除了令人莞爾,其實也隱含了不少對當今社會現象的洞察與規勸,有點像東方朔的風格。它原本是英文的,如今有了譯筆精湛的中文版,在這懶得出門的濕冷天,閲讀Eric老師的冷笑話再適合不過了,也推薦給大家!

With Annie Chang

Annie writes: 我從小學三年級就認識的英文老師 Eric Mader, 將他的書翻譯成中文付梓了。

這年代出書其實門檻沒那麼高,但我必須用「付梓」這個字眼來描述【白癡有限公司】的出版發行,因為這是我看了本書第一部分,那些有點文青但又富含文化底蘊、針砭時事發人省思的屁話之後,覺得最符合本書風格的用字。

以前Eric帶我念青年版的 The Odyssey, 希臘神話、希臘悲劇Oedipus Tyrannus、舊約創世紀,可以說是引領我學習西方文化的入門,雖然很多生澀的單字我可能離開課堂就忘了(也太快),但 Eric教學的時候常常有很生動的比喻跟演出,還有很多發人大笑的白板畫,一直都讓我難以忘懷。在閱讀這本書的時候,那些插畫還有跟Eric敘事的風格一模一樣的畫面就躍然眼前,讓我欲罷不能,一口氣就讀完接近三分之一。

我很榮幸在Eric眾多的學生中,成為他印象深刻的一個,失聯多年後,我們在2011年在東區的星巴克重逢;我還邀請Eric參加我的婚宴。

這是我親愛的英文老師也是永遠的朋友出版的第一本中文書,推薦給大家。

Eric: Thank you so much, Annie. I'm so happy to have run into you in that Starbucks, because I remembered very well teaching you as a little girl--and who wouldn't remember? You've always had such clear vision and so much personality, the only kid who'd come into the classroom early, then sit down RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME and start talking, almost like one adult to another: complaints about life, questions about this and that, and then you'd be doing it all while drawing doodles. So I knew this girl was something special.

I'm really moved by your reaction to the book and will certainly save it. I've been lucky to have such a classy friend. Hope you and that witty guy you married keep getting the most of out of life.

With students Howard, Jessica and others

Jessica writes: 兩年了 大家還是很鬧 他還是很搞笑
他的文字也還是遠比許多無病呻吟的情感有溫度的多
看過他好多文章 這次他出書了 認真覺得好開心

To me, you are the best (funny) teacher.
Thanks for every one of your crazy classes!!!

Eric: Great photo with you guys! Thanks for coming and thanks for posting it. Because I want to remember you all when I'm . . . old. It has been great fun for me teaching you, and, for you in the Friday class, reading your writing! Because it's always sharp, and often hilarious. Even that Allen MF 2 guy, when he's not falling asleep, writes some really funny stuff!

加油 Howard, Jessica, AMF2, Hank, Ylang, Andy and Charlie.

With Aven Kao


With Williams Adilehou and Eileen Chen


With Nick Huang and Julia Chen

Nick writes: 我之前是Eric的學生,而我讀這本書的原則是:
「幹你娘看爆」


沒錯,就是幹你娘看爆。

什麼?讀後感?我說,

喜歡The Simpsons或South Park美式笑點的你不能不去一趟納普勒斯的恐怖再教育中心;身為台灣人的你不能不為台灣奧巴桑的迷人行徑瘋狂;身為基督徒的你不能不知道為什麼文生會在創世紀裡被罰站兩次;身為地球人的你不能不了解貓貓的來由及Hello Kitty的陰謀。

吃飯時間快到了,我要去抓蝴蝶了,伏爾泰在等著我餵他/牠吃蝴蝶翅膀呢!

#這批很純

#不管他嗑了什麼都給我來一點

以下神秘連結點開有驚喜:

books.com

http://www.eslite.com/product.aspx?pgid=1001254072653973

https://www.kingstone.com.tw/book/book_page.asp?kmcode=2018740959593

Eric: Hah! Many thanks for the good word, Nick. I'm glad you're getting some laughs from the book. Of course your commentary made me laugh too.

