Nazi Faces in the Clouds

We live in an era when Leftists see Neo-Nazis in the clouds. This strange sort of Rorschach projection has accelerated in recent years, with SJWs seeing KKK hoods in a woman wrapped in a blanket, Janeane Garofalo saying she heard ‘n*gger’ at a Tea Party rally, and Sarah Silverman seeing a ‘swastika’ in DPW crayon markings on a sidewalk, etc.

The latest is from one Talia Lavin of The New Yorker and Village Voice:

Ethnically diverse New Yorker hire Talia Lavin

Talia Lavin, a staff member of The New Yorker and contributor to The Village Voice, came under fire over the weekend after spreading misinformation and accusing Justin Gaertner – a combat-wounded Marine veteran and the agency’s forensic analyst – of being a closeted Nazi sympathizer for a tattoo she perceived as being the “Iron Cross.”

But the tattoo on Gaertner’s left elbow has nothing to do with Nazi Germany at all — it is “the ‘Titan 2,’ the symbol for his platoon while he fought in Afghanistan,” ICE said on Monday. “The writing on his right arm is the Spartan Creed, which is about protecting family and children.”

It’s understandable why Lavin would be predisposed to think of Gaertner as a neo-Nazi. He works for ICE, after all.

From the photos, it looks like Gaertner lost both legs in combat.

Justin Gaertner

Question: Has anyone checked his lost legs for Nazi tattoos?

It would just be thorough reporting from The New Yorker to look into that possibility.

One never knows.

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NYT Defines “Fringe”

Day #2 of the NYT’s Normandy Invasion.

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Leonard the Liberator

From David Denby’s review of Famous Father Girl: A Memoir of Growing Up Bernstein by Leonard Bernstein’s daughter, Jamie Bernstein:

As a young man, Leonard Bernstein was prodigiously gifted and exceptionally handsome, and he slept with many men and with women, too. He seemed to be omnisexual, a man of unending appetite who worked and played all day and most of the night, with a motor that would not shut down until he was near collapse…

Bernstein, one might say, liberated the Jewish body from the constraints felt by the immigrant generation, including his father, Sam, who relinquished his severe, stiff-collar demeanor only when celebrating the High Holidays with the Boston Hasidim. For Lenny, every day was a High Holiday.

Liberate the Jewish Body!

In 1970, before entering Harvard, Jamie Bernstein spent the summer at the Tanglewood Music Festival, where her father had flourished as a young man. After a while, she heard tales of his earlier days (“moonlit naked swims in the lake, scurrying between practice cabins . . . you weren’t supposed to hear such things about your own father”)… Jamie’s sense of her father as a sexual being, and his superabundant warmth with his children, added to her own romantic difficulties.

Imagine that.

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13 Ways of Looking at a Narrative (Redux)

Long day at work… Let me open the NYT to see what happened in the world today.

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How Did the Nazis Lead to Trump?

Since Trump’s election in November of 2016, there has been a steady stream (nearly daily) of Nazi allegories. I thought I’ve seen them all, but this one from the NYT might just take the cake (“How Did the Nazis Gain Power in Germany?”):

Although Benjamin Carter Hett makes no comparisons between Germany then and the United States now in “The Death of Democracy,” his extremely fine study of the end of constitutional rule in Germany, he dissolves those comforting assumptions….

[Hett] presents Hitler’s rise as an element of the collapse of a republic confronting dilemmas of globalization…

The Nazis, in Hett’s account, were above all “a nationalist protest movement against globalization.”

The Nazis, in Hett’s account, were above all “a nationalist protest movement against globalization.” Even before the Great Depression brought huge unemployment to Germany, the caprice of the global economy offered an opportunity to politicians who had simple answers. In their 1920 program, the Nazis proclaimed that “members of foreign nations (noncitizens) are to be expelled from Germany.” Next would come autarky: Germans would conquer the territory they needed to be self-sufficient, and then create their own economy in isolation from that of the rest of the world. As Goebbels put it, “We want to build a wall, a protective wall.” Hitler maintained that the vicissitudes of globalization were not the result of economic forces but of a Jewish international conspiracy.

President Hindenburg is attributed with creating the preconditions:

He was famous as the victor in a battle on the Eastern Front of World War I, even though the credit was not fully deserved. Hindenburg could not face the reality of defeat on the Western Front in 1918, and so spread the lie that the German Army had been “stabbed in the back” by Jews and Socialists. This moral weakness of one man radiated outward.

Are you getting the message yet?

He believed that only he could save Germany, but would not put himself forward to do so, for fear of damaging his image. Without Hindenburg’s founding fiction and odd posturing, it is unlikely that Hitler would have come to power.

Is it any clearer? We are just awaiting our Damien from The Omen.

