Politics and Aesthetics

The Democrats are about to kick-off their fashion show for picking their next presidential candidate, so the experts are trying to set the tone for the season. The fashion show is a good analogy at this stage. Designers don’t always come up with new styles that work with the public, so they try different things, hoping for one or two that work. They hope to come up with something that catches the attention of a taste-maker, like a Hollywood starlet, then all of a sudden they have a hit with the public.

Steve Jobs figured this out the second time around with Apple. It was not about cutting edge technology or making a better product. That was a field with too many big money smart players. His game was going to be as trend setter and taste-maker. He tailored the company to be the symbol of the smart set, the people who fashion themselves a cut above the masses. These are the people who determine the latest styles. The lowly music player soon became a fashion and cultural statement.

Politics often works the same way. In 1992, Bill Clinton won the presidency largely on the cool factor. He was young, as far as Baby Boomers were concerned. He was also hip and cool. He played the sax on TV wearing sunglasses! Voting for Clinton became a fashion statement for the Left. Tony Blair played the same game in Britain with the “Cool Britannica” stuff. He was young and new and the future of Britain, despite being the man, who would usher in the end of Britain as an English country.

Politics and aesthetics are tightly wound together in any form of democracy, as selecting people for elected office is a popularity contest. The winner of the beauty pageant is not objectively better in some way than the others. She just has some way of appealing to the voters in the moment. The iPod was not some great innovation or invention. It just looked cool to the right people at the right time and became the standard for music players. Barak Obama was not a great statesman. He was just the right style at the time.

It’s not just left-wing politics in America that relies on an aesthetic to carry it forward with its supporters. In 1976 Ronald Reagan lost to the dour Gerald Ford in the Republican primary. The same Reagan won in 1980 and ushered in a great cultural revival called the Reagan Revolution. In 1976 men had sideburns and wore garish leisure suits. In 1986, men wore traditional men’s suits, bathed every day and kept themselves properly groomed. The political revolution had an aesthetic.

This has always been true in the era of liberal democracy. The two great movements of the early 20th century, fascism and Bolshevism, had distinct aesthetics. The quintessential communist a century ago was a shabby looking cosmopolitan, with round spectacles and a few too many phobias. In contrast, the quintessential fascist was the beer drinking bourgeoisie hooligan, who disdained books in favor of the Faustian existence. Both sides were fighting over an aesthetic, as much as for power.

This is an important thing to understand about politics in any age, but especially in this highly democratic age. It’s about flattery, as much as anything. The people flocking to your banner do so because it validates an opinion of themselves. This piece in the Atlantic, celebrating Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg is a good example. The intended audience for that article are the sort of people, who want to belief their politics are controlled by facts and reason, rather than superstition and emotion.

The fact that both Warren and Buttigieg are pseudo-intellectual posers is not only not a liability, but it is an asset. The people they seek to attract are themselves supercilious dilettantes and poseurs. They get their opinions from the MSNBC and NPR, while claiming to be avid readers of the New York Times. These are the people who decorate their apartments with books they never read. Around a real intellectual, they are made to feel inferior, but around Warren or Buttigieg they are validated.

The argument that the democrats are heavily reliant on the super educated is what’s called flattering the reader. Democrats rely on blacks, foreigners and white people too dumb to realize they are being destroyed. That is the base of the party now. Warren and Buttigieg know they have no shot at those voters, so they hope to win the beautiful people in the party. They may not connect with the rank and file, but they can appeal to the trend setters, who have the tools to convert that into popular appeal.

Another way to see the entanglement of politics and aesthetics is look at the street battles between the alt-right and Antifa. One side kitted themselves out as preppy suburban fascists. The other side was a comical mélange of Italian Black Shirts and skateboard park anarchists. Neither side had a coherent, positive identity, so they cherry-picked styles and symbols from past movements. They could just as easily have faced off with one side in leisure suits and the other side wearing spats.

In fact, what characterizes this period is the lack of a political aesthetic that is authentic and original. This is an interregnum, where the old order is slowly giving way, but a new order has yet to form. More precisely, the battles lines between the contestants for a new order have yet to form. Instead, it is one side protecting the status quo and one side dissatisfied with it. The former has no reason to defend the old order, other than habit, while the latter has no conception of what should come next.