BTW, for others who see this post, those two in the photo, Nick and Julia, were part of the longest-running class I ever taught. Some of the students in that class, like Nick, I began to teach when they were about 11. And continued teaching them for ten years! We started with basic verbs, and ended with George Saunders and Shakespeare. It was great fun.

With Lisa, who helped me out getting books to people

Lisa writes: Love my crazy teacher Eric Mader and all his wonderful thoughts.

希望大家都買五本,一本自己留著讀,一本收藏用,兩本推廣用,一本放神桌拜拜。

With (from right) Michael Thomsen, Serina Tsai and Marcus Thomsen

Serina writes: 大概是八年前,有一天我突然想說,來跟住在我家對面的鄰居~Eric老師上英文課。這樣以後出國的時候不用依賴別人,已經會寫、會看,就是不太能說的我,於是展開了社會人士學習之旅。


說英語,其實沒有那麼難,如果你找到好的老師。雖然現在已經沒有上課了,但是當時Eric真的給我很大的啟發跟幫助!

等我沒那麼忙的時候,希望自己可以繼續上課。

今日是他的新書發表會,看到擠滿的人潮,跟大排長龍的簽書書迷,就知道,他絕對是個好老師.........在各方面!!!

Congratulations to my dear English teacher.

Eric: You're too good to me, Serina. And me too, I'm very glad I finally got to know you: a sharp woman with a brilliant attitude toward life. Also I've met some great people through you, so I'm lucky there too. Of course I'll always be very willing to work on any English with you, though you don't much need it anymore, given you've learned so quickly.

Much appreciate you guys coming. Hope you enjoy the book!

With Frank

With Daniel and Michelle Fang and the Chen sisters

Tony and Coco

With Hana "Banana" and Orion

My colleague Erica and the inimitable Duku


長頸鹿一旦搭上電扶梯,永無止盡的災難就開始了。   

沒有最白痴,只有更白痴!
  動物人類手牽手,獻上高智商北七寓言——
  一本以「卡夫卡式荒謬」與國際接軌的白痴故事集。   

什麼叫「白痴的言行」?怎樣算「白痴」?
  「只要能辨明一個人究竟是如何耍白痴、可以多白痴──只要能看出此人臻至這種白痴狀態的方式和程度,並釐清這個方式和程度與此人可能自詡為聰明之處緊密交織、環環相扣的關係,便蔚為一項難得的殊榮了。」——枚德林   

當世界的癲狂成為日常,唯一看見真相的只有外表看似英文教師,實際上是人間格物者的枚德林。
  四十則帶著關懷卻引人發噱的小品,十二則獨特視角的臺北紀錄,為這過於嚴肅又常笑得毫無理由的海島,提供了另一個看待世界的方式。   

P.S. 書裡的長頸鹿會抽菸,小朋友不要學。
  P.S. 書裡的插圖也很有事,是作者親筆畫的喔!

好評推薦   

「枚德林始終雋永奇特,自成異格。其文思與意趣上下縱橫,源源不絕。謎般笑點或爆點,為閱讀人帶來層層挑戰。妙筆所到,處處生花。絕對值得歷險尋寶。」——Bradley Winterton,《台北時報》資深書評家   

「無論是抽著菸的長頸鹿,佛羅里達州式的思想改造營,或是台北市裡一整群難得一見的怪胎,枚德林純熟老練的筆法,穩健適切地表現了以下技藝:譏嘲針砭;善意嘲諷;矇哄幽眛詭奇—近似波赫士,卡夫卡以及其他大師筆力,卻全然發輝屬己精神。荒謬感冷不防蹦出,上窮碧落無法無天;上下文的語境指涉瞬變,看似傾軋,精彩得令讀者難以招架。潛在的批判貫穿《白痴有限公司》全書,展現深度人文關懷。這是一本會讓你吃驚大笑的書,但,最重要的是,腦力激盪之餘,促人認真思考。」——Duncan Chesney, 美國學者,現當代文學評論家,國立臺灣大學外國語文學系暨研究所教授。   

「在《白痴有限公司》為我們打開的世界,藝術的遊玩與嚴謹感動了讀者,眼界及耳域都因此更加開濶,覺察字句的音樂與興味。」——John Poch, 美國詩人,著有《Dolls》以及《Two Men Fighting with a Knife》等數本詩集。

At Eslite (誠品), Kingstone, and online.

