Back To A Forgotten Past

When you read old books, something you will notice is that intellectuals a century ago had a better sense of history. They did not “remember” things that happened before their time, of course, but they knew a lot about the past. Therefore, their sense of history was broader than what you see today. For most people in this age, history started somewhere around when they began to notice things. This makes for a strange sense of history, particularly for young people, as they have not been around long.

This is something that Oswald Spengler addressed in The Decline of the West, with the ancient Greeks. An interesting point he makes is that because the Greeks did not create monuments for their dead, like elaborate tombs or cemeteries, they could not build a timeline from the lives of their heroes. The Egyptians, on the other hand, would always know they were an ancient people, because they lived and died in the shadows of great monuments built by their ancestors to venerate their ancestors.

The claim is debatable, but a people’s sense of time is not universal. If you are a people without a belief in an afterlife, it will shape how you live this life, compared to those who believe in judgement after death. The possibility of eternal damnation not only alters behavior, it is a daily reminder of the brevity of a man’s life. Similarly, if you know, or at least assume, you will die young, you’re going to live fast. That is the whole basis of the “live fast, die young and leave a beautiful corpse” ethos of the rock star.

In modern America, the past is a foreign country to most people, even for those with an interest in history. The reason is our present is not littered with reminders of those who came before us. America has always been a live fast, die young country, so we have never centered our culture on people and events of the past. In a few weeks we will have “Memorial Day” and few people can say what it is we memorialize. What it means to most Americans is the start of summer and the consumption of summer product.

There is something to say for the live fast, die young ethos, but it makes it easy to repeat the same mistakes over and over. We see this with the mass media, which is in low regard at the moment. The inability to remember before yesterday has people thinking this is a new thing, rather than the normal state of affairs. Matt Taibbi thinks the media wrecked itself in the 1990’s, with the Lewinsky scandal. Their covering up for the Clintons was the start of the collapse of journalism and the reputation of the media.

While it was certainly a shabby performance, it was not all that different from what went on the 1980’s and it was not worse than what happened in the 1970’s. If you want to put down a marker as the starting point of modern advocacy journalism, the Watergate scandal is where it all started. That’s when narrative journalism bloomed and it made some reporters rich and famous. Since then, every upper middle-class kid entering journalism school, has dreamed of being Bob Woodward and taking down a Republican president.

The reality though, is the media has always been advocacy. There was never a time when news reporters were objective or conformed to a set of ethics. In fact, the idea of journalistic ethics is an entirely new thing. The reporters in the 1920’s would have laughed themselves silly if someone scolded them about their ethics. The newspaper man was a carouser who lived rough and played rough. Until after World War II, being in the media was a working class job with the morality of carny folk.

It is this inability to think clearly about the past that has people like Taibbi confused about what’s happening in the media. Because what’s happening is new to him, he assumes it must be new. This cultural amnesia is also why the media started thinking of itself as a priesthood back in the 1960’s. The well-scrubbed college graduates from good families showing up in newsrooms just assumed it had always been a profession for beautiful people. After all, they had never experienced anything otherwise.

The fact is, the only thing different about the media today is the scale and the uniformity of opinion. In prior ages, both sides of the political class had their media, so there was competition. As the political class collapses into a monolith, the mass media is following in the same path. The difference between Fox News and CNN is quite small, once you get past the theatrics. Sean Hannity having an aneurysm over the latest attack on Trump is the flip side of Don Lemon squealing about Trump’s last tweet.

Probably the one real difference in the modern media compared to the past, is that we are saturated with it today. In the old days, communist countries would put up loudspeakers in the middle of small towns to broadcast propaganda. Today we have the internet, mobile phones and cable television. The agit-prop is everywhere and in the case of the internet, it is actively spying on us. Our rulers are now installing listening devises in our homes in order to make sure we are consuming the correct media products.

If you are over the age of 50, you recall a time when consuming mass media was something you did on the train to work or when you got home. There were morning papers and evening papers. The evening television news was an hour. First you had the local news then the national news. If you wanted to consume a discussion of public affairs, you did so on Sunday morning. Within living memory it was easy for a man to be completely free of politics and mass media. Today it is close to impossible.

What we are seeing today, in terms of media status, is probably just a return to the historic norm. Media companies are slashing their payrolls, because there’s no money in advocacy, at least not enough to warrant lavish salaries. More and more news is being reported by low paid kids and crafty independents with a specialty. Opinion writing is becoming a hobby again. The future of mass media is the past, where the business is to sell a point of view and live like carny folk on the fringes of society.

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116 thoughts on “Back To A Forgotten Past

  1. This is probably why big tech companies are willing to operate established venues like YouTube without profitability to maintain market share. A return to the bad old Wild West days of muckraking might result in too many alternative narratives being easily consumable and would be a serious threat to the religious orthodoxy of the oligarchs.

    The question is how long can they keep playing whack-a-mole eliminating the badthink (and being increasingly obvious about it) without that effort in and of itself pushing the dwindling plurality of heritage Americans toward a preference cascade of defensive in-group consciousness?

  2. Here Zman, this is what you were looking for.

    “To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?”

    ― Marcus Tullius Cicero

  3. Cronkite facing the camera and lying about the results of the Tet Offensive was a benchmark for me, concerning the media. He was no different than Jane Fonda or John Kerry. BTW, I fondly remember when when national evening news broadcasts were a pleasant 15 minutes.

