Findlay, Ohio: A Case Study in Wokification

 

This weekend, I traveled to the city of Findlay, Ohio, to see an old friend. I expected to find beautiful buildings and good conversation, and I did. What I didn’t expect to find was a corporo-civic woke propaganda campaign being waged on its streets.

First, I wandered around the older residential neighborhoods and saw a few of the usual yard signs and rainbow flags. This is to be expected. But downtown surprised me. Rainbow banners festooned the lamp posts along Main Street, and a rainbow blob (intended to be a rainbow Ohio, I gather) had been painted at the center of the main intersection, in front of the county courthouse. A large flag mounted to a coffee shop read “HATE HAS NO HOME HERE,” and a bulletin board at the local deli was covered with posters advertising a marijuana dispensary and various LGBTQWERTY clubs and activities. Two activists of some kind roamed the streets in their Pride Month shirts, handing out business cards, while a local eccentric, also clad in rainbow attire, muttered to himself and occasionally yelled indecipherable words at the joggers and dog-walkers going to and fro.

. . .

Findlay, set amid northwestern Ohio’s flat and fertile farmland, has a population of just over 40,000 — not too shabby by any reasonable standard, though a flyspeck by the standard of the coastal elite. Findlay owes its prominence to the oil and gas industry, and especially Marathon, which maintains its corporate headquarters in the city’s downtown. The place navigated the post-industrial transition well enough, and its economy is at least functional. Findlay is like most smaller Midwestern cities, and on paper, it has a reasonably conservative culture. In 2020, the county gave Trump 68 percent of its vote, and Trump likewise won all of Findlay’s urban precincts (narrowly, in a few cases). The city does have a university, but it is small and Christian, and therefore not enough to pollute the water.

Yet wokeness is omnipresent in Findlay, just as it is omnipresent everywhere. This is because Findlay, like all places, has an elite, and its elite aspires to cosmopolitan greatness. Businesses in and around the city, large and small, pump money into Spectrum of Findlay, the slick non-profit organization responsible for sponsoring the banners along Main Street. A Toledo news station just profiled Findlay’s burgeoning drag scene. Findlay’s mayor — a young, female Republican elected in 2019 — seems to have a pet interest in sex and gender politics, having signed a Pride Month proclamation and promoted the related festivities on her Twitter feed. Meanwhile, the Findlay City School District (80 percent white) has decided to build a diversity bureaucracy and “[i]mplement quality and effective diversity programming and training for all FCS staff and students.” Its website’s “Equity, Diversity & Belonging” page includes links to all the usual nonsense, as well as a TED lecture titled “No Such Thing as ‘Not Racist.'” And last summer, Findlay resident Amanda McClellan self-flagellated before the city council, decrying her own “racial bias” and begging the council to “step up, speak out, [and] learn to unlearn history.” (Findlay’s own police knelt during protests last summer.)

Given all this, there is no reason to believe that Findlay — or any other city in Ohio, America, or the west — will be able to maintain anything remotely resembling a Christian or traditional culture for more than a decade or two. The children of Findlay’s Trump voters and Biden voters alike will declare themselves polyamorous, pansexual, and transgender, dye their hair blue and magenta, and drug themselves into oblivion, just as everyone else has. Findlay’s professional class, like the professional class in general, offers nothing except therapeutic platitudes and corporate babble — all part of an ethic defined by a pathological fear of giving offense. Because when social cohesion breaks down, and all cease to agree on the terms of the social contract, the easiest thing to do is to believe nothing.

A society that believes nothing cannot survive for long.

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  1. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    There was a Simpsons clip where there was a gay pride parade. A gay man shouted in the lispy voice which wasn’t offensive back then,

    “We are here and we’re queer. Get used to it.” 

    Lisa positively responded, “We are used to it.”

    “Spoilsport.” the homosexual marcher responded. Imgur

     

    • #1
  2. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Kephalithos: A society which believes nothing cannot survive for long.

    “When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.”

    ― G.K. Chesterton

    Sorry for the loud and large quotation. I really wish Ricochet had an how to manipulate sizes. I think everyone is celebrating homosexuality because they lack a collective identity. Everyone is behind homosexual rights because they lack strong Churches and families. 

