The Revolt of the Media

Way back in the olden thymes, “the media” was the local newspaper, news radio and the evening news on the television. My father would read the paper every evening after dinner, while my mother would watch the evening news. Once in a while my mother would put on the radio and listen to the news channel, but that was rare. If the people in charge wanted to get the attention of the peasants, they had to do it in those small windows when people paid any attention to the news.

We live in a different age, but it is a very new age. We are saturated with media. Young people have no frame of reference so they just assume it has always been thus, but our modern mass media culture is one of those rare things that is truly new. It really was not so long ago when it was easy to be entirely uninformed about the world. It took great effort to be well informed. That’s not to say we are all worldly cosmopolitans, but the world is literally at our fingertips. More important, media is everywhere and it hard to escape it.

This newness means that the people in charge have struggled to put it to their uses. Buying off a few newspaper publishers was easy. Controlling the three TV networks required hardly any effort at all. A free wheeling mass media with millions of bloggers, podcasters and small outlets is a different task. Rounding up the farm’s bull is a hard job, but rounding up all the barn cats is actually much tougher. The former can get you killed, but the latter has a maddening number of variables.

When the masses started to get on-line, the “media experts” said it was ushering in an era of wonderfulness because the people would now have a say. The news would be interactive! It was not that long ago when every Progressive commentator went on and on about the wonderfulness of interactive media. I used to laugh at it as I was on-line long before the media airheads had heard of the internet. I knew those hothouse flowers would not last very long in the rough and tumble world of the internet, but like missionaries headed off to the the jungle, they were sure it was going to be great

I was thinking about that yesterday when National Review announced they had been taken over by Facebook. Like a lot of these sites, they learned the hard way that their audience was not going to just nod along and clap when instructed. Instead, they posted articles and the comments filled up with ridicule and criticism. That led to lots of comments from NR writers about the awfulness of the comment threads. Now that millennial pansies are in charge, they have turned it over to Facebook to police their comments.

It turns out that popular opinion is not all that popular with the people in the media. All over, news and opinion sites are clamping down on comments. They are heavily policed or they are shut down entirely. Twitter has allowed a band of angry lesbians to take over the moderation duties. Reddit hired Chinese grifter Ellen Pao to chase off the bad thinkers. Faceberg, of course, is run by howling lunatics, who ban people for any deviation from the orthodoxy. The media is slowly shutting down public comment in a rather deliberate effort to shut down dissent.

This started a couple of years ago, but the process has been accelerating. The claim from the media is the comment sections are revolting. Coincidentally, it is happening just when the public is revolting. It also coincides with a sudden solidarity among the media. They no longer seem to be divided along ideological lines. Now, they are quite unified. Read National Review, for example, and you could be forgiven for thinking it is New York Magazine or Salon. Glenn Beck, once the scourge of the Left, is now getting a sex change and supporting Clinton.

It’s one of those things you can read different ways. It could be real fear on the part of media over what’s coming their way through the comment sections. This is the sort of thing we associate with reactionaries facing a revolution. The people in charge try to suppress dissent so they can win the public relations campaign. If only one side can speak and they are holding a megaphone, enough people will be swayed to back the regime so that the revolt losses steam. That’s the theory, anyway.

On the other hand, the Cloud People speak a slightly different language than the rest of us. It’s why a crime story using the phrase “Minnesota man” means the man was not from Minnesota or even North America. In the language of the Cloud, interactive may have meant that they yell at you and you obey. These are people who truly believe they are called by the blank spot where God once existed to lead the Dirt People in the right direction. Ask any of them why they chose their career and they say, “I wanted to make a difference.”

There’s also the possibility that the people in media are just very stupid. Spend any time on an elite college campus and it is not hard to figure out that they select for things other than raw IQ. The kids that end up in the soft majors are not selected because they pegged the math portion of their SAT. Way back in the stone age, I was in college with a couple of rich kids who were as dumb as goldfish. But, family money is worth two SD’s on the entrance exams so they were accepted and put into sociology and psychology respectively.

My sense is that the Cloud People are beginning to master the new media tools. Oddly, the lesson they are learning is the lesson the Nazis learned. People naturally follow the herd. Put the herd into a big arena, pump in some emotional content and the herd goes where you tell it. Go to a Dallas Cowboy game and watch the buildup. It’s easy to see what happened in Germany.The 20 minutes before the game is a Nuremberg rally. Even if you’re not from Texas, you want to put on a cowboy hat, pull on your boots and defend the Alamo.

We are social animals that look to one another for guidance and acceptance. Unleashing click farms to promote the Cloud People narrative, while demoting the critics, gets the herd moving in the right direction. It also keeps the people holding the megaphones in high spirits. By having only cheering crowds in their line of sight, they truly feel they are making a difference and therefore redouble their efforts for the cause. That’s the weird thing about propaganda. It’s often more effective on the sender than the receiver.

All of this is fine if your ideal society is one where the bulk of the people are treated like cattle. That’s certainly the way our world has shaped up so far in the mass media age. The “big data” guys start from the assumption that we’re all in the hive. following orders from the queen via subtle signalling and nudging. Alter the composition of the signals and you alter society. The drones have no agency of their own. That’s the theory and maybe they are right. The great success of central planning suggest they may be onto something.

81 thoughts on “The Revolt of the Media

  1. You hinted at this, but to me, the most insidious aspect is not the outright banning or removal of comments, but the willfull “guiding” of opinion – hiring employees to write opinion under the guise of the hoi polloi, students to upvote right-thiink, etc.