  4. I listened to the Hedges/Taibbi interview in the car.
    The sense of entitlement of these fuckers is astonishing. It’s “journalistic Judgement as to is a story is covered for the great unwashed or not.
    It’s like Katherine (sp C?) Graham proudly boasting that she gets to decide what’s news in the wapo all on the back of the blowjobs she gave to some rich old fart ,

  5. Sometimes you don’t have to go too far back to learn something about the past, and sometimes it’s relatively painless. And so it is with American “journalism” (what used to be called the “newspaper business” until it got an Ivy League education). Back in the day, when Hollywood was full of talented people making pictures about the grown-up world, some pretty interesting, cynical, and downright hilarious pictures were made about the press, and I can wholeheartedly recommend the following as a sort of easy-to-swallow, time capsule education in how the more things change, the more they stay the same:

    Ace in the Hole (1951), w/ Kirk Douglas, dir. Billy Wilder;

    Citizen Kane (1941);

    Sweet Smell Of Success (1957), w/ Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis;

    Network (1976), w/ Peter Finch, Faye Dunaway and William Holden.

    (And please, just forget about All the President’s Men. It’s where all the trouble started.)

  6. The US past died in the 1960’s with the Immigration reform act though the damage started with the private automobile and interstate highway

    We brought in tens of millions of people without any real connection to the US and between that and the ability of people to just move anywhere chasing the almighty dollar we become a nation of carpetbaggers

    The only upside of this, such as it is, will be the death of the media . A fake nation filled with economic opportunists has no common culture for the media elite to leach off

    That said its not that hard to avoid the news, just turn off the TV and radio and set you homepage to what you actually want to use the Internet of, instead of Google.

    • My homepage is My search engine is DuckDuckgo. If it all vanishes tomorrow morning, that’s fine; I’ve archived all the music, books, podcasts, language lessons and videos with which I need to see out my life learning, listening, reading, viewing. My goal is to be left alone – to be Winston Smith without the telescreen, Mrs Parsons and her children, and posters of the Floating Fortress.

      I know, in his 1939 novel ‘Coming Up for Air’. Orwell satirizes my sort; the old classicist who lives in antiquity, for whom nothing important has happened since Alaric sacked Rome. We also have Paul Simon’s ‘I am a Rock’, which satirizes – or perhaps pities – the same kind of emotional retreat into solid objects that yield no pain.

      I thank God that my job is done. My wife is gone, dead from cancer; my “kids” are out there in the world, making good dough in the public sector (following the Derb, I encouraged them to get government jobs, and for once they followed my advice), and now, with nothing left to do but feed my pets and pay my tax bills, I do as I please.

      Which is a long way of saying I agree with you 100%. Exposure to ‘information’ in the current sense is like exposure to radiation. Stay in your cellar and live.

      • We don’t need to agree on everything for me to know we are much alike and almost certainly on the same side.

        That alone makes many of your posts a pleasure to read.

  7. When I was still in the history business in college, one of the more interesting exercises was doing primary research in the newspapers owned by Valentine McClatchy (primarily the Sacramento Bee) and WR Hearst covering roughly 1900-1924. There was no pretense of objectivity on anything. And today is tame in comparison. Another fun read are any of the papers from the Jackson period. Duels happened with ample cause….

  8. “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”

  9. Wise man once said that journalism was not a profession but a tactic.

    I would put the date of the most recent wrecking at least a decade before Watergate (Vietnam) if not two (coverage of the civil rights marches in the South).

  10. I heard a podcast discussion between Andrew Joyce and K MacD on the Limerick boycott 1884-1904 which involved some fudging of the truth by the editor of the London Times back then. Where people seek to influence or manipulate events, they use what weapons they have and the pen, as they say……….

  11. Narrative journalism goes at least as far back as the turn of the 20th century and muck-raking journalists like Upton Sinclair. Sinclair was a blatant activist.

      • Yes. A lot of people praise the reforms such as the Meat Inspection Act that resulted from The Jungle, but it’s always been clear to me that Sinclair wasn’t motivated primarily by a concern for healthy food production. It was just one vector in his war on free markets.

    • Much further than that. One recalls the story of John Adams’ “hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.”

  12. I used to watch those old reruns of ‘you bet your life” with groucho marx as host. I was always struck with how much better educated and informed those contestants appeared compared to today. Especially the women.

  13. Z is right. As I’ve mentioned, in my salad days in 90s in DC, I hung out with a lot of reporters due to proximity and job ties. The older guys were great, with many either having not gone to college or to some basic state school. The under-50 reporters and especially the ones in their 20s and 30s were insufferable. Wealthy kids who typically went to some big name colleges.

    They were the worst limousine liberal DBs you’ll ever meet. Despite having done nothing of value in their lives, they felt entitled to have a say in national policy, to slant stories to push their narrative. It was incredible to watch. I’ve watched the decimation of the media industry with glee ever since.

    • I was fortunate in the mid 80s to study under a very old-school journalism professor. He was all about the 5Ws and H and would rail vehemently against any hint of editorializing in what was supposed to be a news story. He was fond of telling us to keep our opinions our of the story: “Nobody cares what you think!”

      He also had a real hatred of suggestive “may” type headlines. he’d say stuff like “Mayor may have conspired with corporate interests? May? Monkeys may fly out my butt. Write what definitely happened, not what might have happened. ‘John Smith accuses mayor of conspiring with corporate interests.'”

      He was generally opposed to anonymous sources as well. He believed that if a source wasn’t willing to go on the record, it was a dubious source.

      • The old school reporters saw it as a job, a craft really, while the younger reporters saw it as a cause.

