Tag: Postmodernism

Psst, Consumer, Wanna Buy Your AlieNation?

 

Like many Americans right of center, the ads I see online feature plenty of vaguely patriotic products. Some of the stuff’s campaign gear. Some of it’s randomly tacti-cool. (Already got a tactical pen? Have you tried our tactical toothbrush yet? Got the toothbrush already, have you? What about a tactical toothpick?) Perhaps because my browsing habits are eclectic, the ads “targeting” me are eclectic, too. According to my ads, I’m a Trump-voting, militantly pro-life charismatic sedevacantist Catholic wiccan secular humanist who’s also militantly pro-choice and pining for the deceased Ruth Bader Ginsberg. I’m deaf, too. Because of earwax. But at least I’m not alone in that: judging by consumer ad complaints, the main symptom of Covid-19 is massive earwax buildup.

People who say they know about these things say that Covid’s virtual earwax buildup is a symptom of declining click-throughs on online ads. The more time we spend online without clicking through on ads, the more “bottom feeder” ads we see. Maybe I am who I am to online marketers because I don’t click through. Therefore I must “want”, in no particular order, Osteen Cubes, <insert name of Biblical woman here> Anointings, conversational Medieval Latin kits, “homeopathic” essential-oil blends consecrated to Jesus or my choice of goddess. Little lapel pins featuring lab flasks bubbling vacuities like “Science is real!” or light-splitting prisms spelling out “I’m gay for science!” in rainbow writing.

Rapid-fire lapel pin advertising directed my way, whether from right or left, never hits its target, since even if I saw a pin I liked, I wouldn’t buy it. If I saw an ad for a lapel pin featuring the smexxxiest anthropomorphized doped garnet laser — adorned with real synthetic garnet chips reading “She blinded me with science!” — well, I’d chuckle. But I wouldn’t click.

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Last night I went to bed with a fever. I fell asleep staring at Netflix. I woke at 3:15, T.V. frozen and glowing, sweat chilling on my coverless body. Half-deliriously I flicked off the set and switched to Spotify. I spent the rest of the night drifting among six centuries of music, from the Kyrie […]

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Ask an academic preservationist why Penn Station‘s demolition was a tragedy, and most will have no answer. A few may quibble with the premise. The cleverer among them might say, “Because New Yorkers didn’t want it to be destroyed.” But pose the natural question, “Why didn’t New Yorkers want it to be destroyed?” and the […]

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One muggy August day, three friends stood atop the brow of a hill overlooking the Aegean coast. Together, they cast their glances past the shoreline to the open sea beyond. Sunlight, almost caustic in its intensity, baked the crags and inlets and myriad tiny islands, all of which seemed to hover above the blinding, glistening […]

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“Truth Conquers All,” or Does It?

 

Lindsay Shepherd is a teaching assistant for a communications course at Wilfrid Laurier, a Canadian university whose motto translates to “Truth conquers all.”  She showed her class a debate that involved Jordan Peterson and others regarding gendered pronouns that had previously aired on Canadian television. She presented the video without comment, although she later revealed that she disagrees with Prof. Peterson’s position on the issue. However, a “gendered violence” complaint from her class was lodged, triggering a review, and Ms. Shepherd was reprimanded.

Her transgression? According to her supervising professor, Prof. Rambukkana, Ms. Shepherd failed to take sides prior to showing the videotape, and that “created a toxic climate for some of the students.” Rambukkana also stated, “This is like neutrally playing a speech by Hitler,” representing just one of several references to Nazi Germany made by himself and other authority figures at the meeting.

We know all this because Ms. Shepherd recorded the meeting in which she was reprimanded, and it became public.

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I’ve been fortunate to have the private time recently to listen to a lot of what Jordan Peterson and his followers have been putting up on the Internet over the past few months. There’s a lot of stuff out there, and it’s kind of hard to find a place to start. Dr. Peterson focuses his […]

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This article has been making the rounds lately, and it is a very good and apt description of the increasingly illiberal nature of college campuses.  It is indeed refreshing to see that liberal thinkers are starting to admit a problem, and I’m not quite as pessimistic and blase about this as Charles C.W. Cooke.  However, […]

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The Destruction of American Education, or, The Downside of the Maya Angelou-Style Personality Cult

 

shutterstock_111215234My younger cousin just graduated from Columbia University a couple of weeks ago. Before going to college, she attended a high school associated with the University of Chicago (where both of her parents are professors). Both of these places are widely seen as desirable places to go to school. They are well-established institutions of American “elite” education. My cousin, while no Albert Einstein, wasn’t there for sports or diversity. She even got a job after college at a very competitive consulting firm. Most people, upon seeing her resume, would consider her “well educated.”  

Walking through a bookstore the other day, she asked me if “Dickens is worth reading.” I thought she was joking. Dear readers, I was very wrong. It so happens, through all of high school and college, she had never been assigned Dickens, Chaucer, Milton, T.S. Eliot, Austen, or Melville! The list went on and on. Needless to say, nary a Bible was cracked during all this time either.  

Effectively, my cousin was raised without a heritage. Her American/English-speaking birthright was denied her. Though she thought herself in possession of a stellar academic background, she knows worse than nothing about her civilization. I say “worse than nothing” because her head has been crammed full of multi-culti garbage.