Merry Christmas Everyone! My prayers go out to all my comrades in dangerous places and far away from their families. I’ll see you all on the high ground.
UPDATE: SEE BELOW*
For the Holiday, it seems as though the Media-Political Complex has delivered another provocative and stimulating
human-sacrifice conversation topic as a gift to every gathering family and just in time for Christmas. Everybody loves to have a new viral reason to feel superior (upworthier?) to their extended family members, which enables a common cultural context by which to explain to one’s friends exactly why one’s family members are so embarrassing. Discourse In A Time Of Generation-Buzzfeed, “You won’t believe these 4 craziest, bigoted/ignorant things my Uncle said over ham and eggnog that will make you cry with rage.”
I’m very tempted by the convenient timing and the duration of the intense internet-churn to believe that the whole affair was concocted months ago by chummy agreement, and that everyone involved in this ‘dispute’ knows there’s no such thing as bad press as they laugh all the way to the bank. In the future, the ‘news’ will be nothing but a stream of elaborately coordinated pseudo-scandals precisely designed to get as many people as possible excited (bot not too excited) over next-to-nothing (but never too trivial).
Maybe we’re already in the future and we mutilate the old word and call it ‘politics’. You probably don’t even have to conspire in advance to get everyone to play their parts perfectly and predictably, but in this case we’ll never really know. So I’ll assume it’s ‘real’ and liberally deploy the scare quotes accordingly. Anyway, for every potentially fake public purging, there are dozens of real ones, and countless heads kept down, so we can profitably treat it as real to extract any lessons.
I’m speaking, of course, of the decision by the cable television channel A&E (owned jointly by companies bearing the names of Hearst and Disney) on 19-DEC-2013 to ‘suspend’ a Mr. Phil Robertson from his role on the extremely popular and lucrative ‘reality’ show, ‘Duck Dynasty‘. This was purportedly for some ‘anti-gay’ remarks he gave during an interview with Drew Magary of GQ magazine, which is owned by Condé Nast, which is owned by Advance Publications, which is owned by the Newhouse family, which owns the Discovery Communications company (just down the road in Silver Spring) and which in turn coincidentally owns a lot of rival cable television channels. You might say there’s a good amount of concentration in the industry.
Now, I know this has been covered over, and over, and over again, all across the internet, but I think it’s important – just to highlight how utterly absurd this has all become – to repeatedly emphasize the utterly harmless banality of the text so intolerable such that we are instructed to believe it constitutes a casus-belli which all right-thinking people should know never to say in public ever again, or else. Let’s excerpt the smoking gun from the GQ article:
… There are seat belts in this ATV, but it doesn’t look like they’ve ever been used. Phil is not wearing one. I am not wearing one, because I don’t want Phil to think I’m a pussy. (Too late!)
… But there are more things Phil would like to say — “controversial” things, as he puts it to me — that don’t make the cut. …
Out here in these woods, without any cameras around, Phil is free to say what he wants. Maybe a little too free. [emphasis added because wow] He’s got lots of thoughts on modern immorality [nothing 'modern' about it, but whatever], and there’s no stopping them from rushing out. Like this one:
“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”
Perhaps we’ll be needing that seat belt after all.
Oh my! Quick, where’s my heart medication? Hold on to your hats, pajama-boys! It’s about to get bumpy. And Drew, if he thinks you’re a pussy, then at least he thinks you have ‘more to offer’ than an a**hole, so there’s always that.
… “Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong,” he says. “Sin becomes fine.”
What, in your mind, is sinful?
“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
And what does Paul actually write in his first epistle to the Corinthians 6:9 (which, fittingly, also contains the famous line, ‘for now we see through a glass, darkly’)
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
One of the very few instances where good old King James lets us down with euphemism, (Warning: these are NSFW because Wikipedia likes graphical graphics) because the Greek word that Paul used, ‘translated as ‘effeminate’ actually means ‘bottoms‘ and the next one he is said to have coined, ‘arsenokoitai‘ that was translated into ‘abusers of themselves with mankind’ just means ‘tops‘. You ever hear the phrase, “1,000 malakoi looking for an arsenokoi“? Picasso certainly did, and he knew how to give the art critics exactly what they wanted.
