47 years ago in American Pie, Don McLean talked about The Day The Music Died. Or of course the music didn’t really die, but at the same time it did. “The three mean (sic) I admired most, the father, son and the holy ghost, they caught the last train for the coast, the day the music died.”
Back then you could still have claimed the country merely lost its innocence. And you could have said the same in 1861 or 1914 or 1941. Today, not to take anything away from music, or the song, something much bigger died. America itself died, not just its music or innocence. America didn’t just lose its innocence, it pled guilty.
No doubt most of you would proclaim that’s a gross exaggeration, and an insane hyperbole, but you would all be wrong, sorry. There’s no way back this time.
America, the United States, with all its initial prejudice and lethal screw-ups, was founded as a place where people could direct their own lives without having to fear any other party, let alone a government, that would stand in their way while they did it. And a big part of not having to fear one’s government is not having to fear that government purposely lying to its citizens. The Founding Fathers, for all their faults, got that right. And today erases all of that in one fell swoop.
That is what died today.
Or, you know, it may have died much earlier, and a thousand times before as well, but with the arrest in London of Julian Assange, an Australian citizen wanted by the US Deep State, a myriad of strands connecting, and connected to a bloated dying corpse came together. And now we know there is no salvation possible. Today made it all terminal. America is no more. Or it is no longer what they tell you it stands for, whichever comes first.
You will find more infographics at Statista
And it’s not just America, mind you. ‘The UK is a serious country’, PM Theresa May said today when addressing Brexit. No it’s not, Theresa, it’s a banana republic hopelessly stuck in a spaghetti western and it no longer knows the rule of law. It sells people to the highest bidder in a meat market, be they Windrush, refugees from her Majesty’s wars in Libya, or just white and poor English, or Julian Assange.
The UK is a parody on a country, it’s a sordid piece of third rate slapstick. It kills people while trying to maintain the image of being a serious country. You know, whatever that is?! The British judge Assange faced today was bleeding mocking him, the arguably greatest journalist of this century and millennium. A serious country?
Julian Assange has been branded a “narcissist” by a judge as he faces both a UK prison sentence and being extradited to the US. The Metropolitan Police said the Australian hacker was initially detained at the Ecuadorian embassy for failing to surrender to court. He had been summoned in 2012 over an alleged rape in Sweden, where authorities are now considering reopening their investigation into those allegations.After arriving at a London police station on Thursday morning, the 47-year-old was additionally arrested on behalf of the US under an extradition warrant.
Mr Assange was taken to Westminster Magistrates’ Court and found guilty of breaching bail hours later. He faces a jail sentence of up to a year. He denied the offence, with lawyers arguing that he had a “reasonable excuse” could not expect a fair trial in the UK as its purpose was to “secure his delivery” to the US. District Judge Michael Snow described the defence as “laughable”, adding: “Mr Assange’s behaviour is that of a narcissist who cannot get beyond his own selfish interests. He hasn’t come close to establishing ‘reasonable excuse’.” He remanded Mr Assange in custody ahead of a future sentencing hearing at Southwark Crown Court.
And where was opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn when this all went on? Haven’t seen him, other then in the afternoon when he was ‘discussing’ Brexit details with May in Parliament on day 1021 since the Brexit referendum, while he should have been out in the street denouncing May and protecting Assange at the loudest voice there is.
Screw you, Jeremy, you’re a pathetic loser. No matter what else you do, there are times when you have to stand up and be counted. You were nowhere to be seen, you coward. Screw you again. And all of your family. A curse on y’all. You had a chance to be counted, and you whimped out so enormously only an elephant could whimp out more. Today was your day, and you were a no-show, again.
But don‘t you mind me, I’m not British and I’m not one of those ass-hat followers of you. I’m just someone calling you a coward. So, you know, your campaign team can keep polling and intervene as soon as they see too many ass-hats become concerned about Assange. Until then, who cares, it’s all in the numbers. It’s not as if you have any principles anyway. If you can screw up Brexit there’s no reason why you couldn’t screw up Assange’s situation as well.
As for the Donald, man, it’s just 6 days ago that I issued a well-meant warning to you, to tell you that those who are after Assange are the same people who are after you.