  14. Z-man, wonderful essay. It should be noted (but doesn’t change your premise) that after Watergate (or around that time) the college departments of Journalism changed radically in their teachings, with the emphasis on narrative journalism. Gone was the old emphasis of who, what, why, when, and how. Now we sent out advocates for social change.

    • Tom Wolfe was one of the few members of the “New Journalism” school who was willing to apply its culture of critique techniques to the new elites. Milt Rosenberg of 720 Chicago radio interviewed Chi Tribune writer Ron Grossman who commented that journalists were actively hostile and disdainful of elites in his early years, reporters who played access journalism and toadied to power were scorned by their peers. He specifically mentioned Matt Lauer’s astronomical wealth as of this 2010’s interview as evidence that journalism had wholly converged with the elite. J-Schools are also to blame, with relatively few modern journos rising through the ranks as they did in the early 20th century.

  15. The destruction of our schools certainly has a lot to do with it. Actual history just ins’t taught any more at public schools. People bring up Islamic terrorism and I shrug and say something about how it’s been going on for 1400 years. They are shocked until I cite specific events through that long war.

    • One of my earliest professors in college was in the history department. He taught history with a passion I’ve rarely seen since in any field. He was brilliantly sarcastic and never missed an opportunity to denigrate every other discipline. He termed all other fields, “the great pseudosciences”. When he was forced to mention the names of famous people in those fields, he never missed a put down. Sigmund Freud, was Sigmund “Fraud” and so forth. 🙂

    • Hollywood could get several fantastic movies or series out of the wars between the Ottomans, Genoese, Hapsburgs, Venetians, and Knights of St. John. Game of Thrones is still going gangbusters.

      But there would be a lot of white people in those movies and not nearly enough women, and (((special people))) were often spies and traitors.

      And Barbarossa was not an enlightened modern Muslim… But Suelmian married a white woman from his Harem, so Hollywood could get their woke quota there…

      • But there would be a lot of white people in those movies and not nearly enough women, and (((special people))) were often spies and traitors.

        Which is why I am hopeful that our people will rediscover their history: they will turn to Whiteworld, where they can watch a story without having poz rammed down their throats.

        I’m holding out for when game engines are good enough for making lifelike scenes, allowing fans to make their own shows in near studio quality.

        Game of Thrones is still going gangbusters.

        Game of Thrones is broken, the two noses running the show did a Last Jedi on it and are now just trolling the fans. People are still watching, because if you’ve been there for almost ten years, you need closure, but a prequel is not going to make a red cent.

        Some guy on the internet explained that the regressives win either way: they take over Disney and successfully poz it up, that’s good. If Disney goes bust, you’ve gotten rid of a bastion of white entertainment, that’s good too. Same with Marvel and GoT.

        And sportsball, now we’re at it. I’m not big on sportsball myself, but it is a safe space for white males, at least on the rafters. In Europe, where you play other countries, it’s a chance to wave the flag and show unrestricted patriotism – the globalist hate that.

      • “Day of Siege” is available on Amazon Prime. A movie about the 1683 siege of Vienna. It was made on the cheap so don’t get excited.

  16. If you don’t know your personal history, learn it. Find places that were significant to ancestors you never knew (but maybe your favorite grandparent did) and visit them.

    It will change your life.

    • One of the most eye-opening experiences was my mother sitting me down and telling me the family history she’d done. Little did I know I was descended from a Revolutionary War vet, and people who’d come just after the Pilgrims. I’ve taken to looking on the Family Search app and found a lot more ancestors who got here in the 1600s. It made me care a whole lot more about the country and angry at the thought of participating in White Flight.

      • The one advantage you will find in your research is that for the pre-Revolution families all the work is largely complete. It was a small place back then and the records in New England were quite good.

    • 14 generations in America and can go to one of the oldest cities in North America and look at a monument in the center of town and see the person I was named after inscribed on it. The trick, sometimes is both knowing your history and but learning to live past it.

      • You have have deep history.

        When exploring a cemetery near Lake Almanor, California, found a tombstone inscription by a husband about his deceased wife,

        “Here lies Sadie. She did the best she could.”


  17. There were morning papers and evening papers. The evening television news was an hour.

    In the mid to late eighties, I lived on the Faroe Islands. Television was Monday, Wednesday and Friday, three hours each.

      • That must have been interesting to live there.

        It was brain-witheringly boring.

        The hamlet I lived in, had just shy of a thousand souls. The center of public life – outside work – was the fry cook/kiosk. Once a month, there’d be disco in the indoor ball court. Booze was not sold on the islands, you had to order it from Denmark and you only had a certain allowance per month. It rains all the time on the Faroe Islands, the summer is too chilly for t-shirts and the winter is too hot for snow. The national sport is driving from one end of the island to another and back again a couple of times, preferably drunk, but sober will do. The only interesting thing was whale hunts, but those were 1-2 times a year on my island, and Danes were not invited.

        But it was a GREAT work motivator. After three days ashore, you were howling to go to sea again.

        Frodi is from there

        I see. I’ve noticed he uses the West Scandinavian ð in his name, but I figured he was an Icelander, since most Faroese go to Denmark when they move south.

          • That’s not how it works. When were weren’t making the roads unsafe, we’d be trying to peep into the women’s shower room, or put a few dollars in the petrol pump and set a match to it.

            The Devil makes work for idle hands.

        • I lived in a rented house, and in the front yard there were two massive concrete blocks half buried and with eye bolts embedded. I never gave it much thought – there were a lot of abandoned, improvised building projects in the village – but I had found a set of wire ropes in the cellar, and one day I casually told the proprietor about them, thinking he might be missing them on his boat.

