Monday, August 10, 2015

The idiocy of the left and the idiocy of the right

Idiots on the left and idiots on the right have formed a symbiotic relationship. Such is the argument of an author with the unlikely name of Mytheos Holt, writing for The Federalist. Holt argues that the left's "speech totalitarianism" has energized the crazies.

I don't agree with everything this guy has to say -- and for that matter, The Federalist is not the kind of publication I usually read -- but this passage, my friends, is a pretty damned brilliant piece of wordsmithing.
The idea that egalitarian principles require us to legally sanction gay marriage might be persuasive, but the idea the same principles should allow gay-rights proponents to trample religious freedom is a much harder sell. Therefore, prudence requires not overextending that argument for it to maintain its effectiveness

But the Left, high on their own success, has not just overextended this argument: it has strapped it to the rack and dislocated its limbs. The idea that certain sentiments can’t be expressed without branding you as an artifact of a dark and unenlightened past has entered the realm of self-parody. It’s all well and good when your unenlightened feminist bogeyman is Todd Akin using cocktail napkin math to pretend rape babies don’t exist; it’s another thing entirely when it’s Laura Kipnis questioning whether grad students dating professors is really such a monstrous imbalance of power. Yet, especially in its natural habitat—the faculty lounge—the Left just bulls right on, trying to write anything and everything to the right of Karl Marx and bell hooks out of existence, until even Bernie Sanders is getting booed for “whitesplaining.”

The avalanche of stories and think pieces about trigger warnings, mattress-carrying bluestockings, and freakouts over “misgendering” someone who as of only a month ago was still a man have painted a very unflattering picture of our national culture. America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, appears to be in danger of becoming the land of the fragile and the home of the breakable. Everyone, both Left and Right, is getting fed up with treating their fellow citizens like overpriced glassware.

Into this great American China shop steps Donald Trump, aka the bull.
I've been thinking similar thoughts for a while. Frankly, too many liberals and lefties have been acting like dipshits lately, and it's always the dipshittiest of the bunch who get the most news coverage.

Worse, these people refuse to acknowledge that their ostentatious dipshittery might injure their brand. When you try to explain that danger to them, they will use their formidable powers of rationalization to convince themselves of their rightness in all things. Their sheer fucking arrogance matches that of any GOP plutocrat.

Your average lefty, like your average Trump, would rather eat glass than apologize. For anything. They cannot even admit to the theoretical possibility of being in the wrong.

Thus, for example, we have the leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement who have made a target of Bernie Sanders -- as though he is the villain. Not Trump, not Rush, not the Tea Partiers, not the Fox crowd, not the cops in Baltimore, not any of the right-wing creeps who reflexively support every hideous thing that the cops have done. No, those guys aren't the problem. Bernie fucking Sanders is the problem.

Cut to: 1941. "General Eisenhower, what's the first step in our crusade to defeat Nazi Germany?"

"Obviously, we must BOMB LONDON!"

Back to 2015. Now, I'm sure that if pressed, the activists who have targeted Sanders will get all huffy and puffy as they insist, with a truly Trumpish arrogance, that they were perfectly right to target Sanders. All such huffing and puffing is, of course, pure bullshit. And everyone knows it. I refuse to listen to their bullshit explanations because if I want that kind of bullshit I'll find a pasture with a bull in it.

(Actually, I suspect that the activists who said "Let's target Sanders" were FBI infiltrators. But that's a post for another occasion.)

My larger point is this: Lefties have been acting like preening, proud, smug, self-satisfied assholes for far too long. They have no concept of how annoying they are. They cannot believe how totally fucking stupid they often sound to others. They don't understand that speech and ideas and behaviors which may make sense within their own narrow circle of friends may seem really obnoxious outside of that circle.

Remember this post about "trigger warnings"? That nonsense remains with us.

There are still liberals who insist that a "trigger warning" must precede any discussion of (say) violence against women -- because, it seems, liberal women are wilting daffodils who might get the vapors if informed that there are unpleasant things in this world. Not long ago, there was a feminist conference in which the audience was told not to applaud because traditional clapping is too intimidating. Instead, audience members were supposed wave hands in the air -- gently, to and fro.

Who came up with that ridiculous idea? I don't know. But, from previous experience, I do know this: Whoever came up with that idea would rather drink pure ammonia than ever say the words "Maybe I came up with a bad idea."

Lefties, liberals, feminists and the leaders of Black Lives Matter are just like John Wayne's character in She Wore a Yellow Ribbon: "Never apologize. It's a sign of weakness." Actually, John Wayne's character in that movie is more tolerable: He isn't so goddamned smug all the time.

Across the political spectrum, left and right, this country has become addicted to smug.

The smug will get mugged -- politically. Democracy is all about making your viewpoint seem attractive to large numbers of people. If you are trying to make your viewpoint seem attractive to large numbers of people, wipe that haughty better-than-you expression off your face. Smug works against your interests.
Well. I've been saying that ever since politically correct speech was invented in the Duke English department back when Michael Jordan was a Bull. Now remember what you just wrote the next time you want to start flogging someone who lives south of the Mason Dixon line.

btw, I do agree with everything you said in case I wasn't clear.
The author that Mr. Cannon quoted was basically defending Mr. Trump's right to have an opinion rather than be polite and politically correct. Was that aspect lost on you, Mr. Cannon?
Sandro, we know each other well enough by now that we should be on a first name basis. I don't think you quite understood the point that Mytheos Holt -- now THERE'S a first name for ya! -- was trying to make. He is arguing that the left, in effect, CREATED Trump. By perpetually narrowing the range of permissible words and permissible opinions and permissible thoughts and permissible deeds, the left created a welcoming audience for a blowhard who says whatever outrageous nonsense pops into his head and who doesn't seem to care about what anyone else thinks.