    There was a time when I actually found the reviews on useful. Then companies obviously took note and began to flood the site with reviews, and that came mostly to an end.

  2. Nearly 25 years ago, when I was a senior in high school, my parents took me to a private “career counselor.” He talked to me about my interests and skill set, and administered a rather lengthy personality test.

    When we met to review the results and discuss his impressions, he focused on my enthusiasm for research and writing, as well as my motivator – which I had naively submitted as “truth.” He, in his equal naivety, suggested journalism.

    The amusing thing here is that I had attempted in high school to get involved in the school paper, as well as some literary journals – and none of my submissions ever passed muster, due to responses like, “this is a high school newspaper. We can’t talk about that.” “Why would you even research that? What is wrong with you?”

    I discussed this with the career counselor and he suggested that I seek out independent journals that were more in line with my interests and political bent. I was already administering BBSes and participating in newsgroups, well before the average person knew what any of that meant.

    In college, I attempted again to engage with the school paper, but the editorial board and advisors were even more militantly socialist, to where they stated that I wasn’t even allowed to set foot in their office due to my subject matter (which, let’s be fair, was pretty middle of the road political stuff, far more centrist than I am now). One of the editors was more reasonable, and she gave me a copy of a piece that she was about to publish about her interest in buying a firearm for self defense. I wrote a longer piece, and then she asked me to whittle it down to a 150 word letter to the editor. “It will still get chopped up more by these people.” It was. I continued to submit pieces, always rejected, but found that participating in political or special interest Internet forums was more rewarding, because there are NO LIMITS.

    Every time I’ve interacted with the fifth estate it has been an unpleasant experience. They have their motivations, and “truth” and “open dialogue” are not among them. Nor is “democracy.” I will not speak to the press about anything that I am involved in unless I have absolute control over their output – which is almost never. They want to crush dissent, but they are all cowards and weaklings. It’s fun to expose them. Never relent and never give up.

    “We do it for free.”

  3. The biggest mistake that InstaPundit made was dropping their homebrew commenting system and taking on Disqus. They lost the (sometimes miss-used) ‘Report’ button and gained legions of SJW trackers that could then target commenters that expressed ‘bad thoughts’.

    Like Jack Nickleson said to the dog, “Don’t ever change, you’re perfect just the way you are!”.

  4. “Glenn Beck is having a sex change”

    …so he’s becoming a “man” now? Should we call him Caitlyn?

  5. “It really was not so long ago when it was easy to be entirely uninformed about the world”.

    I had a good laugh over that one, Z. Because it is just as easy today to be entirely uninformed about the world. We are drowning in information, opinion, advertisement, and propaganda. And yet, people seem “stoopider” than ever. At some point, the brain starts filtering in a serious way. What to choose, what to choose….When it’s intellectual work to know what’s going on (for real) in the world, and all that constant entertainment and disinformation is literally in your face all the time, and you’re a graduate/refugee of the Marxist-run public schools and you’ve never been taught to think critically, what is the average person going to do? They take the easy road, especially if they already lean Left. Why read or think about Bad Stuff when the Kardashians are exposing their cleavage? Or Justin Beiber got a new tattoo? Being informed is so last generation! Or two.

  6. In a past career, I had extensive experience with tending to the entitled snots that make up today’s chattering classes.

    Almost to a man or woman, they are the offspring of well to do, upper middle class parents who could afford to shell out $40-$60K a year to send them to places like the Columbia or Northwestern “J” Schools.

    The parents would then continue the stipend once their precious snowflakes found nothing but unpaid internships waiting for them in the real world where a baccalaureate degree in Journalism generates the lowest ROI of any career that requires such a credential.

    They are spooked because Trump speaks a language they simply do not understand, but he makes perfect sense to me.

    My folks, all my relatives and everyone in our neighborhood were factory workers, tradesmen, truck drivers, city blue collar workers, cops and firemen.

    Every time Trump speaks, I hear my old man and his buddies.

    I think the Cloud People are really spooked too, especially after Brexit.

    Who knows to what lengths they will go in order to maintain the status quo.

  7. ZMan,
    I am a lurker. I follow your blog daily. I am always impressed with your thoughts, and also with your commentators thoughts. As my moniker states, I am a former Marine, also a Police Officer from Maryland. I am currently a fisheries biologist from a state agency.
    Boy, if that’s not a change in venues, I don’t know what is.
    I have a feeling you are from the great state of Maryland ( if so we chewed the same ground).
    I honestly believe, that right now the dirt people/ middle class cloud people are pretty pissed off. The media, including Fox, believe they have the regular American snowed. Ryan is screaming that he is a victim of Trumps war. To most of the dirt people I relax with, Ryan is a b+tch, nothing more. Most of the ground pounders I know are actually afraid of stating what is really on their minds. I find this apprehensible, as me being me, I like pissing people off.
    I am not really crazy about Trump. He smacks as an ass and a braggart, just like the current jug-eared narcissist currently occupying the White House. That being said, I don’t think anyone can count Trump out yet. There are a lot of people in my little circle, that like Trump, but won’t admit it. We will see Sir. This race is far from over.
    Horst, I love your opinions but, we think a lot differently over here. Whether the Euro’s like it, or no, Americans are completely different animals from Euro’s. I spent most of my career in the Far East, even more so. The Marines taught me that with all the places I have been (unfortunately Germany was not one of them, even though I am second generation German) we have a an absolute differing version of the world than you. Respectfully.