If there is to be a coherent political and social movement rise out of the dissident right, it will have to be more than narrow political arguments and meta-political commentary on social media. It will need a look that signals to the curious that it is a movement with a future for itself and its adherents. Just as men in traditional suits signaled a break from the 1970’s and the radical chic of the New Left, the new aesthetic will have to signal a break from the old political paradigm and the old Progressive morality.

If you like living off the sweat of others, then ignore the following. On the other hand, if you care about your community and want to support those working hard on your behalf, consider supporting my work by donating the price of a beer or a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. Unlike those mega-corporations, I will not use your money to destroy your family and community. Or, you can send money to me at: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Or, PayPal.

Understanding The Left

One of the strange contradictions of modern life is how the Right, generally defined as not-Left, is sure they understand the Left, while they are convinced the Left has no understanding of the Right. A standard job in Conservative Inc. is the position of explaining every event in terms of the Left’s motivation for or against it. Cable chat shows have a roster full of these guys they use to pad out their segments. Often, this is someone employed at some minor league operation in Conservative Inc.

The argument from the Right is that the Left controls everything, so it is impossible for normal people to escape left-wing proselytizing. At your work, it is angry single women and bitter minorities lecturing you on diversity. At school, it is the same, supplemented by emotionally unstable coeds. In pop culture, it is the usual suspects peddling the latest Progressive fads. There is no escaping the tidal wave of cultural and political sewage that gushes from the Left, so everyone understands it.

On the other hand, so the argument goes, the Left lives in their isolated bunkers, free of contrary opinion. This is why they are hell-bent on stifling opinion on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. They wish to be free of dissent and have the ability to isolate themselves from it, so they live in ignorance of opinion and culture outside their bubbles. There is a lot of truth to this, given how they describe people like Gavin McInnes and Stephen Crowder as no different from very bad people like Mike Enoch and Richard Spencer.

The truth is though, the not-Left really does not understand Left at all. People outside the Left continue to believe, for example, that the Left has good and logical reasons for the things they do, like woke capitalism. In that post, Sailer goes through the possible reason for the sudden rise in wokeness, using statistical data to illustrate the emergence in the late Obama years. He does not settle on an explanation, but the underlying assumption is there is a good, or at least logical, reason for it.

Now, by good reason, it is not to imply morally good in an absolute, transcendent sense of the idea. The Unabomber had good reasons for sending bombs through the mail, at least as far as he was concerned. From his perspective, there was no good reason for not mailing bombs. As nutty as that was, it is comprehensible. The same can be said for logical reasons. They may not be, strictly speaking, logical, but they are at least understandable. The desire for power, sex, money and so forth.

This way to trying to understand the Left, however, has one flaw. The Left is not reasonable or even thinking through this stuff. There was no meeting at the NY Times back in the late Obama years where it was decided that they would run Emmett Till stories every time black crime became a national story. There was no meeting among the heads of Big Media to agree upon a strategy of pushing the Russian collusion hoax after the election. The Left is not motivated by good or logical reasons.

Instead, it is better to think of them as a school of fish. When you watch a school of fish or a flock of birds, that is another useful analogy, it appears as if they are coordinated in their actions. It’s as if one of the fish is the brain, operating in secret communication with the rest of the school, to have them dart left or right through the water. It’s almost as if they were designed to be of one mind. We know, however, that there is no conspiracy of fishes secretly controlling the school using secret communications.

Instead, it is one fish responding to the fish around him. When the fish on the outside of the school twitches, those around him twitch. The cascade of movement happens so fast it is imperceptible to the observer on the dock. The same is true of birds. That murmuration of a flock of starlings looks like a highly coordinated ballet, but in reality it is the result of a million reactions within the flock. That’s how the Left operates like a highly coordinated religious cult. They are tuned to react to one another.

This is why facts and reason are useless weapons against the Left. People in the 2A community have all had the experience of carefully explaining the facts and arguments of gun control to their lefty friend or relative. They nod along, seeming to understand what has been explained. The next time you see them, it is the same old shibboleths, as if they have no memory of the last conversation. The reason for this is the very definition of who they are is their membership in a civic religion.