And now you’ve given those very people a huge stage to execute their anti-Assange and thereby their anti-Trump messages from. Mr. Trump, you’re helping Brennan and Clapper and Comey and their ilk persecute the only person who could ever stand up to them. And who did that better than you ever did. Because he’s so much smarter.
And where are all the media? Where are all the other governments? Where is the European Union? Where is Australia? Yes, Ecuador took away Assange’s citizenship too today, like that’s a piece of candy or something. Asylum, citizenship, they can be bought and sold whenever a bell tolls.
Why do we have international law anyway if nobody abides by any of it? You can’t just grant someone asylum, and then a citizenship, and then rescind it when you like on a rainy morning when your medication runs out or they’re on to you for blatant fraud, Lenin Moreno. Do that and all international law becomes null and void. Hereby.
Pardon me, I’ve just been, like hopefully many people are, so sad and angry and despondent today, all day. The entire world watched the music die today, and never realized it, and a man much smarter and braver and real than any of us is out there paying for our sins, and we have no media left to tell us an honest story about it, and George Orwell is laughing somewhere out there.
And I am still stupid enough to think that we can do better.
America Is No Longer A Nation
The America in which I grew up and lived my early adult life was a nation. Over the course of my life I have watched my country turn into a Tower of Babel. Homogeneity and shared values permitted us to understand one another. This doesn’t mean that there was uniformity or that things were perfect. A Baptist wasn’t a Catholic. A WASP was not a black laborer. A female was not a male. Blacks and poor whites had a hard time becoming middle class, but it could be done. It was possible for middle class people to become “well off,” but difficult to become rich. Immigration was controlled, and the reduction of inflows had helped the Irish and Italians to integrate into society.
Police were helpful and didn’t burst into homes with guns blazing or rough you up on traffic stops. On important issues, compromises could be reached and reforms implemented. English was the language. If you telephoned a service provider, utility, or bank, you quickly were connected to a real person capable of handling every aspect of whatever you were calling about. Today you wait through the Spanish language option for the robo-voice listing the options that might have something to do with the reason for your call. The companies save money and make profits by imposing their service costs on customers.
Technology seems to have worsened the functionality of society. Diversity and multiculturalism definitely have. It used to be that taking or giving offense was something that good manners prevented. Today members of those groups that are entitled to be offended are ready to take offense at any excuse. Today it is easy for a white person and a male to give offense without intending or even knowing that what he did or said was offensive.
Diversity and multiculturalism provide a fertile field for Identity Politics. Identity Politics has succeeded in turning everything white into racism. Indeed, the word “white” is now a code word for racist. Western Civilization and science itself are explained as mechanisms of white domination. The other day a black female college professor declared time to be white. She explained that a tendency on the part of blacks to be late was due to the fact that time was just another white racist construct. Time was white because it made blacks late.
According to Identity Politics, white people are in charge, but the evidence is to the contrary. There are no quotas for whites in university admissions, hiring, and promotion. It is the allegedly victimized “preferred minorities” who get to go to the front of the line. There are no hate speech or hate crime protections for whites. Whites can be called every hurtful and offensive name in the book and have no right or power to demand apologies or the firing of the offender. White DNA has been declared to be “an abomination,” and white people “shouldn’t exist.” In America today, the way to get ahead is to claim victim-hood. Jews are experts at this, and blacks, women, and illegal immigrants have learned the same trick.
University education explains white people as the source of all evil. This is especially the case in what is called black studies and in gender studies, which seems to have developed out of women’s studies or feminist studies. A white male professor who gives a low grade to a female or to a black can expect that some charge might be made against him, but a white male who receives a low grade from a black or feminist professor has no such recourse.
As whites still constitute the majority of the U.S. population, what are the consequences for society when it is the majority that is constantly demeaned? What does it mean when white males, still the backbone of the military, are more easily cowed than women and “preferred minorities”?
When whites become a minority, what is their fate when the new majority has been taught hatred of whites for decades?
