02m25s Tokenism at the Times. (And disparate impact on Tucker.)
07m16s The need for Thought Reform. (Explicatives against Joe Biden!)
10m46s A lady traumatized. (The sociogeography of Derb's county.)
15m51s Don't politicize the political! (Woke diction.)
22m12s Jeff Bezos' big thrust. (Tabloid double entendre-fest.)
25m42s Face to face with the Chardonnay Antifa. (Mao's cultural revolution, and ours.)
34m31s Sixty-something fired for political incorrectness! (Lèse-majesté or lèse-Floydesté?)
36m58s The war against fiction. (Stop making stuff up!)
40m51s The next nuclear war? (Over Calais!)
44m04s Signoff. (Advice for party planners.)
Sorry, I was practicing my uptalk there, for reasons which will become clear. This is of course your explicatively genial host John Derbyshire with some commentary on the week's [uptalk] news … No, I can't get the hang of it. What the heck.
What I shall mainly be commenting on this week is our nation's ongoing—and, it seems to me, accelerating—cultural revolution. I've been telling myself for twenty years that it couldn't get any worse, but year by year it has gotten worse.
The Red Guards now control almost all our major media outlets, including of course the social media, and the entire educational system, public and private, from kindergarten to the Ivy League. This new administration has radicalized the federal government, too: the judiciary, the agencies, even the military have all been put in the hands of Red Guards.
What is it, this poisonous weed, this kudzu smothering our culture and silencing some of our smartest and most eloquent voices? Well, if you've been paying attention you'll know that a central concept in the revolutionary mindset, a central target of the Red Guards, is whiteness.
So, in hopes of improving our understanding, let's take a short trip down Anti-Whiteness Lane. Follow me …
02—Tokenism at the Times. My starting point here is a group discussion broadcast by MSNBC on Tuesday. There were five people in the discussion, four whites and a token mulatto lady named Mara Gay. Of the four whites, two were MSNBC woke-bots whose names are vaguely familiar to me; I don't know who the other two were.
The mulatto lady, Ms Gay, is a prominent journalist: a columnist at the New York Times and a member of that newspaper's editorial board.
We shouldn't hold that against her, though. If you or I had a touch of the tar-brush and saw the opportunity to attain a high six-figure salary by taking advantage of ruling-class Goodwhites hating on working- and middle-class Badwhites, perhaps we'd seize that opportunity too.
Permit me to explicate yet again what's going on in our culture. It's a Cold Civil War between two big groups of white people: Goodwhites, who have good, correct, humanitarian opinions, and Badwhites, who have bad, wrong, hateful opinions.
Nonwhites are sometimes handy as auxiliaries, to groom the horses or dig field latrines, but nobody of any importance cares what they think or listens to what they say. Their main purpose is to serve as tokens of Goodwhite virtue.
Self-identifying blacks like this mulatto lady from the New York Times are given prestigious jobs and extravagant salaries by the ruling-class elites as a way to emphasize Goodwhite goodness. When Badwhites mock them, as I'm doing here at some length, that just illustrates Badwhite badness. Goodwhites consider blacks to be sacred objects; to mock a black midwit like Ms Gay is sacrilegious. It's blasphemy.
The principle of tokenism here is so entrenched in our culture nowadays, it's seeped out from the Goodwhite zone into the Badwhite borderlands.
Take Tucker Carlson, for example, who is hated hated hated by Goodwhites, but who would never never never invite Jared Taylor on his show, or Colin Flaherty, or Stefan Molyneux. The opinionators Carlson does invite on his show include a high proportion of nonconformist blacks, people like Candace Owens and Robert Woodson.
God bless them all, I mean really—or as Tucker would say, sincerely—but the proportion is way more than thirteen percent. Disparate impact there, Tucker. Let's see some equity!
Wait; I got carried away with my explication. Where was I going with all that? Oh, right: There was this group discussion on MSNBC Tuesday about the January 6th protests at the U.S. Capitol. Let's get back on the rails here, Derb.
I have used up most of a segment already, so let me continue this with a segment of its own.
03—The need for Thought Reform. So yeah: There was this group discussion on MSNBC Tuesday about the January 6th protests at the U.S. Capitol. The discussers were four Goodwhites and a mulatto lady from the New York Times.
The sense of the meeting was that those Badwhite protestors who had put up their feet on Nancy Pelosi's desk and taken selfies in the Senate chamber should be publicly boiled in oil, and then shot.
To be fair, though, the discussion ranged wider than that. There was much talk about the need for an investigation, to be carried out by the federal government's spotlessly impartial intelligence agencies, its conclusions then approved by that same government's unimpeachably independent Justice Department.