So Paul says pretty clearly to the Greeks of Corinth, in terminology they certainly understood, that the Bottoms and Tops don’t inherit the Kingdom of God, and don’t let anyone (like Puerto Rican GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz – advocate-especial for gay youth of color) try to deceive you that Christianity means something different. Nevertheless, the attempts at deception come steady and brazen, because why not?:
Phil and his family claim to be Christian, but Phil’s lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe
Chutzpah! ‘Sin became fine’, indeed. ‘True Christians’ these days, apparently, just aren’t that keen on the New Testament. At least not those embarrassing, archaic bits. If you write the miraculous out of the Bible like Jefferson did, and then you also write out those inconvenient ‘Morals of Jesus of Nazareth’, then what’s left?
A thin and utterly inconsequential biography of some guy who said something vague about Love (which apparently justifies everything) and got himself executed for it because the agitated local bigots had the nerve to disagree. If that’s going to be the official modern interpretation, then it makes one want to side with Nietzsche in Der Antichrist where he identifies poor Pontius Pilate as the real tragic hero of the story. After all, if we can try to twist Jesus into whatever knots we want, then we might still be forced to pause to contemplate Pilate’s philosophical question which rings down to every age and scolds us, “What is, ‘Truth’?”
So, let’s be clear. In contemporary America, Phil Robertson was ‘a little too free’ by expressing his honest and accurate sentiments regarding his understanding of his religion to some columnist – a position completely typical among Americans – and was fired for being a Christian. You know how the anthem goes, “… o’er the land of the not. too. freeeeee …” As old Abbadabba might say, “Nothing personal, it’s just business.”
Well, what else is new? How can this be ‘news’? Shouldn’t this be boring and ordinary by now? I guess the witch-hunts spectacles are always exciting festivals to the witch-hunters, but it’s a bit strange when then witches themselves keep expressing shock or surprise every time someone who watches MMNBC (Malleus Maleficarum, that is) decides not to suffer one of their kind.
Or maybe they always thought that it would only ever happen to those ‘far-dark’ witches by not this coven of the respectable-dark, which has mostly managed to avoid the wrath of witch-hunters so far by always being so compliant and careful in immediately condemning and delivering up those other witches when commanded to do so by the local wielders of the witch-hammers. ‘First they came for the warlocks, but I was not a warlock, so I said nothing, but I was personally a little uneasy …’
I mean, come on people, this kind of thing has been going on regularly for decades, and it seems to be to be accelerating as of late with some kind of famously public excommunication ritual over some trivial ‘offense’ popping up every month or so. You could write a whole book about it; I nominate Ann Coulter who already makes a good living doing that kind of thing. I tried to start making a chronicle of all of them for this post and got exhausted before escaping 2013,
so I’ll defer it to the comments section.(UPDATE: Go here for a list.)
It is for this reason that so many of us around these parts and in vulnerable economic circumstances (i.e. not independently wealthy and without guaranteed jobs for life), myself definitely included, are intimidated and deterred and have to use pseudonyms because we know full well what will happen to us if we publish our own thoughts under our legal names.
We will be crushed. No, not Gulags and Gas Chambers crushed, but our employers will be bullied into firing us (or ‘suspending’ us, or mothballing us as ‘radioactive’, etc.) and we’ll ‘never work in this town again’, to use a familiar and perfectly apt phrase. There is an effective chilling effect, and in fact, that effect is the whole point, because no one really cares about these specific cases on an individual level.
Sure, go ahead and call me a coward if it makes you feel better. The line between bravery and stupidity is drawn at the point of utter futility. I don’t see anyone rushing forward to volunteer to establish a foundation to grant lifetime tenure to anyone who gets themselves fired for expressing unpopular or taboo ideas. Anyway, the very existence of such a thing would create some very perverse incentives, so it’s obviously impossible.