What does it mean when Americans fall all over themselves to apologize for using some word or term that someone finds “offensive” when it never occurs to Americans to apologize to Libyans, Iraqis, Syrians, Afghans, Yemeni, Somalis, for destroying the lives of hundreds of thousands of them? The disconnect here is extreme. Words hurt but not bombs. Moreover, I can remember when words now said to be offensive gave no offense to anyone. What has happened is that people have been taught to regard the words as offensive. How else did “girls” become offensive? Identity Politics finds more offensive words every day. Before long a white person will not be able to open their mouth. Language itself is being made dysfunctional. If the means of communication is dysfunctional, how can society be functional?
Identity Politics has produced disunity. Disunity is the antithesis of nationhood.
There are in the U.S. many groups that specialize in teaching hatred of whites by pretending to fight “white supremacy.” A new one on the scene is the Center for Jewish Civilization at Georgetown University. Georgetown is, or was, a Catholic university. One might expect a Center for Catholic Civilization or, as Georgetown is located in America, a Center for American Civilization. But no, it is a Center for Jewish Civilization. Who finances it? Why is it focused on “the far right”? Why is it at Georgetown University?
On April 10 the Center for Jewish Civilization at Georgetown University is hosting an all day propaganda session at the National Press Club to work up opposition to white gentiles who are allegedly using Nazi techniques to attack Jews and blacks. In other words, the Center for Jewish Civilization is doing precisely to white gentiles what the center claims white anti-semites are doing to Jews and blacks. The “conference” is focused on “How Do We Deal with a New Ecosystem of Hate and Anti-Semitism on the Far Right?”
We all know what the “far right” is—white people, which as a group are being recast as “white supremacists.” Far right is not a term ever applied to blacks or other races.
Try to imagine a Center for Palestinian Civilization at Georgetown University that was hosting a National Press Club all day event to combat an “Ecosystem of Hate and Anti-Palestinianism in Israel.” The center would be lumped in with the Alt-Right and accused of promoting hate and anti-semitism.
Or suppose U.S. foreign service veterans formed a Center for American Foreign Policy and criticized Israel’s control over American Foreign Policy revealed in Netanyahu’s boast that at his request Trump named Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, a large chunk of the Iranian government, as a terrorist group.https://news.antiwar.com/2019/04/08/netanyahu-says-trump-named-iran-guards-a-terror-group-at-his-request/ The center would be accused of anti-semitic tropes.
How is a country a nation when it cannot have its own foreign policy, when words of its language are proscribed, when alleged victim groups have more rights than the alleged dominant class, and when hate is used to create disunity?
Identity Politics is the ideology that has been used to break America into disunited pieces.
The world looks on America as something very different than it really is. Much of what is told of America, both good and bad, is simply as Donald Trump says, “fake news.” Americans themselves know little about America. Few travel within their own country. America, you see, if 50 little countries, some like California or Florida or Texas, a virtual “Europe” in themselves, with regions unidentifiable as part of anything at all.
Keeping America divided has been a game for a long time, perhaps since the earliest beginnings when great corporations like the Virginia Company, financed by Europe’s banking elites, unleashed Europe’s excess population, and Europe’s military prowess as well, on an unsuspecting population of 10 million native Americans who, two centuries later, would become a remnant of walking ghosts.
Today I was sent a documentary on Seattle, Washington filmed by KOMO News, a local television station. Seattle has long been seen by other Americans as a gleaming city, moderate weather, startlingly robust economy, mountains and oceans, pure vistas, a cultural mecca that openly discourages even moderately well-to-do professionals from settling there.
But that changed. You see, the rest of America has become a toilet. Cultural degeneration, drugs, economic disaster, a nation with untreated mentally ill, tens of millions of addicts and the largest prison population in the world couldn’t hide it forever.
The “great toilet” of America had to “flush” sometime and when it did, certain cities, bastions of permissiveness and liberal values, where there to accept the effluent. Among those, San Francisco and Seattle, now America’s leading cities in property crime, addiction and homelessness.
These are also cities where a moderate working-class home can cost $1 million.
I sat through an hour of trash heaps and streets lined with the shadows of human beings, who have flocked to “Free-Attle,” the name that has spread across a secret network of addicts, petty criminals and homeless that have been told that laws aren’t enforced, police are helpless, food and medical care is free and the local population exists only to be stolen from and fed upon.
