Michelle’s Long March to Freedom

The vertically-challenged Michelle Malkin on Michelle O’s recent recounting of her own horrible past encounters with Racist White AmeriKKKa:

To show how she’s down with The Struggle of post-Ferguson agitators, Mrs. Obama cited a supposedly horrifying incident at a Target store where she was treated, in her paranoid mind, as a subservient. “Even as the first lady,” she bemoaned, “not highly disguised, the only person who came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf.” [The Obamas: How We Deal with Our Own Racist Experiences, December 17, 2014]

A lowly peon asked her for an innocent favor? It’s Jim Crow all over again! ABC News reports that Mrs. Obama said such “incidents are ‘the regular course of life’ for African-Americans and a ‘challenge’ for the country to overcome.”

Newsflash: Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe that it is part of the “regular course of life” of tall people of all colors (Mrs. Obama is 5-foot-11) to be prevailed upon to reach high on behalf of those of us who are vertically challenged. These are not odious “incidents” of racism between slaves and masters. They’re matters of common courtesy between equals…

On David Letterman’s show in 2012, the haute-couture-clad first lady recounted the same “incognito” Target visit to demonstrate her just-like-you bona fides. She chuckled as she shared how the shopper asked: “Can you reach on that shelf and hand me the detergent?” As the audience laughed with delight and Mrs. Obama grinned from ear to ear, she told Letterman: “I reached up, ‘cause she was short, and I reached up, pulled it down—she said, ‘Well, you didn’t have to make it look so easy.’ That was my interaction. I felt so good.”

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The Dark Continent – Pt. 33,188,913

Ever since Jeff Bezos bought WaPo, the newspaper is actually engaging in some improved journalism. From a piece titled “The heartbreaking moment a Kenyan girl is sold into marriage”. The photos accompanying the piece are startling.

In a village about 50 miles from Marigat in Baringo County, Kenya, among a tribe that practices genital mutilation as a rite of womanhood, a teenage girl is sold into an arranged marriage. Her price is 20 goats, 10 cows and a few camels, paid to her family over several weeks. And her reaction is heartbreaking.

Dressed in bright-colored clothes and ceremonial beads, she tries to escape, balling up a fist and kicking her bare feet from the ground when a man picks her up from behind and pulls her away from her home. The scene, which unfolded over the weekend in the Pokot tribe, was captured and described by Reuters photographer Siegfried Modola. His photos document a Pokot tradition in which parents give away their daughters, usually at the start of adolescence. The girls are sold for a dowry and married to men in the tribe…

Within the Pokot tribe, female circumcision is seen as a girl’s transition to womanhood. Although it’s now illegal in Kenya, the tribe still allows it and, in fact, forces all girls to do it before marriage. The practice is also known as female genital mutilation (FGM) and, in many countries, is considered a human rights violation. It can lead to severe bleeding, infections, infertility and death. Some 125 million girls and women in 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East have experienced it, according to the United Nations.

A man held on to a girl after she tried to escape when she realized she is to be married in Kenya on Dec. 7, 2014. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters)

A man held on to a girl after she tried to escape when she realized she is to be married in Kenya on Dec. 7, 2014. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters)

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SPLC vs. the World

From Rolling Stone (hat tip: AmRen), we learn of new ways the busybodies at SPLC are spending their time to dictatorially changing Culture:

Apple has removed music with racial supremacy-themed messages from iTunes, following scrutiny from the Southern Poverty Law Center (via Noisey). The winter edition of the organization’s “Intelligence Report” criticized the company for offering music by white-power groups like Skrewdriver, Max Resist and the Bully Boys, as well as offering a “Listeners Also Bought” feature that suggested like-minded hatemongers.

