War on Wine

In Spain, the socialists who rule in coalition with the far left are waging a war on. . . wine. One idea is to discourage the serving of wine in restaurants. Another is to put cancer warnings on wine bottles like they do on tobacco products. The reason is, of course, that wine is bad for you.

This campaign isn’t driven by the socialists as much as by the far left. The same far left that is passionately advocating for the legalization of cannabis. Which, apparently, doesn’t cause any health issues.

These are very, very weird people. I have zero interest in either wine or cannabis but I can’t fail to notice how bizarre all these ideas are.

Masculinity

Masculinity is dead:

It’s particularly delightful that the fellow has a Ukrainian flag in the avatar. He really hasn’t figured out what’s happening.

Instead of National Identity

As Douglas Murray correctly says in his new book, once a national identity is weakened, all sorts of other identifications come to take its place. Smaller and smaller groups and groupsicles are formed. People are pitted against each other over trivial, manufactured differences, making it impossible for them to see that they can unite to stand up for their rights.

Everybody who isn’t rich is struggling because of the inflation. Everybody is being punished because our national government decided to steal from us and give to Pfizer, Walmart, and Netflix. But we are distracted from our shared dispossession by the narrative that pits the virtuous against the improvident student loan holders. As we bite each other’s heads off, those who rob us are laughing at our simplicity.

I’ve never held a dime of student loan debt and neither has my husband. But I know that if I indulge in the convenient pleasure of despising those who do, I’d be the stooge. The simpleton who stands there gaping while her pockets are being picked.

Cheap, smug self-righteousness – be it of the anti-racist or the anti-loan-forgiveness flavor – is the consolation prize we get for losing our economic and political status.

Dedicated to Losing

The November midterms are the Republicans’ to lose. You really have got to try your darnedest to lose to an administration that has achieved record inflation, sky-high crime rates, a string of international humiliations, and nothing positive at all.

But never fear. Republicans will do all they can to screw up this golden opportunity to sail to a win. They have now decided to antagonize a large part of the electorate by opposing Biden’s fictitious student loan forgiveness. Nothing has been done. No loans have been forgiven but yes, absolutely, let’s help Biden create an impression that he’s doing something for the people by taking a symbolic stand against his symbolic action. We could instead concentrate on his cozy relationship with corporate oligarchy and on how much that oligarchy prefers the Democrats. But forget it. It’s so much more fun to tear into some poor schmuck with a bunch of college loans. He’s the real enemy!

Closer to the election, it’s crucial to start another useless abortion kerfuffle. Who needs to win elections when you can declare your righteousness instead?

Once again, feel-good wins and effectiveness loses. A momentary jolt of pleasure is preferred to actual results. Happy pill defeats a cure.

In the Woods

This cottage in the woods in Missouri is extremely reminiscent of the vacation cottages my father’s research institute owned in Soviet times. They were smaller and had no kitchens or bathrooms (they were in separate buildings, and we shared them) but the design was extremely similar.

I hated all Soviet vacation places except the one owned by my dad’s employer. It was really quite chic. I don’t know how they ended up with such a great place. It was by the river, so there was swimming and boating. And we gathered tons of mushrooms and berries in the woods. Locals brought dairy, rabbits, and homegrown vegetables. Those were great vacations.

In short, a little holiday to recover from the news of my father’s diagnosis turned to childhood memories of my father.

In case you are wondering how Ukrainian flags made their way to Missouri woods, I brought them, of course. I also brought the little human hiding in the scenery.

New from Douglas Murray

Good news, everybody! Douglas Murray released a new book. I will start reading it immediately, and in the meantime, here is a great video of Murray’s recent interview to UnHerd. Murray is appalled by the West’s self-effacement and self-sabotage, and I’m very glad his new book is now the #1 bestseller on UK’s Amazon. Murray is one of the most insightful, valuable conservative commentators in the world right now.

I will share my opinions of the book as soon as I read it. Do people prefer it in written or video form?

The New Feudalism

Waiting for an all-powerful baron to defend us, unwashed, miserable peasants, is deeply feudal in nature. The post-national state is, indeed, very feudal in many of its aspects.

Do we accept that this new feudalism is now the norm and there is no way out of it? Or do we join people like Alex Berenson (and the whole country of Ukraine) in fighting for the return to the nation-state?

As I explained in my very first video, there is no democracy as we know it without the nation-state. All we are left with are rich, powerful feudal barons whom we have to beg for protection. Is that what we really want? Do we believe that our rights are God-given and protected by the institutions we create, maintain, and hold accountable? Or do our rights only exist when some rich dude feels like noticing our existence?

Handout

People who are supposed to be against handouts are excitedly waiting for some rich dude to give them a handout in the form of freedom to say what they think. And as they wait, they ridicule those who await a handout in the form of college loan forgiveness.

The person I admire in all this is Alex Berenson who is suing Twitter instead of relying on the whims of a kindly benefactor.

Extremism

Ukrainian writer Stanislav Aseyev was arrested in the occupied Donetsk and held in a concentration camp where he was brutally tortured for two years. The crime for which he was arrested and sentenced to 15 years in jail was extremism.

What was Aseyev’s extremist activity?

Quotation marks.

He put quotation marks in the wrong place. In an article he wrote, Aseyev put quotation marks around the word “DNR” (Donetsk People’s Republic, the unrecognized pseudo-state created during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2014). Even though he was in hiding, the authorities located and jailed him.

Unfortunately, this story doesn’t land as strongly today as it would back in 2014. Calling people extremists for punctuation marks pronouns and persecuting them is no longer alien to our reality.