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Monday, April 12, 2021
 

 White Lives Matter Protests Fizzle, But....

Do you think the media will stop covering white supremacists?  Not on your life. Brandy Zadrozny is forced to admit that the much-hyped (by her and other media apparatchiks) rallies turned out to be a flop:

Hyped by organizers [and Brandy Zadrozny] as events that would make "the whole world tremble," the rallies ran into a major problem: Hardly anyone showed up.

Now you might think that nobody showing up would indicate that perhaps too much attention was being paid to a phantom menace, but you'd be wrong.  In fact, the menace is still very real; it was only thwarted by the heroic efforts of Brandy Zadrozny and friends:

The poor showing underscores how the country's unpopular and disorganized extremist movements have been driven underground by increased scrutiny from the media, law enforcement agencies and far-left activist who infiltrate their online spaces and disrupt their attempts to communicate and organize.

But it's still important work, never mind how unpopular and disorganized they are!  Experts are roped in:

 The  ineptitude of organizers notwithstanding, experts say that the US extremist movement is at an inflection point and that would-be participants are discouraged by the increased negative attention....

It goes on in that vein for quite awhile, but NBC News won't let me copy and paste from the article and retyping is a chore. Suffice to say that white supremacy is a joke (stopped clock) but opposing it is extremely important work being done heroically.  Hey, I opposed the 9-11 Truthers back in the day, so I know what it's like to start out thinking the enemy is serious and then discover that it's a bunch of buffoons and crackpots.


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Sunday, April 11, 2021
 

Blurring the Line Between Legit Criticism and Cancel Culture

Been seeing quite a bit of this lately and it deserves to be pointed out and scorned.  A perfect example is this hit piece on the College Fix:

After Campus Reform published a story about Alyssa Johnson, an assistant professor at Louisiana State University, over a tweet she had posted in response to an incoming student’s racist slur, she faced such an onslaught of abuse and threats that she was forced to leave her home.

The story was picked up by scores of right-wing outlets, including Fox News, and went viral on social media and on a website for LSU sports fans, where insults and attacks against Johnson filled chat rooms for dozens of pages. “I read them all because I just wanted to make sure that nobody had found my address,” said Johnson, who is Asian American. She noted that a majority of the online comments as well as hundreds of emails she received were filled with sexist insults and “racial slurs about Asian people that I had never even known existed,” she said.

Let's start with the obvious, that slurs and insults are completely inappropriate and threats are quite possibly criminal.  Nobody should defend them.  But at the same time, criticism of the content of Johnson's tweet is surely allowed? She not only suggested that she would drop any students guilty of using racist slurs from her class, but that a list of such students should be maintained.

 It is of course useful to blur the line between one's critics and the loonies who then engage in the insults and slurs and threats. And yes, there is a causal relationship, but it's not intentional.  And no surprise the article's tack is that the College Fix is engaging in Cancel Culture; indeed, that's the headline:

A Billionaire-Funded Website With Ties to the Far Right Is Trying to “Cancel” University Professors

No doubt the College Fix suggested that Alyssa Johnson be fired?  I mean, that's a basic first step in Cancel Culture.  Nope, in fact while it notes that there were calls for her to resign, the article itself takes no stance other than to note that her tweet was inappropriate for an assistant professor at a public university.

Any criticism of the hall monitors like Taylor Lorenz is met with similar line-blurring. Glenn Greenwald criticized Lorenz for some very criticism-worthy behavior, Lorenz gets nasty emails and tweets, Greenwald is trying to cancel Lorenz. Rinse and repeat. These stories are particularly popular because they allow journalists the opportunity to talk about their favorite topic: journalists and how poorly they are treated by the knuckle-dragging morons who don't understand the importance of what they are doing.

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Monday, April 05, 2021
 

 So Men Who Say They Are Women Are Misogynists?

Gotta laugh at the dustup over Mike Huckabee's tweet and the way the liberal media is trying to paint it as anti-Asian.