In other areas of America, the behavior seen in Seattle would be met with force. In Seattle things are different, this is the Northern Silicon Valley, a land of tech giants and, let us not forget, Boeing Corporation, the land where Starbucks rules. As much as we all may well love our devices and our coffee, those who deliver both, those who see themselves as “Masters of the Universe” because of their control of the internet, our political races, our news and even our private lives, are the great “solvers.”
Yes, people who have lived their lives writing code and playing video games have been handed an entire region of the United States to rule as they will.
Driving the politics of ignorance that has led to the destruction of what had been two of the planet’s greatest cities is the tech giants, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and a thousand others. America educated a generation of programmers and “fake entrepreneurs,” and created a hell from heaven and, as we are also noting, a New World Order of surveillance and social manipulation.
Their efforts can be seen in how they treat where they live and work, cities whose streets teem with endless armies of screaming paranoids, “meth-heads” and “stoners.” Twenty years ago, the people of San Francisco got used to seeing AIDS victims dying on the sidewalks, learned to look away or step over the bodies.
One might wonder if the video game industry, that “other” drug culture, along with the insular existence on social media created a mind set where engineering human degeneration might well be considered a competitive sport. Then we have drugs, we can’t forget that. Drugs are a key component to the lives of every American, millions of methamphetamine addicts and tens of millions of opioid addicts, legalized marijuana and a culture based on gratification and ambivalence.
The culture of drugs that is now running America had its beginnings long ago. A century ago, heroin was sold over-the-counter as a “relaxant” and pain reliever and cocaine was in soft drinks. When the 1960s arrived, a generation of Americans, driven to rebel against decades of self-righteous repression in the midst of a divided racist culture, was primed for being unleashed.
Along with the cultural upheaval of The Beatles and the music revolution came LSD and a general acceptance that altered reality led to human growth. Though this message may well have value, there is little doubt that it opened a floodgate.
By the 1970s, Vietnam veterans became the prime offenders, self-medicating for PTSD or going to university where they joined several million “displaced” or “throw-away” children of the “greatest generation.”
The 1980s saw America flooded first with cocaine, and anyone who doesn’t see the hand of the CIA behind this is blind. Cocaine soon emerged as “crack,” a highly addictive form that flooded America’s inner cities, destroying them in ways no nuclear weapon could approach, with “crack addicts” a virtual army of “walking dead.”
Drugs had always been the business of America’s “Mainline” families, the Cabots and Astors, or rather the Cabotas and Astorgas were one to trace their real origin to the ancient Sephardic banking consortiums of 16th century Italy. These great shipping families of America’s Northeast, centered around the universities, Harvard and Yale, ran the slaves, carried China’s opium for Britain and profited from every war as “Americans,” just as they had when they funded Napoleon and his foes.
As is so often the case, when you open a door, there is so much behind it, lending toward recognizing those who profit from despair and suffering, but our story is a much smaller one today, or is it that small? As it plays out, the story enacted in San Francisco and Seattle is also London and Paris or Berlin.
We return then to America and the generation after what Russians call The Great Patriotic War. In America it was a “watershed,” where those born in its wake would find themselves
Parents of “baby boomers” were the veterans of World War II or survivors of the Great Depression who managed to put their lives together at age 50, starting families late in life.
When I was a child growing up in Detroit, most of my friends had fathers old enough to be World War I veterans, dropping like flies from heart attacks and years of cigarettes and working in factories laden with the stench of carcinogens. Washing one’s hands with carbon tetrachloride (Google never heard of it) was common.
For Americans, the rural South and West, the teeming cities, the only hedge against cultural decay and rampant crime is economic isolation. For that, moderate to great wealth is required or to simply stay silent.
Americans share, though many are unaware of this, the suffering that America’s global policies inflict on others. America’s economic wars, Russia, Syria, Venezuela, China, and the list grows hourly, our misguided war on terror, have lowered standards of living around the world, generally assumed to foster unrest and dissatisfaction. Why then is it being done at home?
That answer is also simple, to foster unrest and dissatisfaction.
One might ask why a nation would subject itself, its own people, particularly those who blindly support political leaders whose policies are destructive to their own supporters and constituents, to a life of hopelessness and potential radicalization.
Why would a nation assume political and economic policies that put millions on the streets to parasite off of and embattle those around them fostering anarchy and crime.