And frankly, I think that this is a valid point. Trump is, in a sense, the fart that we (collectively) have been holding in place. A lot of people simply got tired of clenching their butt-muscles and decided to let fly.
The gist of your post echoes Syrian GIrl's basic argument in the Gamer Gate controversy. Only you don't use silly terms like "cultural Marxist" to make your point. Essentially, she describes Gamer Gate as political correctness run amok.

Yeah, I KNEW someone like you would come along, anon.

No, that's NOT what she said.

Maram Susli said that the forces of "political correctness" were really a huge CONSPIRACY against the video game industry. She said that Marxists (whom she seems to think have power...!) have targeted the video game industry. Why would they do that? Because games like "Grand Theft Auto" (or whatever it is she plays) are just soooooooooo fucking important.

In other words, someone who had the potential to be an important world leader turned into just another right-wing conspiracy nut.

Susli also seems to think that fighting this (imaginary) conspiracy justifies death threats and doxxing and hacking and all of the other crap that the Gamergaters pulled.

In reality, there was no conspiracy. Nobody was passing any laws. Nobody was FORCING anyone to do anything. In reality, the gaming industry is composed of private companies. A company will try to please its customers. If one company creates a game that you consider an annoying example of political correctness, then it is a simple matter for another company to offer a different sort of product. Hell, you can make your own game and start your own company. Really, that's all there is to it.

The extreme right-wingers and neo-Nazis who glommed onto Gamergate don't really care about games. They were acting like an opportunistic infection.

It's a little like what happened after World War II: The Nazis had lost and their philosophy was no longer considered worthy of civilized debate. So die-hards in Europe who wanted spread Nazism had to search for new venues. Sporting groups and athletic clubs served their purposes.

I think that something similar happened more recently in the video gaming community.

Allow me to switch gears a bit and employ a bit of Freudian terminology: Gamers are perpetual adolescents who like to lose themselves in a world of pure Id. A few feminists came along and tried to inject a bit of Superego. The Id-kids felt pissed off and resentful. Since gamers are perpetually immature, their reaction was straight out of "Lord of the Flies."

As always happens nowadays, their feelings of resentment soon gave way to cries of "Conspiracy!" That's when the extremists stepped in and tried to use those feelings of resentment to their own advantage.

Look, all I'm saying is that reasonable people can criticize the more controlling jerks on the left -- the freakiest feminists or the black activists who targeted Bernie Sanders. But just because a few jerks are acting like jerks doesn't mean that Maram Susli (or anyone else) has the right to scream about conspiracies that are simply not there.
This post is as close to perfect as any has ever been.

I live around these insufferable dipshits, in high numbers. THEY created Scott Walker for President.

I feel about THEM exactly as you do Joseph, about conspiracy people.
( That's probably a little over the top for you, but at least I got to say it).
Joseph, this seems relevant to your post:

Apparently your hunch that the "activists" criticizing Sanders were FBI plants has more than a little merit.
Joseph, so you say The Progressives created Trump, that's about as likely as Jimmy Carter's tax hikes creating Ronald Reagan. Oh wait, that did happen.
This mentality you describe has ruined the once-great site known as Shakesville. Shakesville has "trigger warnings" all over the place now. It's become a Haruhi-damned cult. I realized what was happening and got out a few years ago, probably one step ahead of being thrown out.
Leftist, liberals, feminists - that is a mighty big brush that covers a lot of territory. Not sure everyone has jumped on this stupid trigger warning bus. Group generalization does not help in the long run. Let us watch each others backs and criticize this smug idiocy and deluded groupthink. I think it has spooky origins too, just as identity politics did from the start.
The idea of a "Marxist" conspiracy is nuts. As you well know, these right-wingers sometimes identify actual conspiracies, but they misattribute them to left-wingers. Doesn't mean there isn't some kind of shenanigans going on.

"A company will try to please its customers. If one company creates a game that you consider an annoying example of political correctness, then it is a simple matter for another company to offer a different sort of product. Hell, you can make your own game and start your own company. Really, that's all there is to it."

I'm sure that's all there is to it. Just as Hollywood, major publishing houses, MSM are equal-opportunity content distributors, why would the video game industry be any different?

Syrian Girl thinks there's something going on, and she's bright. I want to think she's only speaking the language of Alex Jones, as you would try to speak German if you were in Germany.
Shakesville's only redeeming point right now is their continued critique of fat-shaming, which I like since I'm one of the fat.Joe, I'm curious about what games you play. That's a pretty large statement about id & superego. Being of antique vintage, I still play games quite often and only rarely feel like my id is being inflamed. The gamergate thing was nothing but rampant genderism, probably instigated by the Scott Walker wannabes of geekdom.

While you write about progressive political correctness creating Trump's success, I may be first hand witnessing and being exposed to the bad the progressives have whipped up under the guise of progressive policies. I believe there could be a huge backlash against democrats in 2016 if the bad is properly exposed. But first, I am still researching if the bad is as bad as it appears to be.
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