the voice of humility

Looking for teachable moments, speaking truth to power and other cliche ridden ideas to exploit for no apparent purpose. Blog motto: Always be sincere whether you mean it or not.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Jamie Bartlett, stop the hate!

By now, anyone who still browses by this blog is already aware of the Dark Enlightenment or Neoreaction (Here in TVOHville, we'll call it DE/N for short).  Other than things aren’t going well tone, I can’t say my knowledge of the phenomenon is all that much.  It has been noticed and has enemies bent on suppressing it.  The enemies of DE/N seem a smarmy lot and make me want to join the defenders for that.

A recent example of someone who is going after DE/N in a hysterical tone is a Jamie Bartlett.  The title says it all, Meet the Dark Enlightenment:  sophisticated neo fascism that's spreading fast on the net.  

Decades ago, while wasting my youth, I had a job that led me to interact with the denizens of an academic swampland.  They worked at the same place while going to school.  Most were just interested in making some money while getting the degree.  There was a subset that seemed to live for politics.  They were far to the left and uber politically correct long before the term PC had been invented.

Not at all a serious fellow, neither was I shy.  I would engage with them with the idea of having some fun.  It was easy to notice they were probably to the left of Pol Pot, but imply they might be a tad to the right of the Cambodian fellow and they had to defend themselves.  When they would say something, if you could artfully suggest they held a position that might be “fascistic” you could get to them.  I had some fun, but I was on the wrong side of history at least in an employment sense.  They all seemed to eventually get jobs either in the bureaucracy or some group identified by initials.

Mr. Bartlett has the tactic down.  Call them neo-fascist and what can they do?  The lovely thing about the tactic is that in common parlance, no one defines fascism.  When someone like Jamie uses the term, he means not that they are a follower of Mussolini.  What he intends is that they are meanies and bad people.

He kind of admits it here,

The philosophy, difficult to pin down exactly, is a loose collection of neo-reactionary ideas, meaning a rejection of most modern thinking: democracy, liberty, and equality. Particular contempt is reserved for democracy, which Land believes "systematically consolidate[s] and exacerbate[es] private vices, resentments, and deficiencies until they reach the level of collective criminality and comprehensive social corruption."  The neo-fascist bit lies in the view that races aren’t equal (they obsess over IQ testing and pseudoscience that they claim proves racial differences, like the Ku Klux Klan) and that women are primarily suited for domestic servitude. They call this "Human biodiversity" – a neat little euphemism. This links directly to their desire to be rid of democracy: because if people aren’t equal, why live in a society in which everyone is treated equally? Some races are naturally better to rule than others, hence their support for various forms of aristocracy and monarchy (and not in the symbolic sense but the very real divine-right-of-kings-sense).

So the philosophy is kinda hard to define and then he defines it.  Maybe he is right as I have  been following it only lightly.  What I've gotten out of it is that democracy is not god, equality is impossible, but liberty is okay. 

It appears to be popular among people who have stopped feeling libertarianism.  It is obvious that if most people have a choice of greater public benefits at the expense of freedom, that will win the day in a democracy.  Recognizing that is hardly fascism.

My read is most DE/N types want a system that allows the maximum freedom while maintaining order.  In no sense could that mean a totalitarian system such as the German form of socialism that ended in 1945 or the Soviet form that imploded in the late 1980s, early 1990s.  A supposedly educated man such as Mr. Bartlett should know that.  Either he is cute or his thought processes are deficient.

I live not far from another academic swamp now (we have no lack of them in the Northeast of this nation).  I remember when Palin was nominated.  The sea of progressives that inhabit the town thought it high culture to repeat the latest Palin joke.  I think this explains much about Bartlett.  His type is quick at getting the talking points, but have nothing really other than the throwing of mud.

The followers of the DE/N are no danger to the current order.  There is no chance they can garner a mass following.  Unlike Marxists, National Socialists or Fascists, they have no desire to build a mass movement.  The simple slogans of totalitarians would, one would guess, disgust them.

That is probably not what bothers him.  We get to the nub of it here,
The neo-fascist bit lies in the view that races aren’t equal (they obsess over IQ testing and pseudoscience that they claim proves racial differences, like the Ku Klux Klan) and that women are primarily suited for domestic servitude. They call this "Human biodiversity" – a neat little euphemism. This links directly to their desire to be rid of democracy: because if people aren’t equal, why live in a society in which everyone is treated equally? Some races are naturally better to rule than others, hence their support for various forms of aristocracy and monarchy (and not in the symbolic sense but the very real divine-right-of-kings-sense).
He gives away his prejudice.  No one is ever allowed to question anything about the accepted policy on racial groups.  That viewpoint is understandable, but you know what, it is in its own way , dare I say it “fascistic.”  To write off anyone who disagrees with the idea that groups might not be equal without a hearing is the tactic of a Goebbels.  Jamie does not argue, he just throws the mud.