But anyway, for some reason, this particular purification episode has gotten more than its fair share of internet traction. If only they all did! But in the infinite amplifying echo-chamber that is the blogosphere, much has been written, some of it excellent (e.g. Mark Steyn), but most of it awful. Again, too much to chronicle here, so I’ll put a bunch of links in the comments if you’re interested.
But all of these complaints are, in the final analysis, meaningless. Now here’s the Macbeth:
It is a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying Nothing.
Why ‘meaningless’? Because in the midst of all this outraged complaining, I find almost no expectation that this situation will improve on its own – which is completely accurate – but furthermore I cannot find one single good idea for a plan on how to reverse this foul course and improve this intolerable situation. So far it is not a firing offense to merely lament this state of affairs, so there is plenty of lamentation going on, but how shall we best react?
A neoreactionary understands that actual ‘power’ in a society is something very much other than what is formally written down in legal charters and codes of regulations. It includes all the levers of mass influence, intimidation, deterrence, chilling and Ken White’s infamous ‘social consequences’. (As an aside, Linda Gottfredson has a series of papers on ‘social consequences’ of a different sort)
Social power is like water or electricity; whatever blocks you place in front of it are mere diversions for it eventually finds whatever available paths of least resistance remain to be exploited. The people who have managed to find a successful way of controlling those ‘social consequences’ outside the formal state have accumulated significant amounts of informal power over the years, enough to easily oppose majoritarian preferences, and it’s no use complaining about it, because there’s no one to complain to. Only power trumps power; so if you’re ideologically sympathetic with the targets of these hunts and want change, you had better get some.
You don’t need an actual, official thought police if the volunteer auxiliary thought police in their boycott-bully-brigades can get the job done well enough – which they do. It’s nothing more than a modern form of the power of a lynch mob. If the state won’t stop the mob, or looks the other way, or says ‘I don’t have the authority, my hands are tied’ then the trees will bear strange fruit. The lynch mob hears that message just as loudly and clearly as their targets. Since uncontested, their might makes them right; and every triumphant victory just whets the appetite for the next feast. Call it, ‘Mob Privilege’.
White followed that post up recently with another relevant hit, “Ten Points About Speech, Ducks, And Flights To Africa.” I agree with him 100%. The first amendment has nothing to do with any of this and people who appeal to it are fools. A ‘right to free speech’ protects you (sometimes, barely) from official, formal government retaliation, but nothing else. Yes, it’s nice that, in the US, so far, state power is somewhat tamed. Though, try being a government employee and falsely accused by some mendacious and resentful ogre of saying something that made them feel ‘uncomfortable’. I was fortunate enough to witness such a thing when very young, and I learned the lesson well! Though at another poor chap’s expense.
To illustrate the point, here’s a quick quiz. If you had to choose between a week in prison, but returning unencumbered to one’s normal life, protected from the mob – or – getting publicly smeared and bullied out of your current job and all future jobs by the thought police commissars; which would you choose? I’d pick the week without hesitation.
Sure, Roman ‘state’ power crucified Jesus. But the mob made them do it, and would have likely done it themselves in a riot that would have been even worse had the Romans refused them. Pilate, like some ancient ‘Commander of Coalition Forces – Afghanistan’, condemned to administer some fanatical backwater of the empire with a mandate to do what was necessary to keep the peace, might as well have asked, “What is ‘Power’? Who really has it?” Eventually, Rome decided that the answer should be clearly ‘Rome’ and not ‘the local mob’. The consequences were not pretty, but they were quite significant historically.
And the question today is, “If you don’t like the current regime of social consequences, then what are you going to do about it besides cry in your Bierstein and bemoan your unjust woes?”
You need power to fight power – it’s as simple as that and you can’t escape that reality and no one in History ever has. And, if you don’t create a balance of power and implement a system of social consequence countermeasures and reprisals at least as potent and terrifying as the one under which we currently suffer, then the incentives remain exactly as they are, and the progressives will continue to revel in their endless excommunication crusades. Which, to the extent you may disagree with them, will absolutely get you and the things you care about too one day; it’s only a matter of time.