The former Arkansas governor and brief Republican presidential candidate is facing heavy criticism for a racist and bizarre tweet that tried to take a jab at Major League Baseball and several corporations over Georgia voting laws. But the message that got through was Huckabee’s anti-Asian sentiment at a time when attacks against Asians have become a major issue in the United States.

Huckabee tweeted, “I’ve decided to ‘identify’ as Chinese. Coke will like me, Delta will agree with my ‘values’ and I’ll probably get shoes from Nike & tickets to @MLB games. Ain’t America great?”

It was ineptly expressed, but the gag is, if anything, anti-transgender.   We all get that a white man can't self-identify as Chinese and expect to be taken seriously,  However if he were to self-identify as a woman, these days everybody would fall all over themselves in agreement.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2021
 

The (Paltry) Wages of Wokeness

I've been amused to see the ongoing dustup over Substack.  As our new woke overlords manage to drive out anybody who has ever expressed an unorthodox thought from the mainstream media, a funny thing has happened. All of the legacy media outlets have become boring echo chambers of woke scolds. No surprise, this has led quite a few people to look for other opinions. And it seems that a good number of the unorthodox thinkers have ended up at Substack, where they appear to be making quite good coin.  Matt Yglesias, who had the temerity to sign a letter opposing cancel culture, and was pushed out of Vox for that sin, was offered a quarter of a million to write for Substack, and stands to make quite a bit more.

Apparently the deal is that you can set a certain monthly subscriber fee--typically between $5 and $10.  Substack has offered writers either a straight commission (90% of their subscriber fees) or a fixed amount plus a lower commission.  As it happens Yglesias would have made quite a bit more--well over $500,000--had he taken the straight commission.

Well, you can imagine the reaction from the woke mob.  Here they had routed the evil man from their midst and he landed a job where he's presumably making quite a bit more than he was toiling for Vox.  And he's not alone. Many writers who ran afoul of one PC rule or the other have gone over there. Andrew Sullivan, Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, John McWhorter and Jessie Singal among many others have set up their own newsletters.  And Substack is, to be honest, about the only website worth reading these days because of those people.

Of course, the folks who managed to shut down Parler have turned their ire on Substack. Some have called for the site itself to be deplatformed.  Others have tried the concern troll tactic: Did Substack really want to be associated with this bad person?

Now you might be wondering why the wokerati are not flocking to Substack themselves--here's a site where you can get paid directly by the people who like to read your work, cutting out the middleman (the publisher) and getting rich in the process.  Ah, but there's the rub; it turns out that quite a few social justice warriors have tried it and have not been quite as successful as the iconoclasts listed above.  You can see the problem; who's going to pay to read the same stuff they can read in every newspaper and magazine online already? Especially when that stuff comes from people who sneer at you and your opinions.

And meanwhile the layoffs continue, although now they're not just hitting the legacy media outlets, but the "new media" sites like the Huffington Post.

Update: And as if on cue, Medium announces that it will be switching to a Substack-style model.  Note the important hall monitoring, err, journalism that we'll be missing out on:

Those publications have published high-impact work over the years: An investigation by tech publication OneZero into a surveillance tech executive’s attendance at KKK meetings led to his firing, for example.

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Sunday, March 21, 2021
 

Glass Houses, Part 1127

Teen Vogue, which manages to combine Marxist theory with $1000 belts, is enjoying its moment in the cancel culture sun. The fashion and beauty and social conscience mag had hired Alexi McCammond, a 27-year-old political writer as its new editor-in-chief. McCammond had previously received criticism and apologized for a few tweets she wrote a decade ago about Asians which were perceived as objectionable (and a few others which were reportedly homophobic, although those particular ones I have not read).

The brass at Conde Nast apparently thought McCammond could be forgiven now that she had repented her mistakes, but not so the rank and file, which revolted.  Reading between the lines, I suspect that some of the opposition to her hiring is based on her relative lack of experience, which strikes me as a reasonable point. However a great deal of attention was again focused on those old tweets, with apparently a senior Teen Vogue staffer named Christine Davitt leading the charge.

