Bookworm Beat 12/13/16/ — the Culture Wars edition

Culture Wars -- transgenders in bathroomsThe Progressives’ resistance to Trump’s indubitable Electoral College victory is highlighting the culture wars that have riven America. They have spent the last eight years building an alternative American model:

  • Slavery is still the dominant cultural marker;
  • America’s law enforcement officers are on a binge spree of mass slaughtering blacks;
  • The rights of a microscopic subset of mentally ill people with sexual body dysmorphia must transcend both reality and civil rights for the rest of Americans;
  • Human biology is a fiction and people’s emotional feelings about their bodies are the only metrics that count;
  • America’s troops need less God and more transexuals in order to be a force that can properly defend America (while exposing themselves to greater risks to protect America’s enemies);
  • Women are perpetually on the verge of being reduced to a subordinate state comparable to that of women in ISIS territory;
  • Muslims are being rounded up and interned; the border must be opened completely with an abandonment of national sovereignty and identity lest Hispanics feel they are the objects of prejudice; and
  • America’s unremarkable weather patterns, along with a slight cooling trend, are indicative of apocalyptic anthropogenic global warming . . . er, climate change — as long as Progressive stalwarts in NOAA and academia can keep adjusting the temperature records. No wonder they’re in a blind panic now that half the country has come forward and said it’s time for a reality check.

Andrew Breitbart was right when he said politics is downstream from culture — especially to a Leftist to whom everything is political. This post assembles a variety of articles I’ve read in the past week, some of which seem more political than cultural, but all of which demonstrate the cultural war — the cultural civil war — currently ongoing in America. It’s one Progressives are determined to win, and we need to up our game if we don’t want to see Trump either prevented from taking office or driven from office without getting to do what Obama has done for the past eight years; namely, exercise the prerogatives of victory in a two-party system.

With the above in mind, here are some interesting items from the front lines of America’s culture wars. I’ll start with a cartoon someone sent me as I was writing the above:


Conservatives not welcome on campus to make documentary showing that conservatives not welcome on campus. The Progressives have become an irony-free zone:

A funny thing happened to some right-leaning filmmakers trying to make their case that conservatives aren’t welcome on college campuses: They weren’t allowed on a college campus.

At least that’s according to a letter that their lawyers fired off to California State University, Northridge in southern California.

Comedian Adam Carolla and radio host Dennis Prager are touring the nation’s universities while making their documentary film, No Safe Spaces, and their first stop, scheduled at CSUN, was canceled, according to lawyers, because the content of a talk they were to give was deemed politically incorrect.

Denzel Washington wants government out of people’s personal lives. I’ve always liked Denzel Washington:

Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington said it’s up to the American people to “ask questions about each other and engage” as a way to improve race relations in the country because the U.S. president cannot “legislate love.”

Washington also had a direct message for anyone wondering which candidate he voted for in the 2016 presidential election: “None of your business.”

VDH rips the hardcore cultural Leftism on campuses and in the media. When VDH is on a roll, nobody does it better:

The university and the media share two traits: Both industries have become arrogant and ignorant. We have created a climate, ethically and professionally, in which extremism has bred extremism, and bias is seen not as proof of journalistic and academic corruption, but of political purity. The recent election, and especially its aftermath, embarrassed journalists and academics alike — and should not be forgotten.

In the aftermath, they have learned nothing and forgotten nothing, as they insist that the popular vote alone should have mattered, that the Russians stole the election, that there was voting fraud, but only in the swing states Trump won, or that Democrats did not emphasize identity politics enough — anything other than the truth that a now municipal Democratic party is run by apartheid coastal elites and fueled by identity politics, and that journalists and professors cannot keep society’s trust.

Instead of introspective self-critique, the media have now gone postmodern, doubling down on their biases, under a new project of attacking supposed “neutrality” and “objectivity” themselves. From the strange suggestion by the New York Times’ James Rutenberg that journalists should feel no need to treat the exceptional Trump candidacy by “normal standards” to Christiane Amanpour’s recent screed that there can be no so such thing as neutral reporting over man-caused global warming, given “settled science” (the linguistic gymnastics by which “global warming” became “climate change” escapes her). (In 1980, Amanpour no doubt would have damned the few outliers who questioned the settled-science consensus on the cause of stomach ulcers or who doubted that we were really nearing “peak petroleum” production.)

