Friday, September 6, 2019

This Article Is Not Self-Contradictory. (Really!)

     These are the times that try a commentator’s soul...and his patience...and his ever-shrinking time for reading the news. The politicization of everything continues apace. The Left is straining to ensure that every imaginable aspect of human activity is seen first and foremost through a political filter. Consider this list of things the various Democrat candidates for president want to ban. Never fear: anything they’ve left out, they’ll get to once the federal government is once more securely in their hands.

     You’d think this would be the perfect grist for a commentator’s mill, wouldn’t you? And from one perspective you’d be quite correct: he who writes about politics, political contests, and public policy is normally delighted by a profusion of such things. But for me at least, it’s gotten to be too much. Yes, I can keep up; I read rapidly, comprehend easily, and have a nearly perfect memory. My problem is that I don’t want to keep up any longer. I want it all to go away and leave me in peace.

     I can’t help wondering whether, in 1775, a majority of the American colonists felt the same.

     If you enjoy the occasional video game – I do – you may have taken an interest in the “GamerGate” squabble of a few years ago. I addressed the core of it in this essay, which I continue to believe strikes the right chord:

     The entire point of video gaming is fun, delivered through virtualized adventures in which a gamer can face all sorts of challenges and trials without actually risking life, limb, or loot. The gamer can imagine himself to be an intrepid explorer, a mighty warrior, a brilliant detective, a pioneering spaceman, or whatever. For a few hours he can experience challenges and take risks that his mundane life doesn’t offer. Afterward, he can pop out the DVD, turn off the console, and return to that mundane existence nicely refreshed.

     But while we’re having fun, we’re not focused on some Cause. We’re not straining under some heavy load of moral obligation. We’re not engaged in some humorless, self-righteous attempt to remake others according to our priorities and preferences. To whatever extent we ever indulge such considerations, the play impulse shoves all of them to the back of the stove.

     Fun and the Left are mortal enemies.

     Today, in a perfect example of what not to do with a simple, fun-oriented pastime, Cathy Young revisits GamerGate:

     My own retrospective view, having reported on the GamerGate saga from early on, can be summed up as: “(almost) everything you’ve heard about GamerGate is wrong.”

     The standard narrative, recycled in the Times and elsewhere in recent days, has made the media rounds many times before. It goes like this: A vengeful ex-boyfriend launched a harassment campaign against Quinn with a false accusation of trading sex for good reviews; the ensuing scandal unleashed an army of “misogynerds” who terrorized women, feminists, transgender people, and progressives in the video game community, forcing some women to flee their homes and/or cancel public appearances. Then, Breitbart publisher and populist evil genius Steve Bannon harnessed this virtual mob to boost the far right, including the racist and anti-Semitic alt-right brigades, and to recruit for Donald Trump’s cyber-armies. And, because the media didn’t take the threat of GamerGate seriously enough, the far right won.

     Young’s piece recapitulates the errors of those who allowed the Left to impose a political filter on the subject of video games. But video games are supposed to be about having fun – and fun is antithetical to politics. Only one who is opposed to the existence of a private sphere of life in which the emphasis is on private matters such as “fun” will be happy with such a perversion of perspectives.

     Ponder that for a moment while I fetch more coffee.


     If you’re too tender-minded to cope with profanity, the prescriptions that follow are not for you. They will bruise your sensibilities and abrade your notions of propriety. Time was, I tried to accommodate such readers by forbidding the Anglo-Saxon vulgarities here, and at the predecessor site Eternity Road. But matters have grown too dire to continue that policy.

     The greatest strategists are those who contrive to triumph without fighting. They posture as though they’re willing to fight – and in the usual case, they are. But they regard the victory above all other victories as inducing the adversary to surrender before battle is joined. To win without firing a shot is their supreme goal.

     I have become convinced that this is the one and only proper attitude for us in the Right. Rather than allow ourselves to be drawn into battles over an endless series of discrete subjects, we must learn to win before such a contest can even begin. And I believe I have the formula.

     The formula is simple. Indeed, it consists of two words deployed at the right time. The right time is whenever you’re confronted by someone – anyone, Left or Right – who seeks to introduce politics into an inherently private aspect of life. You must be willing to do this if you don’t want your life energies consumed by Cause People, aspiring tyrants, and humorless scolds.

     Here’s how it works:

Politicizer: We have to do something about—
You: Fuck off.

     Simple, isn’t it? Sadly, it cross-cuts most people’s notions of common courtesy. If Politicizer is a treasured friend or relative, it risks the continuation of the relationship. It can be difficult if Politicizer is merely someone whose sincerity you credit, such that you’d prefer not to offend him for “caring.” But at this point it’s what remains to us:

Do Not Allow The Left To Politicize
Properly Private Matters.
It’s A Mistake.
It Always Was.
We Ought To Have Learned That
Long, Long Ago.

     At this point in our deterioration, the only way to halt the torrent of politicizations is to use the formula presented above. It doesn’t matter whether you like it. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a tough row to hoe – which it is. It doesn’t matter whether there’s some subject that you’d like to politicize. Indeed, if there is, you’re part of the problem.

     At this point the shock “should” have worn off. Perhaps it has, and you’re ready to pose the usual questions:

“Why must we say ‘fuck off’ to the politicizers? Why is it necessary to be rude? Why not simply say ‘No, we don’t need laws about that?’ We can get the same result without being vulgar, can’t we?”

     The answer is simple: No, we can’t. It’s been tried. The Left has perfected what my friend Dystopic / Thales calls weaponized empathy: the fine art of using our sensibilities against us. And from the instant we display any concern whatsoever for the “feelings” of the politicizers among us, that’s exactly what they’ll do.

     Only absolute, blatant indifference to their “feelings” will suffice.

     I don’t expect everyone to see this the way I do. I know my take on things is unique. But I base my conclusions on reason and evidence. Therefore, if you want to persuade me that I’ve erred. you must use those tools and no others.

     I await your thoughts.



"I want it all to go away and leave me in peace."

You and me both. And that's how they win - endless, relentless pressure forcing good people like you, Linda, Col. Bunny, etc., to just give up.

Again: These people are MISSIONARIES. They see it as their sacred duty to create a Socialist Utopia. It is, absolutely and without question, a RELIGION for them.

And it's a sad, sad thing. I don't want to be rude. I don't want to sever friendships, or family bonds. They're perfectly willing to do so, because YOU WILL BE MADE TO CARE. Or else. And if they ever get true power, they will enforce it.

Such is the world my children face.

Tracy Coyle said...

I have started using a similar prescription but it is 50% more weighty:

"How fucking stupid."

But I think we are working on the same system. Kinda like Kelo and Paleo diets....

Phil said...

Welcome to my strategy since the 90's.
Nice guys finish last or hadn't you heard?