    • @ Jarhead – Thank you for your comments. I must agree Germans and Americans approach problems very differently. Not good or bad – just different. Having worked with Americans for a number of years, it’s always interesting to observe over the course of my engineering career how Americans tend to jump in and sort things out, making things up as they go. Germans on the other hand tend to discuss, debate and arrive at a conclusion to a problem before taking action. Both styles have their pros and cons, but ultimately we arrive at a successful conclusion. Americans value the cowboy and the entrepreneur. While Germans favor Herr Doktor Professor (the expert).

      Politically I fear we are facing serious and similar problems in both our countries in a time of crisis with no historical equal. Unfortunately, neither approach can resolve these problems in the way logical, right minded people should be able to do so. Global corporate control is at epic proportion as we have seen legislation in both hemispheres, supported by politicians in collaboration with banks and financial institutions, bring countries to their knees. The citizens be damned. Meanwhile we are forced to accept laws and regulations in our actions and beliefs that have no basis on truth, fairness, respect, or honor. I said this some time ago and I still believe it to be true – we are you, and you are us. We are really not so different.

      I hold Americans in good regard and their military members with great respect. I have had the pleasure of interacting with a number of military families stationed here over the years and have developed some wonderful friendships. I look forward to our future discussions.

  8. Symbolism was what I had in mind too so I think I’m understanding your meaning. Keep in mind that this election is happening as the economy is losing its legs. People will go to great lengths for the opportunity to dance around as jesters to appease the court and that means feigning lots of emotion over matters that are mostly trivial.

    Anyway, with all the nonsense of the mass media age, there is the benefit of being able to seek out the other bad thinkers just as easily. Albeit more quietly and with more tip-toeing around. I’ve been reading your blog since when you wrote more about sports and poked fun at Karl Denninger’s mental health. As a younger guy drawing from your shade tree, thanks for writing.

    • “the opportunity to dance around as jesters”

      Nice line, Gary. well done.

      By the way, purely as an aside (though it does touch on the media, as I suppose most things must these days) I do wonder, once Obumble has gone, how many of his present toadies, fans and backers in the media will even think about him and his great works. My impression, flawed as it must be by age and distance, is that the impression he will leave on life will be in exactly the same way that a hole remains when one takes one’s hand out of a bucket of water.

  9. There’s always the transitional stage as civilization morphs where the old timers still cling to the way it used to be. Eventually when those die off the history is relegated to dusty volumes never opened. We seem to be speeding up though. I have a 35 year old friend who didn’t know what an 8 track was.

    I’m an old timer who recalls that journalism was once a noble profession. When my generation is gone, there will be no recollection of anything but news as entertainment and a vehicle for selling products. Then the illusion of news as being unbiased and true will no longer be necessary.

  10. I tend to believe the “highest of the high” cloud people know exactly what they want and how to get there.

    The political establishment and mainstream media, however, represent the” middle cloud” folks stumbling around in the fog of their own survival instincts. Greed is how they obtain what they want. Fear is why they rally around what they do NOT want. Indeed, those of the “middle clouds” are guided by greed and fear and this is how the “highest of the high” shape those below them.

    The Hegelian Dialectic is how Orwell’s vision of a jackboot stomping upon the faces of all, forever, will be achieved.

    As for most of the dirt people: Due to apathy, materialism, bread, and circuses, they will continue to enjoy it down in the mud until the time comes for war, societal breakdown, economic chaos, disarmament and privation. Then it will be too late.

    As for the remaining dirt people: Some will go out in a blaze of glory. Others will laugh hysterically as the world turns, and burns. And some will watch it all go down with eyes wide open while congregating together, online and in person, to share their perspectives with a sense of irony, humor, nostalgia and sadness.

    That’s how I see it. Maybe I’m wrong. I hope I am wrong. But I don’t think so.

  11. Twenty years ago or so I used to actually pay for a National Review subscription because conservative opinion was hard to come by. I swear they have made a concerted effort to move me from regular reader, to occasional reader who ridicules the writers in the comments, to where we just arrived at – never visiting their site again.

    I’m not ever going to sign up for facebook. And I’m never going to bother reading an NRO article again if I can’t insult the douche who wrote it.

  12. “Think of the press as a great keyboard
    on which the government can play.”
    ― Joseph Goebbels

    We have today in the USA the greatest propaganda machine the world has ever witnessed.
    Silicon Valley (social media), the mainstream media and Wall Street are all in the tank for maintaining the liberal progressive elites in power and they have the wherewithal and the will to do this.
    They are doing this.

    Goebbels must be spinning in his grave with envy; he could only dream of such of convergence of money, talent and technology (OK, he could never have imagined the tech portions) .

    The power of propaganda continually is underestimated but if done properly it can make folks believe anything.

    Trump must overcome the Five Horseman of the Apocalypse – Hillary, Silicon Valley, Wall Street, the mainstream media and the entrenched, movers and shakers in Washington, DC. if he hopes to win in November.

    As for social media expanding the venue for a variety of opinions and voices, well, this is not happening at all. Social media is becoming the new Orwellian Animal Farm or 1984; a thought / speech control mechanism to suppress “dissident” or “objectionable” views.

    History does not always move forward; it can move backwards for very long periods of time. (see Cuba, the USSR and Venezuela).

    • The propagandists are in a pickle. They can fake everything, but I think, just like the Wizard of Oz, you can pull all the levers for just so long…. until the little dog unveils you. Or the often referred to Emperor parable. To your point, I don’t see them as doing their propaganda properly.

