Comment Of The Day: “Dispatches From The Great Stupid, An Ethics Dunce Family, And West Coast Bizarro World”

The tale of the social justice warrior baker whose family announced that in her honor and memory they didn’t want any law enforcement “violence “—like, say, punishment, to be inflicted on her killers has generated a fascinating discussion.

Here is the Comment of the Day by Steve-O-in-NJ, who had been on quite a roll lately. The post under examination is “Dispatches From The Great Stupid, An Ethics Dunce Family, And West Coast Bizarro World”


I thought most of the aging hippies moved to upstate New York (home of Ithaca, the City of Evil according to many conservatives) and Vermont (the land of gray ponytails).

All silliness aside, this statement makes me want to yawn, not get angry. One of the ending themes I return to in my writing, both historical and fictional, is that evil always returns, although it may wear a different name or a different face, and it falls to a new generation to fight and defeat it. Yesterday it might have worn a hammer and sickle, the day before that it might have worn a swastika or a rising sun, today it wears a crescent or a double-headed eagle. But the underlying idea, that it is going to impose its will and its vision by force, never changes.

The foolish idealism that often supports it keeps returning also, though it too wears a different name and face in every age, actually often many different names and faces in each age. Today it wears the pan-African colors of Black Lives Matter and the rainbow colors of militant abnormal sexuality. Yesterday it wore the tie-dye of the hippies and the ragged habit of Christian anarchism. There have always been the black-clad true anarchists to spur the idealists along or take the action the idealists balk at. The underlying ideal is always the same: a perfect society with no coercion and perfectly good people, obtained by resistance to the current order. Yesterday the anthem was John Lennon’s “Imagine,” today it’s Brett Dennen’s “Heaven”:

Beyond the rules of religion
The cloth of conviction
Above all competition
Where fact and fiction meet

There’s no color lines caste or classes
There’s no fooling the masses
Whatever faith you practice
Whatever you believe

Oh Heaven, Heaven
What the hell is Heaven?
Is there a home for the homeless?
Is there hope for the hopeless?

Throw away your misconceptions
There’s no walls around Heaven
No codes you gotta know to get in
No minutemen or border patrol

You must lose your Earthly possessions
Leave behind your weapons
You can’t buy your salvation
And there is no pot of gold

Heaven, Heaven
What the hell is Heaven?
Is there a home for the homeless?
Is there hope for the hopeless?

Heaven ain’t got no prisons
No governments, no business
No banks or politicians
No armies and no police
Castles and cathedrals crumble
Pyramids and pipelines tumble
Failure keeps you humble
Leads us closer to peace

Oh Heaven, Heaven
What the hell is Heaven?
Is there a home for the homeless?
Is there hope for the hopeless?
Is there hope for the hopeless?

It all sounds good, especially when set to music and sung…until you actually think it through. A world with no businesses, banks, governments, houses of worship, armies or police would be a world of anarchy, sloth, and failure. We already got a taste of it in Seattle and Portland, where adherents of this new anarchy who got ripped off were encouraged to just believe whoever took whatever had greater need of it than they did. Seattle sort of came to its senses. Portland still hasn’t. That’s the kind of world you’d be looking at if we followed this path all the way to its logical end.

You can glean little about Jen herself from this article, but if you look on the bakery website you can read:

“Jen Angel created Angel Cakes in 2008, and our retail shop opened on 5th Street in Oakland in March 2016. Jen learned practically everything she knows from her mom, Pat. Although Jen has always been a baker, before cupcaking full time she worked as an independent media and community activist. Her favorite flavors are chocolate peanut butter and Meyer lemon with the passion fruit fiilling (though secretly she loves chocolate chip cookies the most).

Angel Cakes is a small shop and as the owner, Jen strives to create an environment where everyone (staff AND customers) feels included, valued, and respected. She believes that Black Lives Matter and that every person has the right to choose their own gender identity and gender expression. As a shop we strive to reduce waste through limiting use of plastics and choosing products that are gentle on the environment. We do our best to be a good neighbor and community member through donating to and providing desserts for various social justice efforts, particularly in the areas of environmental justice, housing, and criminal justice reform.”

There you have it. She was a lifelong superlefty and virtue-signaler who also baked. Maybe the local criminal element left her alone, because supposedly she saw a lot of thefts and robberies, which she chalked up to economic injustice. Someone broke into her car, though, and instead of letting it go since who took it needed it more than she, instead of perhaps more sensibly deciding that life and limb were more important than whatever got taken, she tried to grab the getaway car and got her head repeatedly bounced off the pavement. Now she’s dead, and are her family and colleagues trying to help bring whoever did this to justice? Are they even asking for privacy while they grieve? No, instead they are saying they hope whoever did this escapes anything like conventional justice. Restorative justice? This isn’t a broken window that can be replaced or a defaced wall that can be cleaned. This is manslaughter at the very least. There’s no bringing her back, and there’s no fixing the lives of her family and friends who now have to deal with this supremely ugly event that nothing good can come of. Yet they’re worried that her murder might be used to rally the public to support the police or that someone might actually draw jail time for this?

I’ve seen a lot of weird places in fiction, but the place typified by this and these beliefs is one of the scariest. This is the inmates running the asylum.

