Book Notes: Kevin Williamson’s Big White Ghetto

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.

24 thoughts on “Book Notes: Kevin Williamson’s Big White Ghetto”

  1. Loved the review.

    Btw, Ibram X. Kendi may soon be cancelled himself. Who would win in a fight between BLM and trans community?

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    1. “Kendi may soon be cancelled himself”

      I don’t think so. The Church of Woke is all about weaponized identity and Race trumps Sex in the woke game of bridge. Some (not all) POC can diverge from feminist or trans ideology and not be cancelled.

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      1. The way this works is that one of these Robin DiAngelos will be found out to be not woke enough. The poor bastards who adopted her theories early on will be persecuted worse than those who adopted none and just sat quietly by.

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  2. Sounds interesting. I recall reading some excerpts from a book that was a sort of anthropological study of “outsider” science, and what the author described sounds a lot like the flat Earth convention. She attended a meeting of “alternative” physicists and noted that while they gave talks about their various theories, no one criticized anyone else’s ideas or engaged with them in any way. The attendees had nothing in common except for the fact that they all rejected mainstream physics as a sham propped up by The Establishment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To clarify, “alternative” physicists, doesn’t refer to trained physicists who propose weird theories, but to farmers, real estate contractors, travelling salespeople & etc. who decided in their spare time that they’d proven Einstein wrong (always Einstein for some reason…).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What I treasure about this country is that groups of complete kooks like these flat earthers or the anti-physicists you describe can gather and celebrate their conventions, and be as eccentric as they want and nobody does them any harm. I love that aspect of this country. And I’m very afraid that it will be destroyed by efforts to impose a needless and stultifying conformity.

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        1. The problem with these kooks and weirdos is that if they gain too many followers, they are used as vehicle for certain political fraction to get elected. The transgender community used to be just that, a community. Now it’s domineering the mainstream not because the community at its root changed that much but because some interests group found it useful in pushing their own agenda.

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      1. // They are all going into hiding until it becomes OK to have opinions and discuss them in this country.

        I’ve always loved book reviews and discussions of academics’ work on nation state & fluidity the most on your blog. Such a pity if you feel the need to hide them all.

        Wanted to ask whether you may tag them as ‘protected’, so that constant readers may still read them.

        Don’t know how Blogger works, but lj lets one to define some posts as friends-locked and when friends log in, they may read / search such posts too.

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              1. Now that Google bought itself a government, that government will do the master’s bidding.

                These people have been riling themselves up – and not just on MSNBC. Regular people have been riling themselves up for a while. Thats how people remove moral objections to nasty things.

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  3. Do you hide book reviews mainly? I understand why posts like ‘Acknowledge the Steal’ are potentially dangerous, but this post still remains, while the utterly innocent (even from the wokest pov) ‘Jane Eyre’ post was hidden. Started thinking about which posts may be considered dangerous and got confused.

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  4. Hey Clarissa, I’d like to make perhaps an unusual request – I’d like you to play and review Disco Elysium, which is more or less… an interactive book in the detective/bildungsroman genre by a bunch of estonians. I personally adore it, and would love to know what you think.

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  5. Have you heard of “Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault ” by Stephen R. C. Hicks ?

    Peterson recommended it in one of his lectures, but is it good? If no, is there a good and accessible book on this topic?

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      1. // If it’s postmodernism, then Jean-François Lyotard The Postmodern Condition. It’s a classic.

        Thank you! Will check it out. Is there anything more? This book was published in 1979, are there more recent developments? Something simple enough (not harder than Bauman, so I have an ability to understand it) yet not simplistic? A book about modernism, postmodernism and what comes after.

        Got frightened since giorgio agamben was too much for me, and Jean-François Lyotard also has a French name.

        Btw, when I was starting to study literary criticism and got confused by professor’s lectures (*), Peter Barry’s “Beginning theory: An introduction to literary and cultural theory” was extremely helpful. Don’t know whether your students may find it useful, but I found it describing well the basic facts re various approaches and it let me understand better the advanced info of the lectures.

        (*) He was one of the best profs I had, but taught an introductory course to BA students at (almost?) MA level. When one has no background and is expected to delve into the depths at once, it’s very hard to grasp. My MA courses were easier than his MA one, for sure.

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          1. // I can retell Lyotard to you in a few sentences to spare you the trouble. It’s quite simple.

            One of the main reasons I love your book reviews – access to ideas to people who don’t have sufficient time and/or energy to read all those books themselves.

            Reminded of this quote from “All My Sons”:

            Keller: You’re always reading the book section and you never buy a book.
            Chris: I like to keep abreast of my ignorance.

            I do plan to read Michael Lind’s “The New Class War” since I loved his articles and the subject is interesting. Have you started reading it? You’ve recently said you planned to. Hope you’ll review it too one day, and may be all of us may have an interesting discussion.

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            1. Lind is the perfect antithesis to Williamson. I agree with everything he says and I hate the book. It’s deathly boring.

              I guess if you force some insanely obsessive wokester to read it, the book might communicate something new. But to anybody who has been awake for the past couple of decades, it’s all very obvious. “Rich ladies of Park Ave are all pro-immigration because they like having cheap, mute maids.” Ya think? This is hardly a fresh point.

              Like

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