Tag: wokeness

The Pink Police of San Diego

 

I’d submit that the most important political observation of our time is James Poulos’s theory of the pink police state. A pink police state, as Poulos understands it, is a regime that abandons political freedoms in exchange for interpersonal ones — a regime that exists not to preserve political liberties as conventionally understood, but to guarantee social entitlements. The pink police state isn’t concerned so much with whether the trains run on time or whether would-be invaders are kept at bay. No, what really matters is whether the citizens are being sufficiently “nice” to each other.

It’s no surprise, then, that the old distinction between public and private has to go. In the world of the pink police state, your business is everybody’s business, and your self-fulfillment is everybody’s duty. Each citizen is entitled to liberation — liberation from the oppressive structures of traditional society, liberation from suffering, and liberation from risk.

I Am An Anti-Intellectual

 

I can’t take it anymore. Uncle! You were right, Thomas Sowell — though not right enough. Nothing good can come of intellectuals.

This is a stunning reversal from my earlier position. If you told the 2014 version of me that I’d join the barricades against the educated, against the literature junkies and the philosophy hobbyists and the “curious” class writ large, I’d have laughed in your face. But here I am.

The Uprising (An Absurdist, Woke Fairy Tale)

 

Franklin Jefferson Grant sipped his early-morning espresso and, wrapped in his warm flannel robe, lay comfortably in his bed with little reason to suspect that the new day might choose to intrude and distract him from his iPad with something unexpected or threatening; even the tingling sensation just under the skin of his toes, though hardly common on Tuesdays, gave him no cause for alarm; and so we may sympathize with his utter astonishment when, upon rereading the fascinating Financial Times article on small growth mutual funds, he should hear the sharp, accusatory cry of “Oppressor!” as his feet turned on him in open revolt.

Now the reader must keep in mind that, except for his two teenage boys, Franklin had no grounds for suspecting absurdity in the universe. Until this particular Tuesday morning, he had been quite content with his life as an egalitarian husband, progressive father, and humble professor of composition and literature. Now he was perturbed, for he sensed his lack of an adequate intellectual foundation for responding to this situation. He cautiously lowered his iPad.

Member Post

 

In recent months, I’ve taken a keen interest in the comments section of The American Conservative, an idiosyncratic publication which, despite its name, seems to be read mostly by Michael Moore aficionados. Scroll down on any TAC article, and you’ll find an army of self-described left-wing commenters, all of whom claim to dislike wokeness . . . and […]

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Member Post

 

The website Goodreads, a favorite online hangout for credentialed philistines, today revealed the results of its annual Goodreads Choice Awards. The winners will surprise nobody. They include: Stamped, Ibram X. Kendi’s latest racialist propaganda, which is intended for a middle-school audience. It’s “exhaustively researched” and “good nutrition for young minds,” says the chirpy and entirely […]

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Identity, Modernity, and the State

 

The chief problem of our time is not climate change. It is not police brutality. It is not Donald Trump’s tweeting. It is not even COVID-19. The chief problem of our time, rather, is the problem of identity. Modernity itself cannot answer what may be the most important question any individual could ask himself: Who am I?

The angsty teenager, then, is the modern person par excellence. She knows not who she is — or why she exists, or what she should be doing with her time. Nonetheless, she looks for answers to these questions, and she inevitably finds them in the plethora of subcultures and political movements served up by contemporary society on a silver platter. The social marketplace is as innovative as the economic one, and it provides no shortage of goods for the ravenous consumer. Predictably, the angsty teenager tries (and fails) to resolve her crisis by adopting one of these subcultural identities and conforming to its dictates. Perhaps she dons a spiked collar; perhaps she surrounds herself with healing crystals; perhaps she stretches her earlobes to the size of dinner plates or dyes her hair turquoise; perhaps she lops off her breasts, takes hormones, and rebrands herself as Steve. In all cases, she’s liable to say that she’s “expressing herself.” But what she’s really expressing is membership — membership in a little (or maybe a massive) ad hoc tribe with its own rituals and prescriptions. That is, after all, what it means to “express yourself.”

Member Post

 

After some BLM-related controversies, my local school district, and especially the high school where I had the misfortune to spend four years, has, like all school districts in America, gone woke — though not so woke as northern Virginia’s Loudoun County Public Schools, which is flirting with the idea of banning dissent outright. But I […]

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Acclaimed author Lionel Shriver joined Culture Editor Emily Jashinsky, Staff Editor Madeline Osburn, and Townhall Staff Writer Ellie Bufkin to discuss the demand for wokeness among fiction authors, and the recent glorification of the body in society. Shriver is the author of the new novel, “The Motion of The Body Through Space.