      We’re witnessing the most spastic attempts and ham-handed attempts at propaganda. The talking heads have to keep the plates spinning. It’s always worked ,…. but the stresses are showing. They still may pull it all off , as they tear Trump everyday, but too, a lot of decent people are getting fed up. If Hillary and the press win this one, large parts of the country will likely be ungovernable. It’s gonna be one for the history books.

  13. You cited “Minnesota Man” and we had the same in the UK the other day. A muslim, born in Somali but levered into Norwegian society and thus given a passport, stabbed an American woman to death in London.

    Immediately the BBC, which is desperate to deny any terrorism anywhere (except by potential neo-Nazis, even if they don’t exist), described the perp not only as ‘Norwegian’ but informed us all he was ‘mentally ill.’ (In turn thus making the case for the defence in any trial)

    The reaction from the people of this country, at least those not bludgeoned already by the left (Labour) and the New Left (Tories), was to grasp at once that despite the code, here was a normal muslim man committing an atrocity. As astonishing as it was so many people at the top have been trained to rapidly analyse the Somali’s mental state, we were meant instead to be grateful that the incident had even been reported at all.

    I have been going on for some time that the new ‘normal’ will be that we gradually accept terrorist outrages by the RoP whatever passport they have been handed without comment. It will simply never be reported at all. Just like car accidents, they may be regrettable but rarely feature in the news cycle. We will see that with terrorist outrages like this. More comment will be made about the possibility of rain tomorrow. In other words, the MSM will cease to even pretend to be outraged.

    But Al-Beeb may have made a serious mistake, because now people are saying Muslims are mentally ill, which I am pretty sure the lefties didn’t want at all. Oops…

    • @ UKer – Germany has the same issue with identifying criminals by ethnicity or background. Anyone with a German passport is German. Period. Unlike Americans, we don’t have a hyphenated demographic. It’s why the American media identifies African-Americans or Mexican-Americans but Germany doesn’t have African-Germans or Russian-Germans.

      • Karl;
        Do 47% of Germans still support Merkel (as recent polls suggest)?
        If so, this is unbelievable and really scary, for it demonstrates that the people will basically accept anything.

        I am not picking on Germans; Yanks, Brits, French, Swedes, Norwegs, etc., seem to accept what is foisted upon them by the left liberal progressive elites.
        This is very troubling.

        • @ JT – Yes, that number is about right. If you round up, that means every other citizen is not happy with her. Basically two-thirds of German citizens are no-satisfied with Merkel’s asylum and refugee policy. So from those statistics, and others I have read, her favorable position continues to drop due to her refugee policy more than anything else.

          I think the turning point will be how she deals with Turkey. This will be critical for her political future and that of her party if she gives in to Turkey especially after they demanded 78 million Turkish citizens should be given visa-free travel through Europe by October or they will derail the refugee deal. Merkel’s back is against the wall on this so we all hold our breath to see what she will do.

          It’s not just the fate of Germany, all of Europe will be affected by how this turns out.

          • Karl, as our German correspondent (I bet that was a title you didn’t think you’d be handed here, hehe) I would welcome your thoughts on — so I am led to believe — the story that the German authorities are about to prosecute a man who had the temerity to shout at a terrorist murderer. Of course, the media here may have got that arse-over-tit as we say in these islands, but I look forward to your view.

      • @ J Clivas – I believe the correct English word for comparing Muslim and mentally disturbed is “synonymous”.

    • I would assume you guys have the same game we have where you guess the identity based on the lack of description. Here in the US, a “man in a red shirt” will be a black guy. A “Minnesota man” is a foreigner from the former third world. A “white male” with a first and last name is a white guy from the north. A “white male” with a middle name is a southerner or poor white. Of course, “motive is unknown” means the motive is obvious and what you suspect.

          • We are the very last group that can be openly abused. Just bear in mind, when the bottom falls out, you’ll be wanting us on your side. Lol

      • In many ways, our Constitution was specifically re-written after WW2 to avoid any discrimination against any persons for the obvious reasons. There are very serious laws about defamation or even the possibility of insulting someone in text or verbally. We certainly don’t enjoy the freedom of speech you do…or did.

        • Huh, that’s a very basic misreading of constitutions, which are supposed to limit governments, not individuals. In theory anyway. But constitutions don’t seem to work in any case, so it’s picking at nits.

    • Same thing happening here in Ottawa, Canada. Somali male caused a disturbance in a coffee shop, police were called, altercation results, guy dies. Immediate BLM-style outcry, with reports that the guy was “mentally ill”. (They even claimed that he was “autistic” for one day, to gain sympathy. Dropped that in a hurry, which told me that the whole story was shot through with lies.) The bigger story was that Abdi was assaulting women at the coffee shop, men there drove him out and tried to hold him until the police came; “mentally ill” means unemployed and already busted up with his Somali bride of 3 months he’d travelled back to the old country to marry. In short, a common or garden variety borderline retarded African Muslim, who figured he could help himself to some goodies because Allah says they’re free to all comers anyway. But the city is in CRISIS!!!!!! The Mayor had to cut short his summer holiday to come back and deal with it!!!

  14. Things that are measurable can be controlled. Social sciences teach all things are measurable. Therefore, all things can be controlled by the ones who develop and understand tests, studies and polls.

  15. So does this mean the Cloud people are still pushing the pendulum farther out? Or are they desperately trying to prevent it from swinging back?