And of course, the root causes must be dealt with. What are the root causes of the horrifically violent assault on our republic perpetrated on January 6th last? Why, bad thoughts!
So once the investigation has been completed and approved, and the perpetrators properly punished, there needs to be Thought Reform.
Ms Gay, the black lady, waxed eloquent on that point.
[Clip: The reality is here that, er, we have a large percentage of the American population—I don't know how big it is, but we have tens of millions of Trump voters—who continue to believe that their rights as citizens are under threat by simple virtue of having to share the democracy with others.
Um, I think as long as they see Americanness as the same, as one, with whiteness, this is going to continue. We have to figure out how to get every American a place at the table in this democracy; but how to separate Americanness, America, from whiteness? Until we can confront that, and talk about that, this is really going to continue.
I was on Long Island this weekend, visiting a really dear friend, and I was really disturbed. I saw, you know, dozens and dozens of pickup trucks with, you know, er, explicatives against Joe Biden on the back of them, Trump flags, and, some cases, just dozens of American flags, which is also, you know, just disturbing, because essentially the message was clear. It was: "This is my country, this is not your country. I own this." And so until we're ready to have [sharp uptalk] that conversation, this is going to continue.]
Pickup trucks! With explicatives against Joe Biden on the back! Poor Ms Gay must have been quaking in her two thousand dollar Balenciaga boots.
If you know anything about Long Island, you probably think of it as leafy upmarket suburbs, populated by commuters into New York City. Yes, there is some of that, but much more that is not that.
The westernmost fringe of Long Island is actually part of New York City; it's the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens.
If you head east from there you cross over into Nassau County, which is leafy upmarket suburbs, mostly. Continuing eastwards, you then cross over into Suffolk County, which embraces the entire eastern two-thirds of the island, and is the home county of your genial explicator here.
Suffolk County is a mix. The western part, adjacent to Nassau, is kind of Nassau lite: leafy suburbs, but lower down the class scale and less expensive, just on account of being further from Manhattan. The far eastern part is the famous Hamptons, where super-rich Wall Street and showbiz types have their twelve-acre summer homes.
In between those two ends of my county, though, between the pleasant suburban western end and the extremely tony eastern end, there's a forty-mile stretch of downmarket small towns and villages, and some farmland still.
Parts of it—little towns like Mastic, Shirley, and the county seat at Riverhead—could be out in the Midwest, or even Appalachia: few blacks, lots of garden signs for Trump, the range where I practice my mediocre shooting skills, bait'n'tackle stores, and—yes!—pickup trucks with gun racks, American flags, and explicatives against Joe Biden on the back.
The main political name here is Congressman Lee Zeldin, one of the more reliably pro-Trump Republicans. On immigration-related votes in Congress, NumbersUSA scores him as a career grade A, a grade B for recent votes (that's 2019 and 2020), and an A-plus for votes in this congress — pretty darn good.
You can see why the guys with pickup trucks vote for Lee Zeldin, but why do those Goodwhite showbiz and finance types out in the Hamptons allow themselves to be represented by such a shameless Trumpist? Well, (a) they're not actually out there in the winter months when most of our voting takes place, and (b) Congressman Zeldin is Jewish and a strong supporter of Israel, so he likely gets a pass on that.
So my guess would be that the New York Times lady, Ms Gay, who tells us she was visiting a friend on Long Island, passed through the Appalachian zone. I doubt her friend actually lives there; people of her class don't patronize shooting ranges or bait'n'tackle stores. The friend probably lives out in the Hamptons.
Still, just driving through and seeing all that Trumpish Badwhiteness must have been traumatizing for the New York Times lady.
Let's just be thankful, on her behalf, that she didn't have to stop for any reason. She might have been lynched!—or, at the very least, have had a few explicatives shouted at her by us gap-toothed hillbillies of Suffolk County.
Just listen to Mara Gay's language there, for instance—the clichés of wokeness. I can't hear these woke bots without groaning and wincing at the stilted predictability of their diction. To call them "bots" is hardly an exaggeration. I could write code to produce the stuff that they extrude. Well, I could if I had a COBOL compiler …
So Ms Gay started right off there with: "The reality is …" That's a reliable indicator that what is about to be said has nothing whatever to do with reality.
Sure enough, the lady tells us that Trump voters believe that their rights as citizens are under threat by virtue of having to share the democracy with others.
Are they wrong to think so, when those "others" control well-nigh all the commanding heights of our culture, and can get you fired from your job if you say out loud something at odds with their stupid, crazy ideology?