          It turned out they were guylines for the roof which had, as he pointed out to me, matching eye bolts attached. When a bad hurricane was coming in, the roof was tethered to the concrete blocks in the front yard.

  18. Memory — collective and cultural ….. I’ve long thought a people who no longer know or remember those who went before them are doomed. Among those younger Americans I encountered over many years, there was a near complete lack of historical knowledge or understanding. It’s almost as if ancient history began for them with Madonna and Brittany Spears’ on-stage kiss.

    I think in this cemeteries figure somehow important. A nation that doesn’t honor and remember its dead is dangerously susceptible to rot and ultimate subversion. A people who don’t perpetuate the rituals attending their care and the honoring of their accomplishments can only lose and despise itself.

    I travel frequently, and nose back into forgotten corners of America. Haunting cemeteries across this land, I’ve seen the small reminders of much greatness, and have reinforced in myself that the best America has produced is probably now lying under the turf.

    One stone that sticks in my mind says:

    Hezekiah Easton

    Born Nov 5th 1819
    Was killed June 27 1862
    In the Battle of Gaines Hill
    while Commanding Battery
    A, 1st Penna Artillery,
    His body fell into the hands
    of the enemy; his place of
    burial is not known.

    He was “mentioned in dispatches” — a good commander who was perhaps heroic in defending his guns. He was also older, and an acknowledged civic leader of his small town. But it is her about whom I think.

    His wife put up that stone. I can’t even imagine her loss.

    (It was actually Gaines Mill on the Potomac.). At that gravesite, the sense of sacrifice and suffering that marked that segment of our history is palpable. It’s just a stone and a story to us. To the widow, buried there too, it was real.

    I used to require my subordinate leaders to read certain books and come discuss with me. These young people were generally smart, motivated, capable … and ignorant.

    The ones I rncountered outside that small world didn’t even care.

  19. Today, many people are re-assessing their understanding of the past, beginning with their own families – it’s not coincidental that is making money hand over fist.
    The most resistant to this historical re-analysis are the single women with no kids/those whose kids are a bitter disappointment to her. These are the bitter old cat ladies, who fulminate over those who would destroy their legacy (ironic, as their legacy is – nihilism – goodbye to kids, husbands, traditions, culture, and faith).
    But for most of us, today’s willingness to take a fresh look at the recent past leads from our desire to leave a world that will allow our descendants to flourish.

    • The whole ancestry research thing is an appeal to vanity. You get to know how special you are, and they will tell you that you are related to Shakespeare or Martin Luther King, based on some little genetic link from about 30 generations ago.

      The companies are selling all the data to the Chinese, that’s how they make a profit at the end of the day. What the Chinese are doing with it, I have no idea.

      • I’ll disagree with that a little. For the vast majority (me included), it’s finding out that you’re descended from generations of serfs who worked the land, with the occasional craftsman thrown in. You find the families tended to be much larger (the manufacturing of farm “help”), and that life was much harder. That seems a decent historical lesson for people.

    • One of the unintended consequences of the fad of analyzing genetic material is the more frequent than one would think discovery that your Daddy is not your Daddy. Companies like 23 and Me apparently train some of their customer service folks to act as counselors to those who call the company in hysterical tears after the discovery Daddy ain’t Daddy. Dr. Laura has to calm people down with her take that whoever raised you is your Daddy, and not to get hung up over the sperm donor who shot and left, and the woman who had a role in this, too. People are determined to dig up the sperm donor and say imploringly “Daddy?” when that person is just as much a stranger as the next guy on the street. Life has always been this messy….human nature. Ha!…How would you like to discover that some psychotic druggie under a bridge in Seattle or for that matter Charlie Manson is Daddy! Better leave well enough alone.

      • I don’t trust any of theses companies with my DNA sample. Won’t do it. Once they give you a “report” they still have your sample. Seriously, as we move into tyranny, you want BigGov’t to get hold of your DNA! They have enough ways to stick it to you and control you without holding your DNA info over your head.
        Also, these reports from some of these companies are a scam. Just heard of a company who gave a very similar boilerplate origin report to all customers. Everyone from Sweden and so on.

          • Nope….am a girlie girl. Compsci below thread has the info that unfortunately we’re still surrounded. Plus just read that many of these companies sell their DNA samples to China.

        • Range, seems it doesn’t matter that you don’t trust these companies—neither do I—but if anyone in your immediate genome has contributed, you are likely to be able to be identified. I believe a recent example came from that retire CA cop who was a serial killer. I believe it was a cousin or so of his whom had their DNA analyzed, leading to the identification.

          • Damn, I forgot that. You’re right! You ever get the feeling you’re standing in the middle of a square, and you have ropes around your neck stretched to all 4 corners!

    • One of my new sources of leisure time schadenfreude is live-streamed YouTube videos of people opening up and reading their DNA test results in real time. Besides the classic “who’s my daddy?” surprises, I really enjoy watching woke blacks discovering, to their horror, that they are not as black as they thought. Priceless.

  20. Well, as they say…

    1. Politics is Show Biz for ugly people.

    2. Show Biz is politics for stupid people.

    3. Journalism is Show Biz Politics for ugly, stupid people.

    All three are just massive holding pens for needy people who have an unusually strong, pathological urge to Feel Important. It would all be rather harmless if the U.S. weren’t such a massively over-armed busybody obsessed with bothering the whole planet, and if numbers 1), 2) and 3) weren’t all completely controlled by the (((Special People With The Unending Hunger To Be More Important Than Everyone Else))).