A part of every religion is ritual. Even the crudest, most simple of religions have some rituals that reinforce the belief system. Those ceremonies and rituals are physical manifestations of the shared belief. Step inside a synagogue and it is nothing but ritual and ceremony. The same is true of the Catholic Church. Old religions have had a long time to develop and fine tune their rituals and ceremonies. Without those rituals, the religion ceases to exist, just as the death of the body kills the consciousness.

That is the power of Progressivism. It is a self-contained, self-validating shared reality for the adherents. It’s why so few people break from it. More important, its immune system has evolved highly complex defenses against the way in which the Right prefers to debate. Those appeals to facts and reason are quickly turned into fuel to energize the believers into huddling closer in common defense. It’s how the Left maintains its power. It has turned the enemy’s best weapons into fuel.

It is why engaging with the Left is a tactical error. As much as dissidents like to accuse the Buckley conservatives of being controlled opposition, they never really got the value of the Buckley types to the Left. They were not their designated punching bags. They were the ritualized manifestation of the devil, the universal threat against which the Left is organized. It is a reminder of why they believe, why they must stick together and why they must fight by any means necessary.

An authentic alternative to the Left will therefore not confront the Left, but hide from it, refusing to engage in the traditional way. More important, it can never manifest in the traditional ways. Those white boys in fashy haircuts at Charlottesville were the best controlled opposition the Left has had since David Duke. They were what the Progressive prophesies foretold, thus confirming the shared beliefs of the coalition of the ascendant. It’s why Charlottesville looms so large for the Left.

The authentic alternative to the prevailing orthodoxy will have to evolve in the shadows and evolve its own immunity from the weapons of the Left. Instead of being attracted to confronting the Left, it will have to be repelled by it. The decisive weapon will be never manifesting in a way that allows the Left to anathematize it. Instead of playing the role carved out for them by the Left, the successful dissidents will seem formless and inexplicable. The people in charge will never see them coming.

If you like living off the sweat of others, then ignore the following. On the other hand, if you care about your community and want to support those working hard on your behalf, consider supporting my work by donating the price of a beer or a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. Unlike those mega-corporations, I will not use your money to destroy your family and community. Or, you can send money to me at: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432.

Negrophilia

In Paris, during the interwar years, the avant-garde and artists developed a passion for what they saw as black culture. Part of it was due to the trade in exotic items from French colonies in Africa and part of it was due to exposure to black troops from America and Africa during the war. The word negrophilia is derived from the French négrophilie that means love of the negro. The modern and fashionable of the day would collect African art, listen to Jazz and hang out at clubs where the Charleston was popular.

A century later, a similar sort of frenzy has gripped people who fashion themselves as sophisticated and fashionable. Instead of Jazz, they listen to hip-hop and worship black sports figures. Instead of collecting African art, they collect African orphans. More important, instead of admiring the cultural products of blacks, they have developed an unconscious worship of blacks. They have elevated them to minor gods, who must be protected at all cost. The protection of these gods is a sign of righteousness.

This new form of negrophilia is entirely a conservative thing. That’s conservative as in right-wing Progressive, not historic conservatives. These are the people who see Candace Owens as something of a shaman. So much so allegedly sober minded people are willing to embrace nutty academic fads in order to prove their love for her. It’s not her specifically, but black exceptionalism in general. Any black who embraces the habits of white bourgeois society becomes something sacred to be defended at all costs.

You see that with the so-called principled conservative crowd, who are suddenly up in arms about the media harassing someone for their political opinions. Those principled conservatives took to their quill pens to denounce the Daily Beast for posting personal information about a black Facebook user, who mocked Nancy Pelosi. He either created or doctored a video of Pelosi, which showed her slurring her words. The Left was very upset by it, as it mocked their octogenarian leader.

Up until this point, the principled conservatives were silent on the campaign of harassment by the Daily Beast against other people holding taboo opinions. The reason is those victims were white and their opinions are pro-white. Conservatives were not just silent about the social media purges of pro-white users, they celebrated it. They wrote snickering posts about how private companies had the absolute right to censor speech and the victims were free to create their own platforms.

The obsequious David French tries to find some principles that makes it OK for the media to harass white people, but not black people. All he is able to do is insert himself into the story as an alleged victim of mean people on-line. His effort to defend the sacred black man is just autoethnicgraphic groveling. For those unaware, when the term “cuckservative:” was popularized, French was one of the first guys to see it turn up in his twitter feed. He has never recovered from it.