And by the way: Just how willing were those "others" to share the democracy with Trump voters, as those "others" strove for four years to de-legitimize Trump's presidency, and their media stooges stifled all criticism of Joe Biden and his family in the run-up to last year's election?
And then, she wants to separate America from whiteness. Why? America was founded by white people. They fought and died to found it. Eighty-some years on, they fought and died in a war that ended race slavery.
Every social advance was won by white people—all the things Progressives like Ms Gay are supposed to support. The outlawing of child labor? White people. Universal schooling? White people. Labor unions for fair wages? White people. Female suffrage? White people. Social security? White people. De-criminalizing of sodomy? White people. Does Ms Gay not want any more social progress?
Every technological advance, likewise—all the things that made our lives more fruitful and secure. Does she wish the fruitfulness and security to stop increasing?
It was white people who hired you in at the New York Times, Ma'am, to improve their social-credit scores by darkening up the editorial board a bit. Do you really think you'd have a six-digit salary in Ghana or Uganda, with no virtue-signalling Goodwhites to lift you up?
And on and on. One word I knew would show up was "conversation." Sure enough: [Clip: And so until we're ready to have that conversation …] So the actual word is "conversa-tion"; but I'm sorry, I can't do the bimbo uptalk the way Ms Gay [uptalk] does it.
Of course, the last thing these totalitarians want is to have a conversation. I could introduce the New York Times to several well-read, well-educated, mild-mannered and thoughtful people, including even some academics, who think more or less as I do, and would be glad to pen an op-ed for the paper, at the usual freelance rate. I'm available myself, if the board is interested in hearing my side of the national conversation … which of course they are not.
In fact the Times defended Ms Gay's distress at seeing all those American flags. Tweet from them, Tuesday evening:
Her argument was that Trump and many of his supporters have politicized the American flag.
That doesn't even make sense. It's like saying that McDonald's has commercialized the Golden Arches symbol. Well, of course they have: McDonald's is a commercial enterprise, duh.
A national flag is the emblem of a polis, a self-governing state. You can't politicize it: It's already political.
You can of course burn it. If you catch a person doing so, however, that person is way, way, wa-a-a-ay more likely to be a New York Times reader than a Suffolk County redneck driving a pickup truck.
06—Jeff Bezos' big thrust. My passing mention of a corporate logo there reminds me of that little curved arrow logo I see on the Amazon delivery trucks that seem to comprise around half of my town's motor traffic nowadays. Is it just me, or is that logo kind of … suggestive?
This came to mind as I read my New York Post over breakfast Thursday morning. Business section, page 27, headline: Bezos' Rocket a Hot Rod.
You probably know that Amazon boss man Jeff Bezos is planning to be blasted into space next month by a rocket he has funded, name of Blue Origin. It'll be a sub-orbital flight, just up and down, like the ones by Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom sixty years ago this summer. The news story in the Post is about the shape of the rocket, which is even more distinctly suggestive than Amazon's corporate logo.
This being the New York Post, I braced myself for more lame puns. The Post did not disappoint. Bezos, the story told me, was, quote, "getting shafted online," end quote, by tweeters making fun of the rocket's shape, or rather, quote, "taking a poke at it," end quote. And the spacecraft represents, quote, "the climax of Bezos' ambitions," end quote.
They reminded us that Bezos has, quote, "gotten into trouble before by thinking with his rocket," end quote. That's an allusion to his cheating on his wife with TV newsperson Lauren Sanchez. But yes, they assured us, Jeff will be on Blue Origin's, quote, "maiden voyage," end quote, next month, along with his brother Mark.
Closing sentence of the story, quote:
The siblings will be in the cockpit when the Blue Origin shoots into the skies from Texas on July 20th for the quickie, 10-minute trip.
Yes, listeners: When it comes to the tabloid-journalism competition for Most Off-Color Puns in a Single News Story, the New York Post is way out in front, holding firm.
My only question is: What's that story doing in the Business section?
07—Face to face with the Chardonnay Antifa. News on the Cultural Revolution front isn't all bad. We counter-revolutionaries can draw some instruction and perhaps encouragement from the fact that this drama has been played out before, in China from 1966 to 1976.
We shouldn't get too carried away with the comparison. There are of course important differences between China's Cultural Revolution and ours. Most importantly, Mao's China was monoracial, or effectively so. The key battles of his Cultural Revolution were fought over class, whereas in ours the central issue is race.
That doesn't mean we are fighting a race war, any more than Mao's Red Guards were fighting a class war. When China's Cultural Revolution started, the Communist Party had held total power for seventeen years. Capitalism had been pretty thoroughly stamped out, just as anti-black discrimination has long since disappeared from American life.