To look around you and think that on average, Jews are smarter than the average bear is not unreasonable.  It may in the end be wrong, but it does not mean one is donning a sheet.  Just the opposite.

To look at Zimbabwe, or the murder rate in post-apartheid SA, or even Detroit and think that some races organize better than others is not without the realm of possibility is rational even if it turns out to be wrong.  My own Causcasian run state will face the same deficit problems Motor City is experiencing, just in slow motion.  Does that mean white folks can organize.  Maybe yes, but most pale societies crash in the end too.
Now no one thinks the races are not physically different.  Why is it insane to think that cognitive differences are not possible.

Whatever the establishment is, the biggest threat to it is itself.  In this country, life is, you could argue, not as good as it once was.  The manufacturing jobsthat allowed for the raising of families are few and far between.   Retirement is getting to be problematic for more and more people approaching that age.  Maybe bludgeoning a theoretical opposition will solve those problems.

The voice of humility is not a neoreactionary if only because we don't believe there is a system of government that works forever.  Past golden ages were probably not all that golden for many.  We would not disagree that our society appears on a downslope culturally and economically.  The possibility that a just constitutional order is on the cards does not appear likely.  We live in hope.

If Mr. Bartlett is right, it is by accident as he did rationally argue his points.  Someone else will have to do that.  It's early in the bash the DE/N game.  So expect a lot of mud to be thrown.  In the realm of ideas, DE/N is ahead because the opposition has tendered none.

Is there a Cathedral?  Don’t know.  tvoh went to the Demos website.  To their credit, they are transparent about funding.  That may have something to do with Brit disclosure rules, but let's not quibble.  The funders are lots of banks and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament as well.  

"Letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend is the policy for promoting progress in the arts and the sciences and a flourishing socialist culture in our land." 
We know how that worked out.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Jay Severin gone again. It was so predictable. Still, I shall miss the non-entity formerly known as Jimmy Severino.

             So Jay Severin has lost another radio gig.  No one seems to care anymore.  When he lost the tkk job, there were a few comments.  The talk 1200, narry a mention.  Probably has something to do with Limbaugh on rko.

I guess we all should have seen it coming.  I wrote this when he lost the job because of his I slept with the world spiel.  I don’t think he did.  Irrelevant now, but here it is.

Predicting the future is not given to many mortals.  Oh some of us see a bank of clouds and take the umbrella, but few rise to the level of Warren Buffet.  Yet, there is an event that if one had been following it long enough should have been so easy to prognosticate.

Jay Severin was a guilty pleasure for many within his station’s range.  There were blogs dedicated to bashing him by people who could not stand an afternoon without him.  The pleasure at his end must have been short lived.  Indeed, at the finish, his audience probably consisted more of his detractors than fans.  Yet what they despised him for, his hate speech was not the most salient feature of his show.  It was there, but it was diminishing.  He had even taken to saying nice things about gays.  He had seemed to turn himself into the loving family man, albeit with the odd oat sown of youth. 

No, Jay had another quality that he could never escape.  One may disagree on whether it was outright prevarication or Olympic Gold level exaggeration, but it was big.  Were he a fisherman, the minnow that got away would have been turned into a trout, the trout, a shark, and then a whale.

He made his adventures with interns sound like he had serviced a harem larger than a Turkish Sultan and was done in for his brag.  Think about the man.  He has been caught out on boast after boast.  If he has not been awarded degrees and honors he’s claimed, why does anyone believe he was super stud?  It was not what he did but what he said he did that he is vanished.

Some of his foibles are well known.  Probably his most famous is, ''But since journalism began, and up until the time at least that I took my master's degree at Boston University -- and may I add without being obnoxious, up till and including the time that I received a Pulitzer Prize for my columns for excellence in online journalism from the Columbia School of Journalism, the highest possible award for writing on the Web -- right up to and including that in 1998, you still had to practice journalism to be a journalist."
Jay’s comment was a reflection on the state of journalism, oddly enough.  Globe reporter, Scott Lehigh did the legwork and found out that there is no such prize and that our latter day Mencken had no Pulitzer on record.  Jay had an explanation, ‘‘what I said was, there is a prize that my editor told me is the equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize for Web journalism."  The producer whom he said told him he had won wasn’t sure what award he was talking about and they were sitewide anyway.  To call a Jay connection nebulous is to be kind.