    • #2
  3. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Kephalithos: “HATE HAS NO HOME HERE,”

    Try going in the coffee shop with a Blue Lives Matter T shirt or a MAGA hat.

     

    • #3
  4. Kephalithos Member
    Kephalithos
    @Kephalithos

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Kephalithos: “HATE HAS NO HOME HERE,”

    Try going in the coffee shop with a Blue Lives Matter T shirt or a MAGA hat.

    It probably happens a lot, actually. The owners appeared to be older hippies, so I suspect they’re just trying to keep up with the kids.

    • #4
  5. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    This is timely information, because it reminds me of when we stayed at the edge of Findlay three years ago for some bicycle rides around the edge of the old Wyandot and Seneca reserves. (I wish we could have stayed at Upper Sandusky instead, but there was no place to stay there.)  And that reminds me of two years ago when I rode from Bowling Green (where there is a university that I suppose could have some cultural effect on the Findlay) to Kenton.  Findlay was in the way but I rode around it in the suburbanized area west of I-75, which was probably the least pleasant part of the ride due to traffic and no good direct route.  

    And that reminds me of an upcoming ride I have planned, from Bowling Green to Castalia.  I had forgotten about some intermediate destinations on the way that are connected to those Findlay topics. It’s probably too late to work them into my route, but we’ll see.   If not, maybe another stay on the edge of Findlay will be in order for some future rides. 

    • #5
  6. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    Kephalithos: Because when social cohesion breaks down, and all cease to agree on the terms of the social contract, the easiest thing to do is to believe nothing.

    I don’t think they believe nothing.    Some seem to believe something passionately.    Fitzgerald said it best in The Great Gatsby.

    “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther — And one fine morning…”  

     That future where everybody has everything and nothing costs anything and no one has responsibilities except to agree with everyone else.

     

    • #6
  7. Kephalithos Member
    Kephalithos
    @Kephalithos

    Ekosj (View Comment): That future where everybody has everything and nothing costs anything and no one has responsibilities except to agree with everyone else.

    Ha! This is a great way of describing it.

    • #7
  8. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Kephalithos: “HATE HAS NO HOME HERE,”

    Try going in the coffee shop with a Blue Lives Matter T shirt or a MAGA hat.

    • #8
  9. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    I really wish Ricochet had an how to manipulate sizes.

    Before you paste something into a post or a comment, click on the icon in the menu bar that looks like the letter “T” imposed on a briefcase–no idea what it’s actually supposed to be.  After doing that, the text you paste won’t bring its formatting with it, but should appear just as normal text like the rest of what you’ve written:

    “When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.”
    ― G.K. Chesterton

    • #9
  10. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    Oh … I forgot.     Everyone has another responsibility … very real but unspoken … to fear.   Fear the consequences of deviation from the herd.    In that, Findlay is in the same boat as Pyongyang and Moscow and Havana and Beijing. 

    • #10
  11. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    She (View Comment):

    Before you paste something into a post or a comment, click on the icon in the menu bar that looks like the letter “T” imposed on a briefcase–no idea what it’s actually supposed to be).  After doing that, the text you paste won’t bring its formatting with it, but should appear just as normal text like the rest of what you’ve written:

    “When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.”
    ― G.K. Chesterton

    “When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.”

    Kay. Got it. Thanks.

    • #11
  12. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    This isn’t the case everywhere, but many places. It largely points to the need of people who hate busybodies to take on busybody positions of authority, if only to exclude individuals who actually want that power. 

    But it’s also a reminder that people without authority need to speak up and assert common sense now, before the risks and costs become even greater. This cultural vandalism must be addressed as such; an aggressive and destructive force that no law can make us assent to.

    • #12
  13. Kephalithos Member
    Kephalithos
    @Kephalithos

    Aaron Miller (View Comment): It largely points to the need of people who hate busybodies to take on busybody positions of authority, if only to exclude individuals who actually want that power.