Leftists have turned themselves in pansies (albeit with rat teeth when attacked). Andrew Klavan, looking at the perpetual wailing and gnashing of teeth on the Left, has a few observations to make:

I mean, really, why are they such pansies?

Here’s my guess. A right-winger turns on his favorite television show and has his favorite character tell him his favorite candidate is demonic. He turns on the news and hears “journalists” edit out stories of Democrat malfeasance while emphasizing Republican corruption. He goes to the movies and has his political beliefs insulted and derided. His favorite singer hates him. His professor excoriates him. His employer would fire him if he knew what he thought.

It makes you tough. It makes you smart. It makes you educate yourself as to why you believe what you believe and what the arguments for and against it are.

A leftist? He floats in a candy-cane cloud of self-congratulating self-reinforcement. Hollywood, the news media, academia, they all tell him: “You’re smart. You’re good. You’re right. You’re nice. You’re going to win the election. Anyone can see that. How could you lose? Anyone who disagrees with you is bad, stupid, mean, wicked.”

No wonder these people whine and cry when things don’t go their way. Spending their days in a pink haze of bias, how could they ever have seen it coming?

Ace thinks there’s a genetic component to that pansy-ness. Riffing off of Klavan’s observations, Ace has a few of his own:

But I think mostly they were Born This Way. There are soft people and there are harder ones. The soft people seek to Herd Up, like lesser animals, because they’re soft and in need of protection from the group. They also seek help from the government, because they need to be subsidized and championed.

The harder people just take care of their own shit.

Some are born makers, others takers. Yes, culture reinforces these attitudes and makes it easy to be weak, but some are just born weak.

I don’t hate them for that.

I hate them for taking the Weakling’s Vengeance any chance they get.

I think they’re both right. It’s a case of nature and nurture once you find yourself in a hardcore Progressive environment. The inbred traits are reinforced by the relentless cultural push.

What’s with the Progressive desire to feminize men? Some guy named Tom Ford, who seems to be famous for something although I’ve never heard of him, thinks all men should be on the receiving end of penetrative sex at least one, so that they can empathize with women. You know what enables men to empathize with women? An open, loving, respectful mind. Otherwise, absent a vagina, advocating for gay sex will not cut it.

And here’s a poster that goes a long way to explaining why, when I visited Little Bookworm’s college campus, I thought all the boys were gay, although reason dictated that this was unlikely. It’s not just that boys have taken on the feminine habit of ending sentences on a rising note, making even assertions sound like questions. It’s also the body language:


The really sexy, manly men are the men of old:

By the way, I’d like to remind all of you that women on the Pill prefer baby-faced men.

And yes, real men do view women as sex objects — that’s normal and natural, provided that, unlike Muslim men, they don’t feel impelled to act upon it with violence. Muslim men have taken this natural instinct and, instead of wrapping it up in romance, chivalry, and respect, have opted simply to wrap their women up in tents.

Multiculturalism is doomed to failure. Multiculturalism is inherently flawed and unsustainable:

Multiculturalism, as a concept, doesn’t work.

Multiculturalism is the idea that different cultures can come together in the same place, be preserved as distinct cultures, and they don’t need to blend together and merge. It’s the opposite of what Americans call the “melting pot,” as expressed in our slogan “E Pluribus Unum.” (From many people, comes one.) In 2011 British Prime Minister David Cameron became the first European leader to admit, explicitly, that multiculturalism had failed.…

But it was doomed to fail. Multiculturalism is almost an oxymoron. Think about it. A “culture” is nothing more than a shared set of beliefs on how people should interact. It’s a form of what the computer industry calls a “standard.”

Without standards, computers could not operate. Choose Windows or Mac OS, but you have to choose. Standards permeate our life, from the type of electrical socket our appliances use, to the convention of placing 2×4 joists 4 feet apart when building a house, to the fact that in the Western Hemisphere we all drive on the right side of the road.