This is not to say a BU grad could not win a Pulitzer, but Jay wasn’t degreed from that school on the south bank of the Charles.  Jay Severin admitted as much in 2005 that "... it would appear I have no degree" after the school denied knowledge of the award.  Maybe he put the frame sans sheepskin up on the wall and said, “Hmm, I wonder what’s missing?”

Oh, maybe his Harvard Law School vellum?  Yup, He had spent time north of the River Chuck to pursue legal studies.  This was reported in the Boston College campus newspaper, the Heights.  When queried about this, Jay had no clue except that, well, he might have gone to a few classes as part of the BU thingee.  A bit of a stretch, but that’s the pattern.

Decades ago, Eddie Andelman said of Jean Shepherd of Christmas Story fame, “He had a longer childhood than Orphan Annie.”  A dated reference to many, but Severin has had a longer childhood than Jean Shepherd as it has never ended. The Heights also reported, "As a young person, Severin was arrested over 50 times while fighting for civil rights."   

Again, maybe a stretch?  After all, Martin Luther King in his career was arrested only four times. Fifty times are a lot of collars and for someone who sounds so self absorbed, it makes one wonder.  Still, There may have been a demonstration that went by Jay’s car while a ticket was being written and he counts that as a pinch and inflated it a lot.

When most boomers were working summer jobs, Woodstock happened.  Kids who were pumping gas while waiting to get back to BC or Northeastern heard of the wild party in a New York sward and many would later claim to have been there.  It was a loaves and fishes field.  Give Jay credit, he’s one of the few of his generation who does not claim to have been in attendance.

Maybe that’s because he had he had tasted blood the year before during the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention.  He claims to have been at the Battle of Grant Park.  The then 17 year old was trawling record stores and had hardly heard of events, but no matter, he would become fast friends with Abbie and Jerry and who is there to gainsay it now.  Who knows, it may be true, as it appears he was at Abbie Hoffman’s Worcester memorial.  That will always be the question about Jay, is it Memorex?

So is it possible that Jay was the man-god to all the aspiring female politicos?  Maybe, but like his claim to be more than the B-grade political operative Scott Lehigh pegged him as, the evidence is slight.

Still, some of his narrative is indisputable.  Mother Jones in 1983 called him a competitor of his former employer, David Garth.  Just to be able to keep the lights on in a field as tough as political consulting is a feat. 

In 1985, jay is part of a triumvirate that is working to get bush père ready for his run in1988.  The new york magazine article pegs them as “the only people who ever left david garth's organization to establish a republican agency.”  the problem is there is another severin in the threesome.  The firm known as severin avilles associates, inc, included a kathleen cooney severin .  She was not jay’s half sister.  Using french in this paragraph already, another indo-european tongue is in order.  Frau is the word we are looking for.  So it was according to a 1993 new york times article about rudy giulani that mentioned their status as man and wife and tapped kathleen as firm president.

So how does one think the conversation at the dinner table went, “ya know dear, that new intern looks like she needs a bit of mentoring.”  hmmm.  Not too high on the likelihood scale that.

 ah but a mere four years later, the new york times noted, jay would be strolling down the aisle with a new mrs. Severin, renee klock.  He is now chairman of severin media less avilles.  Though there is no definitive evidence from the wedding announcement, it is doubtful that the new wife had been a mentoree at the firm.

So there is a four year window where he might have had his romp.  In all probability, it was likely to be only a couple of years when kathleen was out of the picture and renee arrived.

So was there that bevy of eager young operatives willing to give it up so that they could learn from the master on the campaign trail?  This is what jay wanted his listeners to believe.  That he cut a huge swath through maidenhood is open to question.

With his ratings less than mediocre, it is understandable that his employer’s corporate nose bled with every check issued.  In all probability, if Jay had let slip that on certain occasions jaywalking was understandable, they would have considered that evidence of moral turpitude if they could have gotten away with it.  Of course if his audience had still been large, he could have said he was the Boston Strangler without concern.

When he made his claim, there was little in the way of an uprising among Boston womanhood.  Who complained, if anyone, is not known.  TKK did not waste his time.  Severin had not realized how the game had changed, and became a victim of his own hyperbole.

Jay is quickly descending into unpersonhood.    There is fandom on facebook, but Charles Manson probably has a page.  He hasn’t been mentioned in weeks.   Boston almost still can’t get over David Brudnoy, but Jay who?  Well, why not?  When Julian Assange burst on the scene, Mr. Sophistication referred to “Wikitakealeak.”  He really couldn’t maintain the urbane veneer.  Severin won’t be missed and it’s a pity.  Every town needs someone to love to hate.  

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Update, The Irish not supine!

So the Irish threw out one government that was for giving in to the banksters and put in another that gave in to the banksters.  For all appearances, it looked like the Paddy just gives in.  That was the import of yesterday's post.