    This is a good point. Large organizations tend to attract people who are, by their nature, prone to affirming nonsense. Even worse, the willingness to indulgence nonsense becomes a barrier to entry to such organizations, so most of us don’t bother. If running for office didn’t require lying, manipulating, triangulating, or sucking up, it’d be much easier to throw the bums out and restore some sanity.

    • #13
  14. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    I wonder what Klinger from M*A*S*H would think of his hometown now.

    • #14
  15. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Kephalithos: “HATE HAS NO HOME HERE,”

    Try going in the coffee shop with a Blue Lives Matter T shirt or a MAGA hat.

    It probably happens a lot, actually. The owners appeared to be older hippies, so I suspect they’re just trying to keep up with the kids.

    My own experience is that people (especially younger people) who fly rainbow flags and have “hate has no home here” slogans are some of the most intolerant and bigoted bullies around. They are often working very hard to abuse and to exclude anyone who doesn’t agree 100% with their ideology. In a somewhat perverted way I find the rainbow flags useful as a signal that I should put up my guard because I’m probably dealing with a bully. 

    • #15
  16. Kephalithos Member
    Kephalithos
    @Kephalithos

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment): In a somewhat perverted way I find the rainbow flags useful as a signal that I should put up my guard because I’m probably dealing with a bully.

    Absolutely. If you see any virtue-signaling piece of propaganda in a yard, on a bumper, on an article of clothing, or on a laptop, keep the owner at arm’s length. Never let her get too close. Never reveal too much to her. Never invite her to dinner. Be polite and aloof.

    • #16
  17. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Kephalithos: “HATE HAS NO HOME HERE,”

    Try going in the coffee shop with a Blue Lives Matter T shirt or a MAGA hat.

    It probably happens a lot, actually. The owners appeared to be older hippies, so I suspect they’re just trying to keep up with the kids.

    My own experience is that people (especially younger people) who fly rainbow flags and have “hate has no home here” slogans are some of the most intolerant and bigoted bullies around. They are often working very hard to abuse and to exclude anyone who doesn’t agree 100% with their ideology. In a somewhat perverted way I find the rainbow flags useful as a signal that I should put up my guard because I’m probably dealing with a bully.

    This is what Zafar doesn’t get. The flags are only nominally about accepting gay people. The flags now represent a woke ideology and an identity based on Wokism that is extremely self-destructive and morally perverse. The flags indicate that you need to believe certain things or you are cancellable.

    • #17
  18. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Kephalithos: “HATE HAS NO HOME HERE,”

    Try going in the coffee shop with a Blue Lives Matter T shirt or a MAGA hat.

    It probably happens a lot, actually. The owners appeared to be older hippies, so I suspect they’re just trying to keep up with the kids.

    My own experience is that people (especially younger people) who fly rainbow flags and have “hate has no home here” slogans are some of the most intolerant and bigoted bullies around. They are often working very hard to abuse and to exclude anyone who doesn’t agree 100% with their ideology. In a somewhat perverted way I find the rainbow flags useful as a signal that I should put up my guard because I’m probably dealing with a bully.

    They aren’t known as the Gaystapo for nothing ….

    • #18
  19. GLDIII Temporarily Essential Reagan
    GLDIII Temporarily Essential
    @GLDIII

    Columbo (View Comment):

    I wonder what Klinger from M*A*S*H would think of his hometown now.

    Toledo is north of Finley

    • #19
  20. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Kephalithos: A society which believes nothing cannot survive for long.

    “When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.”

    ― G.K. Chesterton

    Sorry for the loud and large quotation. I really wish Ricochet had an how to manipulate sizes. I think everyone is celebrating homosexuality because they lack a collective identity. Everyone is behind homosexual rights because they lack strong Churches and families.

    Certainly, the decline in religious belief has been a factor.  However, we can’t overlook the role of the MSM.

    Back in the late 80s, the NYT and a few other major outlets instituted their policy of “flooding the zone” with stories that would be helpful in shaping public opinion.  No topic was deemed to be too minor.  Case in point; a number of years ago (about a month before the Masters Golf Classic began) the NYT began a series of stories about the Augusta Country Club’s failure to admit woman members.  Every day, for weeks, the stories proclaimed the inhumanity of not admitting rich middle-aged women to the club. 