This is what we saw in Seattle, the “gem of the Pacific,” mountains of trash, armies of the unwanted, not sent to but rather openly welcomed in, “come steal from us, kill us, spread filth on our streets, defile our parks and monuments.”
The end result of what we have seen is telling. Behind it is fear, as in the lessons many Israeli’s have learned, that walling out the Palestinians has, in truth walls them in. There is no being “above” suffering.
When suffering is engineered, be it greed or social experimentation, perhaps those choosing lives of suffering for others might be held to task.
Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War that has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades and consulted with governments challenged by security issues. He’s a senior editor and chairman of the board of Veterans Today, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”
As Karl Marx said, “The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.”
Western Culture Has Died A Politically Correct Death
It is amazing the power that politically correct kooks have acquired over language, art, and literature. It is a sign that the West is culturally dead.
When high museums rename paintings because some emotional weakling declares the name to be offensive, it becomes obvious that the custodians of Western culture have lost their belief in Western culture.
When universities cover up murals because of a claim they are offensive to people whose presence on the campus is minuscule if present at all, you know that learning is no longer the purpose of the university.
When people are afraid to use the words and terms of their forefathers, you know they have been intimidated to abandon even their own language and ways of speaking.
Western culture today consists of pornography, sexual deviants, whining wimps devastated by mere words, self-hatred, and craven cowards afraid to stand up for themselves against the onslaught of hate directed toward them by political correctness freaks.
The political correctness people are the most alienated and emotionally weak element in society. Yet they dominate in the media, entertainment, universities, and art world. How is it possible that the Washingtonians are prepared to take us to war with real people—Russians, Chinese and North Koreans—two countries that have already whipped us once—and Persians, an ancient race that even the Romans had a hard time with? Do the fools in Washington really think that our homosexualized, feminized, transgenderized military can take on Russians, Chinese, and Persians? Hollywood can make all the movies it wants with female superheroes, but superheroes are the last thing whining American feminists are.
The real questions for the politically correct crowd are: (1) why isn’t war politically incorrect, and (2) why isn’t it politically incorrect for the politically correct arbiters of language to call the rest of us names? The real racists in America are those who call white people racist.
Universities in the 20th century were dedicated to the advancement of knowledge. Scholarship and research were pursued, and diverse opinions were exchanged and argued in the “marketplace of ideas.”
This is no longer the case. Particularly in the social sciences, humanities, education, social work, and law, a single political ideology has replaced scholarship and research, because the ideology presents fixed answers to all questions. And, although the most important thing in universities today is the diversity of race, gender, sexual practice, ethnicity, economic class, and physical and mental capability, there is no longer diversity of opinion. Only those committed to the ideology are admitted to academic staff or administration.
Universities have been transformed by the near-universal adoption of three interrelated theories: postmodernism, postcolonialism, and social justice. These theories and their implications will be explored here.
Postmodernism: In the past, academics were trained to seek truth. Today, academics deny that there is such a thing as objective Truth. Instead, they argue that no one can be objective, that everyone is inevitably subjective, and consequently everyone has their own truth. The correct point of view, they urge, is relativism. This means not only that truth is relative to the subjectivity of each individual, but also that ethics and morality are relative to the individual and the culture, so there is no such thing as Good and Evil, or even Right and Wrong. So too with the ways of knowing; your children will learn that there is no objective basis for preferring chemistry over alchemy, astronomy over astrology, or medical doctors over witch doctors. They will learn that facts do not exist; only interpretations do.
Our social understanding has also been transformed by postmodern relativism. Because moral and ethical principles are deemed to be no more than the collective subjectivity of our culture, it is now regarded as inappropriate to judge the principles and actions of other cultures. This doctrine is called “cultural relativism.” For example, while racism is held to be the highest sin in the West, and slavery the greatest of our historical sins, your children will learn that we are not allowed to criticize contemporary racism and slavery in Africa, the Middle East, and the equivalents in South Asia.
The political manifestation of cultural relativism is multiculturalism, an incoherent concept that projects the integration of multiple incompatible cultures. Diversity is lauded as a virtue in itself. Imagine a country with fifty different languages, each derived from a different culture. That would not be a society, but a tower of babble. How would it work if there were multiple codes of law requiring and forbidding contrary behaviors: driving on the left and driving on the right; monogamy and polygamy; male dominance and gender equality; arranged marriage and individual choice? Your children will learn that our culture is nothing special and that other cultures are awesome.