If you want something to never happen again, then strategic logic is exactly the same as with military deterrence in the nuclear age with mutual assured destruction. Credibly threaten to retaliate with everything you have against any single step over your red-lines. If the other side sees the evidence that you have built the capacity and have the will to fight fire with overwhelming fire, then, “the strategy is a form of Nash equilibrium in which neither side, once armed, has any incentive to initiate a conflict or to disarm.”
So let’s brainstorm a bit on how to get ‘armed’ in the non-violent ways of our opponents, shall we?
There are two general ways for any social subgroup to defeat an adversary terrorist mob. They both necessarily involve out-terrorizing them, which is something that does not include annoying them to death with mere whining:
- Get the government to punish the mobsters for you. Call this ‘Plan CBB’ for ‘Call Big Brother’.
- Organize an even stronger counter-mob.
Plan CBB is straightforward and we already have a perfectly satisfactory racial-discrimination model for it – The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and subsequent ‘enabling legislation’ and constitutional case law such as Heart of Atlanta Motel and Katzenbach.
The essence of this half century of American law is that by means of the infamous ‘commerce clause’ the federal government can pretty much do anything it wants to any entity which participates in the economy – which is pretty much everything and everybody – in the name of anti-discrimination and bolstering constitutional rights. Or even just in an effort to place floors on agricultural prices. The states are no less constrained in their anti-discrimination authorities, as recently illustrated by the Colorado compulsory gay-cake case.
Now, I’m actually not a huge fan of these laws today, which in my opinion have definitely outlived their justifying circumstances and have all kinds of perverse consequences, (see also Foseti) but it seems the ship of hope of easing the regulations sailed long ago and there’s not much sense in letting the other side pick up the sword while leaving your own lying on the group out of some naive ‘principle’ that will only get you fired.
There’s no reason one couldn’t at least try to be creative with some free-speech versions of these anti-employment-discrimination laws. The owners of some Alabama country BBQ in 1964, whatever their other personal motives, probably had perfectly rational economic and business reasons, given their customer base, not to serve or hire blacks, but the law never cared about that rationale. That economic reason, the prejudices of ones customers, is irrelevant. ‘It’s only business’ needs another rationale.
So, just as a quick example, you could craft a law that imposed the same government non-discriminatory obligations on private employers and presumes that any firing due to the offensive content of an individual’s speech was wrongfully discriminatory and actionable and that an employer would have to successfully rebut that presumption by clear and convincing evidence that they weren’t engaging in mere view-point discrimination, etc., etc. Ask a lawyer and he’ll give you the run down on how all this works. Like Steyn says, in the modern Kafka-esque judicial system, the process is the punishment, and the A&E’s of the world will have to think twice (or pay a handsome settlement) before they fire anyone for quoting the apostles approvingly.
And not just the A&E’s, but perhaps even the National Reviews of the world too. Because a company that doesn’t really want to fire somebody like Derbyshire, but is under a lot of social pressure to do so, would just love to have the cover of being able to say, ‘Sorry, but we can’t lawfully retaliate against him for that offensive thing he wrote in another publication, our hands are tied!’
Sure, they may suffer the loss of some subscribers, but remember, some customers may never come back to the integrated BBQ either and the courts have no problem whatsoever telling the business owners they have to shut up and deal with it. Of course, they may gain some business too. Some customers won’t go to a racist BBQ joint, and some readers won’t subscribe to the publication that purged Derbyshire.
Of course, this is all idle fantasizing, because one would fully expect all these laws to be struck down by the courts posthaste. Any clerk could write the judge’s opinion blindfolded, “Speech is not an immutable characteristic like race or gender or the official state position on sexual orientation.”
But then again, lots of human characteristics in this world of human biodiversity are the products of heritable gene expression and are both very much immutable and economically relevant to an employer. These features form the valid basis of the mass of employment discrimination we call ‘hiring in a competitive labor market’. So the clerk would go further and talk about those special ‘suspect’ immutables that have been subjected historically to irrationally prejudiced, counter-economic discrimination designed to try and keep a particular group suppressed.