One thing to note is that none of these principled conservatives can be bothered to defend a principle here. Theirs is an emotional response. They see a sacred black in distress and they naturally rush to his aid. It’s what drove them to slobber over Diamond and Silk, the black YouTube performers. It’s what made Sheriff Clark a star. Sure, it is a way for them to shout “DR3” as they hiss at the Left, but the driver is not just the desire to zing the Left. These people worship an idealized black.

This fever has gripped them to the point where they are unable to defend their own ideas, what few of them exist, without finding a back to confirm them. Conservative Inc. has been vexed by the rise of white identity politics, but could never muster much of an argument against it. The reason is it would require attacking left-wing identity politics and they can’t risk that, so they now have a black to do the job for them. Blacks are always used as a cat’s paw by principled conservatives.

Of course, the cause of this is a phenomenon that started on the Left in the 1980’s, when liberals moved past the street theater of radicalism. Instead of going to the ghetto to link arms with people like Jess Jackson, the new radicals wanted to invite blacks into their world. Not just any blacks, of course. They preferred the talented ten percent, who would be happy to confirm the sensibilities of bourgeois radicalism, by aping the opinions and mannerisms of the bourgeois bohemians. Barak Obama says hello.

Forgotten to the mists of time were Obama prototypes like former Baltimore mayor Kurt Schmoke. Back in the 1980’s, he was the first of a new breed of black politician. He was Ivy League educated and more comfortable in the boardroom than the ghetto. As the saying went at the time, he was black, but not, you know, black. His role was not to be the voice of black America in the ruling class, but instead to be the symbol of ruling class virtue. White politicians loved having their picture taken with him.

Because today’s principled conservatism is just yesterday’s Progressive fads, the modern conservative now embraces the negrophilia of the 1980’s. Just as the liberals of yesterday were interested only in an idealized black, today’s conservatives only care about blacks who play a similar role. They ignore the blacks who the Left employs to attack white culture, as they fear being called a racist. Instead they worship people like Candace Owens and Diamond and Silk, who are willing to confirm their virtue.

That’s not to say that Sheriff Clarke or Candace Owens are dishonest in their presentations or running a con on white people. They seem sincere in their beliefs. According to all accounts, they are genuinely nice people. The thing is, what they say is not remarkable. The reason they are stars is they are black people saying the same things Sean Hannity says every night. These principled conservatives love these people because they assure them they are not going to be called a racist.

The one big difference between the Left’s negrophilia and that of these principled conservatives is self-awareness. For the Left, these good blacks were just useful pawns in the culture war. They were a means to an end. For principled conservatives, these sorts of fads are an end in themselves. That’s because principled conservatism is a defensive crouch, not a set of ideas aimed at a goal. Despite all of their howling about their principles, principled conservatism is just a pose.

To support my work, please contribute here.

The Post-Citizen World

Steve Sailer likes to promote an idea he calls citizenism, which is the general idea that a government should place the interests of its current citizens ahead of the interests of non-citizens or potential future citizens. It is pretty much what we call civic nationalism now, but a dozen years ago that meme did not exist, even though the concept has been with us since the founding of the country. The Founders certainly thought the point of government was to serve the interests of the current citizenry and their posterity.

Civic Nationalism is largely a reactionary idea today. Like various forms of socialism, it lacks a root system in the soil of the current culture. In a world in which people of European heritage are a tiny minority and increasingly minorities in their own lands, bourgeois notions of fair play and orderly debate are anachronism. We see that whenever a populist candidate or party wins power. The rules go out the window and the ruling elite goes to war with the rebels, using any means necessary to stop them.

An orderly debate about what is best for the citizens of a country is impossible because the people in the ruling elite of the West define themselves in opposition to the notion of citizenship. That’s what it means to be a post-nationalist Progressive. The whole point of it is to oppose those antiquated notions of citizenship. Those are exclusive and the new global person is open. Worse yet, citizenship is hierarchical, placing the interests of some over the interests of others. That’s probably racist.