An Apple spokesperson confirmed to Rolling Stone that music was removed. The company was not involved in the creation of SPLC’s report, but took some of the music down as a result of the publication. A SPLC spokesperson tells Rolling Stone that he compiled the list from monitoring 15 to 20 white-power websites, combing through the catalogs of defunct white-power label Resistance Records and cross-checking to see if they were hateful…

The SPLC investigation uncovered 54 racist bands on the service and is reporting that 30 of them have been removed. It also reinforced its disapproval of Amazon for continuing to offer digital retail space to hateful artists. The organization, which previously condemned Spotify, reports that the streaming service judges its content by Germany’s Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons (the “BPjM,” per Germany’s acronym); it claims that Spotify has yet to remove music by the artists it identified.

Posted in Culture Wars, Jewish, Music, White Identity | Leave a comment

MacDonald: Race & The 2014 Election

One of the best appraisals of the role of ‘implicit Whiteness’ in potentially transforming U.S. politics, albeit a momentum to be frustrated by Conservative, Inc., is Kevin MacDonald’s “Race and the 2014 election.”

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Beinart: How TNR Stopped Being a Jewish Magazine

In the wake of TNR’s implosion, Peter Beinart (ahem), who used to be the Editor of TNR, has a column in Haaretz (ahem) titled “How The New Republic stopped being a Jewish magazine.” (ahem). He sees TNR’s implosion as “an important moment not only in the history of American journalism, but in the history of American Jews.”

Say again?

It’s an important moment for American Jews because for the last 40 years, The New Republic has been a culturally Jewish magazine. Jews had always worked at TNR; Lippmann himself was an assimilated German Jew. But in 1974, when Martin Peretz bought The New Republic, it came to reflect his very public Jewish identity. TNR became a remarkable hybrid, only possible because of the extraordinary acceptance and privilege afforded to Jews in late 20th century America: an influential liberal political magazine that was explicitly informed by Jewish sensibilities and concerns.

So… If in, say, the year 2008, a gentile had characterized TNR as a “Jewish” magazine, or of representing an identifiably liberal Jewish perspective, they would probably be marched out of town as yet another example of you-know-what. But when a fellow Jew makes the same assessment, well, that’s okay:

The most obvious manifestation was the magazine’s coverage of Israel. Peretz was a fervent Zionist and made defending the Jewish state one of the magazine’s chief passions. But even when Peretz stepped down as editor in chief in 2010, TNR’s Jewish identity endured. Under literary editor Leon Wieseltier, the magazine remained an indispensable source of commentary on Jewish history and culture. And inside the magazine, yiddishkeit was rarely far away. I remember once hearing Wieseltier explain that he had asked an author to submit his book review by Rosh Hodesh. “That’s how Malcolm Cowley used to do it,” he added wryly. The implication was clear. Cowley had been TNR’s literary editor in the 1930s, when American Jews were still outsiders. Now his successor was a graduate of Yeshivah of Flatbush. American Jews had arrived.

Well, isn’t that special.

Okay, so that’s TNR. What about the state of American journalism in general? Beinart can’t seriously believe Jews are a) underrepresented, and b) in danger of being underrepresented?

As a force in American journalism, we certainly have. Jews edit The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, The Weekly Standard, The Atlantic, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Vox, Buzzfeed, Politico, and the opinion pages of The New York Times and Washington Post.

But it’s unlikely to last. Although the ouster of Wieseltier and editor Frank Foer had nothing to do with their being Jewish, the likely end of TNR’s Jewish sensibility may portend the declining influence of Jewish culture in American intellectual life…

Whoa! There’s such a thing as a “Jewish sensibility”?

And note Beinart’s immediate, instinctual appearance of anti-Semitism as a hypothesis #1 as the proximate cause anytime anything bad happens to a Jew. Not in this case, mind you, but the fact that, in making a passing reference to the ouster of Wieseltier and Foer he is compelled to report that it “had nothing to do with their being Jewish.”

Oddly, but also very tellingly, Beinart uses the occasion of TNR’s demise to bemoan, not celebrate, increasing exogamy among Jews.