Multiculturalism is tantamount to saying a country can do fine even though there is no agreement on what the basic standards are for how we interact with each other. How stupid an idea is that, when you think about it?

Hollywood, in the face of failure, plans to double down. Although the expression allegedly originated with Einstein, it was from Hillary Clinton, back in the 90s, that I first heard that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different outcome. Given the way in which the Left’s aggressive cultural agenda drove the entirety of Middle America into Republican arms, you’d think the Left would recalibrate. But no. Now we know for sure that Hollywood is insane:

Shortly after Donald Trump was elected president, the executive producer of the CW series “Jane the Virgin” decided to make a few changes: She nixed the Ivanka Trump shoes from wardrobe and urged the show’s writers to make a key character zealous about registering Latinos to vote.

Trump’s victory is redrawing many narratives and story lines across the country, including those at the center of the entertainment industry. In addition to the new activism and footwear, “Jane the Virgin,” a family saga of a young Latina in Miami, will be recalibrated in other ways to address America’s unsettling cultural and political climate.

“The writers and I talked about it a lot, about how we should and can approach it most effectively within our storytelling,” said creator and show runner Jennie Snyder Urman. “I think our show has to live in this world.”

Those sentiments echo across town. Trump may be a colossus of Hollywood’s own making — it was “The Apprentice,” not real estate, that made him a household name — but his defeat of Hillary Clinton was a stinging repudiation of the political correctness, diversity and liberalism celebrated by much of the entertainment business at a time of bitter argument over the nation’s ideals.

Pope confirms that the Left loves poop. Pope Francis stunned and disgusted everyone when he compared fake news to eating poop. I was not surprised, although I was disgusted. Why no surprise? Because I’ve been saying for years that the Left is the party of poop. Leftists are obsessed with poop. They perpetually locked into an infantile anal stage in which they cannot get over their fascination with their body’s ability to excrete smelly, bacteria-laden waste.

Pope Francis has never read the Bible. One would think that the Pope would have read the Bible. I’ve read the Bible, both new testament and old. What I know is that Jesus’s family lived in Nazareth. It was on the road in December, when Mary was pregnant with him, because the Romans were doing a mandatory census to augment their ability to tax Judea. In other words, Jesus had a home. Not in Pope Francis’s world of ignorance, though:

As Pope Francis officially opened this year’s Christmas Nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square, he said Jesus was a “migrant” who reminds us of the plight of today’s refugees. Francis told donors who contributed both the Nativity set and an 82-foot tree that the story of Jesus’ birth echoes the “tragic reality of migrants on boats making their way toward Italy” from the Middle East and Africa today.

Transgenderism is a lousy deal for real women. I won’t bother summarizing Rivka Edelman’s excellent post about the way in which transgenderism is hostile to women. I’ll simply recommend — strongly — that you read it. The cult of transgenderism, which pretends that biological reality, from the chromosomes on up, is a myth, and that therefore elevates mental illness to a dominant cultural trope, is dangerous to more than just women. When a society takes leave of sanity and reality, it’s a society that’s in deep trouble at more levels than I can address in this squiblet.

If you want macro- and micro-aggressions, go to college. These aggressions abound at colleges, and they’re directed almost entirely at conservatives:

People who study patterns of discrimination talk about behaviors like “othering,” about marginalization, and about microaggressions. But in my experience, these behaviors are prominent in the world of academia, and they’re often aimed at conservative or libertarian students and faculty who depart from whatever the current left-leaning orthodoxy is.

When professors or administrators act as if Trump and his supporters are uniquely evil, as opposed to simply one political coalition, they are engaging in “othering.” The message is that Trump — and, more significantly, his supporters on campus — aren’t really members of the community in good standing. They’re a dangerous “other” who must be closely watched, carefully scrutinized, thoroughly stigmatized, and maybe shunned.

It’s only “fake” if the Left disagrees with it. You already know the principle that fake news really means “We on the Left either dislike it or don’t agree with it.” Ace, however, has a very nice way of putting it, which looks at cultural lore and the fairy tales that Leftists willingly believe. It’s well worth the read.