You can get a sense of this in the response to Tulsi Gabbard’s decision to run for the Democrat nomination in 2020. Civic nationalists are programmed to think she is bad, because she makes unapproved noises about economics. They will no doubt says she is a socialist. That’s the result of being trapped in a forgotten era. None of that will matter to the people in charge, particularly those involved in Democrat politics. They see her as a threat to their conception of the new global citizen. Here’s an example.

“But Gabbard’s almost singular focus on the damage these wars inflict domestically, and her comparative lack of focus on the carnage they wreak in the countries under attack, is troubling. It is nationalism in antiwar garb, reinforcing instead of undercutting the toxic rhetoric that treats foreigners as less deserving of dignity than Americans.”

You’ll note two things that turn up in the Progressive criticism of Gabbard. One is her roots are inauthentic, as far as they are concerned. She does not have the appropriate struggle narrative. An essential element of the left-wing mindset is the assertion that only the oppressed have authenticity. Therefore, to assume a leadership position in the forever revolution of the oppressed, the leaders must have overcome oppression. Gabbard has lived the standard American middle-class life, so she can never be trusted.

The salient issue lies in that highlighted section. Gabbard’s opposition to fighting wars in the Middle East is pretty much the civic nationalist view. Those wars are not good for America or Americans. They may have some benefit to the ruling elite of the empire, but they have no benefit to Americans. Further, the people being sent to fight these wars are suffering for a cause that has no benefit to them. In other words, to sacrifice for your people is noble and heroic. To suffer for strangers is pointless.

To the ideological core of the ruling elite, this is an abnegation of who they are, which is why you will hear lots of “this is not who we are” in response to her over the coming months. Just as the Left refused to defend Sanders against attacks from the Buckley conservatives in 2016, the Left will stand silent as the warmongers of neoconservatism hint that Gabbard is an alt-right anti-semite. Her assumption that citizenship is a real thing implies that nations are real things and that’s unacceptable in a post-nationalist world.

This is why civic nationalism is a dead end movement. It’s trying to reanimate an Enlightenment concept that was killed off by the post-war cultural revolution of the last fifty years. Reviving the old notions of civic identity is about as promising as reviving the monarchy in Germany. Thinking about it is a nice escape for those struggling to face the reality of identity politics, but that’s all it is, a fantasy. The world created by the Left is a post-nationalist world and therefore a post-citizen world.

In fairness to the cosmopolitanism globalists, they are not wrong about citizenship having no place in the future West. It can continue on in the Visegrad countries that have escaped the migrant invasion, but even there it is more of a tribal response, an identity politics of an ethno-state, than civic nationalism. Otherwise, citizenship makes no sense in multicultural, multi-racial societies. Tribalism is not just part of the human condition, it is part of our biological reality, and therefore the future is some form of tribal politics.

Another glimpse of this will come from the alt-right, who will be enthusiastic supporters of Gabbard this year. They see her anti-war rhetoric as a sanitized version of their own opposition to Israel. In other words, there remains a great shallowness to the alt-right in these matters, but that shallowness is a glimpse of future politics. That is, who you are will be as much about who you oppose as who you support. Anyone familiar with the politics of Lebanon has a sense of what comes next for the multicultural democratic empire.

The Homo War

Looks like everyone over at the NY Times is ready to celebrate the first openly homosexual football player. The Left has been using homosexuals as a proxy in their war in white men for a couple of decades now. Football, which is popular with white men, is hated by the Left. That’s why they are peddling the concussion stuff. Now that can make it gay. The NFL will no doubt have Pride Day and maybe make the players wear rainbow outfits.

The weird thing about the homosexual stuff is it borders on self-mockery. Much of what constitutes the gay lifestyle and the gay aesthetic is self-denigrating. Homosexuals are full of self-loathing due to their affliction, so their public expression is often a mockery of the gay lifestyle. Liberace is a good example. Elton John is another. There’s nothing about the gay stuff that is ennobling or respectable. At bets it is campy and silly. At worse it is degenerate.

There was never a time when homosexuals were discriminated against on the scale of blacks, Jews, Irish, Italians and Catholics. There are some make believe times, like the Stonewall Riots, but they are mostly imaginary. Stonewall was not a riot in any sense of the word. It was a protest, for sure, that put attention on the cop’s habit of raiding Mafia owned gay clubs. The fact that the Mafia was exploiting homosexual males and the cops were primarily targeting the mob gets lost in the phony narrative.