Well, you can probably see the fly heading rapidly towards the ointment, even if you didn't click on the link yet.  Turns out that Davitt herself has a problem with tweets that have not aged well.  Ouch!  Live by the cancel culture, die by the cancel culture.

 I want to say that kids should be forgiven most sins, but it looks like we are headed in the opposite direction. These days they probably need to be counseled on how to avoid expressing themselves on the internet until they are in their 30s.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2021
 

 Is Andrew Yang Facist-Adjacent, or Fascist-Adjacent-Adjacent?

That seems to be the point of this rather silly article at Politico.

Yang told Dave Rubin — whose podcast The Rubin Report has interviewed white nationalists, white supremacists, conspiracy theorists, anti-Islamic activists and anti-feminist media personalities — that he “came of age during the first Clinton term” and considered himself a Democrat.

And:

Yang also made appearances on The Ben Shapiro Show, The Joe Rogan Experience, and Tucker Carlson Tonight to promote his candidacy. By then these shows had built a reputation as highly critical of progressive policies and “woke” culture — a viewpoint that had built them a collective, nationwide audience of millions.

 At a guess, Yang probably also appeared on Rachel Maddow and El Chapo Trap House as well.  An unknown candidate like him has to find a way to get his message out somehow.  

This used to be called "guilt by association", but of course here it's not guilt by associating with someone objectionable, but by being interviewed by someone who once interviewed someone objectionable.  Mike Wallace interviewed a lot of bad people on 60 Minutes, does that mean we can't associate with Mike Wallace? Well, yeah, he's dead, but when he was alive?

They go on to point out some of the non-progressive things he said on those shows. This part made me chuckle a bit:

As he and Rubin discussed automation, Yang said, "If you take these people who are working in fast-food restaurants — and these jobs get automated away — and in my mind they should be automated away. Trying to preserve these jobs is not where we should be going."

I'm sure he meant to say that they will be automated away, not that they should be. That's a business decision with quite a few variables and of course saying those jobs should go comes off heartless which is why we get this silly back-pedal:

He told POLITICO that he would only support automating those positions if the affected workers had better job alternatives.

If the affected workers had better job alternatives, they'd presumably be working at them, right?

 

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Monday, March 15, 2021
 

 The Awesomeness that is Joe Biden

Is it too early to suggest that he be added to Mount Rushmore?  That he replace Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln on our currency?  That we update the Pledge of Allegiance to include "One nation, under Joe Biden...?"

I get that to the media, Trump lowered the bar so much that almost anybody would be acceptable and that's the platform Biden ran on--the acceptable candidate.  But since the election a lot of pundits and headline writers seem to have lost all grip on reality and are acting like love-struck teenagers, going on and on about what a great human being he is.  Some embarrassing examples:

Biden Chooses Prosperity over Vengeance

Distinguished Pol of the Week: No progress was possible without Biden  Granted, that's Jennifer Rubin, so no particular surprise coming from the WaPo's well-trained "conservative."

7 Takeaways fom Biden's Covid Speech Doesn't sound that bad until you start reading it:

The return of empathy: Biden made a single gesture in the speech that demonstrated the empathy he operates with vis a vis the lives lost to this pandemic. He pulled a card out of his jacket pocket -- which he said he keeps with him wherever he goes -- and read off the exact, up-to-date number of Americans who have died from the coronavirus. (That number is more than 527,000.) Yes, of course, Biden did that for dramatic effect. But it worked. And it drove home the idea that this is a leader who keeps those who have died from the pandemic close to his heart -- literally. It also provided a not-so-subtle contrast with Trump's overt politicization of the virus and those who succumbed to it.

Joe Biden is a Transformational President 

Biden, Champion of the Middle Class, Comes to Aid the Poor

SNL, comedians are struggling to parody Biden

Yeah, I mean who could parody Biden and his story about the near battle with Corn Pop, and the Black kids who marveled at the blond hair on his legs?

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