Of course the self-styled “elites” on America’s coasts sneer at the Heartland. Kevin Drum is a hardcore Leftist who writes for Mother Jones. He’s also surprisingly honest and I’ve quoted him before for his willingness to admit that his side has problems. Here he is acknowledging that people in the derisively named “flyover” country aren’t imagining the coastal condescension aimed at them:

I’m not here to get into a fight with Krugman, but come on. Sure, the right-wing media fans the flames of this stuff, but is there really any question that liberal city folks tend to sneer at rural working-class folks? I’m not even talking about stuff like abortion and guns and gay marriage, where we disagree over major points of policy. I’m talking about lifestyle. Krugman talks about fast food, and that’s a decent example. Working-class folks like fast food,1 which explains why Donald Trump liked to show pictures of himself eating McDonald’s or KFC. It’s a sign that he’s one of them. Ditto for Trump’s famous trucker hat. (Did you even know that it’s a trucker hat, not a baseball cap? He did.)

If I felt like this was something that actually needs evidence, I could produce a million examples in a very short time. But everyone gets this, don’t they? We sneer at their starchy food. We sneer at their holy-roller megachurches. (But not at black churches; never that.) We sneer at their favorite TV shows. We sneer at their reading habits. We sneer at their guns. We sneer at their double-wides. We sneer at the tchotchkes that litter their houses. We sneer at their supermarket tabloids. We sneer at their music. We sneer at their leisure activities. We sneer at their blunt patriotism. We sneer at—

Having read the modern college curriculum doesn’t mean you’re smart. I’ve argued vigorously here that there’s no one more stupid, less informed, or less capable of intelligent analysis than someone educated at American colleges in the last 30 or so years. They can allude to Nietzsche with aplomb, but they’re idiots. Someone agrees with me:

The Intellectual Yet Idiot is a production of modernity hence has been accelerating since the mid twentieth century, to reach its local supremum today, along with the broad category of people without skin-in-the-game who have been invading many walks of life. Why? Simply, in most countries, the government’s role is between five and ten times what it was a century ago (expressed in percentage of GDP). The IYI seems ubiquitous in our lives but is still a small minority and is rarely seen outside specialized outlets, think tanks, the media, and universities — most people have proper jobs and there are not many openings for the IYI.

Beware the semi-erudite who thinks he is an erudite. He fails to naturally detect sophistry.

The IYI pathologizes others for doing things he doesn’t understand without ever realizing it is his understanding that may be limited. He thinks people should act according to their best interests and he knows their interests, particularly if they are “red necks” or English non-crisp-vowel class who voted for Brexit. When plebeians do something that makes sense to them, but not to him, the IYI uses the term “uneducated”. What we generally call participation in the political process, he calls by two distinct designations: “democracy” when it fits the IYI, and “populism” when the plebeians dare voting in a way that contradicts his preferences. While rich people believe in one tax dollar one vote, more humanistic ones in one man one vote, Monsanto in one lobbyist one vote, the IYI believes in one Ivy League degree one-vote, with some equivalence for foreign elite schools and PhDs as these are needed in the club.

Lastly, conservatives are not cultural bullies. Of course conservatives, like statists, would like to see their view of culture predominate, but it’s only the statists who are bullies:

Conservatives can be quite loud in their objection to certain figures they deem unpatriotic or insufficiently patriotic. But in today’s America, they don’t have much ability to actually punish anyone for their views. This is, on balance, a good thing. We can debate the details, but the world in general is better off with the free expression of bad ideas.

We live in a world where Brendan Eich can get tossed from a company he founded over supporting a marriage initiative, ESPN fired Curt Schilling for a Facebook post about transgender bathrooms, bakers get fined $135,000 for refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding, and the Department of Justice goes after the Little Sisters of the Poor for claiming an exemption to the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate. At the core of modern leftist-driven political correctness is the idea that the social transgression of holding an unpopular opinion must be met with economic repercussions or legal prosecution. Conservatives may complain loudly and frequently, but so far, they’ve shown little ability to generate economic repercussions or legal prosecution.

And that is all I have for now.