One driver of that decline will be assimilation. With the intermarriage rate among non-Orthodox Jews now above 70 percent, Jewish identity in the United States is becoming less and less distinct. For many decades to come, there will still be plenty of people with some Jewish ancestry writing and editing at America’s most prominent publications. But increasingly, being of Jewish descent will no more inform their work than being of Italian or Irish descent informs the work of their assimilated Christian colleagues. One likely result will be declining coverage of Israel. Many of the most prominent American Jewish journalists in their late 40s, 50s or 60s – Wieseltier, Thomas Friedman, David Remnick, Roger Cohen, Jeffrey Goldberg, William Kristol, Jennifer Rubin, Charles Krauthammer – write about Israel frequently. By contrast, the most successful Jewish journalists in their 20s and 30s – Ezra Klein, Matthew Yglesias, Ben Smith, Dana Goldstein, Spencer Ackerman – write it about it much less…

Of the demographic changes rapidly changing the U.S. from a predominately white Protestant country to… something else:

In my mid-20s, when I came to The New Republic full time, I remember being delighted that I could so easily integrate my Jewishness into my work. After two years at Oxford, where being Jewish was considered something best kept to oneself, I felt like I could finally exhale. It saddens me that in the decades to come, young American-Jewish journalists may neither have that experience, nor even desire it. On the other hand, I can imagine a day when an editor at The New York Times or The New Yorker or maybe even The New Republic wryly tells a colleague that her article is due by Diwali, Chinese New Year, Eid al-Fitr or the Day of the Dead. The thought makes me smile.

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Waking, Dreaming, Being

From a review of Waking, Dreaming, Being: Self and Consciousness in Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy by Evan Thompson:

Armed with high-resolution digital tools, researchers have mapped critical steps in cognition and vision, language and even memory.

The success of these studies, however, leads some to claim them as proof in favor of “neuro-reductionism” — the proposition that we’re all nothing but the goop of our brains. From this standpoint, minds are never more than just brain function. Once the working brain stops working, our consciousness ends, we end, end of story.

But for others, including Thompson, something essential is left out of this neuro-­reductionist account. The vividness of our experience is neither corralled nor exhausted by fM.R.I. maps or the traces of brain waves in an EEG. There is an “explanatory gap” hanging between neural activity and conscious experience. While that gap has led some philosophers, like Colin McGinn, to argue that consciousness is simply beyond scientific explanation, Thompson moves in a different direction…

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Soumission

He’s controversial.

He pisses off Muslims.

He’s won France’s highest literary prizes.

And he’s one ugly motherfucker.

Michel Houellebecq

Michel Houllebecq is worth reading. Why? If for no other reason than how The Guardian describes him in their article on his upcoming novel:

Houllebecq is the most translated, and hence internationally renowned, of all France’s contemporary writers, but has been accused of racism, xenophobia and playing up to the media.

Houllebecq’s upcoming novel is aptly titled Soumission:

Award-winning French novelist Michel Houellebecq has sparked an outcry after it emerged that his new novel tells of France being run by a Muslim president.

In 2022, with the help of the French Socialist party and the centrists, Mohammed Ben Abbes defeats the far-right Front National and takes up residence at the Elysée Palace. The country is in turmoil.

Soumission (Submission), which will be published in the new year, will confirm Houellebecq’s reputation as one of France’s most provocative writers.

Even the title has been described as provocative, suggesting a translation of the word “Islam”, which in Arabic means submission to the will of Allah.

The narrator of the plot, described as a typical Houellebecq antihero, is a 44-year-old literary professor, who occasionally frequents prostitutes and is attracted by women half his age.

The novel suggests that despite record unpopularity, France’s Socialist president, François Hollande, clings on to power until 2022, but is eliminated in the first round of the presidential elections by a far-right Front National candidate and by Ben Abbes, representing the imaginary Muslim Fraternity party. With the support of the left, centre and the centre-right UMP party led by former president Nicolas Sarkozy, Abbes wins the election.