Mao told his followers that "bourgeois elements" were at work in the party, trying to restore capitalism. Similarly, our own ruling class say that reactionary whites are plotting to restore "white supremacy," which I think means Jim Crow laws.
Both those story lines are preposterous on the face of it; but when you have total control of public information, as Mao had and our elites very nearly have, you can get enough people to believe preposterosities.
And so you get these Cold Civil Wars, with bogus story lines in support of what are really just power struggles. In China the war was within the Communist Party, Maoists versus reformers; in the U.S.A. it's among whites, the wokes versus the normals, Goodwhites versus Badwhites.
The real stakes being fought for in both cases are power. Mao could not tolerate any opposition to his schemes. Our own managerial state feels the same way.
There were spells of heat in both of the Cold Civil Wars. The revolutionary center enlists fired-up young radicals to burn and loot, to topple statues, destroy all evidence of the past, and chase down counter-revolutionaries, without any punishment. In China it was the Red Guards; in America, it's BLM and Antifa.
As I said, you can't take the parallels too far. The People's Liberation Army, for example, was a more important factor in China's Cultural Revolution than the U.S. armed forces are likely to be in ours. Still, a study of what was happening in China fifty years ago clarifies what is happening here today, and may help us counter-revolutionaries in our strategizing.
[Added when archiving: A very observant reader (i.e. of the article that VDARE.com editors distilled from this transcript) thought that "can't" should be "can." In the faint hope the editors might have changed a correct "can" to an incorrect "can't," I went to the transcript; no, the error was mine.
If it's really an error, that is. English "can" is ambiguous: "are allowed to" and "are able to." Obviously the thought in my mind was: "You may not (= are not allowed to) take the parallels too far. For that thought, "can't" is correct. My reader's substitution of "can" for "can't" changes the meaning to: "It is possible to take the parallels too far." Which of course is also true.
HOWEVER, the business of a good writer is to avoid ambiguities of this sort; so the fault here is mine. It would have been better if I had written either "You shouldn't take the parallels too far," or "The parallels can be taken too far."]
No-one is more aware of all this than Chinese people who actually lived through Mao's Cultural Revolution. One of them stepped forward this week at a public meeting of the Loudoun County School Board in Virginia.
Loudoun is the richest county in the U.S.A., with an estimated average household income of almost $118,000. This is government money we're talking about: Leesburg, the county seat, is just thirty miles from the White House. Ruling class of the managerial state? Oh yeah.
The county school board has been facing some opposition from parents recently. The teaching of Critical Race Theory has of course been one issue; another was the suspension of an elementary-school teacher for believing, on religious grounds, that males and females are biologically different. (A judge has ordered the teacher to be reinstated.)
Ms Van Fleet grew up in Mao's China and remembers the Cultural Revolution there. Here's what she had to say. The lady has some Chinese accent still and the recording quality wasn't very good, so for clarity I'll just read you what she said. Quote:
I've been very alarmed about what's going on in our schools. You are now teaching, training our children to be Social Justice Warriors, and to loathe our country and our history.
Growing up in Mao's China, all this seems very familiar. The communist regime used the same Critical Theory to divide people. The only difference is, they used class instead of race.
During the Cultural Revolution I witnessed students and teachers turn against each other. We changed school names to be politically correct. We were taught to denounce our heritage. The Red Guards destroyed anything that is not communist: old statues, books, and anything else.
We [were] also encouraged to report on each other, just like the Student Equity Ambassadors program and the bias reporting system. This is indeed [the] American version of the Chinese communist … the Chinese Cultural Revolution.
The Critical Race Theory has its roots in Cultural Marxism. It should have no place in our schools.
There was loud and prolonged applause when she finished. This is still Loudoun County, though—Ruling Class Central — and counter-revolution has by no means won the day there. It's encouraging, none the less, to see such spirited resistance in the face of what a different parent called the Chardonnay Antifa. More strength to him, and to Ms Van Fleet.
I can't claim to have read much of Ms Burchill's output, having lived outside Britain for most of her career. I've been aware of her as a name since back in the 1980s, though, and I must have read some of what she's written.
Now I wish I'd read more. The lady was fired this week from the Daily Telegraph, a conservative British daily, for political incorrectness. Her offense was a tweet she tweeted on learning that Harry and Meghan Windsor had named their new baby Lilibet Diana. Tweeted Ms Burchill, tweet:
What a missed opportunity. They could have called it Georgina Floydina!