And, try as you might, you are never going to get that clerk to agree that, sometimes, some groups with some ideas, face the same kind of suppression and need the same kind of special protections to survive. But then again, there is this strange twilight zone of employment protection called, ‘religion‘ which is extremely mutable, around which (unlike race and gender) it is difficult to draw bright lines of distinction, but which under Title VII still gets a very hefty degree of anti-discrimination special solicitude.
So maybe, just maybe, the Republicans, if they were interested, could mount an effort to try and get expressions of non-progressivism a similar degree of employment protection as religion. If you are an American and not a progressive, you may have realized that there is no organized effort whatsoever on the part of the Republican Party or Conservative Establishment to support anything like this whatsoever – not even, as Hanson might say, a cynical display just to show they care. Because they don’t.
Similarly, it’s almost certainly hopeless to try and have the state criminalize boycotting like with Israel’s law on the subject which, anyway, only applies to the state itself as the target. Not only hopeless, but definitely undesirable and dangerous, because it’s only a matter of time before the one-party state uses such a law to further neuter the opposition to the benefit of the one-party.
The point is, if you want to actually do anything about this issue and actually empower individuals to speak their minds without fear from their governments or their local activists, then you can’t rely on democracy or the political system because the game is rigged, the deck is stacked against you, and the modern structure has been utterly irredeemable for a long time. Never place your faith in politics or the State.
So while you may win ‘the battle of ideas’ or even merely ‘the battle to express your ideas’ in the long run, in the short-term, that leaves you only with the counter-mob. Sorry, I know how ugly that sounds and how, as an appreciator of social order you may recoil at the notion. But as unpalatable as it may seem, there is no evidence of any feasible alternative besides ‘surrender, complain, and bring me my crying-stein’.
Any victory in this matter can not be won on the fields of battle, in the halls of congress, or in the courts of law. Sure, what you actually want to do is regulate behavior in your society which is equivalent to a change in the ‘law’, and ‘mob-law’ is how you get it done. After all, non-criminal mob-law is just another name for ‘social consequences’, isn’t it? So, to borrow Luttwak’s language, the right, having been disarmed by the enemy of the ability to resort to conventional political weaponry, must now play the game ‘socio-economically’, in the markets of commerce. A Cold Cash Civil War.
And since the state is mostly against you as a practical mater, the counter-mob needs to be civil, non-violent, and immaculately lawful. Which is tricky! Because any form of pressure strong enough to work is likely to be already contrary to law or easily criminalized as some exotic and felonious form of tortious interference. So that doesn’t leave one much room for maneuver besides what is already being used by the opposing side.
Now, I concede, it’s usually a mistake to try and fight with the enemy’s weapons, but though they dominate in the media, they don’t own the markets or the internet, and they have not yet found a way to dictate the flows of consumer purchases suggested by social media websites. One must rely on one’s remaining repositories of strategic strength, whatever they happen to be.
And anyway, don’t forget the purpose of our counter-mob. In the short term, we actually want actual freedom of expression (that is, a form of freedom from fear of being fired for it) in our society. We aren’t trying to get people fired; we’re just trying to stop other people from trying to get people fired – the one form of speech which does deserve to be targeted and suppressed. We never initiate, but we always react.
At the very least, if you don’t have a problem with ‘social consequences’ then you shouldn’t have a problem with counter-social-consequences aimed at building stable norms against organized public calls for termination.
And finally, it’s actually a fool’s errand to try and go against the offense-industry lobby groups directly. Crying wolf is what they exist to do, and it is also how they pay the rent. One just wants them to change their behavior and the easiest way to do that is to shape the facts on the ground that makes them conclude this particular tactic is now pointless.
What you really want to do is neutralize their efforts and make their kind of pressure ineffective by means of credibly threatening to apply countervailing pressure not on them, but on their targets. I don’t want to go after GLAAD or the SPLC or the NAACP, but I definitely want to see any individual or company that submits to these bullies – National Review, Heritage, TAC, whatever – be irreversibly pulverized into liquidation bankruptcy by its own side, because that’s exactly what they’re doing to the people they are being pressured to purge and stab in the back. In a word; justice.