  21. It can boggle the mind that we live in an era when anyone can learn anything about any event in history while sitting on the toilet and yet most people are completely illiterate when it comes to history and what they do know is mostly revisionist leftist propaganda. A few years ago I looked at a “history” book one of my kids had and the section on World War II was almost entirely eaten up by Japanese internment camps, as if that was the only thing (other than the Holocaust) that was going on in the 1940’s.

    • So true. And even then, how ignorant we are. I read Hillsdale’s six volume (and complete writings) biography of Churchill. And yet, I literally had no idea what Danzig was about nor about the absurdity of the “guarantee”. “The Forced War” is brilliant and so eye-opening. I really wish its source material had been translated into English and if it has, I would LOVE to get a copy. In other words, you MUST LOOK FOR THIS STUFF, even if you are very very informed and educated. Which is insane.

      • “The Forced War”?? That’s all? no author or other info? Do you not recommend the book?

  22. I figured that eventually the computer would have the same effect on the news business that it had on the music business. The money in music is now in live performance, and not as much is being made in recording. How many people even know what the number one hit single is now? Or even if their is one? I get my news without ever going to one solitary major news source of yesteryear, and I’m one of the old codgers you would expect to still be getting two newspapers and six magazines.

    I no longer give a damn about the ethics of my news sources because I have no illusions about them having any whatsoever. They are out for themselves, left, right, or any shade of grey.

    • Money in music was always in performance. The problem was getting out (known) to the audience prior to the Internet—and that was the hold the record companies had. Indeed, in the 80/90’s there was a lot of Congressional testimony from any number of stars (usually younger) that lamented wrt their lengthy album contracts they had to sign with the “predatory” record labels. In short, by the time they would complete their 8 album “deal”, their careers were effectively over or on the decline.

      The Asian market quickly figured this out and as early as the 90’s I remember pop stars (in that market) making their music downloadable for free. I got burned on this when I scolded some foreign students for improper computer use.

      If we go back even further, the Beatles got wise fast and they created their own record company late 60’s I believe—Apple.

      • It wasn’t that there wasn’t money in album sales, it was who was getting the money. Stars savvy enough to control their own careers and albums did well. Kate Bush became one of the wealthiest women in England strictly through her album sales — she did one brief tour early in her career and then, never ever again.

        • Yep, but not all stars were savvy or even stars before they were offered a record contract by the recording companies. When you are a nobody and hungry for your first break, it’s hard to say no. You sign without much thought and only later realize you’ve signed away a big portion of your income for your productive life.

          If you are mega stars like the Stones, you can cut a deal when you are in your 60’s with the record companies and make out like a bandit. 😉

  23. Because I am over 40 years old I like to think I got a reasonably good primary and middle school education in history, back before it got muddied by the Hyphenated-American History Month craze. I distinctly remember writing an essay on Yellow Journalism and the growth of Hearst and Pulitzer (who greenwashed his legacy with the award) publications, along with their involvement/driving force of the US into the Spanish-American War. Mind you this was in 6th or 7th Grade.

    Now there is almost no sense of perspective and proportion in history, because everyone needs a seat at the multiculti table. This has the effect of driving out the secondary stories of our time that need telling and when lost to the zeitgeist will never be retold. One cannot simply teach their individual children this info, because it requires a common cultural understanding of the importance of these events and personalities. That’s where the power of the Progs really lies – their ownership of the mechanisms of cultural transmission is now absolute, and with it the common heritage and narrative of this country.

    Its really a godamn shame. Thank you for these more metaphysical posts recently. I am enjoying them very much.

  24. “In modern America, the past is a foreign country to most people“

    It literally is. Some 14% of the country is foreign-born; probably the same number again are first-generation immigrants. The stories of the civil war, the pioneers, the founding fathers, are somebody else’s history.

    • In my freshman year, a Spanish friend and I took the required American History class. He fell in love with the Communist Manifesto and never cared for history that wasn’t his ancestors’.

  25. I disagree very much with the latter part of the statement:

    “America has always been a live fast, die young country, so we have never centered our culture on people and events of the past.”

    Prior to the 20th century, our culture and people had a very fresh view of ancient history, it’s why so many places are named Rhodes, etc. I am reading a huge biography of Andrew Jackson written in 1859 and just reading our leaders’ correspondence they based much of their philosophy and thinking on ancient Rome and Greece.

    Zman is correct that the media has never changed, they were always advocacy organs, but in the old days what was refreshing was that they did not hide it. You could pick up the “Globe” and know that it was a Jackson paper. In other words, full disclosure of their views and slants.

    When media became entirely corrupted was around the point and time that Henry Ford relates when the merchants either bought up all the papers and/or boycotted the rest into the ground. This is when the real nefarious activity started in this country, because the real agenda behind so much of the press was hidden from the people. The old fake dialectic moved their real agenda, the case of Leo Frank is a prime example. A child rapist and murderer, who tried to blame and frame several innocent black men, was championed in so much of the “press”. That is when you see the real control and agenda come through.

    Unz had a brilliant piece on rediscovering true history of WWI and WWII, whereby nationally renowned historians were suddenly “disappeared”. You must seek out and read their works to really get a handle on the TRUE history of what transpired in the first 50 years in our country in the 20th century. Reading authors that publish from 1950 and before and truly seeking out the ones that got old-timey shadow-banned is crucial to a full knowledge of that period.

  26. Journalists and actors have always been the scum of society and we forget that at our peril.

    I have acquired and out of print book habit which means I read a lot of old books and yes, their knowledge of history and languages and philosophy is astounding but what really gets me is these crazy predictions they make for the future that are never as bad as the reality is today. Not even close

    • The nice thing about older authors and out of print books is that you get something expected and vetted. Life is too short to read drivel. You also get a feel for the language and culture of the day.

