Category Archives: The Kultur War

Human Predation

One of the things that some people on the Right have gotten somewhat correct about Elliott Rodgers (for the wrong reason, mostly “it’s all the Left’s fault”)* is that it’s more than just hatred of women that drove him. He didn’t kill four men because he hated women, he killed them because they were in the way of his “rightful” place in life. He viewed half of his fellow human beings as objects (disobedient and disrespectful living currency, an echo of a very old and ugly view), but this had consequences in how he viewed the other half of the human race: as competitors (at best), as thugs, as thieves, or as outright threats. Even his father, who he seemed to both be in fear and awe of, earned contempt from Elliott for raising such a weak son.

Elliott did not just reveal misogyny or misandry*; he was a paradigm of misanthropy. This is what a lot of younger Social Justice people don’t necessarily get, and what most of those who mock Feminism most certainly don’t get. Sometimes calling the systemic poison that ails us Patriarchy is to grant it certain types of power it doesn’t have in our collective imagination. Further than that, it is to understate just how insidiously this hatred of the Other is combined with an Othering of (and hatred for) the self for either never quite living up to its standards, or for just what an amoral and destructive being you become while attempting to enforce them.

Beyond that, I have no words.

Updated: Echidne’s deep dive into his madness is depressing and revealing (and shows great strength of character on her part), though it is a different perspective. Also, I do have more words now. It seems that human beings assume great solidarity among the Other(s), while usually feeling very isolated amongst people we identify with, which is why division between groups has always been easier than encouraging solidarity. Seriously, once you manage to “other” a group, how hard is it to impress a single imaginary organizational framework upon that group? Answer: depressingly easy, especially as compared with the effort it takes to actually organize that group.

Add to that the division between “alphas” (those who should reproduce) and “betas” (those who don’t deserve to), and the ability to cull anyone who shows weakness from the rank of “alphas,” and you have a culture that exists only to feed on itself (which is why I consider it a smaller, more intense version of our larger social culture in the U.S., that encourages men to prey on (or at the very least control) women, and men to poach women from (and ultimately destroy and overcome) other men. There’s no camaraderie, and there’s little or no common humanity, only the shared scapegoat of the moment. If this sounds familiar, it is because it is the classic Feminist description of Patriarchy (and it’s also the idea world of Ayn Rand and her acolytes, go fig). I guess I take it personally in a different way, because I have no choice.

* Roy Edroso’s roundup here.
** I shudder to think of how he viewed those outside that simple binary formulation

This Is Some Bullshit.

From Russia Today:

The federal agency for mass media control has started to test software to automatically monitor online media for the use of obscene language, both in articles and in user comments.

A spokesman for the Roskomnadzor agency, Vadim Ampelonskiy, told the mass circulation daily Izvestia that the system was expected to be launched before the end of the year. The cost of the project is estimated at 25 million rubles or about $694,000. Technicians are making lists of keywords for the searches as they manually monitor the Russian language sector of the internet.

The current version of the software only scans text, but in the future it will be also work with audio and video files, Ampelonskiy said.

The monitoring of the internet for obscene language has become necessary as in April 2013 President Vladimir Putin signed into force a federal law banning the use of obscene language in mass media under threat of fines up to 200,000 rubles ($5,500). Breaking the law will result in an official warning to the media outlet and two such warning within 12 months could mean the outlet’s government license is revoked.The law applies both to text prepared by editorial teams and to user comments if they are publicly accessible.

I’d love to be proven wrong (only because I like learning and becoming less incorrect), but by the time a society gets around to petty bullshit like this, free political speech is a distant memory (if it was ever present at all).

This Isn’t an Action Movie

So Byron Smith’s home had been broken into before.

So Nick Brady and Haile Kifer were probably involved in at least one other break-in, and were suspected of stealing drugs.

Listen to this man disable, then kill first Nick, then Haile and tell me whether each person in their own home should be an unaccountable judge, jury, and executioner. Warning, this audio is of two human beings being killed, plus a self-justifying rant afterward.

He was convicted of first-degree murder.

Now I don’t think it’s appropriate to answer deadly, ill-defined paranoia with not-deadly amateur psychology, but there is no doubt that there is a violent and dangerous underlying problem. This is a more sane reaction. Remove the laws that support a crazed fantasy: that actions you take with a weapon are unaccountable to anyone. Sure, let’s have a saner gun control policy. There also needs to be a re-thinking of the Cowboys & Indians legal regime that’s been built around them. Complete with racial injustice.

Yes, I’m a handgun owner. But I live in a world with people who have a reasonable expectation that I won’t shoot them. Don’t their wishes have some weight in this matter too?

Making faith-based charities compulsory.

Lots of people are freaking out over the fact that Target isn’t allowing the Salvation Army to set up bell-ringers in front of their stores. Target’s position on the matter is pretty clear. It doesn’t want anyonye soliciting out front, so it doesn’t have to go through a bunch of legal crap when a group it doesn’t want out front hollers discrimination. Whether you find that position to be laudable or despicable, the fact is, it’s Target’s yard, they can invite anyone they want to play and set the rules how they like. However. Essays such as this and this lead me to believe that Salvation Army bell-ringers have somehow become untouchable in this country, which means they’re not a charity anymore, they’re an established Social Services organization with mandatory retailer participation, non-compliance punishable by social ostracization.

Now what’s interesting here is this comparatively tiny sign of the tremendous conflict brewing between two of Bush’s largest supporters: corporations and evangelicals. But who knows. Maybe a lot of this furor is directed at Target with a boost from Wal-Mart’s pocketbook.

Pat Robertson is an Absolute Fraud.

Pat Robertson has decided that “Kwanzaa is an absolute fraud”. Welp, I looked at the official Kwaanza website, and the very last things it says (besides “Copyright© 1999-2004 OfficialKwanzaaWebsite.org, All rights reserved. Reproduction in full or part is prohibited without permission” *rubs his lucky fair-use charm*) are these two very informative sentences:

Kwanzaa was created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor and chair of the Department of Black Studies at California State University, Long Beach, author and scholar-activist who stresses the indispensable need to preserve, continually revitalize and promote African American culture.

Finally, it is important to note Kwanzaa is a cultural holiday, not a religious one, thus available to and practiced by Africans of all religious faiths who come together based on the rich, ancient and varied common ground of their Africanness.

A fraud involves misrepresentation. There is no misrepresentation. This is not, as some would have you believe, some scary mutant evil Black Christmas, it is a cultural celebration and an attempt to forge a common historical identiity from the truths found in the past. What’s wrong with that? The allegations about the person who created it are pretty scary stuff, So were the times it was happening in. As far as I can tell, he’s not asking anybody to worship anything or anyone, or claiming any divine infallibility. So what’s the problem? If we can deal with people setting off fireworks while jumping around inside rice-paper monsters, or coloring boiled chicken’s eggs and then hiding them all over the place, I think we can deal with Kwanzaa just fine. And Pat Robertson’s organization is never been overly kind or inviting to African-Americans anyway, so besides being afraid that blacks are turning away from the definition of blackness as “not being white,” I don’t know what he’s afraid of. Racists define other people as “not us,” but there is no group in the world I know of defines themselves as “not those people over there.” Wait, there is one exception to that. John Kerry and John Edwards are not George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

The mighty Values Vote may be a little less mighty than previously thought.

An interesting read on the origin and nature of the values vote myth.

My favorite part: ‘Brian Healy was the CBS News producer covering the exit polls, something he has done in many elections. He recalled that everyone was surprised that moral values topped the list as the numbers came in, but it wasn’t until about 4 a.m. that someone quite innocently asked, “What exactly are ‘moral values’?”‘