    • I don’t know. These orchestrated attack is nothing like I can recall. It used to be that they put some effort into pretending to be paying it straight. There’s no pretending right now. There was a story by Howie Kurtz the other day subtly indicating that much of the “reporting” is simply fabricated. He had a few examples where the only conclusion to draw was the story was invented by the reporter.

      • Put me down for “desperate.” To overstretch an analogy once again, we’re in the “burn the witch!” phase of the Reformation / Counter-Reformation. The Elite can’t uninvent the printing press, so they’re going to barbecue a few social deviants in the hope of channeling the dangerous new ideas back into the old forms. The Media Elite are, as you say, dumb as goldfish, but even goldfish can see that if Trump wins, their whole world ends. Who needs the White House Press Corps when you’ve got @realDonaldTrump? Just as the Schoolmen were in no position to deal with Luther because they’d spent centuries debating angels on pinheads, so our Media can’t grok that point-and-shriek doesn’t work anymore. (I expect, then, there will be some kind of neo-Jesuits among the Media — smart young folks who get it and are able to embrace the new technology to fight back).

        • That’s what puzzles me. Is Trump really a threat? Even assuming he does everything he says he will do, he is offering a small departure from the status quo. The only significant change would be fewer terrorist attacks. It’s all emotion at this point. That’s powerful stuff and it perhaps reveals something about the Cloud People.

          • He’s a threat to the Media, and there’s no meaningful difference between the Media and the major parties anymore. The Media already have great difficulty setting the narrative when it comes to Trump; a President Trump would have a much larger megaphone and could bypass them almost entirely if he chose. I think the light finally dawned for them when he skipped the Fox debate, and it cratered their ratings and forced them to give back a zillion advertiser dollars. They’re so used to being the gatekeepers that they have no idea how hated and distrusted they are; Trump is waking them up on that score, and they’re freaking out.

          • I agree, they perceive him as an existential threat. He probably isn’t but they’re so stupid, never having thought rationally in their lives, that they are freaking out. It’s fun to watch, and if he wins it will turn deadly serious as the Cloud People will stop at nothing to either co-opt or destroy him. I’m hoping that in the frenzy they devour each other.

          • Is Trump really a threat?

            The man himself? No. It’s pretty funny when you think about it that some guy who owns a bunch of buildings and hosted a reality show should have become an existential threat to all that is good and holy.

            No, the point is not DJT himself but how he has become a conduit for all the discontent that is gurgling under the surface among the electorate, who (in the case of the GOPe, as it’s called by the disaffected) have been bamboozled into supporting candidates who are more beholden to the Chamber of Commerce than to the electorate and who seem to be far more comfortable in implementing a ‘toned down’ version of the leftist agenda than fighting it.

            Whether DJT actually believes any of the stuff he’s running on or just has the salesman’s ability to figure out what the customer is looking for, the fact remains that his defeat of all the obstacles standing in his way (¡JEB!, ¡Marco!, !TheTexanfromAlberta!) and his overcoming of the concerted disdain and abuse from all the major media outlets (including the ostensibly ‘conservative’ ones) shows that he’s tapped into a very strong current of ‘popular’ dissatisfaction with the way the PushMe-PullYou parties are hell-bent on running things.

            And that’s why they have to destroy not just the man but the ‘movement’ that he symbolizes. God help the K Street crowd if it turns out that the Globalism Brigade can in fact be stopped at the ballot box (same with Brexit over in Europe).

            If he loses, then the White House will just become the regional division headquarters of the Global Government coming out of the Lower East Side of Manhattan (to use our host’s analogy). This one really does count for a change.

          • Perhaps Trump should have incorporated the Chi Ro in his logo.

            I think you are correct and I’d add that for people who don’t actually do anything, symbolism looms larger than for people who do stuff.

          • for people who don’t actually do anything, symbolism looms larger than for people who do stuff

            Well, I don’t really know about that, since I come from a very SWPL background and don’t have much familiarity with people who “do stuff” if by that you mean engage in non-intellectual professions (I could be wrong about the actual purport of the distinction). All I know is that I pretty much count as a “class traitor” among the people I know and mostly keep my opinions to myself.

            For a long time I’ve been sort of surprised at how “personally” a lot of people I know take ideas/attitudes etc that seem to me to be obviously false. I mostly frequent “realist” blogs of various stripes and more or less agree with the premises and prognostications. And then I’ll be on a more “traditional” right-wing/conservative site and get surprised by the seemingly irrational hostility to Trump, which never seems to deal with the substantive grounds for his popularity and instead is all about ‘demeanor’ and the like. Reminds me of House Conservative over at the NYT who got all worked up about Obama’s pants crease back in ’08.

            Basically, it’s all about who you associate yourself with, I think. For whatever reason, I tend to consider the regular Midwesterners among whom I grew up to be “my people”. For most of my SWPL friends, they’re scum, and they want above all else not to be associated with them. Same goes for the ‘squish’ Repub crowd too, I think.

          • Ha. No, I was thinking about how Nixon framed it. The politicians were in the arena, while the media was in the stands yelling out comments to the people further up in the stands. In our mass media culture, no one is really a reporter as that is considered low class. The people we see on TV and on-line are performers who interpret the news for us. In their world, every pose has deep meaning so symbolism is the currency of the realm.

            It’s a half-baked idea so I’ll put it back in the oven and check back later.

          • Oh, sorry, my bad for misunderstanding. You were referring to this idea of the media telling people what to think just the other day. I actually think that it jibes with what I was talking about, and also with your post here. The role of the media is not to cater to the interests (in both senses of the word) of their readership, but rather to convey to them what everyone’s Myrmex Overlords want them to think.