As Hett capably shows, the Nazis were the great artists of victimhood fiction. Hitler, who had served with German Jews in the war, spread the idea that Jews had been the enemy within, proposing that the German Army would have won had some of them been gassed to death. Goebbels had Nazi storm troopers attack leftists precisely so that he could claim that the Nazis were victims of Communist violence. Hitler believed in telling lies so big that their very scale left some residue of credibility. The Nazi program foresaw that newspapers would serve the “general good” rather than reporting, and promised “legal warfare” against opponents who spread information they did not like. They opposed what they called “the system” by rejecting its basis in the factual world. Germans were not rational individuals with interests, the reasoning went, but members of a tribe that wanted to follow a leader (Führer).

The Alt Right are the ‘great artists of victimhood fiction’, and Trump is Hitler.

This message is reified in many, many ways:

The Nazis filled a void between the Catholic electorate of the Center Party and a working class that voted Socialist or Communist. Their core constituents, Hett indicates, were Protestants from the countryside or small towns who felt themselves to be the victims of globalization.


Constitutions break when ill-motivated leaders deliberately expose their vulnerabilities.

And so it goes.

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Roger Kimball on Tom Wolfe

Nobody strings together a sentence quite like Roger Kimball. Here he is discussing the late Tom Wolfe:

One thing that Wolfe’s extravagant style at first obscured was the deep conservatism of his world view, moral and political as well as aesthetic. All those exclamation points and eye-popping agglomerations of adjectives—to say nothing of his Beau Brummell–like taste in haberdashery (the inevitable white suits, the spats)—distracted early observers from his commitment to the canons of realism, on the one hand, and, on the other, his firm endorsement of the traditional social, political, and economic order—“middle-class values,” in fact—that had made the United States such a conspicuous oasis of prosperity and freedom.

Wolfe’s chief subject, in his novels as well as his essays and documentary efforts, was the baneful effects that regularly follow upon the transformation of moral ideas into imperative fashion accessories. In one sense, fashion inhabits a fluctuating and ephemeral realm. But its diktats can be tyrannical as well as peremptory. Counterpoised against the ground of traditional moral and aesthetic practice, the expostulations of fashion absolutized amount to what Wolfe once called “pernicious enlightenment,” which is to say the fake enlightenment of what we today call political correctness: that intoxicating emotion of virtue that follows on the conviction that one is traveling in the vanguard of history. The result is often comic, but also often appalling, not to say malicious. Wolfe was expert at rendering the tout ensemble…

Were Tom Wolfe starting out today, we suspect that he might find the path to success more arduous. There are a few reasons for this. For one thing, effective satire depends upon a clear and generally agreed-upon distance between satire and reality. As the moral and aesthetic pretensions of nihilism gobble up greater and greater precincts of cultural life, it becomes more and more difficult to distinguish reliably the one from the other. The line was already getting blurry in the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s, when Wolfe was at his satirical apogee. Progress towards terminal fatuousness has continued apace and has made the satirist’s job more difficult. What common values, after all, can he confidently appeal to in framing his gibes?..

Tom Wolfe was a literary treasure and a sly if undeclared culture warrior on the side of civilization. There might be a place for him still as a writer of genius. As a polemicist, alas, he is too high-octane to pass muster in our timid, querulous, and self-asphyxiating age.

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The Ballad of David Irving

Ron Unz’s “The Remarkable Historiography of David Irving” is a must-read and yet another object lesson for the need to question everything. Every grand sweeping narrative you take for granted (e.g., “Winston Churchill is a hero!”) must be, to use a favorite phrase of the Left, interrogated.

I must confess I had no idea of the widespread praise Irving, as a WWII historian, has received from other renowned historians of the first order. I’ve only known the libel that Irving is a ‘Holocaust denier’ and a crank.

But Irving’s books have received superlative praise from the likes of Hugh Trevor-Roper and Raul Hilberg, among others. Sir John Keegan, whose opinions of specific Irving theses naturally vacillated, nonetheless wrote that Irving “knows more than anyone alive about the German side of the Second World War”, and claimed that Irving’s book Hitler’s War was “indispensable to anyone seeking to understand the war in the round.” In the Times Literary Supplement, Keegan also wrote that “Two books in English stand out from the vast literature of the Second World War: Chester Wilmot’s The Struggle for Europe, published in 1952 and David Irving’s Hitler’s War”.

Also, little did I know that Kevin MacDonald testified at the infamous Irving trial.

Irving has made all of his books available in PDF format (for free) at his website.