Postcolonialism, the dominant theory in the social sciences today, is inspired by the Marxist-Leninist theory of imperialism, in which the conflict between the capitalist and proletariat classes is allegedly exported to the exploitation of colonized countries. By this means, the theory goes, oppression and poverty take place in colonies instead of in relation to the metropolitan working class. Postcolonialism posits that all of the problems in societies around the world today are the result of the relatively short Western imperial dominance and colonization. For example, British imperialism is blamed for what are in fact indigenous cultures, such as the South Asian caste system and the African tribal system. So too, problems of backwardness and corruption in countries once, decades ago, colonies continue to be blamed on past Western imperialism. The West is thus the continuing focus on anti-imperialist and anti-colonialist sentiment. Your children will learn that our society is evil, and the cause of all the evil in the wider world.
This ahistorical approach of postcolonialism ignores the hundreds of empires and their colonies throughout history, as well as ignoring contemporary empires, such as the Arab Muslim Empire that conquered all of the central Middle East, North Africa, southern Europe, Persia, Central Asia, and northern India, and occupied them minimally for hundreds of years, but 1400 years in the central Middle East and North Africa, and occupy them today. China, once the Communists took power, invaded Inner Mongolia to the north, Chinese Turkestan to the west, and Tibet to the south. Once in control, the government flooded these colonies with Han Chinese, in effect ethnically cleansing them. Postcolonialists have nothing to say about any of this; they wish to condemn exclusively the West. Your children will learn to reject history and comparisons with other societies, lest the claimed unique sins of the West be challenged.
Postcolonialists like to stress the racial dimension of Western imperialism: as an illustration of racism. But postmodernists are not interested in Arab slave raiding in “black” Africa, or Ottoman slaving among the whites in the Balkans, or the North Africans slave raiding of whites in Europe, from Ireland through Italy and beyond. Your children will learn that only whites are racist.
Social justice theory teaches that the world is divided between oppressors and victims. Some categories of people are oppressors and other are victims: males are oppressors, and females are victims; whites are oppressors, and people of color are victims; heterosexuals are oppressors, and gays, lesbians, bisexual, etc. are victims; Christians are oppressors, and Muslims are victims. Your sons will learn that they are stigmatized by their toxic masculinity.
Social justice theory has taken university life by storm. It is the result of the relentless working of Marxist theory, adopted by youngsters during the American cultural revolution of the 1960s, then brought to universities as many of those youngsters became college professors. Marxism as an academic theory was explicitly followed by some in the 1970s and 1980s, but it did not sweep everything else away, because the idea economic class conflict was not popular in the prosperous general North American population. The cultural Marxist innovation that brought social justice theory to dominance was the extension of class conflict from economics to gender, race, sexual practice, ethnicity, religion, and other mass categories. We see this in sociology, which is no longer defined as the study of society but has for decades been defined as the study of inequality. For social justice theory, equality is not the equality of opportunity that is the partner of merit, but rather equality of result, which ensures the members of each category at equality of representation irrespective of merit. Your sons will learn that they should “step aside” to give more space and power to females. Your daughters, if white, will learn that they must defer to members of racial minorities.
As there is allegedly structural discrimination against all members of victim categories, in order for equality of result to prevail, representation according to percentages of populations must be mandated in all organizations, in all books assigned or references cited, in all awards and benefits. Ideas such as merit and excellence are dismissed as white-male supremacist dog whistles; they are to be replaced by “diversity” of gender, race, sexual preference, ethnicity, economic class, religion, and so on. (Note that “diversity” does not include “diversity of opinion”; for only social justice ideology is acceptable. Any criticism or opposition is regarded as “hate speech.”) Academic committees now twist themselves into pretzels trying to explain that “diversity is excellence.”
Of course, the requirement of representation according to population applies only one way: to members of victim classes. If whites, men, heterosexuals, Christians, etc. are underrepresented, that is fine; the fewer the better. For example, females now make up 60% of university graduates, although in the general age cohort males are 51%. There is no social justice clamoring for males to be fully represented. Members of disfavored oppressor categories are disparaged. The classics of Western civilization should be ignored because they are the work, almost exclusively, of “dead white men.” Only works of females, people of color and non-Western authors should be considered virtuous. So too in political history. The American Constitution should be discarded because its writers were slaveholders.