The point being, harassment of homosexuals has never been much of an issue in America. A black guy in 1990 probably faced more hostility than the typical gay guy in the worst of times. We’re talking about rude jokes, not anything that would alter one’s life. The gay lifestyle killed more gay men in a weekend than straights have in a century. Most people get this, so casting gays as sympathetic victims is a loser’s gambit.

As with all cults and subcultures, defining who is in and who is out of the group is the primary focus of the group. For the Left, being a member of the anointed mean embracing the homosexual stuff. It’s not about the homosexuals themselves. The Left does not care about them any more than they care about blacks. Homosexuals are just another charm of the progressive charm bracelet, to be shown off at the next cocktail party. The gay man is just another totem.

 

The Future Is A Feminist Nightmare

This statue is scaring the coeds at Wellesley College.

According to the WaPo:

The mostly-naked man appeared on the Wellesley College campus Monday, clad only in white underwear briefs, barefoot, standing with his eyes closed and his arms outstretched.

He looked like a problem for the campus police.

He turned out to be art.

The figure — which was set beside a road on the all-female college campus near Boston — is actually a very lifelike sculpture from artist Tony Matelli. The sculpture, called “Sleepwalker,” was intended to draw attention to a new exhibit by Matelli at the campus museum.

“There’s no way you can miss this thing,” said Lauren Walsh, 22, a senior from Danvers, Mass. She said the sculpture was placed in a busy area near both academic and residential quads. “I looked at it for a few minutes, and it didn’t move,” she said. Which meant it was art.

Some students dressed the statue up in winter clothing, apparently worried that the man would catch cold (the students returned to take their clothes back in the morning).

It is a good bet that most of the girls were amused by it. Maybe they took a selfie with it, but otherwise it was just another day on campus. It’s actually rather lame. If the “artist’ wanted to be edgy or controversial, he should have create a statue of a modern Priapus with a giant ornamental member. Maybe add some devil horns and a long tail with a spike at the end. That would have caused more of an uproar from the usual suspects than the frozen accountant. Imagine this on the girl’s campus.

Anyway, the girls did not like a naked man on campus.

Walsh worked on a petition to get rid of it. She thought that the appearance of an almost-nude male stranger — especially at night — would bring added stress for students, especially those who had suffered sexual assault in the past.

“The statue of the nearly naked man on the Wellesley College campus is an entirely inappropriate and potentially harmful addition to our community that we, as members of the student body, would like removed immediately,” Walsh wrote, in a petition posted at the Web site Change.org under the name of another student, Zoe Magid. There are now 300 signatures in favor of getting rid of it.

The thing about feminism is it is largely a lie. Sure, a small number of angry lesbians stick with it after college, but the whole thing is just an act. Most of the women indulging in this stuff are smart enough to land a decent husband and have a family. They end up living more like June Cleaver than the feminist ideal. The ones who do live the life after college end up miserable and crazy. The dumb ones tend to fall into that trap.

Leno Versus The Lunatics

I admit to being a fan of Jay Leno. By fan I mean I have been recording his program for years and watching when I feel like watching some television. I don’t watch much TV, other than sports. While eating dinner, I like to watch something for an hour that will not piss me off or make me crazy. Leno is the perfect choice. His brand of humor is broad based and well within the bounds of common decency and middle-class respectability.

Leno’s jokes are PG-13, his political humor sticks to the obvious from the headlines and it is not particularly ideological. He makes fun of whoever is in the news, regardless of party or status. His bits after his monologue are similarly tame, mostly letting regular people do silly things for the camera. The first 30 minutes make for a good dinner time show. I rarely watch his guests as I don’t follow pop culture.

All that said, I therefore took note of the fact he was being forced out by his employers in favor of a person named Jimmy Fallon. A quick search tells me Leno was dominating his counterparts, including the man-boy favorite, Jimmy Kimmel. The old Marxist David Letterman stagers on in third place. As Leno’s forced exit grew closer, his rating soared to the point where he was becoming a cultural phenomenon.