Here is a taste of Irving’s tenacious, firsthand investigations and attention to detail:

As far as Irving being a ‘Holocaust denier’:

Below is an instructive debate between Eric Breindel of The NY Post and the great Christopher Hitchens, who at the time had just written a Vanity Fair piece slamming St. Martin’s Press for reneging on David Irving’s book contract for a Joseph Goebbels biography. If nothing else, this video illustrates how the NYC publishing world operates, and why certain books (e.g., Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s Two Hundred Years Together) do not get published in the U.S.

I only watched the first 15 min of the following, but it stands as a fitting video precursor of Irving’s planned autobiography. His has been a most interesting life:

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The Unband – Geez Louise (2000)

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Dowd on BO’s “Ahead of My Time” Comment

I have been perplexed by what Zero meant when he said to Ben Rhodes: “Sometimes I wonder whether I was 10 or 20 years too early”.

A pretty good explanation comes, of all places, from Maureen Dowd:

As president, Obama always found us wanting. We were constantly disappointing him. He would tell us the right thing to do and then sigh and purse his lips when his instructions were not followed.

Shortly after Donald Trump was elected, Rhodes writes in his new book, “The World as It Is,” Obama asked his aides, “What if we were wrong?”

But in his next breath, the president made it clear that what he meant was: What if we were wrong in being so right? What if we were too good for these people?

“Maybe we pushed too far,” the president continued. “Maybe people just want to fall back into their tribe.”

So really, he’s not acknowledging any flaws but simply wondering if we were even more benighted than he thought. He’s saying that, sadly, we were not enlightened enough for the momentous changes wrought by the smartest people in the world — or even evolved enough for the first African-American president.

“Sometimes I wonder whether I was 10 or 20 years too early,” Obama mused to aides.

We just weren’t ready for his amazing awesomeness.

When someone who was as Obama-obsessed as Maureen Dowd says this about you, your legacy may be on very shaky ground indeed.

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NYT: Being a Housewife is Tantamount to White Supremacy

I thought, per the NYT & others, that the Alt Right was ‘dead’. Why, then, the need for hit pieces every other day? I see the frequency of such pieces as a fairly reliable gauge of how healthy the Alt Right in fact is and how worried The Cathedral is increasingly getting. Culture may be changing in a direction they do not like.

This recent one (“The Housewives of White Supremacy”) is written by Annie Kelly, “a Ph.D. student at the University of East Anglia researching the impact of digital cultures on anti-feminism and the far-right.”

I can’t figure out the m.o. From one pov, op-eds like this provide the AR with free publicity, the best that money could otherwise buy. I mean, they quote The Golden One, for cryin’ out loud, as well as some tradwife bloggers who are “what could be mistaken for a peculiar style of mommy-vlogging is a virulent strain of white nationalism.”

What struck me about this piece, however, is the barely disguised hostility for absolutely everything tradwives represent:

And yet between cute pastoral anecdotes of growing her own vegetables and making banana bread, it soon becomes clear that Ms. Jorgenson is advocating something sinister — not just a return to agrarian motherhood.

She lived in Germany temporarily, she says, but left just before “an influx of refugees took over the country.” She just had a child and thinks the new baby is beautiful — but maybe not quite in the same way all mothers do: “I always wanted children that looked like me,” she says, “blond-haired, blue-eyed babies, but I kind of had to say it under my breath.”

Wanting to continue your bloodline (if you are a gentile white, that is) is equated with something sinister. More overt hostility from elsewhere in the piece:

The seemingly anachronistic way they dress is no accident. The deliberately hyperfeminine aesthetics are constructed precisely to mask the authoritarianism of their ideology…

So, again, if the AR is dead, why the need for valuable, coveted NYT op-ed space dedicated to profiling aspects of it?

Still, tradwives remain worth contemplating because they help illuminate some of the forces that drive the alt-right and where the movement might be going. The alt-right is abhorrent; it is racist and hate-filled. But it is, like any other mass movement, also driven by a sense of dissatisfaction with modern life…

When I began studying digital anti-feminist and far-right networks for my doctorate in 2015, the number of women in these spaces seemed small enough to be insignificant. There has since been such a surfeit of women beginning careers off such networks, many infusing their particular brand of far-right ideology with “trad” rhetoric, that it now seems irresponsible not to think about them, their roles and what they reveal. The material conditions that allow far-right movements to thrive seem unlikely to change, and feminism’s work is far from done in countering the kind of sexual anxieties that the alt-right exploits. Tradwives may seem like a lunatic fringe at present, but they may not stay one for long.

To the NYT, being a ‘tradwife’ is part of the lunatic fringe. Let that sink in.

The AR is not dying. It is expanding and adjusting to the social realities of doxing and deplatforming.

And it is why we will continue to see streams of articles and op-eds delivering the equivalent of dire warnings about Neo-Nazis behind every tree.

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