16 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day: “Dispatches From The Great Stupid, An Ethics Dunce Family, And West Coast Bizarro World”

  1. “It all sounds good, especially when set to music and sung…” No it doesn’t! Fortunately it’s not even an ear-worm, so it would keep me up at night, like “The Wayward Wind” has been lately. Worst of all, that some makes me appreciate “Imagine.” At least Lennon didn’t use a bunch of cliches like “pot of gold”…and this hack ripped him off anyway.

    • Agreed. The only reason I remembered the song, or had any contact with it, was because Irish singer and actress Lisa Lambe, one of the many ladies who graced the PBS ensemble Celtic Woman, covered it on her first solo album. Yeah, there are a ton of cliches, including the gratuitous swipe at the right by mentioning the minutemen and border patrol.

    • I stopped it less than 15 seconds in. His voice is worse than fingernails on the blackboard with enunciation that obscures the lyrics. Bob Dylan’s voice was easier to understand.

      • I thought of Dylan too. I’m used to his voice, but he also had the advantage of singing some very thoughtful, original and complex lyrics. I discovered how complex when I tried to compose a legal ethics parody of “Like a Rolling Stone.” It’s the only song that ever defeated me. But I’ll come back to it…

  2. I think that one of the underlying causes of the rise in crime, the rise in misbehavior in schools, the rise of misbehavior in general, for that matter, is the total lack of consequences and accountability in the perpetrators of the conduct, which, in turn, leads to a lack of respect for anything. I cannot tell you how many 18 and 19 year olds I have represented in criminal courts with prior juvenile records who are actually surprised that something bad is now going to happen to them.

  3. It is of signature significance that when actually faced with someone stealing HER property that her reaction was not to “just let it go” or some other passive response based on “restorative justice” but rather to chase the criminals and try to recover her property. In light of her reaction to the robbery I doubt she’d agree with the request posted by her friends(?) and colleagues that her murderers not be brought to justice.

  4. Jen seems like she was a wonderful person. What her family wants for the accused in her death is irrelevant. While Jen was a victim of a crime, the crime is against society – it styled “The State of X v. John Doe, Defendant” and concludes with “against the peace and dignity of the state.” If the state pursues the prosecution under some guise of her family’s appeal to “restorative justice” – whatever that means – and the accused kills someone else , who will bear that cost?


  5. I’m just marking this so I get updates in advance of preparing proper feedback (I won’t give it if people do not wish to be confused with those facts and would rather rest on an unchallenged virtuous position, like the critics of Thomas Sowell described in another post). For now, I should mention that there is more to it than some think – a lot more. If anyone does want to research it, U.S. workers in this area range over centuries between Lysander Spooner and Kevin Carson, while others include Max Stirner, Kropotkin, Proudhon, Nestor Makhno, and by some measures even Nietzsche.

      • How do you get “snide little intellectual insult” out of a plain reading of that? It’s an allusion to a joke Oscar Wilde made, and since I see some mirroring between remarks on this topic and another post, where commenters said some arguments and attempts at informing are futile as they simply won’t be received, I thought I should wait to see if it was worth the time and effort before giving straight feedback here. If that was an insult when Wilde said it, it was aimed at himself and was making a serious point; I wanted to echo that point.

        I will only tell people who are willing to listen. If they announce in advance that they expect only “more pompousness”, well, they are bound to hear that in anything they are told. But I am willing to play it straight, I just won’t keep on if stopped. As W.C. Fields said, “If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again; then give up, there’s no sense being a damned fool about it”. Sadly, that reaction can get misrepresented, too.

        • P.M.Lawrence wrote, “How do you get “snide little intellectual insult” out of a plain reading of that?”

          That’s a reasonably fair question.

          Snide: derogatory or mocking in an indirect way.
          Derogatory: showing a critical or disrespectful attitude.
          Intellectual: relating to the intellect.
          Insult: speak to or treat with disrespect or scornful abuse.
          Pompous: affectedly and irritatingly grand, solemn, or self-important.

          Your statement “I won’t give it if people do not wish to be confused with those facts and would rather rest on an unchallenged virtuous position” was snide in that is was an insult to the intelligence of the people you were directing it at and that my friend is clearly derogatory. Your statement come across as pompous.

          Sorry P.M.Lawrence, I simply cannot read that statement from you any other way. Own it.

          P.M.Lawrence wrote, “It’s an allusion to a joke Oscar Wilde made…”

          So it’s supposed to be taken as a joke? R…i…g…h…t… Based on your previous statement “if it seems that anyone will take it seriously”, I call bull shit.

          P.M.Lawrence wrote, “I will only tell people who are willing to listen.”

          Let me get this straight; you’re in search of some kind acknowledgement that some people are going to listen to your opinion before you’re willing to share it? Give me a freaking break. Don’t offer some kind of promise that you’re going to share your opinion based on some nonsensical preconditions, just share your opinion, I suspect you’ll get some that may agree and some that may disagree. Grow a pair.

        • Something else.

          P.M.Lawrence wrote, “If they announce in advance that they expect only “more pompousness”, well, they are bound to hear that in anything they are told.”

          That’s a mischaracterization of what I wrote and I’m not sure if it’s based on not comprehending what I wrote or maybe a cultural difference so I’ll explain.

          I wrote “I just hope it’s not going to be more pompousness” which is a statement hoping that there won’t be more pompousness as opposed to the way you characterized it as expecting more pompousness; there is a difference. What I wrote was meant as a wakeup call as to how your comment was coming across and what you wrote was implying that I have an uncontrollable implicit bias and I don’t think there’s a reasonable justification for that opinion.

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