I doubt Ms Burchill is too distressed. She's 61 years old. Getting dropped from a conservative outlet for political incorrectness in your sixties isn't terrifically upsetting, and Ms Burchill has a long and admirable track record of not giving much of a damn. Her Twitter handle is "@BoozeAndFagz," the "Fagz" of course referring to cigarettes … I assume.
The name of this new royal baby produced some lesser casualties, too. Me, for instance. Here at VDARE.com we had an office pool on the name. I put ten dollars on "Quaneisha," so I'm down a sawbuck on the event. Eh, easy come, easy go.
Some of the incidental furniture of that world might have been borrowed from the author's own actual world, and some of the invented characters might be based, more or less loosely, on people he knew. It was the power of the author's imagination that made a novel distinctive, though. People would think less of a novel that was too obviously just autobiographical.
That is no longer the common opinion, to put it mildly. As I lamented a couple of podcasts ago, quote from self:
The only thing you're supposed to know nowadays is your own precious self, your—what's the cant expression? oh, right —your "lived experience."
Here's another dispatch from the War on Fiction.
Elin Hilderbrand is a fifty-something American writer billed in this story I'm looking at as a "bestselling romance author." She published a new novel earlier this year, title Golden Girl. At one point in the novel the main character, whose name is Vivi, is reminiscing about her childhood. There was an episode where she was planning to stay in her friend's attic. Quote from the novel:
"You're suggesting I hide here all summer?" Vivi asks. "Like … like Anne Frank?" This makes them both laugh—but is it really funny, and is Vivi so far off base?
That generated shrieks of outrage from all round. "Casual antisemitism!" howled one critic. Ms Hilderbrand has groveled and begged forgiveness. Those lines will be expunged from all future copies of the book.
For goodness sake! That quote is just how kids talk, especially kids who've learned all about Ann Frank in Third Grade Social Studies class. It might be thought in poor taste if Ms Hilderbrand herself said it, but it's a character in her novel saying it. Do people even understand the concept of fiction any more?
My advice to aspiring novelists: Fuhgeddaboutit. Stick to autobiography—your "lived experience."
For the longest time up to 1991, everyone would have said, "the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R." That was the Cold War, of course.
Once the Cold War was well and truly over, you'd probably have gotten a majority vote for India versus Pakistan.
More recently, as the ChiComs started feeling their oats militarily, people would probably say, "U.S.A. and China."
They could all be wrong. The coming nuclear-power conflict could be Britain v. France.
This story's a few months old, but more pertinent by the day. Breitbart news, August 12th last year, headline: Tory M.P. Suggests Taking Back Calais to End Channel Crisis.
Calais is the French city just across the English Channel from Dover, where illegal aliens have been arriving in hundreds and thousands—more this year than ever before.
Calais seems to be the base for the Albanian people-smugglers running the operation. This Tory Member of Parliament, Sir Edward Leigh, suggested re-occupying Calais, which belonged to the British Crown until they lost it in 1558.
(The actual British monarch when they lost Calais was Mary Tudor, a.k.a. "Bloody Mary." As schoolkids in England we were taught that Queen Mary bemoaned the loss by saying that when she was dead, if they opened her up they'd find the word "Calais" inscribed on her heart.)
[Added when archiving: There is a joke about that in Sellar & Yeatman's 1931 spoof-history classic 1066 And All That.]
Sir Edward's idea is not a bad one. As the weather warms up more and more illegals are crossing the channel. Brits are fed up with it, and their government seems to have no idea what to do. The French government is not at all inclined to help. Re-occupying Calais seems worth a try.
The trouble is, France might take it to be an act of war. Then we'd be off to the races: Two nuclear powers brandishing ICBMs at each other. Over illegal immigration …
09—Signoff. That's all I have, ladies and gents. Thank you for your time and attention; and a reminder to you—and also to the New York Times editorial board, although I'm sure they don't need a reminder—that Monday is Flag Day.
Yes; we deplorables out here on Long Island will all be flying the flag with pride. I strongly advise Mara Gay to stay home on Monday, to avoid another distressing experience even worse than the one she had last weekend.
OK, to the signoff music. I have just spotted yet another opinion piece speculating that with signs of a promising economic recovery, and the covid pandemic dwindling in the rear-view mirror, we may be headed for a replay of the Roaring Twenties. Well, if that brings forth another Calvin Coolidge, you won't hear me complaining.
If we really are headed for a national party time, though, let's refresh our memories about some of the things to take into account when planning a party. First and foremost, of course, is the matter of who to invite; and right behind that—some people would say actually in front of that—is the matter of who not to invite.
Here is the beautiful and talented, though alas long since departed, Dorothy Provine with some relevant advice.
There will be more from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: Dorothy Provine, "Don't bring Lulu."]