His final show scored huge numbers. According to the people who care about these things, his final show was one of the most watched in decades. As an empirically minded person, 14 million viewers in a nation of 300 million looks tiny to me, but people who make millions to know about this stuff say otherwise. It is just a reminder that culture is not rational in the linear sense of the term.

If a major company decided to retire its top selling and most profitable product, for a new product that is obviously inferior, it could be excusable. Even the best and brightest get wild ideas in their head about what lies around the corner. Front running, or attempts at it, is what gets investors in the most trouble. Sticking with the tried and true is boring, especially for young people, so change for the sake of change is common.

Television is a different thing, in that the nature is short term. The whole point is to get a hit, ride it until it dies and then jump out the window with a suitcase and the cigar box full of cash. NBC tried this a few years back and it was a costly and embarrassing disaster. To do it again when Leno is riding even higher than the last time raises the question. Why does NBC hate him?

What we’re see is the work of fanatics. I first bumped into this when I was a kid working in Washington. I worked for a Congressman doing nonsense work. Back in the old days, this was common. I’m sure it is a rigid process these days, but three decades ago it was not, so you got a fun mix of personalities. The law student in charge of the young staff was a nice girl, but a hard thumping liberal feminist.

Inevitably she set her sights on me as someone who had to be run out of the office as a trouble maker. Her reason, which she told me when I confronted her, was that I was not “very liberal.” That’s all that mattered to her. So much so she did not note that I was the favorite of the congressman’s wife, driving her around town. The result was they found a new person to supervise the kids and volunteers.

It was my first experience with a fanatic. The second experience was talking with an Iranian exile. He was a student when the Shah fell, but he was not a fanatic or even religious, as far as I could tell. He thought the Islamists were nuts and was one of the first people I heard talk about the danger of Islamic fundamentalism. He told me a story about his time in the army during the Iraq war to illustrate his point.

His unit was near the front lines and they were preparing for an offensive. Between them and the Iraqi army was a minefield. Saddam’s army was trained and developed by Soviet advisers, so it relied about Soviet tactics. That mean they used a lot of mine fields. The Iranian commander asked for volunteers to clear a minefield. About two dozen Revolutionary Guards volunteered for the job.

After some prayer, they ran across the minefield, blowing up the mines with their feet. A second wave of volunteers followed showing that the mines had been cleared. That’s the definition of a fanatic. The object of their fanaticism changes, but everything else is the same. The true believer gives up his identity for that of the group, so sacrifice is the ultimate expression of faith. The act counts for more than the result.

The point of this diversion is that NBC is run by fanatics. A night watching MSNBC, for example, is a descent into madness. Within living memory, liberal members of the press would have mocked these people as the aluminum foil hat crowd. Today they run the news division of NBC. Inside the building is a daily competition between fanatics to see who is the most committed to the cause. Leno is not one of them.

In such an asylum, a non-believer like Leno would be suspect. In a weird way, his popularity is confirmation of his heresy.  Because normal people like him and he gets along with normal people, it is assumed he is an enemy of the cause, so they will do what must be done to run him off. That’s not to say his replacement is a fanatic. He’s just not the guy they see as the enemy. So, the change will be made.

The Cult of Diversity

If there was ever any doubt that the cult of diversity was, in fact, a cult, this should dispel those doubts.

A popular gifted program will get the axe after Ditmas Park school officials chose diversity over exclusivity.

Citing a lack of diversity, PS 139 Principal Mary McDonald informed parents in a letter that the Students of Academic Rigor and two other in-house programs would no longer accept applications for incoming kindergartners.

“Our Kindergarten classes will be heterogeneously grouped to reflect the diversity of our student body and the community we live in,” McDonald told parents in a letter posted on the photo-sharing site flickr and obtained by Ditmas Park Corner.

The benefit of diversity, however it is defined, has never been established, beyond some wild claims by people in the diversity rackets. History, on the other hand, shows humans have been against diversity since the dawn of time. In fact, diversity is most likely bad for human communities. The evidence thus far shows that the greater the diversity, the weaker the community, as fewer people volunteer and participate in the running of the community.

We are tribal animals and that means being around people like us. 100,000 years or so of evolution is not going to yield to wishful thinking from people who tend not to live the diverse lifestyle. That’s the thing with the cult of diversity. The preachers tend to live in homogeneous communities, which means white communities. You never hear black people in the ghetto talking about diversity. The only time blacks use the word is as code to mean lots of black people, which is how white people are now using it.