Well, today an article in the new York Times says it all in the headline, Half of Irish Homeowners Join Boycott of New Property Tax.  The Times quotes an Irish member of the Dail,  
“It is quite clear a mass boycott has really sent this government a significant message it didn’t want to hear,” Luke Flanagan, one of the parliamentary deputies leading the opposition to the new household charge, said in an interview on Monday. “When we started this campaign, even 25 percent support translating to several hundred thousand would have been phenomenal, but we estimate over a million people eligible to pay this tax have refused.”
It took a while, and of course the powers that be are no help, but at least a significant portion of the Irish have wised up.

I don't mean to be to critical of the people I share DNA with.  It is much easier to rebel and win against a foreign occupier than to resist the bureaucracy.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Wise up Ireland

So here you are, the poster boy, er poster country for doing the responsible thing. The responsible thing being letting the common folk suffer for the sins of stupid bankers and stupid investors. The Irish people know that if they don’t do the right thing, it will be the end of the world as we know it, again.

 What if you’re asked to do the right thing again? It appears Mr. and Mrs. Average Irish Citizen, you are going to asked again. According to your paper of record, The Irish Times, you may need a new bailout. That’s semi-officialese for you will need another bailout. Anybody surprised. In Les Temps, a Mr. Butler (some association with the Bank Of England) says it’s going to be a great deal. For more money you go from a 6% to 3% interest. It sounds like the debate in that circus called the US congress about the interest rate on student loans, somehow, it don’t make no diff. If you majored in the post modern novel, you ain’t paying it back at 1% or a zillion.

Rather than taking Bailout Part Deux, there is only one word I have for the land of my ancestors, Iceland. Could be wrong there, but since they told the bankers to go fry ice (a subject in their clime they might know something about) they have not sunk beneath the waves.

If you give in now, your are, the phrase au courant here in the new world is “kicking the can down the road.” Eventually it will be bailout 98. Moi, I doubt it will get to that. Some country braver and not smart enough to be completely stupid will say go to hell. The Greeks are a bet.

 According to most Irishmen,I’m a Yank. According to most Americans, due to my Mick surname, I’m Irish. I’ve affection for the land of my ancestors and hardly wish to see it suffer. Yup, there will be suffering no matter which course. If you give in, the suffering will be ongoing. If you say no, you take the medicine, suffer and get up and move on.

Do you really believe Brian Hayes when he knocks on your door?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Axis of Awesome and the only song you need to download

So, I've been telling my kids for years that popular music is the same song over and over again. Oh no, their special artist is a unique and brilliant talent, until they tire of him/her. I take it as a vindication when my son had me watch this. It does not matter what song you pay to download, they're all the same. Of course, this one is probably the best as it incorporates all the mediocrities into one.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

With all the money spent on education, why is everybody so stupid?

Yesterday, on the car radio I'm listening with all my heart (not) to the news that the two parties are disagreeing about the interest rate for student loans. It's 3 something percent and could double. Oh my gosh, can't these solons be compassionate? Can't they solve anything? Well, no. The whole debate is a joke. The interest rate is a minor annoyance in the scheme of things. Little Brad or Heather spends four years at a nice school studying philosophy. It has been a rewarding experience. Something may have been learned, the brewery industry has been kept healthy. After the graduation ceremony when the relatives have all gushed, it's back to the room with the Muppet decor that they grew up in. If you can't get work that will pay off the $150thou what does a few percent on the debt really matter. Don't get me wrong, there is value to studying the soft majors, but not at any price. Besides, remember the Wizard of Oz granting a degree. You don't need it to actually be a philosopher. That's why Socrates never had to rip up all those please give letters from his alma mater. He was his alma mater. Let's call this bill what it really is, The Let's Keep the Faculty in Clover Relief Bill. Update, From the Huffer, Number Of PhD Recipients Using Food Stamps Surged During Recession.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Oh no, Taxajawea took away the fun.

Elizabeth Warren's got some splainin' to do. Except she doesn't. Her buddies are going to call anyone who call her a fraud a hater. truth is not an absolute defense here in the Peoples' Republic of Massachusetts. It seems the great great great grandmother who made her the trumpeted 1/32 Cherokee may have been Skandanavian. Unless someone in her fam stowed away when Leif was going home, the lass is 32/32 fraud. Yeah, I think she knew she was full of it. It's like the guys who claim to be Indians and have the drumming circle in my town. They look they have more relatives in County Cork than I do. Actually, she is going to put it behind her. I wish she would continue to claim that laughable 1/32. The jokes would have been fun. She may have been an Okie, but she is like any Yankee Puritan. always stopping people from having fun.