      Dear daughter is fascinated with the old west. I am trying to tell her that it was more of an idea than a thing. But she is reading Zane Grey, Larry McMurtry and Louis L’Amour. She’s doing OK.

      • Oh then I have recommendations! Tell her to read ‘Empire of the summer Moon’ which is still in print and the author is alive but it’s good anyway. And ‘the boy captives’ by Clinton Smith and ‘nine years among the Indians.’ By Herman Lehmann. Both of those are out of print but they’re first hand accounts of boys that were captured and lived with the plains Indians and they are absolutely fascinating

        • “Empire of the Summer Moon” Seconded! Yes! Definitely! Fascinating book!

        • Interesting. I also recommend older (and mostly free) books. One recently read along your line, “Scalp Dance”. This book is a compiling of scout reports from the army of the plains after the civil war when we were trying to subdue the plains Indians. Fascinating.

          Get a hundred+ year old book without all the modern PC dribble and you get a realistic assessment of the history involved. Pictures too. The Indians were savage and completely merciless—and so were the soldiers sent to round them up. So savage in fact that the reports are filled with assessments/descriptions of patrols, having been surrounded and short of ammunition, used their last bullets to commit suicide.

          After a while, tactics changed and a winter war was initiated by the army. Indian villages were attacked, natives driven off, and their winter food stores burned. Hell, even the officers writing these reports were greatly moved as they knew the Indians would starve or freeze to death in the harsh conditions of the plains. Brutal.

          • You know I have kind of had the opposite impression a couple times. I read several books on the Incas and the Australian aboriginals written late nineteenth and early twentieth century by the leading experts in the field and they were unbelievably PC. Extremely liberal takes on everything . You could see the origins of the mess we’re in now in their writings.

        • Recommendation for a book about the Southwest prior to the Navajo, Hopi, Apache, Piute, and the horses they rode into town on, for a now-forbidden glimpse into the world of the Anasazi.

          Check out House of Rain by Craig Childs. Childs wades into the forbidden archaeological fever swamp of early 2005 political correctness by tracing the violent destruction and movement of people in the southwest due to the great 12th century drought. When the climate changed to drought, some very sophisticated societies destabilized, with the added disturbing influences of Meso America including human sacrifice moving north, creating wide-spread over-crowding into other people’s territory and then unbelievably brutal violence over the south-west as people fled from Utah-Colorado back through Arizona and New Mexico, with some retracing north to the Arizona mesa country (Hopi), some fleeing along the Rio Grande (Pueblo people), and apparently denied by modern archaeologists many fled into Northern Mexico.

          The bedrock archaeological belief that the Anasazi just disappeared is slowly being challenged as pottery from Utah and Arizona is found en masse in Northern Mexico, along with violently destroyed large cities in the14th century.
          An early example of when there comes here, here becomes there….and total upheaval.

    • There was a blessed time when actors, when invited to a big house, had to use the tradesmen’s entrance and dine with the servants.

  27. The widespread availability of journalism and the expectation that the populace needs to be engaged is modernist pozz.

    In a well functioning traditional civilization there is no need for the endless politicization of the populace. What percentage of people are wired by nature be their own political and moral philosophers? Journalism is just the way a corrupt degenerate false oligarchy plays and manipulates the democracy game.

    Go back and look at what news people were getting themselves all worked up about 6 weeks ago, 6 months ago, 6 years ago…most of it has turned out to be meaningless. Yet people , countless millions of them, wasted time and wasted effort in getting ‘informed’. Continually obsessing over the latest tree problem and never ever seeing the forest.

    What are we losing, what have we lost culturally?

    • Our minds. We’ve lost our minds.

      One of the Booby’s email accounts defaults to a “news” (I think it’s MSNBC or something just as stupid) site after logging out.

      The lead story – LEAD STORY – is typically some late night talk show host’s skewering of Trump’s latest Tweet. This is what passes for news.

      The fact that a significant portion of the population actually pays attention to this stuff is frightening and depressing.

    • Advocacy journalism and social media have filled the social space once occupied by religion. The bugmen who scorn medieval peasants for their obsession with their “sky-god” are even more monomaniacal about Big Other – more so, I think, because they are more atomized, deracinated and historically illiterate.

    • Bravo. In view of the conquest of speculative thought by our oppressors, the most ‘political’ we can get is to walk away from politics. Study German, the cello, the renovation of organs, creating aviaries or rebuilding motorcycles; pursue the philosophy of mastering real things, as Matthew Crawford has advocated in his books (‘Shop Class as Soul Craft’, ‘The World Outside Your Head’).

      The Left knows all about destroying and dehumanizing “conservatives”. They know nothing about, and are confused by, “nonpolitical” people enjoying life doing and mastering real subjects. In their hearts they admire and envy everyday people who can actually do things. They’ll never be won over by intricate discussions of moral or social theory; they’ll be won over by grownups doing useful things sans ‘politics’.

      • In a normally functioning civilization we have that option. In clown world we need to fight politically and then some – to fight ‘tooth and nail’ to obliterate it.

      • Historically, the Middle Class has survived, sandwiched between the rulers and the masses, by offering knowledge and utility to the rulers, while retaining roots among the hoi polloi. The rulers despised us, the masses were jealous of us, but neither could exist without us. For a time, a few hundred years, we even convinced them that rule by us was for the best all around, even as we played along with their psychic frailties, like Col. Hogan stringing along Col. Klink, or Karl Marx stringing along the lumpenproletariat.