For more reviews, new books, follow my author page on Facebook: Eric Mader 枚德林

Friday, February 2, 2018

Trump’s SOTU: The Rope by which the Democrats Hanged Themselves


The Congressional Black Caucus reacts to news of historically low black unemployment rate

I’m late to the show. I finally had time to watch the whole of the president’s 2018 State of the Union Address. Until today, I’d only read recaps and watched snippets.

Yeah, I’ll admit right here that I was as interested to hear the content of the address as I was in verifying whether the Democratic side of the aisle really was as lock-step sour as reports claimed.

They were. It really was amazing to watch. Unprecedented.

I don’t think it’s much of an exaggeration to say that in the halls of Congress, on the evening of January 31st, 2018, our Democratic Party committed suicide. A certain critical mass of pissiness has been reached, and Americans watched it unfold live. Our Democrats finally proved once and for all that they are no longer a party of working Americans, but rather just a party of bitter identity politics. Worse. They can’t even anymore be called a party of victims. No, they’re a party of the mere ideology of victimhood as it’s weaponized through political correctness. They’re a party of the act of posing as a victim.

When the president announced that black unemployment had reached its lowest point in history, the Democrats on the Congressional Black Caucus showed themselves entirely uninterested. They didn’t budge. They scowled and smirked. One almost got the impression that employment was something that didn’t interest them.

When the president spoke of his moderate plans for immigration reform (a goal both parties have supported for years) they booed. Likewise when he spoke of the need to limit the number of MS-13 gang members coming in over the border. Our Democrats actually booed American parents, present in the hall, of children killed by these gangs.

When the Republican side of the aisle began chanting “USA USA USA”, Democratic congressman Luis Gutierrez stood up and walked out. Apparently love for America is repugnant to this congressman.

Millions of Americans watched Gutierrez walk out. And illegal aliens and America-haters watched too. These latter of course will appreciate the congressman’s gesture. As would Iranians, ISIS recruits, Venezuelan socialists, and Kim Jong Un.

Many are putting the Democrats’ hissy fit down to TDS--Trump Derangement Syndrome. And sure, that’s what’s at the root of it. They hate Trump far more than they love anything about America.

But note: This means that Trump has become the rope by which they hang themselves. Because, to judge by polls, American citizens who watched the president’s address were impressed. According to a YouGov poll, 75% overall had a positive reaction, while 80% had the impression the president was trying to unite rather than divide the country.

So why do our Democrats hate this president so much? Is it because he's on the right, and they’re against his right-leaning policies?

Not at all. The Democrats themselves, since Bill Clinton, have been moving ever rightward. In terms of bread and butter issues (i.e. whether policy initiatives help the working class or corporate CEOs) one finds both party mainstreams are virtually identical. Obama was nearly as pro-1% as George W. Bush before him.

So why do they hate Trump so much?

What they hate about him is that he unmasks them. He doesn’t take their political correctness game seriously, he doesn’t bow to it; instead he regularly offends against all the PC rules, almost with glee. And they hate him for it because, quite simply, political correctness has become their entire strategy. Having abandoned working Americans to the corporations who fund their campaigns, political correctness is all the Democrats have left to distinguish them from mainstream Republicans.

Look at the Democrats on virtually any issue and you will see this clearly.

They are not interested in employment for women (which is also up after Trump’s first year) but rather in the minutiae of feminist social grievance. They’re not interested in protecting American workers from the estimated 12-20 million illegals that compete for their jobs under the radar, but rather in leveraging claims of “Racism racism racism!” whenever anyone wants to talk about illegals. They’re not interested in addressing the insane murder rates in majority black urban neighborhoods, but rather in politicizing the occasional instances of unwarranted police violence against blacks.

Oh, and if we’re talking about higher education (an area that especially concerns me) they’re not interested in keeping it vibrant and open, but rather in demanding “safe spaces”, whining about “microaggressions” and debating whether a white person who decides to have dreadlocks is committing “cultural appropriation”.

