Is it good for man to be alone?

  1. It is good for man to be alone
  2. The end of White Guilt?
  3. Manchurian Candidate?
  4. Kristoff #Fail
  5. Hal Lindsey update
  6. I’m no big deal
  7. Go back to your own country!
  8. Sudden, involuntary, chaotic simplification

Another theme change so soon?

Yeah. I use so many block quotes that having them all look like portentous pull-quotes was really irritating.

1

Judith Butler (1956 -) … has popularised the notion that gender is not something essential, but “performative”; it is an illusion created by constant repetition of stylized actions. Butler’s antagonist is the body itself. The very fact of coming into the world with a body with all its characteristics – sex being just one of them – is a sign of bondage to nature which must be overcome. McCarthy observes:

To be clear, Butler is not aiming only at bad conceptions of the body (and its feminine representative), but at the idea that there be a conception of the body at all, that the body beanything in particular. It is, for Butler, the very idea of the fixity and indisputability of the body that is so pernicious, since this idea “successfully buries and masks the genealogy of power relations by which it is constituted” and by which it is put in its place.

McCarthy notes perceptively: “It is as though we are all effectively hermaphrodites regardless of our anatomy or any other physiological make up.”

What explains this desperate impulse to deny the self-evident facts of biology, even to the point of ignoring discoveries that our sexual differences extend right down to the cellular level and do not exist merely in our reproductive organs?

McCarthy’s answer is novel and, if it is right, alarming. She points out a sexual body only makes sense in relations of dependence and interaction: mother-father-child and man-woman. We are all children who owe our existence to a man and a woman and our bodies speak the language of dependency and community.

To achieve the absolute freedom of which they dream, gender theorists must repudiate these relationships. Instead of the Judeao-Christian conviction that “it is not good for man to be alone”, they assert, “it is good to be alone”.

(Michael Cook, discussing Margaret McCarthy’s Gender Ideology and the Humanum)

2

White guilt is not angst over injustices suffered by others; it is the terror of being stigmatized with America’s old bigotries—racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia. To be stigmatized as a fellow traveler with any of these bigotries is to be utterly stripped of moral authority and made into a pariah. The terror of this, of having “no name in the street” as the Bible puts it, pressures whites to act guiltily even when they feel no actual guilt. White guilt is a mock guilt, a pretense of real guilt, a shallow etiquette of empathy, pity and regret.

It is also the heart and soul of contemporary liberalism. This liberalism is the politics given to us by white guilt, and it shares white guilt’s central corruption. It is not real liberalism, in the classic sense. It is a mock liberalism. Freedom is not its raison d’être; moral authority is.

Perhaps the Obama presidency was the culmination of the age of white guilt, so that this guiltiness has entered its denouement. There are so many public moments now in which liberalism’s old weapon of stigmatization shoots blanks—Elizabeth Warren in the Senate reading a 30-year-old letter by Coretta Scott King, hoping to stop Jeff Sessions’s appointment as attorney general. There it was with deadly predictability: a white liberal stealing moral authority from a black heroine in order to stigmatize a white male as racist. When Ms. Warren was finally told to sit, there was real mortification behind her glaring eyes.

This liberalism came into being not as an ideology but as an identity. It offered Americans moral esteem against the specter of American shame. This made for a liberalism devoted to the idea of American shamefulness. Without an ugly America to loathe, there is no automatic esteem to receive. Thus liberalism’s unrelenting current of anti-Americanism.

Let’s stipulate that, given our history, this liberalism is understandable. But American liberalism never acknowledged that it was about white esteem rather than minority accomplishment. Four thousand shootings in Chicago last year, and the mayor announces that his will be a sanctuary city. This is moral esteem over reality; the self-congratulation of idealism. Liberalism is exhausted because it has become a corruption.

(Shelby Steele, The Exhaustion of American Liberalism)

3

H/T @MZHemingway

4

The Times’ Nicholas Kristof wrote an op-ed recently with the outrageous title “Husbands Are Deadlier Than Terrorists” in which he compared the relative risks to Americans of “two critical issues: refugees and guns.” He concluded, predictably, that terrorists slipping in among an influx of refugees are a negligible threat, while guns are the pestilential scourge of our time.

Gun violence is an indisputably critical issue, and if that had been the extent of Kristof’s argument—that guns are a more serious concern than Islamic terrorism—then that is a legitimate starting point for a debate. But in pressing his point he overshoots the mark and makes the same sort of broad-brush, offensive accusation that liberals like Kristof scold others for making about all Muslims: “Above all, fear spouses,” he warns. “Husbands are incomparably more deadly in America than jihadist terrorists.”

Not men, but husbands. Not gangbangers, drug addicts, the criminally insane, or violent unmarried young males, but husbands. Not strangers, boyfriends, baby daddies, or jealous exes, but husbands. What a perverse way to dismiss the very real—and growing—danger of terrorism and to exaggerate gun violence: by asserting that American husbands are the truly lethal threat.

(Mark Tapson, Husbands Are Not the Enemy)

5

My bête noire is in the news, and it’s neither flattering nor, in the Wall Street Journal version, entirely lopsided:

Hal Lindsey and his wife, JoLynn, operate Hal Lindsey Website Ministries, a Texas-based evangelical group. Mr. Lindsey hosts the “Hal Lindsey Report,” available online and on Christian television networks, and is the author of books on current events and prophecy.

The charity’s revenue in 2014, which came almost solely from contributions, was $8.1 million. The ministry paid Mr. Lindsey $2.2 million and his wife $1.8 million. For each, this included a $1.5 million bonus.

Mr. Lindsey, 87 years old, and his wife, 62, declined to be interviewed. In a written statement, Mr. Lindsey said the bonuses were approved by the board and intended as one-time retirement benefits. He said he worked many years for little or no compensation.

The ministry’s IRS filings show it paid Mr. Lindsey less than $50,000 during most years in the early 2000s but paid him and his wife a total of more than $7.8 million from 2007 through 2014.

(Andrea Fuller, Charity Officials Are Increasingly Receiving Million-Dollar Paydays) Lindsey is the author of the Prophesy Porn classic The Late Great Planet Earth. As I have noted before, I believe, that 1988 passed without Armageddon and “the Rapture” ought to have forever discredited Lindsey but somehow did not. I assume that current editions have been revised to cover the discredited tracks.

6

So much spiritual writing is deadly dull that this was especially refreshing:

Being neither monk nor nun, you can still practice your own version of asceticism. Every morning this Lent, look in the mirror, make the sign of the cross, and say “I’m no big deal!”, then kiss an icon of Christ, thank Him for giving you another day, and begin your new day!

Protopresbyter Frank P. Miloro, Forty-Eight Days to the Great Day, Book Six.

7

Were white guys shooting darker-skinned people to shouts of “go back to your own country” under the Obama administration, but without the national press coverage?

Call me a liberal wracked by white guilt if you must, but this is not a rhetorical question.

8

Collapse is a sudden, involuntary and chaotic form of simplification. —James Rickards, Currency Wars

Epigraph to the novel The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047, by Lionel Shriver

* * * * *

“The truth is that the thing most present to the mind of man is not the economic machinery necessary to his existence; but rather that existence itself; the world which he sees when he wakes every morning and the nature of his general position in it. There is something that is nearer to him than livelihood, and that is life.” (G.K. Chesterton)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.