“intersectionality” is an idea invented by a feminist law professor. It argues that some individuals fall into several victim categories, for example, black, female lesbians have three points in the victim stakes, as opposed to male members of the First Nations who receive only one point. Further, on the action front, members of each victim category are urged to unite and ally with members of other victim categories, because sharing the victim designation is the most important status in the world. This leads to some anomalies. Black victims of racism are urged to unite with Arab victims of colonialism, even though Arabs have been and still are holders of black slaves.
As Karl Marx said, “The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.” The objective of a university education today is to ensure that students chose “the right side” in changing the world. The idea that it probably makes sense to try to understand the world before attempting to change it, is rejected as outmoded, modernist empiricism and realism, now superseded by postmodernism and social justice. If there is no Truth, and whatever one feels or believes is one’s truth, then trying to gain an objective understanding of the world is futile.
Things you are not allowed to say anymore.
Every other week, it seems like there’s a new case of something “racist” or “culturally insensitive” being banished from view in this fight against anything that could conceivably be “offensive” to the eyes or ears of one group or another.
With more and more old literary classics, theatre plays and works of art being ‘reexamined’ over their ‘problematic’ themes and words, it’s almost like the West’s is in a fight against its own cultural history.
Read by millions of American schoolchildren for more than one hundred years, Mark Twain’s ‘Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ has suddenly become too controversial for curricula.
Sensitive lawmakers in New Jersey recently introduced a resolution that would remove the book from school programs. Why? Because the novel, written in the 1880s, uses racial slurs and depicts racial attitudes and stereotypes which could “cause students to feel upset.”
Instead of using the American classic to perhaps teach kids about racism and history, the lawmakers have decided to just get rid of it instead. It doesn’t even seem to matter that the racial slurs are used by characters who are portrayed negatively in the book, their mere existence in the text is apparently enough to warrant the banishing.
Two more cherished classics to add to the literary and cinematic naughty corner are P. L. Travers’ ‘Mary Poppins’ and Disney’s ‘The Lion King’, which are both now too racist for consumption, apparently.
Europe’s oldest university at the Sorbonne has seen many a banning controversy in its day — the works of Erasmus were banned by the university in the 16th century, for example — but it looks like the hallowed place of learning is not yet done with censorship.
Activists at the Sorbonne university have just blocked a theater performance of ‘The Suppliants’ by Greek playwright Aeschylus, because some characters wear black masks, which they said could promote racial stereotypes.
Not all hope is lost, however. In this case, the university itself lashed out at the activists saying the blockage of the performance was “a very serious, totally unjustified attack on freedom of creation.”
France’s education minister even weighed in on the ‘scandal’ and said that while growing racism was an issue in France, some activist groups were perpetrating a “certain violence in the name of anti-racism.”
In another attempt at cultural ‘sensitivity’, a French museum has launched a special exhibition in which a number of masterpieces have been renamed after their black subjects. Manet’s Olympia, for example, has been renamed ‘Laure’ after the woman who posed as her black maid in the background — although the renaming seems to be temporary for this particular exhibition.
But renaming art as a form of ‘reconciliation’ is not a new idea. Last year, the Art Gallery of Ontario renamed a painting by Canadian artist Emily Carr in an effort to “eliminate culturally insensitive languages” from the titles in its collection. The painting of a white church in an indigenous village was originally called ‘Indian Church’ but its new name is ‘Church at Yuquot Village’.
Shield your eyes from the Columbus muralsNot everyone was delighted by the move, with some in the art community saying that the renaming displaces the work from its historical context, which does even more damage. Back in 2015, a Dutch museum also began renaming works of art to ensure that modern museum goers were not offended.
To shelter sensitive students from the sins of the past, the University of Notre Dame announced earlier this year that it would cover up murals of Christopher Columbus, the explorer who committed atrocities against native people after he ‘discovered’ the Americas while seeking to find a new trade route to India — a moment in history which sparked centuries of transatlantic colonization.