Shriver argued that the left now dictates how writers must assign their characters. For example, she said, all black characters must serve as exemplary, wise, and kindly role models within stories. The woke left has limited authors’ creativity and made books less interesting, she said, by setting a standard for each type of character.

Quote Of The Day: In Mockery

 

“Of course leftists hate Christianity. Leftism was created in mockery of Christianity as Orcs were created in mockery of the Elves.” — Prof. Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds

I’ve lost count of the times I’ve heard Leftism compared to a religion. It’s a fairly common reference, and the evidence is common to see. Obviously, Leftist revolutions tended to create cults of personality, Stalin and Mao most notably. There’s also a long train of martyrs to the Left, from Revolutionary France until now. Surprisingly, many Christians don’t seem to have gotten the message — consider the Social Gospel and the Liberation Theology movement — but the hostility always resurfaces.

Bullying and ‘Social Justice’

 

I was never bullied. Somehow, I survived thirteen years of public schooling without suffering that particular indignity — despite being, in some ways, a prime target. Over the years, I’ve developed a theory about why I managed to avoid the usual adolescent social drama, and I think it has some relevance to the current political situation.

My first realization: Bullying almost always occurs within cliques. Inter-clique bullying is rare, but intra-clique bullying is universal. At my school, the greatest victims and victimizers alike were the “popular” kids — the cheerleaders and athletes — who treated each other like animals while the rest of us looked on in disgust. Other cliques had similar (though less dramatic) dynamics. But I, curmudgeon that I am, made my radical indifference to the high-school social scene known to all, and it worked. I didn’t care about belonging, and that made me all but immune to the harms which proceed from the desire to fit in.

Member Post

 

The sordid trash heap institution of higher learning where I obtained my graduate degree has made explicit what was long implicit: the modern university exists for no purpose other than to manufacture ideologues of a very particular sort. Beginning next semester all students, all professors, and all TAs will be subjected to mandatory struggle sessions […]

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BOULDER, COLO. After hours of steady rainfall Wednesday afternoon, drivers on Boulder’s I-476 were surprised to see the chalky, white outline of what some are calling a “noose” emblazoned on a highway overpass. “As you can see, racism is built into the very fabric of the city,” said Naropa University women’s studies/interpretive dance professor Lesbia […]

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A Geyser of Propaganda

 

Not content to let Amazon, Netflix, and Walmart beat it in the virtue-signaling Olympics, the health conglomerate to which my doctor belongs has invited all its victims patients to “join” the BLM movement. In an email sent today to unfortunate Ohioans, the hospital system urges us all to “confront the public health crisis of racism” by browsing articles and books from a linked reading list.

On this list are classics like Ta-Nehisi Coates’s “The Case for Reparations,” the NYT‘s 1619 Project, and Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility. But the best of all is Ibram X. Kendi’s How to be an Antiracist, which recommends the following:

Dispatches from Facebook: Or, Very Bad News

 

I’m 24. I didn’t create a Facebook account until my last year of college. When I did finally give in, I curated my feed carefully to avoid politics, and I stayed away from the most politically active people. All this (mostly) worked… until about four days ago.

Over the last few days, I’ve unfriended almost every person I knew in high school since all of them were posting either explicit justifications for the current riots or intersectional propaganda. (You know the kind.) The once staunchly Republican daughter of a family friend has now taken to calling out “privilege.” Just now, I logged into Facebook and found myself staring at the “pyramid of oppression” charts being non-ironically shared by Hillsdale students. Yes, you read that correctly: Critical race theory has arrived at Hillsdale. Some fraction of the school’s literary elite has gone woke.

Quote of the Day: Being Woke

 

“The goal of our culture now is not the emancipation of the individual from the group, but the permanent definition of the individual by the group. We used to call this bigotry. Now we call it being woke.” – Andrew Sullivan

I know it is Andrew Sullivan. And he helped build the culture he is decrying in this quote. But a true statement is a true statement. If you are woke, you are a bigot. Even Andrew Sullivan realizes that.

Member Post

 

Leave it to academics to tell us that the haruspices were basically right, if a little off the mark. Instead of wasting their time inspecting sheep entrails, the Romans should have been poking around the innards of rich white men. Because white people have racist stomachs: Can a person’s belief in racial hierarchy—for example, that […]

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