For a Soviet parent, life was about protecting the children from the inhuman, vicious and evil systems of healthcare and education. You had to contort yourself into the weirdest knots, face all sorts of humiliation, animosity, and persecution. That is, if you cared about your child. If not, you could pretend nothing was happening.
Soviet healthcare and education existed to break the children’s body, mind, and spirit. And a loving parent waged a guerrilla war on them.
How great that none of this sounds recognizable here in the US, right?
For the first time ever I’ve been invited to give a paid talk. On any subject I choose.
I give a lot of talks in the community but nobody ever offered to pay. The honorarium for this prospective talk isn’t huge but who cares? It’s so cool that people are willing to pay to hear me speak on any topic whatsoever because they heard I’m that good.
I am, actually. I’m a good public speaker.
Now that Trump is out of office, what do you think happened to The Resistance (aka the hysterical meno- and andro-pausal crowd and their loser kids)?
Nothing much. I just popped over on FB, and they are still resisting, with the same slogans and the same degree of rage.
What are they resisting now? Apparently, in their fevered imaginations Trump is plotting a takeover of “democracy,” and these poor buggers are preparing to stand strong on FB and prevent it from happening.
Of course, democracy has already been rendered nothing but an empty sound by FB but the #Resist crowd is so obsessed with Trump they will never notice.
Flat Earthers are, of course, kooks. But their existence and the capacity of cuckoo groups like them to organize conferences and hang out together online or in person is a sign of a healthy society.
We are currently moving from a healthy society to one that persecutes people like them for spreading “false information” that might “cause harm” and “incite violence” towards mainstream geographers because it’s a sign of “white supremacy” and “patriarchal colonialism,” and so on.
The book’s full title is Big White Ghetto: Dead Broke, Stone-Cold Stupid, and High on Rage in the Dank Woolly Wilds of the “Real America,” and by God, it was an enjoyable read. I loved it.
Of course, I disagree with every word of it. Williamson is at the other end of the universe from me politically. His is a primitive brand of libertarianism – which of all political creeds is already the least complex – that has a single response to any problem in existence: hire a moving truck and learn to code. There are no economic problems, says Williamson. If everybody just moved where the jobs are and then just kept moving, it would all be perfect.
Williamson rightfully ridicules the silly individuals who demonize some group and blame every misfortune on them. China, immigrants, elites, Mexicans, capitalists – you gotta be stupid to believe that everything bad is caused by some particularly evil group. There is no particularly evil group! Other than, of course, the group Williamson himself considers to be responsible for every evil under the sun. That group would be public workers. So hey, stop trash-talking whatever group that bugs you and let’s go rubbish public workers instead.
Yeah. The lack of self-awareness is a scourge that spares no one.
But none of that matters because Williamson is a very good writer. If all of the Fragile Ibramkendis that are constantly shoved into our faces had one tenth of his talent, even they could be made palatable. But they don’t.
My favorite chapters in the book are about a meeting of the believers in the theory that the Earth is flat and a porn convention. You can easily find them online because all of the chapters had been published in National Review over the years.
A little quote from the chapter on the flat-Earthers:
In fact, there is no general agreement here among the flat-Earthers about what the Earth actually looks like, which of several competing maps and models of it might be accurate, or even whether drawing up such a thing is epistemically possible. For a bunch of guys who have organized a two-day international conference about the shape of the Earth, they strangely do not seem to give a furry crack of a rat’s patootie what the Earth is shaped like. It’s kind of weird. “All we can do is agree that it’s not a globe,” Sargent says.
THAT’S ONE OF THE FUNNY THINGS about these flat-Earth guys: They not only don’t know a goddamned thing, they don’t claim to know or want to know a goddamned thing beyond the one thing that brings them together—the thing about the Earth’s being shaped like a ball, a claim they sneer at as an obvious fraud and superstition and hoax put forward by “globalists” to snooker vulnerable believers on behalf of Satan, who has a thing for balls, apparently. And there is no evading Satan’s great swinging balls here.
Klara’s new thing is that she can see through things.
“I know what’s inside this box, mommy! I have magic and I can see right through it! I know what’s inside the dolly!”
“Can you see what’s inside me?” I ask.
“Of course,” she says instantly. “It’s love! You are filled with love.”