Yeah, the important stuff.

And so the Democratic Party can’t stomach a president who has work to do on the big issues and who repeatedly trolls them on the only issues they get traction from. They hate him because he reveals them for what they are: fakes.

What this State of the Union Address showed more than anything else is that the Democratic Party hates Trump so much, they’re willing to let the whole country see just how shallow their priorities are. They’re so committed to their political correctness that in order to signal their PC cred they’re actually willing to throw America itself under the bus.

They’re not even an American party anymore. At the State of the Union Address, they showed they don’t want America to succeed, but only want to find ways to depict America’s strengths as somehow oppressing their favored victim groups. And the sick irony is that the members of these victim groups, those who are actual citizens at least, are doing demonstrably better under Trump than they’ve ever done before.

But the Democrats, rather than greet this news with any positive reaction, showed the nation that they’re not interested in marginalized groups actually doing better, but only in maintaining and leveraging the marginalization. Most Americans, however, don’t admire whining and special pleading; what they admire is grit and self-reliance.

Which is why I think the Democratic Party, through the sheer perversity their hollow ideology imposes on them, has basically committed political suicide.

Have some deadpan with your coffee. Check out Idiocy, Ltd. Dryest humor in the west.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Christians: Boycott Google Today


Google CEO and Thought-Controller-in-Chief Sundar Pichai

Just how politically correct has Google's corporate culture become? Check out this short piece by Todd Starnes, in which Starnes reveals that the company's Google Home device, their version of Siri, refuses to recognize the names "Jesus" or "Jesus Christ". Be sure to watch the embedded short video.

When called on this, uh, innocent lapse, they explain themselves this way: "The reason the Google Assistant didn’t respond with information about ‘Who is Jesus’ or ‘Who is Jesus Christ’ wasn’t out of disrespect but instead to ensure respect."

Uh-huh. I don't believe these m*********ers as far as I could throw them. After the James Damore firing and what that revealed about the culture in this company? We now have plenty of documentation of the degree to which the most seething PC extremism dominates everything that happens on their corporate campus and in their HR workshops.

Google is poison. Christians should drop Google Search, Google Chrome, Google Maps and Gmail ASAP. For search, I recommend moving to Bing or DuckDuckGo.

There are tens of millions of us Christians in the US. Why should we do business with a company that hates us? If enough of us left, it would hit these bigots where it counts: in their share prices.

Check out my Idiocy, Ltd. and begin the long, hard reckoning.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Cathy Newman vs. Jordan Peterson: A Study in SJW Demagoguery


Newman's interview got within a millimeter of outright self-satire

I’m surprised the Atlantic actually ran this piece on Cathy Newman’s pathetic attempt to libsplain Jordan Peterson to himself. Perhaps the magazine's editors, after all the guffaws produced by their piece last year explaining how “the solar eclipse is racist”, have had second thoughts about the SJW bandwagon and decided they didn’t want the Atlantic to be known as the go-to magazine for high-brow infants.

In any case, the Peterson/Newman interview is already a broadcasting classic. Seriously. If you haven't watched it, you've missed one of the best verbal sparring matches ever aired on television. Click here and sit back for some serious entertainment.

I agree with the Atlantic writer that both left and right are guilty of Newman's kind of verbal demagoguery. But who are we kidding? Our "left" is now constantly in this mode. Compare Newman here with the typical Tucker Carlson interview. Carlson doesn't put words in his guests' mouths: he draws them out with questions, often simple Yes/No questions, until they reveal the ugly implications of their positions. Very different from Newman and Co.

And of course Peterson is no sense a figure of the right! Unless your standard idea of the left is Maoism. Which, in terms of cultural issues, is exactly where our left liberals now sit. Cultural-Maoists-cum-pro-corporate globalists. Amazingly, our 21st century let manages to combine the worst of both worlds. Peterson, to the contrary, is a true liberal in the best 20th c. mode. We're lucky to have him.

#SmashThisFakeLeft #JordanPeterson #antiSJW #ConorFriedersdorf

Have some deadpan with your coffee. Check out Idiocy, Ltd. Dryest humor in the west.