Thursday, June 9, 2016

Symptoms Right, Diagnosis Wrong

     This generally useful article aggregates the evidence admirably:

     Using the “wrong” pronoun in casual conversation can cost you big bucks these days—even when it happens to be the right one. Gresham-Barlow School District in Oregon was forced to cough up $60,000 to a teacher who prefers the pronoun “they” because she “identifies” as neither male nor female. The teacher, Leo Soell, was granted damages in order to compensate her for the emotional distress of being “misgendered.” For the uninitiated, “misgendering” is nothing more than using the correct pronoun to refer to a person who prefers to be called something else. In the old days we just called it good grammar.

     There’s always a new frontier in civil rights and this is it. You can either get on board with it or be left on the “wrong side of history.” Please do drop by some time—I’ll be there with the rest of the sane people and we’d love to have you over.

     “Civil rights” is no longer about parity between men and women or the moral equivalence of same-sex relationships vis-à-vis opposite-sex relationships. Even the idea that men can be women (and vice versa) has lost its novelty. Now it’s about the abolition of sex itself.

     Please read it all. It’s worth your time, especially for the allegorical use of “sporks.” However, the author reaches a partial, and therefore misleading, conclusion:

     This whole movement, I am convinced, can only lead to complete androgyny—that ambiguous gray area between the masculine and feminine spheres. It is the Left’s ultimate goal even if some of their useful idiots don’t know it yet. We’ll get there one Lifetime television special at a time.

     Androgyny is not “the Left’s ultimate goal.” The promotion of the lunacies the author surveys is intended to bring about an even deeper goal: the assertion of hegemony over all human perception.

     You will not be permitted to say that as a statistical matter, women aren’t as fast as men if the Left says otherwise. You will not be permitted to say that male homosexuals live shorter lives, and are beleaguered by a wider range of diseases, than male heterosexuals if the Left deems it “bigoted.” You will not be permitted to say the Sun rose in the East if the Left maintains that it rose in the West.

     If you allow yourself to notice any aspect of reality that departs from Leftist pronouncements, you will be guilty of crimethink.

     O'Brien's manner became less severe. He resettled his spectacles thoughtfully, and took a pace or two up and down. When he spoke his voice was gentle and patient. He had the air of a doctor, a teacher, even a priest, anxious to explain and persuade rather than to punish.
     'I am taking trouble with you, Winston,' he said, 'because you are worth trouble. You know perfectly well what is the matter with you. You have known it for years, though you have fought against the knowledge. You are mentally deranged. You suffer from a defective memory. You are unable to remember real events and you persuade yourself that you remember other events which never happened. Fortunately it is curable. You have never cured yourself of it, because you did not choose to. There was a small effort of the will that you were not ready to make. Even now, I am well aware, you are clinging to your disease under the impression that it is a virtue. Now we will take an example. At this moment, which power is Oceania at war with?'
     'When I was arrested, Oceania was at war with Eastasia.'
     'With Eastasia. Good. And Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia, has it not?'
     Winston drew in his breath. He opened his mouth to speak and then did not speak. He could not take his eyes away from the dial.
     'The truth, please, Winston. YOUR truth. Tell me what you think you remember.'
     'I remember that until only a week before I was arrested, we were not at war with Eastasia at all. We were in alliance with them. The war was against Eurasia. That had lasted for four years. Before that----'
     O'Brien stopped him with a movement of the hand.
     'Another example,' he said. 'Some years ago you had a very serious delusion indeed. You believed that three men, three one-time Party members named Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford--men who were executed for treachery and sabotage after making the fullest possible confession--were not guilty of the crimes they were charged with. You believed that you had seen unmistakable documentary evidence proving that their confessions were false. There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.'
     An oblong slip of newspaper had appeared between O'Brien's fingers. For perhaps five seconds it was within the angle of Winston's vision. It was a photograph, and there was no question of its identity. It was THE photograph. It was another copy of the photograph of Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford at the party function in New York, which he had chanced upon eleven years ago and promptly destroyed. For only an instant it was before his eyes, then it was out of sight again. But he had seen it, unquestionably he had seen it! He made a desperate, agonizing effort to wrench the top half of his body free. It was impossible to move so much as a centimetre in any direction. For the moment he had even forgotten the dial. All he wanted was to hold the photograph in his fingers again, or at least to see it.
     'It exists!' he cried.
     'No,' said O'Brien.
     He stepped across the room. There was a memory hole in the opposite wall. O'Brien lifted the grating. Unseen, the frail slip of paper was whirling away on the current of warm air; it was vanishing in a flash of flame. O'Brien turned away from the wall.
     'Ashes,' he said. 'Not even identifiable ashes. Dust. It does not exist. It never existed.'
     'But it did exist! It does exist! It exists in memory. I remember it. You remember it.'
     'I do not remember it,' said O'Brien.

     [George Orwell, 1984]

     How many pundits have said how many times that “1984 was supposed to be a warning, not an instruction manual” – ? I’m afraid the tactic has backfired. To the Left, it is an instruction manual. They’ve plainly and consciously adopted it as such – and they’ve absorbed the core lesson very well.


Anonymous said...

"And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!".

Or, to put it another way, you can deny reality, but you cannot deny the consequences of denying reality.

Anonymous said...

"O man, who has made me a pundit?" I say, "I am not a pundit, am I?"