Do you see any other way to reliably stiffen the backs of these milquetoasts? Please, by all means, share your ideas. But I don’t.
As an example, consider what happened recently with the Cracker Barrel restaurant chain.
Cracker Barrel, having been targeted and pressured by pro-gay lobbies and various litigious government organizations for years, finally eking out a fragile state of ‘rehabilitation’ by means of modern forms of indulgences, overreacted to news of the Robertson fiasco and even more lobby pressure and immediately announced they would stop carrying Duck Dynasty merchandize in their tacky restaurant ‘country stores’.
Their customers (who you would think the Cracker Barrel people would know and, more importantly, care more about than some distant lobby) tend to be ‘pro-Duck’, and predictably went berserk, forcing Cracker Barrel to quickly recant, ‘apologize’ snarkily on its Facebook page, and train their workers to
dissemble ‘apologize’ in person.
Should anyone accept this apology? No and never. Learn from your enemy’s successes with their ‘pour encourager les autres‘ tactics! If a company was encouraged by them, then it’s up to you to discourage the rest.
If you would prefer to live in a society where a bible-belt company will not rip a man’s wares off its shelves for quoting the bible, then you have to be adamantly firm the first time it ever happens, so that it will be the last time. Say to yourself, “It’s too late for Cracker Barrel, it doesn’t matter what they do now, I won’t ever go there again, and they need to pay the price and disappear.” It’s not hypocrisy – it’s called ‘reality’, it’s the only chance we’ve got to stop the madness before it’s too late.
So, Gentlemen, what I propose is a counter-intimidation mission, OPERATION BACKSLAP.
It’s a website to help people commit and coordinate to bring an end to this nonsense. There are plenty of clever e-commerce ways to get it done, combining elements of Mint and Stickk perhaps, but at a minimum BACKSLAP has to satisfy the following conditions.
- Intimidate institutions and individuals from capitulating to progressive anti-expression intimidation.
- Let them know that, instead of silent-majority individualized quiet boycotts, that there is instead a large number of organized customers that have already pre-committed to drop their service if they step over a red line. “Of our ten million members, 200 thousand subscribe to your publication, 80% of whom have authorized our system to automatically send a cancellation order if you give in to latest prominent intimidation incident X, with the remaining 9.8 million unlikely to ever subscribe in the future.” This also has the advantage of giving a company a kind of ‘market signal’ of real costs and benefits and what their readers customers want.
- Have a means to stay abreast, track and monitor, or just chat and blog about pressure-purgings and witch-hunts.
- Let people look up institutions and individuals to see which have successfully resisted intimidation in the past or actively taken part in expression-purgings themselves- to reward the brave and punish the cowardly. Have a way to steer people to alternatives, technological and otherwise, if they don’t know of other options.
- The BACKSLAP-BACKCHANNEL: Let’s say you’re Bob Newhart and you’re, “… the beloved, decidedly non-political 84-year-old comedian who happens to be a practicing Catholic and a graduate of Catholic University…” and you want to do a show for a Catholic businessmen group that the gays don’t like, and they’re trying to get you to back out (which, alas, he did.) It would be great if, when so pressured, you could communicate with BACKSLAP and plead, “They’re trying to get me to back out.” which would be followed by a home-page economic threat, “Don’t back down Newhart, or else!” And Newhart can tell the gays, instead of Legatus, ‘I had no choice, the pressure was too great.” Who knows, maybe Steyn will be next.
Some of you are internet development people. If you care about these sorts of things, then I beg you. Make! Build! Advise. Pitch In. Do this thing.
I’ll help if I can; just tell me how. I would certainly pay an annual fee just to belong to it. It’s that important. Maybe it all crashes against the rocks one day, but wouldn’t it be worth it if the the plaque on the one trophy in your case was inscribed, ‘Broke Cracker Barrel’?