            Oddly enough, the reference here to NRO going over to FB commenting as a way of policing the threads and kicking off the Bad Thinkers put me in mind of the big brohaha at the Hot Air site a few months ago. They went to FB commenting, much to the disgust of a large number of commenters, who’d been at loggerheads with the management of the site for a long time over Trump. And a huge chunk of the commentariat walked off in protest to a minor site run by one of the dissidents. Much to my astonishment, the new site is far more ‘popular’ than the old one (if popularity is gauged by the number of commenters). From a purely monetary point of view, driving off the vast majority of your commenters sounds like a bad idea. Yet not only did the owners of Hot Air stick with it, but NRO is following suit. Whatever the owners of these sites are up to, courting the regular reader is not their aim.

            It might put those who are interested in res romanae in mind of the Session of the Plebs. 🙂 The patricians back then were also pretty put out about it!

          • I don’t think Trump is truly a threat to TPTB or the Deep State, but his supporters….

            Early in the Obummer administration it seemed they were trying very hard to goad the Right into violence. When no one took the bait, we had a number of events that were false flags, or were very poorly executed (Thank God) by Leftists. And now, Obummer is importing muslims at a feverish rate hoping for the American Rape-o-pooloza that is happening in Europe. Their need to create fear in the sheople/public is becoming quite obvious because only thru stark, raving fear can they get the kind of control they want.

            My worry is Trump supporters don’t strike me as a timid bunch. At some point the MSM / Deep State / Some Leftist wack job will take out Trump and will get anger instead of fear. As bad as a BLM mob is, I think Matt Bracken’s short stories will look like bedtime stories for good children compared to what actions they take.

          • For all several true right wing types (not NR pussies and all their sisters) being right wing is a process, and a lifelong process. Learning something new is not picking up some shiny rock, it means you were wrong about something you thought you knew. Being left wing is a lifelong process of throwing kitty litter over the waste of decaying opinions. When someone exclaims that your shit does stink it creates a panic that is personal, and out comes another bag of litter.

            Loving the opinions of your friends as your own is probably a sign of mental health. Loving truths is probably more easily suited for loners. I could be wrong. Tocqueville was not a loner. But he was well suited for solitude.

          • Being a bit of loner, I can confirm. It’s hard to hold outlandish opinions and remain in a social group.

          • Nicely put. Nobody *likes* being wrong, exactly, but most of us have vast experience with it, so it doesn’t shake our identities to the core. And acknowledging the possibility of being wrong also means being able to say “I don’t know.” That’s my most reliable test for if someone is a liberal: Can you admit you don’t know something “intellectual”? They’ll cop to not knowing where the nearest post office is, or being wrong about which way to turn on Main Street, but ask them anything they think they, as Smart People, *should* know, and all of a sudden the very possibility of uncertainty goes out the window. What’s the proper budget for the Department of Fisheries? They don’t even know if we *have* a Department of Fisheries, but they’re metaphysically uncertain it’s under-funded. What should our naval defense posture be in the Pacific Rim? Their only experience with the navy is playing “Battleship” one rainy Sunday back in 1986, but they know the exact right thing to do…. And these people think they can control the narrative for the rest of us.

          • One of my colleagues brought up the idea that Mr. Trump is just a ploy, and has no real intention of becoming president. He is so unpopular with his own party that is difficult to imagine anyone actually wanting to vote for him. We have seen many of his interviews and frankly, it boggles that mind that any American could even consider him as the next President. There’s a sense that so many the things he says are so completely off base, crude, offensive, or just simply wrong, that people are having a very difficult time accepting him even at the most base level.

            As with Mr. Obama in 2008, who seemingly came out of no where, we wondered if the Republicans have someone tucked away to step in when Mr. Trump decides not to run. All the potential Republican candidates have already been discredited so at this point almost anyone, especially a complete unknown – hidden in the wings as it were – would be a better option than Mr. Trump. If nothing else, at least people could feel good about themselves for voting in a positive way, rather than the idea they are simply voting for the lesser of two evils.

            Such are the topics of our lunch discussions.

          • You’ve got many stimulating lunch discussions ahead, Karl, but I’m betting that they’ll be much more interesting than about Trump taking a dive. This party, that party, all uni-party. It IS a declared multi-front war, Americanism vs. the global elite. If Trump is the kind of American that millions of US thinks he is, it’ll make for interesting times with a more hopeful meaning. If Americanism were to succumb, then we all might as well start fixing up our pens on the Animal Farm to be comfortable for at least while we’re allowed to stay…..

          • It’s simply not true that nobody wants to vote for Trump. He does rallies every day, sometimes several per day, and draws large crowds. Frequently people are turned away because the halls are completely filled. The press never interviews those people; the closest they come is picking out some “pox on both your houses” type who gives the impression that Trump was somehow accidentally picked by lottery to lead the Republicans, and doesn’t command any real loyalty. That’s far from the truth.

          • Your lunch colleague is right. Trump put his hat in the ring because he wanted to have some fun running his mouth in a few primaries and this would get him the cred he felt he needed to pull in a few Chinese billionaires for a scheme he was working on. Then he said whaddaya mean we can’t build a wall, are you retarded? And, the million Muslim march to America will now take a hiatus. Suddenly he’s the front runner, and worse, the other 16 contenders are revealed as the tepid prog sucking wannabees that they are. I believe if he were honest about it–an entirely ridiculous proposition I know–he would say he’e sorry he ever got started. Thing is, this side of the election was entirely about the Republican voter firing their lackey politicians. Their own side has abused them for, at the minimum, six Presidential cycles. If it’s Hillary, and seven dwarfs on the Supreme Court, just get it over with.