        Sadly, our brief dominance, which coincides with the high culture of Europe from 1500-1900 (in Jacques Barzun’s appraisal, and who am I to disagree?) is outside the norm of human social organization, and we find ourselves on the cusp of return to the simpler, more natural system of masters and slaves.

        Given the technology and financial power of the elites, hard times are coming for the Middle Class. We’ll be like the mammals scurrying abut in the grass in the age of the late dinosaurs.

  28. An actual nation annoints its naval vessels with the names and personae of national warriors. In contrast a plain commodity market such as the US graces them with Jimmy Carter, Gerry Ford, some guy Stennis, whigger Lyndon Johnson, open gates Bush and, inevitably, the royal Obama — Barack and Michelle, probably Sasha too. We are not a nation. Our press just business advertising. Our history mere marketing aspect of said market. Modern America is Faceborg and nothing more.

    • Royal Navy naming conventions tend to be better in terms of appearance. The actual Royal Navy in the present day, not so much. Naming a carrier “Prince of Wales” is an awful idea, both considering the current holder, and the ignominious loss of the last ship bearing that name in 1941.

      Adm. Rickover once said “fish don’t vote”, which is why the Los Angeles-class was named after cities, instead of our traditional convention of naming them after creatures.

      • We did it better in the sepia yesteryear when we had ships with names like HMS Warspite (best ever), HMS Valiant and HMS Invincible. Now, I’m just awaiting the launch of the HMS Genderfluid.

  29. “American journalism (like the journalism of any other country) is predominantly paltry and worthless. Its pretensions are enormous, but its achievements are insignificant.” – H.L. Mencken

    • “In Sir Henry Wotton’s jocular definition, ‘An Ambassador is said to be a man of virtue sent abroad to tell lies for the advantage of his country; a news-writer is a man without virtue, who lies at home for his own profit.’

      “To these compositions is required neither genius nor knowledge, neither industry nor sprightliness; but contempt of shame and indifference to truth are absolutely necessary. He who by a long familiarity with infamy has obtained these qualities, may confidently tell today what he intends to contradict to-morrow; he may affirm fearlessly what he knows that he shall be obliged to recant, and may write letters from Amsterdam or Dresden to himself.”

      – Samuel Johnson

      • “Our age which has boasted of realism will fail chiefly through lack of reality. Never, I fancy, has there been so grave and startling a divorce between the real way a thing is done and the look of it when it is done. I take the nearest and most topical instance to hand a newspaper. Nothing looks more neat and regular than a newspaper, with its parallel columns, its mechanical printing, its detailed facts and figures, its responsible, polysyllabic leading articles. Nothing, as a matter of fact, goes every night through more agonies of adventure, more hairbreadth escapes, desperate expedients, crucial councils, random compromises, or barely averted catastrophes. Seen from the outside, it seems to come round as automatically as the clock and as silently as the dawn. Seen from the inside, it gives all its organisers a gasp of relief every morning to see that it has come out at all; that it has come out without the leading article upside down or the Pope congratulated on discovering the North Pole.” – G.K.C.

  30. As for the US, you have Fox, which is an organ of the Republican Party. Meanwhile, CNN, ABC, CBS, MSNBC, PBS, et al are organs of the Democratic Party.

    Neither source tries to report objectively, they tow the party line, with some token commentators from the other side thrown in for good measure, usually chosen because they will mortify loyal viewers.

    Thus the mass media suffers from the same disease as the political process. You have (in the US) two parties that fight like cats and dogs to gain power, but differ very little in terms of how they govern. Watching mainstream media you wouldn’t know that.

    There’s probably a market out there for a source that aspires to be more than party shills.

    By the way, an interesting study just came out about how Google ideologically filters search results by favouring left-wing sources. It’s not like we needed a study to confirm that, but it’s interesting.

  31. Taibbi blames it on the Lewinski business, because he is smart enough to see the mess that he and his fellow journalists have made of things, and how their stupid obsessions almost blundered us into a disastrous war with Russia, but, somehow, it just has to be the fault of right-wingers. Z is right, all this media mess really started with Watergate. It remains to be seen if Taibbi, who seems to be transitioning from vermin to near-hominid status, is willing to finally put the blame where it lies and make the leap to the truth.

  32. A big theme of Steven Crane(red badge of courage fame), in his essays and poetry, is the duplicity and unaccountability of the press. They supposedly lied us into the Spanish American war, etc. See, it goes all the way back! There was never a golden age. The condition of humanity.

    Actually, I believe things are better than they ever have been, with the rise of the internet and instant communication. I think as recently as the 90s there were events blacked out and events made out of whole cloth. I’m referring specifically to race and crime, but probably other arenas too.

    OT, but I got Milos new book on kindle—how to be poor I think. He is truly funny. I never laugh at people trying to be funny, but he is. It’s worth the three dollars.

  33. Rewiring the brain in order to inculcate specific mental habits is best done when toddlers are beginning to understand verbal messaging and the brain is still growing rapidly. Hence, the most effective forms of indoctrination occur early in life. Once upon a time, primary school and religious practices were the foundation of this education, and cultural/moral messaging was aimed at conveying ancient wisdom and establishing social trust mechanisms. That was then, this is now.

    Progressives understand this dynamic better than any other power player and have systemically pushed out religion and co-opted elementary education. Their aim is not promotion of ancient wisdom, but rather hive-minded conformity with the ethos of parasitism. Journalism is now the Gestapo of memetic infection.