If you would have proposed any of this to me a decade ago, I would have thought it was crazy and exaggerated. I would have believed naively in the inherited community norms of a once free and rugged people among whom I was raised. I would have seen these instances as merely anecdotal and aberrational; I would have trusted in the political process and in the ‘wisdom of the people’ to remedy these transgressions without any need for this kind of moderate ugliness.
But those days are gone, gone. Too many tipping points passed already. This is a new era. The ship will not right itself, and the ill winds blow its listing further and further into the darkening sea.
If you want to oppose their action, you can trust nothing but reaction.
*UPDATE: Fake after all? ‘Real’ but never with any intention of permanence, letting it just fester long enough to take it’s modern story-cycle course? Anyway, the bully lobby claims to be disappointed and thwarted, which is mildly pleasing.
A&E “Backs Down“. It doesn’t matter. The point is that Phil makes A+E money, and the commercial incentives are stronger than the PC-inquisition-milieu. And this is both how and why BACKSLAP works. A+E thinks they’ve satisfied the witch-hunters and encourager les autres enough, and that it can back to business because the public attention span is low, inertia in the cartel of cable-TV subscriptions is high, and they expect all this to blow over. But in the future, the PC-based suspension is a red-line, and they’ll know in advance that they won’t get a similar chance to recover after crossing it.
Finally, the station issued a typically revolting ‘public explanation’ with all the right ‘re-communication into tolerated society’ corporate buzzwords. Forget about the rectification of names; even Orwell could hardly imagine the mutilation of the English language that has become our daily exposure to verbal manipulations.
… he and his family have publicly stated they regret the “coarse language” he used and the misinterpretation of his core beliefs based only on the article. He also made it clear he would “never incite or encourage hate.” We at A+E Networks expressed our disappointment with his statements in the article and reiterate that they are not views we hold.
Except, Phil’s language wasn’t coarse. What’s the ‘coarse’ part full of vulgarities and obscenities? That leaves us with the ideas being ‘coarse’. The idea,, if I may paraphrase a bit to be less ‘coarse’ is, once again, ‘Homosexuality is sinful according to the Christian religion, of which I am a genuine adherent.’ Coarse! And he doesn’t regret this non-existent coarseness or the ideas. Maybe he regrets his suspension – though I doubt it.
His words and intentions were extremely clear to anyone above a 4th grade reading level – and he wasn’t ‘misinterpreted’ except by people who were specifically trying to twist his words to make him a persona non-grata.
Trying to ‘incite’ or ‘encourage’ ‘hate’ (versus ‘hatred’, or ‘violence’) has nothing to do with this. ‘Incitement‘ is trying to provoke or urge someone to break the law. Encouragement is a form of purposeful persuasive influence. Phil was giving an interview with a columnist and expressing his honest sentiments concerning ideas which are still very much mainstream and, so far, not against the law. It is against mob-law to continue to express beliefs as though they are normal when the mob wants them ‘denormalized’. Getting in the way of ‘enlightened renormalization’ is pretty much the progressives’ definition of ‘sin’ though, and slowing down the socio-moral reformation might as well be ‘incitement’ to keep the lingering evil hate of the status-quo.
And then there’s the patronizing and condescending word of ‘disappointment’ that one uses in the direction of ones inferiors. La Wik:
… the feeling of dissatisfaction that follows the failure of expectations or hopes to manifest.
If you’re crazy, you can hope for any crazy thing, I guess. I can be disappointed that I didn’t win the lottery, and that would be very juvenile. But what mature adult would have reasonably expected anything different from Phil? He said exactly what anyone with a brain would expect him to say.
Finally, there’s the ‘we’. ‘We at A+E’. Who is this ‘we’? There is no ‘we’. It’s a corporate decision, made by a single CEO, to disseminate a cynical public relations message, masquerading as if it represents the shared values of an entire community. Corporations don’t have values or opinions besides profit, though management like to try and fool people into believing that they do. And, again, according to Title VII or the CRA, the corporation isn’t theoretically allowed to act on that ‘value’ when it comes to hiring decisions (though I’m sure it does). Who knows how many people who actually work for A+E believe that homosexuality is a Christian sin, but it doesn’t matter, because there is no ‘we’.