Something is brewing in the heart of Europe’s soul.

The next 10 years should be quite momentous for the history of Western Europe.

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Rosen on Leo Strauss

In “Athens on the Midway: Defending Leo Strauss”, Gary Rosen (former managing editor of Commentary… ahem) writes a defense, of sorts, of the ‘Dark Lord’ of neoconservatism, Leo Strauss.

I chuckled at the following paragraph, representing the perils of attempting to understand Straussianism or neoconservatism without contemplating Jewish ethnocentric, collective interests:

The real problem is that Straussianism and neoconservatism are distinct frames of mind, with idiosyncratic histories of their own. The Venn diagram of their relationship is interesting less for the area of intersection than for the obvious examples of non-Straussian neocons (Norman Podhoretz, Elliott Abrams, Richard Perle, David Frum, Max Boot) and the considerable group of thinkers whose ideas have been shaped by Strauss but who reject the neoconservative credo (Francis Fukuyama, Mark Lilla, William Galston, Steven Smith, Nathan Tarcov) or seem largely indifferent to it (the vast majority of Straussian academics, busy going about their scholarly work).

What is Rosen trying to ‘explain away’ here? LOL.

Yes, and what could possibly explain such differences?

The closest we get is:

Howse tries to resolve such tensions by reminding us that Strauss was, in addition to everything else, a penetrating scholar of Jewish thought and a refugee from the world destroyed by the Nazi war against the Jews. As Howse sees it, the young Strauss shared to a degree the discontent with liberal principles among Weimar intellectuals on the right, many of whom belonged to what is known in Germany as the Konservative Revolution of the 1920s, a movement that prepared the way for a broader intellectual acceptance of Nazism. As Strauss wrote in an essay on the corrupting influence of Nietzsche, Schmitt and Heidegger, part of their appeal to high-minded young Germans (himself presumably included) lay in their “sense of responsibility for endangered morality”—morality robbed of its heroism and nobility by petty calculation and self-interest.

For Howse, Strauss’s mature thought involves certain concessions to the allure of these thinkers—to his younger self, as it were—while at the same time presenting an alternative in the chastened, worldly wisdom of classical political thought, most of all in Plato and Thucydides. Howse calls this an instance of t’shuvah—that is, of return or repentance as understood in traditional Judaism. It involves, he writes,

a pulling back from the extreme through critique, often internal, of the extreme—a deeper, more radical level of philosophical reflection that . . . has the result of reestablishing the case for moral-political limits and for legality, hence moderation in Strauss’s sense. T’shuvah . . . is accomplished not through pious shame or remorse but through an even greater philosophical Redlichkeit [honesty, probity].

This is an appealing interpretation of Strauss, though Howse has no direct evidence for it and does little more than assert it…

No direct evidence, just an assertion, one coming from an ethnocentric particularism.

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Unexpected Developments

Shocking news from the rap world:

An up-and-coming rapper was among several people arrested Wednesday in an investigation into a series of gang-related shootings and drug trafficking in the city.

Ackquille Pollard, who performs under the name Bobby Shmurda, was taken into custody shortly after he left a recording studio near Radio City Music Hall in midtown Manhattan.

Pollard, 20, is named with other defendants in an indictment that will be unsealed after their arraignments Thursday, said Kati Cornell, a spokeswoman for the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor. She declined to detail the charges.

Chad Marshal, another aspiring hip-hop artist known as Rowdy Rebel, was arrested inside the recording studio where police also recovered handguns, authorities said.

The Brooklyn-born Pollard is best known for the hit song “Hot Boy” and for a music video that popularized a dance move called the “Shmoney dance.”

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Holywood 2025

Mark Harris has a good piece on “How Hollywood’s toxic (and worsening) addiction to franchises changed movies forever in 2014.”

Amidst an ever-expanding menu of ‘universe-formation’ franchising, the future of quality movie-making is looking rather ominous.

Posted in Film, Hollywood | Leave a comment