It seems wrong, I’ll agree, to concentrate on hate on a day we put aside to commemorate the civil rights leader who managed to accomplish so much by explicitly rejecting hate, despite how much of it was aimed at him and his cause. I think it’s hypocritical for American society in its current state to pretend to celebrate the life of Dr. King, when they are in the process of rejecting–enthusiastically rejecting–so many of his ideals. It was hypocritical for our society to pretend to celebrate Christmas, too, now that I think about it.
1 You want to see hate? THIS is hate. Blogger James Bovard collected photos from the Women’s March. The civil rights marchers had a lot more to be angry about, but somehow, thanks to Dr. King’s leadership, they managed to avoid displays like these..
But my favorite, I think, is this one…
Nobody makes anyone behave like this. It’s their choice, and their ethical failing.
2. Quiz: What’s wrong with this book review? Nowadays the New York Times Review of Books seldom misses one of the seemingly endless screeds by progressive, anti-Trump pundits, journalists, historians and scholars, all with interchangeable titles and all boiling down to fearful forecasts that the election of a President they disapprove of portends the end of democracy as we know it. The reviews of these books are usually incritical, and handed to a reliable leftist who could have dictated the any of them. “Democracy and the Decline of Reason” by William Davies, and “The Free Society in Crisis” by David Selbourne were this week’s examples from the genre, and anyone familiar with the Times’ chosen reviewer, long-time Ralph Nader sidekick, former president of AL Gore.s failed attempt at a progressive talk show network, Air America Radio , to counter Rush Limbaugh, and creator of the anti-Trump Twitter collective, @ShadowingTrump Mark Green, knows exactly what his assessments will be. However, Green’s brief review of the Davies book is especially revealing for diagnostic purposes. He writes:
In this interdisciplinary masterpiece (available next month), Davies, a political economist, seeks to solve a major mystery in electoral history: How did a sleazy Croesus sway enough blue-collar workers to be chosen president of the world’s greatest democracy? This political dyslexia was at first simply attributed to racial animus and/or economic anxiety. But the recent rise of elected authoritarians around the world has inspired several authors to dig deeper into what motivates such voters and whether democracy itself is “dying.”
One pioneering effort into illogical thinking was Jonathan Haidt’s “The Righteous Mind.” Now comes “Nervous States” to seamlessly blend psychology, biology, economics, philosophy, advertising and religion — from Hobbes to Freud — to illuminate how centuries of unreason have spawned our current president.
Davies thinks that right-wing populism is (mis)leading millions to substitute emotions for evidence because of impulses “deep in our psyches and bodies beyond matters of fact: physical pain, fear of the future, a sense of our own mortality.” Demagogues, blaming various villains (Jewish bankers, immigrants), can then convert distress and disempowerment into hatred and a “rejection of progress.” This emphasis of fear over facts creates crowds for whom “it really doesn’t matter … what is said, but merely how it makes them feel.”
The stakes in 2020 appear as high as in any election since 1860: Will emotional appeals built on nationalism and disinformation — with social media as an accelerant — threaten our 230-year experiment in self-government? Or could a failed Trumpism spur a progressive backlash that restores our original Enlightenment values of science, facts and law?
Davies urges rational leaders to better deploy “imagery, sound and speech” to elevate reason over emotion, democracy over reaction. Imagine the epic irony if President Trump paves the way for a Democratic president who then becomes a 21st-century version of Franklin Roosevelt cleaning up after Herbert Hoover’s elephantine mess.
Whatever one may think of his politics, Green is undeniably a smart man. Is it possible that he doesn’t see the absurd hypocrisy here? Is he deluded or lying? Who’s doing the appealing to emotion? Who’s fearmongering (Green is fearmongering in this very review!)? Demagogues? You mean like Howard Dean, Tom Perez, Elizabeth Warren, Maxine Waters, and Alexandra Occasio-Cortez? The leftist Women’s March just split up over anti-Semitism in the ranks: who’s blaming “Jewish bankers”? Feelings over facts? Who was it who just said “I think that there’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right”? Was that a Republican? Where is so much of that “disinformation” coming from? Isn’t it emanating from the very publication Green is writing for?
How can any honest, rational person take seriously a commentator who ignores such obvious facts undermining his thesis while agreeing that “right-wing populism is (mis)leading millions to substitute emotions for evidence”?
3. Misogyny bad, misandry good! Apparently a new sequel to the original “Ghostbuster” is in the works, in part because the2016 feminist, “woke” reboot with an all-female cast was something of a bust. (Since the first sequel in 1989 was also pretty bad, another “Ghosybusters” no matter who or what it’s cast with doesn’t seem like a very good idea). Anyway, Leslie Jones, a castmember from the feamle version, is offended.
On Twitter she posted, “So insulting. Like fuck us. We dint count. It’s like something trump would do. (Trump voice) ”Gonna redo ghostbusteeeeers, better with men, will be huge. Those women ain’t ghostbusteeeeers” ugh so annoying. Such a dick move. And I don’t give fuck I’m saying something!!”
Yes, you are saying something revealing, hateful and stupid. Funny, the “Ocean’s Eleven” cast didn’t take offense at the contrived all-female version of that film And is there anything Hollywood won’t use as an excuse to attack the President? Even their own movies?
So far, at least, “Ghostbusters” has been a lot better with men.