This particular school is in a gentrifying neighborhood, which means loads of middle-class white women pretending to be artists as they live like June Cleaver. That’s the other thing about the diversity cult. The women all pretend to be artsy feminists, but they live like a 1950’s house wife, including the husband with the good job. All of their progressive posturing is intended to conceal the very real fact they live a very homogeneous life. Multiculturalism is a burka they throw over their life.

Those White-Hispanics Again

This story is getting the usual suspects very upset for all the usual reasons, but the really interesting part is the guy is called Hispanic. Most people think of Hispanics as the little brown guys riding the leaf blower. The guy in the picture looks like he could be auditioning for a show about World War II. Then again, our elites like their Hispanics the same way they like their black guys. That is superficially diverse, but otherwise white.

Barak Obama is the quintessential black guy because he looks black, but is otherwise a typical white guy from upper class white culture. In the case of Hispanics, the archetype is a Caucasian with three names and a Spanish accent. Juan Pablo fits the bill and that’s most likely why he was selected. It is a terribly shallow and fundamentally inhuman way to view people, but American elites are not too concerned about the feelings of the people.

The weirdness of left-wing identity politics is that it strips people of their identity in order to affirm the identity of liberal elites. They declared this guy non-white, despite the fact he was super-white. Put another way, he has to deny himself in order to properly actualize his full identity within the framework of multiculturalism. The whole thing is insane, of course, but nothing about multiculturalism makes any sense when you examine it.

Another Celebration for the Left

The death of Nelson Mandela will no doubt result in a sanctimonious circus for the usual suspects on the Left. These people cannot control themselves, so even at funerals they put on a show, intended to display their virtue. That’s how it goes with these things. It is a shame because Mandela’s death could be one of those moments to think about the realities of Africa, but the people who deified him really don’t care about Africa or Africans.

Instead, it will be a week of one-upsmanship on the Left, as they compete with one another to be the most worshipful of a man who was mostly a failure. Chris Mathews is a great example. He lives in one of the whitest neighborhood in America, which happens to be outside of Washington. The Baltimore-Washington area is close to majority black, so a white-only town stands out. Yet, Mathews will lecture the rest of us about race.

Mathews is emblematic of the Left’s relationship to blacks. For the Left, blacks are merely a totem. They are something one worships in the abstract because it riles the enemies of the Left. At least they think it does. In the fevered imagination of the Left, The Man hates blacks and is always trying to keep them down. Naturally, The Man is always a cartoonish version of the the WASP elite, rather than a liberal Jewish guy.

Of course, the Mandela worship has always been about the Left celebrating itself and this funeral will be another example. They love Mandela because they backed him against the bad whites, who were on the wrong side of history. If Mandela had died of a stroke before apartheid ended, he would have been forgotten. It was never about him or his cause. It was always about the narrative in which the Left is always operating.

It is a shame because Mandela really was an extraordinary leader by the standards of Africa. His coevals on the continent competed with one another to be the most maniacally murderous and destructive. Idi Amin was a cannibal, for example. No African country emerged from colonialism and then prospered, except for two. Rhodesia thrived for a time under Ian Smith. The other is South Africa, at least until now.

The fact that South Africa did not follow the same path as every other African state is due to Mandela, in no small part. That’s not to say he was a saint or even a moral person. It’s just that he was not like the typical African leader, who runs his country in the same way local drug lords runs their gang. There was a chance to make the Mandela model the minimally acceptable in Africa, but that never happened and never will now.

None of that will get much of an airing this weekend. Instead it will be the Left congratulating itself for opposing Apartheid and embracing Mandela. It will also be an excuse to revive their passion for Obama. You can be sure our African prince will be there talking about himself, not so subtly reminding the Left why they worshiped him up until last week. The only thing missing will be a wicker man full of white people to burn.

No one will dare mention the deteriorating conditions in South Africa as the black majority slip back into their natural state and set about murdering the white minority. Whatever legacy Mandela could have had will be forgotten after the Left is done with his memory this weekend. In a decade, when the white minority is fleeing South Africa, no one will look back and wonder if it was a good idea to oppose Apartheid. No one will care.