  34. I’ve always wondered why no one is actually doing this: “the business is to sell a point of view and live like carny folk on the fringes of society.” We all agree that Fox kills in the ratings because it’s the only network that isn’t 24/7 moonbattery, and that new Leftwing nets/shows all fail because they’re chasing the same eyeballs MSNBCABCCBSCNN etc. are chasing. “Conservative news” seems like a no-brainer, market-wise. Drudge I guess used to do something like this, and there are micro-sites like World Net Daily (I think?), but no serious effort to be the rightwing advocacy media. Back in the days the cost of entry was too high, but you don’t need a Man in Baghdad to report things anymore (in fact, nowadays there’s only one Man in Baghdad, and he reports everything to the AP, and it all comes straight from Iranian intelligence, but that’s because Media people are both stupid and lazy, but that’s a rant for another day). It seems like “official” rightwing advocacy journalism could clean up, with little efforts. You could do it yourself– all of us here, I think, would love to go dig up a story about how our local Dems suck, and boom, you’ve got national scope…

    • There are two things to keep in mind. One is the rich are all on the Left and often the far Left. Since most media relies on the wealthy, either directly through financing or indirectly through corporate support, the commercial media must bend the knee to the rich. The other thing is both political parties are far to the Left of their voters. The typical Democrat voter is closer to me ideologically than the people they vote for at election time. About one third of the elected GOP is conservative and that’s civnat conservative. not dissident conservative.

      About 40% of whites have no representation in politics, so they have no commercial media selling their point of view..

      • Murdoch’s empire is controlled opposition. Plain and simple. Now there are some breakaways, for example Ailes really was of the right in a certain way and many hosts clearly drive for their point of view.

        It’s how you see the genius of Trump. Unless you really have a “I don’t give a shit” billionaire, like Steyer or Soros that will literally fund “dissident” sites/operations, then you MUST coopt and adopt those who have such resources and are much much more powerful. In other words, compromises will have to be made from the beginning.

        Many on “our” side claim to say that Trump cucked when he said in his Stahl interview that he didn’t want to hurt anyone or the Clintons. Such ignorance as to the state of play in politics and the gauntlets Trump was required to run astonishes me to this day. Do you know how many GOP senators would love to crush him?? ENOUGH to meet a certain threshold, let’s just say. To stand in opposition of everyone in power is literally the Spartacus curse. No matter how righteous your cause, no matter how courageous your fighters, no matter how good your plan, you will fail eventually.

      • The Overton Window also stifles any “marketplace of ideas.” Any attempt to mainstream Our Thing will be met with deplatforming & de-funding. We need the BRICS to get their alternate internet up and running. Ironically, American patriots will have to use Chinese and Russian infrastructure to carve out a future for Heritage Americans.

    • First, it takes money to set up a media operation, even a very small scale one on the internet. You need a studio, cameras, a couple of reporters, etc. Not a ton of money, but some money. Rich guys don’t want to lose their status doing that.

      Second, to survive, you’d need advertising and no company is going to advertise on a dissident right show, even a thoughtful one.

      To a degree, I think that Vox Day is attempting to do some of this. He’s an odd fellow sometimes, but he’s right about creating alternative platforms and content.

      • Of course, that was never his idea. he just stole it from people like Torba.

        It’s why I support Gab. Torba’s efforts have resulted in domain registrars willing to defend dissent. It has resulted in payment processors willing to defend dissidents. There are hosting companies and other infrastructure providers now taking a stand.

        • Good point. Regardless, the path forward is creating alternative platforms. And I mean this for everything. We have to stop complaining about the other side not playing fair, not being nice, not being honest. We’re like the the abused wife who doesn’t leave.

          I think that’s why I’ve started become more and more impatient with the Sailer crowd. They seem to believe that we can salvage the relationship if we can just explain in the right way why his getting drunk and hitting us is bad, not just for us but for him.

          • I agree about the Sailer approach. Pretty much all of the paleos have this syndrome. On the one hand, they cannot get over having been purged. On the other hand, they hold out hope of being rehabilitated.

            As for creating out own stuff, it is happening, but slowly. Slow is better. The one thing you can’t help but notice with the failed efforts is they rushed into things and made themselves vulnerable. It’s why I’m taking my monetization efforts slowly.

          • If I could help the cause is some small way, I’d like it to be FinTech because it’s so crucial. If banks and credit card companies can unperson people, we’re at a huge disadvantage. This puts anything created at risk.

            Of course, I don’t know squat about FinTech, but I need to start figuring who I could help to push alternatives. Without the ability to move money easily, we’re going to have a hard time creating anything.

          • “Without the ability to move money easily, we’re going to have a hard time creating anything”

            That’s a good argument for “crypto” ..
            Peer to Peer “trust less” tokenized transaction network ..No 3rd parties .. Instantaneous way to store and or move “value” anywhere and anytime ..

          • I think it’s naive to presume that cryptocurrencies can’t be (or haven’t already have been) compromised. You’re up against nation-state TLAs that denominate their computing power not in petaFLOPs but in acres.

            No, crypto isn’t a panacea.

        • LOL.

          “It’s why I support Gab. Torba’s efforts have resulted in domain registrars willing to defend dissent. It has resulted in payment processors willing to defend dissidents. There are hosting companies and other infrastructure providers now taking a stand.”

          That’s called “defining a market”

          Market Definition. In marketing, the term market refers to the group of consumers or organizations that is interested in the product, has the resources to purchase the product, and is permitted by law and other regulations to acquire the product.

      • Vox Day wants everyone to build their own platform while using platforms such as blogspot and Amazon. Talk is a lot easier than very expensive action.

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