Sunday, June 28, 2020


Apologies to my UK friends: Before an hour ago, I did not who Jonathan Pie is. Is he famous?

Moreover, I don't understand some of this video's references to recent British events. (It's all I can do to follow American events these days.) But his analysis of "cancel culture" is...GLORIOUS.

This video is a must-watch. The first couple of minutes may puzzle you, but stay with it.

If Pie has more to say along these lines, then count me among the Disciples of Pie. Piesciples.

(Update: Turns out that "Jonathan Pie" is a fictional character portrayed by a comic actor named Tom Walker, who has been at it since 2015. Now he works for RT. YIKES! Although this video is spot on, I probably won't embed Walker's work in future posts.) 

I have one disagreement: The cancellation crazies would never say "Please" as they direct a target to hop into the incinerator. At least, not in this country. In the United States of America, right and left are united in their disdain for a common enemy: Politeness.

Double standard. Trump finally addressed the growing "Russian bounty" scandal. (Please please please let this be the scandal that demolishes him once and for all!) As one might have predicted, he's now claiming that he had no idea Putin had put a bounty on American lives. Most of the time, I have no problem stipulating Trump's ignorance -- but in this case, the ignorance excuse is demonstrably false.

By this point, we are used to his brazen falsehoods. Remember when he bragged about asking for a reduction in Covid-19 tests? That one didn't go over so well, so he reached for the trusty "Just kidding" excuse. Nobody bought it.

I certainly don't believe Trump when he claims that he accidentally missed the cries of "White power!" in the video clip he recently promulgated.

Here's my question: If we sneer at Trump's pathetic lies, should we not sneer with equal disdain when the "woke" also traffic in falsehoods?

Let me explain what I mean. Not many days ago, Trump tweeted:
“Black Lives Matter leader states, ‘If U.S. doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it’. This is Treason, Sedition, Insurrection!”
Unfortunately, this is one Trump tweet which may be considered true, or at least true-ish. Making matters worse, the man who inspired this tweet responded with a downright Trumpian lie.

The BLM "leader" in question is one Hawk Newsome. There is legitimate reason to question the assertion that he is a "leader" within the movement.
In a statement to The Associated Press, BLM Global Network managing director Kailee Scales said Newsome’s comments were not an official statement of the network.

“Hawk Newsome has no relation to the Black Lives Matter Global Network,” Scales said.

Newsome is a former president of Black Lives Matter Greater New York, which is not an affiliate chapter of the global network. Although there are many groups that use “Black Lives Matter” or “BLM” in their names, only 16 are considered affiliates of the BLM Global Network.
Some groups have strict membership guidelines, while others are quite amorphous. When dealing with an amorphous group, determining who is and is not a "leader" can be more art than science. I'm not persuaded that Newsome is a leader of BLM, and he certainly does not represent all black people. But it seems fair to say that Newsome is a man whose voice is heard.

And that's why it also seems fair to say that Trump's tweet has a basis in truth.

Newsome belatedly claimed that he spoke figuratively, not literally. My response: Come off it, Hawk. A threadbare excuse like that is very Trump. I would have had more respect for you if you had doubled down.

(Of course, we should also note that Trump never cries "Treason!" when the Boogalooers and other neo-Nazis call for violent revolution.)


Unknown said...

The intelligence community may not have told the Commander in Chief that Russia was paying the Taliban to kill Americans. Let’s hope Trump s right this time, and that our spies didn’t tell him that. True or not, this bit of information could have triggered the fragile personality in the White House. While he’s still there, he should be carefully monitored and NEVER given any excuse to act more rashly than he has in the past. Keep him happy and calm for the next 158 days!

b said...

I don't believe Trump was unwitting when he posted and praised a video in which his supporter shouted "White Power". He hasn't apologised. And he has tweeted material by the fascist and racist group "Britain First" before.

Meanwhile in Britain the right, far right, and media are pointing the finger at black inner London street parties and at the majority-Asian city of Leicester for possibly triggering a second wave of Covid-19. Leicester is described as having been locked down and photos have been published which give the impression that the army is Covid-testing everyone who tries to enter. Neither of these suggestions is either openly stated or true, but that should not deter radical critics from noticing what's happening and how racism and xenophobia are being whipped up. Both "Brixton" and "Leicester" draw associations in many racists' brains the way that observing that "shoppers are getting too close to each other in Waitrose" doesn't.

In fairness I should add that the Daily Mail has also laid into those who have gathered on Bournemouth beach, whom it has referred to using the typically Powellite phrase "tidal wave". The idea is that on one side are the "locals", who live where they are "from" and who want to be left in peace, and on the other side are people who a) come from outside, b) like to enjoy themselves in public, c) flock in a great big wave like inanimate molecules, d) are ignorant, e) spread dirt, and f) spread disease. The assumption is that nobody who actually lives in Bournemouth has enjoyed themselves on Bournemouth beach recently. Not all xenophobia is racist.

Dogwhistles are being blown all over the place. For example much of the British media is reporting that Scottish nationalist first minister Nicola Sturgeon is threatening to quarantine all English people who enter Scotland. That would be utterly unlawful. It would also require putting checkpoints on the border. But neither of those facts has been mentioned in the media at all. Scottish media consumers aren't supposed to use logic when they "read" this story. They are supposed to "think" "Damned right - show those English b*stards what's what."

I know an English family living in Scotland who are planning a holiday in England and who are scared of being harassed by the cops when they come back across the border. The fear isn't so much that they won't be allowed back in, but that they will be delayed and searched at the border and that c***s at the local council or in the local police force in their part of Scotland will then take extra pleasure in enforcing quarantine, for example asking neighbours to spy on them and then paying them a home visit when they know they are out. They are already talking of using a minor rural road to cross the border to avoid experiencing such sh*t. I have never in my life heard that kind of talk about the English-Scottish border before.