          • My mother introduced me to Fred & Donald Trump at the RNC in the late 80s. Donald Trump was thinking (seriously) about a political career, even then. Father Fred even mentioned that he, himself, gave weight to the idea of making a run for local office, with an eye for advancement. I was 18 yrs old then, and 50 now. I’ve been active in Rep politics all that time, the first 25-30 or so yrs, inside the machine, the last few, outside. In all that time period, I’ve been 100% certain that Trump would run for the office. Nothing offends my sense of common sense more, than reading the one billionth comment online, about how Trump is using this run for _____ (pick one of numerous idiotic conspiracies floating).
            I’ve begun to loathe my fellow man.

          • So Karl, it seems the media (liberal) in your neck of the woods is also in the tank against Trump. Of course we hear it over here ALL the time. What I wonder is “what do you and your lunch friends have to say about Hillary?” Is she a better choice to your informed opinions? Is there anyone over there who has anything good to say about The Donald?

          • @ LetsPlay – Europeans have had a generally positive experience with female leadership so it is nothing remarkable to us. Mrs. Thatcher in UK, Mrs. Dalia Grybauskaite in Lithuania, Mrs. Helle Thorning-Schmidt in Denmark, Mrs. Erna Solberg in Norway and of course Mrs. Merkel here in Germany. So Europeans tend to see Mrs. Clinton from that perspective.

            On the other hand, Mr. Trump comes across in a very bad light because he aggrandizes himself with no political experience, even at a grass roots level. I think if he had actually held some sort of political office in the past and could demonstrate his capabilities, then he would have some credibility. He is seen as not much more than a rich-kid real-estate man, (who stood on his father’s shoulders) and has a past that includes a string of bag marriages, who ran beauty pageants and has nothing much to show except a big mouth.

            Generally speaking, Germans do not appreciate crude behavior or vulgar language and I’m sorry to say this, but anyone with his background wouldn’t even be considered for town mayor, let alone President. Well, except maybe in Italy.

            Remember, Germans are basically serious people and we expect elected leaders to hold a certain level of professionalism and seriousness in high offices. Of course what we expect and what we get may not always be the same, but I’m simply trying to explain a cultural difference to answer your question.

            But I can see how so many people connect with him after what Mr. Obama has done over the past 8-years. But as I told my colleagues, who ever wins, America is going to get what it deserves in the same way we Germans are going to get what we deserve. Not because of who is running the country but because not enough people have had the courage to stand up against the lies and half-truths we have been forced to accept.

            Personally, I find it disheartening that a country as great as America, with over 300-million citizens, is left to chose between these two individuals. In my eyes, neither honestly cares for your country or your fellow citizens as much as they care for themselves – they both come across as self-serving, selfish and completely disconnected with the average person.

            In the same way I know many Germans are seriously questioning our future choices; a party and Chancellor who seems determined to flood this country (and Europe) with the worst possible people or a party like AfD that could take us back 80-years to a political regime that brought this country to war.

            It is unfortunate that there isn’t someone like Ronald Regan available. In my opinion, I think he may have been your last great president.

          • Thanks for the reply Karl. However, I was very interested to know more specifically what your guys thought about Frau Clinton. Also, I find it humorous when people mention Trump not having any political experience when after almost eight years of Obozo, our Clown-in-Chief, he entered office with even less “Life” experience than Trump would bring. But let’s discuss Clinton. Please.

            Also, I think the fact that America has not had a woman President is more a reflection of the parties. Of course there are able and qualified women in our country who could perform in that role, however, TPTB won’t allow it. I would vote for a woman or a person of color because character is what matters most to me. I’m sure many Americans would do the same if good choices were available. Therein lies the problem, and hence, a big part of the reason we have Trump.

          • @ LetsPlay – To your point on my personal take on Mrs. Clinton. Personally I don’t see her as the right person to be running your country. First, she lacks credibility to me based on all the mystery and questionable dealings in her past and present. I think she’s untrustworthy and will say and do whatever it takes to get herself into office. Second, she lacks any significant accomplishments to justify her abilities to hold the office. Third, without her ex-president husband, I doubt she would be able to stand on her own or would have gotten this far without him. Fourth, her double standard towards women is troubling.

            If she were running for a management position, these four things would immediately cause me to discount her application.

          • In an online discussion a couple of weeks ago a very strong case was made that a Trump inauguration would likely mean serious prosecution for members of the left. At the RNC Chris Christie laid out the prosecution’s case against Hillary. Imagine if he actually had the authority to pursue such a case as Attorney General or some sort of special prosecutor! Trump talks of some altered goals and objectives for the US military which does not seem to be appreciated by much of the military industrial complex. There are a multitude of possibilities that make Trump a very scary man to the political establishment.

            Trump represents an existential threat to the political aristocracy and their cronies. While I don’t see Trump as some sort of grand messiah (as he has plenty of his own shortcomings) he is a political wrecking ball that terrifies those in power.

      • They are desperate. Everywhere they are seeing the agenda they’ve been pushing for the last seventy years crumble into dust. It’s crumbling in Europe and it’s crumbling here. They thought they had us whipped down and in a coma of indifference. Instead the giant is awakening and is about to bare the iron hand. So they are desperately trying everything they know has worked over the past seventy years to beat the giant back down and none of it is working.