    Over the years other outlets picked up on the “technique”.  Stories deemed by the editors/producers as worthy of the “treatment” were put in front of the public on a daily (or hourly) basis.  

    In my own local newspaper, lurid stories detailing the purported cruelty against the city’s LGBTQ population have been featured on a daily basis for the last few years, along with helpful factoids concerning upcoming LGBTQ events and new LGBTQ establishments.

    It’s not at all hard to see how the above situation in Findlay could have happened.  When non-stop propaganda like this is not rejected by a docile (and sometimes stupid) population, can we expect anything different?

    • #20
  21. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    GLDIII Temporarily Essential (View Comment):

    Columbo (View Comment):

    I wonder what Klinger from M*A*S*H would think of his hometown now.

    Toledo is north of Finley

    Oh, yes. I knew they were close. Go Mudhens!

    • #21
  22. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Kephalithos: “HATE HAS NO HOME HERE,”

    Try going in the coffee shop with a Blue Lives Matter T shirt or a MAGA hat.

    It probably happens a lot, actually. The owners appeared to be older hippies, so I suspect they’re just trying to keep up with the kids.

    My own experience is that people (especially younger people) who fly rainbow flags and have “hate has no home here” slogans are some of the most intolerant and bigoted bullies around. They are often working very hard to abuse and to exclude anyone who doesn’t agree 100% with their ideology. In a somewhat perverted way I find the rainbow flags useful as a signal that I should put up my guard because I’m probably dealing with a bully.

    This is what Zafar doesn’t get. The flags are only nominally about accepting gay people. The flags now represent a woke ideology and an identity based on Wokism that is extremely self-destructive and morally perverse. The flags indicate that you need to believe certain things or you are cancellable.

    You don’t have to announce acceptance – you just do it. 

    Unless you’re feeling truculent about it of course. 

    • #22
  23. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    I am reminded of a bumper sticker popular when I was young; ‘God Said It, I Believe It, And That Settles It.’ 

    Obnoxious. Not because of the beliefs, rather because of the tone. 

    Maybe I’m just too sensitive, but it feels as though it secretly ends with, ‘Wanna Fight?” 

     

    • #23
  24. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Too close to Bowling Green.

    • #24
  25. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    TBA (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Kephalithos: “HATE HAS NO HOME HERE,”

    Try going in the coffee shop with a Blue Lives Matter T shirt or a MAGA hat.

    It probably happens a lot, actually. The owners appeared to be older hippies, so I suspect they’re just trying to keep up with the kids.

    My own experience is that people (especially younger people) who fly rainbow flags and have “hate has no home here” slogans are some of the most intolerant and bigoted bullies around. They are often working very hard to abuse and to exclude anyone who doesn’t agree 100% with their ideology. In a somewhat perverted way I find the rainbow flags useful as a signal that I should put up my guard because I’m probably dealing with a bully.

    This is what Zafar doesn’t get. The flags are only nominally about accepting gay people. The flags now represent a woke ideology and an identity based on Wokism that is extremely self-destructive and morally perverse. The flags indicate that you need to believe certain things or you are cancellable.

    You don’t have to announce acceptance – you just do it.

    Unless you’re feeling truculent about it of course.

    Truculent is the most cromulate word. 

    • #25
  26. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    Kephalithos: Because when social cohesion breaks down, and all cease to agree on the terms of the social contract, the easiest thing to do is to believe nothing.

    I don’t think they believe nothing. Some seem to believe something passionately. Fitzgerald said it best in The Great Gatsby.

    “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther — And one fine morning…”

    That future where everybody has everything and nothing costs anything and no one has responsibilities except to agree with everyone else.

     

    Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew,
    And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
    That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four—
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

    As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man—
    There are only four things certain since Social Progress began:—
    That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
    And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

    And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
    When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
    As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
    The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return![8]

    • #26
  27. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    The flags indicate that you need to believe certain things or you are cancellable.

    Yes. And the “things” will change. Lisa Simpson’s cheery, effortless acceptance is meaningless unless she trains herself to say “birthing person.” 

     

    • #27