Notre Dame president John Jenkins wrote in an email that the murals on campus were “demeaning” to the “indigenous peoples.” The decision outraged the Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) chapter at the university whose spokesperson said Notre Dame had decided to “coddle its students by shielding them from a painting of an important figure in world history.”
The attitude now seems to be, if history is upsetting or too hard to handle, we should just try to forget it ever happened and destroy anything that might remind us.
With delicate modern sensibilities dictating everything these days, it looks like it’s time to enjoy these creations of the past before it’s too late.
“There’s no better way to understand a founder than by looking at what bonding method this person uses.”
In Asia, the #MeToo movement hasn’t made much headway. Instead, booze and hookers still appears to do the time-honored trick of helping businessman build “relationships.”
While the #MeToo wave plays out in the United States and Europe, resulting in a revulsion against “toxic masculinity” complete with countless rape accusations, both real and fake, in places like Tokyo, Seoul and Beijing it is still standard practice for corporate executives to “bond” (and bondage) with colleagues while chugging booze and hanging out with escorts who “often illegally perform sexual favors”, according to a new Bloomberg article.
Meet Regina Yuan who works at a start up company based in Shanghai. She’s 27 years old and often “entertains” clients from out of town for several evenings in a row. Sometimes she drinks with them, sometimes she picks up the bill and she “shoulders most of the burden” when she goes out with male colleagues and clients “for her own safety”. She said that clients that visit these types of clubs include prestigious Chinese investment bankers and financial execs.
“You just have to think of yourself as a man” she told Bloomberg. “Pretty much going to hostess clubs is like a tourist destination when our clients and investors come to town. It’s like if you don’t take them there, you haven’t paid your respects to your guests.”
Younger men in Asia have often referred to the egregious alcohol consumption and trips to hostess clubs as a form of hazing. On the other hand, women like Yuan are at risk of being left out and missing important “networking” opportunities if they don’t, or can’t, attend.
Zheng Tiantian, author of “Red Lights: The Lives of Sex Workers in Post-socialist China” confirmed: “Visits to hostess clubs are an integral part of doing business in China and Japan. Interactions with hostesses are constantly performed and being evaluated by others to determine their characteristics and qualities and whether they are worthy as business partners.”
Said otherwise, don’t tell Hollywood, but if you don’t bang the ho, so to speak, you may soon be unemployed, especially since prostitution is legal in Singapore and Hong Kong.
Clearly this practice stands in “contrast” to what is acceptable in polite society in the United States and Europe, where companies have come under fire for conducting business in gentlemen’s clubs or similar types of venues. And while these types of trips are on the decline in the US and in the United Kingdom, they remain embedded in the working culture of places like Japan, China and South Korea. For instance, Japan has more than 63,900 hostess clubs, where prices can range from a few hundred dollars to as much is $30,000 for “bottles of liquor” to share with groups of or impress females.
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In South Korea, these types of hostess bars have long been considered part of the business landscape. Some of them are even built with elevators to so-called “love hotels”. The South Korean government estimates there are 13,316 sex brokers in the country with 57% of them operating in the form of hostess bars (prostitution is illegal in SK).
Meanwhile, in China not only do females have to worry about business culture, they have to worry about suppression from the government. Despite both prostitution and hostess clubs being illegal in China, high-end venues in Beijing and Shanghai can charge up to $2900 for a room, including alcohol. Escorts hired to drink with clients can cost more than $280 each.
Paradoxically, female activists who have tried to stand up to these clubs and start movements in China are often arrested.
The broad acceptance of hostess clubs on the mainland has some venture capitalists using these clubs as a way to try and gauge what type of company they’re going to invest in. China Growth Capital’s Gong Yuan stated, without a trace of sarcasm, that “there’s no better way to understand a founder than by looking at what bonding method this person uses. The startups that emerged three years ago trying to transform traditional industries brought a lot of these questionable behaviors. Companies that have real technology just go on hikes.”
As a result, many women remain silent or simply leave these companies as the #MeToo movement has zero likelihood of becoming socially-relevant in these male-dominated societies.
Meanwhile, back to start up employee Regina Yuan who is not optimistic for the future. She concluded: “I don’t think this will ever change in China. I don’t think #MeToo has had any significant impact in China. People are too busy making money to think about these matters.”