        What happens next is up to them.

      • Believe NOTHING of any media-connected poll.

        “Pat Caddell commented re: ‘Cooked’ Reuters Poll: “Never in My Life Have I Seen a News Organization Do Something So Dishonest’” Reuters tampered with its own daily tracking poll to manufacture a sudden surge for Hillary Clinton.…/pat-caddell-on-cooked-reuters-poll-never-in-my-life- have-i-seen-a-news-organization-do-something-so-dishonest/

        Since then, The Arizona Freedom Alliance conducted a massive poll in which they polled 50,000 people — asking basic questions on the economy, terrorism, immigration and presidential pick. The 13 pollsters are Graduate students from all walks of life and have served in the Military.

        It took them most of two weeks to be sure their calls were to all people and not just one party or another.  

        They called Americans on registered voter lists and they accumulated 33% repub, 33% dems and 34% ind.. their poll consisted of 1000 calls per state. all 50 states. 50,000 people are in this poll — not the 100 sampling done in other polls.

        Economy was the number one factor that Americans are concerned about — and terrorism was number two.

        Presidential pick was Trump by a large percentage. — Trump 33478 votes 67%
        Clinton 9788 Votes 19%

        Undecided or other 6739 votes 13%

  16. Nice bit of sarcasm at the end. Have you ever looked at the intellectus /ratio dichotomy of mind in philosophy, or did you come up with the cloud/dirt thing totally on your own?

    • I wasn’t trying to be funny here. Central planning may be successful at accruing power and consolidating companies within certain parameters, but it is uniformly fatal for economies in the long run. And the dichotomy I mentioned is a real thing and fits in with your own thinking. I’ll admit it’s an obscure topic because it is nigh impossible to discuss non-analytical thinking in conventional terms (things that don’t lend themselves to analysis get ignored), but it goes right to the heart of the Plato-Aristotle division in philosophy.

    • Honestly, I was on a good rant and it just came out that way. It sounded good so I’ve stuck with it.

  17. It’s a very interesting dynamic that’s been set up, where the ability to “red pill” yourself completely and thoroughly is no more than a few clicks away at all times. Yet the vast majority chose to keep themselves shrouded in the artificial reality of the establishment narrative. Meanwhile the cognitive dissonance experience by those folks continues to ramp up. Can’t help but feel for them…though it’s a self impose suffering (aren’t they all).

    • We live in a strange age. The Khan flap is a great example. They trot the guy out and the media started cooing. I thought nothing of it. Then all of a sudden they were outraged over something Trump said about him. Yet, I can’t figure out what he said. The best I can tell is he asked about the wife, but that was nothing to lose your mind over. It feels like they all got a memo instructed them to be outraged at whatever Trump said about Khan. When he said nothing, they went and asked him so they could then be properly outraged.

      I’ve had a dozen people ask me, “What did trump say?” and I have no answer. I don’t know. It’s as if it is so bad, it can never be repeated.

      • Khan said his son sacrificed his life for his buddies. He said The Donald didn’t sacrifice anything. Trump responded saying he did make sacrifices: he worked hard and created thousands of jobs, setting off a firestorm of criticism that Trump was equating his sacrifice to that of Khan’s son.

        • Well then, he should be thrown in pit. Like I said. It feels like they had the outrage ready to go and just needed an excuse, any excuse.

          • The whole thing was orchestrated. Trump was set up by Clinton operative George Stephanopolus. Trump was baited into going after Khan, and he took the bait. Granted, Khan is a Sharia-endorsing sleazebag who makes his money off of Muslim immigration, but that’s beside the point. Khan is small fry. Trump should have seen the set up and immediately gone after Georgie and the media-orchestrated double-standard that allows Stephanopolous to go on and on about the Khans, while ignoring the Benghazi parents and parents of children killed by illegals featured at the GOP rally. In the wake of the Wikileaks revelations regarding DNC-media collusion, Trump should have called Georgie Hillary’s little bitch, and forced Georgie to defend himself and his line of questioning. If Trump had done that, my guess is that the segment would have never aired.

          • Here’s a good example of what we keep seeing. The polling company in question is run by a guy name Jeff Roe who, wait for it, is a long time GOP consultant. He’s known for his bare knuckled approach. He has worked for Ryan in the past. So, his poll is most likely just made up, but the press likes it so they blast it all over.

          • Jeff Roe was Ted Cruz’ campaign manager. He’s a dirty trickster. Just ask Ben Carson…

          • One thing I never see pointed out about the Clintons and their toady Stephanopolous, is the accounting of what happens when Georgie tosses $200K as a charitable contribution to the CFF. GS surely deducts it on his IRS 1040 as a charitable contribution, which gives him (assuming 39.6% bracket) a $79.2K deduction.
            GS sends $120.8K to the US Treasury, and the Clintons got theirs. Effective the CVlintons grabbed $80K from the US Treasury into their pockets. Nice racket.

          • You are implying they actually pay “taxes” on those contributions? I find that very hard to believe. I would want to audit those figures myself. At this point, I don’t even trust the IRS. My working assumption with the CCS, Clinton Crime Syndicate, is they didn’t pay a dime because they are a “non-profit” organization.

        • That wasn’t mentioned in any of the MSM stories. It was all about the wife not speaking. We are supposed to think its out of line to wonder why she didn’t speak.

      • Trump blew it. He should have said “I feel sorry for the Khans and all the other parents who lost children in the senseless waqs that Hillary Clinton supports”.

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